A Center Point

Yule and the New Year Moon

aft instrument radiator

Where’s the Webb? From home? 641000 miles. To L2 257000 miles. 71% of journey complete. Slower yet at .2639 mps. Mission day 13. Yesterday the aft instrument radiator got deployed. Today the primary mirror begins to unfold from its launch position. This begins the last deployment,  the mirror segments. Complete by mission day 15. Then it’s cruise on, slow, slow, slow. Puff, puff, puff and L2 insertion.

Friday gratefuls: Mussar. Rabbi Jamie. Jodi, Bowe, and Brian. Coming today. Finish early next week, I imagine. Choice. Daily. Too much choice. Habit. Routine. Bed sheets. The family crate. Safeway. Grocery pickup. Covid. Kate, always and still, Kate.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Max in his parka, a snow angel.

Tarot-January spread: Money-The Wanderer, 0 in the major arcana


The whole team gathers here at 9:15. Me. Bowe and Brian. Jodi. We’ll discuss last steps to complete the work. I have a punch list but so far it’s pretty small. Bowe anticipates my concerns and fixes them. Wish I could hire him for everything carpentry I need to get done. Maybe I can?

If I had gone with the Karman cabinets, I would have had a three month wait for delivery. End of January. Even with delays I’m ahead of the curve. Bowe had bookings into March so it could have been much later. Even with Brian’s pokiness this is faster.

I heard one complaint he had: can’t hire good help these days. I’m sure the pool of folks looking for work in Fairplay is not big to begin with and the Great Resignation has upended the entry level job market.

His work is not quite as good as I’d anticipated, but it’s good. Good enough. I like it. I imagined custom cabinetry like in a fancy built home. Not that level. But maybe the next level down. Better than mass produced for sure.

Brian reminds me a bit of Gollum. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Oh, you’ll like these, sir. Attention to detail. Oh, yes. An obsequiousness that hides deep resentment. Not to me, we don’t know each other well enough to have that sort of bad blood, but to customers. To the folks who put demands on his time. To the world which has not seen his genius. Makes me sad.


Read an article on Languishing that ancient brother Paul recommended. Here’s the article’s definition: “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.” The author describes languishing as the middle ground between depression and flourishing.

I recognize the symptoms in myself. Covid has gone on too long. Add grief. Hard to get the motor runnin’, get out on the highway. I’ve gotten stuff done, mostly d3 stuff, domestic duty day things. The remodel, Herme pushed back against this tendency to slow down, way down around 4 pm.

Finding a center point for my life, finding a way to make my schedule creativity friendly, that’s the big on the table right now issue for me as a person. I feel like this is a good time to go for it.

My grief has had the tincture of time. Part of me now, reminding me always of the beauty and power of my love for Kate, hers for me. I carry it as a gift today, not a burden.

Covid. Well, not gone. For sure. But. I am in a better place, not where I need to be, but better. In spite of omicron. As long as I stay at home, or meet with friends, it barely affects me. I’m tired of masks, yes. I’m tired of thinking about vaccines, about being high risk, yes. I can, however, see an endpoint, a time when covid becomes a flu equivalent. Maybe a booster at a certain time. Masks in some situations. Not an everyday, what’s the death count kinda thing anymore. This year. The truth is out there.

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A Great Sadness

Yule and the Moon of the Winter Solstice

Where’s the Webb? 618,000 miles from Earth, 280000 to L2. That’s 68% of the way. .2807 mps. Mission Day 12.

webb secondary mirror deployed

See this from Earth/Sky: “So far, all is well with the unfolding of the Webb Space Telescope. Its giant sunshield has been successfully opened and “tensioned.” And yesterday Webb successfully deployed its secondary mirror. That’s the small round convex mirror (29 inches or 0.74 meters in diameter), located at the end of long booms. It was the step of Webb’s unfolding that gave mission scientist Heidi Hammel the most trepidation. She’d been quoted earlier as saying, “For me, personally, that’s the scariest part of the whole deployment sequence, the secondary mirror … If we don’t have a secondary mirror, we don’t get any light from space into our cameras and spectrographs. There’s nothing.” NASA aired the momentous step live from Mission Control on Wednesday.”


@willworthington art

Thursday gratefuls: Microwave back in place. Most cabinets in place. Dishwasher functioning. Excited. May be done this week. If not, certainly next week. Stephanie, the PA at Evergreen Medical Center. What a sweetie. Still buzzing with that small town feeling. A bit more snow. Colder. Subway. Safeway pickup.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Webb’s second mirror deployed

Tarot-January spread: Love-Nine of Vessels, generosity


“The divine and open cauldron of nature always welcomes those who absorb the waters of knowledge with compassion. They are blessed with regeneration.”   wildwood book


Well. January 6th. I’m gonna have to think out loud about democracy, these United (?) States, our future. This is stream of consciousness, not well considered. The heart side of this problem. Later on some analysis. Maybe in 2030?

I do not feel personally threatened by the absurdities in our common life today. Except in one instance. Covid. I have a paralyzed left diaphragm. I live at 8,800 feet. My choice, sure, but still a reality. I have cancer. I’m 74. I don’t have a choice about my high risk status. It just is. Wish we could agree to vaccinate and mask. Push this disease back in the ranks held by the flu. End the pandamndemic. I miss my life. Parts of it anyhow.

The rest of it, horned red and blue shamans trumpeting during a riot, 3%’rs ready for the revolution, Trump’s gaggle of conservative justices, Trump and his corrosive stupidity and cupidity, gerrymandering, voter restrictions in a democracy. All that.

White privilege has me cosseted in a secure financial situation thanks to Kate. Living in a wonderful home on top of Shadow Mountain. How cool is that? With friends that are healthy and have resources, family, too.

As a hermit of sorts and, oxymoronically, a forever Wanderer*, 0 in the Wildwoods major arcana, I feel buffered from the cold, chaotic winds blowing.

Climate change does affect me and mine, the house in particular, but I’ve said how I feel about that danger.

In those senses I feel if not o.k., at least not up against it, as the ghastly right rises. This is on a personal, old man level.

Having said that. I’ve spent my life working on political issues, trying to leverage change and sometimes succeeding. Racism. Poverty. Unemployment. Affordable Housing. Worker owned businesses. Corporate overreach in poor neighborhoods. LGBTA+. Feminism. Community based economic development. Climate change. Immigration. Consolidation of plant patents in the hands of pharmaceutical corporations. Stop the Vietnam War. Unions. I’ve had a hand in with all these issues.

Not gonna bore you with my tally. The point here is that my heart and soul since I became a teenager have focused on building an inclusive America, an America where no one went hungry, had no place to live. An America where all of her citizens had a straight up chance to succeed. An America where worker’s controlled their own destinies. An America where our natural resources are in the commons, used with an eye to their sustainability and a distribution among all sectors of society. An America which welcomes the other in the spirit of the Statue of Liberty.

This America matters to me. It’s my home and I want my home to be a welcoming, safe space for folks to live the lives they want. This is what feels threatened to me. And in that threat lies an existential question about the value of political work. Why do it if it can all be washed away by a brainless bigot and the folks frightened by change?

My answer is, has to be really, that such work must go on no matter the changing political climate. No matter the risk. No matter the possibility or probability of success.

Here are the major problems:

1. Voting rights repression. This is key to any positive change in the electoral realm.

2. White supremacists and their fellow travelers. The fear-based politics of these folks ensures that they remain manipulable by the Trumpists. This cynical manipulation of white fear recalls the yellow peril, Japanese internment camps, Jim Crow, the KKK takeover of state governments in the 20’s, and keeps these voters and reactionaries tied close as voters and January 6th type rabble rousers. Joe McCarthy must be smiling somewhere.

3. Gerrymandering. On this issue Democrats went to sleep and let a single man create voting maps favorable to Republicans. This could take decades to undo if it can be undone at all. It leads to #4.

4. Republican control of state governments. States rights is an enduring American issue, prominent in the founding and in the Civil War era especially. States have the power to challenge the Federal government in some areas. See this map to understand the issue here.

5. The Supreme Court and other Federal Courts stuffed with conservative jurists. The now ancient seeming idea that the courts were non-political has fallen by the wayside. That means there is no non-partisan zone in our Federal government anymore. Probably the most corrosive problem here is a lack of faith in the law engendered by decisions made not so much on legal grounds as on partisan ones. See the Texas abortion law for an example.

6. The Senate. Manchin. McConnell. The spineless center-right Republicans. And, in the fall, a probable Republican take-over of the House. I mean…

7. Opportunity Cost on Climate Change. In future terms the top five are minor league compared to this one. We’ve already had four years of Trump’s pro-oil, pro-business, pro-whatever’s not good for the environment if it’s good for profits, government. Not to say that any Democratic government has been much better. Action on climate change has real drop dead points in the next ten to twenty years. Beyond them the worst estimates of climate change will be, as the climate change folks say, baked in.

This all challenges the country I love, and challenges even more the country about which I dream and for which I have given most of my working life. (non-working, too, for that matter) If I dwell on it, it can make me despondent. So I don’t dwell. But that doesn’t make it go away.

I guess you could say the country has broken my heart.





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That Small Town Feeling

Yule and the New Year Moon

Where is the Webb? 2/3rds of the way to L2! 597000 miles from Home. 302,000 to orbital insertion. Still slowing at .2964 mps.  Secondary mirror deployment begins. Mission day 11. Full mirror deployment scheduled for mission day 15!


Wednesday gratefuls: Small towns. Stephanie. My urology referral. Evergreen. The breakfast burrito. Kep and Rigel. Bowe. The cabinets. Getting there. Grief. Mourning. Kate, always Kate. Yellow Irises in the new kitchen. Cold coming today. Snow. Snow rake here. Gonna use it today. Ruby, riding down the mountain and back up. A sweet ride.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Small town feeling.

Tarot-January spread, Health: Page of Arrows, the Wren.

“Wren urges us to be the sort of person who keeps the curiosity of youth, to be attentive to our surroundings, and  ready to learn when the opportunity appears.

The Druids considered that the wren, the smallest bird, was the wisest. So, wrens remind us to listen.”  wildwood book


Simple things that make me happy. Moved my doc to Conifer Medical Practice’s Evergreen location. So, so happy. I drive a familiar road, down Black Mountain Drive and then Brook Forest Drive to 73. Into Evergreen to Stagecoach Boulevard. Stephanie, the PA I saw today, was chatty, friendly, unguarded, knowledgeable.

Didn’t have go down the hill, into suburban Littleton to a bigger physician’s group. When I got done, I found a breakfast burrito and coffee at the same place I buy the occasional chili cheese dog on my way home from mussar.

I’ll still have to down the hill for my ophthalmologist and urologist, gastroenterologist. But those are occasional appointments.

When I see Jackie in Aspen Park, my hairstylist, I get the same feeling. She knows me. I know her. We both live up here.

Sukkot, 2016, Beth Evergreen

Going to Congregation Beth Evergreen expands the number of folks I know who live up here, too:  Alan. Marilyn and Irv. Michele and David. Rebecca. Rabbi Jamie. Luke. Ellen. Elizabeth. Rich. Tara.

When I worked on the West Bank in Minneapolis. Same. I got to know residents, business owners, street people. We said hi. Sometimes stopped to talk. Seeing and being seen.

When I create Shadow Mountain Hermitage, it’s a hermitage embedded in a nest of familiar places and people. Alone, but not lonely. Grieving, not mourning. Life without ennui or angst. Small town, rural life.

Class of 1965 float, 2015

Some folks might feel suffocated in such a small circle of people. Not me. Feels just right. Family comes from time to time. Friends, too. It has the emotional quality for me as walking downtown in Alexandria, Indiana. Indiana as a state appalls me. Yes. But growing up in a small community where seeing and being seen was a gift freely and often unknowingly granted to everyone imprinted me.

I’m speaking for myself. You might be an urban guy or suburban gal. I’ve lived in both and know they both have terrific aspects. When it comes to where my heart feels best though. I’m living in it.


A real afterlife exists in the mailing lists and databases of companies and institutions. Kate continues to get mail. Now 9 months after her death. The most peculiar one was this one and it made me think Kate may have been paying attention to Moira:



The kitchen remodel grows closer and closer to the finish. Bowe put up cabinets, got water to my dishwasher. Brian still owes us two cabinets, a few doors, and shelving for installed cabinets. He did the take the China display cabinet I’ve been trying to get out of our downstairs since we moved in here. Fist pump!

When I stood in the kitchen after Bowe left, I did another fist pump. Even unfinished it made me feel energy, desire to cook there. I’m excited. The new, hybrid space has begun to emerge from plans, boxes, waits.

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Welcome Home

Yule and the New Year Moon


Tuesday gratefuls: Bowe. Jodi. Cabinets all here now. Backsplash in for installation this week, too. Remodel finish this week. Probably. Putting stuff back. New year aargh. Maui. Joe and Seoah. Diving into a new way of living. Or, at least perambulating there. Snow rake coming today. Cheese, glorious cheese. From the Cheese Brothers in Wisconsin.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Squeaky cheese curds

Tarot-January spread, Work: Ten of Stones, home

‘The Ten of Stones Wildwood Tarot speaks up the important role the home environment plays in nurturing your spirit and creative energy. When your home is a comfortable place to relax, it acts as a recharge station for your soul, helping you feel safe, inspired, and excited about the work you do in the world.”  Wildwood book


Going into retreat mode over the next three to four weeks. Get the hermitage in shape. Bowe comes today. He’ll hang the cabinets, put on hardware, doors. He’ll also fix the dishwasher. Finished I imagine by the end of the week. Yeah!

That means I can start reorganizing my kitchen this weekend and next week. I’m also reorganizing my pantry since I have space in Kate’s former sewing room area. She filled the pantry with cloth and sewing supplies. A good use for her, not so much for me.

Gotta find a couple of strong guys to move furniture around after I get the kitchen reorganized. Also over to Modern Bungalow to pick up a rocker, a floor lamp, and maybe a low table for the conversation area.



When I did the January spread two days ago, I laid out six cards: Energy for the month. Love. Money. Work. Health. Spirit.

I’ve commented already on the Knight of Vessels, Eel, the energy card and The Ancestor, #5 major arcana, spirit. Today I’m focusing on the Work card: The Ten of Stones.

A good example of the unusual (to me) synchronicity of the Tarot. Not only do I work at home, this month I’m redoing my home into a space for all the things the card suggests. A place to relax. A place to nourish the soul. A place to host family and friends. A steady, still place in the chaos. A good space for another lockdown, too.

This month, in fact, is the center piece of all that work. I hope to be done with all but hanging art by the end of Imbolc.


March, 2015

Shadow Mountain Hermitage is a hybrid home. Kate found it, made key decorating choices like the bench and breakfast table, the rag rug, the Stickley furniture. The leather recliner. Her sewing room. That the loft would be my library. That our bedroom was on the lower level, cooler in the summer.

All of those choices will remain except for her sewing room which Ruth and the Bailey Patchworkers have already cleared out. For the most part.

Now though, some of my choices. A remodeled kitchen. Which she wanted, too. Furniture in different places. The rocker. A mission/arts & crafts lamp, maybe a chandelier. So it will be as it was, a mixture of her taste and mine, perhaps in different intensity.


The  Ten of Stones features a stone arch, a gate through which the iron age house can be seen. On it, to the left, is a carved male figure, to the right, a female.  A seer and a shaman. Myself and Kate. With Kate’s death I’ll try on the shamanic role, too. The alchemical marriage. Animus and anima united.

Friends, family, dogs. Me. Welcome to the new home based on the old home.



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Yule and the New Year Moon

at full deployment on mission day 15

Where’s the Webb: (forgot yesterday) Oh, my. Speed down to .3461 mps. 539000 miles from Earth, 360000 to L2. 60% of the journey completed. Mission day 9.

A new information set now available. The sunshield structure average temp: 136 degrees F. The primary mirror structure: -177 F.


Monday gratefuls: 2022. Snow. Blessed Snow. The mini-splits, doing a great job. Ready for the last moves on the kitchen remodel. Brian. Bowe. Jodi. Eager to complete the domestic work. Living in it. Joe and Seoah. Gabe and his World’s Greatest Grandpa mug for me. Love. Justice. Compassion.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: 2022

Tarot-Spirit for January, the Ancestor, #5 of the major arcana


The Webb continues to slow as it enters the 9th day since launch. It settles at the insertion point on L2 on mission day 29. Still excited by it. Excited to follow the rest of the journey.

Its mirror, the telescope, will deploy on mission day 15. Right now the Webb continues to unfold from its cramped position necessary during launch. The day 15 deployment will be the last. It will arrive at L2 ready for its first tests as a functioning telescope.


Awaiting word on Brian’s arrival with the rest of the cabinets. He’s coming from Fairplay and 285 can get snow covered, icy, windy between here and there. I hope he travels safely and soon. Ready to move on from the kitchen remodel.


Something’s going on. Trying to suss it out. A key problem for me right now is my schedule. Damn it. I can’t find one that seems to work consistently. Suspect I’m setting myself up here. Trying to wrangle too much out of narrow time windows, especially the morning hours. Very frustrating.

This is, faithful reader, as you know, not a new issue for me. Trying to balance all of the things I’d like to get done with the things I have to get done plus sleep and relaxation often overwhelms me.

Might be that languishing from covid. But I don’t think so. My own inner world. What I call the valedictory lifestyle. Interested in all things, settled on none. Made even more problematic by a completely open schedule and permission to do whatever I want. Thought about a life coach. Maybe I’ll try that. Aaarggh.



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Yule and the New Year Moon


Sunday gratefuls: Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Kep and Rigel, sleeping in until 8 am this morning. Me, too. Snow, maybe 6 inches. Beautiful. Flocked Lodgepoles. Black Mountain flecked with white. Chores yesterday. Done. Ready for the last of the cabinets on Monday. Working sink. 3 Margaritas takeout. A new year. 2020-2021: title of a horror novel. Based on real events. Love and its vibrations.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Wildfire

Tarot-Energy for January: The Knight of Vessels, wildwood


The New Year. Of course, yes. It’s a fiction. An arbitrary division of motion into a measure of change. What’s new is our spot on the spiral journey of Earth as it moves in thrall to Sol who draws His followers in a feverish Galactic dance. Headed for places we’ll never see.

But it’s a useful fiction. Bracketing 2021 and 2020 as long as we’re doing it allows me to think about the next months not as a continuation of the bitter flavors we tasted in the last two years, but as a potential, as sweetness. As open space in which our lives can once again spread out, flourish. Even do our own imitation of the Cosmic dance in which we all participate.

I choose the fiction. The space travel for the next year does encounter new perspectives, new views. If we could see them. This is true: we are not stuck in the same spot. Ever. In that sense the novel is eternal. I choose to see the next twelve months, calculated of course by the intricacies of our satellite’s own orbit, as new space, new room. Space in which a new life can begin to bloom, open itself.

The physical manifestation of  my new life will be important. A new kitchen (maybe next week!) and a new living room not long after. Plus some things moved around. Will do some things up in the loft, too. Not sure what quite yet. But, something.

Somehow tarot and astrology and kabbalah and torah will inform this next, fourth phase. So will writing and painting. At some point travel, too. Still very cautious about travel. Probably overly so.


Time has not sped up for me. They say it does at my age, but not so far. There is no question though that the end is closer than the beginning. This finds me struggling with an issue that surfaced in my Tree of Life tarot reading with Mark Horn.

What will I write? What I will paint? Will I continue political action? Why am I here, in this fourth and final phase of my life? Here’s the struggle. Love underlies all of this work: novels, paintings, reading tarot, birth charts, kabbalistic texts, torah. I know this for sure. It  also underlies my relationships with the Ancient Brothers, with Jon, Ruth, and Gabe. Joe and Seoah. With CBE. Family. In that sense there’s a thread that ties this phase together.

Love  underlies political action, too. Love made concrete in the structures and systems of our culture. The Emperor tarot card showed up in the Keter, or Crown position in the Tree of Life. Mark interpreted it as my having management skills, skills I needed to use in the fourth phase.

Here’s what I wrote the day after the reading:

“The Emperor suggested I look at how my organizational skills might help some as yet unidentified cause. I’m moving in the hermit direction but the Emperor suggests I should not foreclose any particular style of living. I’m currently resisting the idea of becoming engaged with or creating a new organization and might continue to. But even the resistance is a creative tension. Making me consider facets of my new life I might have pushed away.”

The resistance here is the struggle. I know how to do the work, but I know how to do it in the old fashioned pre-zoom, pre-cellphone way. Face to face. A lot of meetings. Taking random opportunities to connect, to network, to link ideas and people and resources together. It feels like the old me and I don’t want to go back there.

Why? Down the hill and back in winter. Tough. Also, driving now wears me out. Plus, the dogs and being here for them. Most of all, the writing, the painting, the learning. Scholarship. Reading. At home, hermit work. In the past if I focused on a project I had others I could turn if I got bored. Not sure I have the patience, savlanut, to work a long project either. With other people that is. I can write by myself, paint by myself, study torah and kabbalah with friends, but I don’t have to get an end point, a finish line.

Still. The fact that in my head I could still do it wars in my heart with other, what seems to me more age appropriate, work that I know I can do. Sigh.

All this will clarify itself in the next year. The fire of reality.

New year, new home, new life. Old me. Sounds about right.


Posted in Astrology, Colorado, Dreams, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Great Wheel, Health, Holidays, Jefferson County, Judaism, Mountains, Politics, Shadow Mountain, Tarot | Leave a comment

Snow. Beautiful, Fire dampening Snow!

Yule and the 2% crescent of the Winter Solstice Moon

Webb sunshield starboard boom deploys, Mission day 6

Where is the Webb? Interesting. It’s just over 50% of the way to L2 this morning. 52%. 474000 miles from Earth, 424000 to Lagrange 2. On mission day 7 it’s coasting, slowing. Now at .4082 mps. 1470 mph. Still gradually unfolding as it goes.

Saturday (and 2022 so far) gratefuls: 2021 is in the books. 2022 arrived with six inches of snow. First time out of high Fire danger since July. Jon, Ruth, and Gabe up for New Years. Medical Guardian. New Moon coming. Glad for clean calendar, no memories in it. Leaning toward the future, honoring the past. Celebrating in the present.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The New Year

Tarot past-present-future spread: Ace of Stones, The Foundation of Life; Six of Bows, Abundance; Queen of Stones, Bear


Auspicious. Always love that word. Has a Chinese ring to it to me. 2022 already and in an important way. On New Year’s eve and continuing through this morning we’ve received over six inches of fluffy new Snow. As I noted in the gratefuls, this is the first day since early July when we are not in high fire danger.

Ironic and sad that it came a day after the Boulder County fire. Now we can switch anxiety to slick Mountain roads and Ice dams. Just kidding. Feels so good to have Fire off the table for a while. Hopefully until late May, June.


Up at 8 am though I only stayed up until 9:35 pm. I told Gabe that was midnight in Grandpa world. When I got up to what Gabe now calls my lair, it was 2 degrees outside, 2% humidity, and 2 degree windchill. The winds subsided yesterday. Glad.


Nikolas Coukouma

Finished Wild Seed by Octavia Butler a couple of days ago. Paul Strickland recommended. A good, strange book. Butler died in 2006. She wrote Afrofuturist science fiction. Wouldn’t know how to describe this book. A mythology of sorts. Doro and Anyanwu’s back story. It was the last published in her Patternist series, but the earliest in terms of the series chronology.

Butler was the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur genius grant. I can see why. Her work, this is the first one I’ve read, is not like anything else I’ve read, science fiction or otherwise.


Gonna leave this for now and go see the kids and Jon downstairs. I’ll do a proper New Year’s post later today.




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Health Insurance. Bah!

Yule and the Winter Solstice Moon

webb sunshield covers released. mission day 5.

Where is the Webb? .4507 mps. 437000 miles from home, 462000 miles to L2. 49% of the way. Mission day 6.

Friday gratefuls: Lives saved in the Boulder County Fire. Wildfire. Snow coming. Winter relief from Wildfire. Winds. 40-50 mph here. 100 mph Boulder Country. Generator. Worked hard yesterday. Tom. Emergency alert bracelet. Friend. Digital clocks. Time. Jodi. Brian. Jon and Gabe, coming for New Years. Canceling Denver Post. Picking up Colorado Sun. 2022.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: 2022

Tarot: Blasted Oak, #16. Nine of Stones, tradition. Three of Arrows, jealousy.   (energy of the day, embrace, avoid)


Lights on. Lights off. Generator on. Power back. Generator off. Repeat. 8 or 9 times in the morning, another 3 or 4 in the afternoon and evening. Wind, high winds. 40-50 mph gusts here all day and into the dark. 100 mph in Boulder County where grass fires used the oomph to burn over 600 houses. Coulda been here. The nightmare scenario. Cold weather, high winds, wildfire. A nightmare, but not impossible. At all.


Boulder County is 35 miles or so north of Conifer, a larger part in the Foothills to the west, but a significant chunk to the east where the Great Plains meet the Mountains. That area, and its continuation into the northern Denver metro, burned. Grassy Fields, flat. Winds coming down the Flatirons.

Most damaging Wildfire in the state’s history in terms of homes lost. The next highest loss. 489 in the Black Forest Fire of 2013. All of the most destructive fires have burned since 2012.

When you live here, you have to decide first if you want to stay. Kate and I chose again and again to stay. Now, I’m choosing the same path. But. That’s only the first choice. Then, you have to accept that someday your home, mine here at 9358 Black Mountain Drive, might burn. Denial is useless.

Either you say, well, it’s just stuff, or you move. If what you own is too precious to lose, you shouldn’t live here. From cabins to the custom built mansions perched high on the ridgeline, fire does not recognize status. See northern California or Boulder County, Colorado. Today.


Sorta screwed up with my health insurance. I had an appointment with Kristie on Monday. January 3. Occurred to me only Tuesday to check if there was a referral. No referral, I pay. None. A phone call to Arapaho Internal Medicine said I was an inactive patient. Would not make referral.

Had to cancel the appointment with Kristie and reschedule later in January. That gives me time to see my new doctor and get a referral. I tried to solve this appointment kerfuffle yesterday but my router kept going down. Had to wait until today. Mountain living.


Tom told me yesterday he worried about me living alone and isolated. I could fall, break a leg, whatever. He was right. I’d considered it, but put it away for a future date. Last week I slipped on the stairs up to the loft. Ice. Gave me, as Kate used to say, “An adrenal squeeze.”

So, I bought a service. Medical Guardian. Not cheap, about $500 a year or so. Still, if I need it once, it will more than pay for itself. Peace of mind, too. This getting old is not for sissies, yes, but it’s also not for the poor.


Jon and Gabe are coming up around 3 or 4 to spend New Year’s Eve. Ruth, the 15 year old, is going to a party that Jon referred to as chaperoned. Hormones. Need supervision.

Gonna cook half a chicken, mac and cheese for carbs, veggies. I doubt I’ll make it to 12. Rarely. Although, like last year, I might. Just to be damned sure this year goes away.


See ya, ha ha, next year!








Posted in Aging, Colorado, Cooking, Family, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Jefferson County, Mountains, Our Land and Home, Shadow Mountain, Tarot, Weather +Climate | Leave a comment

Not down far enough. Yet.

Yule and the crescent Winter Solstice Moon

Where is the Webb? Slowwwing. .4987 miles per second. 398000 miles from Earth, 500100 miles to L2. 5 days into mission.


Thursday gratefuls: PSA lower, not undetectable. Prostate cancer. Cold night. Slept in till 7:30. Ode’s quote from Nerburne. Ode and Elizabeth battling the spiked one. Mary, teaching at UW next semester. Kep, staring at me, wanting part of my burrito. Big Snows in the higher country. Better Snowpack numbers. 2022 close by. Waiting. 2021, after so very much kvetching, will not be sad to go.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Snow flurries in the Sky right now.

Tarot: The Moon on the Water, #18 of the Major Arcana


The Moon on the Water

“The Moon on Water heralds the moment of inner and cognitive transformation. The transformation can hide in a seemingly random situation in human minds and emotions. However, there’s a voice that has been whispering in you about this for a long time. Now, your soul is bringing the core symbols of the human subconscious into the real world. More specifically, it can occur in the form of a desire to investigate or study an ideological, philosophical, or spiritual pursuit.”

Wildwood book

Charlie 3rd grade

A new year coming. I doubt anybody will say 2022 has got to be better than 2021. After having said the same about 2021. Not hearing it from me either. Although I very much want to say it. And, believe it.

I’m taking the last two days of this wretched year with the Moon on the Water. Whatever happens in the outer, spiky world we can find our way to the Peat Bog, Marsh Grasses punctuating the egg shaped Moon on the Water. An Aurochs silhouetted against the full Moon, above him a Heron in flight. This is primal, the place where imagination and thought swim in the rich Waters of our inner Holy Well.

Provided we sit quietly, allow the Waters to gush up from the collective unconscious, we will find traction even in a hostile outer world. We have the resources within us and within the interconnectedness that hammocks us. We only need wait till they rise.



Got my lab results. PSA down from 1.0 to .20. Still not all the way down. Curious what the docs think of this. Said last time I might get yet another med. Likely, I think.

Disappointed. Looking for a boost with undetectable. Nope. Better, but not where it needs to be.




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Feelings. oh, oh, Feelings

Yule and the waning crescent of the Winter Solstice Moon

Where’s the Webb?  Still slowing. .5860 miles per second. Or, 2044 mph. 347000 miles from Earth and 552000 to L2. 4 days into the mission.

Wednesday gratefuls: NPO. Nothing by mouth. Blood work this morning. Pick up some paper plates and some frozen entrees. Shingles vaccine. All in one store: Safeway. Down the hill. Breakfast out after fasting. Back home for more D3, domestic duty day. Cold, Snow. Home. Sink. Counter Top. Cabinets coming on Friday. Assistance Fund.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Cancer surveillance

Tarot: Ace of Vessels, the Waters of Life  wildwood


A neighbor slid off Shadow Mountain yesterday afternoon. Broke 7 ribs. Taken away by ambulance. Caught by trees so didn’t flip over.

You wouldn’t think it, but the Great Resignation is partly to blame. Jeffco does not have enough snow plow drivers. Reduced presence on our Shadow Mountain/Black Mountain/Brook Forest drive. Which is a bit strange even so. A school bus route. The only road for emergency vehicles to get up here and for us to use in case of evacuation.

Folks (reasonably) demanding better pay and working conditions. I get it. Go, union! One of those paradoxes.

Supply chain interruptions. Any one who has transited the Panama Canal, Kate and I did it twice, has seen the global supply chain. We came to the canal very early in the morning on our Latin American cruise. I got up around 4 am, walked onto the deck. Our ship, the Rotterdam?, had a priority slot so we could see the canal during the day. We floated slowly through a sea of ships parked, waiting for their turn in line. Lights strung along hulls, blinking red on radar masts. Very little noise. Whatever needed to get to L.A. or Tokyo or Shanghai from Europe or western Africa stranded for the moment, a queue so big it’s hard to imagine.

At major ports in the world this queue has swollen, ships often waiting days to dock and unload. What a fragile thing our global interconnections are. Clogged and disrupted by something .125 microns in size.

Worked out yesterday. Felt sluggish. Happens. Missed Monday with Jodi’s visit to choose backsplash tiles. Back at it tomorrow. Trying to feel easy with exercising when I can. I passed a critical point long ago, maybe at 45 or so, where I began to think of myself as an exerciser. A person who regularly works out. The downside (and upside) is that I feel mild guilt if I don’t workout according to whatever schedule I’m currently following. I want to lose the guilt and keep the self-identification. Proving difficult.

Not quite as bouncy. Like an internal drag chute has deployed. Slowing me down. Not sick. John Desteian enlisted Kate’s help for me since I can miss a slide into melancholia. She would say, at my request, “I sense you’re slipping into melancholy.” That was an alert. Oh. Maybe my Ancient Brothers can take up that task.

If melancholy has begun, it would not surprise me. Not at all. It’s been a tough, tough three years, seven years really, starting from my prostate cancer diagnosis. A lot of putting the weight on my shoulders, head down, legs driving forward. Proud I can do that. But, it has a price. Weariness. Exhaustion. Denial.

I might need to locate a therapist, preferably a Jungian analyst. What I’m familiar with, what helped me so much years ago.

Not sending up a flare. I’m ok. Feeling that weight. Grief. Covid. Even the remodel and the mini-splits. All stressors. Also, blood work today. My anxiety titer always goes up a bit.

The Tarot gave me an antidote today. The Ace of Vessels, the Waters of Life. Aces are about potential, about beginnings, about the power of their elementals and their focus. Vessels (cups) are about the emotions and their elemental is Water. The Water Course Way. Alan Watts. Flow with the feelings, don’t push against them, see them for what they are. A release valve, a healing mechanism. Embrace them.

Going to talk to Diane, then head down the hill to Safeway.




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