Psychedelic Seniors

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Sunday gratefuls: The Ancient Brothers. Jeddah Grand Prix today. Jen, Ruth, and Gabe. Final cleanout of Jon’s house. Probate nearing a wind down. Maybe another month. Kate, always Kate. Shiva Raja. Vishnu. Brahma. The One. Spinoza. Jane Bennett. CJ Box. That Mushroom quiche. Chai Latte. The Plant Magic Cafe. Keens. Taxes off. Going down the hill. And back up again.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mushrooms

 

What a day yesterday. Over to the post office where there was no line. Mailed my taxes off to my accountant. Told the clerk, clumsily, that though I may be one of the few I had no complaints about my mail. Mark, my mailman is excellent. I always have good experiences when I come in. Wish I hadn’t said I may be one of the few, though I know I am.

On from there down 285. Getting cheaper gas in Lakewood at Stinkers. Gas is twenty to twenty-five cents a gallon cheaper in the city.

Up Colorado Avenue to 1550. Dardano’s. An all things outdoors shoe store. Buying another pair of Keen’s. The same I’ve worn for years. This is my fourth pair.

I’ve gotten to a point of simplifying my clothing choices. White socks. Keens most of the year. Winter boots of course. And hiking boots when on a trail. Blue jeans for pants. Just got two new pairs of Levi’s 511’s. In the winter flannel shirts and LL Bean vests. Summer, Hawai’ian shirts and a small number of lightweight plaid shirts.

I’ve given away much of my clothes. All my suits and suit coats. Many shirts and other pants. Fancy shoes. Winter coats except for a couple. Feels good.

 

Followed the nice lady’s voice from Dardano’s to 935 17th Ave. There are two large Amanita Muscari mushrooms out front. Taller than me and gaily painted. The Plant Magic Cafe. Ground zero for the proposition that made Psilocybin and other hallucinogens legal in Colorado.

In the entry a big sign in book offered regular information about the cafe and its events including a column to leave a phone number for ceremonies. I left mine. There were items for sale in the hallway that led back to the spot where you ordered food. Tibetan and Hindu sacred objects. Selenite wands. A lovely beaded Elk. Buddha statues. Incense of various sorts. Lots of incense. Singing bowls.

At the counter there was Mushroom quiche and a bacon and cheddar quiche along with pastries. Also a long list of teas and other drinks. I got a chai latte and a mushroom quiche.

In conversation with the guy behind the counter who wore a Psilocybin t-shirt, white on black, I found out that the Plant Magic Cafe will soon open a psilocybin resource room. All things hallucinogenic out front and visible. With no law enforcement needed or wanted.

Found it humorous that there were three women roughly my age at a center table with the rest filled with millennials and gen-z’ers. 60’s kids grown old and the new generation that will not understand the transgressive joy of taking LSD.

Will keep you all tuned in as I work on becoming a psychedelic senior.

Posted in Denver, Feelings, Fourth Phase, The West | Leave a comment

Dogs and Cooking and Reading

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Saturday gratefuls: F1 Jeddah. Qualifying. Dr. Doverspike. Kep, pain managed. Walking taller. Cold night. Good sleeping. The light of a new day. A light yellow between the white flocked Lodgepoles. A robin egg’s blue sky above. 5 degrees. Another Shadow Mountain morning. Each day is a new life. A resurrection. A rebirth. Jon’s house on the market next weekend. My son the golfer. His wife, too. Furman. Farleigh Dickinson. No more Arizona. No more Purdue.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: A Mountain morning

 

So. No radiation this week. Got a call from Dr. Simpson yesterday. Radiation oncologist. Am I experiencing any difficulty in tasks of daily living as a result of my cancer? No. That’s what they wanted to know. They being the just say no team at United Health Care. Might know next week. I feel good about participating in holding health care costs down. Don’t I?

 

Dr. Doverspike came yesterday. We agreed Kep has made steady, but slower than expected progress. Probably because of the long low dose steroids. Stopped those. Now he needs to get outside, wander around. Climb stairs. Rebuild muscles. He’s still 13 of course so he’s not going back to bounding around. He’s calmer. Sleeps through the night. Eats well. A good life.

 

Cooked Salmon last night. Still finding the right temps using the induction cooktop. Found it for Fish last night. No more burning. Setting 7 out of 10. Made cacio e pepe in the morning. Cheese and black pepper spaghetti. Put a couple of Eggs on top of a modest serving. Fancy breakfast. Adding the leftover chorizo from the soup I made last week. Tasted good. Had Salmon, cacio e pepe, and mixed vegetables for supper. I enjoy cooking when I feel up for it. I always make breakfast. Usually, these days, overnight oats. Plus something else. Blueberries. Eggs. Yogurt. If I eat a big lunch, I’ll probably skip cooking an evening meal.

 

I’ve only got a few more books to go in the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box. Then I’m going to shift my fiction reading to the Arabian Nights. A return journey. Still working my way through Vibrant Matter. It’s a short, but dense book. Nearing the end of How to Change Your Mind. Got James Pogue’s book, Chosen Country, on the Malheur Occupation. Still following that far right thread. The newspapers and magazines help me, too. The Proud Boys and their lawyers antics during their sedition trials. An Atlantic article on political violence talking about Portland as a battleground between far leftists, anarchists, and the far right. The abortion pill debacle. Trump and DeSantis. This is gonna get worse.

If Rich is right, it may never get better. Who knows. I may own property in the sovereign nation of Colorado if I lived on another hundred years. What fun.

 

Gotta get some breakfast. Watch qualifying in Jeddah. Read the articles about Purdue and Farleigh Dickinson.

Oh. And the day has fully dawned with bright clear light falling on the Snow covered Lodgepoles. Till tomorrow.

 

Posted in Cooking, Dogs, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Health, Letters, Literature, Politics, Sport | Leave a comment

Snow Days

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Kep. Snow. Cold. Books. James Pogue. Jane Benett. Wes Jackson. Cetaphil. Great workout. United Health Care. Health Insurance. The American Medical System. CBE. Ruby and her faithfulness. ChatbotGPT, an interlocutor. This Dell laptop. My desktop. The home office, getting closer. Probate. Kate, always Kate. Her memory in foam. LL Bean. Chewy. Amazon. USPS. UPS. Lifelines in the Mountains.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dr. Doverspike

 

I’m three quarters through How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. A good read. Learned a lot about psychedelics. Or, ethnognens. Makes me more eager to try some again. A trip to the Plant Magic Cafe and I should be able to find a guide. Learned of guides in the book. Very un-60’s, but it sounds useful to have a psychologist available on my first trip back to the interior homeland.

I recommend the book. A lot of good history of psychedelic research, of how the 60’s blew up decades that’s right decades of research with psychedelics. A cast of characters that include Timothy Leary, Al Hubbard, Ram Dass, Henry Osmond, and many other key figures in the years since Albert Hoffman accidentally discovered LSD for Sandoz, the pharmaceutical giant, on November 16th, 1938.

Pollan recounts the history in magazine article style (thanks, Diane). He also tells of his own trips after overcoming a long hesitation about experimenting with hallucinogens. The research he covers should provide comfort to anyone who would like to use these drugs but fears them because of the propaganda from the 60’s and 70’s.

Another great workout yesterday. 266 minutes for the week already. 9 hours of sleep. I feel good. Like I knew I would.

 

Friday. Well. Left this. Sitting here on my browser. And watched the Snowfall, had a Fire in the fireplace, read. Watched some TV. I took a Snow day. It was fun. Was gonna mail my taxes, run some errands, but the day was too beautiful. Still Snowing this morning. One Snow day. Two Snow days. A reason I live in the Mountains.

Although. Supposed to have my second round of radiation yesterday. Nope. United Profit Care still dithering on whether to approve it. Anova Cancer Care and United’s just say no team are in communication.

I understand the hesitation on United’s part. My PSAs are undetectable. The two mets only show mild uptake of the tracer. Could be that the androgen deprivation therapy has not yet finished working on these two and will knock them back, too. Yet. We can kill these two sites and eliminate them from my future.

Whatever transpires, I’m at peace with it. Because, how does it help me not to be? I’ll consider an appeal, sure, but is the sturm and drang worth it? Not really confident it is.

 

On Monday I had my glaucoma check and had dinner with Ruth and Gabe. I haven’t left the house since. Stuff kept canceling. Radiation on Tuesday, then on Thursday. Alan this morning. Doverspike’s coming by at 2 pm to give Kep some acupuncture and check on his progress. Still Snowing today so I think I’ll skip the trip down the hill until tomorrow. Buy a new pair of Keens and visit the Plant Magic Cafe.

I’ve enjoyed these in the house days. I can write, read. Could work on my Korean and my calculus but I didn’t. Kep and me. The fireplace. Got in my cardio minutes. Watched some movies. Cooked. I love time alone. Wouldn’t want it to be all I have, but these last three days on a Mountain top with Snow drifting down. Food in the refrigerator. A Fireplace with Wood stacked nearby. A nice vacation.

Posted in Cooking, Dogs, Family, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Hermitage, Mountains, Shadow Mountain, Weather +Climate | Leave a comment

Memory Foam and Vibrant Matter

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Septic and Waste. Ruth. Gabe. Probate. My son’s diligence. Kate, always Kate. That Tempurpedic mattress. Sleep. The changing of the times. Kep’s good appetite. Taxes finished. Beau Jo’s pizza. Finished. A workout day. Vibrant Matter. Assemblages. Conatus. Aporetic. Learning new words. ChatbotGPT4. Fun. Resting heart rate getting lower. Dreams. Playfulness. Snow and Cold coming.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Probate and my son

 

Didn’t expect this. Rotated the Tempurpedic mattress Kate and I bought around Thanksgiving of 2015. Settled in the other night for sleep. Realized that this memory foam mattress contained imprints of Kate’s body. And I was lying on top of them. Felt good. Much like life in the house. The imprints of her life and mine are everywhere, from the collection of specialized kitchen utensils to the small glass Turtle on the new home office shelf. Her sewing room now a dining room. The Portmerion plates, bowls, serving platters. Bought on our honeymoon in London. The oriental rug she bought for her townhouse. Jerry’s two big paintings. Imprinted. In my heart. Imprinted forever. Her memory a blessing.

Ruth has decided she wants to go to CU Boulder, get a BFA with a concentration on printmaking. This is a change from Cornell for a Pharm.D. which has been her focus for the last couple of years. And she may change again. And yet again. She is, after all, sixteen, soon to be seventeen. The time of wide swings in interests, goals, dreams. May she find herself, her focus, her own way when it’s time.

Meanwhile Gabe’s wrestling with facial hair, dead lifting two hundred pounds, and trying to get his GPA up to a B this semester so I’ll take him to Benihana.

Next month is birthday month for this pair. Ruth on the 4th and Gabe on the 22nd, Earthday. Brother Mark’s birthday on the 11th and Dad’s on the 12th, the date of Kate’s death. Also Kate’s second yahrzeit. Gabe will turn 15. A big month for family.

 

Read chapter 2 of Vibrant Matter. Jane Bennett uses a big Electric grid blackout in 2003 to demonstrate how vibrant matter can act within what she calls an assemblage and affect both human communities and other assemblages. The notion of vibrant matter for her entails a new way of understanding accountability in the political and legal spheres.

Though Enron played a role in this blackout so did the deregulation of the electric grid, changing the rules so power generated in Ohio could be sold to homes in California. More. The behavior of Electricity itself. When running through a grid on its way to a more distant destination Electricity might follow the path set out in the contracts or it might choose to follow a different route. In this case it did, creating on its own a loop of Electricity running through the grid in Ohio and other near by states. In the end it was a complex interaction of vibrant matter, Electricity, Trees falling on transmission wires, Wildfire, legislation, corporate greed, and the building out of exurbs that created the blackout.

This understanding of vibrant matter as what Benett calls an actant changes the legal considerations for assigning blame. A fascinating approach to what I might call animism or paganism.

 

Posted in Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Politics, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., US History | Leave a comment

The Great Circle Route

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Dr. Repine. Space Invaders, or Visual field exam for glaucoma. That sweet tech whose name came out muffled through her mask. My Phonak, something with the battery or the charger. My “insurance” company. American medicine. The labyrinth. Little India. With Ruth and Gabe. Ruth driving. More assured. Gabe with some facial hair. Driving the great circle route around Denver.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Night Sky on Shadow Mountain

 

Busy day. Feed the Kep. Write Ancientrails. Breakfast. 100 minutes of workout. Shower. Drive to Littleton. Eye doc. From Littleton to Northfield to pick up Gabe and Ruth. Over to Little India. Back to Northfield. Drive home. A complete circle around the Denver metro. 120 plus miles.

 

While eating with Ruth and Gabe at Little India, where Ruth knows the wait staff, a call came in from Anova Cancer Care. No approval yet for my radiation. Could be a week. Oh. They took me off the schedule.

Frustrated. But not surprised. If I had another option, I’d have taken it. Pre-existing condition has made me permanently joined to the Minnesota medical insurance behemoth, United Health Care. Their second guessing of my oncologists has been a dynamic theme since they denied my first axumin scan.

Constantly caught within a triad of big insurance, big pharma, and the folks trying to deliver my health care. There is no scenario in which you build a health care system like the one we have. It creeks. It leaks. And it makes having cancer or any other chronic illness a constant challenge.

 

Every six month glaucoma check. Stable. Dr. Repine is thorough, but quick. She explained my heterochromia to me. I have a blue rim around my brown eyes. Arcus senilis. Fatty lipids create a white haze around the outer iris which refracts the brown beneath as blue. Common, apparently. Odd.

 

I should explain my workout numbers. They’re generated by my fitbit. It gives double minutes for time in the cardio and peak heart rate zones. That way I can workout for 50 or 60 minutes but end up with 100 minutes of workout time according to the NIH standards. The minutes not in the cardio or peak zone are still in the zone of moderate exercise. The NIH recommended 150 minutes represents moderate exercise. Or, they say, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. The cardio and above fits into that level of exercise. Thus, the double minutes on the fitbit.

 

Gabe thinks I’m going to live to be 95. Or, a hundred. When, he noted, he would be 38. Doubtful. But it’s sweet he thinks that. He’s got some peach fuzz. Conflicted about it. Maturing is hard. Though he seems on that path.

Ruth says school’s going well. She’s still struggling. Depression. OCD. But she’s got a therapist she really likes and sees regularly. Working at it. She’s not alone. The number of teenagers with serious mental health issues has grown alarmingly. Especially since Covid.

Being a teenager has never been easy, but the changes over the last decade or so have created so much frisson for them. Gender. Climate Change. LGBTQ+. Two working parents. Political division. The woes of higher education roiling their attempts to sort what comes after high school.

What can grandparents do? Love them.

 

Posted in Dogs, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Hermitage | Leave a comment

A Psychedelic Old Age Anyone?

Imbolc and the Waiting To Cross Moon

Monday gratefuls: Movies. Women Talking. TV. New Amsterdam. On Joy, Season 4, episode 1. The Last of Us. Finale. Furball Cleaning. CJ Box. James Pogue. Anarchy. Political Violence. Decivilization. Michael Pollan. How to Change Your Mind. The Plant Magic Cafe in Denver. Keens. Ruth and Gabe this afternoon. Taxes. It’s time. Silicon Valley Bank. Vibrant Matter.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: ChatbotGPT

 

This week. One eye exam. Two radiation treatments. Three visits with friends. And a Peruvian glazed chicken breakfast for supper. Almost Christmas. Gotta figure out my playlist for the Cyberknife. Coltrane. The Band. Cool jazz. The Blues. The Goldburg Variations. Not sure.

Yes, there’s a bit of absurdity to my life. It veers from the sublime to the profane and back again. Wait a minute. That’s everybody’s life isn’t it? One moment we’re watching our grandson make his uneasy way across the floor to us and the next we’re paying bills. Getting on a jet plane for that much needed vacation. Stuffing the grocery list in our pocket and heading out to Safeway or Lunds.

We can’t afford to stay in one state too long. Neither the mundane or the profound. Not built for it. A continuous state of ecstasy would drive us mad. Too much of the quotidian dulls us, pulls under. We all need to work on our ecstatic to the ordinary balance.

That’s why I plan to head into the Plant Magic Cafe someday soon. See if there’s someone who can help me find a willing source for some psilocybin. It’s been a minute for me. It’s now legal in Colorado to receive a gift of psilocybin. And to have it in your possession. But you can’t buy it.

Not that that’s the only source of ecstasy for me. Dream world. Hiking in the Mountains. Reading a great poem. Discovering new ideas. Deep conversations with friends. Writing. Even so. It is one and I want to go again.

There was this time, you see. Long ago and far away. But not so long ago, really. When students opposed a stupid war. Men walked on the Moon. And there were drugs to help you find your own way among the stars. The music, too. That wonderful music. We did slip the surly bonds of normal life. A time when the ecstatic to the ordinary balance tipped toward the ecstatic.

We lived it. Some of us. Then many of us, most of us, allowed the lapping Waters of work and family to serve as a constant draught from Lethe. We never fully forgot though. A bit of Tinkerbell’s dust remained caught in our hair.

No. I don’t want to go back to a psychedelic age of protest and up the establishment. That was college. This is old age. What I want is a psychedelic old age. And protest? Of course. Always. Up the establishment? Never quit on that one. Or the protest either for that matter.

Thing is I can’t stay up late lying on the floor with my head between the speakers and the Doors cranking out Riders on the Storm.

What’s that look like? A psychedelic old age. About to find out.

Posted in Beyond the Boundaries, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Memories, Politics, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., US History | Leave a comment

Sweetness

Imbolc and the Waiting To Cross Moon

Sunday gratefuls: For each of the Ancient Brothers and their uniqueness. Zoom. Kep drinking Water. That ancient Water. Recycled through time, now in an aluminum bowl near me. And, in Kep. Becoming Kep. Dr. Doverspike skiing the Powder. Organizing and cleaning out my freezer. Done. Cooking my own food. Chicken. Pork. Fish. Sustainable all. Frozen Vegetables and Fruit. Eggs. Seeing Gabe on Monday night. Ruth thrifting in Boulder.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Seeing what we’re looking at

 

Sweetness. My son and his wife. Dressed for golf. He’s shooting for a 20 handicap. He’s got the bug big time. So does she. They play every weekend. Often 36 holes or more. Murdoch has become less independent. More of a lap dog. Odd. Might be sensing the upcoming move.

Sweetness. Seeing those old men on my zoom screen opening their hearts. Letters from great-grandchildren. Imagination. Looking up at the stars and out to the tides. And into each other. Special and irreplaceable. Church.

Gettin’ things done. Home office getting closer. Needs a great rug. Some more art. Working my way through the needs attention inbox. Finished it. Nothing left. Feels good. Money piling up in my accounts. Changed draw from the rollover, but no money going out for drugs. Orgovyx free now until the end of the year. Erleada still no word. I’ll lower the draw when I find out about it. Not till then though. Potentially $2,200 a month.

The freezer. Threw out old meat. Made three compartments: Fruits and Potatoes. Vegetables. Meats. Much better. Food of my own making. Yes.

 

Reading my way into the changes in our world. The times they are achangin’ agin’. Becoming Native to This Place. Vibrant Matter. Christian Nationalism. Seeing Like a State. Perilous Bounty. Lots of magazine and newspaper articles. Other reading I’ve done over the years. Localism. Anti-corporatism. A reverence for nature. Threads I held and hold dear. Now running through a crowd of folks who hate government, love the Founders and the Extremes, guns, staying in your tribal lane. Who are willing to regulate women’s bodies. Who want to exit the current culture and live in the West.

There is a post-Enlightenment movement that has handholds for all these folks, for me. Post modernism. Regenerative agriculture. Rebuilding rural communities. Rebuilding inner city neighborhoods. Enforcing monopoly laws. Reinstating the estate tax. A wariness of Big Pharma, Big Grain, Big Ag, Big Business.

Getting clearer. Details and conflicts. Roots. Possible impacts on current politics.

 

A bit of good news. La Nina is gone! An El Nino will startup sometime this  year. Water will follow for the dry West. And this Forest in which I live. May it be enough to create a moderate Fire season as opposed to a high or extreme one. Something to ease the mind. Help the Snowpack and the Colorado River Basin.

How bout that time change, eh? So. Much. Fun. Kep’s making moves for food. Early, he thinks. Really, a bit late. I slept in. Right past the change. Now Kep and I are living it together. Oh boy.

 

 

Posted in Asia, Cooking, Dogs, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Hermitage, Politics, Shadow Mountain, Weather +Climate | Leave a comment

Birthing a New Worldview?

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Dr. Doverspike. Kep. Acupuncture. Salmon. The lick mat. Powder on the way. Back country skiing. Snow today. Black Mountain white. Dawn. Tom in Mendocino. His 75th today. Happy birthday, Tom. Cafe Beaujolais. Doug the Painter. Marilyn and Irv. The 60’s are not dead. Psilocybin. Mescaline. LSD. Ayahuasca. Peyote. Good friends, in depth conversations. Ruth calling me yesterday.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth’s call

 

Brunch with Marilyn and Irv at Aspen Perks. We discussed the Alan Lightman PBS series: Searching: A quest for meaning in the age of science. We all found Lightman’s emphasis on the journeys of specific Atoms from Supernovas to Solar system formation to Planets to life to us and back out again after death reassuring. Yes. And we also thought his reductionist materialism left out an important perspective. A world beyond, within, in addition to this one we can know with our sensorium. Dreams. Hallucinogens. Mystical experience. Emergent phenomena as evidence, including consciousness. The John Cleese moderated University of Virginia panel on reincarnation.

We also discussed family, grandkids, and dream work that happens at CBE. Gonna join the dream work group.

 

Dr. Doverspike came to see Kep at 2. He agrees that Kep’s recovery is slower and less obvious than he had hoped. Could be some spinal issues, too. He believes we’ve handled the pain and may (he hopes, me too) be looking at a need to strengthen muscles. That will be easier once Kep can move freely in the yard, but that won’t happen for another month or so. Snow.

Kep seems happier, more alert. Pain under control. He also stands taller when he’s not exhausted.¬† I’m willing to go a full month to see if we can generate better results. I did move Kep’s food downstairs.

Doverspike is off to the interior Mountains today hunting for powder.

 

Started a fascinating book yesterday by Jane Bennett, Professor of Political Theory and chair of the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Vibrant Matter. She’s arguing for what she calls the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Thing-power. “I will try to give voice to a vitality intrinsic to materiality, in the process absolving matter from its long history of attachment to automatism or mechanism.” p. 3

I’m reading it as part of my project of understanding the New Right and as part of my Becoming a Pagan project. There’s an odd and uneasy convergence between the two. It may be only the sound of rebellion against received wisdom, but there may be more, too. I’m beginning to wonder if the forces threatening to drive our nation apart might have deeper, more profound roots than has been noticed so far.

Those roots might have fertile soil in a rethinking of the influence of the Enlightenment and the role of science in our daily and political lives. In other words we may be trying to birth a post-enlightenment worldview. One that honors science and rationality, but dethrones it from an imperial position to a collaborative one. A lot going on here. Only have a partial toe in the water.

Posted in Dogs, Dreams, Fourth Phase, Friends, Politics, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant. | Leave a comment

And I Am Glad

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Friday gratefuls: How to Change Your Mind. Philpott. Pollan. High Winds. Lodgepoles swaying. Doverspike. Marilyn and Irv. Aspen Perks. Tara, pronounced terra. Mussar. Luke at mussar. Rabbi Jamie. Alan. His castle in the sky. Making the new office mine. Doug the Painter. New Amsterdam, a show with a lot of heart. Ditto The Last of Us.

 

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dazzle Jazz Sunday Brunch with Ruth

 

Realized I’ve focused on relationships of late. Making lunch and dinner and breakfast dates. Spending time with friends. Family. Talking with folks on zoom. Texting. This is not a change in focus, but a change in both quantity and quality. As I age, my precious, the one ring that binds them all, is love.

Much less focus on what might be considered work. Much more attention to the lives of others. Not volunteering. Did enough of that. No, this is about the thicker web of close in family and friends. About being there for them as they are for me.

Seeing and being seen. Touching and being touched. Something to do with living alone. To paraphrase Alvin Toffler who said High Tech, High Touch. High Alone, High Touch.

In other words to live alone happily, as I do, means I have a greater need for intimacy with friends and family. And so it has come to be. As the authors of The Good Life, the book about the longest longitudinal study of human development, the Harvard Study of Adult Development say with a nod to the favorite wisdom of real estate: Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.

Introversion does not mean isolation or hermetic solitude. It means gaining energy from your own company. I find deep conversations with friends a source of solace, a source of gladness, a place to give and receive thoughts about life situations. I do not find them energizing. Though in their wake I do feel stronger, held up, buoyed by their now invisible presence.

Alone, but not lonely.

 

Perhaps you could call this the emet, the truth in context of introversion, of widowhood. Those of us already inclined to recharging ourselves alone. Those of us in an unwanted, yet fully accepted life without our partners. We can adapt well to the role of widower, from the Latin root *uidh-, to separate, divide. (Etymology) But we cannot adapt well (and should not) to a life without others.

If that final separation, so final, drives one into a dark place, occulted from the world of the living while still with breath, then. Well, then. There are two widows. One dead and one among the quick. Be it not be so for you if you encounter the abyss made by the departure of one you loved.

And yet. That abyss, perhaps the one into which you stare until it stares back at you, that abyss has meaning in its vasty deeps. Meaning you cannot find if you turn away, run in fear to the corner of your living room or the bar or to the arms of another.

In my own viewing of the deep I have come to accept both Kate’s permanent absence and her undying presence. Yes. She is well beyond my reach. Yes. She helped me cook the other night. Be patient with it, Charlie. She delights in the view of Black Mountain with me, her arm around my waist, her head on my shoulder. She rides up Shadow Mountain Drive with me, looking to see another Mountain Lion, Bear, Elk. And I am glad.

 

 

Posted in Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Shadow Mountain | Leave a comment

33

Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Kep. Walking a bit taller. MVP. 10:30 bedtime last night. Mark and his work truck. His commentary on the Amazon warehouse. Honor. Beauty. Compassion. Tiferet. Ron. Susan. Jamie. Marilyn. Tara. A bright Mountain Morning. A Blue Colorado Sky. Vitalists and Mechanists. Thought. Word. Deed. The thought is the parent of the act. An old Dad saying.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Kale and Potato and chorizo soup

 

Over to Lone Tree. 45 minutes to an hour from here. Co. 470. Envision Sally Jobe. Saw Patty and her catscan machine. Took off my vest, my help me I’ve fallen and I can’t get up pendant, lay down on the metal slide that moves me under the catscan apparatus. A triangular pillow under my knees. Hands in the I’m dead position over the upper chest. 5 minutes of moving up and down through the large doughnut shaped device. All done.

Were you working at Anova 4 years ago? Yes. I remember you. I think you wore your hair down back then? Probably. She looked older. Of course. A face more lined.

Then to Anova Cancer Care where the Cyberknife is. Carmela also looked older. Grayer. Still cheerful though. Like a class reunion.

Saw Dr. Simpson to go over yet again the risks and sign my acknowledgement of them. The risks include paralysis. Bowel obstruction. And other cheerful possibilities. When you’re using a serious tool, there are serious risks.

Dr. Simpson did say that there was a slight chance they could cure me. That would happen if we kill these two active sites and the androgen deprivation therapy had tamped down the other sites permanently. Not likely, but hey!

 

Forgot to finish this earlier. Another workout. Then a nap. Slipped my mind.

Thirty third anniversary tomorrow. But no Kate. At least not in a way that I can order Irises for our table. Eat prime rib. Talk about the kids. About our life together. And not long after April 21st her yahrzeit as determined by the Jewish calendar. 30 Nisan. Which was on April 12th in 2021. That’s a lot for a month or so of days.

Two years, almost. She still guides me, helps me think things through, but I’d much prefer her physical presence.

Our house. Our family. Our life at CBE continues. We are both present when I walk into a room. I realized the other day that I’m still married to her. Even death does not do us apart. Maybe if someone else came into my life. Maybe. But the death of a soulmate does not remove the imprint they left on your heart and soul and life. Not at all.

Yes, memory weakens. Grief recedes. Mourning ceases. Of course. New memories, memories without her, more recent memories. But that turtle clock. The quilts on the beds. The pillows. Her Pi Beta Phi paddle. This religion she loved. Her old friends. Her grandchildren. Our grandchildren. Our car.

All those days and nights. 30 years of them. Still embedded in the neurons and synapses of this brain. Not gone. Available and precious.

Her memory. A blessing.

-33-

Posted in Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Health | Leave a comment