• Choose

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Friday gratefuls: TGIF. Ha. No hump day, no Friday as the last day of work. Just life. Sleeping in. Perfect sleeping weather. A good and difficult day yesterday. Luke. Leo. Anne. Gracie. My Roger. Mindy. Rabbi Jamie. The classical texts of Judaism. Including the rabbinic codes. Those two Does in the road. Driving Mountain roads. Alan and Joan. Dandelion. My son and Seoah. Sick. Murdoch’s ok.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Korea

    One brief shining: There is an exquisite pain knowing your child has run a fever over a hundred for three days in a row yet lives 9000 miles from your front door, a squeezing of the lev that makes the body want to find cold wash clothes, advil, blankets, maybe even stuffed toys though you know he is long now a man, it is the pain of belonging and longing, one for which there is no pill, just that moment when you send your body, by astral projection, to his sickbed.

     

    Now Seoah, too. We miss and love you they write, explaining symptoms. My son’s fever has broken and he took Murdoch out for some fresh air. I asked Seoah to give him a hug for me. He wrote that he got it. Now I’ll have to send the same request to him for her. Family, close close family. Joy. Concern. Love.

     

    Meanwhile I’m over reading signals. Coloring my soul a pastel purple. Do those crossed arms mean he’s annoyed with me? Why does he want to wait until he sees how his next two month’s money does? I didn’t want to leave the house yesterday. Felt like ducking mussar and the Rabbi Jamie time.

    Two reasons. Monday was so cold that I chose not to go upstairs and workout before a one p.m. doctor’s appointment. That meant I had to workout on Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday to get my 150 minutes in. I felt bad about that choice. So I already had a one down feeling about myself. Not terrible, knew I could have chosen differently and I didn’t.

    Then on Thursday morning I pushed myself to get my workout in. Can’t miss because of Monday. I wanted to do thirty minutes. As I wrote yesterday though, my back nixed that plan. That meant I was not only behind on my minutes for the week, but that I had a possible barrier to my next workout in my back pain. It also meant that my back was not going to go gentle into that good night but would rage, rage, rage against the moving of the feet. Which in turn meant that my vain hope for a less restrictive travel barrier was that, a vain hope.

    The two together made me want to stay home and favor my psychic and physical upset. I chose not to. However, when I first got to the synagogue I carried that bruised, purple sense of self with me. I sought out and found further evidence that I was somehow doing it wrong. I spoke over someone. My comment landed flat. I felt distanced from the group like the Jews distanced themselves from the pillar of smoke. That was the day’s topic.

    Then I realized I was no longer concerned about my back. It was quiet. And, I had chosen to exercise. And, to come to mussar. The tint in my sense of self faded from purple to a dull yellow not far from the vibrant yellow of joy. Choices. Eh?


  • Asia

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Diane home from Taiwan. Fan Kuan. Travelers Among Mountains and Streams. Japan and Taiwan. The Dutch and Taiwan. How little we Americans know about Asia. Bo Yi and Ginny. Taipei. Songtan. My son. Seoah. Murdoch. Seoah’s family. Gwanju, Osan, and Okgwa. A personal stake in the fortunes of South Korea. Great Sol and Cloudy and blue Colorado Sky.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Diane

    One brief shining: Hoo boy that 24th minute on the treadmill this morning my legs were moving, not very fast, a brisk walk and my back began to say hey up there, I’m here and I don’t feel good, really wanted to hit 30 minutes but those narrowed spinal processes said, no I don’t think so, not today anyhow, so I turned off the treadmill, did some apres workout stretches and went back downstairs.

     

    Yeah. Facing front. I can manage the stenosis, but it will kick up much sooner than I want. A definite factor in traveling from this point forward. Not much to be done about it either. My p.t. exercises are the best treatment. I don’t want to go to the next two levels: cortisone shots into the vertebrae or spinal fusion surgery. Saw that with Kate and it did not look good. Plus. My experience with cortisone shots in my knee? No help. Spinal fusion? Nope. Sets up other problems and I’ve seen them. Leaves me with p.t. and avoiding the long walks while traveling that do what I just did on the treadmill. I can do that. Takes a different sort of planning.

     

    I have folks I love and folks they love in South Korea. So these two articles upset me this morning: As if We Didn’t Have Enough to Frighten Us … and the one its author, Nicholas Kristof references in his January 17th article, Is Kim Jong Un Preparing for War?   Not to mention that my son works at and lives near a spot most likely already programmed in to a North Korean nuclear missile. Made his dad wince to read this.

     

    Talked with Diane this morning about her trip to Taiwan to see her niece and my first cousin once removed, Ginny, get married to Bo Yi, a Taiwanese national. Actually this was the Chinese version. They got married two years ago in Ohio where they live. Culturally appropriate in two cultures now. Along with a nine month old son. I have pictures and when I get them downloaded I’ll post a few.

    Diane, the lucky duck, has achieved my one item in my bucket list. She’s been to the National Museum of China. I’m gonna get there on my next trip to Korea. If the North stays quiet, that is. She did me a favor and got a museum gift for me of Fan Kuan’s famous work, Travelers Among Mountains and Streams.

     

    Conversion session with Rabbi Jamie today. Focused on Judaism’s classic texts. Torah. Nevi’im. (prophets) Ketuvim (writings). Mishnah (writing down of the Oral Law). Talmud (mostly rabbinic commentary on the Mishnah. Midrash. (rabbinic commentary on the Torah)

     


  • Friends

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Waste. Those plastic trash bins. Alan. First Watch, a breakfast chain. Pretty good. Wheatridge. Still learning the contours of Denver and its suburbs. Clear roads after a good Snow over the weekend. Colorado. The Rockies. The solar Snow shovel. My torah portion. Hebrew software. Boker tov to all of you out there. Good morning. With a happy lev. And, a smile.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Learning Hebrew

    One brief shining: Made coffee, fussed in the kitchen, threw some trash out through my window trash portal, not wanting to go outside and drag the garbage bin and the recycling bin through the snow covering the driveway, or be outside in the cold, yet as a homeowner my gloves slid over my fingers, scarf around my neck, watch cap over the ears, and I became a mule.

     

    Second session with Tara. Read through my whole torah portion. All three verses. Did pretty well. In this case the Hebrew has vowels which aid pronunciation and breaking words into syllables. So I have to learn to recognize and pronounce the letters of the Hebrew alphabet as well as its vowel markers. Tara calls this decoding. I’m not translating, instead I’m learning how to say out loud Hebrew words. And not just any Hebrew words, but the particular words in the three sentences I have to read aloud on the day of my bar mitzvah.

    There are two other parts to the process that increase the level of difficulty. First, the torah scroll itself has no vowel markers. Never has, never will. That means I have to know my verses well enough that I can recall the vowel markers and syllable breaks on my own. I’m not to that stage of my learning at all. Second, the torah portion has a melody, or trope. There are many melodies. And markers called cantillations to guide the reader/singer/chanter. I’m not to that point in my learning. Not at all. As Alan pointed out yesterday, twelve and thirteen year old boys whose voices have begun to change do this. So…

    June 12th may be almost five months from now but there are parts of this, like the cantillations, that will require more of me.

     

    Alan’s new electric BMW has navigated the Panama Canal and is on its way to the Port of L.A. and a BMW vehicle distribution center, V.D.C. In the importing company’s V.D.C. cars get tricked out to meet US pollution standards, have any shipping damage repaired, and otherwise get ready for their over land delivery. Should arrive sometime in February.

    It was good to see Alan yesterday. It had been awhile. Holidays and missed dates and all. We’re going to have breakfast again on Friday, this time we hope with Joan whom I haven’t seen since last year. On the Ancient Brothers Monday I recounted how glad I was to see each of them. Same reason.

    I don’t need a lot of human interaction, but I do need more than I had over the last couple of weeks.

     

     


  • The Crunch

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Tara. Irv. Marilyn. Ginny. Janice. Alan. Cold, cold weather. Snow. A Mountain Winter. The Ancient Brothers. Cernunnos. Hashem. Adonai. Echad. Judaism. Reading. 2024 election. Football lurching toward yet another Superbowl. Mini-splits grabbing heat from below zero Air. Diane returned from Taiwan. Science. Hebrew. First Watch in Wheat Ridge. Iowa. -45.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Resilience in my Wild Neighbors, in our country, in myself

    One brief shining: The weather station readout said -10 when I went to bed, up five degrees from the mid-morning low of -15, a layer of cold air hung around mid-calf, leaking through the two pane windows, the northern wall of my house, and challenging the technomagic of the heat pump finding (no, I don’t know how.) active warm air somewhere in between the quieter molecules of this bitter Mountain night.

     

    Forgot the crunch. That crisp sound Snow makes when the temperature goes below zero. As I made my way to the garage yesterday, memories of Minnesota Winters flooded back. Earlier I had found and put on my down vest. This weather I understand. It requires attention. It was soon after I moved to Wisconsin when I learned the weather in the upper Midwest could kill you. Layers protected against the worst of it, but stopping, being still in below zero weather? Not recommended.

    Several Andover (Mn.) Winters I strapped on Tubbs snowshoes, put on hiking boots, gaiters and a balaclava. There was a trail through some Woods behind the Anoka County Library near us and I would fast walk it even in -20 weather. Back then I had a meditation ritual I used, one I’d created, that moved through the four directions, the center, up and down. Each point had a person like Jesus or Lao Tze or a god like Shiva or Cernunnnos. When I moved to their point, starting in the east, I would consider how that person or god’s energy, truth, wisdom informed me on that particular day. Just enough time in two or three circuits of the trail to go all the way through the orientation points. Crunching the whole time as my snowshoe’s metal grips kept me steady. I loved to exercise outside and did so as often as I could in whatever weather, even rain.

    Don’t meditate now. Don’t exercise outside. I miss both of them. Not enough, however, to reengage. At least not right now.

     

    45 won. We all lost.

     

    So glad to have this morning ritual. I get up, do my nerve glides (though I didn’t this morning), hit the head, grab my phone, my hearing aid, and that help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up device. Up five steps to the kitchen for coffee and mineral water. Another seven steps takes me to the home office. Sit down, roll the ball on my mouse to wake up my desktop computer, curve my fingers onto this split keyboard which both of my grandkids hate, and get to work. Usually an hour and a half, sometimes two. About 500 words. Then breakfast.

     

     

     


  • Defy Tradition and Religion

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Monday gratefuls: The Ancient Brothers. Cold. 3 degrees this morning. MLK. The Civil War. The new Civil War.  Heather Cox Richardson. Writing. Iowa. GOP primaries.  Wild Neighbors in the cold. Lodgepoles and Aspen, too. Built for it. A warm house. The mini-splits. Snow. Brother Mark’s ideas for warm places. Miami. New Orleans. Los Angeles. Upset stomach. Coffee. Water.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Gastrointestinal System

    One brief shining: Look up and Snow falls driven by a western Wind coating the Lodgepole Needles, raising the lev to  Snowy memories of Winters past, a smile and a gratefulness for all memories settle in for a beautiful January day.

     

    Wonder how the Texas grid is doing? It be cold outside almost everywhere in these disunited states. Even, especially, in Iowa. Brother Mark sent me a link to a video based on an old Paul Harvey story called And God Made a Farmer.  In this one it’s And God Made Donald Trump. I wrote back to my brother, as one of His former employees I call bullshit. Sure even 45 was made in God’s image but like any well-made product venality and hubris will invalidate the warranty. (OK. OK. Not really invalidate. I mean. You know. Teshuva. The return. Sort of the Jewish equivalent of redemption. Always possible.) But he whispered, highly unlikely.

     

    MLK. Malcolm X. So glad we have this holiday and now Juneteenth, too. Even in these benighted political times they shine a spotlight on where we still could go as a people, as a nation. Reading Heather Cox Richardson’s Democracy Awakening. She makes a strong case that today is a direct extension of yesterday. Both in terms of the populist racist anti-semitic tone of our era and in terms of the liberal consensus that lies just beneath the surface, one that agrees government needs to regulate business and support the commonweal.

    The most telling part of her book for me has been her recounting of the through line from William Buckley to Trump.  Buckley pushed tradition and religion rather than fact based decision making. I had not made that connection and it’s pretty damned obvious when you read her.

    His creation, Movement Conservatism, gained momentum after Kennedy through the machinations of a storied cast of characters including Roger Stone, Lee Atwater, Pat Buchanan, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and other political operatives. With their strategic help Newt Gingrich, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, especially Reagan, took Movement Conservatism into the realm of government policy. George W. Bush pushed the ball forward too.

    We are now reaping the whirlwind of Buckley’s insistence that tradition (think white, wealthy, and racist) and religion (think evangelical Christian and rightwing Roman Catholicism) are the only anchors for a stable society. Ironic, isn’t it, that those very forces have created the most unstable and chaotic society I’ve known in my lifetime.

    It remains on us to join hands with MLK and Brother Malcolm. To defy the tradition and religion held close to the heart by those who would gut our democracy.

     

     

     


  • Feeling Dry

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Cold, dark nights. Quiet ones, too. Hoppin’ John. Even better a day or so later. Cholesterol. Va-era. The second parsha in Exodus. Plagues and boils. Hardened heart. Lev. Irv. Marilyn. Susan. The Mitzvah Committee. Rich. Doncye. The Law. The Supreme Court. The number of cases involving 45, the orange menace. Equal before the law. The American Dream and Ideal.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Judges

    One brief shining: Odd this Sunday morning, no Ancient Brothers, we moved church to Monday morning to accommodate Paul who saw a play in Portland last night and is on his way home to Robbitson; the morning feels empty, empty enough to note it here in this slot for longer, more gymnastic sentences.

     

    Reading about Jewish classical texts in prep for meeting with Rabbi Jamie this Thursday. Rabbi Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy. Learned an interest factoid about animal sacrifices and Christianity. The institution of animal sacrifices in the Temple replaced, the rabbis say, human sacrifice that was common in other nearby cultures. The crucifixion of Jesus they saw as a backward return to human sacrifice. Never thought of the crucifixion like that before. Seems like a reasonable conclusion to me.

     

    For some reason I’m feeling a little dry these last few days. Might be the days without leaving home. Not sure. Unusual, even rare for me. Don’t want to write about politics. Election 2024 seems too widely commented on, too fraught, too opaque. The weather too uniform. My inner life too calm.

    Here’s something though. I started looking at warm places for a vacation. Right in the middle of writing this. Focused on Mexico. Not sure why. Just did. Feeling like a week or two somewhere else, somewhere warm might rejuvenate me. Maybe knock me out of the doldrums. I’m not depressed. Not melancholy. Just blah. Seems weather related in that isolation, indoors only time takes its toll.

    Mexico. Good times with Kate in Mexico back in the mid-90’s. We stayed in Mexico City for a week while she attended a conference. Saw Xochimilco where I’ve now adopted an Axolotl. Saw the zocalo, the great empty space in the heart of the city. Templo Mayor. Went to Plaza Garibaldi billed as the world capital of mariachi music. Left Mexico City for Oaxaca where I had fried grasshoppers. Onto Merida and the Mayan sites of the Yucatan. Stayed at Casa de Balma, the house of the Leopard. Have never returned.

    Guess I’ve got the travel itch. Mexico City seems like a good place to go. Relatively inexpensive. Not too far away. Lots of different sorts of experiences from Xochimilco to the Plaza del Torres. The Zocalo. The Templo Mayor. Mexican food. Plaza Garibaldi. Art museums and districts. The Zona Rosa.

    We’ll see where, if anywhere, all this fantasizing takes me.

     

     

     

     

     

     


  • Trust

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Rabbi Telushkin. Avivah Zornberg. Shemot. The Dark. The quiet of a Mountain night. Luke. Leo. Edgewater Market. Amy, my audiologist. Hearing mostly the same. Hearing tests. Ruby. Cold weather. Some Snow. CBE. Snow Plows. Mark, mail carrier. Mark, brother. Mary, back from Oz. My son back from Nellis AFB. CDOT. 285 not looking good. Pablo Casals. The cello. Bach. Mozart.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friends

    One brief shining: Amy opened the door, watch your step, I went in to the small room all black with noise dampening small pyramids on all the walls and sat in the chair, she came in and wired me up to her console from which she sent out beeps I was to hear and raise my hand, I did, then we switched to sentences said with ambient noise in the background and I was to say the sentences back and only got a couple.

     

    Hearing about the same. Which is good from the perspective of progressive loss, but not good in that it was bad to begin with. I am somewhat more sensitive to background noise and my ear drum had some sort of problem. I may be able to fix the ear drum with nasal saline spray. Aids the Eustachian tube which in turn reduces pressure on the ear drum.

    Amy lives in Conifer and coaches girls soccer at Conifer High School. She went to New Zealand this summer to see the U.S. Women’s soccer team play in international competition.

    She adjusted and reprogrammed my hearing aid, but encouraged me to use the Roger more. I’ve let it become an expensive TV audio setup. Why use it more? It helps with the ambient noise problem and frees up my brain for memory, cognition. Without it in noisy situations or even in some quieter ones I’m still straining to hear. It tires me out trying to understand and distracts my brain. People with my sort of hearing loss, she said, often avoid noisy places.

    I had an immediate instance of what she meant when I went to see Luke for lunch at the Edgewater Market. These markets are in several spots in Denver. Sort of mini-malls with a focus on interesting food choices and hip stores. Aimed at millennials and GenZ I think. I enjoy them, too.

    Except. Noisy. Luke and I were trying to decide where we’d get some food. He pointed out several places, but said he liked the Euro King. I had no idea what kind of food that might be until we got to the stall. I trusted that I understood him when he said Euro King. That sent me down a path of imagining what sort of food the Euro Kings might offer. Fancy appetizers? Elegant finger food from gay Paree? Some other European delicacy? When we got there. It was the Gyro King. Oh. I see.

    It’s those moments when I trust my hearing but am shown to be wrong in that trust that are the most confounding. Why? Because we trust our senses to give us accurate information about the world around us. I have to trust my hearing because it’s my hearing. But it’s not always right and I have no way of knowing if I’ve misunderstood. Until I do.

    The most dangerous instance of this effect occurred in Bogota in 1989. I already had five years of living with my deaf left ear but I encountered another assumption there that could have killed me. I crossed a road with a boulevard of grass between two streets. I assumed the traffic on the next road would be coming from the opposite direction, my right. When I started to cross, a horn sounded and I jumped back on the boulevard. Both streets had traffic coming from my left.

    In England I knew to be careful because of the driving on the left. But in Bogota I assumed their traffic patterns matched ours in the U.S. Wrong. In that instance, wrong. And could have been fatally wrong.


  • A Life Full and Rich

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Irv. Tom. Marilyn. Susan. Driving. Hearing. Tested today. Lodgepole Home. Black Mountain. Genocide trial at the U.N. For Israel. America and allies strike the Houthis. WWIII? U.S. Nato. Ukraine. Israel. V. Iran. China. Russia. A post hegemon world. Lev. Metaphor. Rock. Water. Fire. Sound. Clouds. Mountains. Flowers. Death seeds. Those two Mule Deer Does.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Cooking

    One brief shining: Drew my knife through the salt pork dicing it into quarter inch cubes; it was almost all fat realized I knew nothing about salt pork, regretted that since I had committed myself to making Hoppin’ John with this as a major ingredient rendering the fat and making the salt pork crisp did not make it more edible, next time I’m using bacon.

     

    As if the world had insufficient chaos. Now the U.S. has bombed Yemen. Houthis say they will retaliate. What a mess. Ukraine at the northern pole, Israel/Hamas at the southern. This has all the potential of blowing up into a two front war for the U.S. Why wouldn’t China take advantage of a U.S. mired in the Middle East and Ukraine to invade Taiwan? What would the world do then?

    Oh by the way. One of, if not the, most fateful elections in the U.S. begins its primaries next week. Other nations too have important elections this year. 45 went off on the judge and the prosecutor at his fraud trial. Claims and cases piling up at the Supreme Court around him. The specter of his “base” rising up if he loses. The worse specter of his base rising up if he wins. OMG.

    How bout that Covid wave underway right now? The cold slumping down from the Arctic? Saw it will test the Texas power grid. Again. Geez, c’mon guys!

    All this distraction. We need a world united in the struggle to limit climate change. To adapt to the way it will ravage human civilization. Nope. We want to kill each other over religion and power. We know how to do that. We’re good at it.

    Then we can throw in the worst surge of anti-semitism in the U.S. since the ADL started tracking attacks in the 1970’s. Which parallels the rise of racist incidents occasioned by legitimization of white supremacy by the very man who apparently has a lock on the Republican party nomination for President.

    Oh the ways in which our country, our world has taken giant steps backward. Just in the past few years. It makes me sad. Angry? Yes, but I no longer know what to do with my anger.

     

    Shoot. I was gonna talk about visiting with Irv and having a dorm room conversation about the afterlife. Or, how I made Hoppin’ John. Or, how happy I was with Tom’s cardiology visit results.

    Well. I will say this. Got my new CD player. The one Odie recommended. Works great. Especially given that I’m deaf in one ear and can’t hear out of the other one. Listening to Mozart. Ah. Put in another CD. Pablo Casals. Playing Bach’s six suites for cello. Many of them for solo cello. Remembered my love affair with cello music. Went into it as I once did at the Ordway. Letting the music run up and down my body, triggering emotions, sensations. This is art I can experience at home.

    That excited me. Music. Friends. Study. Reading. Cooking. Family. That all suddenly felt enough. Like my life didn’t need more. Was complete. I still feel that way. A life with a smaller ambit. Yet one full and rich. Yes. Also, why I don’t know what to do with my anger.

     

     

     

     

     

     


  • The American Day of Atonement

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Marilyn and Irv. Rabbi Jamie and the American Day of Atonement. Black-eyed Peas. Hoppin’ John. A cold snap. The Winter Carnival. St. Paul. Irvine Park. The Aurora. Great Sol. Journeys around Great Sol. Birthdays. 77 for me next month. Minnesota. Up North. Lake Superior. Duluth. Ely. The Boundary Waters. Andover and its time in Kate and mine’s life. Kate, my sweet Kate.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Long journeys (77 x 584 million = 44 968 000 000 miles around the sun by age 77)

    One brief shining: About ten days late I have the ingredients for Hoppin’ John Black-Eyed Peas, Salt Pork, Hot Peppers, Garlic, Onion, Black Pepper, Chicken Stock, Ham, Kosher Salt and when I get back from seeing Irv I’m going to make it in the Dutch Oven now clean of hard Water scales and shiny like the day I bought it so Happy New Year!

    Looking forward to cooking up the Hoppin’ John. I also got Corn bread mix. Famous Dave’s. Gonna cook up some frozen Collard Greens, make Corn bread. Have myself a Southern Happy New Year’s meal tonight.

     

    Going over to see Irv in rehab. He’s been there since he left St. Joe’s after his surgery. An odd fact. His rehab place requires a left turn on Lone Tree’s Lincoln Avenue. When I went to have my prostate removed and for all my radiation sessions, I turned right on Lincoln. Old folks pathway I guess.

     

    Got my beard trimmed yesterday at Jackie’s. It never got bushy, just scraggly. Decided to give up on it. I think she was relieved.

     

    Attended by zoom the American Day of Atonement at CBE. Luke worked on it along with Rabbi Jamie. The concept comes from Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Doing it on the 10th of January puts it close to Martin Luther King Day while duplicating the ten days after the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. Wanted to be there in person but I find going out at night something I don’t want to do. Especially in Winter. I feel bad about not showing up yet I also honor my reluctance.

    So. Zoom. Which has its difficulties. Last night speakers who zoomed in were loud and clear. Bishop Robert Martin talked about working together to give each other the internal strength to face racism and anti-semitism. Rabbi Jamie invoked Abraham Lincoln. Attorney General Phil Weiser gave what I considered the best speech of the evening calling on us to embrace the American Dream of a diverse nation of citizens equal before the law. We can and we will, he said, overcome our divisions. May it happen soon.

    If the American Day of Atonement could catch on in other cities, focused on at least bringing together African-American and Jewish activists, it could have a major impact. This is the third one. The weather timing is against it. Not many folks showed up at CBE. Not sure how to overcome that. I appreciate all the energy Luke and Rabbi Jamie have put into it so far.

     

     


  • Coffee in my Vinegar

    Winter and the 1% crescent of the Winter Solstice Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Getting things done. Fixing (mostly) my casement window. Self-limiting talk. Great Sol. Black Mountain. Irv. Marilyn. Tara. Alan. Tom and his lev. The Zen calendar. Bill. Paul. Mark. Ruby. Kate on brightening up a room. Jon. His art. His quick mind. My son and Seoah and Murdoch. Shemot. Exodus. Ruth and Gabe and Mia. Domo on Sunday. Applewood Village. Friday.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Sardines

    One brief shining: The way it goes quiet then a rush with the American Day of Atonement tonight, Thursday a trip to Parker to see Irv, Friday Wheatridge for breakfast with Alan, Sunday Domo with Ruth, Gabe, and Mia in between sleeping and cooking and reading up on Jewish classical texts for my conversion session with Rabbi Jamie and learning my Bar Mitzvah Hebrew portion.

     

    Yeah life went from will I go upstairs or downstairs to I will go all over the place, down the hill and back up the hill. Nice to have variety. All of it good, rich, significant in my tiny universe. Life on the Mountain of Shadows.

     

    While much of the U.S. encounters wild and dangerous weather, those of us on the Front Range have had a real Minnesota January. Temps below zero tomorrow. In the single digits at night for over a week. Some Snow.

    My casement window in my bedroom wouldn’t shut. And it was cold outside. I googled casement windows, found a screwdriver, trekked out in the Snow. As you might expect, none of the information on the internet helped. Frustrating. Until. What’s that gouge? Looked under the window. Yep, a screw had worked its way loose and impeded the window on its way to full closure. A few turns of the screw et voilá. All fixed except for the gouge which will require a file. Which I don’t have. But I will.

    Agency. Yes.

    I have a high altitude coffee maker. It keeps a reservoir of hot water so coffee brews quickly rather than waiting on the slow boil of 8,800 feet. In cleaning it I ran a coffee pot full of vinegar through it, then a pot full of fresh water. Done. So I thought. Made a pot of coffee, took the cup up to a zoom call with the Ancient Brothers. Took a sip. Yep. I had coffee brewed not with water but vinegar! Another fresh water pot through the system. Still vinegary. It took yet another fresh water pot to get the vinegar calmed down.

    Those things we do to keep life managed to some extent.

     

    Meanwhile in the alternate universe of U.S. politics. Iowa votes. Then, New Hampshire. 45 sits in at his appeals court hearing. Yesterday Lauren Bobert did not punch or grope anyone. At least so far as the news knows. Colorado continues its quirky political path with no sitting Republican Representatives running in this next election.

    Also. News I’ve not shared before. We have terrible mail service in the Mountains. I don’t, but most of my nearby neighbors do. Mark, my mail carrier, is a pro and has been consistently good since we got here. Elsewhere packages don’t come, mail gets delivered to the wrong address or not at all. The post offices have high staff turnovers and face closure to consolidate operations. Our entire congressional delegation is on this, but the pace is soooo slow.