• Tag Archives love
  • Nocturne

    Summer                                                            Most Heat Moon

    As the night settles gently here, Kate is home and has taken Kepler with her to bed. He sleeps in his own bed near ours.

    There’s a dynamic when she’s gone, a bit unsettling, but also affirming. Let me see if I can be clear about it. We are, together, more than two, but also two. When we are apart, the twoness remains in memory, but the day-to-day facticity of it shifts. There is no other body in the bed. Nor at breakfast. Nor as the day goes by. The simple joy of a dog’s antics, wonder at some passing insect or cloud, soothing of a momentary mood, a reminder of each other’s value just by being present one to the other is lost. Only for a while, but lost anyhow.

    The affirmation comes in knowing these things by their absence. The unsettling rises with this third phase certainty, some day one of us will leave and not come back. What then? The facticity of the relationship will be gone and with it all those subtle, ordinary, sacred moments that make up a common life. Death brooks no return and the loss will be in that sense total.

    That is not now, for us. And I’m glad. Happy that we had this day together. And hopeful that we will have tomorrow. We do, after all, have that move to prepare.


  • Love Is Not Only For the Animal World

    Mid-Summer                                                           Waxing Honey Flow Moon

    Kate’s put up ten jars of red currant jam and put together six honey supers.  She’s a great ally in estate management with her skills.  She keeps saying, “I’m surprised how much major surgery slows me down.”  Oh?

    When I ate dinner at the Java yesterday, the waitress said, “That was quite a storm last night.”  “Yes,” I said, not remembering much.  “It blew a big tree down, right at my house.  It stopped less than a foot from my roof.”  “Wow.”  “Did you hire someone to cut it down?”  “Yes. I’m going to miss that tree.  It turned red in the fall.  I knew I should take it down.”

    Love is not only for the animal world.

    The MCAD class has moved into Graphic Design history with an emphasis on posters, especially in the 19th and early 20th century.  Some very striking pieces.

  • Love, Sex and Scandal

    Beltane                                                              Waxing Last Frost Moon

    Love, sex and scandal tour tonight.  We went from the Venus figurine, made 20,000 years ago, to the erotic work of Balthus, covering, in between nymphs and satyrs, heroes and centaurs, a raped Roman matron, a satirized French actress, a beloved 5th century Chinese singing girl and the Little Girl of Otto Dix.  The basic theme was the enduring nature of love and sex, probably scandal, too, thought that’s hard to read in the archaeological record.

    The most controversial pieces were the final two, Little Girl and The Living Room.  The one we decided was not pornographic though it appeared that way, the other was pornographic though it does not appear that way.  The mutable nature of art.  Along the way we spoke of the shadow museum, things we own, but do not display like shunga, the erotic prints from Japan, that our idea of propriety still carries over the Victorian sensibilities of now three centuries and a millennium past.

    We spoke openly about these things and, I think, surprised each other.  In a good way.  I enjoyed the group and the tour.

  • A Few Notes

    Samhain                                             Waning Thanksgiving Moon

    In no particular order, though there must be one, at some point, here a few notes I’ve taken from reading, living.

    1.  Death happens.  To all of us.  Whether we fear it or welcome it.

    therefore, it’s best to befriend death, to live with it as a counselor on your left shoulder, keeping you honest, authentic, true.

    2.  Love beats everything else that comes before death.

    therefore, it’s best to live a life loving as many and as much  you can.

    3.  Certain things get in the way of love:

    attachment to money, to particular things

    a need for power

    an unwillingness to be vulnerable

    untrustworthy behavior


    it’s best to clean up your act.

    4. Passion is the next best thing after love.

    passion requires clarity about self

    clarity about self requires self-knowledge

    self-knowledge undergirds both passion and love and allows an unblinking relationship with death

    5.  Therefore,

    It’s best to get your butt to the Temple of Apollo,

    Cross under the lintel with gnothi seauton written above it

    And get to know who you are.  No, who you really are.

    6.  When you know who you are, your passions become obvious.

    7.  With passion your life before death has value, vigor, oomph.

    8.  With passion love retains its edge, its ability to cut through any thing left and carve your true you out of it

    9.  This all may be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can do it.

  • The Beloved Community

    Samhain                                                   Waning Harvest Moon

    Spent lunch with Leslie.  She’s progressing in her work at Groveland.  We had a very interesting conversation about a UU ecclesiology, not an easy topic since the notion loses something in importing it from Christianity.  UU’s insist on calling their congregations churches, but that is accurate only historically for almost all Midwest UU’s who are overwhelmingly humanist.  No one cares outside the UU community of course, and even most of those inside it don’t care either, except the clergy, for whom the nature of the communities they serve is all important.

    Leslie began feeling her way toward an ecclesiology based on love.  It got me going, too.  There may be a way to define a humanist ecclesiology focused on something like the beloved community.  In this case congregants might gather to participate in a community where intimacy might happen, happen outside the familial or marital or partner bond.  No one has too much love in their lives and a community committed to vulnerability, safety, depth and confidentiality might increase the possibilities.  There is no need here to posit a ground for love transcendent to the community, that is, a God.  We seek and find love here in this immanent plane, mundane and profane creatures we might be, so seeking it in community is in our capacity.

    I think this has real promise, might be groundbreaking.  I hope she follows through with it.

    Going into the Black Forest to dine with my Woolly brothers.  Listening to a new book.

    Here’s a thought about the beloved community:

    “The Beloved Community has three dimensions: self-love, neighbor-love, and universal love, according to Rev. Owen-Towle. “You can’t send forth what you haven’t claimed,” he said of the importance of self-love. “What you don’t own in your own heart you can’t give away.”

    Rev. Owen-Towle pointed out, however, that self-love is not sufficient. “Unitarian Universalism at its most authentic is never only about self-fulfillment – either everybody is saved or nobody is,” he said. “As UU’s we know that there lies an indisputable oneness at bottom.” We must demonstrate an alternative way of being religious, he added, in order to furnish a large, spacious household rather than a snug, comfortable collective.

    Rev. Owen-Towle urged his audience to seek the challenge of the Beloved Community. “Beloved Community transcends our own convictions, ever widening its embrace to include outsiders,” he said. “It’s always bigger than the imaginable.””

  • Miracles.

    Lughnasa                                              Waxing Back to School Moon

    Nap.  Off to Ace Hardware for chemically resistant gloves.  Really.  Why would I use anything that required them?  Normally, I wouldn’t.  But the varroa mites compromise the divide’s ability to survive the winter and the U says to do this until IPM begins to work.  If I didn’t have a strong recommendation to go ahead from people whom I know share my overall perspective on medication, I would just chance it.  Kate made shims for me to put on the hive boxes to give bees enough space to walk around and get in the Apiguard.  She made them in plenty of time.  I forgot to take them out with me.  Sigh.

    I have to go out again tomorrow and put them in place.  Didn’t realize I’d forgotten them until I came inside and saw them still there on the dog crate.

    The garlic is in the ground.  This is the first year I’m planting only garlic I have grown.  In previous years I’ve always bought a few bulbs of a variety I haven’t tried.  The planting of garlic grown here both naturalizes the plant to our locale and gives me a sense of a circle closed.  Satisfying.

    Dug potatoes, too.  One row of three.  Not as productive as last year so far, but not bad.  I planted these at ground level in the oldest of the raised beds, one almost flush with the garden floor.  I will not do that again.  Way too much bending over.  Still, the thrill of digging a potato out of the loose soil constitutes a miracle as far I’m concerned.

    The older I get the more I have the opposite problem from the early advocates of higher criticism of the Bible.  They thought miracles were problematic in the biblical narrative and went about finding natural explanations for them or chalking them up to mythologization.  Not me.

    Miracles are everywhere in my world.  Those pale yellow roots against the darkness of the soil.  Edible!  Planting garlic in the fall so I can harvest it next June.  Cooperating with insects to produce a sweet, delicious liquid that I can share with friends.  How about that!  Being part of a young woman’s search for her vocational path.  A person mutating from young adult to a professional.  Getting up in the morning with energy and eagerness for the day.  Greetings from Vega and Rigel with tails thumping and bodies quivering.  Knowing that we get our food from the energy of a star 93 million miles away from us.  Having a modest grasp of quantum mechanics.  The absolute, dumbfounding miracle of love between Kate and me, our kids, our grandkids.  Friendships that have endured for years and years.  Life is so full of miracles I have to fight through them to get to breakfast.

  • Eternal Tru Luv

    Lughnasa                               Waning Artemis Moon

    Kate’s at work.  Two months almost to the day after her hip surgery she has returned to the Allina Clinic in Coon Rapids for her last four months of full time practice.  I anticipate a successful evening and final four months for her, having seen a remarkable recovery in terms of her day-to-day pain.  The hip is wonderful, the back’s pretty good, the only clinker right now is her bursitis on her left hip.  Still, compared to the awful weeks just prior to her surgery, she’s a different woman and it’s great to see.

    Having her home full time, practice retirement, helped us see the possibilities in the next phase of our life together.  We’ll manage our gardens and our orchard and our bees with greater ease, two persons engaged from the start of the growing season.  We’ll have time to go into art galleries, out to lunch, just wander around more.

    Other people must find the one who gets them, around whom they can be their authentic selves, I’m glad to say I’m among them.  And that the experience is reciprocal.

    Eternal tru luv, as we used to say.

  • Love’s Fatal Flaw

    Beltane                                            Waning Planting Moon

    When I punched Delta 2406 into Google, it delivered a website called Flight Status.  On Flight Status I could watch the progress of Kate’s flight from San Francisco as she moved across Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and into Minnesota.  I looked over at the computer occasionally as I worked in Chapter 18 of Wheelock:  passive voice and the ablative of agent.  It seemed natural to me to go from ancient Rome to a computer tracing the flight path of a jet traveling 595 mph.

    The term soulmate may not make sense to me metaphysically and I am an existentialist at heart–we die alone, we live alone–however I know my life is not complete without Kate.  Over time and with much love our lives have intertwined, her presence, her physical presence is important to me and to my well-being.

    I’m a little afraid to admit that, in part to myself.  What if she dies?  Well, she will.  And so will I.  Also, I don’t want to seem so needy that I require another person to complete myself.  And I don’t.  Yet Kate makes the house full.  Talking and crying with her about Emma made the whole sad thing real and bearable.

    Here is the paradox of love.  To love we need to be vulnerable, to open ourselves and let another person assume a critical and necessary place in our life, yet life itself has an end.  In this sense, I suppose, each love is a tragedy, that is, it has a literally fatal flaw.

    She’s back and I’m glad.

  • Love and Politics

    Another busy week.  Guess it’s a good thing we’re headed to Colorado on Saturday.  Time for a rest.

    Yesterday I worked outside all morning, then took a nap, worked out and went to the Woollys at Paul’s house.  We talked about love.  Love was central to each of our lives and, we all agreed, to the Woolly’s.  Scott talked about the tough, tough time financial planners had in the last month and how it had been very difficult for him personally.  Stefan spoke of his children and the active love a houseful of teens requires.  Frank feels bringing novelty to people’s often boring lives is a way to show love.  Bill read poetry.  Love, marriage (31 years), fear and family dominated Paul’s presentation.  My stuff you read yesterday.

    This morning I worked on material for the Sierra Club’s Ex-Com, it’s local (Minnesota) board of directors.  I have to present a report on the candidates whose races we chose for targeted effort.  That’s tonight at 7:30pm.

    This afternoon the Africa checkout tour tomorrow morning at 9:30 requires my attention.  Then, phone-calling at the Sierra Club tomorrow night.  After that I can return to work outside until we leave on Saturday.