Monday, May 23, 2005

I Saw Me Yesterday

I took out on a walk yesterday. I was wandering down a path and came upon another traveler. He looked confused and tired but seemed as though he needed a human companion for a moment.

"How ya doing", I asked.

"Ok, I guess", he quietly responded. "I think my map is wrong. These places along the trail all look the same. I think I've stumbled onto a loop and can't seem to find a way off."

"Let me see what you're using", as I held my hand out. He reluctantly handed me his soiled, torn map and I turned my eyes downward. "There are no markings on this map!"

"Really? Must have grabbed the wrong one when I started this journey."

"How long have you been on this trail?", I asked, not really expecting any response.

"I've been walking for 47 years. Every time I come around a switchback, things start to look different and I think I've finally found my way. But, you know, as I continue onward everything goes back to where I've already been. I just can't get off this one."

"Wanna use mine?", I asked. "It's newer and has all the correct markings. It's really quite a good one."

"I dunno. I really think I can do this on my on. I feel like I know you, but we've never met...have we?"

"I don't think so. I've only been walking for an hour or so. I've never been down this path before...but your voice does sound familiar."

"Well, if you're not going to use it, maybe I could use a change of scene."

I handed the stranger my map and we parted ways. As I made it down the path, I turned to look up the mountain. He was standing on top looking back and me....and waved a friendly wave.

The next morning, as I was standing in front of the mirror shaving, I saw the stranger looking back at me.

"Thanks for the map", he said.


It is in the quiet words that a renaissance is found. Those words that softly bore into your mind and set the stage for change. There are times when the words have to drill deeply in order to establish themselves as the true catalyst for metamorphosis. In less obvious moments the words simply gather in mass.....and wait. You may not recognize when the change will come or what the change will encompass. But come it will.

Always listen to the whispers.......

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Unseen Tears

There is an irony in this world of irony that men face on a daily basis. The irony is the perception that men are to be least that was the way of my world growing up. During the early years of my life, the acceptable view of men was that we didn't show emotions. Now it was ok to cry when you fell off your bike or skinned your knees. But as you approached your teenage years, crying was no longer acceptable behavior. Now I don't mind telling you, I cried during "Old Yeller" and many years later those tears returned in "ET-The Extraterrestrial". But to cry in real life was and still is frowned upon. It is viewed as a weakness. Fast forward to the middle-age years. I cried when my father died. There were things I would have liked to have told him, but I held out...not wanting to show my weaknesses. I have regrets having supressed my emotions but there's nothing I can do about that now. A few years later, I cried when my brother died. Me and my other two brothers visited him during his last days and I saw the shell of a man I once knew as my brother....and my friend. I cried the day they closed the coffin on him.

A man crying, in the eyes of women and other men, is still commonly viewed today as a weak. Why? I can no longer accept suppressing my emotions. They are mine and I choose to use them. I don't have the desire or necessity to be macho. It goes against how I feel and the suppression doesn't feel right. I choose living the way I desire....not the way the rest of the world wants me to behave. It's all I've got and I refuse to give that part of me up to others.

Monday, May 16, 2005


My wife and I were sitting out on the deck last night. We were watching these wrens that had built a nest in one her gourds. After a few minutes I asked her if this was what we would be doing for the rest of our life, since our youngest daughter is graduating from high school and getting ready to go off to college. She said, "Yea, probably". I told her I thought we could get a smaller place to live if that's all we were going to do. She said "OK!". Now that was a little too up-beat of a response for me, so I told her I didn't have an interest in selling the ol' homestead anytime soon. She agreed, saying "Yea, we probably need to the extra rooms for when the grandchildren come to visit us". I got up and left......

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Musical Words

I love music. I love hearing sounds blended with words that create images in your mind. Throughout my life, music has had a strong influence on who I am and what I do. Many times, in casual converstation, someone will say something that often sets my thoughts wandering to another time...another situation...another life. I sometimes amaze myself that I can remember certain lyrics ( a lot of them) from years ago, but I can't remember where I last had my keys!

Although most people may not view lyrics the way I do, I believe today's musicians and lyricists are our modern poetry writers. Often times you will hear of literature teachers blending the words of songs into their lessons....probably more so to get the kids' attention, but for the most this validates my "modern poetry" thought.

One of my favorite lyricist today is Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. Here are some of his masterpieces:

"Step out the front door, like a ghost into a fog, where no one notices the contrast of white on white."

"If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts."

"The smell of hospitals in winter, and the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls."

"Waiting for the moon to come and light me up inside-waiting for the telephone to tell me I'm alive."

"I dream of Michelangelo when I'm lyin in my bed...little angels hang above my head and read me like a book."

"Start tearing the old man past the heather and down to the old road. Starting turning the grain into the ground...roll a new leaf over."

"She buys a ticket 'cause it's cold where she comes from...she climbs aboard because she's scared of getting older in the snow...Love is a ghost train rumbling through the darkness...hold on to me darling...I've got no where else to go."

Oh, to write like take my own images of life and lay them down in song. The coffee waits.....


Have you ever strolled through your home looking at all the stuff you have accumulated through the years? Amazing, isn't it?

I spent Saturday pressure-washing my deck to ready it for my daughter's graduation get-together at the house. I guess this was a reality check for me. The most labor intense part of the job was moving everything OFF the deck before I could start! Now granted, most of the stuff were plants of varying sizes and types, but there was a bunch of 'em! Now all of this stuff had to be stored somewhere, while I did the water I set everything in the carport for easy transporting when it was done. What a mess! It was worse than a rat maze trying to get to the stuff that I needed during the project.

Inside my carport is a storage area with even more stuff. Tools, garden implements of mass production, old nuts and bolts from stuff that is no longer functional or even existent in the home. You never know when you're gonna need a 9" rusty bolt, huh? And then there are the endless bags and packets of seeds.....collections from plants I want to replant in future years....most of which I don't even know what they are or where they came from. But you never know when that one blackberry iris seed will come in handy.

The difficulty in having too much stuff is knowing you have it when you need it, but not knowing where to find it when the need arises. I'm sitting in my little space looking at all the stuff just in this small piece of real estate....old 1/4" floppy disks, old invoices, pieces of junk mail that could have already made it to the garbage can (which sits within a foot of the pile of junk), coffee cups full of pencils & pens, cds, books, invitations and old phone books from a previous residence five years ago.

So what's the point of all this? I don't have a clue! I woke up at 1:30 AM today because one of our bazillion cats (yea, I count them as stuff) just had to be let out so he could make sure nothing had changed since the sun went down and the storms moved through. I have a daughter and her friend crashed in the living room so I can't lay down on the sofa when I'm done ranting about stuff....nothing much else to do but look at stuff.

I think I'll go find a closet to see if I can find any stuff......

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Orchid-Citrus Fragrance during the early morning hours Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005


You'll be quite disappointed if you thought I was going to tackle the current issue in know the one....sort of a God vs. Darwin kind of thing. I piss-off enough people with my liberal views. So, if you were looking for a political debate you came to the wrong spot.

I like to create things in my yard. I enjoy taking a piece of land and totally changing its current state into a living, breathing, ever-changing Mecca of life. In fact, that is exactly what I plan to do today. Believe it or not, it is NOT raining today and there is none predicted! There is a section of my lawn (if you can realistically call that part of my "lawn") that has a slight erosion problem, doesn't get a lot of sunlight and the grass that IS there is spotty at best. By the end of the weekend, provided I'm allowed to work on Mother's Day, I hope to transform this plot of land into a new shade garden. I have the plan laid out in my mind. If the brain cells I have remaining cooperate today, I'll hopefully turn this mental image into a living that breathes life and changes day by day, year by year.

Well, someone has to take care of things while God and Darwin duke it out in court!

Iris Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Rainbow Slivers

Despite my recent post about rain, my iris have obviously loved the abundance of rainfall on the Ridge this year. It has been amazing to walk out into my gardens each morning to discover YET another splash of color added to the already abundant life that has evolved in this man-made oais I have built! The colours almost transform the borders into a living rainbow of ambiance that only those with the need to explore would understand. It is as though the meager yard has transformed into a mirage of incense, set in luminescent fragrances!

I long for warmer, dryer weather, but I will miss the hallucinations of today's discoveries!

Monday, May 02, 2005


It must have been a writer...or a teacher....who in their right mind came up with the concept of adjectives? And why have these little morsels been given such a prominent place in our language? Imagine, if you will, the time we spend muddying our way through all those descriptives to find the end of a sentence...or a paragraph...or a book....or a conversation. How many voice mail messages do you receive where what should have only taken 30 seconds to communicate your message actually took just over 3 minutes...and the time runs out. You either have to call the person back, and suffer through more adjectives, or the bozo leaves you a second message to continue the deluge of words. And the second message is longer than the first and you're STILL scratching your head wondering "what the hell did he say?". Perhaps it would make more sense to this "information society" if I explained it this way: You wouldn't run out of minutes if you'd cut out the adjectives!

Enough said, right? I think I'm going to sit out on the deck, in the chilly, night air and enjoy the brisk, late-winter breeze as it wanders through the tassled locks of curly brown hair that has chosen my cerebral appendage as its resting place. GEEZ!