Saturday, September 07, 2019

Orlando, Milton, and the Couch

We were living in Married Student Housing, a little more than a mile from the University of New Mexico when Denise finished making this couch. Orlando was born a few weeks later. It was so comfortable that many people fell asleep on it while visiting.
Milton was amazingly tolerant of Orlando, who used to pull Milton's hair. After we moved into our house on the West side of the Rio Grande, I heard Milton scream. I ran from the kitchen into the front room to find Milton's back legs wrapped around baby Orlando's neck and his front paws beating Orlando's head. When Milton saw me, he stopped screaming, stopped beating Orlando's head, and ran off. I fully expected to find blood all over Orlando's head. But there wasn't a scratch.
Orlando used to crawl to Milton, roll over onto his back and pound his head on Milton. I guess Milton's tolerance had been greatly exceeded when I found him "admonishing" Orlando. I miss Milton. He was my favorite cat. 

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Selling Deseret News Final

I remember selling newspapers with my cousin, Robert when we were young, still in elementary school. He'd stand in front of the Kearns building in Salt Lake City and send me off, away from him. I'd walk, with a load of papers under my arm and yell, "Paper! Deseret News Night Final! Paper 5 cents." (The following year it went to 10 cents.)

Robert had customers in the Kearns building. We would get into the elevator and ride it to the top floor. Just before it stopped, Robert and I would jump up as high as we could. The kinetic energy helped us jump up very high. And when we rode the elevator down, we jumped with as much power as our legs could muster just before it stopped. The kinetic energy prevented us from jumping much at all.

When I worked in Forth Worth, Texas, (I was much older then, 31) I talked an elevator car full of engineers into jumping up as high as they could just before the elevator stopped on the 4th floor. They thought I was crazy, but they DID! and we all came out of the elevator laughing. There were a couple of people waiting for the elevator on the 4th floor. One asked, "What's so funny?"
"It's just Mushroom," one of the engineers answered.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Getting Over The HUMP

The path of life has many humps to get over.  Some of the humps are mountainous. Getting over a hump requires a climb over and hopefully a slide down the other side. 

Man O man! A climb over a hump can be really hard to start. We have an enormous "helper" at our disposal. That helper is the PRESENT MOMENT. Redirecting our awareness to the present moment is hard when we have things to do  (which are in the future) or we are fretting over things we did or didn't do (which are in the past). 

When I have to get over the hump, and I'm having difficulty getting started, I step outside and shift my awareness to the gifts that are out there. I look at the flowers.

I remove my shoes and put my bare feet on the grass. I feel the texture of the leaves on the rose bush or the guava tree. I listen to the birds or look down at the rolly pollies in the garden. 

If it is late enough for a sunset, I watch, breathe, and give thanks for its beauty. 
This exercise pulls me into the immediate present moment. I give thanks, breath deeply and then I come back in and start the climb, whether it be to write, to pay bills, wash the dishes, whatever. 

If this doesn't work, I go for the big help. I go to the beach and ask the Spirit of the Sea to help me. She reminds me that everything comes in cycles, in sets, in its own rhythm. And then she feeds me her energy as I watch her waves roll in against the shore.
 If I am closer to a mountain, or a wilderness area, (even a small one) I go there and ask the Spirits of Nature for help. 

Stress depletes our energy. Nature restores it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Life Is a Procession

My life is a procession From one learning to another. Each and every arrival, Each and every there, Ceases to be a termination, Because it is an established Determination That There is no getting there. Because every arrival Is a new starting point With new tools, New lenses though which To see anew The world that we are creating. The only "there" that exists Is the ultimate there. And we really don't know where Or what "there" really is. So long as I am here And not there, l choose to learn and re-learn, I choose to move Into the practice of practice, As I continue to practice The art of learning.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day Comes With A Sharp Barb

Father’s Day comes

with a sharp barb

ThAT pricks my chest

with a thorn

That turns into a wasp

Who stabs his stinger,

That burns and stings

All the way to my heart.

Where is our son

Who died too young,

Too young for me to be

A grieving father

On Father’s Day?

I sat, this morning,

Alone in the kitchen

Drinking my latte

Tears sliding, dropping,

Plopping on the counter.

Each one whispering,

“He’s dead.”

I miss our son.

Long gone,

are His hugs,

and his voice Saying,

“Happy Father’s Day, Dad”

Saturday, June 08, 2019

First Boat

I remember when I was about 5 years old and we visited my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Gile (pronounced Ggee le) on their farm in the Bosque, in Bernalillo. An irrigation ditch ran the length of the farm. On one of our visits, my cousin, Rose and I put the remains of a red wagon (with no wheels) into a ditch. We got in and floated about ten feet before it sank. We emptied the water and floated another ten feet. Then we got yelled at for getting our clothes wet and dirty. Our mothers put Rose and me into a round metal tub and gave us a bath.

I was 8 years old the first time I was in a real boat. My father drove onto the ferry from Terminal Island to San Pedro. It was a very short ride.

When I was 11, I won a free ride to Catalina Island for selling the most Independent Press Telegram subscriptions that month. I went by myself. I met a boy. about my age, on the island. He had a dingy and invited me to take a ride. He took me to his parent's sailboat that was anchored in the harbor. Then he took me back to shore.

When I was 20, I sailed around the world in a 250-foot-long Destroyer Escort. That is when La Mare, captured my heart. I loved being out at sea. The Viet Nam war stifled my enjoyment. But when we were not fighting, La Mare filled me with awe.

When Denise and I moved to Albuquerque, I bought her a 10-foot-long aluminum Jon boat. We rowed it down the Rio Grande in a race and came in second place. We take it out and row around the Naples canals. It's not stable enough to take it out of the marina or canals. It is really just a larger version of the red wagon we put in the ditch when I was 5, except this one doesn't have holes in it that makes it sink after 10 feet.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

MOM Means Mother Of Mine

MOM means Mother Of Mine
And that is just fine
By me.
When my time
Within her belly
Came to an end
Death wrapped his
Blubbery white thighs
So very tight
That try as I might
I could not
Get out
Death laughed
At my mother’s pain,
At her fright, and fear
That she and me
Would die,
While men
Took their sweet time
Considering what could
Or should be done.
In the eleventh hour
The knife sliced through
My mom’s belly
Cutting her and me,
Setting me free
To breath and cry
I am alive!
I am alive!
My mom and me
Share a scar
That marked me
Belonging to her.