Author's posts

Not uncomfortably bald…(photo diary)

Here’s a little candid photo series about something some consider not so fun. Losing hair while undergoing chemo. At least, most folks seem sad about it as regards a few of the responses I’ve gotten when I’ve mentioned the passing (temporary?) of my hair.

In preface to those who don’t understand the chemo reference, here’s how I got here:

Roy Rogers is riding tonight. Cancer and me

And I thought to myself, how odd that a couple of months ago, when it was summer, I drove with the windows down and my hair was blowing, but I had two feet of it then and it was such a hassle because it was blowing across my face and getting in the way and I had no hair tie in the car and it was hot, hot, hot. Today, the bits of hair flying were not a hassle; the sensation was rather oddly liberating.

That’s how I still feel. Will I still feel this way as time progresses? Don’t know. Don’t care.

(crossposted at Dailykos)

Roy Rogers is riding tonight. Cancer and me.

It’s maybe four and a half, five miles from the Lowe’s hardware store to the front yard of my house and most of the way I drive, the route is a very straight stretch of two lane road that looks nothing like suburbia and very little like the rest of the east side neighborhoods that splotch the landscape of land where truck farms and diary farms abounded in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s up through the 1960’s.

The two-laner dips and rises a bit occasionally as it passes by the still expensive homes that seem to want to announce to every passing driver that wealthy people live there, or lived there, with their horses and white cross-bar wooden fences or the occasionally recycled plastic white board-like fencing with the spire post caps.

Personal disclaimer: Over the years here, I’ve made liberal use of the device of interspersing lyrics with my writing. Tonight I’m a little fanciful, but I’ll mention up front that I’m gonna do it again in this diary. Some people hate it. Well, you don’t have to read me. But I ask that you bear with me anyway. Indulge me.

And, whatever you do, grab all the joy you can.

(crossposted at Dailykos)

Burying Aaron

SEATTLE — A man has died after being shot in the head in the city’s Leschi neighborhood on Wednesday night.

Police said the victim was sitting in a car with two others when he got into an argument with another man. That man went into a home in the 800 block of 32nd Avenue South, came back out with a gun and opened fire around 8:30 p.m.

The suspected gunman fled the scene, detectives said, and is believed to have run inside a house in the 700 block of 31st Avenue South. Officers surrounded the home and tried to communicate with the man for several hours, but received no response.

Autoimmune Disease, Collaborative Medicine

In the interests of full disclosure, as I write this I’m under the influence of approximately a tablet and a half of Oxycodone (Percoset 5/325), which I’ve been taking about every four hours for the past 48 hours. Likely way too much.

Hmm, where do I start and what elements of my story are cardinal to this post? And why the heck am I on pain medication?

my own private rubaiyat

This could have been a day like others. A Spring morning, a small journey ahead,

some chores to do beforehand. Dogs to water and run, clean up the yard, empty the dishwasher. I took the day off, a floating holiday.

The adjective is pleasing. It’s been a long, long time since I floated.

And not a drop that from our Cups we throw

On the parcht herbage, but may steal below  

To quench the fire of Anguish in some Eye

There hidden-far beneath, and long ago.


On Earl Avenue

Is there a soul to a house?

If we call it just a house and not a home, does it still possess a soul separate from the vagaries of mortgages, layers of paint, or crayon, or grease on the walls, busted pipes in the winter, the seepage stains that are like Mercatur projections of alien continents on whitewashed mortared walls?

Does the heart of a house exist outside any memory of the tangible moments that mark the living within? Or does the spirit of a house, soul-centered in an aging body of wood and brick and nail, pulse simply because there are lives, loves and deaths that pass through?  Perhaps an invisible, silent, tender skin of cares, of worries, of hopes, coats every moment exchanged. Coats the hallways, the rooms, the stairs, the steps leading away. In this old house on Earl Avenue.

Step in Time

This will be so random.

I thought about the Dark Ages yesterday. It’s such a curious term, of an uncertain grouping of decades and centuries. Most respected recent historians attempt to avoid characterizing that Western-based concept of a time of unlearning and no learning as the “Dark Ages”. Whatever. When I was young, the Dark Ages were considered to be somewhere from the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century through either the coming of the Conqueror in the early 1000s or the growth of the Renaissance around the 14th and 15th centuries. A mean, lean five hundred  years, or at least it was in Latin literature as posited by Petrarch.

I wondered if one was aware then that they were living in a stunted time, or if they could perceive without envy that future generations might blossom. Most living in those earlier centuries must have seen their lives, their parent’s lives, and their children’s lives, all far shorter generations on average, pass by without measurable advancement in human and cultural development. Health, medicine, philosophy, religion, living conditions, hunger, disease, pestilence, articles and materials of war or peace, tools, wonders of the world.  

Family Dirt, part 2 (Mabel and Florence)

There is summer, and there is summer.

For those who live in seasons that change, that air, that scent of heat and sun, (because the sun does smell of life and air and heat and all things hot and white-yellow bright), the summer air is fleeting. Summer raises the heart, like a glad sweet song, then whispers to the soul silently with sweet-bitter notions of cooler Autumn straight ahead. Autumn, days that masquerade as portage between brief spurts of hottest days and stifling nights to cooler twilight and longer, darker, colder Winter.

Look at the fate of summer flowers,

  Which blow at daybreak, droop e’er evensong;

  And, grieved for their brief date, confess that ours,

  Measured by what we are and ought to be,

  Measured by all that, trembling, we foresee,

  is not so long!

(part 1, go here)

Also posted at Dailykos

Family Dirt, part 1

The last time my mother took me out to her folks’ former property in the Yakima valley was when I was around 21 years old – in 1979, a hot, hot summer day. The aging, paint-peeled-so-badly-no-memory-of-color-remained clapboard farmhouse was still there between Brownstown and the White Swan Indian Agency (and may be standing today as far as I know). It was built around 1905, the year my grandparents, Nellie and James, were married. An old straight-up style house, tented 70 degree roof, very spare and plain Victorian, narrow high window casements, tall ceilings, small rooms. Three small bedrooms and a shanty add-on bathroom.

Wandering oversea dreamer,

Hunting and hoarse,

Oh daughter and mother,

Oh daughter of ashes and mother of blood,…


(crossposted at Dailykos)

That Mortal Coil: A little fiction.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents reside only in the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is completely coincidental.

Chapter 5

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

William Wordsworth

Intimations on Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

I like the day. Times past I worked most at night; the time on my beat as a street cop, the night-set cases I was assigned when I made shield. I learned a great deal. I found that the night hosts things that scrape the walls of a conscience and abrade the soul.

Under the dome of the daytime world, I reach my hand to the sky and touch the clouds. I close my right eye and puncture a passing cloud with my index finger. There it is; I feel blueness through the white and fluffy gauze. No dark shadows that blocks a streetlight, no evil to flavor the wind.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

I have a nicely aged six foot cedar fence that runs across the back of my house. The backyard extends around 25 feet from the back of the house to the fence; the fence’s length along the back of the lot is close to 100 feet. The back fence, it keeps things out and keeps my dogs in. The north side connector fence is a cyclone fence, see-through and lacking in privacy.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.

The legs I wished I had…rest in peace, Cyd.

Style-go ahead talking about style.  

You can tell where a man gets his style just as you can tell where Pavlowa got her legs or Ty Cobb his batting eye.

Carl Sandburg – Chicago Poems

A lotta style. A sexy Soviet secret agent dancer, an old-time movie-gangster glamour moll, the thousand years Scottish-glen mystery woman. An over-the-top beauty with enormous sex appeal and the best legs evahhhh in the business has left the stage.

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