The Up Ramp


Dawn, up since 3AM, groggy yet free to be so. Day three of house sitting commences with thoughts of how wide open it is here, and of how ripe with pollen the sage brush fields are. Eyes puffy and unresponsive to drops. And I got my car back yesterday. That last one might seem disparate but it fits right in as far as I am concerned. That’s important.

Last night’s indulgence was a steak dinner, round steak, and a rental movie: “Ender’s Game”. The film had me entertained from the start, and it provoked thought though out. That’s always good for me.  The foremost thought that comes to mind has to do with the current trend toward stories that place prodigious adolescents smack in the middle of  an authoritarian or otherwise repressive System, then shows how they struggle to break free of the underlying darkness, or to defeat a really big adversary. Take your pick.

i can’t get into it this morning. The sun is about to crest the high ridge of the mountains. Adolescence is far behind me, chronologically speaking. I just can’t be bothered, especially if it means I have to compose prose on this newfangled iPad. I’ll take a good old fashioned desktop, any day. Laptop? Nah, thanks. My lap came equipped with a built in top. Besides, I spend very little . . .  Oh, never mind.

Which brings us into the endgame of this rather brief post. Maybe it’s just impatience, but I can’t seem to get into it. Yup, I’m on a bipolar down cycle. Boy howdy you must get tired oh hearing that. But it ain’t nothin’ but a map. Turn right onto the next up ramp. Sometimes you have to drive for miles to find a way in or out. C’est la vie.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


A Note From the Sleep Temple



House sitting for the next three days, for my ex, I find myself in the midst of my old habitat. What is left of me here is what is left of me anywhere. That’s an easy one. But it does dig up lots of what ifs. What ifs can be like sandpaper or silk, like massage or cat bites, mine are like plugged up visions. Leave it to me to hover in a hard place. Goof gloriously is what I say. With optimism as a lodestone i trudge on blindly, with Apollo as my guide. Good company, that. Here surrounded by sagebrush, morning greeter a jack rabbit, life looks like a drifty kind of thing, adrift on a fragrant yet pale breeze. That’s me.

For the first time in over five months I have been watching television. The screen is a luscious 47″ HiDef panel. The programming still sucks but there are numerous programs of interest. The thing that irks me is that informative shows have an “industry standard” sort of feel to them. Is this an artifact from higher education? Or is there just one guy in a room somewhere, cranking out shows for every channel?

The visionary in me is kind of in a hermit’s repose. Picture an Ancient Greek sleep temple, an Asclepieion, wherein healing is the mode du jour.. Neither pride nor ambition is involved. That a simple need has arisen is reason enough. I will take it and run, slowly at first. Ever so slowly. I wouldn’t want to outrun fear, for integration of fear’s more proactive qualities is essential to and for growth. If fear is left behind it will slip into the future and meet you there, morphed into bigger and more tenacious thing. Don’t go there. Just don’t, k?

Peace out, y’all.


When The Beauty Way Calls



“It just gets kinda creepy, it’s so orderly and efficient and insulated from the real world,” ~ Carl Hiassen

And that leaves me where? Oh, yeah, right. It’s another lovely morning here on the mesa  just north of town. I have to go into town this morning but it ain’t happenin’ yet. More coffee, more time, and me sitting here trying to understand the exact meaning of the word “and” and just how I can apply it in a creative manner. Don’t expect results any time soon. I don’t.

I got word of a scandal last evening. Don’t ya just hate it when that happens? If social justice has anything to do with it, all things shall be well. That’s why they call ’em accidents – someone got caught. I could go on here, weaving ever so many more vague strands into the fabric of an episode that would be better ignored for now. But I am still wrapped up in the “beauty” phase of the morning. Things are real up here, just out of town, and I like to milk that for all it’s worth before I steel myself for the hyperreality of town. What is hyperreality? Take the word “hype” and paste it down firmly on the streets and floors you walk upon today. Have a look around. Maybe even have a look at the seat you are sitting on. Do you feel like a cartoon charter yet? No? Maybe you are well-adapted already. I envy that.

I don’t know how or why it came to mind but I thought of Carl Hiassen’s oddly lovable treatise on Disney World this morning, Team Rodent. This lead me to thinking about Umberto Eco’s essays on hyperreality, Adventures in Hyperreality. Okay, okay, you are seeing my intellectual side. That side used to be in pure form, as a way to spend a portion of life doing what one likes to do, and seeing what one likes to see. Now, that side serves as a form of therapy, to keep me from going over the rail when depression assaults me in an unacceptable way. At that point, over the rail and soaked in a sea of yuck, I would likely shout, “This world friggin sucks!”. Do ya catch my drift now? I thought so. At times like these the difference between a depressed person and an angry person is that the angry person does not become mired. As the brilliant comedian Stephan Wright so wisely said, “Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm”. That sums it up. Let’s move on, k?

Representations, suppositions, and covert commercial ventures rankle me on frequent occasions. It’s the difference between authenticity and facsimile that is the culprit. The valiant efforts to create lore, when lore already exists, is . . . I don’t know what it is! I could call this emergent dynamic ” formative mythology”, that which spins new archetypes at a rate that makes the  steadiest head spin, and spin is the goal. Don’t question this exercise in hyperreality or you will become the victim of disdain. I know, I know, victimhood is a choice. In the example I give here victimhood is my prime choice. You can’t resist without resisting. If you catch my drift. I don’t  . . . oh never mind.

Ravens soar, finches sing, and Rosie the cat, once again, is sound asleep at my side. The Beauty Way calls my name. I can’t go there, for I must get into town to get my broken down car over to the mechanic, which means a towing company and a company which fixes motor vehicles. I’ll have to ride a bicycle seven miles to get there. Talk about irony! Woof, says the dog handler. There is nothing more appropriate to say. And so I resort to the language of canines. At least I am in good company. Aho!

With a scandal hovering on the border of my skinny life I feel daunted and  inclined toward the hermit’s way. Maybe even with a bottle of cheap wine. But I won’t go there. I’ve hidden out, metaphorically, enough in the past two years, ever since my chosen career on toward retirement was yanked out from beneath my feet. That pratfall signaled my descent into depression, and unhealthy, unwieldily behavior. I now, just now, am beginning to rise again, out of the spinning muck of quicksand, and danged if I come to find that the world of society and commerce has continued to march on toward rankness, and facsimile. Why can’t we all get along? I know the answer to that profound question, but don’t press me, k? Mine is but one answer. Opinion breeds experts, at a rate that rivals the rate of reproduction among our feline friends, in this brave new world. Bravado? No such thing anymore. Out the window. Down the drain. Taken to the recycling center, where it will end up been ground into particles and mixed with asphalt in an attempt to create streets of gold. Good luck with that! That’s what I say. Don’t mind me. I’m not an expert. Not anymore. It hurts too much.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Ours Is Joy



“Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience–unless they are still up.” ~ Ellen Goodman

Somewhere in one of my email folders I have a message from the great Ellen Goodman urging me to keep writing. I sent her an email of admiration when she retired from her career as a journalist/columnist. She responded, which gave me a thrill because her columns, her writing, played a big part in the refining of my style and focus as a writer. Carl Hiaasen, Al Burt, Leonard Pitts Jr., Molly Ivans, all played similar roles. This was back when the newspapers were all hard copy. Imagine that.

This is me on my first cup of coffee. Up earlier than usual. Sporadic coyote calls in the dark, the cat going out and back in through the cat door, daily meds, Lamictal and gabapentin. These substances, the meds, keep my bipolar 2 disorder under check, for the most part. I awoke this morning with a compelling feeling that something major had changed in regards to my mental health, a feeling that is unprecedented in my experience. I tried to pin it down but I did so with the admitted knowledge that such identification is highly unlikely. Something like this unfolds gradually through calm and steady revelation. Darn it. I want to know right now. A bit of greed, me thinks. And yes, Ellen, I do enjoy the dawn, and the pre-dawn. It is an attractive experience for me. As well it should be.

Yesterday at work, at the animal shelter, was a dog day. My lesson for the day came in handling a certain dog named Mitch. He’s a big hunk of dog alright, and he is known for being a pain in the ass when it comes to leashing and then handling him. Mitch has thrown me down to the ground three times, but not once did I loose control of him, yet for a while I would not handle him at all, I would have my coworker Maricella do the job. She is a slim, petit, and young Native American woman, but she has a way with the dogs. My revelation yesterday was that I needed to become more alpha in my handling of Mitch. It worked. It’s all about mammalian politics and communications, instinct and innate cooperation. There’s another honkin’ big dog named Buddy Joe, who has the same reputation for nearly uncontrollable rambunctiousness, but I had his number from day one. A dog that size, like Mitch and Buddy Joe, can deliver a heap of hurt, but when they feel that they are underlings, as far as the alpha things go, it is all a playground event. They are happy to get out of their pens, if only for a while. Theirs is joy, with just a smidgen of freedom.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~ Mark Twain

From dogs we go back to my morning mental state and health. I came to noticing how many fears I can throw together in short time. The number is truly amazing. Its not a seamless flow from one to the other. The fears have the quality of being staccato, like bullets from an assault rifle, a machine that I am afraid of. See! Even my analogies show fear. I must live in the 21st Century, reckon? That would explain it – for sure.

We all know advanced syntax and linguistic organization is a primary factor that separates the human from the lower animal mind, more physically defined as the evolution of the cerebral cortex from the brain stem and limbic system. Language is what creates abstractions from direct cause and effect relationships. A dog doesn’t question why his tail doesn’t wag the way it used to like a human questions his/her motives and emotions. ~ Terence McKenna

Dogs again. I love my job. And I adhere to the deep implications of the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, which states that “most animals are conscious and aware in the same way that humans are, and confirmed that virtually all animals have at least some degree of sentience — “. How about that! So when I do what I do with them doggies I do so with the knowledge that they have comparable knowledge of what’s going on. Yesterday I noticed that a big shaggy Shepard mix was clearly depressed, and cowering somberly at the rear of his pen. He had just had a vet check, in which the veterinarian and his assistant intensively check out the animal, looking for health issue that might need treatment. The dog, named Cato, was noticeably humiliated by the procedure. And when I asked the vet’s assistant about it he said, “We have two dogs named Cato. He was the wrong dog”. I responded, “No wonder he’s depressed, he is the wrong dog”. I imagine we have all been in comparable situations. So I unlatched the door to his pen, went in to comfort him, and to apply some flower essence to help alleviate his emotional state. I sat down on the concrete floor, he got up, came over, and laid back down, rolling over on to his back, then I proceeded to rub his belly for a while. After a while I put my hand over his heart and the other on his head, a method of energy healing. The dog was in hog heaven. I will go to him first today, to see if he has perked up at all. I have great concern for my charges. Cato is a new dog. I wonder if that knowledge bothers him as well. In the midst of strangers can also be a hard place to be.

Which brings me back to my coffee, which is almost gone. A single turtle dove sings outside. The cat has ceased her hunting and patrolling, coming back inside to lay at my side while I write. Sweet features of a quiet morning. Mine is joy, which I cherish.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


Reality For Beginners

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 “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” ~ Mark Twain

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ William Butler Yeats

This is the first time in quite a while that I have slept until the light is coming up in the sky. Rosie the cat tried to wake me earlier but I held tight, snapped at her to chill out, and got a little more sleep. We, Rosie and I, are going through a behavior modification phase. It is her behavior that is targeted, but that also means that mine must shift accordingly. It may be presumption on my part, but I reckon that since I work with animals for 40 hours a week I may have garnered some insight into how to go about such a task. So far it is working. Wish me luck. I do. Retraining cats is akin to herding cats – and we all know how that goes, eh?

My old science fiction habits of thought have been coming back to me lately. The very recent claim that we will confirm the existence of extraterrestrial life within 20 years actually turns my thoughts to the life we have right here on this wondrous planet. Take Draco, for instance. He is the fella in the opening photo. This guy is the victim of prejudice, and maybe even of malfeasance in the past. He’s a sweetie pie, face it. Draco is one of my favorite among the 100-some dogs we house in the kennels. He weighs out at about 70 pounds, and he is always glad to see me. That last sentence hosts a disparity of subjective focus but that is par for the course on planet Earth. Perfectly formed creatures are first members of society and only second are they spawn of this beautiful and wondrous ecosystem. Creatures, ourselves included, are weighed in value, in regards to just how they may serve ideals, causes, and power mongers. Are you of value to a pseudo-capitalist system? I’m not certain that I am. But that is neither here nor there. Regardless, I am not fond of being thought of as a commodity. Are you?

Somber note, that. But there is magic afoot in the land! That is a comfort to me. It is nearly impossible to see the magic that is life unless you take to the dream world before you look. From a shamanic point of view it is all dream worlds. There are even people who call this physical reality an illusion. Can you imagine that?! When I hear that sort of claim I am often tempted to say, “I have your illusion right here, buddy”. Illusion compared to what? Once again – that is neither here nor there.

I just had a bout of “Where’s my coffee?!” so the second cup is fixin to come my way via my own doing. Self-sufficiency is nice when it comes to coffee. It’s that kind of morning here on the borderlands of the mesa just north of Taos. When I just stepped outside I saw a starling go to land up in the top of a tall pine tree. He ran into a little house finch up there and they both fled in opposite directions. The starling headed right at me until it realized that it had gone from a tiny songbird to a higher primate. That must be a rough way to start the day.

Yes, the coffee is good, and that was my goal. Success.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~ J. K. Rowling

I worked with the cats yesterday and we had one, a small slim male, escape when we were trying to isolate him because he is scheduled for surgery, neutering, today. He wasn’t having any of it. I had the bite-proof gloves and the capture net, but success finally came through the auspices of one very exhausted cat and a choice while fleeing that led him right to where we wanted him. I hate doing that stuff but sometimes it must be done. There is no moral to that anecdote.

I have to admit that I definitely prefer to view life as a dream, but like Ms. Rowling I seem to know better somehow. Yes, my life is a mess right now, right on down to the housekeeping in this little rental room. That can be fixed, and it will be. I’ve been without a car for days now. Mine broke down on the afternoon right before Memorial day weekend. Shop closed, case close, I had to wait until today to do something about it. A car is not a dream. At least my car is not. Goddess save me from the urge to pull out a clever analogy to go with all of these rather scattered thoughts that I am writing about this morning.

I’d better finish up this post and hit the shower. As always, it has been a pleasure to share my thought this morning. Dream, illusion, or whatever floats you boat – it’s been real. If you know what reality is don’t bother telling me, k? I’m okay with it, regardless of difficulties. Says me.

Peace out y’all. Goof gloriously. I do.

Issues of the Soul

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“Guilt is cancer. Guilt will confine you, torture you, destroy you as an artist. It’s a black wall. It’s a thief.” ~ Dave Grohl

I was starting to feel pretty bad this morning, until I read Dave Grohl’s quote. I share it with you here. The guy’s a rock star, after all, and that carries a lot of weight, unless, of course, you never make it to the big time, and then your wait is spent in line, like everybody else. “Rockstar” is a beverage. Drink it and become wired beyond recognition. It’s not that I won’t talk to you, after that, it’s that I won’t be able to find you, with your brain racing and all that happy horseshit. You will run ahead of me then wonder why I am not listening. Dude, s’up?

So, why am I feeling guilty? I’m not. But I was just a half hour ago. I set that feeling free, in hopes that it didn’t latch on to an unsuspecting neighbor. Guilt leads to self-hate. Do you really think I want to go there? Think again. But as for my recently possessed guilt, which I found on a catch and release basis, it was because my life has become a mess again and it is only a matter of time before some well-meaning spiritually oriented good deed doers gets me cornered and tells me that I brought it on myself, at which point I will either sigh or laugh, because I have already figured that out. Laughter would be my chalice, were I to drink freely from the moment, as that makes me feel better, but sometimes I go with the more ambiguous action, spontaneously. Why I do that to myself is anybody’s guess. Who’s got time for the truth when political correctness can provide you with a cover. Shelter from the storm.

Stepping outside, just a few moments ago, I found that it is raining, softly enough that it is almost not there at all. It is a work  day and I will work at providing service to the cats at the animal shelter where I work, for pay, on a full time basis.  When working with the dogs at the shelter rain is a compelling issue. With the cats? Not so much. Cats don’t need to go outside. It makes things easier.

So, why have I not been writing, working on one of my two books in progress? It is because I have been feeling like only sleeping, and I have to stay up long enough to . . . I don’t remember why. The rain is falling harder now, and I must keep in mind that the time for my ride to work is approaching at a predictable rate. She who would drive me is a beautiful young Spanish woman. That will make me feel better. I ditched the guilt but have a heap on sadness on my soul. Cats don’t dig sadness, so I must ditch that as well. I’m a mess this morning, but my daily blog post helps me to work through all that. This blog is a confessional of sorts. If I were to write a political blog things would be different. The conservative Tea Party not fold, would feel my lexicon and syntax. We can’t have that. They need to prosper like the rest of us, except that they need corporate greed and Christianity to do so. I’m a Druid. I don’t stand a chance, so I often talk to trees. I hope them folks don’t find me. They will make me go to Jesus, and he is my friend. I don’t want him to be otherwise, for then I would have to pick up the guilt once again. What’s the sense in that? I’ve made poor choices so I’ll be just fine going with the judgements from . . .  oh, never mind. Second cup of coffee, coming right up! Yum.

Today’s opening photograph is of a raven in flight over the shores of Eagle Nest lake, up in Moreno Valley, not far from here. I love to watch them fly. They have an elegance that matches their intelligence, which is relativity high when compared to higher primates. Yet higher primates – well, some of them – frack and judge and suppress their kindred in the name of ideals. I have ideals as well and I say, “Stop that!”. Heed my demands, all ye fools. Go to Mars to make your fortune, just get out of my ‘hood. I’d do the same for you iffin ya made any kind of friggin sense at all. But I wouldn’t go to Mars to accomplish that. I’d stay right here on Earth and make you nervous. I doubt if you could ever feel guilty. That, you relegate to the working man, and woman. They are guilty for not being just like you. I include myself in that demographic. And then I release the guilt, as I said in the first paragraph, thus proving that the longer you talk . . . umm, what’s that you said? I wasn’t listening.

I need food before I go to work. I don’t have food stamps, not yet. Here I sit writing and lecturing folks who will never read this blog. I will stop doing that as of right now, k? I’m supposed to be writing about issues of the soul. That has nothing to do with politics. My bad.

An egg sandwich ought to do me just fine. Tasty and nutritious, and easy.  I still have dreams. But they will have to come after the sandwich. I’ll have to cancel the neurologist appointment, and hopefully I will not have another seizure. That’s just one of the things that have me down these day. Poor me. Yes, I will stand tall throughout the coming days. That’ll take a little conscious tweaking of my beleaguered spine. No biggie. I’ll take physical pain over guilt, any day.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


Too Fast

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Can we make it quick today? Thanks, yer a pal, k? Yesterday was a friggin bizarre day. It started when I woke up from a dream in which I ended up seeing a cabinet door opening and closing by itself, I knew it was a ghost, and I wanted to go tell my father about it. This all sounds a little Freudian to me, and I am not up to dealing with intellectualization right now. Slept some, then up since 2 AM, and now it’s almost 5 AM and I find I must sleep some little bit more. Just a minute ago I went out onto the side deck and saw, over the fence, that the crescent moon is sitting atop a very bright Venus. Beautiful sight! Today is a day off. It’s beauty again. I can’t take much more than that. Venus, Moon, Mountain, Sacred. Yadda, yadda, yadda . . . there is a lot out there to be seen. Don’t let your assets get you down, muchachas y muchachos, for they are but a bother underneath this grand sky, here upon a landscape that is to die for. Are you catching my drift here? I am telling you that . . . . . . that I don’t know, I need a tad more sleep, and a lot of rest. Too fast, this world, too fast.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Skirmish in the Rain

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It’s getting late and I have yet to figure out what to write about. These past few days I have been exploiting shelter dogs by publishing their pictures without first getting a release form. My bad. But the morning, today, has the freshness of recent rain. Because the rain has stopped, at least for now, Rosie the cat got to go outside for a while. When the rain is falling she becomes as testy as testy can be. It’s as if the rain is my fault and she lets me know about it, so I have some peace this morning.

Above you see a photo of Blanche. She’s a sweetie. When she stands on her hind legs, front feet up against the cage wires, she is nearly as tall as I am. As with most shelter dogs she can get angry with other dogs who come too close, and who can blame her. Conditions of confinement breed frustration. We’ve all been through that.

Reading many and various articles about politics, at this time of the morning, can make my head spin at times. Since I have a liberal outlook toward such things I end up reading exclusively in that area. What really gets to me is the level of violence that our culture and society has developed in the past few decades. I’m not actually qualified to expound on these things. I just get frustrated. That’s all. All you need is love? Yup, but apparently that takes time. In the meantime . . . umm, I don’t know.

It’s time for me to pull out my appreciation for beauty once again. That gets me through when life gets sticky, which it has for me, again. Now, I just ended two sentences in a row with the same word. Some English teacher somewhere would likely come down on me for that, like can’t I get a little more diversity and creativity in my prose? Well, ma’am, maybe I can but not this morning. Can’t you wait? I am not feeling well this morning. Chill.

I know my blog readership is small yet I write as if it is large. I think the lesson here is that it makes no difference when it comes to that. I write what comes to me, be it sparse or be it loquacious to the point of making myself cringe with embarrassment.

“Still write it down, it might be read
nothing’s better left unsaid
only sometimes, still no doubt
it’s hard to see, it all works out” ~ Procol Harum 

That about sums me up on this gray morning. In stepping outside a few minutes ago I found that I could not read the sky. It looked confused, clouds going this way and that. Very odd, and darned if I can tell if and when it will rain again. The experts, folks who are trained in such things, say that the rain will indeed come again, and today, but maybe not until noon. It’ll be a balancing act at work, getting the dogs outside, then cleaning their kennels, then getting them back inside, without them getting wet from the rain. It’s all about them. We are there to give service to them doggies. They need the help. Our facility is meant to give them a home until they can be adopted and taken to a better home. Until then they have us, and we them.

Yesterday I found that I had a small skirmish on my hands. I was taking a pit bull mix out of her kennel when she suddenly bolted and headed right at another dog who was still in their own kennel. The one who escaped me is named Clarabelle. It was Raven she was fixin’ to engage in battle. I went down on one knee and got a precarious grip on Clarabelle’s collar as she ran, and I was yanked down upon my side, at which point I got another finger on the collar. The dog made it to the other dog and they were snarling and snapping with only the wire cage material between them, with me still struggling to get a stronger grip on the collar while trying to avoid a puddle of urine on the floor. Finally getting my fingertips dug in and under the collar a bit I was able to pull the dog away from the other dog, which was no small feat since Clarabelle weighs out just over 60 pounds. A pit mix that size is a formidable thing to try to get under control when all they want to be is out of control.

At some point I was able to get back up onto my knees, then onto my feet. I had the slip lead ready, as it had been throughout the first part of the whole mess, so I started trying to get it around the dog’s neck. She was tossing her head all around in opposing my efforts, jaws snapping and snarls still leaping from her throat. When it gets to that point one has to wonder if a bite will ensue. Bites most frequently happen incidentally in shelter fights. They aren’t intending to bite the handler. It is just a matter of snapping jaws and teeth accidentally connecting with human flesh.

By that time every dog in the room was barking, and loudly. I finally got the slip lead around Clarabelle’s neck and pulled it snug so I could take her outside. Both she and I were dancing a slippery dance through the puddle of urine, and she was still snarling and trying to re-engage Raven. I think she was stronger than me but I had the determination of duty so I was able to win the day. Without getting bitten. Tell me something – does your job ever lead you into heated events like that? It almost makes me want to go back to working retail again, but I know better. Conflict is everywhere, in all workplaces. But I am lucky. I have the dogs and the dogs are loving and affectionate when they are not trying to fight. Surrounded by that much love? It takes me back to the conclusion of paragraph three of this post. All you need is love? The dogs have it in spades. And I love my job. You can’t beat that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


In the Early Morning Rain

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“Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again
When the demon is at your door
In the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you” ~ Steely Dan

Distant, faint thunder, 4 AM. Gentle rain falling, sparse, with fairly big drops, in 46 degree air the rain is warm. Rosie the cat has been going in and out of the cat door since I woke up. She clearly wants to go poke around the yard to see what manner of small rodent she can find, but the soft rain has her daunted. Yet it has finally come to resignation, with Rosie taking her place on the bed, just out of reach of my left shoulder. Now, I think that I will go have another look at that rain.

One hour awake and only now am I making my first cup of coffee.  In these early morning head spaces, which are mostly meditational, I enjoy perusing the details, and then using them to set the initial tone for the writing of each day’s blog post. This morning I am feeling emotionally exhausted from some social politics I ran smack into recently, and I am hoping that this first cup of coffee will make everything alright. Yeah, right. It’s been a rough few months and things within my life require attention, housecleaning, organization of personal space, and navigating passage onto and through the visit with the neurologist, down in the State Capital in just ten days. Is my brain damaged or is it okay and I am just weird? That is a good question.

The opening photo of today’s post is of some shelter dogs, four brothers and litter mates, who are called”The Eckles”. We won’t go into exactly how or why they got that collective name. That would spoil the cuteness factor. The “cuteness factor” is ever so important in regards to pop internet social expression. Pardon my naiveté but I just recently came to the conclusion that most of the stuff I read on the internet, every day, is written by and directed at people who are significantly younger than me. They, these youngsters, are the one’s who are going to have to deal with the wicked and weird state of today’s world. I can’t be bothered. In fact I tried my hand at one of those numbered lists that are so popular – mine was going to be “Then Things That Let You Know That You Are Intelligent”; I didn’t get past number one. My bad.

In a Facebook dialog last night I exchanged an introduction to Umberto Eco’s magnificent novel, Foucault’s Pendulum, for an introduction to the nature and purpose of spread sheets. Now, I don’t have it in me to make up a story like that, so it has to be true. Says me. I read Eco’s novel back in the early 90’s. I’ve got enough of the level of intellect that reading this book requires, and enough of the tendency toward conspiracy thinking as well. Great book! Reading it takes a lot of work. Be forewarned. As for spread sheets, I still have no idea.

This reminds me that I did a lot of reading back then, taking advantage of the really cool little library we had in that island town of Islamorada, Florida. From Eco’s book I went on to read Robert Pirsig’s Lila. More heady stuff in that book as well. It did me a world of good to read that deep stuff, and although I cannot say exactly what good it did, I know it is in me because I can feel it. It is a warm, a sweet feeling.

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.” ~ Robert Pirsig

Second cup of coffee, coming right up. The rain is steady now. The rhythms on the roof stir me into the kind of melancholy mood that has peace and love, and all that good hippy shit, as a foundation. For a long time I considered melancholy to be an unhealthy thing, but I now know it to be of great value, in its timelessness, its reverie, and in the emotional propinquity it provides. That’s the good stuff right there! Truth be told, my superego is a friggin juggernaut, which probably accounts for a good part of my anxiety disorder, so these periods, however brief, of contentment-laced peace are the jewels of my narrow life. And right now, these days, whatever, my only true ambition, besides the neurologist visit, is to resume work on my novel, The Final Convenience. After introducing the three central characters I left the main character of the three sitting at a bar in Chicago’s Union Station, where he will meet one of his companions for the first time. Paranormal, New Age, and mystical forces are afoot. But how long can a guy sit at a bar?! That’s the thing about fiction, and life stories in general – fiction takes on a life of its own. A story starts out with ideas and applications, but it fleshes out into a mini-reality that can then come back to bring effects into that which we call reality. That’s why we read fiction. At least that why I read fiction. And about the guy sitting at the bar in the train station? He’s got good craft beer, so he can wait a while longer. I’ve got to go to work, dude. Chill.

Yup, working with the dogs today, and with this rain there will be mud, so taking the dogs out into the holding pens, so that their home kennels can then be cleaned, then bring them doggies back inside – eesh! – let’s just call it a chore, k?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Everyday Magic


“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”

~ Charles de Lint

There is enough magic in the morning to make the day worth facing. Go to work? Why not. I’ve already accomplished something proactive today – I suddenly realized that I often pout in the morning due to my coffee getting cold too quickly. Well, this morning I remembered that I have a bright red thermal cup. See? Now I feel smart for the first time since waking. Progress. But is it magic? It is for me. I can’t explain it.

Last night I found and ended up watching a debate on the topic “Is Death Final?”; basically asking if there is an afterlife. The two debaters on the pro side were guys I know from my research: Eben Alexander and Raymond Moody, both Doctors, and highly trained as well. Raymond and Eben did a great job in presenting and debating their advocacy. Yet the guy who wrote the article that led me to the YouTube video felt that Raymond and and Eben were clobbered by the opposition. Curious.

I thought the opposition fellas were all snarky to the point of slightly visible arrogance; they came across as condescending, yet their eyes, in listening to their opponents, were sharp and analytical. I was impressed by that. Since I am an avid advocate of the “yes” side in the question of the afterlife I would naturally tend toward thinking my side won, but I am actually somewhat of a true skeptic by nature, especially when it comes to the paranormal, so when Raymond Moody stated that the paranormal is pseudo-science I had to agree, to a point. That the question in question will be answered, and in a positive way, is beyond doubt, from my point of view. I’ve written of the research work that Dr. Penny Sartori is doing in Wales, and I would not be surprised if it turns out to be her, when the evidence comes down. But it could be Pim van Lommel who does the deed. Or Bruce Grayson. Numerous scientist are getting close to veridical evidence.

The bottom line here is the supposition that consciousness in not a product of the brain, as the opposition argued against, so there is no scientific reason that it cannot continue after death. That is my belief. And goddess knows that I also believe that I am a believer. But I am also a writer and an author. As Umberto Eco pointed out, a journalist’s duty is to simply observe and report. As I see it, conclusions may or may not be applied, but they are not actually part of the duty. They are elective.

Which brings me back to myself, as I sit here with my coffee, savoring the threshold of dawn by indulging in my guilty pleasure: writing from the seat of my pants. You’ll never find me working from an outline. Nor an inline. I tend to be all over the ballpark in my thoughts, thus confusion is as likely as lucidity, and integrity lets me use both in creating this process which with I blog. Nice!

On that note, I had to capture an escaped cat yesterday. I’m not really changing the topic, as such. Trust me on that one. I caught the critter with a specially designed net, a net for cats. I was garbed in a rather crude, pale blue haz-mat gown with a pair of bite-proof gauntlets, in the tiny room that serves as an isolation room for cats that are suspected of being burdened with contagious conditions. I caught the cat and returned him to his cage, but not before giving my adrenal glands a run for their money. My heart was pounding as it raced. That friggin cat could have climbed right up that net pole to do a number on my face. Maybe I should have had riot gear? I enjoyed the task, and success is usually fulfilling.

I know this post is somewhat disjointed. I’m okay with that.

Peace out, y’all.