Category Archives: memory

12/27/10 – Marilyn’s last day

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5 years ago today was my Marilyn’s last full day on earth.

I suppose she watched Charlie Rose and then Murder, She Wrote. Cooed to Rudy as she got up and shuffled over into the kitchen to pick out today’s tin for him. Glanced outside at her patio, her chairs and a couple storage tubs in disarray under the snow, thinking about the clean up and little improvements out there I was going to do for her come spring. Frowned, horrified and heartbroken, when she clicked through the channels stopping for a couple minutes on news of the tsunami disaster that had happened the day before.

And she probably fell asleep in her comfy chair, in pain from the MS and her slowly healing appendectomy a month before, to wake up in the middle of the night. And knew something was more wrong that usual…
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10/16/10 – random thought

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“If you give this man a ride, sweet memory will die” – Jim Morrison, “Riders on the Storm”
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I am sure everyone my age has them, but those moments when, through some strange linkage of thoughts, I realize I have forgotten more than I remember, that I now remember conversations with no recollection of the other’s face, I feel so chillingly nervously close to the emptiness of death.
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9/29/10 – poem

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Who are these people
everyone says are my parents?
they seem to believe it heartily
very convincing –
too convincing…
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8/25/10 – a voice from the past

Still don’t want to get into details – probably a mixture of both magic thinking and hoping it is better – maybe really, places other than here – than I think it is.
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I picked up when you called because I had just switched to a new phone, and your call came in before the caller ID was activated.

You wanted to let me know about a special commemorative meeting tomorrow to celebrate the anniversary of President Ikeda receiving Gohonzon. And it just sounded strange to me (like I am sure it must sound to you, gentle reader). For 27 years of my life it had made total sense, not just as a verbal and mental construct, but as a heart construct.

It’s more than that I just don’t feel it. I no longer grok it.

After listening with tacit albeit engaging politeness to what you had to say, when you mentioned you hadn’t seen me in a while, I told you I hadn’t been practicing in over a year.

“Well yeah, I figured!” you chuckled. “But if you ever want to come back, we’d love to have you!”

No, it is not that easy. If someone comes back.

Your blithe keep-you-head-down-and-just-butt-it enthusiasm, your even-unproductive-my-spirit-makes-me-productive wheel spinningness, is so ineffectual and useless it helps me see clearly why I am where I am after dedicating the middle half of my life to that Buddhism and organization.

The Buddhism is stunning and crystalline. And the organization’s ideals are the highest and purest, and actually simplest. But you lay organization didn’t give me what it told me it was giving me – when I stepped out of its comfort zone and assumed I could apply what it had “taught” me to the real world, I looked like a fool.
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7/24/10 – poem, a fist of fruit

Another poem that just blurped out from my mind – the feeling makes sense to me…
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I was plural
when you were here
a fist of fruit
so sweet
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5/30/10 – wishing well (6.8.6 haiku, after Jon Schmidt’s “Longing”)

Body and soul resting after a 2-hour bike ride on this perfect summer Sunday, randomly came upon Jon Schmidt’s little piano piece “Longing” (youtube, here), and the image of a penny for your thoughts in a wishing well popped into my head. Yes, I am still writing poetry for Marilyn, gone over five years now.
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wishing well

flashing up from the depth
your thoughts your dreams still beam, I smile
My last penny well spent
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5/29/10 – poem, writers island prompt #5

Writers’ Island is one of the sites continuing prompts, weekly.  “Blind Side… Perhaps someone, or something, or someplace just caught you completely by surprise. Or something happened that you never saw coming… Or unexpected manifest compassion. Or….Tell us in your words (poem, prose, flash fiction) the why, who, what, where, when, or how regarding the unexpected — whatever moves you to write.

Been almost a month since I’ve worked off posted prompts.  Here is a memory that’s getting  me choked up again, so I’ll leave it be now, a bit rough.  And I realize I straddle the line between clarity and maudlin, and sometimes I fumble.
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Laying there so sore
after my surgery
heart still beating
I was scared
would the heart stop itself now
would I get up and go to work again
would there be time to find love

You were a nurse
saw those things on my face
so you sat yourself on my bed
held my hand
in yours for a few minutes
if I wanted to say anything
to listen for a moment
like a friend like a lover

Not much to say when finally asked
so I asked you and you told me
you had three daughters
you worked nights so
you could see them off to school
greet them when they came home
your mother helped

I asked about your black tattoo
hiding under your scrubs
your husband’s face tattooed
fine smiling mustachioed
Shane – beneath in script
he had one of you
your faces there loving always
together forever
you said yeah it was corny but
sounding calm
you seemed okay
but then again I was still fuzzy –

He died last month
had had asthma bad
but this one this attack
never let up its grip
the final one
and that was what it was

And I wanted to feel ashamed
you comforting me
and I did
but you were okay
and I was okay
in our warm palms
in our entwined fingers
for strangers there was time
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