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Tag Archives: life
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…
Lately I’ve been thinking about the realization that I’ve forgotten more then I remember. I cannot for the life of me remember what I got or gave two Christmases ago, and all but a handful of the presents I got from and gave to Marilyn.
Maybe I’m just at the moment experiencing the inevitable letdown, or lowering of my guard, after my – for me – hectic and full week and Christmas weekend.
I think about each of our uniquenesses, even my uniqueness, and that that uniqueness will be muted, and eventually dissipated as we will be.
Somehow, I think I am looking at this the wrong way. Or rather, that there is a way to look at this in a way that will create value, and even hope, in the face of it.
“If you give this man a ride, sweet memory will die” – Jim Morrison, “Riders on the Storm”
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.
My soul beard so gray
now – Where fled
that drama of black?
and the tumulting locks
and the beard spilling wisdom
and the dream of that tattoo
my body can no longer cede
I got this from looking at my pic here… My friends across the oceans may know a soul beard as an imperial, also called a soul patch. In the 90s I used to have my hair out and down my back, kept it in a ponytail, and a full beard – I looked like a nerdy biker. As for the tattoo – after my heart attack and bypasses, I intended to get an armband tattoo with “Crispins Day” – as I was lying in the hospital for a week waiting for the surgery someone in the UK sent me an MP3 in which he read Shakespeare’s Henry V’s speech to inspire me – but I kept putting it off (probably wouldn’t have been a smart idea anyway), and now after my stent last month I am on blood thinners for the rest of my life and can’t.
Reality – Life – gave me a little whup upside the head this morning. Wrote two little poems about it – actually almost posted the more bitter one, thought, then chose this the more positive (or sappy) one. But, still harboring an edge…?
catch that grain of sand slipping
through your hourglass
hold it feel its
bite on your palm
is what it is
J’avais tout mon temps
J’avais toute ma force
On ne pouvait pas me bouger
Comme un roc
Johnny Hallyday “Comme un Roc” (Like a Rock)
I ran into a friend I’ve known for 25 years, I haven’t seen or talked with for almost a year I think, not since I quit Buddhism.
She said I looked the best she’d ever seen me.
She said it bluntly, almost a nonsequitor, she meant it.
No faint praise to a 47 year old man.
But I perpetually feel like I just got out of college and am looking at the world wide eyed. Leaving a religion – and a religious organization – I had devoted 27 years to, has left me feeling I’ve never had an adult life. In a lot of ways I didn’t – it was all my choice, I know that, but I used that religion as my excuse when I made flaccid decisions, when I turned away from fun and relationships and admitting I was angry those times when I should have been angry. Or when I turned away from love. That’s not how that Buddhism addressed life – it is more an “add-on” religion than an “admonition” religion. But through a convergence of things that’s what I did with it. Maybe I was expecting the organization, or someone in it, to get real and tell me to get real and look around and relax. Maybe they did and I just couldn’t hear them.
Of course, not admitting the clinical depression I was silently taught by my parents not to acknowledge wasn’t normal until I finally sought help in my 30s, didn’t help either.
Take all you want
And leave them the rest to die
Ultravox, “Reap the Wild Wind”
So now, when there are guys I went to high school with who spent the past 30 years in marriages and raising children and greeting grandchildren, I’ve jumped off the operating table and I’m toddling into my later years, just starting to grow into them. Seeing hints of my ribs I haven’t seen since college, learning to trust my body as I swim, accepting a smile at face value. Maybe I have 5 years, maybe I have 30 – on some days like today getting suspicious about my heart I wonder if I have a weekend. But as I write this I have a smile on my newly-handsome face.
But I won’t cry for yesterday
There’s an ordinary world
Somehow, I have to find
Duran Duran, “Ordinary World”