Sunday, May 19

Can't See Me


Several years ago I went through a very bad time. I was living in the hills of West Virginia and would come into town now and then to open my then husband's tiny electronic repair shop. He was a whiz that way. When I got to town the first thing I'd do was buy a bag short dogs, sit in the alley beside the shop and drink a couple. Then I'd open the shop. I didn't go in very often but as I recall we never had any customers when I was there. I played a lot of country music real loud those days. It helped. Marshal Tucker's "Can't You See" was a special comfort. I'm listening to it tonight as I write this. I don't live in West Virginia anymore. I don't even live in America anymore but it's another bad time and that song is still a comfort. This coming week I start a round a tests to determine if I have cancer.


Friday, April 26

German cornflakes in Portugal

It's been 17 days since leaving Nevada. So much has gone on. This morning my breakfast is German cornflakes in Portugal, but to recap . . . before we left Nevada Penny (the) Robin came by. Nice to see her in the Bird Park one last time. Also I went to Comma Coffee one last time, the scene of several poetry reading with Ash Canyon Poets though, ultimately that scene dried up and I lost contact with them.

The morning we left I hosted a giant feast in the Bird Park. In true crow fashion, Minerva put out the word and news spread fast. Literally in minutes more crows showed up than ever dropped by one time, even in winter. And, of course, Maggie, her magpie friends, and all the other birds also attended but it was the crows who made the biggest splash. For a brief while they flooded the place. It was wonderful. Of course I took a lot of photos but most didn't record. I don't know what exactly I did wrong but something. My favorite, that didn't take, was of a crow who landed very close, probably Charlie or Minerva. I'm sure it was to say thank you and good-bye. Crows are, after all, known for their willingness to befriend individuals of other species and their sense of fair play.

Thursday, March 21

No way to say goodbye

Packing, sorting, pruning and letting go of almost two decades of my life has been overwhelming but mostly it's done now and what's left tucked in boxes and ready to go. We move at the beginning of next week and then what? A new phase of my life? The last phase? I'm saying good-bye to friends. We assure one another we'll meet again but will we? Sometimes a door closes for the last time.

And then there are my beloved friends in the Bird Park. They made Nevada livable for me, even delightful . . . Maggie the 7 o'clock Magpie (7 o'clock because in the beginning she always came at 7 AM, before everyone else) and her tiding . . . the charmer Chatterbox Charlie along with beautiful Minerva and the rest of the crow congress . . . Plonk and his flight of pigeons . . . the bevy of doves with their sweet, forever melancholy call . . . the drifts of quail, generations now . . . the hilarious, head-banging quarrel of finches with their ridiculously comical, very serious fights . . . the mild-mannered sparrows . . . the flock of grackles with their most mellifluous song . . . Babette and Mr. Fancy Pants . . . the pool parties and dust baths . . . the old pigeon who came to spend his last days and after whom we named the pile of torn out lawn turf Old Man Hills . . . Penny Robin who came for her apples so many springs, even this one . . . I will miss them all terribly but always and especiallyMaggie.

7 o'clock Maggie Magpie wielding her apple
Maggie and a bit of apple

There is no way I can tell them that I love them but I'm going anyway, no way to say goodbye other than remove the little white table where, every morning I've been here for the past seventeen years, they have come for breakfast. The Bird Park was a haven most of that time, until the hawks showed up. At least that part will also end.

Wednesday, March 20

Moving update

Today is the Equinox, the beginning of spring here in the northern hemisphere, autumn in the south. May we all enjoy, if only briefly, this moment when light and dark are in balance.

I'm finally on the downside of packing. We move at the end of the month. It feels like a death, but not just because we've been in Nevada for 17 years. It's something deeper. Sorting through the memories, stones, and mementos I've collected along the way . . . the skull of a horse I found near a dry water hole, a horse killed in a brawl with another, head kicked in, jaw broken in several places . . . a whole mummified eagle's body . . . the half-billion-year-old trilobites I found in the Great Basin left from when this now desert was a vast, warm inland sea under the equator . . . the night coyotes sniffed our feet as we lay naked on our makeshift bed in back of the truck . . . the petroglyph of a pony express stop carved in nearby stone sometime in the previous two centuries . . . this is not just the end of a chapter, it is the end of a journey that is now a time gone by.

April 14 we leave for Portugal to apply to their residence program. This, of course, if I get my passport back in time. I forgot to sign the renewal application. When I realized this and called they assured me I'll get the new one before April 14. We shall see.

In more soothing news, the magpies, crows, and starlings have devoured their breakfast and moved on with their day. The little birds and quail are strolling around nibbling seed. Even Jimmy the squirrel put in an appearance.


Sunday, February 17

RIP Word Jazz Guy

Ken Nordine died yesterday, Mr. Word Jazz. I found one of his albums when I was a schoolkid. Along with Kafka and Rimbaud, he made sense at a time when not much else did, the '50s. I loved the bizarre conversations he had with his inner self . . . just him . . . just them . . . echoing in the mind . . . twisting, echoing, changing . . . free in lateral space.  He/they were wonderful, true artists. Bon voyage, guys.






Tuesday, February 5

There comes a time . . .

When it's over, when the next change changes everything, we call it death. Short of that, the end is often only realized it hindsight. Not so with this one. In April I will begin the process of becoming a resident and, eventually, a Portuguese citizen

I am writing this in a room converted from an outside deck which will become my office/studio base in Oregon. Half the ceiling is curved glass that comes down nearly to the floor and comprises 2/3s of the long wall facing east. The surface of the remaining portion of that wall and its opposite, were formerly the outside of the house. Boxes of collectables, not mine, are stacked to my left, marked and ready to be moved to storage until they are sold. In the north, the figure of a contemplative sits in meditation. Wooden beads hang from his neck and drape over the table along with a second necklace, a Chinese prayer card with a long gold tassel. Behind him are four Chinese small reddish clay tea pots of varying shapes and sizes. All sit on a small deep red rug with an intricate design. They too will be packed, moved, and eventually sold.

I will miss my birds in the Bird Park. Maggie the Seven O'clock Magpie still looks for me. She knows I will always return. Last week, after being gone six months and back one day, I put some peanuts out and she showed up. I will miss her. I will always miss her, especially in the morning, and the others . . . beautiful Minerva the crow, the quail clan, the little birds, the spring robins coming for their apples, Plonk and the rest of the pigeons, charming chatterbox Charlie and the rest of the crow clan, but especially and always my Maggie.

Saturday, January 12

Straigue Stone Fort 1700 years later

For years I stuck to a timeline, ever running to keep up with the present but that is changing. Perhaps traveling has helped move me off the stuck point. The past is ever with us, not only in memory and dream but effect and also quite physically. But enough rhapsodizing.

Me, Swami, and Juan Carlos
Staigue, Kerry, Ireland

Straigue stone fort in Co. Kerry Ireland was built during the late Iron Age making it about 1,700 years old. No adhesive of any kind has held it together for the last almost 2000 years. It still stands because it was built right and no hotshot developer has come in with a bulldozer to clear the land for yet another soulless shopping center, condo project, freeway etc.

Trump shutting down government

Shutting down government hoping to force America to pay for his wall be the first thing Donald Trump has ever claimed credit for that, in fact, he actually did.

Friday, January 4

As my world dissolves around me . . .

The family, dogs included, came over tonight for lasagna and a movie.Very nice evening. Thea is spending the night. M. Lee and I leave Wednesday for southern Oregon, a couple of weeks there and then back to Nevada to begin dismantling our world there. Not exactly sure where this road is leading. What I do know is that it's time shed another layer along the way.

Friday, December 21

Winter Solstice 2018

It's the Winter Solstice toady and the full moon and there's a meteor shower. Much afoot in the heavens and here on earth. For me, it's a time to pause and reflect where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. Happy new year and first day of winter.

Saturday, December 15

Greta Thunberg addressing UN plenary session


You Are Stealing Our Future:
Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg Condemns the World’s Inaction on Climate Change





Saturday, December 8

Here and gone

Our time in Europe is again coming to an end. I'm not complaining. August to mid-December is a good a run but other than family, which I am very much looking forward to seeing, there just isn't much else drawing me back to the U.S. these days. When Bush was President, I wrote a lot about him here but with Trump? What can I say? America has been hijacked by fascists. I love that the Dems took 40 seats in the mid-terms but it's just a start. This rot is deep but we will cut it out. That I trust.

“There are only a few notes. Just variations on a theme.” ― John Lennon   RIP 38 years

Saturday, December 1

Why midnight?

Naples, Italy

Every night at midnight assholes in our neighborhood let off with a barrage of fireworks. Why? WTF? The first night I joked that it must be a cover for the Camorra but it's not funny anymore. Is it some religious celebration? What?! Come on. Fireworks are bullshit. Even the seagulls complain about them. OK. Finally they're done. G'night.

Blue bucket

Naples, Italy

Why take the stairs when you have a blue bucket? Daily life in an old world.