Answers are easier to come by than chances but after one by one
they close and drop carpeting the ground with faded color
and you’ve pushed the blade in, and your dream falls to its knees
and you have to finish what you started, you wonder
how it ever came to this but you lean forward anyway—
until all the pain is gone—then you look up to the mountains
because they have been there all along and you look
to the sea’s returning wave and understand that between these two
and the high blue sky above it is still possible you have a chance.



I am the fatted rat

It's not a glorious way to enter the final years of one's life but so it goes and I'm grateful for it. Because my cancer is so weird, with no known treatment other than surgery, I've been accepted into 23andMe's first ever drug trial, testing the viability of infusion therapy to treat cancer. It's in phase one, so I/we, the small group of people who are also in the trial, are the fatted rats, following our poor rat brethern who had no choice to but live, be tortured, and die for human-unkind.

Infusion therapy is the new hope of the 21st century. It's not poison like chemo. The Covid vaccine is infusion therapy. It doesn't directly attack the cancer. It's like sending Switchblade drones or TB2 Bayraktar drones to Ukraine. The drone unmasks the orcs tanks hiding in the trees so soldiers can bomb them. In the same way, infusion therapy unmasks the cancer cells hiding behind their own camouflage alerting the body's own immune system to get to work and blast them. 

So far, so good.


In the Presence of Absence

 "You, who only know love when in love, do not ask what it is, nor do you look for it. But when a woman once asked you if you were in love with love itself, you were evasive and escaped by answering: I love you. She persisted: Do you not love love? You said: I love you, because of you. She left you, because you could not be trusted with her absence. Love is not an idea. It is an emotion that can cool down or heat up. It comes and goes. It is an embodied feeling and has five, or more, senses. Sometimes it appears as an angel with delicate wings that can uproot us from the earth. Sometimes it charges at us like a bull, hurls us to the ground, and walks away. At other times it is a storm we only recognize in its devastating aftermath. Sometimes it falls upon us like the night dew when a magical hand milks a wandering cloud."

In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish - Palestinian national poet.

Roe vs. Wade 1973

I'm not surprised. Republicans started pounding the abortion wedge into people's minds 50 years ago, after the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973. Don't be depressed. Be Ukraine. Take back the night! Take back the day! Take back your rights before they take them all. Just don't quit.


Summer Solstice 2022

Just by way of observing it, welcome to beginning of summer in earth's northern hemisphere and the official beginning of winter in the southern. I do think we have to start thinking of the big picture, of life on planet earth, not just whether or not, it's a good/bad day individually. A lot of places seem pretty fucked right now, and generally getting worse in others, and the outlook globally is grim and grimmer. 

Individually, we're pretty helpless about it. Changing enough to make a difference must be a collective action and that seems pretty impossible, given governments continued support of polluting industries but one can hope. 

Yes. This is a grim perspective, but hey! The solstice and equinox are a traditional time to pause and reflect on the unity and interdependence of life and that isn't all bad.


Putin's "off-ramp"

Some say we must protect putin's "pride" so he doesn't feel ashamed over his genocidal war in Ukraine. HA! He's already shamed himself beyond repair. He doesn't care. Nothing matters to him. He uses everyone and everything. Drive the son of a bitch back into the hole he crawled out of.

Here's a great article from Substack on the subject by
: The folly of "off-ramps" When Ukraine wins the war, Putin will build his own" Check it out.


Spring Equinox 2022

Behold the Good Vibe Solar Collector. Even in the worst of times, there is always something to be grateful for. If I can do it so can you, and I'm doing it, so do it. If you can't come up with anything to grateful about, take all you want from the Good Vibe Solar Collector. It's free!

Collecting good Spring vibes for you for free!
PS. Happy Spring Equinox, 2020


Strange days

Strange days have found us.
Strange days have tracked us down.
They're going to destroy our casual joys.
(The Doors)


Test coming

One of my friend Lawrence's favorite stories was how his martial arts teacher could shout TEST COMING and always manage to rattle the class and, even though we all knew what he was going to say, whenever Lawrence told the story, we'd also twitch and laugh nervously every time he told it. Turns out Lawrence's test was cancer. He stayed centered right to the end.


National Squirrel Appreciation day 🐿

Today, in honor of National Squirrel Appreciation Day 2022, Barney the Beast has prepared this lovely tribute. YAY SQUIRRELS EVERYWHERE! Treats for all . . . every day of the year!

Ok Barney! Take it away . . .

To whom it may concern

I'm here to learn, not teach. If I want it to be the way it was, I will never understand the way it is.


Gas prices

 The price of gas is the life of the planet.


Moving on

For now, this is my/our last day in Portugal. Tomorrow at 03h I will go to the airport for my flight to the US.

"Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena se a alma nao e pequena."
"Was it worth it? Everything is worth it if the soul is not small."
Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet

"I know not what tomorrow will bring."
He died the next day. 


Pen and pruning hook

They say "the pen is mightier than the sword". True, but not true enough. The pen is a sword, the sword which is sharpened only when I turn it on myself.

Gone are the adolescent dreams of the glory of a tragic death, gone fascination with battles fought, won or lost. The validation of success is a tattered flag limp in the wind's fury. There is no enduring victory, only quiet at the end of things.

They say "beat the swords into plowshares and pruning hooks". The pen is also a shovel and a pruning hook. Dig and uncover the truth of things, the truth within, truth with a small "t". That is the truth that matters. Prune the rest.


Sung - Conflict


Hexagram 6
Sung - Conflict

Changing lines
/Line Three
He stands on his integrity, no matter what ill winds may blast him. Stand or fall, in the end he will remain exactly who he is.

/Line Four

Realizing the very root of conflict lies within his own heart, he lays down his arms and resolves to accept the things he cannot change.


Phase One

Phase One” from Bring Now the Angels
by Dilruba Ahmed, 2020

For leaving the fridge open
last night, I forgive you.
For conjuring white curtains
instead of living your life.

For the seedlings that wilt, now,
in tiny pots, I forgive you.
For saying no first
but yes as an afterthought.

I forgive you for hideous visions
after childbirth, brought on by loss
of sleep. And when the baby woke
repeatedly, for your silent rebuke

in the dark, “What’s your beef?”
I forgive your letting vines
overtake the garden. For fearing
your own propensity to love.

For losing, again, your bag
en route from San Francisco;
for the equally heedless drive back
on the caffeine-fueled return.

I forgive you for leaving
windows open in rain
and soaking library books
again. For putting forth

only revisions of yourself,
with punctuation worked over,
instead of the disordered truth,
I forgive you. For singing mostly

when the shower drowns
your voice. For so admiring
the drummer you failed to hear
the drum. In forgotten tin cans,

may forgiveness gather. Pooling
in gutters. Gushing from pipes.
A great steady rain of olives
from branches, relieved

of cruelty and petty meanness.
With it, a flurry of wings, thirteen
gray pigeons. Ointment reserved
for healers and prophets. I forgive you.

I forgive you. For feeling awkward
and nervous without reason.
For bearing Keats’s empty vessel
with such calm you worried

you had, perhaps, no moral
center at all. For treating your mother
with contempt when she deserved
compassion. I forgive you. I forgive

you. I forgive you. For growing
a capacity for love that is great
but matched only, perhaps,
by your loneliness. For being unable

to forgive yourself first so you
could then forgive others and
at last find a way to become
the love that you want in this world.



Night bird

Note to self
There is a bird here on Portugal's Atlantic coast I only hear sing as midnight approaches. I love the song. I picked the song for a phone notification before I ever heard it in the wild. Hearing it at night like this is one thing I will really miss when we leave here, one thing among many, but also one of my favorites of all times. I must find out the name of this magical creature, and what she looks like so the memory of her and her wonderful call remains with me when we go.


Industrial battles

Industrial farming corporations battle nature but it is Nature who taught the Kung Fo masters.


Get out of the way

"Knives cut. Buckets hold. Sometimes—the only thing you can do is get out of the way." - I Ching


Picasso's thoughts on poetry

"Poems? There are stacks of poems lying here. When I began to write them I wanted to prepare myself a palette of words, as if I were dealing with colours. All these words were weighted, filtered and appraised. I don't put much stock in spontaneous expressions of the unconscious." He added that long after his death his writing would "gain recognition and encyclopedias would say: 'Picasso, Pablo Ruiz – Spanish poet who dabbled in painting, drawing and sculpture.'"


Treasure box

I just rediscovered this collection of quotes my daughter-in-law sent earlier on of things my grandsons have said and am posting them here so I won't lose them again.

Today Frank asked to be called Fang. Prior to that is was Arrow and before that Orchid.

Frank just asked me: mom, in water versus electricity, does water win because it breaks the electricity? Interesting thinking!

Leo just now: forever plus forever is another time.

Frank and I were looking at a book that talked about the first space missions and how monkeys were sent up before people. Frank did not like this and said, "you don't test on creatures, you test on someone your own size." Thought you'd appreciate that!

Frank just now: what thing do you think will be here after us, after all the people die? Me: I don't know, what do you think? Frank: maybe...robots? Or zombies? 😨



Amateur or Amator

"The very classification 'amateur' has an apologetic ring but that word, from the Latin amator, 'lover'- means one who does something for the love of the thing rather than for economic reasons or necessity. And this is the meaning from which the amateur filmmaker should take his cue. Instead of envying the script and dialogue writers, the trained actors, the elaborate staff and sets, the enormous production budgets of the professional film, the amateur should make use of the one great advantage which all professionals envy him, namely, freedom-both artistic and physical."
-Maya Deren, "Amateur versus Professional," Movie Makers Annual, 1959


Summer solstice two days late

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the longest day of year 2021 north of the equator was two days late. I am late writing about it, which I think is a first since I started this blog 18 years ago. 

It was an odd oversight as I've been watching sunlight slowly move north for months, waiting for it to finally shine on Plantie. She's the little rescue plant I moved to the narrow gorilla garden along the wall of the parking lot across the street. Others have planted things there as well so it seemed okay. She had outgrown her pot and was beginning to die. The biggest problem in this tiny garden is that a wall shades it most of the year. 

It was only as summer solstice drew near that Plantie and her companions finally got to enjoy the sun's early morning rays, which they say is like mother's milk to growing things. Now that this singular moment has passed, the shade will soon return. 

I miss having my own garden, such is apartment life, but how did I miss the solstice? I was distracted, rushed, busy from the beginning of that day to its end when I finally went to bed. First it was with one of my ongoing medical issues, it sucks getting old, followed by two meetings in a row. I intend to die with my boots on.