Can’t Find My Friend

Can’t find my friend – lately,

You’d remember him…hard to forget, just the pleasantest of guys’; he is one of the very few souls that enjoys not talking over coffee – no person has enjoyed the sound of their own voice less ; in the pursuit obscure galleries he takes almost singular delight – wherein could be heard at least once, oft repeated one of two mantras: at the beginning or middle of a walk around he will find something and freeze and then moving like a mastodon during a slow thaw he would circle the piece, studying it, oh so carefully, lovingly…and as a result; stumbling over all manner of nonsense right in front of him- I’ve yet to comprehend how he walked around that painting…it was hanging on a wall…

He enjoys what makes me happy…he just enjoys.

I’ve run into him in the very early hours – sitting in the sand of an empty beach, his long surf rod set in it’s holder, his eyes would be fixed on the tip – lit by what ever moon was available – watching it’s dip and pull, that motion generated where sea, shore, and wind come together and there is nothing alive on the end of that line. On just such an occasion I had noticed that his bait pail had been- well – empty.

Like mine – on that particular occasion.

He hasn’t been there – no…not lately.

I thought perhaps – maybe – if I return to all the old places I’d come across him again; and we’ll laugh about needing props on the beach to just sit and watch the light on the water.

Not that long ago, I was sure I caught a glimpse of him; it was in that little bistro, off S. Detroit and Main, he was looking over his own cup a mud when the image was lost as one line or another of bodies, faces lost to the glow of the tiny screen before them. Hoping to greet an old friend, I did take up my coffee and walk in his direction…to find – it was but a mirror, and the face I was looking at was someone else – someone else indeed.

First Morn

There is something really magical about spring in this part of Georgia.  The horse ranches have been driven out of the state by developers, but there are still the sheep.

To get to the store from where I live I have to drive by a sheep farm, and this is the time of birthing.

The SWMBO may send me out for a pint of 1/2 and 1/2 and that might take an hour or so.  Its hard to dive past the field and not stop to watch 15 or so little white dots pop up over the tall grass and disappear again to emerge at some other spot.

This morning, close to the fence where I had parked in a spot sheltered from the noise of the road by a fallen sycamore tree; a ewe was birthing twins.

The first of the lambs, a glistening white when cleaned, was stretching and kicking in just a moment and soon on his/her feet and loving the cool spring morning.

The second lamb emerged and before the ewe could clean him/her off the older twin was butting him/her.

I was close enough that I could see the face of the newest child, the expression, “Really, now, I have had a hell of a morning already.”

peace out

Untitled (which is a title actually, isn’t it?)

It’s taken me six days to remember how to breathe; and I’m still trying to master sleep.

At this point I will issue a product warning:  this is the season of Lent, a time when I reviewed all the things that I might give up; chocolate is a favorite, ice cream (that’s a biggie), when I was younger; sex (solo and shared).  This has ben a year of changes and reflections; this year I was going to take more on: more prayer (10% of my day, 2.5 hours), teaching Sunday School…giving, not taking on.  So I prayed on it, right?

Answered prayer is a bitch.

I am with the octogenarians, parents to my wife, the SWMBO.  I asked to do this(?).  Mom has been diagnosed with a cancer; it has metastasized to her spine…limiting her movement in shoulders, arms and hands and has brought on pain, pain of a level she had not known before.

Now let’s us introduce pain meds, fun for a day or two and then the hallucinations, the falling and an unpleasant disposition.

We’ll add in a heavy dose of denial, “mini-strokes” and the onset of dementia.

Do, do be sure you ask for what you want in prayer.

Communication is a challenge;  Drs. don’t recognize my status, they talk to Mom, I remind her of the conversations and I’m a liar, Dad’s in the room, physically.  “Dad, do you understand what we are going to be doing?”

“What’s on tonight?  Tues is NCIS?”

“It’s Friday”

“Mom, we have to be at the Interventional Radiologist’s office in half an hour, have you got everything?”

“I don’t want to go, I don’t need to go, I’m strong.”

“If you walk away from this fight without the weapons they’ll give you…you’ll be weaker in spirit and body and you will lose.  And you may very well die.  It will kill you.”

“Give me your hand and we’ll go get you signed in”

“I hate you.  No one is going to run my life.  Don’t treat me like a child.”

“I know…you can call your insurance company and see if they will cover a care giver you like…after we get you signed in”

Dear readers,

Did you know that there are things YOU can do to help a cancer patient, their family and care givers endure the time before, during ad after treatments.

Every treatment center waiting room has a book exchange with very limited numbers of old, for the most part tasteless, paperbacks.

You’re writers, artists and readers; collectors, gather books; stand up at your Starbucks and ask.  For those that are truly bold, volunteer yourself for twenty minutes a month and make sure that the two shelves on a small book case has something to offer…maybe your new tome.

Answer someone else’s prayer, qietly let them know that someone cares when they may in doubt.

Peace out

mw

The Octogenarians

I have referred to the SWMBO’s parents with humor in the past and hope to do so for a long time to come.

Today Marion, the octogenaria, called and asked to be taken to her Dr’s for a follow-up on an MRI done yesterday.  We were greeted by an ashen faced young doctor that’s lack of eye contact revealed his lack of preparation for this conversation.

John, the octogenaro, suffering from dementia, was for a moment able to grasp the gravity of the situation.  He was to be envied as that moment slipped away and he faced the world afresh.

New doctors were met.  Doctors with warm hand shakes, comforting smiles and caring eyes; they’d had many of these consultations and they cared in a distant sort of way.

Test were started, more scheduled and the process begins.

Cynthia, the SWMBO, the only child in residence, faces monumental tasks, beginning with waking each day and living.  There will be a time when she falls apart, shattered like a jig saw puzzle and that’s part of the process.  To find a little time in the day to put a piece in place, to understand the picture, the person, you are and each day you have a little more to offer.

I’ve been broken, damaged many times, lost most of , I asthe pieces of the this puzzle, I only seem to be strong…I only cry over happy endings.

For those that read this I ask for your prayers for Marion, John, Cynthia and all the people whose puzzles need attention.

peace out, mw

The Major and Darcy Weaver, Chapter 3

“My eyes were closed tight, hands behind my back and by my reckoning; I jumped, maybe 6 inches high, over a twig.  That was about a minute ago.  I was waiting to land.  I slowly peeked at where I was going to end up; and through my now opened eyes, I looked at all the stars…where a hall was supposed to be.

“STARS, they were all around me; in front of, in back of me…” the Major turned to his left, tilted his head up, then down, spun left, then right,”…they were on top of, all around me, they were even under me, stars and nothing else.  What happened to the hall, the hall that was on the other side of the twig?

“What happened to my clothes, in the light of a gazillion stars I could see that I was no longer wearing my 49s sweat shirt and jeans anymore.  The pants I was wearing were of a of a woolen type, a deep brown like the wet bark of a tree, a ruffled front shirt with lace sleeves the color of morning fog, braces of the deepest purple, a coat the color of a deep water lake collar rising up to my ears sleeves rolled back and draping to mid-thigh.  I felt a little chill around my ankles and saw…the sneakers, an olive green with orange laces and no socks.

“It was then that I noticed the hat.  A scarlet hat of felt, yards and yards of felt.  Something was tickling my right ear, like a bug buzzing to close; I went to brush it away and discovered it was a feather.  The hat seemed to be growing feathers, long feathers, short feathers, straight feathers, bent feathers, when would it stop?  I reached to the top of the hat; it stopped.

“I was standing, floating; spinning it was hard to tell in that space.  There were explosions of colors going on all around me, colors I could never have imagined.  Then colors collapsed on themselves, and music was in the colors, thousands of beautiful songs played at my ear.  I was somewhere between the beginning and the end, here and there…and then I knew something else…I WAS FALLING!”

The Major grabbed the brim of the hat and with a look of panic on his face.

“From out of nowhere, there were clouds and water and very solid ground below me (I was sure it was below me this time) and  I was going to die.

“The wind was tearing at me as I fell faster and faster, it pulled most of the feathers from my oversized hat.  I twisted the hat on tighter…and I slowed down, I tilted the hat right, and I turned right, with the hat over my right ear, the few remaining feathers flopping in the breeze, I was floating (again).  Floating over a land that was nestled in the warmest corner of the calmest sea (and I had seen them all during my rapid decent).

“There were fields, filled with every kind of flower imaginable; there were patches of the deepest red, blues and green bunched tightly together; colors that in the breeze looked like waves on the sea.  It was a splendid, enormous, impossible patchwork quilt.”

The Major extended his arm, with his hand open he gestured in a wave like fashion from corner to corner of the field he was in.

“laid upon the ground for a giant’s picnic.

“The splendor that was flowery field was dwarfed by the forest bordering it.  Populated by trees of stupendous proportions, with bases bigger than houses, trunks and branches rising so high above they separated the clouds like foam on the shore wraps around a stone.

With a look of delight and voice almost a whisper, he said:

“Why this could have been a model for the Garden of Paradise.”

“It was then that I noticed that I was once more falling, not as far or as fast, but FALLING.  In great haste I twisted my hat, tried pulling it over both ears and then my eyes and was just about to scream…when I stopped, I landed.”

“’It took you long enough…just had to gawk.’ Charly said.  ‘Pull that thing off your eyes and lets us take a stroll.’

“’Well, Master Quickstep, what do you see?’

The Major tilted his head up as he spoke, shifting his gaze as if talking to a much taller person.

The Major stood silent for a moment, he slowly turned his head from left to right, his mouth opened his eyes grew wide as he said,

“Beautiful…colors, flowers, trees and grasses…beauty…sir”

“’Charly,’

The Major’s head tilted up and left,

‘Come, into the Wood.’ The Major said in a voice deep and pleasant.

“As small as Charly was he moved very very quickly and it was a struggle to keep up and as I started to break into a run, he stopped, turned and faced me, fists on hips he looked at me.  I was going to run him over or if by some miracle I could stop my feet from moving I was going to fall face first into the mossy ground or on top of Charly.  My olive green sneakers (with the orange laces) held their ground as if glued to the forest floor, my woolen trousers grew ridged and it was the very purple braces that kept me from flying out of those same trousers as I waved back and forth like slinky on an incline.

“’Are you always this slow?  Why ever do they call you, ‘Quickstep?’  Charly stood in a one of the scattered shafts of light that made their way thru the dense canopy above.  Charly gestured toward the ground around him, as if on cue a breeze shifted the trees and the pin points of light danced through the forest.  ‘What do you see?’ he asked.

The dancing lights showed the brilliant greens of the ferns, the tans and greys of clusters of mushrooms, discarded branches and leaves, a rabbit, squirrel and the damp moss floor.  I mentioned all that I saw, overwhelmed by the balance, the perfection of it all.

“Charly laughed more of a chuckle as he led us, (at a more leisurely pace) from the heart of the Great Wood back into the sunlight.  ‘Take that thing off your ears and listen.’”

The Major pulled the hat off of his ears and set it high on his brow so that it draped like a head dress and tilted his head as if listened to a distant voice,

“I listened and listened and then I began to hear them; all the voices, some were grumbling, some were unkind, some frantic and none were happy.

“All of the flowers seemed to be…well vain.  This is what I heard  ‘I have the true red’ said one red rose; and ‘Only I have grand stance’ said the iris.  Among each and every flower boasting of its splendor; there was unhappiness, for it seemed that flowers have the very softest of voices.  You doubt me, hold your ear as close as you might to any flower any flower you chose and tell me what you hear.

“So brag as they might, they couldn’t be heard by even their nearest of neighbors.

“Now they did have guests that stopped by I saw; the oh so busy bees, butterflies and the occasional aphid.

“The bees arrived in a flurry of rapid movements and even more rapid talk.  ‘The buzzzz queen said buzzzz buzz and buzz, gather-buzzz-ing buzz buzz, and buzz.  Good-buzzz.’ The poor soft spoken flowers couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

“The butterflies arrived and sipped a cup of dew off the flower’s leaves and gracefully danced across the colorful flower petal and listened to all the poor vain flowers had to say about themselves.  And they listened and listened and listened…a never said a word.  One daffodil referred to it as ‘…talking to a rock.  It would be so nice if once they would agree with how beautiful I am.’

“When the aphids arrived and they often did; they never listened, rarely spoke, except to say, ‘Very tasty.’  A complement the poor flowers really didn’t relish.

I listened as a Wisteria vine, wrapped around the branch of monarch of a fir tree shouted as loud as it could; of all the woes of the flowers, into the tree’s ear.”

The Major pulled himself up as tall and straight as he could and in the most commanding voice he could muster.

“You think flowers have problems.”  The tree’s voice boomed over the top of all the meadow, through every path in the wood and out to the sea; “I stand as tall as a mountain and as strong and all I do is support a nest of birds, be a playground for a family of squirrels.  A waste, just a waste.” And the tree’s voice trailed off, his eyes closed and he seemed to drift off to sleep.  But the same lament was echoed by every other tree in the wood.  Then the trees once more stood tall, ridged and silent.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving in the wood.  It rustled a few leaves, had no voice of its own…and then I saw it clearly…a little dust devil.  As it twisted and darted its path through the deep wood; it was drawing ever closer to the sun lit meadow and it was carrying something, something very small.