twenty one days and counting, but only twenty fingers and toes
one day out of reach? like poems, I never know.
how much you figure, I can fill my own bowl. wrote about bowls often enough, but now? one more thing I don’t know. does my understanding thus decrease? I look, like a jigsaw puzzle, pieces all seem present, reasonable. but when I ask, what does it feel like being me? why like this, being me? I don’t know.
thunder this morning outside the open door. loud. pleasing to me. I am still in the world and the world in me. some measure of trade. rain, it also landed hard, joyed for the thunder I suppose. didn’t last long. I wish for more. more thunder. more anything.
gone my California blood. clear by eleven latest. blue following.
now cool, even cold, pleases me. and rain? welcome any day. love the scent, love that it means staying inside home, where I’d be anyway. I appreciate the reason why.
I like that bowl. love? a classic beauty. I remember the Japantown shop where we first met and I said, come with me. I remember where everything came from, the where, the why. Palo Alto, Monterey, San Jose, Los Altos, Edmonds, the Renaissance Faire at Black Point. Most of the artists too. never seemed too much. but now? one more spoon I don’t know.
and we’ll not talk about books. not yet anyway.
it’s an act of faith when I buy a book right now. twice.
how tedious to elaborate all this personal history. but then, maybe this is my coin. when I was this-much-tall I grew up in a small farming town. large Sunsweet plums-into-prunes processing plant right across the street. great sport off season when closed down. dangerous stuff just like small boys adore. and an abandoned house next to that, that inside smelled of over powering old sweet honey. a mystery. half-block west, the main road & highway for that part of the world. not big. east, one block, the railroad tracks and beyond, plum orchards all the way to the low eastern valley hills. their brown summer curves looking like a woman laying down.
how’s that bowl doing? getting full?
how do you give your life away?
like ground water seeping up through the foundation, I have this wondering. all these years, well, I don’t think in years, maybe seasons, days, moments, colors, scents, faces, choices, sometimes lips, touch, feet on gravity’s ground – all of this. what a history lost when one of us goes away. such sweetness, such pain. my new favored phrase – is my life not poem enough? not meaning only me, certainly, but this is where I feel it by natural course. details. which side of the bowl do you place your spoon? no matter at all. yet true, it matters. when was the last cat that sat in your lap? that image matters to me.
we are the rounded arc of our earth. one in millions. but take one away and nothing is the same. not wrong, put your spoon where you wish, but yea, not the same. two hands is always how we face any truth. this and that.
OK mom. to wed and bed following the end of a war. happiness like that ain’t always smart. dad I think was merchant marine. mom typed it all up, on and off the boats. but gambling mattered more to him than mom or me. leastwise that was her story of one ending to family. unspoken. don’t discuss. too uncomfortable? better not to feel too much. my excuse. I was a child. I swallowed what was put in front of me. not my fault. not hers. but an awful choice that stayed around for decades of years. kept my mouth closed when it should have spoke. passion unexpressed.
call that sin. call that unripe.
how many folks not loved as they deserved. wishing is not loving.
is writing medicine? no. but it is the natural life I kept at bay.
your nurturing instincts will expand to many people. so says the fortune cookie. so the cookie crumbles. but yea, that’s one rule, no, one intent of everything I write. no lies. no complaints about this greater life. or if failing that, then acknowledge it is only my misunderstanding of truth.
what’s that mean in the pencil box? well, this is heaven, literally. but as we notice it don’t last forever. use it well. angels, yea, but not like books pretend, no glowing wings, no halo above their heads. actually, very ordinary. simply the right person at precisely the right time and place. maybe you’re lost. maybe they do or say the right thing to wake you up. then walk away never knowing who they were for someone else.
tell me. is that hard to swallow?
running out of things to do this night. menu isn’t big. yes, slight breeze enough, go lay down in bed. J. already long asleep. lay down, she’s right next to me. close my eyes, breathe. drifting. in the shallow cup between J. and my back, there’s a cat, no, a kitten, white with brown. curled asleep. J. moves closer, so yea, imagination, not a cat. her arm her hand glances over my shoulder. fair trade. no, better, far better than a cat. her touch puts me more at ease. but too slight, that appreciation said by me. she moves more, a little here a little more pressing firm. some days some nights are easier, some harder. this was a harder one. till now, changed.
maybe I’m the cat.
maybe I should spell out the specifics? usually shy about detailing disease. not important in themselves, but just so you understand my wandering my obsessions. a heart that’s not moving blood so well. leaves me often feeling short of breath. waiting waiting, that’s the twenty-one days, till a procedure to help with that. lots of pills. then surviving that, is a blood disease. kinda rare, kinda dangerous. more details, really just of interest to me. reading through some months of these journals here you’ll catch some edges of these issues for me. I try to learn even now, especially now. thought I was a good student, but here, here’s a very real personal test.
always a choice. sit here – silently – say nothing about. like mom might have done. but newer kinder better me says be visible. all the more if my experience here is growing short. be a flawed open me? more than mere wish.
trimmed my beard earlier. close. it pleases me.
here’s where I’d go have a cigarette. punctuation. back when I did.