Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas at our House

It started when I moved to Wisconsin. Before that, the Christmas tree was put up the week before Christmas. Once I got to Wisconsin it became paramount that the Christmas tree be set up the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then the official date was moved to Thanksgiving Day - preferably while the dishwasher is running and the kitchen only half cleaned up after The Feast. Now that the girls are once again living with me all things from their childhood are being adhered to with more verve than previously. Our Christmas tree is up for an entire month.

Traditionally, on Christmas Eve the lights are left on all night in anticipation of Santa Claus. No other night of the season are the lights left on ALL NIGHT. The trees were always cut trees. From a parental/homeowner point of view I didn't sleep Christmas Eve night for fear the house was going to catch on fire. I mean really by Christmas Eve, a full 28 to 30 day old sitting in water, like that makes a difference, cut tree with a bunch of warm lights just waiting to heat to a level of smoke and spark and we are all doomed. By the time morning, or first light, or earlier than first light, came around and the kids came stampeding down the stairs it was all spectacular and magical and presents and lights and missing milk and cookies and wondrous. As parents we did good work.

Many years ago I bought a boxed tree. I had moved out on my own and getting a boxed tree was the only way I was assured I would have a tree for many years. I was afraid of lean years and the ability to keep the magic flowing. I was being sacrilegious - yet at the time I truly felt I was "stepping out". I love this tree. Now that I have put it up several years in a row it has become somehow important that this tree, this particular boxed tree, should be erected. It's pre-lit - I love that part. It's white - I love that part too. The girls have taken over the construction of the tree. So we have Christmas at our house already this year. The predominant ornament - origami cranes in various colors. Somehow it seems fitting, maybe you have to know me.

The tree is still never lit ALL NIGHT long. That is reserved for the final special night. So this morning when I got up and walked through the apartment to start my coffee and the tree was still on I was a bit taken aback. I left it that way. It makes a good night-light. As the coffee maker started it's gurgling, I headed for the shower. Thing 2, who's bed since she moved in is the couch, opened her eyes and plaintively said to me, "Santa didn't come last night."

Traditions are good. They are stabilizing. They can confuse even the most steady of semi-adults. I kissed Thing 2 on the forehead and told her to check again in 26 days.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time for Changes

I feel compelled to make some blogging changes. I'm having way too much fun with the Fairytales. I'm only posting half of what I'm writing, and I'm only writing a third of what I'm thinking. Fairytales could easily take over this blog. Time to start a new one; a new blog.

I actually have six blogs out there. Strange but true. This and two others are the only ones to get my attention anymore. They only get attention once every couple months or so. I'm thankful for all of them. The other three languish, not wanting to be deleted, but not knowing what, if anything, is to become of them. I feel sorry for the blogs.

I like the options and the ease of Wordpress. So, I'm thinking of linking (I love the sound that makes...say it out loud.) this blog to the new one. I'm thinking of linking into my Facebook page too. I didn't like having this blog linked to Facebook - it took over the whole effing screen and seemed so tasteless and overbearing. There's got to be a better way. Another thought is to have an illustrator for the new blog. The young lady I would like to draw for me draws amazing pen and ink drawings of nature that I would love to share with everyone. Not every story needs a picture...she can just do the ones that she finds compelling. I need to ask her mom if it's okay. I'd need to ask the young lady if she accepts peanuts in exchange for her magnificent art work. My printer may not work, but my scanner does. And then there's the matter of putting her name and the blog link embedded into the illustration. I'm sure it's a pretty routine matter, I've just not looked into it before. It dawns on me I know another illustrator. I wonder...would he be interested? huh...

I don't even know what to call the new blog. Of course, I want something clever. And I want something memorable. Mostly I want to call it what it is, something obvious or something that will become obvious. I just don't know what the obvious is right now.

Mostly, right now I'd like to take my time and do some designing and some preperatory work so that once I start posting I'm happy with it already. I'd like to get some stories ready, some illustrations and a posting schedule (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday? or...). Maybe an unveiling in January. It is nice to have a fun project for the new year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Woodsman's Son

The pixie landed this time on his nose. He couldn’t slap at it like the others. Annoyed and scowling he swatted it away. The lad had come down to the river banks to cool off. The mountain stream swept through his quiet valley here and the snow melt of the river cooled the banks during the hot days.

The lad had been chopping wood with his father all day. The trees had been felled generations ago by the giant up in the mountains. A great pile of firs and pines had been left stacked indiscriminately next to a great clearing. The trees had been abandoned during the lad’s grandfather’s life and were well dried and would do well for furniture and building. The clearing was large enough for a small giant mansion. The lad had been awestruck at the enormity when his father, the woodcutter, put him to work.

The day had been long and grueling. Once the woodcutter and his son had filled the cart and cut enough to fill the cart again tomorrow the woodcutter and his son had set off for home. Mother had sent him down to the river bank to cool off and clean up. Wading out into the crisp water had shocked his senses into numbness and the lad had dipped quickly into the water wetting his hair but not scrubbing as his mother had requested. Getting quickly out of the water the lad laid on the grass along the river bank and allowed the sun and the light breeze to dry him.
“I must’ve dozed off.” Thought the lad as the first pixie alighted on his knee cap and gently, but annoyingly woke him. He slapped at his knee yet kept his eyes shut as the sun was high and bright and he did not want to get up yet.

The pixie flitted away and a small laughter reached the lad’s ears. In fact it sounded as if there were many laughters. The pixies were in fact sitting here and there all along the riverbank on flowers and old wooden stumps. When their wings were not beating it was hard to see them. The young man sat up upon swatting the pixie from his nose. Pixies flew close to his face and smiled into his eyes. He smiled back. It’s hard not to smile when pixies smile at you.

As the pixies suspended themselves in mid-air in front of the lad they started to chatter among themselves. They danced in mid-air then lighted onto the lad’s hair and onto his shoulders. It was confusing to the lad and pestering. He swatted at the pixies to get them out of his hair and off of his shoulders. The pixies thought this great fun and flitted about the young man – sometimes dancing, always laughing and more full of energy than any human has ever had.

The lad, though annoyed, was pleased to have been found by the pixies. Everyone knows they will pick away your worries and your pains and the young man had been feeling both. The pixies made him smile and though he couldn’t understand what they said he knew they like him. He liked them too; as long as they didn’t land on him.

The pixies seemed to know this. They swirled and danced and laughed together but not in unison. As he sat on the banks of the cold clear river the pixies entertained themselves to his delight. As they danced near his feet one pixie then another lighted on the tips of his toes making the lad laugh too. He was no longer annoyed. He enjoyed their light touch even if it tickled. And his toes felt newly clean, light and full of energy.

The pixies entertained themselves with their dancing and fluttering around the lad, occasionally landing on his knees or his shoulders or his fingertips or elbows. The lad grew happier and felt cleaner and lighter than ever before in his short life. The pixies landed on his ears and again in his hair and the lad finally had to stand up for all the playful swatting he was doing to manage the pixies.

Feeling wonderful, the lad decided to go home. He left the river bank walking back to the road between villages to start on his way back into the forest and home.

The lad saw the sky was bluer; he felt the wind even though it was so very light. The trees smelled more pine-y and the pine needles crunched louder under his feet. Everything felt clearer, more alive than before. Along the road came a pretty cart with a smart horse and driver. It was a cart with three children riding in the back among fresh hay, swinging their legs as the cart road past the lad. One boy jumped off the cart and walked back to the Woodcutter's Son on the road as if they were long lost friends. And well they may have been. They started up a conversation in no time about the river and the road, leading on to other subjects as good friends will do.

The driver of the cart stopped for some time to allow the boy and his new found friend time to catch up.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giant Rocks

Now, boys and girls, last time we saw the Giant he was sitting among the pile of rocks at the bottom of the landslide he had created when he slipped down the side of the mountain. He knew he was getting closer to the sound of prayers and music and maidens. He was also getting confused on which thing he was hearing. He was getting tired too. It is not good to have a Giant in one’s midst that is tired and confused.

Giants are very big, and can be very powerful and do not know their own strength. It is good that this Giant was not near anyone we know. But, the day was not easy on this Giant. As he got up, dusted off his britches and continued on his way along the path. The Giant soon found the path was blocked by the most stubborn boulder. The Giant tried to push the boulder out of the way. It would not budge. He pushed with all his might. Then the Giant tried to go around the boulder but it was overgrown with terrible thorny thickets. The Giant knew he needed to get through. He knew the sound of prayers and the oceans and maidens was on the other side of this boulder.

In desperation The Giant ripped up a tree and like a lever he stuck the tree under the side of the boulder. He tried to heave the rock forward. He tried to dig under the boulder to loosen it’s grip on the earth. The Giant tried again to get leverage with his stick, his tree trunk, to roll the boulder to the side. The boulder would not move.

The Giant was angry. He was frustrated and confused. He was scared that the sounds, the music and the prayers, would go away and leave him on this foreign hill with no direction of where to go. That Giant got terrible, furious raging mad. He started to beat at the boulder. He heaved that tree upon the rock with all his might, with all his pent up frustration. He beat and beat on the boulder. The Giant thrashed about and hit the rock again and again. As he raged upon the rock his voice called forth all the rage he felt inside. The deep growls, and careening angry tones poured from the Giant as he allowed all that angered his heart to be spent on this rock. The growling and howls filled the canyon below the Giant and echoed back to him in great depths of despair. He had never been so mad, so frustrated, so lost.

The rock broke. The boulder split.

The giant sat down and cried. He cried his relief that the boulder had split in half, like walnut shells. He cried relief that he had raged against the rock. He cried in shame that he had cried. A small stream began at the Giants feet. The stream carried the Giants tears down the hill.

When the Giant got to his feet he walked toward the boulder that was now in two pieces, as if two turtles has rolled onto their backs. The Giant was going to walk between the two halves to continue on his journey to the Sounds. What he saw stopped him in his tracks. Each half of the boulder carried treasure beyond even the Giants enormous imagination. The Boulder halves glinted in the sunshine, more full of sparking jewels than the most brilliant geode. The Boulder was full of crystals, and diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Garnets and even strings of pearls and blue lapis (a most unusual sight) were all jumbled together in the rock halves. The Giant put his hands into the rock and pulled out great loads of treasure. Nowhere had he expected his anger and his frustrations to break so heavy a rock. Nowhere had he expected such riches be laid before him upon the breaking. The Giant stuffed his pockets with the gems and pearls. It was only a couple handfuls out of the enormous pits of jewels that was the inside of the rock.

Shaking his head in disbelief and in wonder and in surprise the Giant walked between the rock halves and wandered his way down the mountains to find the beautiful sounds that yet filled his ears.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Redeeming Bus Rides

Bus rides...usually my favorite time of day. I get serious meditations done. I get eye candy with all the activities going on outside the bus windows. I get novels read. After the bus ride from hell on Monday night - six and half hours of gridlock, icy road conditions, 27 mile an hour sideways blowing snow and no book to delve into - I wasn't too keen on getting on the bus tonight. Bus riding has been redeemed. Just have to get back on the horse and ride, so to speak.

The young lady sitting next to me was wholly interesting. Youth. Youth has a great optimism otherwise forgotten over time. Really, the conversation was nothing. We discussed the virtues of crock-pots and having friends over for dinner, for no damn reason. We got onto the subject of work. She's in training to be a psychiatrist. She's working while she works on her masters (as everyone is here in this town). I don't know what possessed me to tell her something I truly believe. People want two things - to be recognized; to know they've been seen, acknowledgement if you will and they want to be heard: listen, just hear them out, listen to the whole story without interruption or judgement. I get a lot of thank you's at work for just letting these people tell me their troubles. I can't do much about it. But, I let them talk. And I listen. Esther had not heard it put this way before. Is she that young? Maybe. I could see she was putting the ideas into her head for future use - whatever that may be.

Between you and I, at home, I appreciate those times of comfortable silence among the people I love. Then I know all is well. I wonder if I gauge life's contentment in those moments of silence. If one is compelled to be silent does that mean one is content? Maybe that's what I seek. Is this too Zen? It is pleasant, regardless.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If Hell freezes over...

It will look like Seattle yesterday.

I've searched YouTube this morning already. During my six and a half hour bus ride home from work yesterday - got on the downtown bus at 5:17 p.m., got off the bus at the Park and Ride at 11:48 p.m. - the bus driver asked for volunteers to push the bus to get us up a slight incline so we could get on the parkway (oh, I mean freeway). "Anybody wanna push?" We all laughed with the bus driver. Then he said, "I'm serious." and opened the back door. About 15 or 20 young men unloaded from the bus and went around back to push. It was making a difference - believe it or not. (Twenty young men pushing a massive articulated bus, this still blows my mind.) But not enough of a difference.

The driver then said, "Anyone wanna move to the back of the bus? We need some weight over the back tires." I left my seat, I had felt so lucky to actually have a seat, and stood over the rear tires with so many others on the bus. I watched a young man put his hat under the rear tire to give some traction. It actually helped. Out the other side of the bus I saw two young men standing in the sideways sleeting snow filming the event on their phones.

I'll keep searching YouTube. It's got to show up eventually.

(Yes, I got my seat back. Yes, we got going and the young men had to run up to the ever slow moving bus to jump back on board. Yes, I am staying home today. I had enough yesterday.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can you find me?

My recent foray into authordom can be read at...


And a press release is here...


Every bit counts. It all adds up. And it was fun to write.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


And so the Old Woman came home to put the flowers on her table and the finishing touches to her saucepans before her guests arrived for dinner. Earlier in the day she had swept the broken floorboards and set the small wooden table for the meal she was to share. On the way home she had stepped off the path to pick some flowers. The Old Woman had not wanted to be seen picking flowers like some maiden. Though the village was far away she did not want to hear the ridicule that would come to pass if she were seen as frolicking or otherwise not behaving. The flowers just off the path and into the woods were vibrant with blue and yellow and the Old Woman could not help but smile as she gathered these flowers to adorn her meager table.

The Old Woman turned to walk back to the path and go along on her way home. A sprite flew in front of the Old Woman and blocked her way. The Old Woman blushed to be found in the woods with her hand-picked flowers, even by a sprite. The sprite hovered in front of the woman and smiled back, “Where are you going Old Woman, with my cousins in blue and my neighbors in yellow? Where would you take my friends and family?”

The Old Woman was surprised to hear the sprite talking to her. She was even more surprised to hear the flowers she had picked would be the friends and relatives of a sprite. “The flowers are so lovely. I wanted to bring them to my cottage to grace my table tonight as I have friends and relatives too that are coming to share a meal with me this very day.” The Old Woman began to gather up the flowers in her basket to hand them back to the sprite. Though the Old Woman was not sure how a sprite would re-plant what she had picked, she was nonetheless willing to believe the sprite would want her friends and family returned.

The sprite was quite pleased with the Old Woman’s response. “Please keep the flowers as they are picked for your table, and Grace is their middle name. Yet, know this that if you will take my cousins and my neighbors to enjoy your meal, then you will have no problem accepting myself and my sisters to enjoy your meal as well.”

The Old Woman became nervous. She had few dishes prepared and only a bit of tea to share with the guests she had already invited. The Old Woman was not sure what a sprite should eat, but she was trying to remember if any sugar was in the larder, or if any cream had been put by in the morning. She spoke as clearly as she could to the sprite. “I have so very little to offer you or your sisters. There will be only mortals as old as I for guests and we are set in our ways. I am sure I have not enough food to fill your bellies, nor enough interesting conversations to set to your ears. If you will still come, you are welcome, but I know not what I can feed you. I am sorry I cannot offer more. I am most grateful for the flowers and I thank you. I am sure you will not wish to come.”

The Old Woman hurried back to the path with her basket of flowers. She looked out over the wooded landscape wondering how many sprites had seen her, and how many sisters a sprite can have. The Old Woman saw no sprites, or fairies, or elves. She saw lovely blue flowers vibrant in the shadows of the tall thick trees. She saw broken expanses of yellow flowers almost bright enough to make sun rise from the forest floor. She was glad of all the relatives and neighbors that flourished in the wood. The Old Woman then hurried home. Her guests would be arriving soon.

The Old Woman had found an earthen jar to place the flowers in. They graced her table quiet agreeably. The Old Woman opened her door for the Seamstress and her daughter, the Woodsman and the Sawyer. They enjoyed a small meal together and spoke of weather and of passings. As the dishes emptied and were put by to wash, and the tea was served the Old Woman heard a tap, tap, tapping at the window. She saw the glowing light that a sprite will shine in the dark when it is happy. The Old Woman was aghast that all the food was eaten and she and her guests were already enjoying the end of the meal cup of tea. She had hoped the sprite would understand she had so very little to offer that the sprite would not come.

The Old Woman excused herself from her guests and went to the window and opened it for the sprite. In washed a handful of sprites. They filled the room with their glow and their laughter. The Seamstress and her daughter looked up from their tea and smiled at the sprites then smiled to each other. What a lovely surprise. The Woodsman and the Sawyer stood up as the sprites flittered into the room. They did not know where they should go or if the sprites were nuisance or guest. The Old Woman was surprised and smiled in spite of herself to see her guests were shocked and amused by the change in their evening. The Old Woman assured the Woodsman and the Sawyer to take their seats and enjoy their tea for as long as they wish. Though the Old Woman offered, the sprites would take no thimble full of tea, nor would they take the bit of crust, for this was all the Old Woman had left to offer.

Yet, the sprites fluttered about the room and lit upon the table laughing together and merrily dancing around the tea cup of the Seamstress and her daughter. The Old Woman’s guests heartily enjoyed the entertainment and clapped along as the sprites sang. Eventually, the Woodsman invited the Seamstress’s daughter to dance along. The sprites glad to have a merry spirit join them circled around the room lighting the corners and the ceiling as all the guests, and the Old Woman too, took to the broken floorboards and danced for a tune or two. The sprites shared their laughter and their smiles. They played merry songs and told jokes for everyone. The evening came on and the dinner party stayed late without a single candle being lit. The sprites lit up the room more than any candle could.

At long last the Seamstress and her daughter, happy and full and tired, excused themselves to go home. The Woodsman and the Sawyer excused themselves to walk the ladies home. The Old Woman hugged them all and bade them a good walk and a lovely night. As the door shut behind her guests the Old Woman turned to see her small cottage bright and cheerful. The blue and yellow flowers seemed to smile from her table. Her heart was full. Her house was haven. Her friends were family. The sprites gently flew up to the Old Woman one by one and each quickly kissed her on the cheek then flew back out the window into the night. As the last sprite left and the cottage was dark the Old Woman closed the window and standing before the window stuck the match to light her candle. In the glow of the candle her window made a mirror. The Old Woman saw a young maiden staring back at her, and smiled.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lectures by Authors

I hope the line for my book signing looks like this.
(Time for me to write the book, eh?)
Mike Dooley personalizing his lastest book.
Manifesting Change
I like Mike for his daily "Notes from the Universe". I suggest signing up for his e-mails. They really are delicious. The book came with the sign up. I came to see Mike. As far as speakers go, I would come to see him speak again.

Homecoming has changed

I stayed downtown last night after work for a lecture and book signing. It was wonderful. I'm glad to get away for a little entertainment - interactive and all. I didn't get home until quarter to ten. I jumped on a late bus from downtown to take me to the nearest Park & Ride near home. It was late. I left the house at six a.m. and by then it was almost ten p.m. as I stood under the non-shelter waiting for my daughters to swing through to pick me up.

I watched the truck pull into the lot and the headlamps do the quick blinding thing. I smiled because they are here. I smiled because I can see they are both in the truck. May opened the passenger door to swap seats to the back. Except she didn't. She stood there in front of me and said, "You are so beautiful. I am so glad you're my mom." I can hear April from the driver's seat laughing at her sister's randomness. May, still chattering on as she got back into the truck said, "They say if you want to know what you will look like when you get older just look at your parents. I am so lucky. You really are beautiful, Mom."

For that moment while I am taking my seat and shutting the door to the truck I felt absolutely beautiful. I've always known my children were beautiful. Last night I got a taste of it.

What I really like...is coming home. My girls make coming home more than it was while I lived alone. They really are beautiful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It matters

To quote a site I enjoy reading:

"I should also mention that dark matter is a favourite target of science skeptics. However, it is often overlooked that the central thesis of the postulate is about not making an assumption i.e. just because the ordinary matter that we are familiar with can be seen, we should not assume that all matter can be seen..and science is very much a game of making as few assumptions as possible. " (My emphasis.) Antimatter Blog

God, I love this stuff!! I'm counting on that theory to be right. I love finding these quotes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I like this Idea

I wish I were an eccentric multi-billionaire. I would fund this. Heck, I'd sign up to go! Why is this any different than sailing a ship off the edge of the earth? (without radio or any kind of ship-to-shore for that matter) At least now some interaction with home is available. These are the thoughts that fuel dreams...

PULLMAN, Wash. – Invoking the spirit of "Star Trek" in a scholarly article entitled "To Boldly Go," two scientists contend human travel to Mars could happen much more quickly and cheaply if the missions are made one-way. They argue that it would be little different from early settlers to North America, who left Europe with little expectation of return.

"The main point is to get Mars exploration moving," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, who wrote the article in the latest "Journal of Cosmology" with Paul Davies of Arizona State University. The colleagues state — in one of 55 articles in the issue devoted to exploring Mars — that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth.

Mars is a six-month flight away, possesses surface gravity, an atmosphere, abundant water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. They propose the missions start by sending two two-person teams, in separate ships, to Mars. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow.
The technology already exists, or is within easy reach, they wrote.

An official for NASA said the space agency envisions manned missions to Mars in the next few decades, but that the planning decidedly involves round trips.

President Obama informed NASA last April that he "`believed by the mid-2030s that we could send humans to orbit Mars and safely return them to Earth. And that a landing would soon follow,'" said agency spokesman Michael Braukus.

No where did Obama suggest the astronauts be left behind.

"We want our people back," Braukus said.

Retired Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell, who walked on the Moon, was also critical of the one-way idea.

"This is premature," Mitchell wrote in an e-mail. "We aren't ready for this yet."

Davies and Schulze-Makuch say it's important to realize they're not proposing a "suicide mission."

"The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony," they wrote, while acknowledging the proposal is a tough sell for NASA, with its intense focus on safety.
They think the private sector might be a better place to try their plan.
"What we would need is an eccentric billionaire," Schulze-Makuch said. "There are people who have the money to put this into reality."

Indeed, British tycoon Richard Branson, PayPal founder Elon Musk and Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos are among the rich who are involved in private space ventures.

Isolated humans in space have long been a staple of science fiction movies, from "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" to "2001: A Space Odyssey" to a flurry of recent movies such as "Solaris" and "Moon." In many of the plots, the lonely astronauts fall victim to computers, madness or aliens.
Psychological profiling and training of the astronauts, plus constant communication with Earth, will reduce debilitating mental strains, the two scientists said.

"They would in fact feel more connected to home than the early Antarctic explorers," according to the article.

But the mental health of humans who spent time in space has been extensively studied. Depression can set in, people become irritated with each other, and sleep can be disrupted, the studies have found. The knowledge that there is no quick return to Earth would likely make that worse.

Friday, November 12, 2010


An article I wrote back in August for publication has been accepted. It's a paying gig. Doesn't pay much - in fact it's not the pay part that has me doing cartwheels. It's the acceptance!

I am so hopelessly human. How wonderful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giant Sounds - Giant Songs - Giant Prayers

Once upon a time a great Giant heard the lovely sound of the seashore, or the sound of voices singing, or many men in prayer. He could not figure out what his ears were hearing. He looked up from his chore of ripping fresh young 100 year old trees out of the ground. The birds looked up at The Giant to see what was different. The worms and beetles that had come uncovered during the tree ripping quickly skittered into the earth. This beautiful noise The Giant heard wafted with the wind, a sound for his ears, as light as the smell of mountain flowers in the breeze. The Giant turned his head to his left. The sound continued to grace his ears. He turned his head to the right and he found the sound washed into his ears even stronger. The giant left his tools and the pile of tree trunks. He stumbled up the mountain along the ruts and rocks and went in search of this great comforting noise that blew in his ears. After many hours and a scraped knee, The Giant sat down on a boulder to catch his breath and to listen for the sound of the ocean or the singing or the prayers. It sounded closer, but still wafted with the wind and nowhere near in sight.

The Great Giant heaved his heavy body up from his rocky seat and and lumbered further on reaching the upper ridge of the mountains he had always lived among. He could see down one side of the mountain and see the cabins his giant neighbors had built. He could see the clearing of trees he was working on. The Giant could also see down the other side of the mountain. There he saw a steep and treacherous incline . The slope appeared to end abruptly and harshly in craggy cliffs and pounding waves of a frothy, heaving, incessant sea. The Giant stared off into the distance. His eyes were full of things he had never seen before. His ears were trying to hear the songs he heard.

The Giant stepped off the ridge and started lumbering very carefully and very slowly down the rocky, steep and treacherous side of the mountain. He held onto tall pines and fir trees to keep him from stumbling. They bent and swayed in his hands unable to offer more than a minimum of stability to The Giant's decent. The Giant kept looking up over the tree tops to see if he could tell where the prayers were coming from. As he had left the top of the mountain the wind had died down and the chanting, mantra, prayer of the song was coming steadily up the mountain to accompany his decent.

When The Giant had seen the cliffs and the water and the crashing waves into the rock walls, he had hoped it was the sound of the waves he heard. He wanted to get to the sea to bask in the glory of this great power of the waves. As he descended and the song had become more regular, or regulated, he decided it was the sound of monks in great droves at great prayer. The Giant hoped to come across the immense conclave this must be coming from. He wanted to envelope himself in the greatness of this divinity. The Giant continued his slow careful steps down the mountain, turning here and there to go around denser groves of trees and to find better footing without the sharp rocks and boulders that rolled under his soft animal skin shoes.

Every once in a while in the turns and twists of his trail the trees became taller and the wind died down more than otherwise and the song in his ears was a love song. It was a love song sung by maidens whose voices carried without direction, without knowledge. It was definitely sung by maidens. They sang without pretense, they sang. It was a pure song. The singers were without affectation, without knowledge of reserve. They sang. It is here that The Giant's face popped up to attention as he heared these notes. His eyes widened and he knew he must find these maidens. He must find these songs. His heart yearned to fill his eyes and his ears with this song and these singers.

He slipped on the patch of rocks at his feet and his giant bum hit the ground. His hand slipped from the tree top he was holding to steady himself and he skidded down the mountain to where the erosion pooled in a lumpy puddle of rocks. And the songs came louder. He sat among the rocks and boulders trying to listen around the continued sound of more rocks rolling down behind and around him that finished the landslide he had started. He could hear the prayers as they melded into waves on the rocky shore and then the singers, ever faint, reached his ears. He knew he had come closer. He could hear it. As quietly as a giant can, he got up and turned where he stood to find the best direction to head out to meet the monks, to see the sea and to gaze upon the singers.

This sound cannot be one source, thought The Giant. But, the sounds come and they go, they become one and then part away, they are not the same yet they are, thought The Giant. He did not want to be confused. He wanted to see the sound. He wanted to see the sound to clear his head, to add a vision to what his heart was hearing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Castro is my friend

Mr. Castro first Facebooked me a month ago. I was intrigued that he knew so much about my early years; where I grew up, what I was like in my twenties. He has the usual Castro black and white photo as a "profile" pic (see above - I lifted it from FB). It was just eery that a man near on his deathbed, in perfect colloquial english would know me.

OH! my bad...it's not Fidel. It's a buddy of my dad. Different guy. It's still eery how much he remembers.

PS: Anyone know how to fix a sewing machine?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giant Hallways

She works in a City of Giants. Each day she alights from the tram, smiles at the conductor and walks the path to the mountain. She descends the stairs down into the mountain. Each day she ascends the stairs on the inside the mountain. Each day she turns the corner at the the Giant Plaza and let's the giant at the door open it for her. It is a big door. A giant door. She cannot reach the handle. He closes it after she has gone inside. She is not a giant. She is small, and her feet tap like birds feet on the stone hallways. She necessarily steps aside as Giants go past. She walks quickly but it takes a long time to traverse the hallways among giants.

Sometimes the giants are talking as she enters another hallway or passes a cave inside the mountain. Their voices reverberate on the mountain walls above her. They all hush up as she walks past. Their faces follow her as her little steps seem to scurry her past them. Then they start to talk again, the hollow mountain echoing overhead with deep voices.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Housing Update...

I looked at the house again and really, the kitchen has no counter top to speak of. I'm not sure it would fit a coffee pot AND a microwave. Room to cut vegetables too? I dunno...maybe I'll hold out for the house in Kingston (a ferry ride a way) and find a job I can work from home. Hahaha...

In the meantime, I should wash some windows here. I might feel better.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And now a word from our Poet Laureate

Without her permission, Kay Ryan, one of America's Poet Laureate's poems...

The Other Shoe

Oh if it were
only the other
shoe hanging
in space before
joining its mate.

My prayer for you then is - may your shoes drop in the preferred order.