A time of decay

There is decay everywhere

Beneath the trees in our rain forest are trees in decay.

Politics and politicians have decayed beyond belief

Schools, countries, churches, all in decay.

Do you see?

My mind is decaying: dementia, I take pills for it and wear patches.

My heart is decaying, laboring up the hill, losing loved ones, no longer ‘necking’ in the car as I did in my teens.

My body is in decay as I notice my legs, hips, and feet suffer the slightest incline, not to mention internal organs.

My spirit has decayed. Once Interested in liturgy, ceremony, church, now its meditation, mandalas and medicine wheels.

It’s a fact of living: as we get old we decay, yes!?

But I have studied systems and cycles.

Decay is only part of a cycle.

A cycle, especially in the rain forest, that includes birth, life, decay, death and rebirth.

Also in my life.

Nurse logs provide the perfect place to start a new forest, in a straight line even.

Mulch is going on everywhere, death feeding the living.

The purpose of decay is to feed the next ones, and the next.

Decay brings obligation, to offer sage wisdom, comfort, and encouragement to the new growth.

My wife is great at this, nurturing children (ours and other’s), grand children, and great grand children. And me.

So what am I to do.

I think I’ll go mulch.

There’s still a lot of me left to decay, recycle, repurpose, reuse.

I still carry all the love they have given me, and it’s stronger everyday.

Peace, love and life.

– Small town boy

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Wind Shadow

There are ripples in the sand in the wind shadow made by the stump and the wind and the sand.

The wind shadow grew nearly twenty feet past the stump in a pennant-like plume of ripples and dark sand where it was protected from the wind by the stump.

Th railroad tie, sitting askew of the wind showed me its wind shadow first, and then my old friend the stump showed me a larger version.

As I walked south, away from the stump, I saw what found itself in the lee side of the stump, benefiting from the calmer area of a very windy beach.

Crab shells were in the wind shadow, and jelly fish carcasses too, peering out of the sand, desiccated as they were.

Pieces of bark, stones, and dried kelp, like bleached rope resided there in the wind shadow behind the stump on the beach on the morning after a windy day at the beach.

Sand shrimp and crabs left behind uneaten shells and legs and pincers, because no one wanted to eat them, all meat already consumed by the gulls.

Dark oily sand was there too.

So the question came to mind, “What is sheltered in my wind shadow?”

My past.

My family.

My career.

Places where I lived in Nebraska, Colorado, and Oregon.

Places I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America and the USA.

I guess at my age it is interesting to see what memories have survived in my own wind shadow of decreasing memories.

Look behind you. What is in your wind shadow?

-Small town boy

The Hot Wheel and the Cell Phone

The Hot Wheel and the  Cell Phone lay on the living room floor,

Amid the detritus that the baby left about.

“La la da da la la da da da da de da!” Said the 1.5 yr old boy,

Just after his first trip to the playground at the park,

First swing, first slide, fine time with his 28 yr old father.

“La la da da la la da da da da de da!”, said the grandpa,

And the baby looked at his father, like, What’s wrong with grandpa. Why is he speaking gibberish?

And the father rests on the couch, after the playground field trip,

And the child wonders about talking into  the  wireless phone, with batteries removed,

And then tries on two of grandpa’s hats, discarding both as too big,

One a black Pendleton cowboy hat, and one a leather baseball cap.

Off he goes, full of energy tapped and sapped from adults in the house,

And charges across the floor with a wooden car, saying “”La la da da la la da da da da de da!”,

Which means the car  is running, engine loud, and look out!

The dog hides behind the couch with me, out of the way of the speeding auto,

And the energetic young boy.

How has the boy learned all  this in 18 months of life?

What else will he pick up and try to understand and try to explain/interact with others?

I wish another pre-verbal would be here.  Would they understand each other’s jibberish?

He’s a Jabberwocky! (Not from Star Wars or Star Trek, that’s a combination of Jabba the Hut and The Wookie.)

He’s his own inner child.

He’s the center of the universe.

So who minds picking up all the mess?


– Small town boy

Love is an ocean

Love is an ocean whose waves glide onto the sand shore,

Where Sandpipers dance.

In my heart there are waves of love,

Beating against the driftwood of my ego.

Your heart feels the tide, awaits the moon, and

Digs in the sand, deep holes, three of them,

To bury your losses.

Now that you have detached, you can join me

In welcoming the tide, high or low, that feeds our soul.

Your soul and mine,

Whose joint love has created others, children, grandchildren, and great graandchildren

Who are islands in the sea of our love,

Protected by the shoals of coral we have grown around them.

Free to make their own dugout eventually and escape

To the sea

Where they build their own lives 

On their islands,

Because of us.

Why can’t Christmas Gorilla go to the Beach?

The little gorilla loved Christmas at the beach, but he wasn’t allowed to go down to the sandy beach.

The little gorilla had on his red and white Santa hat, and

The little gorilla had on his bright red boxer shorts, but

There was a winter storm out there.

Rain and 13 mph winds out of the SSW.

The Christmas Gorilla didn’t want to get his special Christmas costume wet and sandy.

So, he sits on my desk with that look in his eye that Tawny (my golden retreiver) gets when she wants to go outside, eyebrows and all.


See what I mean? How can I ignore that silent plea?


This is Tawny waiting for me to take her down to the beach.

And that’s where the problem lies, with Tawny’s obsession.

Rocks. Rocks the size that would fit into your hand.

Tawny has a game she plays with these stones.

She finds a good one on the gravel road in front of the beach hoouse and carries it happily in her mouth the 50 yds or so to the sandy beach.

Whereupon she runs out on the playa, stops, and tosses the stone into the air.

And then digs, spraying sand out behind her like snow from a snow blower.

My grandchildren love this and encourage her.

She needs little encouragement.

She makes a crater, and then another one a little further down the beach, until a trail of craters is left behind us, marking our path home.

Finally, she carries her stone back to the beach house and hides it in the beach grass withher other stones and an occasional tennis ball.

She also does this in our backyard in Corvallis, until

We put in garden boxes.

So, how is that the little gorilla’s problem? Well let me tell you:

1 – Tawny gets sand all over the Christmas Gorilla

2 – The Christmas Gorilla wants to dig too

3 – Water (rain and ocean) are not good for a, pardon if I say it, a little stuffed Christmas Gorilla

4 – There are birds on the beach,  crows and gulls, that would like to snatch the little guy

5 – I’m afraid tawny, in her frenzy, will bury the little gorilla.

See, my arguments are well reasoned.

Oh, well. Let’s go.

– Small town boy

PS – to my Australian friend, since I graduate from both OSU and UofO (masters @ Beavers and doctorate @ ducks) my daughter says I’m a duckbill platypus!

In the Dark of the Morning

In the dark of the morning,

In the cool of the night,

My life begins anew each day.

My heart searches you out

To be reassured that you will

Be with me today.

You are not a morning person, I know,,

And I believe in early to bed and early to rise

Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

So your day ends after mine,

And my day begins without you.

Be that as it may, I enjoy the dark morning,

Hoping the sky is clear and the moon is out

And Orion is walking the skies.

I am alone now, but soon

You will wake and ask for coffee

And a NutriSystems little bag of granola,

And my day will begin again,

With you in it.

A touch, a smile, a joke, a text,

Or an update on world events,

And we are synched again,

My heart beats with you,

And I feel you with me

As I go to Fitness Over Fifty

For my morning exercise,

Leaving you to see the grandchildren off to school.

I’m not with you tonight,

But this dark morning, in the cool of the night,

My heart finds you,

Sleeping,

And dreaming of when

We’re together again.

– Small town boy

Live in the moment

I subscribe to Lauren Ostrowski Fenton

Who does deep meditation and

Life counseling on YouTube.

She, and others, tell me to live in the moment, not the past, not the future.

As part of the work I’ve been doing with myself and meditation over the past few years, this makes sense to me.

But,

I noticed this morning, as I drove back from the grocery,

My moment is moving,

Through time and space!

When I try to focus on a moment, to enjoy with all the senses the delight therein,

It is gone, and replaced by another.

So I start again, quieting my mind,

Relaxing (not too much as I am driving),

I smell the smells of the moment,

I hear all the sounds of the moment,

I taste, I feel, I see !

And then poof,

It’s gone

And I find myself in a new moment.

This one’s a little different from the one that just went past.

I’m beginning to get a little giddy.

I find delight in greeting each new moment.

I await without expectation what the new moment will offer.

Just this moment I’m filled with love for you.

Just this moment I’m filled with love for me too!

Oh God! What a moment I’m having!

-Small town boy

Somebody else

I’m not writing this.

Somebody else is.

I’m not thinking, I’m just writing, typing for her.

Monica.

My spirit guide, one of them.

I told her I would let her write.

She wants you to know that it will be alright.

(Do you know what she’s referring too?)

She knows it will all work out in the end.

(Got that?)

In the mean time don’t fret,

Look inward. What do you see? Turmoil?

Calm your turmoil and the external turmoil will dissipate.

Sit for a moment without electricals.

Be self sustaining for a moment.

If you want something, ask for it.

Do good deeds.

She wants you to know she knows that it isn’t easy. It’s hard. And you think soft is weak.

She says it’s the other way around.

It is easy, and soft is hard.

Give up those thoughts that have gotten you and everyone to this point,

And listen without words.

What do you hear?

My heart is filling up as I do this for her.

Mine is not the only spirit guide, you have one too.

Where did I meet her and learn what her name is and what she looks like?

On YouTube!

Try it.

– small town boy and Monica

If I said that I love you…

If I said that I love you
I would be wrong,
Wrong headed,
Wrong thinking.
Because it would imply that I have strong feelings for you,
Feelings I would have called love.
My feelings that became strong when you are around or,
When I thought of you.
Let me suggest that love is not a feeling that I have, but
Something, some force, that has me, always.
So when I say that I love you,
What I mean is that my love acknowledges you as one it desires,
And jumps to my attention so that I must tell you.
And when your love acknowledges me and my love,
We, both of us, are IN love, together.
And so, when we are admonished to love one another,
I think it means for each of us to recognize the love that exists in the other,
And act on it.
We don't acknowledge gravity by falling.
It exists whether we do so or not.
Love is like that.
Love exists whether we feel it or not.
So?
So respect it, acknowledge it, and act on it.
Love is for us all, you, me, that person over there and the person next to you.
You can start by giving them a gift:
Listen.
And then give them another:
Speak your truth.
And feed them and hug them and offer safety and comfort.
I'm not kidding.
Love demands this of you.
You are the only you in the whole of creation.
You are the only one who can do what you do.
The only one who sees what you see.
When you love, you share this uniqueness with another, an other.
And they share with you.
So, I'm not saying I love you anymore.
I'm saying that I share my love with you.
Yes?
– Small town boy

My love receiver

I would be lying

I would be lying if I said I didn’t care.

If I said it didn’t hurt.

I would be lying if I pretended not to notice you there.

Lying to myself, because it is readily apparent to you

That I love you.

I don’t know how you know and how it’s hidden from me some days.

Each day begins with you; you’re on my mind and in my heart, so

I guess I know too that you love me.

Why would I be lying if I spoke roughly to you?

How would I be lying if I said some unkind word?

When would I be lying if I didn’t tell you each day how much you mean to me.

Let me not wait till you’ve gone to state my truth to you each waking hour.

Let me not lie to myself that I am without you.

Let me say how much you do each day for our family, our marriage, our home.

Let me not lie.

There is no time for it.

– Small town boy