If you were me

I'm stymied, I guess.
I haven't written for a while,
After criticism and censorship.
The problem I have is this:
Each word, each thought has been dug up,
Dug up from the internal (and eternal) junk pile that is my recollection.
These thoughts are mine, I own them, and yet…
I permit the criticism of others dear to me to destroy my writing; my decision.
And so I approach each new thought with their censorship in mind; don't dig too deep.
Ok, so maybe I didn't think through enough the offending thoughts.
Maybe they were right, but still I must admit a stricture on my thinking.
And so now I begin again to write.
Unable to keep these thoughts buried, I must present them to you.
You have a right to your opinion.
I have a right to mine.
But should I publish for all the world to see?
Do I needs/must take into account the effect on others,
Or do I only have obligation to my Self to write what I feel?
Who reads this stuff anyway?

– Small town boy

A little at a time

I do things a little at a time now.

I’m teaching my self piano, a little at a time, one half hour in the morning and one half hour in the afternoon.

I’m clearing grass from between the flagstones on the  patio, fifteen minutes each day.

I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle, a little at a time, fifteen minutes several times a day.

I’m meditating in  small amounts, morning and evening, praying too.

I can interact with my grandchildren at breakfast and after school in moments.

I call my wife at the beach once a day; or  I call from the beach.

I’m losing weight, a little at a time, fourteen pounds now, in a month and a half, by eating smaller portions.

I’m reading several books, a little at  a time with each, each awaiting more  time to finish them.

I’m writing these  blogs in  small doses, for both me and my readers. If they get too big, I edit them down or break  them  up.

But, I love you a lot, all the time, for ever. A little at a time doesn’t work for me. You are constantly  on my mind and in my heart. 

– Small town boy

“For precept must be on precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10

The cyclist and the biker

The cyclist and the biker went into a bar,

And the cyclist ordered a fruit smoothie, the biker a beer.

Said the cyclist, “I ride for miles and miles.”

The biker replied, “So do I.”

The cyclist said, “I’m building muscles and lungs.”

The biker nodded.

The biker said, “How long does it take you to reach the coast?”

Cyclist, “It takes as long as it takes, no more and no less.”

Biker, “WTF does that mean?”

C, “Well less time than to ride the STP (Seattle to Portland) and more than my regular six mile loop around the airport.

C, “BTW, WHY DO YOU RIDE THAT BIG EXPENSIVE, polluting hog?”

B, “You need not shout;  I’m not hard of hearing. I ride with my friends in the club around the state and across country,”

C, “Hmm, so do I. But you make so much noise!”

B, “You’re the one shouting. Loud pipes save lives.”

B, “Do you ride with friends? Or do you ride alone?”

C, “Well, both. BTW. What is that denim vest with the patches all about?”

B, “Those are my colors. My club patches. The rest are ride or rally patches. This one is for a fallen rider. What are your bright clothes trying to tell me?”

C, “These are my colors, I guess. One tyvek jacket is for my club and the others are rides.”

B, “Isn’t it dangerous riding on the side of the road?”

C, “Yes, it’s why I wear bright colors. How do you keep safe on the road?”

B, “I ride in numbers. We have signals to tell each other when we change kanes, go over railroad tracks, or see something in the road.”

C, ” So do we.”

B,”Well my friends are here; it’s time to ride. Nice talking with you. Be safe.”

C, “You too. Thanks.”

B, “For what?”

C: “For sharing the ride.”

The biker left; the cyclist finished his smoothly and went out to ride his bike, but sadly it had been stolen.”

And So he walked home.

The walker next to him said, “So, where’s your bike?”

– Small town boy

I see; visual memories.

You may have noticed, as I did, that my memories of Reno and GRABAAWR  (See my Life Quilt stories) was made up of more pictures, literally, than text.

This brought to my attention again that I process life visually and spatially.

This is part of my visual intelligence and results in visual thinking.

Thinking about my abundant use old photos to depict memories held in the actual (and visual) Life Quilt containing my old tee shirts made by my friend Joanne, a quilter in Cedar City, UT, has erupted into acknowledging how many times I depended on a visual representation of my world.

  • All of my memories of my father are visual: riding in the model A, vaccinating pigs, him pulling my tooth while he was in bed, and the red records in the blue sleeves for the new console radio he bought. He died when I was nine.
  • I flunked out of chemical engineering at the University of Colorado in 1960 because I couldn’t visualize chemistry fast enough for testing. I’ve recently discovered that I’m as smart as anyone else, but I’m a slow thinker, because I have to see it. While other aspects of engineering encouraged you to construct concepts and reconstruct them for answers, chemistry relies on recall of concepts difficult to represent visually.
  • I once had to ask my wife to wait in the process of construction of a deck at our beach house until I could visualize how everything fit together. This single event was the greatest impetus for me to ‘get it’ that I was a visual thinker.
  • In my later years as a science, math, and computer, I relied almost solely on visual representation and manipulation for problem solving. I taught teachers and students Image Processing (thanks LuAnn and U of Az) and Systems Thinking as evidenced by its visual representation in the Stella computer program (thanks Luanne and MIT). Systems mean a lot to me: components, connections, interactions and boundaries which can be visually represented.
  • Recently I’ve found myself on a spiritual path that is filled with visual expressions: I write of buckets inside me filled with the Holy Spirit whom I’ve visualized as a man named Jeff.
  • I was asked to teach an ed media class at the U of o in my PhD program. It contained the concept of visual literacy, which much to the disappointment of my elementary librarian wife, I had no understanding of then. However, before I got the teaching assignment, I had to visualize the course in my head and then on paper using Venn diagrams.
  • Also my wife can tell you that I’m a very messy person, requiring a desk, bedroom, and life that is all ‘out there’ to see. If it gets put away I can’t find it.
  • Recently I discovered that riding a motor scooter has made me a better driver and diminished effects of vascular dementia, because of visual defensive driving and focus required.
  • People have called me a visionary, idealistic, impulsive, and at the same time very collaborative and empathetic.
  • In my leadership roles I am known to be full of fresh ideas but unable to carry through over the long haul. When I brought innovation it was through teaching teachers how they fit into the structure of education and the structure of the teachers union. My collaborative skills were valued too. At my last teaching assignment they called me the ‘glue’ that held the department to cooperating in planning science courses.
  • I used a note taking method called ‘Concept Mapping’ which visually represents concepts through drawing ways they are linked. Also an art teacher I worked with (thanks Joan) helped me make my journals more meaningful with drawings, diagrams, and color.
  • I finally told my wife after moving here to Corvallis after my retirement that I would do no more ‘some assembly required’ furniture because the Chinese diagrams didn’t make sense to me.

BTW: I’ve written this whole thing without pictures though it appears to me to be disconnected and without connections.

I can’t write my blog or stories without first visualizing the title, then I am compelled to write. It is now 2:14 am and I’ve awakened with this in my head awaiting its visual representation in the written word.

Get the picture?

– Small town boy

My Life Quilt

I received a handmade quilt for my 75th birthday.

My friend Joanne is a quilter.

I had asked if she could make my tee shirts into a quilt.

She said box em up and send them.

That was months ago.

I am stunned by the results.


I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt generosity of this gift.

I wanted to give her something.

So, at 3:30 am I got an idea.

I would make a video explaining what each of the 20+ panels means from my life.

Then I got a greater idea!

I will write 20+ stories telling the significance of each.

I told Joanne she had given me my life back. 

I’ve been recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia.

I’m on a med and a patch.

I am easily distracted and forgetful.

But now, thanks to my Life Quilt, I have mental exercise, recollection, and will archive memories before they disappear.

Bless you Joanne.

So, beginning tomorrow with the Portland Oregon tee shirt, now Life Quilt, I will write the stories.

Stay tuned.

– Small town boy

I live you

Damn autocorrect.

Each time I write love,

It writes live. 

All my live it says, or

I live you, or

Wait,

Maybe live is ok.

One should live love,

Not just say it. 

(Autocorrect just wrote one should live live and I corrected it.)

Try pronouncing live as līve (like hive), either the first live or the last live.

I like doing it to the second live,

We need to live live,

We need to live live too. (It did it again)

I mean we need to love live too.

It now autocorrects love to live, I watched it!

I don’t know which live it means?

Live or live (like hive)?

Should I live live (again!),

I mean live love?

Or should my love be (a)live?

Or should I live love (a)live?

I’m so tangled in love, live, and (a)live the words are blending together and confusing me.

Where was I?

Oh yes, I live you.

-small town boy

I’m not less of a man

I’m not less of a man, or less human,

because I can’t remember your name,

because I’m distracted when I drive,

because I’m incontinent,

because I’m diabetic and have arterial sclerosis,

because I can’t run and walk with difficulty especially climbing stairs.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

I’m not telling you so  much as I’m telling myself.

I’m telling myself that I am, at least, the same man,

if not better for my disabilities that I share with an aging population.

I can still love, even if I  can’t get it up.

I can still go places, even if it is by public transport.

I can still walk my dog, even if it is not with a  backpack up a mountain trail.

I am still here for my family, even with impulse control problems.

I can still dream, even with having to get up every two hours to pee.

I can stll be your friend, though we have to  grow new strategies for us to get together.

And you?

Are you still the human you once were?

Is your heart filled with love?

Do you still enjoy a beautiful fall day, with trees costumed in bright colors?

This is what life has dealt us, we have worked hard to get to this point,

And we have a ways to go yet. You and me, together, in life.

Can we? Be together? Growing old together has become real, but

I’m not less of a man,

I’m just me,

aging.

  
  
– Small town boy, I write in memory of my departed friend, Verlyne Phillip who got me started writing.

I don’t want to write no more

I’m through writing. I’m sick of it.

It makes me feel awful and so many find fault and misinterpret.

I started with story telling, but moved on to free verse.

The farther I dug down to the pit of my stomach,

The darker the result, alienating some,

Causing others to suspect my sanity,

Murmuring, murmuring.

I spent hours, days, weeks not searching,

But being open.

And then, having discovered things,

I shared in an open and honest fashion

And stirred up a great dust storm,

A wasp’s nest.

I erred as I drove forward,

Carelessly searching to test my new insights.

You need to know that I don’t do well in personal confrontation.

I can stand up for myself in calm logical rationalization ,but

When emotions raise the ante,

I tend to fold.

I felt so sure,

And now it I’m sick of it.

I am sick of the hurt it has brought others near and dear.

Should I return to the man I thought I was supposed to be?

Should I march on ignoring the fallout and censorship?

WWHD?

What Would Hemingway do?

  
– Small Town Boy

Teal

Teal is the color of those in support of those with Ovarian cancer.

  
This reminds me to pray for my friend in hospice. 

Won’t you join me ?

Some might think prayer does no good, but I know better.

It helps me work on supporting her transition,

And it helps me prepare for the end.

It helps her by bringing comfort and solace in this important time.

It helps her family as they live and work through this time we all knew was coming.

And it alerts Him that someone very special is coming.

I love you and I pray for your ease and comfort and for those near you.

Thanks for everything.

You helped me find me.

God bless and keep you.

-Small town boy

I love you

There is more than one “I love you.”

Even when you just start out in love,

Each day your love grows,

And grows, till

You can’t stand it anymore.

You can’t think about it because it consumes you, from the inside out,

Till you can’t think.

Your mind, your heart, your body, and your spirit are agitated,

Aching, can’t catch a breath,

Total anhilation of the ego,

Not just by the lebido, 

Nor the hormones,

Nor the genitalia.

But by the other.

The other you just met, the other you’ve known for years and years,

The unexpected other, the long known other,

The young and the old,

The men and women you suddenly

Realize hold the key to your heart.

How can you refuse?

What else can you do but

Return the love measure for measure.

“I am here to love you,”

Said I 

And He, standing by my shoulder,

Said, “I am here to love you!”

Talking to me.

Now I believe I am here

To love me too.

Small town boy