Friday, June 30, 2017

How long?

How long, O Lord, how long, before we get it into our heads that the Church is not a spa for saints, but a M.A.S.H unit for the broken? What kind of hospital spends more cash and care decorating the waiting room than it does equipping and staffing the E. R.? What part of "heal the sick, raise the dead, set the captives free" did we not understand?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On that day you forget to ask...

On that day you forget to ask for it, June will give you a morning so bright and sharp and happy, she'll break your heart. You know she can't go on like this.

 But in this moment, you're seized by Heaven. Nothing hurts to distraction. Your plumbing works. You can understand the last sentence you wrote last night. You can even understand the one you'll write next. Your lover sleeps where you were just asleep. You are still waking to birdsong and flowers. For once, you made the coffee just right.

You know not one human in a million has it this good. There is no apology you can make. There is nothing left for you to say to God about any of this, except Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

...still pretty good.

Sunday was a good one. James, our priest was back and promptly nailed me to the pew, not in an accusatory way, but with a deft incision that opened my heart and let the Light in to eat up the darkness there. Not being content to give me Jesus, God has bodied forth in several rare and treasured friends to find me since I came up the mountain to alive a little before I return to dust. The same dust is in the stars, I’ve been told by some who are qualified to know, or at least, make a good guess. According to them, the Universe is going home together or not at all.

In the afternoon, Field Editor Scott came up the creek and we finished sorting out the novel manuscript. His gift at such close proximity is intimidating. After he shreds my copy, what sounded fairly melodious to me before, sings sharp and lean and light enough for flight. He’s teaching me the thrill and terror of process, the hard necessity of deletion and the heady liberation of resurrection.

On Monday morning, D.O.T., attempting to remedy a sink-hole that opened up out by the highway after all the rain last week, somehow managed to break the line that brings our water over the mountain from the next county, allowing the whole town’s water supply to go cascading down Main Street, unnerving the cyclists and other tourists, and providing mild spectacle for us locals. It was a diversion, if you weren't dirty or thirsty. In that case, it was…well, it was life as we know it in our town, which, even when it’s tough, is still pretty good, and everyday surprising.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


What a pity that we have developed a political culture based on personalites more than on values. The Affordable Care Act was called Obamacare to render it a target for everybody who didn't like the President at the time. The current healthcare bill up for grabs in the senate isn't Trumpcare. I doubt he's even read it or could quote you a single paragraph. It isn't about Republicans or Democrats, either, although it was shaped largely in a Republican closet. A health bill should be about improving quality and accessible healthcare for all of us. By those standards, this one is devastating.

Read the bill. It is out there. Contact your senators. Their contact info is on-line. Tell them what you think about it. If you don't like what you've read, tell them to go back to work and come back to us with something worthy of a compassionate, healing, empowering Republic. They'll listen to you. Your vote put them in office and your vote can take them out.
We, the People. That's America. We desperately need to move toward healthcare for all the People.

Some say Donald Trump thinks everything is about him. I don't know. I can't imagine what Donald Trump thinks about anything, but health-care is about us. All of us. We're all sailing through this shit together in the same leaky boat.


Monday, June 26, 2017

With friends like mine...

It seems impossible a week has gone by since the Main Muse and I celebrated twenty-four years of sharing a roof (We share about everything else, too, except our names). We came home after a wondrous dinner at Umi, our favorite restaurant in Hendersonville, and I had hardly settled into my chair before I was felled by some mysterious infection, that hit hard and instantanious, like lightning, or divine retribution.

We thought food poisoning. We thought flu We thought a couple of other things that also turned out not to be the case. After two days in bed with a fever of 102, I realized elderberry and cranberry juice wasn't going to do the job, so I crept out to the doctor, got poked, scanned and probed. We're still not sure where the bug is hiding, but I have a two-week supply of antibiotic to flush it out. The good news is that you can't catch it. The bad news is, so far, I don't know what my ailment is, exactly, although the doctor told us several things it ain't.

After we got home, Field Editor dropped by with my new novel manuscript, so marked up it looked to be written by hand. We spent the afternoon going through it line by line and page by page. We slogged through 68 pages before he left. I was exhausted, but elated. It was the first real work I'd done since last Monday.

It takes a true friend to say hard and mean things to you when you are sick. Thanks, Scott.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Be careful...

STILL, 40"x24" wood, stone, acrylic
2009 Private collection. Chicago IL

I've not always been a scribbler. For fifty years I made paintings and sculpture, eventually merging the two disciplines into a sort of hybrid assemblage activity I referred to as "constructions."  In 2009, I put a word into a piece, titled Still. Over the next couple years there were more and more words until words were all there was. 

So be careful. A single wee transgression can wind up changing your whole life. And yes, there are times when I wake in the night and I miss making objects. But it would take time that I can't spare from writing stories. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a story is worth a thousand pictures. 

You might dream sometimes of your first love. But your last love is the one you wake up for each morning.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Some roads...

Some Roads
(song for Jeffrey)

Some roads are wide, some roads, wild,
Some roads, rough and long,
Some roads make you want to cry,
Some roads lead to song.

Some roads take you from your care,
Some roads lead you wrong,
Or bring you to your Lover’s door,
The house where you belong.

Some roads lead over shifting sands,
Vanish without a trace,
Some roads take you straight to hell,
Some roads lead to Grace.

 Some roads take you round the world
To find some foreign place,
Some roads bring you home again,
To see your True Love’s face.