Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Pausing until the sun rises again. It will. That's for sure.

 Pausing.  Not sure what to do next, if anything.  Sending love to blog friends near and far.

Monday, April 3, 2023

"... it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song ..."


John Lennon:

“I was lying next to my first wife in bed, you know, and I was irritated. She must have been going on and on about something and she’d gone to sleep and I’d kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song; rather than a ‘Why are you always mouthing off at me?’ or whatever, right? …
But the words stand, luckily, by themselves. They were purely inspirational and were given to me as boom! I don’t own it, you know; it came through like that. I don’t know where it came from, what meter it’s in, and I’ve sat down and looked at it and said, 'Can I write another one with this meter?’ It’s so interesting.

'Words are flying [sic] out like [sings] endless rain into a paper cup, they slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe.’ Such an extraordinary meter and I can never repeat it! It’s not a matter of craftsmanship; it wrote itself. It drove me out of bed. I didn’t want to write it, I was just slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn’t get to sleep until I put it on paper, and then I went to sleep.

It’s like being possessed; like a psychic or a medium. The thing has to go down. It won’t let you sleep, so you have to get up, make it into something, and then you’re allowed to sleep. That’s always in the middle of the bloody night, when you’re half awake or tired and your critical facilities are switched off.”

“Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva”

[Thanks Ian Sanders]

Thank you to dreaminginthedeepsouth

Friday, March 31, 2023

Night song / Everyone and Everywhere / A request for "Here Comes The Sun" / Reruns March 21-31, 2007

 “Every time we train our most sophisticated tools upon the central questions of our existence – Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? – the answer comes back clearer: Everyone and Everywhere.”

-- James Bridle


My friend who is so much more than her Parkinson's diagnosis is in her fourth day in an extended care facility where she will undergo physical therapy and occupational therapy designed to allow her to return to her small apartment and live independently with support from various agencies and friends.  It is sobering to see so many people our age who are living in nursing homes permanently or temporarily like my friend.  

I played the frog song video for her.  

From her bed she can look out at the sky and trees above the one-story extended care facility buildings.  She can hear wind chimes when the window is open.  A musician friend of hers brought his guitar and played and sang Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and Harry Nilsson at her request.  



(65th and 64th Month weren't photographed)










Sunday, March 26, 2023

Pomponio Beach / Keeping in touch with old friends / Possibilities

My third oldest friend (since 1979) is still in the hospital as an "outpatient admit," which means that she can't be transferred to an extended care facility under Medicare.  She is doing better but is still not in any shape to be discharged to live at home alone and has no funds for private pay care.  Her POA for healthcare continues to appeal to the powers that be who wish to discharge her.  Her POA's husband is a musician and came to the hospital to play guitar and sing for her yesterday.  She had a palliative care consult and it was determined that, despite having Parkinson's, she does not qualify for palliative care.  We just keep moving forward, one day at a time. 


My oldest living friend and I met in our high school physical education class.  I looked at her name written on her gym shorts:  B. Heard.  In my mind, it was "Be Heard." I smiled at her and said, "Hmmm .... Be Heard," she laughed, and so we've been friends ever since.  Our friendship began in September 1963.  She was with me when I met R on a beach not all that far north from this beach.  She is currently staying at Pajaro Dunes, having flown from New York as she has done since the mid-1970s.  She and her husband visited Pajaro Dunes when they first met and returned every year until he died.  He asked that his ashes be scattered on the beach at Pajaro Dunes.  My friend will continue to visit Pajaro Dunes as many years as she can.

My friend and I were Beatles fans from the moment we saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  We went together to the last Beatles concert which took place at Candlestick Park in August 1966.  In the previous June, we had listened together to my copy of Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" for the very first time at the house where she lived with her parents and siblings.  

In 1967, a week after graduating from high school, we went to the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mt. Tamalpais and sat outside listening to The Doors and other bands. Soon after that we went to the Monterey Pop Festival together for Ravi Shankar's first American performance.  She moved to the Haight-Ashbury during the early summer of 1967 and invited me to Golden Gate Park to hear a free concert given by Janis Joplin when Janis was part of Big Brother and the Holding Company.  We went to a Donovan concert at the Cow Palace, just south of San Francisco.  She came to visit me when I was living in the dorms for my freshman year at UC Irvine.  I introduced her to the music of Leonard Cohen.  R had introduced me to the music of Leonard Cohen.  My friend and I went to two Tim Buckley concerts -- one at Winterland and the second one some years later in a small club in Palo Alto.  

We both were and still are avid readers.  All those years ago, we took long walks together just outside the city limits of Redwood City and along the San Mateo County Coast in Half Moon Bay and talked about music, our dreams for our futures, and life in general.

We haven't seen each other in person since she married and left California to live in Rochester, New York, in the 1970s.  For years we wrote letters to keep in touch.  In recent years, we talk at length on the phone every so often.  We always talk on the phone when she is staying at the ocean.  She sends me videos and photos of ocean we both love.

There were periods when we were out of close touch, especially during the years she was raising her three sons, but we never lost touch for long.  There was a time in 1970 when our friendship was strained to the limit.  In my anger and confusion during that year R was in Vietnam, I distanced myself but we worked that out by the end of 1971.  


From the "On Being Project" today:

I love "On Being."  The archives are a treasure that will likely be a resource for me for the rest of my life.

Friday, March 24, 2023

"... If all else fails, there's always the sky."

My friend who is still in the hospital loves to look out the window and notice the changes in the sky.  An old friend of mine who is currently staying at Pajaro Dunes on Monterey Bay took the above photo last evening.  Turns out that both of them grew up within a few miles of each other on the San Francisco Peninsula in California and couldn't help but love the ocean.

Above us only sky.


My friend isn't religious but has a little card near her bed that reads "Faith."

"... these are trying times that we're living in / Have a little faith, my friend ..."

-- Mavis Staples

Sending love to blog friends near and far.  

Monday, March 20, 2023

My friend Janis is in the ER tonight

Janis is a dancer with the kindest heart imaginable.  This photo was taken some years ago.

Friends of Janis and I have been staying with her for the past week because she has Parkinson's, complicated in the last month by orthostatic hypotension and numerous issues causing nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.  She has fainted and fallen.  She has been to the ER 6 times this month.  Each time it was determined that she didn't need hospital admission (?!) despite the fact that she is 74 years old, can't stand up for long, feed herself or take her meds without help and lives alone.  

Today we finally were able to have a home health care nurse come to do an assessment which was followed by a phone call to a physician who completed the assessment.  Her standing diastolic blood pressure was 49!  The doctor said she need to go to the ER immediately.  The nurse instructed Janis to refuse discharge from the ER this time.  The hospital didn't tell her that she could refuse to be discharged.  It's called "appealing the discharge" and gives a person 24 hours in the hospital at which time they again "appeal the discharge."  Our goal is to have her admitted so that she can be discharged to an acute care rehab or acute care at home through something called COPES for low-income people.  

 Because Janis is so weak and her diastolic and systolic blood pressures are so low, I'm hopeful that they will admit her this time -- that she gets the medical attention she needs.

I've been up since 4:00 this morning, caregiving for Janis from 6:30 until her daytime caregiver arrived for the nurse and doctor assessment.  I'm an early bird.  Her daytime caregiver is a night owl and is staying at the hospital with Janis now.  When I left the hospital, we had been in the overflowing ER for nearly 5 hours.  There was a steady stream of people of all ages suffering and needing medical attention in an understaffed hospital with a limited amount of beds.

I'm going to get some sleep so that I can help out again tomorrow.  

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Theme for March 19, 2023: "The Listeners" read by Pádraig Ó Tuama / Am's artwork retrospective 1966-2008 revisited: March 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2023 / MealTrain for Janis

This painting was chosen by the owners of the Blue Horse Gallery for the flyer for my March 1990 show.

"The Listeners" read by Pádraig Ó Tuama 

Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;



Dream from March 14, 2007:

Last night I dreamed that a small plane fell from the sky and crashed, nose down, into the bed of daisies my father had planted on the north side of the house where my family lived. A calm and unhurt letter carrier from the U.S. Post Office, holding his mail bag, stepped out of the plane and handed us our mail as we stood at the sliding glass door which opened onto our covered porch. We then helped him drag the undamaged airplane onto our porch and invited him into our house. I went outside on the porch to look at the plane. I realized that it was a handmade plane, built from plywood and painted a flat grey. I thought to myself, "Hey, I could build a plane like that."



The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the
heart-breaking beauty
Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.

(from "Credo," by Robinson Jeffers, Stones of the Sur, p. 144, with photographs by Morley Baer)



In this silence
I am looking for relief
Trusting grief
Loving the child never conceived
Loving all the shattered children
Who dared not trust, love or grieve
Loving the silent holy night
The wild blue sky of day
The courage of redwood trees
The beloved ocean
Still mirroring our wild hearts
Always calling to us:
Trust grief.

(poem begun in 6/17/2000, completed 8/26/2003)



My post from March 19, 2007:

I've been feeling depressed lately in the way that I did when I was at a loss as to what to do with my life, during the years I was living in a marriage that was never meant to be. Taking an antidepressant was not the solution. The solution was to make a decision to leave the marriage and then to leave. Facing my fears was the solution. Changing my life was the solution. I have never regretted my decision. The depression lifted. I was no longer living a lie. The joy I had once felt in living returned. I entered the most creative period of life up to that point.

Now it's not so clear what it is that is behind this recent feeling of depression. I believe that the solution is the same. I need to make a decision to face my fears and change the course of my life again. Am I again married to something that was never meant to be? What is it? I hope these are the right questions. I know what it is to feel joy, and I hope to feel that again.

Mid-February to mid-April is not the best time for me because of pollen and mold allergies. I no longer suffer from severe upper respiratory symptoms, but I do experience a feeling of malaise in late winter and early spring that is at odds with the beauty of this time of year. As the days grow lighter, I don't feel better. If anything, I have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder and don't feel well again until after the summer solstice. I have chosen not to take antidepressant medication because my depression is situational. My experience is that it always lifts.

A book that I have found helpful with depression is The Zen Path Through Depression
, by Philip Martin. I need to get that book out again.


Revisiting the beginning of my blog has been a revelation.  Although this isn't my favorite time of year, I am feeling stronger than I have ever felt, able to help others, despite a series of small but relentless challenges since last September.  The latest challenge is not small and involves helping the first friend I had in Bellingham.  Janis is having serious acute and chronic health issues.  Like many of us, she is in her 70's, low-income, and has no husband or children or nearby relatives to help.  What she does have is friends who are stepping forward to visit, bring food and offer to stay with her until she is stronger and her primary care provider's referrals come through and she can get home health care and possible acute rehab care placement through her Medicare and Medicaid insurance.

MealTrain for Janis

Janis is a dancer with the kindest heart imaginable.

Listening closely to Jewell James

"... we can't go on without the earth ..."

*... a message to the travelers ..."

(Jewell James -- excerpt from YouTube video)

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Every morning is new

Watch for silhouettes of wild geese at around 0:09