A friend has gone into hospice. Failing heart. Surgery to replace his pacemaker was aborted a few months ago. Measures were made to help him sufficiently recover for a new pacemaker. Whatever happened since, he’s in hospice.
I thought about him and me, and him and his life, trying to find words for where we’re at. I finally decided, I was happy to know him, enjoyed his company, admired his accomplishments, respected his principles, and enjoyed his company. The words feel empty and lost, as satisfying as reaching into an empty bag.
It’s the nature of existence as we know it to live and then die. Sometimes the space between the beginning and end are cruelly small. His was not. He’s done the first. Now he will do the second.
Sunday’s Theme Music
Warmish and foggy, kind of cool, too. It’s Christmas day in southern Oregon.
Dawn dashed in under the fog’s cover at 7:38 in the morning. I fed the cats and we prepared food to take to our friend’s house for Christmas brunch. Sipping coffee, I looked out the kitchen window. The fog was hurrying away. Sunshine struck the valley’s southern edge, lighting the trees and the blue sky.
I thought about all the matters which have gone well for me and pushed that aside. Homelessness plagues our small town. All those people were out there, looking for places to get warm, to be safe, to rest their bones and minds. I helped a few this week but it never feels like enough. Never. It’s a pattern encountered across the nation, one of the most powerful societies the world has ever seen.
I thought about the misery of people in other states hanging on as snow and ice storms undercut their infrastructures and cut their power. I thought about the military forces battling for arcane logic in Ukraine and the people trying to help one another to stay alive there. Then I thought about all the wealth hung onto by our world’s most fortunate families, individuals, corporations, wondering if they’re the most deserving, and how the sperm lottery affects our existences. I’m flattened often by stories of the wealthy do the most that they can to stay wealthy and make more money. Work harder, others are told. It’s just that easy.
Just Christmas reflections, little different than my recurring daily thoughts. Not original, but worn and tired.
My music today has nothing to do with the holidays. The song came out of dreams and efforts, weariness but hope. Called, “Turn It On Again”, the song is by Genesis. Released in 1980, the song is about a man whose friends are the people on TV.
Have a merry one. Happy holidays to you, whatever your flavor of seasonal celebrating as the common era year slides to an end. Hope you’re warm and safe, with a belly full of food.
Friday’s Wandering Thought
He recalled the mother of his youth. She was always reading. Michner, Robbins, Jong, paperbacks purchased at drugstores. Movies fascinated her. She always recommended actors, directors, movies.
Now, she doesn’t have time to read. Hasn’t in years. She’d moved from fiction to true crime to nothing. She doesn’t like movies, she says. She wants drama and none of them provide it. Time is spent watching MSNBC, or shows like Doctor Pimple Popper, My Feet Are Killing Me, and Dateline.
It’s not surprising. Everyone changes. He thinks about the episodes, powers, and energies that shaped and reshaped her, rising to a comparison with the planet, and how unseen events work together to reshape the world.
I kept encountering an error message. Sometimes it was written on a printout: [Error 1988: Michael does not exist]. I saw it in emails and text messages. Sometimes it was also spoken in the same voice my Roomba makes an announcement: “Error 1988: Michael does not exist.” As this happened, I was hurrying down hallways, looking over my shoulder, and pushing on doors, trying to find one that opens, hunting for an exit.
But, in one sense, it was understandable. On vacation, a person who needs isolation and solitude, who enjoys writing as their escape and therapy, who is forced to spend almost eighty percent of their time with other people, will end up dreaming about escape.
The question is, why those numbers?
Going to weddings
Walking the dog
Embarking on trips
Cleaning the house
Speaking on phones
Trying to decide
What to do
Where to go
What to say
Wondering how to respond
When to surrender
Make a stand
Or walk away
It’s such a crossroads
Here comes another
Space and Time
He sits in a chair and closes his eyes
With the space of a breath
He becomes another guy
Living in another place and time
Where he sits in a chair and closes his eyes
Ever becoming another guy
Living in another space and time
Nothing is done
And all is the same
Except he sits in his chair
And closes his eyes
And becomes another guy
In another space and time