15 Nov 2015, 3:19pm
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Best Elements

Of all the places we lived or rented here are my favourite things:

  • being able to ski out the back door in privacy, having the woods to myself or ourselves
  • blue glass triangular shower powder room with skylight with no walls but one floor drain
  • heated floor in the bathroom with a dimmer switch and window opening to bare sky
  • outdoor shower looking into the forest
  • view of the top of backs of flying birds, tiny figures below
  • 12th century cottage with thick stone walls and fig trees and lizards in the yard
  • a profound quiet except for billions of leaves
  • farmers markets and fruit stands, bakeries and boulageries in every direction
  • late medieval cottage with a fireplace indoors and frog pond and herb garden outdoors with bicycles to explore lanes
  • a window seat in built-in maple shelves made by a local cabinetmaker
  • a few steps from deck of dark sky night to canoes and a lake to explore
  • fireplace and hottub in the bedroom and a catered breakfast buffet of fruit and bread
  • new kitchen toys like blender or slow cooker
  • a perfect teacup of a chair
  • views of hills and pheasants and rabbits
  • horses nearby
  • indoor or indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool
  • books to explore
11 Nov 2015, 4:32pm
Gnomes Ponderings
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No Travel At All

Those 5 or 6 days of laryngitis turned on me. I went from being an unintentional practical joke with mom calling and not believing that who answered the phone was me, insisting that Brian hand the phone over. To being aspiration and mouthing things for a couple days. To a soprano boy’s cracking voice. To it wearing out after a sentence or too. Me on mute.

I’ve been coughing for days. Hacking out a lung that won’t quite come right out. Holding on by mucus of steel.

I don’t feel congested. I feel like a plague-bearer.

Slowed thinking has its advantages.

Economics is not growth like plant growth.

I put 1 potato in the ground, split 3 ways and I got a bagful of potatoes back.

Invest money and your just take it by “interest” from someone else. It is not alive. All the movement is by outside forces.

Maybe new ores are squatted on by corporations skimming the land from beneath where plants, humans and other animals have been living but money is a process more than a product.

Money is a convenience for trade. Why go to make a transferable neutral of cash when you can find and trade directly and skip the middle means? Cash is a failure of communicating with a tribe that you can be useful to and who can provide what you need.

Writing things down is in the belief that otherwise it will be forgotten. What if it isn’t? And writing just prevents further thought and releases things to be forgotten?

A while back we went to Pink Lake where sunning on the trail was this guy. I say guy because male garter snakes are smaller than females and it is late in the season to be young.

I have always loved garter snakes. To encounter a species not-human is a gift. Snake, cat or Firebrat, which prefer 98 to 102 °F (37 to 39 °C) and an optimum of 85% humidity. A niche I can understand myself.

I like water snakes. And garters. Even when I found one eating peaceably as a little kid. But I ran to dad who came and “rescued” the mouse from her mouth. I didn’t even offer the snake an apple in return. The mouse was wet but ran off.

I’ve never written that. Now that I have it will disappear like all things consigned to text. The construction of language confers a lack of real to anything it touches. What stays outside language in the 90% of the world that is non-verbalized has a reality to it that is hard to bring over the border of 2-D.

Talking is good. I can understand how it has all kinds of leakage and slippage, and refusal of one narrative. Talking is messy and takes up a moving sack of space of body, a larger one of sound. When we pare it down to text, we keep a spilled dried spatter of egg white and the chick had left to dry and scratch. The shell is something to marvel at and hold. It is everything all together that adds up. The whole stories.

Pink Lake
Pink Lake is extremely low oxygen. The water doesn’t cycle in it and in fall especially the algae builds to make it bloom. It looks more Mediterranean than dreams of the Mediterranean. Than tourism guides for the Mediterranean.

A month ago there was snow. A month ago there was ice on the water. And still the trees aren’t bare.

On one hand, I appreciate the warmth. On the other, I’d like to try out our snow shoes.

22 Oct 2015, 1:15pm
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The pattern is as clear as the plague symptoms on the doctor’s own body. Once the regular schedule of blogging stops, once a person goes from daily to occasionally, highly irregular is rarely far away. I saw it coming but life has its own insistences.

A theme of the last few months is waiting for want. Want if very quiet, unless it is a want of a cat. I had an old premise that without pressing myself, depression would suck me dry and bitter. What if pressing itself does that? Perhaps that is the fruit of both directions of excess.

It’s been a year of reflection and withdrawal. I removed myself from various groups and organizations, stopped going to events except every month or two. I largely stopped having tea or dinner with people The idea of throwing a couple parties didn’t happen. I have had a couple months reading little poetry and writing almost none, which isn’t unprecedented but it has been a long time. There is a season to gather and a season to harvest.

The summer had been my mom, her tumour removed, heart valves replaces, excess fluid in limbs and lungs, then a full break for hubby & I to withdraw and renew our energies.

As with any holiday, the first week is essential, but not yet holiday exactly. We sit and we sleep and restore from depleted. My headaches and twitchiness continues for a week, wanting to make fake busy, nervous as a mouse in a cat kennel. After that we get to the rest part.

The European idea of a 6 week vacation seems about right. Time to decompress, find a rhythm and be able to see beauty that slipped. You can’t order beauty to appear or expect it but if you refuse the usual tides of bullshit and bullseyes long enough, its grace might make an appearance.

Beauty is a funny thing. You can gorge yourself until sick but a few hours later, appetite is back. It is a kind of nutrition, beauty, nature, ground, lack of mechanical sound pestering. Eventually the eyes could move in a sweep of distances, instead of stagger about from one locked position, unsticking to next locked position. The world gets more three dimensional.

By week 3, there’s new kinds of aches and strengths. Atrophied smile muscles are getting a workout. The sedentary habit of home gave way to being able to have full use of my body again. I could hike for a couple hours up hills. I could canoe with ease, feel the muscle burn, but no pain afterwards, only deep sleep and waking without that buzz off mental metal walls.

Coming home I crashed into the thorny thicket of old habit and my body immediately slapped me with days of body penalties, headaches and muscle hurt like I have been free of. But to be free of something is to know that contrast is possible. So, how to live properly again. It can be done.

So, let there be no more of this,
stress ball

1 Sep 2015, 4:35pm
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Country Walks



hub cab

Lost hubcab


Foggy stones

orange mushrooms

New life

nummy plant

Nummy plant


Dew on the grass


Cows standing one by one wondering what I’m up to.

15 Aug 2015, 9:21pm
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The Do from Here

My ambition for a day often exceeds it but yesterday was a rush of compound successes, and then, slow and steady, shall we put it?

happy accident
Accidental shots are more sensical.

The roots of my appreciation for surreal is now clear: continuous exposure to non sequitur.

-Any questions? asks nurse,
-Can you have cola? asks mom
-You like soft drinks, do you?
-No never have it, answers mom.
-Then why did you ask?, asks nurse, laughing.

Conversation always veering to random play. Non-narrative accumulation. Other patients found the randomness (or knowledge for knowledge sake?) charming and funny. An interpretation I hadn’t considered.

I’m used to her in the context of her being micromanaged, dismissed, lead, and bullied by family. Her hospital roommate said “you’re mom’s my hero. She’s one smart cookie” and they’re getting on great.

Her friend’s husband chatted with me on the phone which never happened before. They’ve been friends 25 years, about as long as I’ve been away from home. A good portion of a lifetime.

Barry McKinnon interview broken over several segments. In part 6 he related an audience question, “do you write traumatic monologues?”

Creeley said “I write short poems because my wife keeps walking into the room. These are not profound metaphysical arguments but they are real.”

McKinnon observes “A lot of theoretical writing doesn’t lead me anywhere”.

What did I get out of reading that?

That question is tacked to my mental bulletin board. Sometimes all I gain is bitterness and rancour because I want the salient but in that sweet spot not what I already have confirmed.

With some reading it’s with hopes of getting hooks to get something that comes later, some way to anchor to something said by someone I have yet to meet. Sometimes I don’t have any way to grasp. It’s to prepare to leapfrog. It isn’t comforting to hear what I already believe. A diet of irony and poking isn’t complete. Colbert Report is long gone but Last Week Tonight with John Oliver could get taxing eventually. It’s still the same thing of news, seeking eyeballs, consumption.

Reading science and history helps. Doing physical work helps but still my bullshit meter is buzzing more than the cat meows.

I suppose I can see my shakes for web-contact since I’m busy, and out of wifi range, and my iphone kacked so I’m back to twitch-reach gesture. I finally have systems to compose shopping list and poem parts on it. On the other hand I found my notebook, but I can’t keyword search paper. Except with eyes.

Lastly, I don’t understand ‘male footwear’ Are there no cobblers? Do shoes come covered with functional penises? And that’s where soles come from…

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