The Small Things Matter


Back before Christmas, I ordered a new hoodie from the Human Rights Campaign. It has a simple rainbow equality graphic on the front, a simplicity that I find appealing. I woke up to a cooler morning than we’ve had lately and decided to wear the hoodie on my morning walk with Mimi. I also decided to take a few selfies in the bathroom mirror before we left the house. I knew I wanted to post a new essay here and thought the shots might inspire me to add something to my self-portrait series.

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Good-bye to All That


I think it is safe to say we all have times in our lives that feel more like endings than beginnings. Generally these tend to be times when change is forced upon us rather than sought out. The passing of our parents, for example, can feel like the end of childhood with the loss of those who knew us and loved us most intimately as children. I have been spinning through one of those periods for the last couple of months.

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Funkiness and Malaise


When last I posted, I was plagued with a pink laptop display among other things. The display issue has since been resolved thanks to an ASUS update that mysteriously appeared one day. This after I had checked numerous times for updates that might resolve the problems. Windows and its quirks remain inscrutable, I guess.

Anyway, once the display issue was resolved, I found myself in something of a creative funk. I had ideas for stuff but seemed to be lacking the will to carry anything through to execution. Malaise is the word to describe my frame of mind. So I have spent time reading and watching TV. Sounds productive, doesn’t it? But I guess sometimes we simply need to recharge for reasons we don’t always understand.

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3 Day 3 Quote Challenge – Day 2


Thanks again to Paul – wwwpalfitness for nominating me. 🙂

Three quotes for three days

And once again, I will simply invite those who visit this post to participate in the challenge if they would find it interesting to do so.

When I decided to take on this quote challenge, I knew that I wanted to focus on poetry in looking for quotes to feature. That led me to my own collection of poetry books and gave me a chance to revisit some old favorites. One of the books I pulled off the shelf was The New Naked Poetry, an anthology published in 1976 which features some fine poets. Two of them, Peter Everwine and Philip Levine, were actually professors of mine when I attended college at California State University, Fresno many years ago. My original intent had been to include some quotes from their work. But then I noticed something. Of the 26 poets included in this anthology, only three are women. Now that may have something to do with the focus on naked poetry which is loosely defined as poetry without adornment – no formal structure, no rhyme, etc. But I suspect it may also have something to do with the time period in which the volume was published. In any case, I decided to include one quote from each of the three women for this post.

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Some Days Are Like That

Some Days

Well, yesterday I had another day of not feeling so well followed by a night of not sleeping so well. Today I do feel much better but very, very tired. By today, I had hoped to be finished up with the three day, three quote challenge as well as having a new piece of short fiction to post. There’s always tomorrow. As they say.

Since I know I’ll get sucked into the DNC coverage tonight, I’m going to stop worrying about trying to get caught up more here until tomorrow morning. See you all in the new morning!


You Know You’re Feeling Better When…

Early this week, I knew I’d be somewhat busy with family activities and had planned to get back to blogging again on Thursday. Well, things did not go as planned. I developed chills mid-morning on Thursday along with a loss of appetite.Then woke up with a sore throat on Friday to go with the chills and no desire for food. I think I ate three total bites of some leftover pasta on Friday. Yesterday was an improvement but still not great. So basically, I did nothing but lay in bed, watch TV and periodically check into Facebook for those three days. Today?

You know you’re feeling better when you wake up hungry and actually feel like taking a shower.

You know you’re feeling better when Mimi dog lies peacefully on the sofa after a leisurely walk to the park instead of looking mournful after being hustled around the block by her ailing mom.


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Still Life


I ran across an article not too long ago that talked about people who are happier living alone. These are not people who hate other people. They have close friendships. They even have intimate, sometimes romantic, relationships. But at the end of the day, they prefer to go home to their own little corner of the world, to embrace solitude. I am one of those people.

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Flower Child


My original concept for this self-portrait was more of a hippy-dippy-let-your-inner-child-free-to-romp thing. Then this last week happened. More young black men gunned down by police for no apparent reason, police officers falling victim to sniper fire in Dallas, the ongoing BLM protests amid hyperbolic and untrue rhetoric about their “violent” motives, the over-aggressive police reaction to protesters across the country. And I haven’t even touched on other news. With all this going on, I wasn’t even sure if I had a voice anymore or, if I did, what I wanted to say. Then last night I was thinking about an article I’d read that compared what is happening in our country today to what was happening in 1968. I decided to go ahead and do this self-portrait with less of a staged costume effect and with a different focus in the narrative.

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Trees and Wisdom

When I woke up this morning and first saw the news about the mass shooting here in Orlando, I was both shocked and disheartened. I’ve spent most of the day following the story on-line. And finding myself more and more disheartened. It’s bad enough that so many people lost their lives leaving behind so many grieving family members and friends. It’s tragic enough.

But adding to a situation that is already tragic enough, there is a constant hum of rhetoric telling me that we may still not find the sense to deal with the hate and gun violence in this country. What I’m hearing today is that we don’t need to talk about the hate routinely directed toward the LGBTQ community by many of our fellow citizens because “ISIS”. We don’t need to talk about our ridiculous gun laws that make purchasing an assault rifle legal because “ISIS”. What I’m hearing today is that the whole tragedy could have been avoided if everyone else in the bar had been armed and prepared to shoot. So unless we see some major, unexpected change among those who create and maintain our laws, it seems that we will continue to arm more citizens with fewer regulations and that we will continue to promote legislation that aims to discriminate against and validate the hate displayed toward the LGBTQ community.

All of this has led me to conclude once again that human beings, as a species, are too often very bad at developing the qualities of compassion and tolerance that we so badly need if we want a good future for the generations that come after us, if we want a future for our species at all.

So I decided to go ahead and post these images of trees, many of which have been alive longer than many of us. I tend to believe that trees are wise beyond human understanding. Perhaps if we spend more time contemplating them, we can learn something new about wisdom and peace.


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