The Coffin Lid

October 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

The end of summer is the day I close my pool, which this year was last Sunday. With the help of Aaron and Anneliese, I drained the veins, poured in the embalming anti-freeze, and put the coffin lid on the season, fastening it down with straps and anchors and buckles.

I spent most of this year looking for a job—which was, in itself, a full-time job. But it was a full-time job that involved not-working from home and getting paid for it.

Not paid, y’know, a lot, but enough to keep the house from going into foreclosure and me from resorting to eating the cats. I call it a win. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Dive In

June 10, 2018 § 1 Comment

It wasn’t the perfect morning for a swim.

The clouds moved in as soon as I stepped outside, blue-gray and portending rain. The sun became a pale circle impotent of warmth, then was swallowed completely.

Knowing storms were forecast for the rest of the day, I dove in anyway. The water hovered at 80 degrees F, about the same temperature as the air. « Read the rest of this entry »

To the Too Many

October 24, 2017 § 3 Comments

Dad. Ethyl. Tiffie. Bardi. And now Lisa. 

Too many toasts to too many lost this year. 

Lisa Kaminski liked to help. She didn’t know me until a friend introduced us; I’d just been laid off and was panicking, and our mutual friend thought she could help me network. 

And she did. We didn’t just exchange emails; we met for coffee several times and went to networking events, where she introduced me to people she knew. 

She didn’t just help me, either. She volunteered and joined groups and helped so many others. Her light shone brightly in this world, and it’s tempting to say the world is darker for her absence, but it is not. 

It is brighter, because she shared her light with so many others, and now we shine with it, too.

Thank you, Lisa.

It would be easy to sink into the clutches of grief after loss upon loss, but I’ve been reminded several times today that life is what you make of it. Lisa Kaminski made a great life, and touched others. 

I haven’t been nearly as good at it as Lisa, but I try to help as best I can. Because I’m inspired by the givers and the helpers, the ones who glow brightly against the darkness of this world. 

Whether you give a few dollars a month to charities, or donate blood, or care for kitties at a shelter, or knit blankets for them, or even just reach out to a friend who is struggling, you help — and that inspires others to help. That inspires me. 

Aw, hell, I’ve doddered off the path again, and it’s too late in the night to go back and find it. 

So here’s a toast to those whose light has gone out, but have left the world brighter nonetheless. 

Golden Hours

October 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

It’s a photography term, meaning the hour just after sunrise or before sunset, where the light across the landscape turns everything varying shades of gold.

There’s a medical definition for it, too:

  1. the first hour after the occurrence of a traumatic injury, considered the most critical for successful emergency treatment.

I caught the golden hour (in the photographic sense) this morning. Normally, I’m in the shower at that time, waiting for the hot spray to restore the blood flow to my brain. This morning, I woke an hour before the alarm and couldn’t get back to sleep, so … golden hour.

There’s construction across the street from the office, a steel skeleton of a building at this point; its silver bones gleamed pink gold. Passing cars winked bright orange flashes as their windows caught the rising sun. Every pale curb and post glowed rosy.

For a moment, the only sound was the soft gurgle of the coffeemaker as I watched the world dance in the dawn of the new day.

Nothing deep, today. Just a reminder that every new day is filled with golden hours.


 (Photo Credit: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=267594)

Bangkok_skytrain_sunset

In the Mines

October 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Getting this in just under the wire, as a reminder for you and for myself. 

Mines run deep and dark, and it only takes one fall for your lamp to break, and you are lost. 

Don’t despair; know the exit is waiting to be found, and keep moving. 

Voices call for you. Maybe they’re your friends’ voices, maybe they’re strangers. But listen, and crawl toward them. 

It may be a long crawl. You may be cut and bleeding and raw. But the voices are calling you back to the surface. 

Follow them into the light. 

Beneath Stillness

August 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

The waters seem lifeless, with an unmoving surface the color of an olive's skin. No breeze, and only the occasional drone of a fat horsefly.

Maybe a frog's chirrup, a time or two.

A skipped stone makes waves, but the stone sinks and the ripples fade. Did it feel the flat pebble's staccato kisses? Does it feel the wasp sipping from its surface? Does it feel the heat of the noonday sun, or the chill caress of moon's silver light?

Perhaps this hole in the earth feels not, and holds no life; nothing swims or wriggles and crawls beneath its apathetic face. Maybe it's nothing more than a reservoir of the clouds' tears, tinted by sour mud and algae.

Or perhaps the depths roil; passionate creatures twist and dance together, or hunt and devour each other, or race for the sheer joy of speed and competition. Perhaps treasure waits to be found, or ancient mines tick toward detonation.

Perhaps here be monsters.

The water may settle and clear, in time. Until then, what lies beneath the stillness can only be guessed.

The Architecture of the Other

May 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Architecture is a particular fascination for me. Not professionally; I’ve never had any dreams of becoming an architect. It’s merely a casual interest. Buildings and their design fascinates me, and I can wander around just about any neighborhood and be intrigued by the buildings there.

I’m most aware of my surroundings — and particularly, the buildings — when I’m a passenger traveling through a strange part of town or a city I’ve never been to. If I don’t have to pay attention to the way, I can relax and take in the alien landscape.

So it was when I found myself in Minneapolis last week, traveling for work. I’d never been to the city before, and imagined it to be some boxy, dull, cookie-cutter town. And it might have been, at one point, but then the aliens landed and began making Minneapolis over into a semblance of their home planet. « Read the rest of this entry »

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