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Itís June! June! (Happy dance.) The happy dance did not originate with Snoopy as is widely believed. It has its origins with the ancient Etruscans and their Rhaulstrisk, a dance performed in the spring. Simultaneously it is thought to have been developed by the Pnoberastics as a feasting celebration. Whatever the origin the happy dance survives in many forms with the term being used to describe any number of twirls, pirouettes and leaps into the air with or without the clicking of heels. Recently President Obama was filmed doing a happy dance although he has been filmed doing many things.
I called my mommy and daddy this morning. My mommy is 92 and my daddy is 93. This means, to me, that they will not be with me much longer. What will I do about this? It is difficult enough that I will not be with me much longer. How will I deal with the death of my mother and father? I have had two friends die on me. Other than that I have been relatively free of the experience. There was my older sister when I was about four months old, and a close friend when I was five.
Itís not normal for me to be cold, but here I am this morning wrapped in a blanket. The thermostat says it is 70 degrees in here and I am not complaining. I would much rather seventy than eighty. The blanket doesnít help when it is eighty. I have some time this morning, less than I thought I had. I have little faith that I will be able to write something. I seem to have lost that thing. Is it the new drugs? Am I going through a phase? The two great questions are begged. Who knows? And, who cares?
Itís not so bad this morning, the panic thing. I think about my mother. I wish I had a picture of my mother. The panic thing is not so bad. I think about my father lying in that little single bed in which I used to sleep, the cannon-ball maple frame. The mattress is about worn out on that thing. Still it is the bed he chooses to sleep in. He could choose another I am pretty sure. And his room is so tiny, so confining. I am still thinking. I am becoming claustrophobic. It is part of the panic.
The clock is approaching ten oíclock, the time I will get up from here and launch into the day. There was no work this morning. It is a holiday in Korea, where my students live. Their memorial day I believe. My mother used to call it Decoration Day. This because they would decorate the graves on memorial day. It was a thing for all graves. That is the sense I was left with. I am standing in a farmhouse. I have been crying and it is cold. The farmer is leaned over a telephone book looking for my fatherís number.
It was a blue flower. Blue dark blue singing the darkness out of a horn. Blue petals, blue in the calyx, corolla, in the stamen and pistil. Deep into the hollow of the flower, blue flowed in like a waterfall from the sun, thunder and mist raising high. Catwalks have been carved into the blue rock generations ago so that we no longer remember those who carved them or even those who caused them to be carved. We barely remember the genesis of the last repair of the bridge. It needs repair again. It will again be a blue bridge.
I turn on the music machine and dial up Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. The blurb says it is the best-selling Jazz album in history. And here I thought it was my special private dark little secret. What does it mean when literally everyone else likes the same thing you like? Does it mean you like the same thing everyone else likes? And why is that a bad thing? We all want to have a unique identity. It is just one more way we are all like everyone else. We are interchangeable organic parts in the tiny little global puzzle.
Cottonwood seeds are drifting by in the air outside, lazily watching through the screen as they pass, a marker of early summer in Michigan. Like cemeteries, cottonwoods seem to follow me wherever I go. Also sunshine, rain, and snow I suppose. Automobiles, grass, and mud. Glass, drywall, and carpeting. I could say any number of things follow me when the fact is that these things merely exist just as I merely exist and there is no special connection, no special meaning. It is coincidence sometimes and ubiquitous presence for other times. The cottonwoods are everywhere and likely cemeteries are too.
My eyes are all squinty. Somehow I have gotten a cool breeze blowing on me in here. I donít know how this could have happened. It is eighty degrees in here and nearly ninety outside. My eyes are all squinty. The sunlight sneaks through the windows, through the blinds and makes little patches on the carpet and on the furniture. I hear Miles on the stereo even though my ears are plugged and ringing. My sinuses are swelled shut. But things are great. We do not suffer. Our civilization has not collapsed. Life is good. My eyes are all squinty.
Iím going to take a little time here to write. It is to either put off the next thing or it is to help me into the next thing. I donít know which. Likely it is both. It is also possibly something that can soothe the mind all by itself and my mind is in need of a lot of soothing these days. I put on some music when I started here. I like it better than the music I am likely to make when I begin playing the piano. Yes, the next thing is likely to be the piano.
I hear the airplane flying by the window and I hear the sunlight splashing off the trees and landing in the grass below. I hear the thud of the tomatoes ripening on the deck outside, the slow thwup thwup as they pulse in the light. Yes, I hear the rattle of the leaves and the pounding of the fan blades on the air as it swivels its head left and right in slow and even respiration. I hear the whimper and whine of the ringing in my ears and I no longer worry about what this might mean, not today.
The skirt on the Tiki umbrella ruffles in the wind. It is a plastic Tiki umbrella, not the real thing, but being plastic gives advantages. It is lighter than the real thing, I am sure. I canít imagine how difficult it would be to wrestle a real one. It looks just as cool as a real one would look. There are the ecological implications of having a plastic one. Some say plastic lasts forever. I dunno. I have read stories of thatching lasting for a very long time. I have personally seen plastic deteriorate and compose over a few years.
Cherry tomatoes are ripening in the sun. Bright yellow lilies are slowly opening. It is a marvel to watch them open in the morning. True I have the brain wash that tells me they have slowly evolved to do this using trial and error over billions of years. I understand the mechanics, the ropes, pulleys and gears of the slow chemical reactions that drives through the green fuse. Stamen, pistil, calyx, corolla. I remember the basic four parts of the flower from a lesson some fifty years ago. The things you remember. How odd these memories fall on your ear.
I draw a line. I come back and draw another line. I take rounds and draw a new line each time I pass by. It is a thing I am doing. It will be alright. Everything will be alright. I donít have to believe that but it is what I prefer. Life just goes better if you believe. I pass by and drop another line. This one is about the blur of the park. I return to write of the shadows on the sofa. I could have written about the shadows on the couch. Perhaps I will the next time.
Iím coming by to leave a line. Not just once a day but whenever I walk by. I lay down another line. The fan is a blur of noise. My ears are twittering with the singing of a dozen birds that dwell only in my head. I pass by without stopping. I stop and look at the rug. I will run the vacuum cleaner in here soon. I stop in to check on things. I see I have been here. There are voices from the park. I hear the washing machine begin to fill. Iím back. The sun has set.
I stop by. I hear hoots and hollers from the basketball court in the park. I hear the thumping of the ball. I see butterflies working the weed field between and along the railroad track. I remember the railroad track when I was a boy, hot and hard in the summer as we went to look for berries. Cold and hard in the winter as I walked with my father hunting rabbits. I was never such a good shot with the gun he gave me. Some guns seemed to work better than others in that regard. I was a disappointment.
We folded sheets. Folding sheets is a lot like dancing. Sometimes you step on each otherís toes. I get up and leave. I come back, noticing there is dust on the lampstand. The lampstand is black with three tiers of shelves. White dust on black metal. So much of life is maintenance. It has always been this way and Iím told we have more free time now that at any point in history. This is probably true. I stop by again. Sun is basking the deck. The deck is basking in sunlight? The fan swivels its head to look at me.
I pass by. Iím thinking about how the light hits the room, echoing off every wall, bounding from the corners, and glancing off the ceiling. I pass by. I donít even stop to write anything. I just pass by. The wind is blowing cottonwood seed outside. The breeze passes through the house. I pass through the house. I am like a breeze coming and going. I would point out that I am but temporary. You see, though, the breeze is temporary too. This planetís wind patterns exist for a finite time. Forever is a long time. It is that long.
Itís still early in the day. It seems later, probably because I got up early. Probably because I havenít done much today. It is fatherís day; a day you inform me in which I am supposed to do nothing. Doing nothing is difficult for me. I try to explain that. I think you know that. On the one hand it is easy for me to fall into. On the other hand, it is really not good for my mental well-being. I have phone calls I should be making. To my father. To the father of my grandsons. Perhaps other things.
I pass by, pausing to type a line. I have been spraying clear acrylic on the wooden ducks you bought. I think I should be playing the piano. Itís after 2 oíclock. I feel guilty when I do not play the piano. There is no reason for me to feel guilty; it is just my nature. It is one of those things I would tweak a bit if I could. I would not change it greatly. I donít want to be dialed all the way up to a man with no conscience. My angst meter could use a tweak though.
I stop by again. Am I really in this much motion, or do these entries just make me seem so. To be sure I am not in motion when actually writing an entry. Actually, my fingers are in motion. My arms to a small extent and my eyes. My eyes are moving. The clock chimes. I do not say what time. I stop by. My smartphone reminds me that I have an appointment with my neurologist this Thursday. My glasses are slipping down my nose. I push them back with two fingers. I feel a nascent sneeze tickling my nose.
Yes. I erase what I have written. I wish to start over. I do that often. A question here is, do I deliberately pad this stuff so it is easy to take words out when I run over 100? Maybe not. Maybe that is just my quick mind seeing future opportunities. My eyes are burning. I am fascinated by the eye doctorís suggestion that removing my cataracts will eliminate my lifelong myopia. I am so used to not being able to see. What about my hearing? Will the eye surgery improve my hearing too? Arguments could be made for that.
I am running out of time. I will soon start playing the piano. Then I have to move the cars. I am getting overwhelmed here. Two things to consider and I feel overwhelmed. I could ask you but you seem to be busy. I would help if I could consult with you. You would say move the cars after the piano. That would be the reasonable thing and things would be settled. Or I could start out by suggesting that. An even better approach. It doesnít saddle you with the responsibility of a decision and it settles things for me.
OK, I have just a half hour here. I had just a half hour about fifteen minutes ago but it took me a while to get my computer working. My browser window was hiding on me and for some reason I couldnít just click and drag it back to my screen. Thatís what I eventually did, but it was a struggle, a kind of tug-of-war with the computer pulling the screen back into the margin as I tried to move it out. Reminded me of the ďAny KeyĒ story that used to circulate. Help, I canít find he Any Key.
I had an idea of what I might do here but it evaporated as I sat down. It evaporated leaving a cool spot on my forehead. Perhaps that is a clue to what it might have beenóthe cool spot on my forehead. What could have been growing there before it evaporated? Something from the weighty depths of the ocean, covered in gallons of green seawater. Or maybe it was dry, a thing trying to grow in the desert, slowly choking on its own desperate fumes. Perhaps it was a flower sprouting from the side of the deck, shouting hallelujah.
About that flower growing from the side of the deck. It is a pod of bright blue Idontknowhatmenaughts tucked in behind a hanging tomato plant basket. You have taken to growing vegetables on the deck. You find them infinitely more interesting than flowers you say as you joyously harvest the daily production of cherry tomatoes. You are busy planning the vegetables you will add next year. You are thinking about peppers and cucumbers. Last week you added a rhubarb plant, promising me a rhubarb pie. I looked dubiously. I donít know how a pie is gonna come out of that.
The sun comes through the window behind me glancing off my glasses and the side of my face. I can feel the heat against my eye on that side. Imagine the eye and all the images that pass through there. Imagine being able to peel back each image in turn revealing the one that came before, nearly countless images being peeled back second by piece of second. It is an analog device, the eye, so that there is the possibility of an infinity of images to be peeled back. Is this true? Would there be a limit to the number?
The wheels on the bus go round and round. round and round. round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town! The people on the bus go up and down. up and down. up and down. The people on the bus go up and down, all through the town! The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. beep, beep beep. beep, beep, beep. The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. all through the town! The big wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. swish, swish, swish. swish, swish, swish.
The spokes on the bicycle go round and round, moving in and out with a twinkle and a fine spray of oil while the chain bends round the sprocket pulling ever pulling legs pumping like slow pistons leaning forward as the machine crawls up a hill. Feet press on the pedals moving the crank in the housing pressing it against bearings that can move only one way and that is once again round and round. But round and round is not for everything. It is for bicycles and bus wheels. We, however, are moving on straight lines through this life.
You are out weeding in your garden. It is a flower garden, a back yard sort of garden with a path and little wooden ducks. It is a space there between the condo and the railroad, a space for you to garden. I would have said play but that is not quite the right word. Nor is work. Garden must be used as a verb here. You perhaps wanted to be somewhere else and I suppose I should move about and make somewhere else happen for us. I just want to be here. I donít want to be somewhere else.
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