Tag Archives: journal

Going on a Vacation!

 

I’m going on a trip to the Grand Canyon! I leave early tomorrow, so just a few hours from now. I’m excited to see the beauty of a real desert. Checking it off the bucket list! 

I’ll be gone all next week and maybe the one after that. Please don’t expect me to an amazing, or consistent, or even existent blogger. I will return, with a scalp full of sand and a mind full of ventifact geometry.

Maybe this is a good time to post this one. Not even sure if it counts as a poem, just food for thought.

 


 

Running out of time

How much is left

To do what we want

To do what others want

What kind of a bucket list should we have?

 

Here is a bucket list written by a six-year-old.

 

– sit in hot tub

– visit grandma and grandpa

– catch frogs

– see a movie with mom

 

This is how simple life can be.

She has no agenda

No outside influence

On what a bucket list should say.

Her world is small and rich.

No popular tourist destinations

No huge purchases

No revenge 

No regrets.

All she wants

Is to spend her time doing what she enjoys

With people she loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

There may be such a thing as too much perspective

 

Life has been on earth for five billion years.

We’ve seen five mass extinctions. We’re currently undergoing the sixth,.

There have been many geological and biological factors for the extinctions. The famous meteor impact. Volcanic activity. Thriving plants altering the chemistry of the atmosphere. Imbalanced ocean water. 

Have you ever looked up a video of the tectonic plates shifting? Landasses are just the dried pudding skin on top of a swirling hot ball of magma. Watch them float and mash into each other.  https://youtu.be/IlnwyAbczog 

I looked at Google maps today and zoomed out until I could see the earth as a globe. The land masses still look like liquid. They’re clearly made of a slow-flowing substance. Look at the tip of Africa. It’s crumpled.

How small we are. We run and scream and fret about the mess we’ve made of things. What absurd hubris. We aren’t the first and we won’t be the last. And unless something integral about us changes, we certainly will not survive as a species beyond another few hundred thousand years.

Only one thing is for sure: the algae always wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – the hard way

 

Sometimes I enjoy doing things the hard way
The long, difficult way
By hand
Without electricity
Without advanced tools.
It connects me to the past
To ancient humans
Struggling to make ends meet
To those who worked hard perfecting a craft.
I tried to saw dovetails with hand tools
When I made my desk.
It was hard work.
It took days.
I was sore, my carpal tunnel flared
And when I finally tried to hammer the pieces together
It didn’t fit.
But I learned
how much work
Every piece of furniture should be.
I can appreciate
The ease of modern living
Machine made items shipped to your home.
I can appreciate too
What we’ve lost.
You forge a connection
With things you built
With food you grew, harvested, and processed.
Even doing something as simple as washing your car by hand
You learn more about the state that car is in
Notice its scratches and weak points
Restore the sparkles in its paint.

I processed five gallons of grapes by hand.
When I sat in my kitchen
Peeling grapes
I mimicked the motions of my ancestors.
Women have peeled grapes
Into bowls in their laps
For thousands of years.
They spent hours upon hours
Processing the bounty of summer
To stave off winter’s bite.
They told stories while working
Sang songs
And some just worked
Alone, in quiet thought.
Every grape I handled
Taught me more about this food.
I learned to tell a wormy one by feel
Its rough scar tissue
Sent a shudder through my marrow.
I learned what every color tastes like.
I learned to love the Concord smell
Rich and strong and sweet and tangy.
If I’d used tools
I wouldn’t have had to stand at the sink for so long.
I wouldn’t have had the quiet thinking time
I wouldn’t have been able to practice my working posture
Relaxed enough to fight fatigue, yet always moving.
I noticed I was taking much longer than necessary
Due to my need to get every grape, save every grape, not waste
Anything
And I knew someone watching me would have felt frustrated
Just as I felt
When I watched my mother process peaches for the freezer
Always graceful, always painfully slow, yet inevitable.
After two days of work
The peaches would be all blanched, peeled, sliced, sugared, and frozen.
I felt her echo in my slow fingers
Of her, and a million women before her
All of us preparing the harvest
So we might have something sweet
For winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Journal – on avoiding the news

 

You know what I hate?
Politics.
I can’t look.
I avoid it because it makes me sick.
I don’t watch the news because it’s poison, twisted scenarios, biased accounts.
Is there even such a thing as truth?
Or is truth in the eye of the beholder?
Science cannot measure ethics.
Science cannot measure a human heart.
When people look into their own pasts,
All they see
Is what they need to believe.
Even history is a tenuous thing.
I know people who believe in history.
I can’t.
It is written by human hands, filtered through human hearts, wrung through the gossip machine over and over.

They say Ramses was king from such to such a year.
This is all the truth that remains.
What does that matter, what does it mean?
But there are patterns of truth
To a discerning eye.

I see the future
Because of history.
I know where we’re headed
Because of history.
There will be no apocalypse.
But the age of America’s empire
Is coming quickly to a close.
Our decay as a nation is imminent.
It will not happen suddenly
But it will happen faster than any other empire’s close.
Technology is a joining of hands.
It accelerates everything.
We learn faster, we forget faster.
We share language and culture faster.
We are running on fast forward.
People are jaded more quickly.
People can see the patterns
In their own behavior
Like they never could before.
And when America falls,
Many of those joined hands
Will be pulled down with it.
Amidst the chaos,
A dictator will rise.
We will choose security over freedom.
That is what humans choose
Every time.

The world will not end.
The world does not end.
Humanity can survive
Anything.
But we repeat our mistakes.
Sometimes we even worsen.

Yesterday was beautiful.
Our biggest problems
Were sexual harassment and bullying.
This was a mark
Of our success as a nation.

The cultural backlash
Is growing.
Xenophobia abounds.
People are getting shunted into camps
Driven away, caged.
Rights and freedoms for all are shrinking back
Into rights and freedoms for some.

I fear we have witnessed the peak.
Today begins the decay.
Maybe it’ll just be
A bigenerational thing
But this feels stronger.
I’m afraid.
I’m afraid our time is up.
We’re due for an economic depression
We’re due for a major war.

I’m not afraid of death.
I’m not afraid of poverty.
I’m afraid of my own inability to act.
The situation is disgusting
And those in power
Are equally disgusting.
Everything is disgusting.
It fills me with frustration.
Watching the news
Is just a shitshow.
We are watching ourselves
Flush ourselves down the drain.
There are millions of people
Who know how to fix it
Who want to fix it
Who cannot fix it.
I want to fix it
But stronger is my want
For personal freedom.
We might influence culture here and there as individuals
We might start a club, write a book, invent a tool
We can devote ourselves to a cause
And leave a small dent in evil.
But nothing brings true peace.
Every effort
Is futility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s better to react quickly and look stupid than to not react in time

One of my coworkers just got his hip replaced. I am very fond of him. He is a fellow writer, and he always eats my cooking. Brave, brave man. 😉

Today was one of his first days back. From his cube, I heard a THUNK and then him swearing quietly.

My stomach dropped. I left my chair and rushed into his cube.

He was fine! He had been raising his desk to a standing height when the side got hooked on the printer, raised it, and dropped it. That was the big noise.

Two other concerned coworkers peeked in. After the worried questions and dismissive answers, we went back to our desks. One of them remarked, “Wow, you were in there fast! I sit right next to him and you were still in there before me.”

Having had an ill mother, as well as several very accident-prone family members, all the kids in my family learned to jump when something happened.

I am haunted by an experience I had when I was about 19, in college. I was supposed to spend some time visiting an old lady in a home as part of a community service credit.

In the course of our conversation, she had mentioned to me that a resident next door to her had fallen and was calling for help for hours before she heard her and got staff to help.

Later on, I went to visit her again. As we talked, and I kept hearing an odd, high vocalization every minute or so, from the other room. I didn’t think about it too hard, and politely wrote it off. I must have heard it for at least 30 minutes. Eventually the lady I was with heard it, too.

“What is that sound?” she said.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I keep hearing it.”

Being wheelchair bound, she pushed the call button, waited for an aide, and asked them to check on the noise. In her wisdom and experience, she was proactive about the situation the minute she noticed something unusual.

Of course, it was the resident in the next room. She had fallen again and was calling from the floor, in her frail weak voice, “Help!…Help!”

It’s amazing how much you forget. In writing this, I realized I don’t know if I ever saw the neighboring resident’s face. I don’t remember what we were talking about. The whole thing is like a hazy dream.

Only one thing keeps its sharp clear edges:  the sounds in the background of our long conversation, sounds which I had written off in the back of my mind, sounds which I was too shy and uncertain to act upon, and so ignored: a pathetic, persistent, exhausted cry for help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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