Saturday, November 05, 2005


I wrote this several years ago and just found it. A little poignant for a bright Saturday morning when the clouds are a hazy gray sketch on the horizon and the air smells of wood smoke and warming earth, but it's better than a kick in the head and I need to get going to Woodland Park for ham exams.

Stolen Moments

The first fire of discovery,
A meeting of electrons pulsing in the dark
Masks cast aside to reveal naked hunger,
A hunger born of need and creative explosions.
Tentative meetings scheduled in the dark,
Joyous discoveries of long buried dreams.
Fantasies wrought and carefully unearthed.
We are born together in a nova burst,
And now we exist turning and burning
on the spit of truth and lies.
We have only the connection of finding,
The truth of knowing,
The delight of recognition,
We are not alone.
Stolen moments out of time,
Minutes pregnant with possibility.
Hours tick by
silence by the joy of touching
voice to voice,
heart to heart.
Passions ignite,
spin out between us
forging a connection,
soul to souls’ desire,
but time is our master;
we can only steal moments,
small ticks of the clock,
infinite beats of the heart.
Stolen moments strung together
by desire,
by creative fire,
Circumstance defeats us,
forces us to be bold.
No subterfuge is complete without the thief.
I am the thief
stealing moments from the future
to hold fast in the now.
Stolen moments,
as precious as they are rare.
Will the end ever come?
Are we doomed to unending thievery,
holding only stolen moments?

That is all. Disperse and have fun.

Friday, November 04, 2005


The word sabotage comes from a time when workers were unhappy with the newfangled machines and threw the wooden shoes they were making -- or sabots -- into the machinery, thus stopping production and making their shoes -- if not their voices -- heard. We call it terrorism nowadays, but sabotage it still is to me -- especially when it comes in the form of friends who are determined to break me down and dangle carrots in my face when I'm doing my best to stick to my plans.

In all honesty, the carrots were really cornbread, dumplings, cakes and pies and the constant reminder by the landlady and B & B that November and December are bad months to begin a 30-day colon cleanse diet that excludes all grains, dairy, flours, etc. They could be right, but November 1st I began the diet and I plan to stick with it no matter what they say. I do know they will all make it very difficult for me and will do all in their power to bend me to their evil wills, but I won't cave in -- even though I will have six days to go on the cleanse. No pain, no gain -- and no pumpkin pie, sweet potato pecan pie with brandied cream (my specialty), rice, dumplings, dressing, gravy... I think I'll shut up now. I am making myself hungry and I just finished my fruit and eggs.

My peace will also be sabotaged on the 18th when a friend from Cleveland flies in to stay the weekend. Since I have a minimum of furnishings right now (bed, desk, office chair, and love seat), the sleeping arrangements will be interesting, but it won't be the first time I've slept on the love seat. And there is always the feather bed in the closet where I slept for the first two months I lived here. I could drag it out and sleep there. Either way, I'm going to be uncomfortable for a while no matter what I do.

Honestly, the whole situation is strange, come to that. I've known Mark for about 5+ years and he almost came to visit in 2003 when I moved to Arvada, but my landlady then was against the idea of me having a guest in my apartment over the weekend. She decided it was inappropriate for a single man and a single woman to share the same space at the same time. What's really interesting about this visit is that even though I've known him for 5+ years, this will be the first time we have met face to face. We've spent hours talking and laughing and swapping information, but never met. I have of course given him the ground rules, but anything is possible.

The guys up at MARC (Mountain Amateur Radio Club) will most likely join in sabotaging my month long colon cleanse diet and have already promised cold gravy and biscuits you can use to patch truck tires, both of which are not on my dietary list. Actually, the only things allowed on this diet are fruits, vegetables, eggs and lean meats. Fats are okay, but grains, dairy, etc. are not allowed. To show how serious I am about this, I even checked out whether or not corn was a vegetable or a grain. I know it's a grain, but where I come from in the corn belt (hold the jokes about my last name) corn is a vegetable and a summer staple on the cob and a year round staple off the cob. To my great sadness, corn is a grain and therefore out of my diet for the next 26 days. No more fresh and hot Parmesan-hot sauce laced popcorn or steaming buttered corn on the cob (if I could still find some).

Okay, so it was a questionable idea to do this the month of Thanksgiving, but I didn't think of that. All I thought of was a nice, clean, well moving colon and eating all the fruit I want for a change, including the dried type. I will have to leave the room when we all get together for Thanksgiving, especially when everyone takes a piece of my sweet potato pecan pie with brandied cream. I don't want them to see me sob uncontrollably. It's just not a good idea when everyone else is celebrating.

Then again, if I didn't start now and get it over with, when would I be able to start? Not December with all the candy canes, chocolates, and holiday parties and dinners. Certainly not in January when everyone else is making the resolutions they will break two weeks later and will do their best to trip me up to join them in failure. Best time is now, just to get it over with once and for all.
The lady who came up to the cabin a year ago August with her three girls emailed me a couple days ago wanting to catch up and say hello -- and ask when she could bring the girls for a visit again. I don't have a big enough place, for one thing, and for another, I don't have much furniture. I'm still debating about answering. I'm not sure I want another visit from them. Nice to know she remembered me, but not for this.

I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dia de los muertos

Today is the Mexican Day of the Dead and All Saint's Day for the Christian world, the day after Samhain, when the dead are remembered and celebrated.

Living next door to the home where Lon Chaney once lived I think of many of the thousand faces he projected on the silent screen and wonder if his son, who portrayed the very human and oft times sympathetic werewolf, lived there, too. Witches, werewolves, vampires, oh my.

It's hard to think of vampires in the bright clear light of day, but when the sun bleeds its last dying rays on the gathering clouds, staining the mountains and the light with red, the romance of the night comes close and wraps me with possibility and dreams. It isn't that I wish for a vampire to bite me on the neck and stop time for me, but rather that the spice of the night come closer and remind me of the many who have gone before and still remain like vampires of memory -- ever living, ever young, ever present.

Strangely enough, I have been thinking of my Uncle Homer who, despite his height and comforting strength and muscular presence, was never without a smile, a laugh, and a hug for all his friends and kin. He died when I was 9, just after we came back from Panama and lived in Virginia. He is still fresh in my mind and in my heart -- even when I don't think of him.

I remember all my mother's family and gathering in a state park in southern Ohio every summer for a feast of home cooked food, fattening and delectable desserts, and watermelon that stained my cheeks red because I wasn't quite so sedate and proper back in those days. Watermelon was something to dive into face first, coming up smiling through the sticky red juice and spitting black seeds onto the ground or at the nearest cousin.

The older members of the May clan gathered in the shelter house reminiscing about times gone by, people who had passed on, and exchanging family news and recipes while the kids whooped, hollered, raced, chased, and fell in puppy love. Shy glances and shyer smiles from beneath lowered lashes that pinked cheeks and glittered in the eyes of cousins who didn't know it was not possible to be infatuated or to plan weddings and families in their wildest dreams.

Those family gatherings were also the harbinger of fall and return to school and a celebration of our dead who smiled, frowned, smirked, and glowered back from faded, creased, and folded black and white pictures that looked as though cut out with pinking shears. What we remembered most was the particular special dish that person brought and how good it tasted, better than their heirs could ever make because they didn't have that Old World touch or whatever it was that made their food so special.

Within my family it is my grandma's peach cobbler and grandpa's vegetable beef soup that I remember most. That and grandpa's stash of banana flips made of sponge cake and banana flavored sugary icing that bulged out from the half moon smile inside the clear packaging. I come from a family where food was a means of communication, a gift, and a treat. Food is also a remembrance full of memory and romance and happier times when our worst problems were getting tagged playing hide and seek or not picked for Red Rover or statues.

Today may be the Day of the Dead, but for me every day is a day to remember loved ones, friends who have passed, and family. Like the romance of vampires they live forever, immortal and unchanged.