About to go again

The trampoline of fate has sprung me again. It is the 50th anniversary of Medi-care today and the opening of the new Breast Care center in town… I cancelled the mammogram I was to have so I wouldn’t worry about it while I am gone but went to the dentist where I was given bad news- a 1300$ crown (maybe two) will be needed in short order. Here I was counting my money and being happy that now maybe I can get a higher ground clearance diesel (so I can get into the mountains on bio-diesel,) with the cash I have once I sell the truck and Suzuki but two steps forward and one back. Of course Medi-care isn’t going to help me out of this one and I’m going to have to be incredibly careful on the trip not to get an abscess under the existing crown. Plus, a letter awaited me at home from the IRS requesting my 2009, 2010 and 2011 federal taxes and the Las Vegas D.A.s office acted like they were shocked that I would want the body cam footage from our arrest in March (against the Creech drone killing apparatus) when I called this pm trying to wrap up my loose ends.

I was off the wellbutrin for three days but at the dentist’s office a nurse I barely remember slammed me with her shock at Michael’s death ala mallet. I was keeping sadness at bay and focusing on cleaning the house, getting everything packed and not on him, my loss or any of that. With the whap upside the head of her sudden intensity and all the other stuff I’m now chair stilled once again trying to figure what to do. Momentum currently cut off from the power source. Took the pill and now wait for the day to cool off… if I can make it to the creek with Selkie I’ll be ok… I’m sure going to miss her!

My Amtrak loop starts in LA with my friend Laurie Feldman and her family then on to the 70th Anniversary Observance of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings in Los Alamos and the Pace e Bene conference in Santa Fe. Cathy Webster and I will be there for 5 days then I go on alone to the East Coast to see my nephews in NYC and my friend Theresa in Maine and possibly other friends up in that region before visiting my aunt and cousins in St. Paul before rolling west to visit my friend Valori in Oregon before coming home 31 days from now. A nice young couple will stay here in the house and water for me and care for Selkie.

Now it is just important to regain my oomph. I had it there for a few… come on Chris, you can do this!!!!

Here are some photos of friends Angela and Raymond from my Arcata visit last week, Susan Walsh from the same visit (on the way home.)  The photos from our Beale AFB drone protest this week didn’t want to post. I’ll write next from the road.



Out of the heat of the valley

Taylor lake feetLast weekend I went up to Crystal Lake, the little cirque lake below Mt Hough and to Taylor Lake, both in Plumas County above Indian Valley. I went with Linda and Ann who were both friends to Michael. Our last camping trip with him, all together was last August in the Caribou Wilderness… a wonderful trip. It was so exactly perfect to be up in the high country again, with the changing weather and the chilly lakes. M and I had been to these two lakes last July and it was nice to share them.

By the way, I sold the cab-over camper! A young couple from Maine bought it and I hope they will be happy and safe with it. It was good they were young, flexible people because some of the issues… like with the jacks and the wiring turned into hurdles I didn’t anticipate. Thanks to Richard for connecting them and to Bob for helping them get going. It was already the end of that era so I was 98% relieved and only 2% saddened to see the thing leave.

I did end up going on an anti-depressant, speaking of sadness. I think how I am now is better. I still feel like I’m just treading water but it doesn’t have the negative over-lay, that stuck in a hole feeling. My joy is still muted. However, I think my energy level is up a notch… I’ve got to see.. a little problem with sleep, a little nausea… who knows?

It’s a lovely day in Arcata. I’m with my old friend Angela and her family. We just went up to Trinidad and climbed around on some cliffs over the multiply blue ocean and that was enjoyable and the beauty was palpable but I pooped out on the day and am resting now instead of heading out on some new adventure. Is that normal? I can’t say anymore….there is the age thing as well as any other reason to be less motivated. Maybe the fact that it is hard to sort out means that it isn’t so much about the grief anymore… I could be just lazy.



A day of no schedule


As we settle in after the Dalai Lama’s Birthday Selkie is quite content gnawing on her bone next to me. I have the day ahead of me. Next to me are the cranes I have completed… hopefully segmenting them with toxic plastic straws isn’t going to get them excluded from being hung at the birthplace of the bomb this Aug. 6th. Despite all my stumbling, dragging and whining August is fast approaching. A young man who works on the land here is going to house and dog sit… he is laid back and his housekeeping skills are untested but I have to have faith because he loves the land and is such a sweet person. I’m taking an Amtrak loop for the month and have yet to start looking forward to it.. it looms but in an ashy grayness which is how I see much of the future. Our drone trial in Las Vegas though fills my dreams at night… the memory of which eludes me but I know somewhere in my consciousness I think I have successfully explored First Amendment and Necessity Defenses. It would be great if my subconscious mind and conscious mind were talking though… who knows, maybe they are… still, that’s my homework. Reading cases and folding cranes.

I will write 'peace' on your wings and you fly all over the world.

I will write ‘peace’ on your wings and you fly all over the world.

Orien left yesterday with all her earthly possessions for her new life in Phoenix. (I can’t imagine living there.) My heart wants her nearer but she has determined that Phoenix is where she wants to be. She has a nice man-friend there and will take the bar later this month.


I’m still dithering about whether to take the anti-depressant. The day before yesterday I took the full dose and was quite high… everything emerged as more visually energetic and I had huge amounts of energy. Yesterday I fasted and didn’t take it. Today I feel ok… just being present with how things are in the moment. I keep having flashbacks of the movie I saw this week… how the widow did the same static things everyday in her perfectly clean house and she was 20 years into widowhood. Like a magnet I connected with a woman in yoga class yesterday who told me she had been depressed on and off her whole life and was trying to get by without anti-depressants (weight gain and loss of sex drive) and another woman who is three and a half years out from the loss of her wife is still “day to day, sometimes hour to hour.” Loud groan! It just seems that when I feel shitty I should take it and when I feel ok I shouldn’t but does that harm me in some way? I know with most of them you have to be consistent to get any effect and can’t go on and off but this Welbutrin seems like it doesn’t care so much. What is strange (for me as a nurse) is that I have not delved into the product information. With Michael’s meds I knew everything about each one.

OK, nothing I have to do except for the things I mentioned which are sedentary. I’m going to water my seedlings, do a load of laundry and go to yoga and worry about it later.


4th of July

This is how I’d like to remember Michael. Him and his sail and inventiveness. Him and his dog. Him waiting for the wind to blow him across Humboldt Bay. I recently sold this boat, thanks to Richard Roth and the guy wanted to buy the sail… but will he ever be able to figure out how to stabilize it with all the rigging? Looks simple, but its not. Last Fourth of July, when the barn was still a dusty open place, Michael spent hours figuring out the mast, stabilization etc for this sail. He was at it when I rode my bike over to the fireworks.

Another summer memory that hits me daily is when he put buoys across the creek so no child would be swept downstream. I watched him carefully measure the distance between the floats on the rope while a friend and I sat and lazily watched him while we chatted. His long arms, his even movements… even with neuropathy in his hands and feet he wouldn’t be rushed.

I started on anti-depressants thinking the tooth ache of thinking about Michael all the time and feeling so flattened, so isolated  and so dull would be helped. I tried them at half strength for 6 days while I went down to Las Vegas for our Creech arrest arraignment but that turned out to be so hot and stressful (in an unexpected interpersonal way,) that I went from one unhealthy state of mind to a new one… that of  stuckness in a whole new venue.

Orien has been here since I got back so today is the first day back to that old patterned self I’ve felt oppressed by. (She went to the Bay Area.) My meditation retreat last month helped me feel into the rich earth of the grief and lift the attachment to the immobilized place by reopening my aliveness and I felt again when I went off the anti-depressant that I could handle my dysphoric flat line better but now I think maybe I better retreat back into the chemistry. Example, today I was at Farmers Market and two proposals went out among friends while I was standing there that did not include me… just between couples, a date for tonight and a river date . If I wasn’t so unsure or diminished I would have invited myself but I just shrunk away and felt the drain open and surrendered to feeling awful. It takes active willing to push the negative feelings back and I lose that will pretty easily.

The heat now is bending me to slowness. I want to be healthy and want to meditate and those are two goals I can apply myself to. I also want to find meaning for my time here on planet earth.. to pursue those things that Freedom implies… I have just about everything anyone could want and yet can’t feel joy but I know that many people don’t have the basics I had- a comfortable upbringing, decent schooling, a secure family environment, a good job with adequate benefits and now the risks of climate change, violence, discrimination (you know this list as well as I do,) well, I want to direct my efforts in a systematic way to addressing what I can. I think a job is what I need and I’m going to start looking at how I can give consistently. I don’t have the will or the mental capacity to initiate and maintain  my own actions but I can and should use what I have been given for the greater Good if I can find a plug in. Plus, now I know this state of mind isn’t lifting anytime soon so I have to prepare for the shorter days so I just don’t end up watching life go by via endless media couch potato-ing, which makes me feel just awful!

I haven’t even had the gumption to write here on the blog so I guess this time, that I didn’t know was coming, has been the worst just as the times before that were the worst. I’ve had good times in between but nothing sustains or maintains… it is like spiritual anemia. That said, there is much work being done by many good people. Hosting the radio (Peace and Justice show http://www.kzfr.org for the last show archives) has been one little life line and now I get to play with my little inner lawyer as I prepare for my October trial (for the March Creech protest.) One thing about that, I’m unrepentant and want the war crimes of drone murders put on trial and will learn the lingo of the court even as I can’t retain any of it… notes and more notes… I’m 68 now…older than Michael who was nine months dead on my birthday. The “estimated date of confinement” and normal human gestational period have been breached so the next memorium is the one year mark.