Thanksgiving

IMG_8641Never put off writing. The crisp presence of thoughts in the day time have slowed to groggy crawlings by late night. This will be quick.

My family- Warren and Carol, Danny, Priya and Ameerah, Kevin and Christine, came to visit for a few days this week. The time together held jam packed days orchestrated by Orien for full-on have fun memories that I will have to sort through or lose them.

Then Keith came and we all spent the day fussing with pies and cooking before having too much food for the number of guests. It was a lovely little gathering though. Sweet, sweet, sweet… crisp in my mind since I just came home.

I want to post photos but I am too tired. Tomorrow I work and I have to go to bed. There’s more, of course, but this is all I can do is shed gratitude this Thanksgiving night as fatigue shrinks me away from this chair and I reach my fingers one more time lovingly in your direction to type that I  wish you well. IMG_8942.JPG

 

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Veterans Day

People are posting about their dads. Yes, my dad was in the Navy in WWII also. (He was a pilot and flew DC-3 transport of rubber from So. America, hardly glorious but important to the war effort.) It is Michael I have thought about these last days. The “Chico Military Heroes” banners will have gone up on East Ave and today when I went up to Paradise there were flags every 10 feet for the entire length of the city on the Skyway. (How do they afford that ethically when Vets are sleeping in the streets?)

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I note a slight bitterness but mostly just the loss of Michael. I need to keep going on the house because my family is coming soon and I want it to be pleasing for them. It is a beautiful day and Selkie and I took a nice walk out to the rim of Butte Creek Canyon on the return trip to Chico and now I should be working on the tasks I’ve set for myself.  Veterans Day is Armistice Day and I can hold space for the peace that was supposed to be after the war to end all wars–what so many gave their all for– even as war rages across the globe, mostly thanks to my own country’s policies.

After the rain the sun hit this old walnut and it steamed as though it was on fire.

After the rain the sun hit this old walnut and it steamed as though it was on fire.

Yesterday was the hard day. Yesterday I interviewed an 89 year old man who had written a book called There is Still Time. As part of my preparation I read and took many notes on the book and since reading it I have been even more acutely aware of my energy use… to go to Paradise was on bio-diesel but the use of the fracked gas heat in the mornings and the lights I use and the TV, then all those ads and all the pressure to join the military or buy those products. How will we survive? How can we meet energy goals when the economy is built on growth? It gnaws at me.

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So even that focus wasn’t what yesterday was about. Yesterday Michael would have gone to the snow. I wrote before about how he never missed a storm? Well, he didn’t. And, after almost two years with no snow some part of me which is the part of him that lives habitually in me was tugged to pack up and go despite the strong part of me that said NO, I don’t want to!!!! I wanted to but laziness, the need to work on the house, the upcoming Ecotopia interview… everything conspired to hold me here in the valley and as the day turned delicious and warm I had no regrets except a part of him was crying out through me. When I walked to the canyon rim today I could feel that part of “us” that must be in nature even when nothing spectacular is in view– when it is just walking, sky and land.

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Even when Michael first got his chemo port and we got the big warnings about not falling on it, he skied. Even when he was weak and having GI issues we skied. Nothing stopped him and nothing slowed him down except death itself.

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I see Weezie on Friday. I’m giving her back her cookie jar that held his ashes and I’m taking away my altar to his memory so I can use the counter space as counter space. Slowly I move through the motions but I’m still crying out for him in my heart– he hated Veterans Day which is such a sacred cow. I only think of “the jungles were wet with Agent Orange as we moved through them and we were wet in it day after day.” That’s the Veterans Day I’m having.

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Day of the Dead

It is the Day of the Dead. Candles are lit. The skies promise rain. Mira turns 80 today. It is also Michael’s brother Jim’s birthday. IMG_8368

Arthur called earlier to say he had released Michael’s ashes into the wind on the peak of Mt. Lassen on Friday. I’ve been feeling a huge pressure to release the rest of Michael’s ashes too so Selkie and I took what was left in the cookie jar and I buried them under the little pine where I buried some last year at about this time. I lay in the leaves and looked up in the trees and watched birds slide by in the high winds above. Our time here is short and we must get out of the way for new humans as the planet is quite bulging with our voracious species.  Each day I live is bonus points on an wheel of unpredicted futures.

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My parents died 10 years ago for mom and 14 years ago for dad. I thought it was painful losing them but losing Michael has been far harder.

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Little Margot arrived outside her mama yesterday. She is my cousin George’s daughter’s baby.

Margot, Laura Dow's daughter

Two years ago my brother’s son’s wife Priya gave birth to Ameerah in NYC during Hurricane Sandy.

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My dear daughter Orien  will be 35 on her birthday this year. This is her with our dear friend Katie under the lights of the insane power use of Las Vegas last week.

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I love that the weather is shifting and the days are growing shorter. I love being alive and healthy and having Selkie with me and having a wonderful community of people who care about the planet and all our children and the cycles of life. I love that I had the opportunity to love Michael Pike.  I am grateful once again for all those who have gone before and all those who now live. We must protect the Love that unites us all.

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