the thing about death

i’m coming to realize, is the embarrassment of it—not being in control (from this vantage point) of its exact occurrence—the when where and how of it. having lived my life, one step removed from an original jewish mother (don’t turn on the light; i’ll sit here in the dark), the wish to accommodate is deep. and i respect that—that has been my motivation (partly) in creating my “shed”; all my worldly goods in an 8 x 8 space, where i also do my art! such a deal! and, i’m okay with that accommodation.

but when it comes to “my last will and testament”—and, don’t run away! it has come to that for me, and, if you are fortunate, it will also, at some moment, for you. fortunate in that the world hasn’t devolved into such chaos as to make the creation of a will to be meaningless, irrelevant, or unbecoming to your economic status. or all three.

so, in relation to that (my will), exploration has deepened my understanding that ultimately, i am not in control of my demise and that it may be, more or less, the handling of my remains and what follows, an imposition on my family.

one of the ways i seek to diminish this imposition is to have an understanding of when i would wish to cease to be a burden to my family and my wishes for accomplishing my transition from this state of embodiment into the next.

there is a wonderful nyt article that i have saved somewhere on my computer of a woman who accomplished this with her family, before falling into the unknowingness of alzheimer’s (as is possibly my fate as well—the jury is still out), to have a means and support to end her life. i wish to have that understanding with my family as well.

i admire the nearings and scott nearing’s decision to end his life at 100 through stopping eating. whether i would choose that way earlier or in another way before that age due to declining mental acuity or any other reason, or even at that time, depending on similar or unknown to me circumstances at the time….i’ve done extended fasts at different moments in my life, so i have some familiarity with subsisting on juice and water…the soul and the body attachment becomes quite thin at times…i don’t think this is a bad way to leave….

but, yes, for sure, no heroic measures, and then, for later, quién sabe, or, as my grandma used to say, que sera, sera….

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

the truth is

there’s not a lot an old lady really has to do. not if she is old and fortunate in north america (or, i guess, other places). if she is old and fortunate, she has a reasonably steady roof over her head, food in the fridge, and is not waking up in the middle of the night wondering if she will survive, short-term…no old ladies survive, long-term, anyhow.

so, the burst of writing i did the other day about whether the values i received as a north american, mostly canadian, during my formative years, of ‘do,’ and ‘be a success!’ served me still in my current iteration.

so, as stated, the truth is, there is not a lot that a woman of a certain age (and i know this applies to men as well) has to do; there are things she needs to do, to survive, basic human stuff, like transport food to her mouth, bring it back from the store, prepare it, to name one branch of the ‘doing.’ others include maintaining some standard of living at the home front…another source of inner conflict for one raised in a ’50s household where cleanliness was next to you-know-what, and one who otherwise is indifferent to ameliorating a certain level of disorder, or something along those lines, ultimately choosing to paint over to primp a home, e.g. moi. or, at my age, would enlist support, m’aidez! mes compains! (myra, have at!), but in these covid times, no one has actually been in my home, other than me and my beloved. and so it goes in the year of our covid, 2020, soon ending. amen. (yet, of course, to begin again, and so it goes).

so, having now established that at my advanced age, i hold no great commitment to ’50s=standards home maintenance (although, i try!), and prefer to spend time idly gazing at Facebook (and i’ve enacted LIMITS there as well), or staring out the window at the somber japanese maple slowly changing to deeper hues of orange and amber…now the december norm, hereabouts…now where were we? 🙂

oh, yes, on not having to do. so, waking in the morning and despairing over the emptiness of life. soon, i slide down into actual life, and here i am, and documenting that, at this moment. this life with loss, at my age, of both my parents, of course grandparents, including my grandma sarah, who partly raised me, and my various aunts and uncle who i was raised with until my mom remarried. here’s to all of you! all gone, except the last, whose memory of my name i depend on. and so it goes in every life. with its loss and yet, life, the indescribably beauty of that tree. somber california morning, mid-december.

so, tipping the carpet, in my being / doing statement, i was wondering why doing nothing made me sad about myself. there is a whole litany: life is short! do everything you can, before you can’t! and i have tried to honor this. but now, and more so, with enforced idleness,…i am so glad i wisely chose to prioritize travel before covid hit, betting i wouldn’t regret this opportunity to see ireland, paris, london, and, lastly a dear voyage to northern england, lake district, with dear heart darvesha—such an opportunity to see england’s stone beauty, surrendered to greenery. i’d like to think i have that appreciation of wherever i am, currently, vallejo, ca, where, yes, imagine the mediterranean climate in a little town, beset with its own problems, yet a ferry ride away from downtown sf….. of course, as multiply cautious during this era of contagion, i have not been on this ferry for nearly a year. i have not hugged my children in a year. i am very fortunate they are nearby, and i get to see them, and i mustn’t complain about not hugging them when others cannot even see their children, and then those that haven’t had a human hug for nearly a year. and not even forgetting those who have not survived the year or who have survived but with horrific consequences, and all those who do not have food to survive, or shelter.

i have no idea where i am going with this. just that i am exploring why it is we must ‘do’ more than we wish to or is needed, i ‘do’ that; i like looking under the carpet, as i call it, to understand why, if there is no ‘need,’ i feel sad if i have ‘nothing to do and no need to do it’ in the moment; to me, at this moment, it is a potent exploration: what am i fearing to encounter beneath my doing? beneath the rug? (ends with cheshire cat smile)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

i’m thinking of you, brother

as i gobble these chips (and weird chips they be).

we used to share

chips and chocolate

with the dime? (quarter?) our parents left us when they went out on a date.

out on decarie, the little ‘tabagerie’ that sold newspapers, magazines and candy as well as tobacco products.

we famously battled (my preteen angst; your combative nature—the usual sibling stuff)

but we knew what we liked: chips and chocolate.

corrective to the terror of our shaky family dynamic.

the veritable freudian playground we imagined it to be!

and, chips and chocolate, as i munch on this, ultra-california variant,

harkening days in minor terror, wondering how, when and whether our personal world would spin off,

at a time, when again, the world feels like it might.

chips, and niftily in a drawer, to be added in the right moment,


dedicated to my brother, alan, a girl never had a better one.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

at your command, dear goddess, at your command.

i write.

i write of pink, because. because i bought two rather large (for me) canvases that i’d hoped i could work on forever, or at least longer than 10 minutes. the problem was, i also bought a brush, a larger brush.

because i saw it as an investment in time, i thought, ahead, of what i would paint. not the subject, per se, because….subject? but color. limited palette. i’d gotten a specifically requested rose madder as a gift (yes, i know; who is madder than rose), and i thought, it would be my keynote color: the rose, abetted by tit white (as my art teacher would call it), and, rather than the door-stop of black, i’d add ombre through sienna, and a few shades complementary to my rose. in my mind, i saw it.

i’ve never been good with limited palettes—always reaching out for more—and it was strange how limiting this felt (rose begs for blue!), but i persevered; it was like a physical urge that i chose to ignore.

now, we come to the hard part (for me) of this tale: i had rather innocuously chosen rose, well, okay, pink. but it was international women’s day, and though i’m cynical of how pink has been commercially usurped by a questionable breast cancer campaign, there is still pink, deep in me, and it all arose as i worked, in a frankly painful way.

have you read … cannot recall the name … so and so’s mother? it is the fictional (i think) tale of the mother of an artist during the impressionist period in france, a tale of the degradation this woman had to go through (model/prostitute…the line was so thin) to obtain precious art materials to create, in oblivion; her son became the famous artist. yes, it’s a whine (on my part, not the book). i recall a fellow ‘artist’ in the ’70s, when i was studying art in toronto, telling me a watercolor i’d slaved over had no ‘center’; too ‘womanish,’ or some such nonsense.

as i continued to paint in pink, that called deeply for blue, a call i avoided, so many layers of feeling / association came up: how vulnerable (vulnerable / vulva) pink is; how deep in the flesh, the inner layers, where we are, indeed, all the same). i wanted to hide the “pinkness” the “flesh,” to protect it, just as some women felt the invasiveness of the landing, the male landing, on the moon. so, my pink, to me, became all things feminine, and it became apparent to me that this cannot stand; this division: we are not women or men as a species, but an interconnectedness, within. it would be a glory to be a total female, but who is?

i remember a walk at a sufi camp (where walks of different attributes are explored) where i embodied the absolute feminine. ah, it was such an ease and rest. i saw it demo-ed a few years back when, for a brief time a rooster and a hen would occasionally wander onto the property where i lived. the rooster, a little bit scary; you could tell he’d take you on if he wanted to and felt you’d given him reason. he was the outlook guy.

the chicken lady, now she was interesting. she could care less; she knew, at some level, the big guy was there to totally protect her, and under his aegis, she roamed contentedly, in innocence and ease. but, in real life, who can be just rooster or chicken?

we are called upon to be both. there is no big outer male protecting my way in the world,  like a sweeper in the curling game; no, i must hold this post, and i do so reasonably admirably (in my own mind) and of necessity, thus, my life, more complex. so, in real life, no one can be only one or the other; that is what jung and all those other smart guys say, and i concur; we hold the dynamics of the archetypes within, including the male and female, of course. and, truly, who would want to be solely one or the other? (well, except for some repubs in denial).

but, yes, to dive deep into the female archetype, and, eventually, arrive at the goddess, leads through some vulnerable, painful places: all the obvious #me,too stuff; all the ways being female lands us in second-class citizen stuff based on men who use their power, literally and figuratively, in such unenlightened ways. it has been eye-opening, and painful; which is why i love art, creativity, in all its forms, for the Light it brings. if i could not paint, i’d sing or dance or do all three, and write. i wish us all this ease of creativity.

and, a side note: my art has never been easy or obvious for me, and yet, it has never left me, and my life is richer, far far richer, for it. i wish you all the desire and means to explore your creative nature, whatever its form, from a delicious meal to a sublime oeuvre of any fantastical kind. blessings, and peace out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

growing roots for a human

is very difficult.

roots that were early shaken

ancestral roots that were shorn

roots where i’ve lived for nearly 40 years.

the earliest roots are the deepest, foundational.

transported before they’d taken root

to a city where they dug in

roots dipped deep in youth

never after that securely.

i’ve lived here twice the time of those first roots

but still put out false shoots

roots that have never been rooted

where do they go from here?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here, It Is Friday, and There’s Haze in the Air

I’m sitting in my car; it’s going to be 106 today.
What is the trajectory?
When does my age intersect with bulbability
I used to think my age an advantage with the declining world;
So we’ll all gang together…
But now I’m seeing, unlike past elders who had to test their life alone,
Now it is confused/conflated with the end of times.
My window is open (it’s going to be 106 here, today; what will it be next year? The year after? I’m 72, if I last till 75, what will it be then? 80? Shall I have my end-of-world drugs ready by then, lest my age outlasts my comfort?)
After the previous to last sentence, a dried leaf flew in my window, resting companionably now against my arm; I shall grow old; whether or not trousers rolled.
Outside two men hold a discussion, a little girl playing with chalk on the sidewalk at their feet; on the radio (to counterbalance the convo outside?)a discussion of race with the producer of a movie on Rodney King: Let it fall, Los Angeles: 1982-1992.
Outside, there is haze; more wild fire? We are burning; we are flooding; we have been discovering the very clay feet of our heroes; maybe end times is no time for heroes. Stand on your own clay feet! Heroes inevitably remind us of our own.

Is there authority?

I am in my car, listening to the radio, desultory typing, resisting entering the coffee house at the shore where it serves those entering / leaving town by water.
What a privilege to sit here, you have no idea, with a soft breeze dancing on my shoulder; what a breeze to sit here, listening to the radio in a car whilst typing on a machine that is so beyond the original edition I banged on, over 50 years ago!
The coffee house has coffee, and lovely views, but no breeze, and people; hard to focus on writing with swirling people energies. Ah, the ferry is just pulling away! And what a privilege the thought that I could board that ferry and, in an hour, be in the city of delights and dreams! (If you ignore the homeless and the desolation in the quarters where they dwell.)

It is now 3:24 p.m.; it is now 107 where I am (in the Bay Area); someone in Spain, close to the Atlantic coast, reported 117; I remember 117 from a brief dip into Baja California in the late ’60s; I cried; that’s all I was capable of: crying.
I just walked outside to see what 107 felt like; it was okay, especially in the shade…for the three minutes I was out there. I don’t have to work out there, unlike the two fellows I saw digging a ditch or some similar work, a few days past. Is it legal to make people work out there in this temperature?

I hear people saying: bad, bad humans! You are not a good boy! Yet, I repeat, is there agency? I mean, we didn’t all gather together and decide to be bad; it takes a lot of chutzpah to take credit for how bad we (meaning the earth and those that dwell within) are; where, exactly, do you throw the spanner in the works? Believe me, if I knew, I would! But, seemingly, we don’t know; we just blindly show up, from moment to moment.

More thoughts, I’m sure, to come.

En tout cas: Who do we think we are, that we can resolve the mystery of existence so as to prolong our life here, because we are so special? Maybe we are special, but that doesn’t mean we escape disintegration; end times; extinction; whatever colorful name you like to give it…. Or that we know when, and how. Sorry youse all who anticipated our earth growing older and wiser under an ever-more-yellowing sol. It will be how it will be, independent of “us” human be-ins. And then again, who knows?
Be at peace: Nothing is under control.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

it was the beginning

of a poem, she said.
half-worn clothes.
of all the things to have in common
we should have found each other sooner
she said.
yeah, like 38 years sooner, i thought.
she thought maybe
she’d like me.
bitter pills bitter to swallow
bitter to expel
leading to a clenched, blaming
who writes for the hard?

and yet
who was she
now that i’ve outlived her
oh, i know, and
i’ve looked
one sees no further
than one’s own
heart of


you are strange
in what u-verse
do we intersect with
demands, stated and un-?
the rules complicated + moving
gaslight a zeitgeist that will
toss us to ruins.

i falter
i submit i clench
dare to mention the handmaid
though really the cuntmaid
so sublimer realms
are visited
veils of sensate


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

it’s funny

my form(s) of avoidance. literally. i watch funny clever stuff to keep my boat from sinking (metaphor: my boat = my emotional state; sinking: falling beneath the miasma that our apparent world situation seems to place us in). i watch until i can’t watch no more. that is actually my approach to life; it’s why i don’t worry about facebook ‘addiction.’ people think you should do less of a thing, but my experience is that if i do more of a thing that really sucks me in, i get spit out the other end. sure, facebook, that shiny new toy, that impenetrable obelisk in 2001 that brings us all knowledge (factual or not), well, of course, the internet, i mean. but really, for me, filtered through facebook, the most provocative thinkers (friends; when i find them, i hang on for dear life, the most amusing, intelligent, gifted beings whom i collect like baubles. sorry, if you thought this was gonna be more uplifting. i intently treasure them, the absurd ones, the divine ones; even though i collect them, i don’t undervalue them; who knew that, ultimately, the universe consisted of friends, or memes, or whatever you want to call the wormhole i just crawled into….and popped out of! seriously, i read an article on memes and understood them more deeply than i had before. the universe is really our mind, and our place in it. an echo chamber, it can be, but, the memes. this actually triggers me. when i was a child i had a visceral experience of a screaming mimi; it involved a gross pea in a can and the tiniest beans in multi-bean soup; i think those were what i perceived to be screaming mimis, with a fractal, endless, multiple-dimensioned ancillary afterimage. so, you can see how peeling away from consensus reality implies a deeply caring pov, with a willingness to drop breadcrumbs, should they prove to be helpful for the perigean voyage.

gad, did i take off! what i was trying to say was that humor serves to remove me from the current apparent global / national realities, to a certain extent. after a while, even colbert pales, er, so to speak. between distraction and denial (i’m really good at denial) plus the blessing of where i live, i keep myself (somewhat) sane. the current heat is getting to me, however, even as a cool breeze wafts my shoulders. it was 99 yesterday; i don’t think it was 99 on this day a year ago, and next year? and the next? as with others my age, i’m affected by the heat where i had to leave a pleasant meeting at the farmers market because, really, i could have swooned had i not. don’t get me wrong, sitting here in this breeze (created by a blessed fan), i love the heat! i, of course, don’t ‘love’ going out shopping (as we don’t live on a self-sufficient farm, here), etc., etc., as this heat continues. heck, i don’t even mind that, that much. what is preoccupying me is wondering what the curve looks like if we continue this trend. what will the temperature be next year? the year after that? surely, there is a graph for that. so, how hot will it be by the time i die? or, looking at it another way, how soon will where i live be too hot for me to live?

even if somehow you don’t buy the line from the doctor of doom who says we have maybe 10 more years here as a species, what difference does it make? even if donald trump is too stupid to look at the evidence and declare there is such a thing as global warming and we hecka ought to do something about it, well, you and i have been through that, and this is not our fate…. when will stupid us get to the actual business of mitigating the shit out of what we are left with? it seems patently obvious that it will not be long now before we are too hot for comfort maybe except for the very rich who have staked off their terrain, i assume. gad, i got off track.

currently watching ‘kimmy’ on netflix, enthralled by tina fey’s genius, another really really bright woman who cracks through stereotypes with alarming wit. in lieu of coming up to some intermediary response to the above, ill-described dilemma, this, and other places where i spend the time, sometimes writing, sometimes reading, looking at greenness, sometimes painting, living this life, moment by moment, sometimes liking it, sometimes, really angry, sometimes, moments of being it. namaste, y’all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

well, dang! word press commanded me to write

…and who am i to refuse.

plus, i’d already thought about what i was going to write about, this evening.

i am going to write about my female lineage, and i’m going to cross-post on facebook, seeing as no one actually reads my blog anymore.

so, in the beginning, was sarah, and i’d have to begin with tales of sarah. you see, sarah was my grandma, the only one i knew, actually, well my adoptive dad’s mom was technically one, but she made it clear to me, as one can to a child of 4.5, that she was too young to be a grandma.

and yet, she took me to outrement park; where we sucked on lifesavers, butterscotch i particularly savored, but even wintergreen could be tolerated, and we sat in the coolth of a montreal evening and watched those young (mostly) men hitting the ball back and forth, back and forth. a mesmerizing timelessness.

so, i was going to write about sarah, and end up writing about annie, first. how odd 🙂

so, sarah, well, i’m tired now, she’ll have to wait. simply, she was a grandma amongst grandmas, a treasure, her own children were dazzled by her. she was blind. but, really, that will have to wait. adios, amigos y amigas. todo va mejor.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

it’s a faint

neapolitan sky

the ice cream

not the location



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment