Breakthrough Story

I made spaghetti today. When I finished, it looked like a bomb had exploded on the stove. Sauce sprayed in a blood splatter pattern, noodles and bits of hamburger like scenes from a horror movie. Unfortunately, it often looks like this when I cook. I think of children in countries where they don’t have enough to eat and feel guilty writing about my food exploits. But I do it anyway. We do a lot of things we shouldn’t, and justify them in various ways to feel better about ourselves. Just another day in the life.

What if being human is a mental illness? What if all of us so called “normal” people who go to our jobs, raise families, and cook our dinners are mentally ill? Maybe we were shipped here from some distant planet, some place where they decided to rid their society of their less than desirable people. Like the British did when they sent boat loads of people to Australia. Maybe we are the descendants of the worst of an alien society that now enjoys life without people who routinely blow up their stoves at mealtime. Are they watching us, do you suppose? Are they wondering how long it will be before they have to intervene to keep their refuse from infecting the universe?

I scanned the radio dial this morning. I heard conservatives screaming about liberals. I heard Nirvana songs. Lots of talk about the environment and children in cages. I heard Hip-Hop music. I turned the radio off and went out and stood in the rain. But the radio still played. Lots of sounds and voices and screams. And music. Country and Rock and Rap. And more voices telling me what I didn’t want to hear. I longed for the sweet sounds of water lapping at a shore and the calls of loons across the lake. Life is like a radio that never shuts off. And half the time there’s too much static to discern what I’m hearing.

So I cleaned up the stove, and ate my spaghetti. I used fresh Basil from my little herb garden. Turned out pretty good. As all these words started swirling around in my mind I knew I was on the edge of a breakthrough book or at least a prize winning article. I sat down at the keyboard, electricity tingling my fingertips. I felt like Edward R. Murrow about to break an earth shattering story and then what came out was this. A story about exploding my stove and the guilt of writing about eating. Who are we, anyway?



It is the end of May. At this time of year in my part of the world, outside air temperatures should be in the low to mid seventies Fahrenheit. For the last several days we have been in the low to mid nineties. It is hot. Attributable to climate change, no doubt, but that doesn’t help how it feels. We have actually been blessed with low humidity during this period which has made it more bearable, but still. A couple days ago I turned on the air conditioning because I was going to be gone for four to five hours and my dog, Sophie, who is half Malamute, half Husky, suffers from the heat. I set it for seventy four degrees and came back several hours later to find it was eighty degrees in the house. The air didn’t work. With that comes the possibility of spending a lot of money getting the unit fixed or replaced. Although, if the temperature goes back to normal, I can get by without it.

At the end of April I bought a small greenhouse. I have it set up in my back yard and have been growing herbs and tomato’s so far. I’ve actually started a new blog to document my adventures called, conveniently enough, Greenhouse Adventure. You can find it by typing “Greenhouse” into the search bar on your computer. It’s only just begun so don’t expect a lot just yet.

As some of you may know, my wife died of cancer last July. It’s been a rough period for me but I seem to be coming out of it slowly. I want to do more writing, but I just haven’t felt up to it for quite some time. I think now I’m turning a corner, as it’s said, And you may be able to expect to hear from me more often. I hope so. Thanks for the help and support I’ve received during this time. It means a lot. See you soon!

Painting The Sky… Still More Haiku

haiku image
It has been a while since I posted haiku. I’ve been working on them steadily, posting them to Twitter and now, with some editing, they are here for your enjoyment. If you are unfamiliar with haiku, it all started in Japan. And there are rules to writing haiku, all of which I have broken. But it’s fun to write such a short poem while trying to confine it to the rules. I won’t go into all of them here but I’ll leave you this link to an article that explains it quite well. In reading and studying haiku I have found that rule breaking seems to be the norm for Western writers so I fit right in. Enjoy!
haiku in japanese characters

the old man’s eyes
tell a tale of lost love
mostly forgotten

painting the sky
my brush across the canvas
is blue today

a misty morning
shadows glide across the sky
birds in quiet flight
misty morning birds

perchance to grasp
golden drops of the sun
in a deep winter

lightning brings
the sound of thunder
summer storm

wet green fields
a light breeze
summer rain

mist over the fields
early morning sun
burns it away

forty shades of green
too much rain
the hay grows long

sunlight reflects
on ruffled water
wind in the trees

roosting in trees
web footed pelicans
water birds

stormy sky
rain and wind
natural beauty
stormy sky

geese fly above
with long shadows
upon the ground

wind blown trees
rippled water
all is well

black crows
against gray skies
thoughts roaming free

robin on a fence
announcing his opinion
to the world

rain falls
like tears
from a lonely sky

an eagle soars
to great heights
becomes the sky

trees waving
in high winds
stories to tell

meteor streaking
across the sky
a fond farewell

wind in the trees
speaks of things
better left unsaid

ancient willows
tossing out ideas
born on the wind

rain on the pavement
filling cracks

bare trees
grandfather’s ancient hands
reach for the sky