Thursday, May 31, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007


Happy Mother's Day 2007!

Went up to Cottonwood, last Sunday, to hang with Mom for Mother's day.

M made salmon, asparagus and sweet potato fries while Mom and I walked down to the nearby cemetery, at my behest*, and wandered around.

*I should mention, this particular cemetery holds some of the Verde Valley's original settler's, has been a source of fascination since my teen years -and- I'd recently discovered my buddy Lem has kin there. Curious, I'd promised to look in on on them.

It sounds like a strange Mother's day activity, I know, circumnavigating graves, but there was a poignancy to it:
All those lives that had come and gone before us, the care with which some of the headstones had been made (one, written in a crude but personal cursive which must've taken days to carve out) and the barren arizona hardpan...
I could almost hear the voices blowing across the desert, faint but insistent:

"Regard me, remember me, for as I once was..."

Sobering, yes, but it made me feel all the more lucky to be sharing the day with my Mom.

We never did find the grave we were looking for.
Dinner, however, was lovely.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Crust of a Seared Heart.

The best way I can describe it is that it felt like I watched someone remove my heart from my chest and place it with purpose on a glowing hot-bed of coals, then slowly rotated it over the red coals until it was entirely seared – and then placed it back in my chest for me to try and use again.

A crusted heart is no good to anyone, especially yourself. The idea of learning, or wanting to use it again is somewhere out in space. But I have discovered over time how amazing of an instrument the heart really is. As I sat in reflective thought while staring at the barren landscape of the Grand Canyon area, I likened it to the surface of my heart magnified 8,000,000 times. Huge cracks appearing, while the rest of the surface resembled what I could best describe as the surface of Mars after being burnt to a crisp. But deep inside those cracks was some sort of purity and light shining through. It’s like the heart continually recreates itself, molting the hardened crust to expose freshness and rejuvenation, all while still wanting to continue to protect itself.

My sidekick, Ad-man, recently wrote of ‘letting go’. My brother, I wish it were that easy. And then after all that thought I realized that it wasn’t so much me watching someone remove my heart and char it, it was me watching myself do it over and over and over again in an act of protection and self defense.

It clearly got me thinking.

As in water face reflects face, so the person's heart reveals the person.—Proverbs 27:19

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Welcome Diner

Not too far from our place, on the corner of 10th street and Roosevelt, you will find the Welcome Diner.

Its an old Air Stream-like trailer* with a grill, 9 stools, and plenty of local flavor (no pun intended).

Pictured lower right, is Larry, an overzealous regular whose blaring diatribes can fill up the little aluminum shell to near bursting.

Here is a rare moment of Larry in repose.

Actually known as a "Valentine" this is one of 60-some pre-fab diners produced in the late 50's, early 60's, which once lined the highways of america.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I was thinking today that growing old is kinda like having super powers.

The older we get, the more... wherewithal we acquire: the ability to read situations, the ability to read people - that veteran savvy which allows us to swim more easily through the shark infested waters of our own lives.

The things we thought we knew during our 20's and 30's become what? More self-evident? More accessible? Maybe more intuitive.

But with this new savvy comes a new set of challenges. We've advanced a level but with the new level comes a new set of problems.*

*In Tibetan Buddhism, even gods have a finite span, after which, they must die and rebirth in a different, possibly lesser form.

When I was a 8 or 10 years old I wanted nothing more than to dunk a basketball. This, to me, was like achieving godhood (or, perhaps, in the eyes of a child, super-hero-dom!).

Now, even though my dunking days are on the wane, the luster of that act has simply dimished. Other talents, too, seem less significant. Self-awareness, self-expression - things which seemed so momentous, so significant at one time (I emote therefore I am!), seem mucn more... incidental now.

I see my friends' struggles (mirror to my own) with the impermanent nature of life - and in spite of whatever knowledge we've acquired, the struggle continues.

Spiderman has his spidey-sense, sure, but he still gets clocked by the same heavies we all do.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fish Lips

I'm a bass fisherman. Always have been. I relate to bass. They have a short fuse and seemingly aren't afraid to say what's on their mind, with their little fish fins or whatever. Anyhow, I like their attitude.
I was invited to go fly fishing with some clients last week, given that they know my love of fishing. I jumped at the chance, having never fly-fished before and despite the 47 degree Colorado River water, the 50 mph winds whipping through the canyon walls and my lack of experience - I'd say I did pretty well.

But I have to say, fishing for bass vs. fishing for trout are complete opposites of the spectrum. Bass are aggresive and it's a battle of wills. Trout are pussies. In 3 days I managed to somehow land about,..say, 12 trout. In 3 days, I also managed to lose about 47,000 by attempting to set the hook like I would a bass, therefore leaving little tiny remnants of trout lips on the little tiny pussy hook that's meant to catch these sensitive little fish.

Bottom line - Bass are Rott's, and trout are poodles.

In case you were wondering.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Makoto has left the building...

But his images live on. In fact, some of them live in my very own camera, unbeknowst to me - this being one of them.

At least he didn't put my camera down his pants.


The older I get the more I know.
But, the more I know, the harder it is to encapsulate.

Sometimes it's easier to just let go and see what manifests:

I remember blurting out once, some ten years ago, "Longhair, Longhair! Here's something for ya!"

Having partaken of a spliff earlier in the evening, I was suddenly inspired to undulate my lips, left to right, pulling my face along an invisible plane in pseudo-mime-like* fashion. The overall effect was supposed to be that of a snail transporting its shell.

*Hey, there's a word, "pseudo-mime-like fashion"!? Cool, hunh? No? You don't like it? Well, this is my blog so yo can pretty much piss off!

Then, half-way through my half-baked performance, I realized I was moving my head in the wrong direction... and burst into laughter. Longhair, who had no idea what I was doing in the first place, stared on incredulously, which made me laugh even harder.

Finally, after witnessing my mania for a good 30 seconds or so, he broke down, and we both ended up rolling around on the floor.

And that's the truth even if its not the way things happened.*
But where was I? Ah, yes - talking about letting go...

The thing about letting go - its scary.
"What are you talking about, man? Letting go is the easiest thing in the world."
Is it?

I remember hanging with M in the Counter Culture Cafe and the sign over the door said, "deep in your mind, deep in your soul, let it go." Which sounded so dreamy.
Sidenote: I've been thinking about getting a tattoo, lately. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a pathetic attempt at recapturing youth (lord knows I can't afford the sports car), plus everyone and their brother has a tattoo these days, blah blah blah, but if you don't like it, no problem, you can go f*ck yourself! (ahem) So, anyway, the image I've been contemplating is a fairly complex himalayan mandala, known as the "Wheel of Life". Its cool, its intricate, and its a reminder of the illusion of life. Again, blah blah blah, but again, if you don't like it... (you can fill in the blank).
But letting go can also mean relinquishing control. Imagine yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile** just letting go. Sure, it might work out okay in the driveway, but maybe not so much on the 'ol Autobahn.

Now, if the car scenario seems iffy, try visualizing your own life in the same manner. There's you (or what used to formerly be you, because you've given up the pre-concieved notion of your own identity. Maybe your the artist formerly known as*** you?). You've finally "let go" (hooray!)... and now you find yourself careening down the highway of life.

Sure, this all sounds a bit contrived, but I'm heading somewhere (at least I think I am) so hang with me a little bit longer. Your patience will be rewarded. I swear.

Just not today.

*This is a quote from one of my all time favorite books, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" - at least I think it is.
**Yet another pop culture reference. Give up? The Talking Heads! Yea!
***Okay, I know, this is getting a little ridiculous, but its hard to stop once you've gained momentum. And yes, the reference is to Prince.