Tuesday, June 14, 2011
PAST is PROLOGUE
Some of us spend time too much time looking back
And focusing on those things we currently lack
Instead of facing forward and greeting the day
Open to the mysteries that might come our way
To send our life off on a revelatory all-new tack.
Each day marks the passing of a past event
And time doesn’t always show us what was meant
Of what at first might be seem to be only joy or sorrow
But turns out to permutate at some future tomorrow
Into a life - changing lesson that is heaven sent.
My muse has been hibernating much like Punxsutawney Phil and with this cool damp spring hasn’t been sure when to shake off the doldrums. I’m in a cleaning and organizing mode now where I’m reducing my outside activities and trying to some sense of alignment from the inside out – this will definitely be a work in progress.
Anniversaries are top of mind as I now am only 4 weeks away from the end of “First Times” after Dianna’s passing. I knew I wasn’t ready to journey back to Hawaii for our usual February vacation, but when I last wrote in January I was looking forward to a marathon golf outing with Larry in March before he attended the Masters. Plans changed when his knee realized it was 58 while demonstrating a move to an Air Force Academy wrestler. I had still hoped to visit Mary in Dallas on the way, so I juggled my schedule and got to spend a long enjoyable weekend at her ranch. Fortunately, only the dogs, horses, and chickens were witness to two 57 year-olds flying kites in the brisk Texas wind.
I followed 2 weeks later with a visit to LA to both check in with college buddies Scott, Kevin, and Jay and attend the Revelation conference with my friend Deb. The conference was filled with insights and ah-ha’s and I was able to hook up with Kevin and his son for afternoon StL-LA game in a seat behind home plate. Scott & Jay were busy so I’ll check in with them next time. The end of April saw Sean and I make the pilgrimage to land of Evan in NOLA and JazzFest where we got to see New Orleans through Evan’s eyes Sean was ready to move down after the first night as the guys checked out the late night shows after full days at JazzFest. I came to the realization that, in contrast to musical connection STP & ECP have, I am pretty tone deaf when it comes to “getting” music. I’m a singer-songwriter kind of guy which points out it’s all about the words – Gordon Lightfoot has never been accused of writing amazing melodies but his lyrics are poetry.
Evan showed us a great time and our stay at the Rose Manor B&B owned by friends of his was restful and enjoyable. A visit to New Orleans always means good food from beignets to alligator soup to jambalaya and we even found a place that only served pork products Cochon, a restaurant that I saw featured on the Food Channel – the Black Eyed Pea and Pork Gumbo was especially good. It looks like if I’m going to see Evan much, I’ll have to return as rumor has it he will be a graduate assistant at the University of New Orleans continuing his wetland restoration work and possibly a student in the Masters of Jazz Studies program for piano. News travels slowly from down south, so I’m awaiting confirmation. As a result Evan won’t be able to go on the Alaska cruise with me which will end on Dianna’s birthday and in my mind will allow me to close the first year chapter.
I finished my wandering with a trip with John and Sally to Victoria as the 4 of us often did. The Church of Truth across the street from our condo held a Healing Circle of Rememberance on Mothers Day for those who had lost loved ones and it truly was healing. We walked many of the places our quartet had visited and I left a little of Dianna at the lighthouse at the entrance to the Inner Harbour and in a tulip bed near the Empress. I'll visit again when the cruise ship stops in August.
The June through August time frame also hold some significant events that I am ready to honor no matter what emotional weight they may bring. Last Saturday was the 40th anniversary of my high school graduation from Medford and I accepted an invite from the reunion planning committee for a Portland-area BBQ. It was really under the guise of a “girls” weekend as the much admired former rally squad members gathered for a weekend of wine-tasting planning and all around run. Even though we ran in different circles in high school (mine was square..),I was welcomed into the group with kindness and compassion for an evening of laughter and reminiscing. I wish I had listened more than talked but it’s nice to able to debrief with those who shared a common path with Dianna & me. Since Dianna and I met at our 20th reunion and celebrated our marriage at our 30th, the 40th will be challenging but much less so after my evening of Grumpy & The Snow Whites!” (see picture above)
Tomorrow marks the 36th anniversary of my Stanford graduation and 36 hours later I received a phone call sending me to Portland for my first job. The picture above is some of the gang from our freshman dorm of Cardenal. A week from today would have been Anniversary 14 and last year we went to Ted & Meg’s Beach house with Sean & Dani, Evan & Mona, and Merry to celebrate Fathers Day and our anniversary. How things change in a year. Then today I get the news that Dianna & Brenda’s cousin Darlene passed away this morning after attending their granddaughter’s high school graduation in Nevada. Ironically, a year ago yesterday we were in Sutherlin helping them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
July 12th is 4 weeks away and I’m still not sure how I’ll mark that day. I know it won’t be at work, but I’m thinking that a hike to Dianna’s favorite waterfalls Ramona Falls might be therapeutic. I hiked it with Scott & Rick in 1975 and 1984, during the latter carrying a 4 year old Sean the last half mile… I’ll carry on the Red, White & Blue sundae tradition at the Farmers Market the week prior and may visit Silver Falls as we often did on the 4th of July.
I’ll be writing again during July with as of yet undiscovered insights…