Sunrise On the Mountain of Forests

Winter/Spring Solstice is this mornings praise, Sunlight warms the tips of the branches and call for the trees to begin their green.

Mornings begin with quiet in the forest.  From the floor of the forest looking up the branches break their embrace of stars as the sky turns from black to blue, wind will whisper good morning and birds sing their praise of another day coming.

Winter/Spring Solstice is this mornings praise, Sunlight warms the tips of the branches and call for the trees to begin their green.

  Hackberry, Maple, Beech, Elm are just part of the Deciduous that make up the forest of many and speak amongst each other in the way trees do, silent vibrations that branches and roots understand, and trunks hold the conversations from the years of standing in the sky.

Green is the season of the new leaves, they begin in the branch as buds, each day they take in the sun, as brothers and sisters turn the whisper of a breeze to a rustle, trunks send them stories of the years behind them.  They grow as large as they can, no two leaves are the same, and spring rains feed them with Earths promise that life is never ending.

 Blue is the color of Summer, the leaves now have the stories of their Trunk, Breeze and Earth in their veins.  They tell their story of moisture to the Sun, Brothers and Sisters of their Branch feel their own stories being shared with the Trunk. Blue is what concerns them now, they extend themselves into the breeze.

Orange is the color of Autumn; morning Breeze sweeps the tip of the leaves with a chilled certainty that their story is almost complete. Its time to send their stories of the Breeze, of the Moisture, of the Sun Into the trunk. With each story, they turn ever so slightly from Green to Orange, they no longer bend with the breeze or take in what it has to say, they are only concerned that their story becomes part of the Trunk, and resist letting go until their story becomes ingrained as Bark.

White is the color of Winter, Mornings are later, the Breeze is colder, the Sun is now farther away, Leaves are letting go, now in brown as they lay on the Earth, becoming food for their trunk.  It is the way to make their story complete.  As their color fades to the Earth and moisture covers them, they look to the Sky and see the Blue turn to Black.   The leaves last thought: It will be Silent as Stars embrace those branches where they were Green. The Trunk is a bit taller this year, so more Stars are embraced, my story is with them now when the Green will be called out again.

The Bear and Raccoon

Last Sunday morning, just as the morning light was defining its colors, I stepped out of my cabin to pee under the last bits of stars. Its so quiet that time of morning, the birds haven’t woken yet and the fresh air fills your lungs with that morning smell of cedar woods and alders.

Last Sunday morning, just as the morning light was defining its colors, I stepped out of my cabin to pee under the last bits of stars.  Its so quiet that time of morning, the birds haven’t woken yet and the fresh air fills your lungs with that morning smell of cedar woods and alders.  

I stood there looking up at the stars loving the color of the sky, when I looked right and saw about 30 yards from me, a small bear standing on one side of the road, his nose sticking out of the brush leaning forward, sniffing while looking at a Raccoon who was sniffing the air back at him and looking back at him.  Iv seen this Raccoon before, hes not like the city raccoons, hes skinny, slender, muscular.  Direct with his actions and very cautious of me.   The Bear, first time Iv seen him (or her) that close.  They didn’t look at me at all, they were facing each other having some sort of visual discussion.  Maybe territory, maybe just a morning greeting, it was not aggressive or even determined in some sort of way. 

I finished my business quietly.  I moved back to my door not wanting them to notice me at all.  I stepped up into my door and watched them for another minute ,

The Raccoon washed his hands while he sat, the bear had sat down,  He looked my way, sniffed the air, then turned into the woods.

Stanley’s Death

Passing of a mentor

July 3, 2010 at 6:14 AM

Bailey Bouche is a care facility in the Madison Park area of Seattle and one of the great places in the world. Stanley’s care was everything any of us would have wanted. Their staff was involved and understanding of who he was. When things got difficult and his health was at its end…. Bailey Bouche asked he keep visitors and contact with people to a minimum. As this proved to be impossible, they did come on a compromise and some kind of balance, the outpouring from people everywhere was inspiring, Stanley’s care takers felt this amount of love was keeping Stanley here maybe longer than the pain should allow…Life for Stanley was about all those people. 

Wednesday night, cant remember the date, but I do remember just a few days earlier taking Stanley for a drive through the Arboretum, we took in the trees, we were seeing some beautiful homes and breathing air with scents of grass, woods, wind. Stanley confided he really wished his finances were more advanced than they were, and was a little embarrassed that he had so little money at this point in his life. He had enough for all his bills, he was a responsible man but, there was so little money left. 
“Your the richest man I know Stanley” Your the richest man any of us know Stanley” people from every corner love you, you’ve given us so much, people think of you daily. He was silent for a few minutes pondering…. (Iv often wondered if his passion for the activity sometimes blinded him from the good he did us, his silence seemed to support that, I think he knew we all had fun, we all learned and grew, but I wondered if he knew of the sort of a daily mantra from his tutelage) “Well” he said, then took a deep drag from his cigarette, they way he did when he was in deep thought, gracefully held between his forefinger and middle finger, blew the smoke out of the window, l found something I completely loved”. I took his hand in mine and drove a bit farther in silence. 

Wednesday night came, the last one. 12-15 of us in the room, half lit, room strewn with coats, flowers, cards smeared all over walls, notes, drawings, room filled with 2 and 3 dimensional Thank yous, Stanley was in and out of consciousness, people took turns holding hands with him, caressing his forehead, telling him, he was loved, he would come back and say obscure things from years past, to, “Stanley is no longer available, please leave a message” (a classic Stanley comic relief moments) meant I think, as one last gift to us, he made us laugh once more. 
As we took in the shadows and group of people around Stanley’s bed, all surrounding him, their hands on him, easing his passing best that can be done, Mary looked at me, said, this should be a piece of art, a painting, drawing or something……… I fused the image in my mind, it was beautiful. There was a sense of the spiritual, tangible, something is coming next. He went to a place that received him as eagerly as we wanted him here. I do hope, someday, I can paint that. 
My 2nd favorite artist, John Baldessari has a painting that best describes what Stanley did for me, the way I think of the world. 
Painting for Kubler 
This painting owes its existence to prior paintings. By liking this solution, you should not be blocked in your continued acceptance of prior inventions to attain this position, ideas of former paintings 
had to be rethought in order to transcend former work. To like this painting you will have to understand prior work. Ultimately, this work will amalgamate with the existing body of knowledge. 

Peace, love, light and movement

Burning Bush

My workmate and I chat as we scan, and often people chime in and join the conversation, we like this and we cover a lot of subjects

“What does it take to show an illustration
Of the hurt and the pain of a nation.
One glowing look upon a ragged canvas
Tells the story of our past and present situation

Maurice White, EWF

“What does it take to show an illustration
Of the hurt and the pain of a nation.
One glowing look upon a ragged canvas
Tells the story of our past and present situation

Maurice White, EWF

Seattle has its perfect summer days, the kind of days where strangers meet at bus stops and say, wow, this is perfect, not too hot, breeze is nice, you can smell the sound the sea gulls and pigeons are busy, a couple of puffy clouds, its 5 pm the sun is behind the buildings the streets are shaded and people are heading home or to out door restaurants, shopping, boating, BBQ with friends, you can feel that people want to make the most of the rest of this day.
3 days a week in the afternoon my job description is “Orca Loader” which means I scan people’s Orca cards so they can go in any door of the bus, makes it quicker and easier for everyone…. But, lets be honest, and it hasn’t gone unspoken, my job is to show a presence, be polite, watch after people answer questions and try to give a positive experience, I consider this the best time of my week because I get to watch people, talk to people interact with the “parade”.
My workmate and I chat as we scan, and often people chime in and join the conversation, we like this and we cover a lot of subjects. As we were chatting about his 94 yr old mother in law that he adores, she’s Japanese, old family, old school, came to America when she met her husband during WW2 and the rebuilding of Japan, She is doing well, insists on doing the cleaning and keeps herself busy doing what she calls “women’s work”.
Across from our stop is a TJ Max, a “hang out” of some street folk, often the ones in wheel chairs, some are otherwise “handicapped” and they mix with others they know or chat with, liquor is poured, weed is smoked, and they party until they go their way. As I watch, one guy helps a paraplegic woman drink from a bottle, he wipes her chin and they laugh at something, then a gentleman is walking across the street towards us, older man, 70ish? Small bottle of alcohol in his hand, African American, white cap on his head, clean white T shirt, cacky shorts, He says, “ you gentleman have it made, all these nice looking young ladies, you never get too old to enjoy seeing them’
It is a pleasure I said, we get to meet and chat with all kinds of nice people, Mark here and I were just talking about his mom in law and who is from Japan… “ hows she doing? He asked… “ Shes good” Mark answered, still wants to do house work everyday… “ wow” “ I was in Viet Namn he went on, was there for a long time, spent time in Malaysia, the women are lovely and good women, yes, good women” he said as he took a drink. “ I spent a lot of time in other countries he said, Ive seen a lot of stuff, I love this country, it’s a perfect day, we shoot each other , we cuss each other, but this is a great place to be.. He went on to discuss the need for gun control, “people don’t need military guns, its crazy that people in church, school , anywhere get shot down…. For no reason !

That old bush just keeps on burning
Nobody seems to show they’re learning
That old bush just keeps on burning.
I wonder will we ever feel the flame.

“it didn’t used to be like this” I said, when I grew up, there weren’t mass shootings like this
“Well,” he said, I’ve traveled a lot, I love this place anyway, people seem to hate the little things now.. hate” “we were just talking about this” Mark said, my girl is multi racial and we had to deal with a few things, but not like this, “I married a white woman” he said, “she strayed a little, but I love her and we have a good couple of kids” “Sorry dude” I said, “lts fine, been years, what do you do? As his bus arrived he took another sip from the mini bar bottle, “you guys enjoy the day, tell those pretty ladies I said hi. We waved at him, Mark moved north of the st

Our way of life on total exhibition
Shows the way in which we live of an
Imperfect nation.
This tree of life so far from perfection
Share a little love to improve our situation
”.

“Who do you work for” ?? she yelled…..
I looked around to see what was happening? “ who do you work for?? She yelled at me again,
“I work for Metro…. King County Metro Transit to be accurate… why?
“ You shouldn’t be talking to people like that” I was a bit shocked, I wondered if we had said something offensive, she was outraged….. “ did we say something offensive? I’d like to know……
“You work for the county and your talking to street trash like that!!!” I couldn’t think of anything offensive, so I asked her again, “ what did we say that offended you….. Id like to know?
“You were talking to street trash, its terrible, those people are terrible, you should be ashamed!!
My god I thought, what? I stepped away and leaned against the building, people moved from her,
I looked at her, mid 40s brunette, hair tied in back, glasses, jeans, shirt, then I saw the Trump 2020 pin. I got angry and knew I needed to shut up right now. (my job) She got on a bus , self-righteous, stepping in front of a couple of people who were in line.
I thought about the man, well mannered well spoken, a kind and likable face, He deserves that drink I thought, Vietnam vet, father, he did his time and lived his life, nothing he said was trashy or disrespectful, in fact…. I completely enjoyed my encounter. I was disgusted with myself for being off guard, breathless in the face of hate like that. This country has some serious problems.

That old bush just keeps on burning
Share the hope for future learning
I wonder will we ever feel the flame

Walks with Sheba

Sheba is a little black cat with Amber Eyes.

As with most cats when she was young, she was feisty and adventurous spent long hours outside and committed Genocide on the local mouse population, I’m convinced they moved out of my old neighborhood because of her.

Then she got into a fight, a larger cat, grey, unkept and used to winning.

It’s been my experience, when cats lose a fight they change, they become more home bound, cautious.  Out of the 6 cats in my life, only one of those cats ruled the neighborhood, a medium sized Tortoise Shell with a huge attitude.  We called her Tootie ( short for Tuti Fruiti, this is what happens pets when little kids name their pets), one of my memories of Tootie was her going after the German Shepard across the street.  He was not timid and bullied some of the dogs and some of us kids. One day Tootie wasn’t having it.  They snarled at each other, then Tootie leaped onto his shoulders and dug in…… The German Shepard, surprised, started running down the street and Tootie hopped off halfway down, sat, licked her paws and watched him dart into a neighbor’s yard.

Tootie lived to the grand age of 22 and only because she succumbed to being hit by a Truck.

I moved to Burien last year, new neighborhood lots of new sounds and smells the house I live in came with stray cats 3-5 by our estimate.  And, there is a Grey cat, pretty good looking short haired guy that what we can tell, runs the neighborhood.  We call him Tom.

Sheba was chased and taught the rules during her 1st week. 

It’s a big yard, a couple of fruit trees in the back, 2 small greenhouses and a couple of storage sheds…. Lots of room for cats and 1 of the strays, we call her Ernestine lives comfortably under our back doorsteps.

Sheba and I love our Mornings. Summertime sometimes as early as 3:30 she lets me know its time to go out, Ill grab a cup of Tea and open the door, she steps out and looks back at me to make sure I follow.  I walk behind her, we go to the bushes that line the street, walk south, then around the house.  I keep my distance by about 10 ft or so.   She keeps and eye on me but doesn’t want to be petted in front of the strays.  Sometimes Tom peeks out from the Greenhouse, glares at each of us, determines he will stay away from me, pulls his head in. She sniffs bushes, cautiously walks the sidewalk, Ernestine greets us as we walk by (she’s friendly, but doesn’t want to be touched just fed) Sheba glares and wants nothing to do with her, I say good morning Earnestine and we continue on.

Our walks somedays take a half hour, sometimes I sit and watch her go around, when she’s done she comes and sits by me on the bench and we listen to the Owls do their last hoots of the night and the crows begin their day, we watch the sky get brighter, we listen to the neighbors starting cars while others take their dogs past us on leash and wave. 

Sheba watches it all, and watches me, I stay out as long as I can, when its time to go in, I just say, “Time to go sweety”. Sheba follows me up the steps.