Who are we?

Journal 3/16/2000 –

Amy Tan said – I did not lose myself all at once.  I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by the water.”

She is right.  That is why the process is so insidious.  One day we simply do not know who we really are because day by day, year by year, layer by layer that unique individual – that child who was – is buried in the silt of life’s rushing river.

We must all become archaeologists/anthropologists and dig for the truth of that long buried self.

Life is a circle

Life is a circle not come full
Begun when the universe was but
A thought.
And I a disembodied whim of
Her and him.
My playground was so vast back then
Why couldn’t it last
Why the mad dash to take up and
Wear real flesh
Poor choice is now no choice at all and
We seek ever to return
And the circle continues but when
When will it come full again
And end at the begin.

How many journals do you keep?

The Journal has many incarnations.  I have a gratitude journal by my bedside I write in before lights out.  I list at lease 5 things I’m grateful for that day.  We forget sometimes just how much we have and too often dwell on what we don’t.  This is a daily reminder.

I have a which goes on top of the gratitude journal.  It’s in reach so on waking, I can capture the dream before the busy day takes it away.  Dreams are important and if you pay attention, they tell you a lot about your now and possibly your future.

Currently, I’ve started a Vision Journal.  Kind of like a Vision Board.  Problem with a vision board is it’s large and stationary and static.  A vision journal is portable.  You can carry it anywhere and it has so many pages to paste pictures in and write your visions on.

You’ll need a blank book for this, scissors, rubber cement and a stack of old magazines to start with.  You can go on the internet and download pictures as well, but I so love the act of cutting and pasting.  When you see an image that calls your name; one that makes you say, yes.  That is me.  I want that. I am that.  Cut it out, put it in the book.

That’s how you begin.  Then daily you peruse the book, imagine yourself in each of the pictures.  Let your subconscious mind do the rest.

You have nothing to lose; everything to gain; and besides that, it’s fun.



Character Study – Jade – 2101 AD

Jadeah glowered. Her warm bed is memory.  Gold morning spilling through seaward windows is replaced by gray traffic and dark apprehension, as she drives to the murder scene.

James’s voice, laced with confusion and not a little fear, echoes in her ear. She could only wonder what was wrong. His voice was clear and controlled when he called, but the bleed-through of raw emotion: the anger, fear and utter bafflement in his mind, were a miasmic smell to her highly trained senses. Jadeah’s carefully planned day was now supplanted by the urgency he unwittingly implied.

Her mind kept returning to the manuscripts lying idle on her desk. She was busier than ever now. Anonymity was a thing of the past and sometimes she remembered those early days fondly. Back then, they turned her stories down. They were all skeptics and none of them believed in her and what she stood for. Back then, she could go anywhere unnoticed – not now. Now, she had two children’s books and two novels published, and the poems and short bardic tales of the Before Times were even doing well. She smiled inwardly, well, maybe I didn’t like being unknown better, but my life sure was simpler and more serene.

This past year her old schoolmate from MU had taken to calling her in whenever he needed esper help in his law enforcement work. It took time away from her writing and sometimes resulted in unwelcome notoriety. She preferred the calling of writer and poet to that of psychic sleuth or ‘Wonder Witch’ as the ever-irreverent columnist Amanda Mason dubbed her.

It wasn’t pleasant witnessing the aftermath of crimes. True, James only called her when he’s desperate, and he never spreads her name around. “Blast!” She muttered aloud. Something is terribly wrong, and I will never get my book to the publisher by deadline, never mind the article for Mayax Today, and, damn it all! I’ll call them both later. She had arrived.

She parked her Rover behind the police cars, and got a dirty look from the Sergeant. Jade got out, slammed the door, and called up to him as she mounted the stairs to the entrance he barred, “Sergeant, I got a call to meet Lieutenant Jeffries here.”

“He ain’t here yet and the room is sealed and no one goes in until he gets here and you’re illegally parked, so move that thing.”

His words reached her: lances honed with anger, trailing fear. “Why are you so angry, Sergeant?” She asked, sending him soothing thoughts. A glare was her answer. Turning to go down the stairs, she saw James pull in behind her Rover, and sighed with relief.

“James, just let me move the Rover, and I’ll be right with you.”

“You’re on police business. The Rover’s fine.” The smile was for Jade. The sergeant received a cold, “See that Ms. Kenion’s vehicle is not disturbed or ticketed.”

“Yes, sir,” the stony-faced reply belied the seething lava behind the eyes.

James and Jade entered the house and instantly five people, all talking at once, surrounded them. The forensics team was there. The photographer wanted to take pictures. K.D. Jones, detective in training barred the door. “I kept them out just like you said, Lieutenant. Sergeant O’Conner is Pi…, uh, real upset, sir.” The young man glanced sideways at Jade. She felt the curiosity and the awe, and gave him her warmest smile and thoughts.

James was all business, “So what else is new in the world. All right, K.D., report.”

“Well, sir. The maid got here at 6:30 this morning, opened up and came in. She said she noticed the library door open slightly and a light on. She said it wasn’t like Mrs. Kane, uh, the lady who lives here, uh, lived here, so she walked into the room and there she was, the corpse, uh, Mrs. Kane, sir. She got scared and didn’t go any further – she ran out to the hall, called us, and oh yeah, she’s in the kitchen with the cook. She’s still pretty shook.”

“Jadeah?” She barely heard James call her by her full name. She was already tuning into the room’s vibrations. “Jade?”

“Yes, I hear you, please tell your minions to sit and stay put. The room where the body was found is only apart of the crime scene. It’ll be hard to see past their traces to the earlier, fainter ones of what happened here some hours ago.”

“Sure! You all heard. Shut-up and sit.”

They sat, startled, and irritated that they weren’t allowed to do their jobs. They watched Jade and muted whispers circulated amongst them.

“She’s one of them you know one of the Wyse.”

“Yeah? A witch you mean; I know.”

“Shhh, she’s his, you know, friend. He’ll hear and she don’t need to hear to know.”

Character Study – Chadak

Day by day he engineered them . Little machines, nanochines, nanites, nanobytes created by him. They were so small the strongest electron microscope could barely see them.

Byte by byte he programmed them with matrices of information. Daily he would project his thoughts to them, his aspirations for them, his dreams of a world he, with their help, would control.

When he was ready, he would try them and gauge their reaction in living tissue. He had taken the first step. The next step was simple and they did not disappoint. He created a replica of a human heart, introduced them to its workings, and showed them the pathways to the brain and they were ready. They were ready for the next step.

With laser-scalpel in hand he exposed the still beating heart of the sleeping form before him, injected his nanites, and watched the steady uninterrupted rhythmic pulsing. He reached out and stroked the glistening heart gently with a gloved finger then closed the flesh around it and she lived.

He was God. This was a new life form. It was his now, his. He watched the steady breathing of this first validation of his work. He would build a perfect race, perfect men and more importantly, perfect women. One by one he would add them to his cadre, and they would march to the step he intoned.

The girl on the table woke, stared wide-eyed, sat bolt upright, opened her mouth in a silent scream, and died. As the light fled her eyes, Chadak’s dreams momentarily wavered.  Failure. For a moment, he was a student again, groping for answers, and then the researcher in him took over.

He had to take the heart to recover his nanites and perform a minute autopsy and neural scan, and dispose of the remains. It would be a long night, a long, red night in the pristine clean white room.

Exhausted, he returned to his private dorm room and sat at his computer. He glanced over the monitor at the just awakening campus, stroked a beard where none existed, lowered his brows, and dictated the night’s research to the waiting computer voice module while part of his mind pondered his next steps.


Character’s Back Story – James

Tomorrow was graduation.

He remembered how his Mother worried; he could tell the way she paced when she thought he wasn’t watching.  She’d yell at Dad when he talked about it too. “No, absolutely not.  It isn’t bad enough I worry if you’ll come back every day when you leave for work, you want me to worry about my only son, too.  He should be a lawyer or a doctor or a writer.  Lord knows he has enough imagination to be a writer.  His school counselor said so.”

James hated it when they argued.  He’d just turn the volume up on one his dad’s old viewer as he watched Sam Cade, Detective for Hire for the hundredth time.  He’d pretend he was Sam Cade – super detective.  “Yes, some day.  Well, Sam Cade started in law enforcement, and then went private.  And all the women fall for him and the regular law enforcers envy him.  Yea, that’s what I’ll do.  First, I’ll follow Dad’s path, but I won’t settle for just that; no sir, not me.  I’ll get all the training I can get from the pros and then I’ll do what Sam Cade did.  James Harden, private detective.  Well, maybe I can change my name.  James seems so, so ordinary.”

He remembered when he and his Dad used to talk long into the night on their weekly hike up into the mountains.  He told James his fears and his aspirations, “I know that no matter what happens I’ve lived a good life.  Boy, that’s all that’s truly important.  Whatever you do in life, do it because you really want to, and do it really well.  If you marry, marry for love and because of things and in spite of things.  Your mom’s a good woman and when she met me, I was in law enforcement and she hated it.  But I loved her in spite of that and she me too.  Do you understand?  I mean, you can talk yourself out of a lot of things just because you’re afraid.  Don’t let fear ever stand in the way of doing what you love and loving people who may not love all the things you do.”

James wished he had written it all down, now.  But sometimes, he lay back on a dark night on the side of a trail and let his mind drift back to those times and he could hear the distant voice echoed in his ear.  “Follow your dreams, boy.  Only a fool is never afraid, and only a coward lets fear stand in the way of what’s right for him.”

James thought.  Thanks Dad, I’ll make you proud.  I’m doing it Dad.  I’ll be the youngest detective ever on the force.


Do’s & Don’t’s – Day three with the knee.

Thing about doctor’s orders is most of them begin with don’t.  Don’t stand too long. Don’t walk too much just to the restroom and back or the kitchen and back.  Don’t shower until you take the bandage off.  Don’t take the bandage off for 72 hours.  Don’t sit with you leg down.

And the Do’s aren’t much better.  Elevate your leg everytime you sit down.  Sit down as often as you can…

Missed out on the Energen’ closing ceremonies for their annual art competition today.  Going would have violated several do’s and don’ts beginning with descending 40 steps to the street, a lot of standing and no place to sit and elevate the leg and no icepack to apply to the swollen knee.

Sigh.  I was so looking forward to viewing some great art, eating Chef Clayton’s excellent food, sipping wine and catching up with some of my artist friends.

I had rsvp’d for three, but I sent my Mom and brother Billy off on their own and here I sat with cheese and crackers, wine (ttg), reading Guardian of the Horizon on my balcony.

This too shall pass, and there’ll be other parties, and I did enjoy the gorgeous Spring day and a brilliant sunset.

Still healing, sitting around with leg up

Don’t feel much like blogging today.

Healing is a slow process for an impatient patient. I’ve spent the day wandering from couch to chair to balcony loveseat. Each time to put my leg up on ottoman or coffee table or convenient chair. Applying icepack every few hours.

I’ve read all the magazines. Re-reading an old Elizabeth Peters Egyptian mystery. It’s like visiting with old friends. The true readers out there will understand.

This too shall pass. I only wish it were sooner than later.

Knee surgery for me was a piece of cake.

Sitting on the couch sipping beer, nibbling on the remnants of pizza, and scribbling in my journal was far more comfy than sitting at desk typing.  However, I’ve committed to one blog post a day for 2012 and given my self permission to be mildly creative (thanks Ken Roberts).

Most of my blog posts begin as words written in my journal.  The essay in Victoria Magazine, the book reviews in First Draft, the essay in PavoMag, my 2 as yet unpublished novels, etc.

They all began life on the pages of the journal that are my constant companion.

I had the meniscus surgery today at noonish and all the dire prognostications of pain and wooziness were for naught.

All I can say is Dr. Dewey Jones, III, his nurse Ann and all the folks at Brookwood rock; they  listen to the patient.  I didn’t want to be pumped with morphine or any narcotic in anticipation of pain.  Doc said fine, I’ll give you a local when I’m through to keep the edge off and you can take the pain meds we prescribed as needed. So, when I came out of the anesthetic, I was fine.  Within 30 minutes, I wasn’t woozy or unstable; walked to the ‘loo’ unassisted.

Special thanks to Ree Bolton who drove me there, waited and drove me home.  On the way to the apartment, we picked up a veggie pizza at Hungry Howie’s.  Coupled with the 6 pack of dos Equis from Wilson’s Market I’d picked up earlier we had a satisfying lunch.

Those 40 odd steps to my front door that I was dreading, were a painless piece of cake.  We sat on the couch ate pizza, sipped a few, me with leg propped up and an ice pack perched on my knee.

It’s going on 10 now, and no pain.  I ate two more pieces of pizza for a late supper, and I’m on about beer six.  Once I post this, it’ll be time for the ice pack again, while I crack open Vanity Fair (nothing like a little mind candy when you have to sit still).

Anybody know of a worthy cause in need of a pair of brand new unused crutches, let me know.

Well, the couch is calling.   Later.

Knee surgery takes alot of to-do lists

Having surgery tomorrow, so now more than ever I need lists, ‘to do’ lists.  The one at work grew longer as I’ll be out for several days.  Write it down in blue or black, check it off in red or green or whatever color is hand.  Some days it’s purple.

All week, I’ve blown through a many items as I can and delegated a few before I shut down the computer and left the office.

Then there are the personal lists to make sure that I’ll have no need to leave home until the knee has time to mend a bit.  I’m having a torn meniscus repaired.  All my years of athletics finally caught up with me.  But this is minor, and if it’s as bad as it gets, it’s pretty good.

First Walgreens for the pain meds, and I sincerely hope I don’t need them.  I’m not a wimp when it comes to pain, but this will be a new experience.  The Doc kindly phoned it it day before, so day of surgery I could just go straight home.  Picked up some cold compresses and they’re in the freezer as I type.

Next was the Library.  If’ I’m going to spend a few days on the couch with my leg elevated with a cold compress on it, I need several books, and a few movies.  TV is indeed a great wasteland.

Then was the grocery store for quick to fix meals. I bought lunch meat, bread, crackers, pre-made salads, frozen cooked shrimp, almond butter, apples, bananas eggs, coffee, tea, chocolate silk and bars and several magazines to add to the reading options.

Last of all was alcohol for me and guests.  I restocked my bar with wine, beer, some clear stuff and some not so clear stuff.  I’d rather take a page from western fiction and take a swig or 2 of whiskey than pop a pill.  We’ll see.

I’m in my jams now as I write this post, all squeaky clean from my shower with the special soap the nurse said to use.  Sipping on a cold beer while I still can.  Nothing after midnight and surgery is not until 1 tomorrow.

Like I said, I’m prepared to hole up for a as many days as it takes.  Knee surgery will making stairs a precarious adventure especially when you consider that my front stoop is 22 concrete stairs followed by a two flight stairwell up to my front door. Going up while still under the influence of anesthetic should be a piece of cake (feeling no pain).

Down is not recommended for several days drugs or no drugs.

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