Archive for November, 2010


three days on the memory ward

re-reading my Feb 2010 post where I quoted from the movie The King of Hearts :

“My solution is to always live in the moment.”

“But you are exaggerating! What else makes life worth it?”

“I already knew that to love the world you must get away from it.”

“Life is simple – on one side whores, the other generals.”

“I don’t want to die. No one can know their own death. There are only three minutes to live. Three minutes is enough.”

“The most beautiful journeys are taken through the window.”


Reading these again just now I was brought back to Aunt Betty’s new home where I sat with her 2 and a half days. Hallways with residents and nurses and aides. Smiling faces. Blank faces. Frustration and anger. Moaning. And my aunt’s eyes meeting mine. Her asking, “when am I going to go home?” “you are home, this is your home.” “but what if they take me to the wrong place?” “this place is not too far from your last home.” “I mean Ponca City.” “We don’t know anyone anymore in Ponca City – there would be no place for us to stay.”

The sweetness and the simplicity and the childlike state of those sharing my aunt’s floor remind me of the people in King of Hearts whose asylum doors are opened during the crazy wartime evacuation when the bomb is planted in the town square.


New notebook I need you. I need to start recording all these memories of my time with my aunt. She did say it would be different next time, remember!!!


reminders of our heavy treading

I was thinking about our region reading Jack Matthew’s Sage to Meadow post this morn. An image of being a giant with one foot planted near Abilene and other near Albuquerque, rocking back and forth, the image of that aquifer underneath came to mind – one I learned about 20 years ago from a program on educational TV: The Ogallala Aquifer.

I wanted to see a map and found one on my computer at this good website:

Water level changes in the Ogallala Aquifer (Cunningham, William P. et. al., “Environmental Science, 7th edition, McGraw Hill 2003.)

And seeing this, realize that Abilene and Albuquerque are far from this aquifer, if I remember where Abilene is correctly. But the Ogallala is smack dab in between us. It is a huge and crucial life source.

It was good to read Kally Worm’s page (one listed above image) reviewing aquifer depletion. Thanks be to folks who pay good attention to the natural world and aim to depict it fairly – in the scientist habit. Kally Worm’s page, (which is : “Part of Water is Life, a class website on water privatization and commodification, produced by students of Geography 378 (International Environmental Problems & Policy) at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, Spring 2004.”) states the simple fact: “The biggest problem facing people who use the Ogallala Aquifer is that they do not know how long the water supply will last.”
Oh, how we need to come together and DO something to live more lightly.

An old friend on facebook this morn copied these song lyrics from King Crimson song:

"Six billion ants crawling on a plate.

None of them give back as much as they take.

Six billion ants crawling on a plate.

It doesn't mean you should just because you can.

It doesn't mean you should just because you can.

Like Abraham and Ishmael, fighting over sand. 

It doesn't mean you should just because you can.

And that is a fact of life."
from "Facts of Life" by King Crimson

Next on my mind: one of the things I had to learn at my state Museum job recently: how to have a portable heater. I know, this is RANDOM. But it took up a whole hour at work and more. And hopefully I can tie this together with my angst at our collective insensitivity.


The heater in the Education office has been broken for a year. In the 25 year old building, it would take 1500 bucks to fix it – money not available in a budget that was sliced in half. Plus the person qualified to fix the heater retired last year, so an outside person would have to be brought in. The need for heat in a workplace is a given. And the purchase of a $39 oil/radiator heater would be a good solution. But permission is needed first …

When you work at a government job, you go by procedures and rules. And those rules told me something.

in the long recounting of all the agencies he was told to go to for permission, my colleague in charge of researching portable heaters lamented, “… and of course we are supposed to use both sides of the paper.” I just realized now the relief I felt to hear  State government regulations are based on the roundabout process of legislators hearing from constituents. Because frugality, safety, AND conservation (!) are values built into these hoops we have to jump through!

At any rate, I saw a fleeting glimpse of evidence that there IS an attempt to incorporate conservation values and tread more lightly in our own state government. And how it feels like a nuisance to some.

A giant not knowing why it breaks as it sits on the fragile chair.


2 V’s

a third V going in the same direction ...

The ‘warble-croak’ got me outside – another got me lookin in the right direction – to see 2 V’s – left side longer wings, more gliding – right side shorter ones flap-flapping. Cranes and Geese, side by side.


In fading morning light around 5:30

there was still one star visible through our high window. How stars somehow suggest a presence. And I am so close to tears these days with certain presences failing around me. Struggle to be with the feeling, the closeness and the longing for it not to fade – without succumbing to total sadness. There is life around me to be lived – a clamor of good work to be done. Thank goodness for being at the Museum, and for my Family, and for my Yard.

My aunt at her new home with her doll


chicago – a different kinda place

am here to visit my aunt – my mom’s older sis – who turned 89 a coupla days ago. I visit her every 2 years or so (it is so expensive). she is alone here except for one friend. her memory is fading, but she still CAN remember. very childlike – now carries her doll and kitty cat stuffed animal, which I am glad she has.

when i come to these chicago suburbs I am so amazed – the forest preserves, the many different nationalities that all seem to try to preserve their identity with shops and neighborhoods – can’t say for sure. the place where my aunt is – Greek American Rehab and Nursing home – is definitely a haven of Greek culture – a lot of Greek being spoken, and the soup served last night an unmistakeable aviglemono (sp!) – lemon chicken rice). so many services available from this huge metropolis. Albq pales in comparison. and so much rainfall – the dirt everywhere is rich dark brown. my mind imagines the land without the development : fertile – a place where folks would gravitate – and put up with cold and snow building good shelter.

i did not bring my camera cord with me so will have to add the photo of my aunt when i get home.

clay & log posts

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