Viet Nam

Viet Nam Memorial in Angel Fire, NM
I’ve seen the Viet Nam Memorial wall in Washington DC, and now the memorial chapel in Angel Fire, NM. In Washington, the very air around the wall felt saturated with grief. People choked back tears. In Angel Fire I was alone, the only person there, and the emotional tone of the place seemed very different to me. Maybe I was just in a hurry and didn’t take time to sit in the chapel and let it soak in. Maybe I just rushed through the small museum . . .

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Let go

The prospect of dying elders creates a split personality in us. We know in our heads that it’s time; the years were well spent, the elder is ready and peaceful about the change to come, we know it’s inevitable. Yet when the moment comes to actually let go, our heart screams out disagreement with the information we’ve worked out in our head. We are hard-pressed to honor do not resuscitate orders that just moments ago seemed reasonable.

You think you’re ready, but . . .

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May Day

Thanks to my habit of awaking hours before the rest of the world, I snagged the shade under one of only three trees in the mosaic covered courtyard of the church of Our Lady of the Cave, where a Greek May Day festival was underway.

Graceful young Greek women in traditional hand-woven cloth danced in the brilliant sunlight reflecting off the white walls of . . .

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I waited for a stately parade of cars trapped behind a slow moving school bus to pass, then I ran across the street. I punched 911 into my phone as I approached her. Jeanette lay on the ground beside her house, the hose in her hand spurting crazily in the air like a fountain gone mad. “My friend needs an ambulance,” I told the 911 operator. I threw the hose aside and felt Jeanette’s neck for a pulse. “She’s breathing, but not conscious,” I said and gave directions to our location. Jeanette was soaked from . . .

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The camera loves

The camera loved Albuquerque in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie In From the Night that I watched on CBS last night. The views of the mountains, especially from inside the courthouse, were wonderful. There were nice shots of homes, gardens, the university, and the mountains. The cameraman made Albuquerque look like the most beautiful city on the planet. I just hope people don’t see it and rush off to New Mexico expecting water to be available . . .

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On sale now

Down the street
At the estate sale
Everything is
On sale now


Down the street
At the estate sale
There’s no family
To want the

Years’ accumulation

Down the street
At the estate sale
Strangers pick
Through artifacts

Representing a life

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My tree

I woke with a horrible pain in my head. I touched it and found blood. I was spread out on damp, leaf-covered ground. I was cold, wet. Where was I? There was a strange looking tree. At first I couldn’t understand why the tree looked that way, then I remembered that there was an animal that chewed down trees. I couldn’t think of the name of the animal. I tried standing up but my head . . .

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My interpretation

I quote: Exxon Mobil paid its departing CEO $48.5 million last year. He made $21.2 million cashing in stock options, and $3.1 million in dividends. His retirement package is worth $250 million.

My interpretation of this statistical information is that the United States of America has plenty of money for health care, universal insurance coverage, adequate social security funding, Medicare, Medicade, public education and energy saving manufacturing programs. But that money is in the hands of . . .

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Don’t forget

Don’t forget the tickets. Don’t forget your coat. Don’t forget to be home by 6:30. The woman drives me crazy with her mothering. Does she think I can’t manage the simplest things by myself? I’m an adult, her flipping breadwinner, and capable of running a business all by myself. If she starts in on me again tonight, I swear I’m going to deck her. Lay her out flat and pray she never wakes up. Ram her nose into her brain and drop her instantly . . .

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The Bucking Burrito sat off highway 40 a ways on the outside of town. It was a flat-topped cinder block building, in need of paint and a lot fewer ruts in the parking lot. When I opened the door the aroma of chile, onions, and frying meat greeted me with an embrace. There were five vinyl-clad booths against one wall and several Formica topped square tables in the middle of the floor. Conversation stopped when I walked through the door. Must be the tailored suit and the panty hose, I thought, although a woman who is 6’1″ in flats is used to getting a few looks no matter what she’s wearing . . .