Thursday, August 23, 2012

High tundra - rock, ice, sky

Here we go again and as always, wherever you are, Leslie, you’re with me – through the endless Texas plains, the edge of New Mexico and over Raton Pass, into the Colorado flatlands, the foothills of the Rockies, stopping in Fort Collins - the city of my dreams, past the Snowy Mountains, into Wyoming’s high desert, and finally the Wind River Mountains and all along the way, Hello Kitty sticker (surrogate Leslie) reminding me, “The speed limit is…” and “Don’t you want to…” and "uhh..." and of course, "Hello."
David and Leslie, near Hue
Last night we were lying in bed talking, cutting up, laughing and laughing about I don’t remember what – like so many other nights... and then sweet mornings. These are the days. It’s been more than two months since the hail storm that turned things upside down for us. Except you and I never got turned upside down – together and these really are the days.
Sweet afternoons.
When I think of you my heart is full, all the love, the joy, the respect, all the fulfillment, all the everything.
From Hue 2011/2012: After a banana pancake breakfast (with honey and yogurt) and not forgetting a glass of very strong cafe sua and a few minutes later splitting an omelet/baguette sandwich, we took a riverboat cruise for 100,000VND (Leslie's bargaining acumen) to Thien Mu Pagoda, 45 minutes up the perfume river. This where the monk Thich Quang Duc lived before he went to Saigon in 1966 to immolate himself in protest against the VN government and the war. The pagoda and grounds were quietly beautiful –understated and mossy with just a few people around and a view from the grounds across the wide river, past the plains, to these mist-covered mountains where we fought and bled, where so many from every side fought and bled and died, aching for life – me for a beautiful dark-haired girl whose photo was so washed out from the water that only the shadow of her left eye was left and now, 45 years later, looking across the room from where I write she's sitting on the bed, the love of my life, beautiful, her hair white now and here we are in Hue and I look out through the glass-paned doors toward palm trees and mossy buildings - it's misting in Hue.
I’ve loved you a long time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You dreamed of me

It was a heavy meeting this Wednesday morning. Someone has cancer, someone is six years (!) into his wife having a degenerative neurological disease, someone’s wife has cancer, and there are others with family members with cancer or other serious problems. And the wounds aren't just physical. It’s not like there is some kind of the answer to making it through these things. I think it's good to have family, community, friendships; it's good to have faith and/or a spiritual home; it's good to know you're doing your job; it's good that you're here... 

Mention was made of Beatitudes...

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
(And so on – Matthew 5:1-12. I carry these verses with me in my little notebook - for contemplation.)


From an email to Jeff: Last night I was thinking that we're all just passing through and in the end, not many people will mark our passing, hence it's good to treasure and nurture those relationships. 

I was also thinking that here I go on another vision quest into the Wind Rivers. I think I have some kind of fundamental or spiritual connection to the Winds. To paraphrase John Muir, These mountains call and I must go. 

Love, Charlie


Attics of My Life 
(written by Robert Hunter, sung by the Grateful Dead, dedicated to Leslie)

In the attics of my life, full of cloudy dreams unreal.
Full of tastes no tongue can know, and lights no eyes can see.
When there was no ear to hear, you sang to me.

I have spent my life seeking all that's still unsung.
Bent my ear to hear the tune, and closed my eyes to see.
When there were no strings to play, you played to me.

In the book of love's own dream, where all the print is blood.
Where all the pages are my days, and all the lights grow old.
When I had no wings to fly, you flew to me, you flew to me.

In the secret space of dreams, where I dreaming lay amazed.
When the secrets all are told, and the petals all unfold.
When there was no dream of mine, you dreamed of me.


Last week I talked some about a photograph of a girl who has haunted me for years. Here is Omayra Sanchez shortly before she died. I put the photo up for about 10 minutes and then realized I'm not qualified to do that. Maybe if I was still caught up in service - but I'm not. You can google her name. I recommend it.