Friday, December 30, 2011

I saw Patti at a place in Nashville in 97. A place no longer there. I think it was called 329 Performance Center, but I am most likely wrong. What is not wrong about the memory is what an amazing performer and artist she is. And, as the venue was small and intimate, I was in front of the stage, and as she started this song, I had my hand outstretched hoping she would take hold of it, and she did. And she held my hand for some time. And, I felt energy. I felt connection. I felt the life force. And I mean that in all seriousness. It was profound. Not just because she is Patti Smith, but because I felt there was something she knew. I can feel the touch still. I am not trying to present her as idol or any better than I am. What I felt was the touch of one human who knew pain to another in pain. It was a good moment. "You're not alone. You're not alone. You're not alone."

Happy Birthday to Patti Smith!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

Now my father carries his old heart
in its basket of ribs
like a child coming into the room
with an injured bird.
Our ages sit down with a table between them,
eager to talk.
Our common bones are wrapped in new robes.
A common pulse tugs at the ropes
in the backs of our hands.
We are so much alike
we both weep at the end of his stories.

Ted Kooser

Monday, December 26, 2011

I did all my best to smile. "Did I dream you dreamed about me?"

There is always some crying going on. I think it's ok, yes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Not An Unexamined Life

Very glad I know this strong woman and get to call her daughter, as she is and forever shall be. She's a feisty little thing who does not back down when things get uncomfortable and who stands by her convictions and works so very, very hard. I am proud of all of my children and grateful for all they do for themselves and others.

One of the songs performed at TADP's (Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty) benefit Monday night, hosted by none other than my little girl.

Merry Christmas, dear visitors! A very blessed holiday to those I know--Laurel, Jim, Karen, and Jo. May you find some moments of peace and joy this holiday season and in the year to come.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Remains

I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.

My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

Mark Strand

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Light Snow Alert

As Molly and I walk the streets of the old neighborhood--a light snow falling--I realize I think too much about all of the things I can never be again and too little of all of the things I may be and can be and am.