“Is that what I think it is?” I asked our artist neighbor 20 years ago. There were about a dozen flower pots arranged beside the window, each with several plants like this. (They’re not usually so photogenic. I edited out the little scrappy bits.) “Yep,” he said, matter-of-factly. “Mind if I take a few pictures?” [...]
[NOTE: Originally published 6-19-2021 at Substack] I hardly cried at all on Monday, even made the bed without a hitch. Didn’t know whether to be ashamed or let myself feel good. Just now I picked up her driver’s license and stared at that beautiful smile. The things you don’t know coming down the pike, oh [...]
“Is this John? I’m Kathleen’s nurse at Taos Living Center. I need your permission to send your wife to the ER at Holy Cross. She doesn’t look good at all.” Me, buying lampshades at fucking Walmart, yanking my mask off to speak clearly into the phone. Everyone has disappeared, the world gone black… “I don’t [...]
That’s my sister Teresa in the center with her husband on the right. And yes, those are what you think they are—I still have a baggie full of seeds and wonder if they’re any good. She died of liver cancer in 2010 and hardly a day goes by without my thinking of her. A lifelong [...]
Some men are like that, though. The ones who “prune” a tree by cutting all the branches like they’re dealing with asparagus and not a being with inherent grace, a form, a destiny. I don’t know how we get that way. It’s just not possible for me. Every weed and flower has a soul. When we lived in Maryland, I’d walk past a field of barley waving in the wind and feel the power like the tramp-tramp-tramp of marching armies. And a tree, my God. You have to ask permission of a thing like that. It wants to live, it has a purpose. Just ask the birds, if you can find one.