the banquet… {{B}}

the banquet… {{B}}

Photo by Lee Hnetinka on

how subtly we move down the long table, a feast with our family, different times of the year feel the same in here, time is somewhere peering in with jealous eyes. knowing at some point we will venture outside again, once small children (so I recall) are now here at the main table as adults grown up, their kids at the small one or running around, the parade of cousins, aunts, uncles and those married in moves on, the table has swelled all these years, I always knew, but never saw the subtraction coming as I do now, this soon, expected at some point, sure, but never on my side, in my direct row of chairs, a reckoning, for this is the way life is, I suppose we all hold onto untouchable belief, even in the sheer face of the inevitability, the reality, maybe we are fools but I would rather side on the side of belief against all and embrace that fool of myself, for what else can we do, pass the potatoes down and share a drink or two, a sliding moment of smiles, a flash of stories brought out like seasonal accouterments, as the actuality of the tales seem, and are, further off in the distance, for perhaps this is the time of my reckoning, at least as I slide chairs, as the elders inevitably become phantoms, one by one, some by some, so, all the more – stop and enjoy the spectacle, the pageant, the miracle, the banquet of life while the fruit is ripe, the buffet is vast and the glasses full, a moment to take in, as I approach the land of reckoning, not for myself, just yet, but I see, and feel, the coming of the sunset for the generation I am replacing in line next as I move toward the end of the table, may I carry such yoke with dignity and humanity – and love.

examination of life… [\—]

examination of life… [\—]

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

for of a pauper
or from a prince
from a line of kings
or of a reign of khans;
that comes
that which speaks all languages
and none.

a last supper, perhaps
the thought had crossed my mind, after
for all your faults
all the times I thought I knew better, still
my father;
meatloaf and corn
paper plate
fruit cup
struggling with the plastic fork,
as I must watch
the constant beep of various machines
trying to understand the strange menagerie
of this common foreign land,
meatloaf and corn
I ignore the bits upon your shirt
the dots of gravy
the unshaved look,
focus on just being here
visiting hours, for this is surely not home
there are different rules here
absolute rules here
for no matter who’s father
least not mine
in a bed
stranded, helpless, reduced
tubes, bruised skin arms
asking about the rutgers score
the masquerade of familiar
what of the outside can be brought in
drapes are the thinnest walls
the clock, sits, only the third hand seems to move
time is giving me more now
as forced conversations run out
then there is time
just the time to be
together, silently
for now,


in the hand of providence…

in the hand of providence…

water droplets on black asphalt road during night time
Photo by Ruvim on

strange how life works, sometimes the path is laid out for you, literally, not even subtlety, it has been many years since I traveled Chain O Hills road, so many I can not even count or remember, but twice now, in two days time, I find myself on that winding road for quite different reasons, last night I happened to be working not far from my first ‘real’ job in Avenel, the job that was to be my future and lead to my Florida adventure, these do not even seem like my memories anymore they are so old, but they are, the streets all look the same, some businesses have changed, some remained, so many remain as they were a decade ago, the street signs, actually stone posts in that town, the weathered painted letters,  I know all the curves of these roads, then today, today started out or at least in bursts there was sun, then, the aforementioned foreshadowing come as the temperature dropped lower as the day grew longer, and grayer, then the sky turned to a shallow rain, cold, not heavy, but enough to trip the wipers into action, by all accounts I was going to be home early for once, tired, as last night was not the best for sleeping, no reason why, just was, the client today was a bit grating but nothing I hadn’t seen or been burdened by before, my phone rings, an odd time for a call, how we know things are wrong, how our calls are as nearly calculated and reliable as a heartbeat, I pride myself on preparation, on mentally going through scenarios, but even inevitability stops you cold, the words, you have pretended to hear them so many times, like footsteps approaching, you just do not have the bus schedule in front of you, but surely the bus is en-route, so I digest the information, such as it is things always take a moment to sink in and calculate, to percolate, to transfer to the extremities of your internal network, the tingle in your fingers, palms sweating slightly, the situation,  just a matter of how bad and what next, I wonder if I am speeding and have conversations in my head with officers should I be pulled over, am I over the limit? these roads I know so well, my backyard in a sense, but they seem longer and foreign now, in the night, the glaze of rain makes me extra cautious, I desperately need my GPS as my logic is seemingly off kilter, my brother calls, he too is on his way, a deep hardening in my diaphragm is like constriction, a corset, inside, if such a cinch is possible, my thoughts collide, I never want to assume the worst, but as you age and watch those you love age things become more acute, I know this route, I know this route but my mind is exploding with doubt, I wipe my hands, tune to the classical station to find some calm, try not to blow through the stop signs, trying to contain my mind expanding in so many directions, pulling up to the hospital, I just see “entrance” and that becomes a beacon, my goal, immediately, the parking lot is agonizing, a zig zag, a maze, torment, I rather park on the street and walk a block, so I do, I have never been to this place, as far as I recall, so I don’t know where I am going, scanning for my brother’s car, no where, my pulse is sharp, I need a moment to catch my breath, calm, calm myself, I’m at the front desk, and learn from the desk that the Emergency section is actually another street down, a couple of rights, the attendant asks me where I parked, I think, almost as if my ability to discern what she is saying is failing, I point vaguely outside, she hands me a voucher that looks more like monopoly money, a five, in that game, blue, if I remember the details, to put into the little machine and out drops a golden token, I pocket it without even thinking, hop back in my car, go around the block, which entrance is it ? which goddamn entrance is it ? I think I drive to far, and then suddenly there is an ER entrance road, it seems, subdued in subterfuge, while I am certainly not, I weave around the lane with screaming arrows painted past the door, another infuriatingly strangely laid out parking lot, I secure a spot, careful to park carefully, I spy my brother’s car, thank god this is the spot, I approach the door and can see my brother and fiance’s heads in the waiting room window, I nearly well up, not knowing and letting your mind fill in the blanks leads to hangman, another deep breath, a pause, to compose my thoughts, and so we wait…

adult aged baby care
Photo by on

sitting in the waiting room, waiting, it is what you do there, I know she is OK now, stable now but not the knowledge of the  extent of the not OK, she is in x-rays for what seems like days, my father, finally, a couple of hours later comes out like a phantom, her purse in his hand, looking a bit disheveled and quite exhausted, the word, at the least a broken hip (upper femur crown to be exact), surgery imminent, but for tonight just stabilization, so now my brother and I are afforded visitation even if the room is just a staging area until a more permanent situation exists, my immediate thought, she looks so small and frail now, faded, as if age had caught up all of a sudden or maybe I had not been paying attention, her hand is cold, I notice, so cold, she wills a smile up at us, her two boys, the only mother we will ever know, there are no words, there is no way to convey comfort but with a look, and the words, ‘I love you mom’, maybe with more meaning than the many times before in passing, time spins, as it is time to leave, I whisper “be strong”, have I watched her just wither away all this time? and is this all our fates? the idea of wanting to let go if you are in too much pain, seems so foreign to me, but how would I, how could I know, until I am laying there, threads being held together by medicine and the divine, so in my own way this is a prayer, even if for a time, might she find some rest when the morphine kicks in, for the days/months ahead will be long, and hard, but there are days ahead, I tell myself and for her, there are days ahead.

The reality of life (hits)

The reality of life (hits)

selective focus photo of gray metal folding walker
Photo by on

Generally speaking I am a very easy going fellow, an optimist, a lover of life, and frankly I have had a pretty easy life compared to many (and I do need to remind myself of that more often perhaps), but sometimes, life, puts you in situations you KNOW about but don’t want to dwell on or even think about the reality of same… Today, was one of those days.  I am keeping the details slightly vague but specific enough so you get the gist of it.  I received a call about a certain relative that could not get out of bed (they are getting up there in age), I was on my way to work but of course as dedicated as I am to my job (admittedly probably too much) a family flush does beat a straight job in the poker game of life, well I essentially had to carry them from their bed into the bathroom, and to be blunt their bladder was not listening to their mind (you can fill in the rest, it was not pretty. I can only imagine the embarrassment on their part when you live your whole life and now need help for the basic things), oddly, none of this hit me at the exact time, I think I went into “nurse” mode and just did things instinctively, later on the whole scene had a much greater impact on me and is sort of stirring around in my head (not in a particularly good way), I am trying to process this into the positive realm because I really believe in that…  So what’s my point in all this ?  To cull your sympathy ?   To share what maybe others are going through and not talking about ?  Maybe…  but I think if I boil everything down it comes to love.  Tell those you love that you love them, time is limited, be thankful for life every moment you can, sure, you will fail, I sure as hell do, but I work to make that my goal and walk in that direction (sometimes distracted, sometimes focused), put love out there, sounds almost pollyanna-ish but what’s the alternative ? the older I get the more things seem to come down to the simple things we all inherently know but may not always practice moment to moment, and maybe that is a lesson to… practice… it won’t make perfect but practicing the good will at least focus some positive energy in that direction.

I didn’t think I would write anything today, I am quite mentally exhausted because besides what went on this morning work has been absolutely brutal this week… but more brutal than confronting the aging and dying of loved ones and what that looks like ? nah…

Blessing 10.4.2018

divine sunrise
thankful for this life
greeting dawn
at first light
the privilege mine
to awake
with these eyes
and see.
thankful for this life

notes… if you read all this, thank you, stories, comments and vignettes are always appreciated.

Summer Rain.

Summer Rain.

shallow focus photography of water droplets
Photo by fotografierende on

I would ask… no, I would require that you load this video prior to reading… it will put you in the exact moment I was done writing, I was huddled outside my house in the rain, trying to find a place to not get soaked but more importantly not soaking my journal, my papers… while I wrote… how often can you be this close to the creation?

summer rain” 8.22.2018

I do not know if I can quite explain

the smell of summer rain

but it is something I have always known

different from driving storms

different from drifting snow,

almost like a lake

green and musty

full of earth and soil

dark gray skies

yet full of hope

I look up through the trees

following trunks as guides

the leaves shake like a web of shadows

but joined with no intrigue

no ill intent

just in between portals to the light

and the falling wet

drops, louder now,

you know the sound

instinct telling you to run

but… why?

this is just summer rain

bathing the landscape


from the scorching summer sun

this is not some violent tempest

a roaring electrical fire

of crashes crackles and pops

this is a loving womb

enveloping and rebirthing life once more

at least for a time

at least for a respite

this is the scent of a sigh

from up within the ground

all the animals are quiet now


listening to the sound

of this, summer rain,

how the breeze infuses, and passes through

carrying on, passing on, the sound

just minutes spent, time has moved on

the scent remains

barely still

the summer rain.

notes… I went out tonight with my folks and my brother to Old Man Rafferty’s in New Brunswick NJ (amazing place), oddly, I remember when the place opened (during my tenure at Rutgers), it makes me feel old but at the same time complete, New Brunswick was certainly no peach when I went there, Johnson and Johnson made the town into what it is now (a mecca really), my parents, in their failing health, it hurts to watch them walk around, they want to not be old and just be people, but that is not reality, life catches up with us all, we all don’t want to think about it, who does, but it is there, I wonder about my future, it is so easy to assume you will be well.