natural flying into other dimensions

November 20th, 2018

bird looking and leaving

Yesterday’s wonderful dream: Continue reading “natural flying into other dimensions” »

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future and past mix

August 21st, 2018

bagpipes seem mystical to me

My brother decided to play bagpipes when he was twelve years old, and found a Scotsman who lived nearby to teach him how to play. Continue reading “future and past mix” »

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Lindy in Sunnyvale

January 2nd, 2018

Lindy looks like this

I’m feeling something because it’s a happy new year 2018 and I visited my childhood friend, Lindy who was transferred to a Sunnyvale, California senior facility four months ago.   She’s been a ward of California for over fifty years, diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Continue reading “Lindy in Sunnyvale” »

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more than teeth

September 19th, 2017

water is trustworthy

My friend retired years ago and we see each other at the athletic club.  He runs in the pool while I swim laps. We  talk about things from time to time as we do our workouts. Continue reading “more than teeth” »

My Hills

December 1st, 2015
Marin in working class days

Marin in working class days

Let me explain how much I love Tiburon hills where I grew up after my family left San Francisco. They were my hills, and they were safe.

Coastal Miwoks lived thousands of years before California had a name, before Marin County, before my neighborhood called Bel Aire exploded into a subdivision.  They dug clams in mucky salt marsh and didn’t leave a written language.  We felt their presence in every blade of grass and crevice of hillside. Continue reading “My Hills” »

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Tiny child

November 24th, 2015
He's pleasant to small children

He’s pleasant to small children

What it’s like to be born in Japan on the fourth of July:

Japanese was my first language, since my nurse Sadako spoke it to me.  I translated for my parents in marketplaces and shops.  My mother kept ceramic plates, traditional pottery and a rice cooker, elaborate kimono fabrics and earrings, lacquer tables, Tansu furniture, delicate porcelain dolls and hanging scrolls of painted fish. Continue reading “Tiny child” »

It’ s never too late

July 14th, 2015
Brian Wilson and his family at the Greek Theatre concert in Los Angeles.

Brian Wilson and his family at the Greek Theatre concert in Los Angeles.

This is my birthday month, so I’m reflecting on my age and looking at my life from years of experience.  It’s hard to believe I’m 63 years old, because I don’t feel like any age at all.  The body’s older, but I still feel like me.

I notice Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys seems enthusiastic enough to defy age, and he recently had a birthday at the end of June.  He performed a concert at the Greek Theatre, opening with folk singer Rodriguez, who was the subject of the documentary, Looking for Sugar Man. Continue reading “It’ s never too late” »

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does this grab your attention?

February 24th, 2015

nobody noticed her burns

My mother was five years-old when she set herself on fire sitting on the edge of the bathtub.  Her seven year-old sister was there, behind a closed bathroom door on the second floor of a Virginia farmhouse.  Setting a match to a self-rolled toilet paper cigarette loosely filled with pipe tobacco, flecks dropped onto her dress.  My mother burst into flames while her sister watched and screamed.

My Grandfather Hudson heard my mother screaming near her death and bolted up a flight of stairs, broke down the door, picked up his burning daughter, and smothered her flaming skin in the hallway’s Persian rug.

For eighteen years, my grandfather took my mother by train up to New York’s Presbyterian hospital, so that his college fraternity brother, ‘Uncle Dan,’ could miraculously transform her burns, by growing new skin in sausages for future grafts.

I didn’t know why my mother carried her photograph as a burn victim taken by her doctor in her wallet, inside her black leather bag.  I was nine years old when I found the black and white picture, as I was ripping off her change.  My hand held her wallet, wrapped up with rubber banded notes and errands she needed to do.  I saw the bent edges of a photograph.

It was a photograph of my mother as a child, with bleary eyes filled with pain far beyond her five years, like a resigned war victim.  The camera showed third degree burns, her chin melted to her chest, mouth gaping open like a hideous monster.

I froze and stopped breathing. Everything got small. My worst nightmares could not have conjured the disfiguring severity of what my mother did to herself before I was born.  She had previously warned me, ”Don’t play with matches” and I thought, ”Blah Blah Yakety Yak.” So what was the big deal?

About a month after I saw the photograph, my mother and I got around to talking about the horrible photograph.  She confided to me that she had only recently received it with her late mother’s belongings from Virginia. My mother had never seen that picture before, and was so devastated by seeing the photograph that she kept it with her for months before she could finally put it away.

I grew up in a house without mirrors, except for our tiny bathroom one.  The only full-length mirror view I had of myself was looking out the plate glass living room windows into the dark. My mother wasn’t into her reflection in the mirror.

What did she want to do?

January 20th, 2015
she can't help it

she can’t help it

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you might recall one I wrote earlier about trying to be a better listener.  I made that commitment, which took me in a very unexpected direction the other day.

I know a woman who drank alcohol after twenty-nine years of not drinking.  She simply picked up a glass and started drinking tequila three years ago.  From time to time I run into her in town.  We recently chatted in downtown Jackson, CA. last weekend.  How was her life was going?  I knew she started drinking after years and years.  I told her that her drinking was none of my business, I just wanted to know how she was doing.  The woman started opening up, confiding about her drinking. Continue reading “What did she want to do?” »

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Putting Together What I No Longer Want

December 23rd, 2014

depth is relative

I just woke up from a dream I’m calling putting together what I no longer want.  The majority of the dream takes place in an ex-friend’s home.  I’m dealing with a kid she decided to raise, who shoots salted sprinklers inside her house.  My husband Fred and I are trying to maintain the situation, waiting for my ex-friend to return home from her new marriage.

What’s interesting is that we are no longer friends in waking life.  She divorced her second husband two years ago, and found a third husband who lives in another state.  She doesn’t want to continue our friendship.  Apparently, I am part of past memories she wants to forget. Continue reading “Putting Together What I No Longer Want” »