Yesterday is done. Tomorrow never comes. Today is here. If you don’t know what to do, sit still and listen. You may hear something. Nobody knows. We may pull apart the petals of a rose or make chemical analysis of its perfume, but the mystic beauty of its form and odor is still a secret, locked in to where we have no keys.
True story: I once found a massive tome containing the complete works of Carl Sandburg at a library book sale for less than a dollar. I was thrilled! Literally drunk on beautiful words. Then the idea of a library devoid of Carl Sandburg made me so sad, I sneaked in and stealthily put the book back on the shelves for some other pilgrim to discover.
A few days ago I got a message from Shoebox telling me to download my photographs because the company was going out of business and the images were scheduled for deletion.
This was surprising. I do not remember Shoebox.
I managed to log in and discovered thousands of photographs I had thought long lost. Nearly every moment Amy and I photographed at home or traveling in our time together.
My memory is kind of unusual in that I can remember moments so clearly that I can sort of rewind the tape in my brain and watch it all over again. Not just images but tastes, textures, emotions and things like that. Because of this I was not worried about losing this archive . . . but rolling through the pictures has been nice.
I look forward to the day when these photographs and memories will not hurt so bad, but I fear that will be a long time coming.
Neuropathy pain knocked me out of commission for most of this week. Things are slowly improving, and I assure my Patreon sponsors that The Daily Frail should be back in production soon.
On April 20th my parents will be celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary. They continue to amaze me with their unceasing love for each other. Here’s to many more years of happiness!
The Banjo Dojo will begin releasing episodes soon. Patreon sponsors will have first access to each video episode for a period of time before it is released to the general public. As an added bonus, Patreon sponsors will also have the first opportunity to register for the weekend-long Banjo Dojo workshop on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (more on that later!).
More information on The Banjo Dojo will be posted soon. Be sure to work through The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo and A Book of Five Strings while you are waiting!
Amy and I were married on October 10, 2010. A month later a friend flew us out to California to spend a week in a beach house on Monterey Bay.
It was an amazing experience – literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. We spent long nights in each others arms with the blue Pacific ocean churning just steps away from our bed Crazy in love and everything was beautiful beautiful beautiful.
We saw a lot that week, but the highlight for me was driving up to Santa Cruz to see great swarms of monarch butterflies migrating. A sight I had dreamed of seeing ever since I first read of it when I was very young. I thought the pictures were lost, but I found a handful today.
I can remember this day like it was yesterday, and the pictures do not come close to capturing the majesty of eucalyptus trees covered with monarch butterflies. The path was crowded with people, but Amy and I stood under this wonder of nature silently holding hands. I took pictures, but eventually let my camera rest and just tried to take it all in with my eyes. My heart. My mind. She was so beautiful. A lenticular cloud hung over us in the sky like a disk of snow. The smell of the forest. The rustle of soft leaves on softer wings . . . it was one of the happiest moments of my life.
All through eternity Beauty unveils His exquisite form in the solitude of nothingness; He holds a mirror to His Face and beholds His own beauty. he is the knower and the known, the seer and the seen; No eye but His own has ever looked upon this Universe.
His every quality finds an expression: Eternity becomes the verdant field of Time and Space; Love, the life-giving garden of this world. Every branch and leaf and fruit Reveals an aspect of His perfection- They cypress give hint of His majesty, The rose gives tidings of His beauty.
Whenever Beauty looks, Love is also there; Whenever beauty shows a rosy cheek Love lights Her fire from that flame. When beauty dwells in the dark folds of night Love comes and finds a heart entangled in tresses. Beauty and Love are as body and soul. Beauty is the mine, Love is the diamond.
They have together since the beginning of time- Side by side, step by step.
Since it would have been Amy’s birthday, today was not an easy day for me. I occupied myself with setting up a the equipment for the back yard dojo I am putting together to get myself back into shape. Once the heavy bag was set up I was happy to find that I can still throw a volley of solid punches.
Over the weekend I’ll tape up the bag and start really working it with my fists and arnis sticks.
Then Dear Old Dad got a call from Somerset County Dog Control. They have been on the lookout for a dog for us since Precious died. Today a little dog had arrived that seemed a perfect fit for my mom and dad.
A few hours later they came home with Daisy. The gentle little dog quickly won us all over with the sheer joy she took in her new home.
It never ceases to amaze me how, even on days when grief leaves me all hard sharp edges like flint tools, something as simple as the unconditional love of a little dog can draw me back into the world again.