Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Father

Born in 1908, from a different world and a different society. Too young to be in World War 1, too old to be in World War two, he spent his life hunting, fishing, painting, logging, and trying to get more done when he was working than anybody else.
He quit his full time job as a caretaker at a huge summer camp to go back to being a logger when he was 70.
He shot 18 black bear in his life with a bow and arrow. He was fifty years old when I was born.
I dumped his ashes into the lake, like he asked, in 1983. He said he wanted to be fed to the big muskies that he spent so much time catching, so we fed him to the fish, sort of.
Sometimes I miss him, but not often.
I loved him, but didn't really find myself until he was gone. That happens when your father is a human dynamo.
But I can say that in the last few years he was alive, we worked out all our shit, and parted as close to being friends as two people so different and far apart as we were could be.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I like this quote

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have.James Baldwin, "Down At The Cross: Letter from a Region of My Mind," in The Fire Next Time (1963)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

He Liked Right Wing Radio, Too...

He was a reasonable guy, a family man who had two lovely daughters and a whip smart son who would someday be an artist just like his great grandfather, he thought.
He had it all, or at least almost all he wanted, and that was something most people never could say. A lovely wife who had a lusty nature and happily made a home out of the house in the country, a fairly steady job designing industrial parts for a slowly contracting Auto industry, with full benefits and a cranky boss.
True, work kept him on edge with a cut throat approach, but every day he came home to a family that loved him, and a life that he never thought would end.
He wasn't really a political thinker, but he took great comfort in identifying with strong leaders, and his political affiliation was mostly something he viewed like he did a sporting team. You picked a side, learned enough talking points to pee in the rice krispies of anybody who disagreed with you, and firmly believed that anybody on the "other side" was either a pussy, wimp, or hated their country. "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you" simply didn't apply to politics, he thought. Sometimes you had to do first, when it came to those dangerous islamofacists.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers, he lurched even further to the hard side of politics. He took comfort knowing there was a strong leader in the white house, and the radio talk show folks who seemed to have a clue how dangerous the world was. He supported the war, and agreed with the chorus of voices that bad men had to be killed. Aside from some high gas prices, the war to him was ideological, abstract and distant.
He never saw the bombs dropped on the wrong houses, helped carry the dead out of the rubble, never saw the blood and life drain out of people shot at checkpoints because they didn't understand English. He never saw the wounded or the dead, all kept out of sight and mind. It never even occurred to him that his three beautiful children were connected. Those brown people lived in a different world.
But they didn't live in a different world, and when the Iran war was started by the idiot cowboy president needing to boost his election chances to keep control of congress to avoid impeachment and criminal trials, all hell broke loose.
What was supposed to be a "surgical strike" turned into a full blown war. When the Iranians moved against the US troops in Iraq, already burned out from years of war and stress, things fell apart so fast it seemed surreal.
Six months later, when the suitcase nuke went off in Detroit, he lost his wife and son, both on the edge of the blast coming home from downtown.
The bomb was set off and delivered by an angry patriot. A guy who lost his family to a bomb that had gone astray, and wiped out his son, his son's new bride, his wife and his brothers. A guy who wanted his country to be free, a true believer in god, and a man of morals who loved his country and wanted justice. An Iraqi man who thought he had everything, and then had it taken away by those selfish white people.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Things you might not need to know

I have a dead twin sister.
I have a degree in upholstery.
I think lima beans taste like spitwads dipped in old candle wax
I like eating thick cold chili sandwiches made on caraway rye bread with raw onions for breakfast
I have been an advertising photographer, a house cleaner, a barn painter, a pulp cutter with a Husquavarna chainsaw, and worked for a while destroying software.
I've cleaned up the messes from dead people more than once, and can tell you that a rug doctor's clear top shows blood too clearly, every pass you make over the pools of it.
I have a fear of black shoes induced by nuns
From the age of about four until about 12 we lived in the back of a bar and went to catholic school
from the age of 12 to about 19, we lived in the back of a convent
My dad smuggled a bear back from Canada, and kept it as a pet in our basment until my mother told him either she or that bear had to go.
I brew my own beer, build my own musical instruments, sew some of my own clothes, cook almost everything we eat from scratch, build my own furniture, but don't upholster it, build guitar amplifiers with my sweetie, and when needed, glue my own woodworking cuts back together with superglue.
I wear size 12 narrow women's shoes, but since I never wear shoes I can't run to or from somebody in, I buy men's. Girl shoes suck, mostly.
I have been sick with an ear infection for almost a month, and have been neglectin' this blog something terrible.
Ok 'nuff said.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson