Quiet Day

Quarter after ten.

I am abominably tired this morning. There was no way I could walk a mile to church again today for service. So I stayed home except to go to the store around the bend. The clouds earlier were blue in layered bars against white sky. It rained on me a little as I arrived to market just after seven o’clock. Nothing remarkable happened, but my right foot hurt from time to time so I limped a bit. The rest of the day should go pretty quiet. I’m thinking about reading from one of my Free Press philosophy books later on. A little of that goes a long way. It’s a good thing to do on a rainy Sunday. The neighborhood is quite dormant but for the activity of wild birds. The mourning doves are always around to feed on seeds and make their cooing calls. The whole day is a wash of green and gray from the overcast skies, and not many signs of life right now. I don’t know what ideas are popular today, except Christianity never goes away in America. Is it a deficiency in morals not to believe what seems very improbable as far as physics can allow? I think it’s better to tell your truth than be an imposter, standing in the pews saying words you do not mean. 


Home, Sweet Home

Ten o’clock.

The next day it rained. Gloria is here now, doing some cleaning work in the kitchen. I feel pretty tired but a little anxious too. After one o’clock today I expect my loveseat to be delivered here. My prospect of playing music with others is looking less and less realistic, unless it’s just with the church. I don’t have much in common with the people who play rock and roll. Meanwhile my mother’s dream for me gets less relevant the longer she’s gone. Maybe I dreamed it for myself as well. I’ll hang onto my bass guitars just in case. My magnolia has one flower on it to symbolize the off chance to realize a dream. Down the hall, Aesop is scratching at the door to protest being shut in. He wants to be with me— or does he simply want liberty? Like the prop plane I hear flying overhead outdoors: free as a bird on the wing.

Eleven o’clock. Gloria was having a low energy day so she went home a bit early, and now Aesop gets his wish. The swallows in the chimney sound happy, as even the mourning dove does outside my window. It’s a day of cheerful domesticity and independence.

The Rock

One forty. It hasn’t begun to rain yet. I jammed on my white Fender until I resolved to install a heavier bridge and beef up the sound. I’m used to hum canceling pickups, too, but I think a high mass bridge should make the desired difference. I’ll find out when I try it… Forty years ago today, Mt St Helens blew her top. The cloudy weather this afternoon is much like it was in May 1980. The community here hasn’t changed a whole lot since then. The soil itself seems to sprout the same kind of people with the same ideas as always. This is actually comforting to know. It gives a sense of home and security. People need a rock to build their lives on and around. I can remember things like Pepsi and Bubble Yum and Nacho Cheese Doritos for a treat when my brother and Denise visited us from up in Pullman Washington. We played Uno and Mille Bournes, sometimes Monopoly or chess. I always did better at witless games of lucky chance. Our home was very modest compared to what Denise was used to. Poor Mom worried about that. But this little suburbia has always been here for me. I grew up in this place, and on its fundamentals. The spirit of the community breezes everywhere in the air, goes right through us like radio waves. What we put into the soil determines what has come out. It’s a good feeling.

Hoping for Help

I just played the new Fender bass and was pleased with the sound. Aesop in the meantime pooped and peed on the living room carpet. Did he do it in protest or out of fear? I’m disgusted with him right now… I definitely don’t believe in divine intervention, as if the flow of causation could be interrupted from beyond space time. I don’t know what my mom believed on that score. She expected the worst to happen every moment. She said things like, If I hold my mouth just right, things will work out okay. This is a form of primitive magic. Events out of our control happen in spite of our thoughts. This is why prayer doesn’t work, even if you see it to occur that way… I haven’t had a meaningful coincidence happen to me in a couple of years. And when I have a deja vu, I can remember the first time, so there’s no magic… or mystery… Practice is set for Sunday evening. Mike wanted to move it to Saturday, but I didn’t. I have the food pantry Saturday. Feeling anxious and irritable as I often do since last month. I have disturbing thoughts, mostly guilt for not cooking and cleaning. For being a lazy bachelor. I call myself names and get down on myself. Why don’t I just throw on some music and enjoy life as long as I live alone and free? People don’t condemn me as I think they do. My family did, but now, the whole bunch is dissolved and dysfunctional. I don’t care to hear from them anymore. If I need help from someone, I can call Laurel Hill. I just now thought of that. I can’t unpack all my stuff by myself! It just sits there while time marches on. Ask Heidi for assistance. She’ll know what to do. Give them a call tomorrow morning. Nothing to lose by asking for help. And then, some of this guilt will go away. To begin with, I just need to open up to someone about how helpless I feel. I’ve been overwhelmed by all these boxes of my stuff. I can’t organize myself or anything else besides. I don’t think it’s my fault; it’s not simple laziness or neglect. It has to do with schizophrenia somehow, though I can’t explain why. People with the illness tend to be bad about hygiene in every way. It’s just something that goes with the disease; no one knows why. But I’m ready to stop feeling ashamed of myself for what I can’t help. This has been the root of my anxiety and irritability, my malaise and discomfort.


Eleven forty.

I slept for a few hours and had some good dreams. I was chatting by videophone with a pretty girl about the places where we lived. I told her something about the Columbia River, perhaps the town where I was born (Astoria). Outside of the dream, someday I’d like to go back and visit my birthplace. Perhaps a landmark or two would jog my memory. Is that desirable? How painful would the nostalgia be? I’d prefer to get the information from the places to hearing about it from someone with a bias. This would make Astoria my place alone. I’ve dreamed about that place and also Salem, recurring from time to time. The images are all confabulated, made up for a faulty memory, yet the dreams are still powerful. I regret what a mess my family is, sort of like the expansion of the universe since the Big Bang, beginning with a unified ball of light, then blown apart, the particles getting farther and farther away from each other. Gyring ever more distant, like the falcon that cannot hear the falconer, or the fly away helium filled balloon from the child’s hand at the county fair… Will the universe keep expanding, or will it collapse on itself? Before that happens, I’d like to make my pilgrimage to my birthplace, thus fulfilling my dreams.


Aesop is nudging his dry food prior to eating it. Part of his daily ritual. It makes a racket, but it’s comforting to hear. Outside, the rain sounds. I rummaged through some boxed music CDs and didn’t find what I was looking for, namely either version I have of Alban Berg’s Lulu. It’s important, though I don’t know why. They say that nothing in human behavior is accidental; that everything we do has purpose. Thus Lulu will mean something to what’s going on in my everyday life. The night outside is blacker than black with the rainy overcast. A starless moonless night. The wind of the afternoon has died down. One hears the raindrops without seeing. Aesop looks for his water: dry as a bone. I’ll refresh it presently. Mentally I audit the sour saxophone in the mix of the Lulu Suite. It takes me back 22 years, roughly, to the San Francisco trip. The night we arrived in Eugene again, Dad picked me up where I waited at the warehouse on Conger Street. I was beat after having insomnia for three nights. Once more at home, I buried my grateful head in my pillow. My sleep was like nectar and ambrosia. I was home to my roots, my anchor; my peace surpassing understanding…

The Number 4

Quarter of ten. Oftentimes we lose the vision of the forest for the view of the trees. Hence with the rebuilding process of my house and concomitant rebirth of my psyche as recovered Robert. It’s happening now and the project is nearly complete. The house looks very good: like a resurrected 1962 house, for that original spirit cannot be banished. It only needed a facelift for restoration. I will try to get some pictures to this blog tomorrow. I am pleased with everything: windows, cabinets, countertops, and carpets. I feel a sense of romance about life again after some harrowing doubts and fears. The ghosts of my parents I would’ve exorcised are somehow yet present, but in a benign way. It feels like being alone with them as a four year old again; perhaps however it is simply the soul of the house itself. Perhaps my own soul. In the depths of November cold and fog return the memories of how Mom and Polly used to get together when we boys were four years old and younger. My mother’s parents were still alive, and we were all together as a family in four generations. Indeed, the number 4 and the idea of squareness and perfection are coming back to me. There were also four of us boys put together. Does it matter now what messed up the harmony we originally enjoyed? I suppose it was some evil thing like alcoholism and madness. Maybe it was the ill will of the jerk that was my father. Polly is probably right about him. But it doesn’t mean that I am similar to him; not at all, for the individual soul is simple and separate, not just the aggregate of genes and chromosomes. My right mind sees it all quite differently and speaks it like a child. I welcome the coming of the holiday season, and with a little luck I might have meaningful work to do in the next few months. Cheers to wholeness and the romance of the Jungian rightness I once knew as a boy. A toast to the vision of the forest: the big picture at last!