Afternoon magic, The Dreamer, gratitude for her presence, love on the way to the toilet, what matters now, epic journeys, John Chase, years of living dangerously

David, Jean, The Dreamer in David’s office

In the afternoon, taking a short nap, then lying spooning, tangled up together for I don’t know how long – 20-30 minutes, warm, so comfortable, comfortable physically, emotionally, puppies, lovers, friends, the afternoon sun starting to come in the doors, crystals sparkling, alive, rainbows on the walls and our bodies, knowing that literally this is as good as it gets, grateful. Remembering and writing this is as close as I can come to preserving the magic.

The Dreamer photo was taken in David’s office at UC Berkeley. Jean gave him The Dreamer. When we put it up, she explained some of how and why she made it. It’s felted wool. All of the lines on the body and face were sewn in and everything was shrunk.

Another day, kind of cold, taking a nap. Under the covers I encircled your warm, soft right thigh with both hands and we fell asleep like that… and awoke 20 minutes later – like that. This too, is as good as it gets.

The Chancellor’s Garden – in the Berkeley Hills


Going through flyers and things related to events I’ve attended (mostly psychedelic forest gatherings) I ran across this from an Each Moment Matters event:

Remember not that she died; but that she lived.

Of course it’s not one or the other; it’s both, in varying degrees. But there is movement toward more good days than bad. And now, five years later, the days are all good. I think of Leslie a number of times every day. Her presence is like an overlay to my life and I think of her more in brief moments than in endless sad ruminations; more in gratitude for her presence in the world and in David’s and my life. More in being inspired by her. Just the love. Not the awful pain.


I told my doctor that when I was getting up four times a night to pee, it was okay, because I’m happy, including when walking in the hall (“with hangings rich of many strange design”) on the way to the bathroom. But five times is too much.

Morning has broken, like the first morning…


We were talkingabout being with a friend with ALS – a friend who is moving inexorably toward the end of life, who is unable to speak; but who can use her eyes with a computer to spell out messages. What do you say when there is nothing left to say? This specific question emerged:

What matters to you now?

Burning Man art – at Oakland Museum (Kristina!)

And it’s a question for us all, all the time. What matters now? Jean asked her friend this question. Love was right there at the top.

We see that personal growth can be part of the process of dying; that values clarification has value until the end; that the human spirit turns toward the light – toward love.


Jean’s sister, Ginny and brother-in-law, Jim were here for a couple of days. They had flown from Tucson to Chicago, then caught the California Zephyr (Amtrak) to Denver, through the Rockies, across Utah, through the Sierras (all of this in deep winter), and on into Oakland. From Oakland (Emeryville) they’ll take the Coast Starlight to Los Angeles and from there, the Sunset Limited to Tucson. Pretty cool!

Back gate I made for Dallas house

Years ago, Jim’s doctor in New Jersey told him he had to quit smoking or die. So he flew to the west coast and rode his bicycle back to the east coast and by the time he got to the Atlantic Ocean, he had truly quit tobacco. Epic.

I was looking at Ginny and Jim’s New Zealand cycling blog: 59 days, north to south, 30 nights in a tent, seashores, up hill and down dale. More epicness. This man understands epic journeys.

So I was thinking about epic journeys in life. It’s worth thinking about. Some of my epic journeys are 13 months of combat, the hippie years, taking care of Leslie at the end of her life, a 10 day solo trek into the Wind Rivers wilderness, and other journeys across geography and mind/heart.


From the deck

In 1988, when I was operating community health programs out of the East Dallas Police Storefront, a police officer was murdered in downtown Dallas. John Chase was shot three times by a homeless man who had grabbed John’s pistol. John pled for his life while a crowd was urging the man to shoot: “Kill him!” they were shouting. “Kill that white mother-fucker.” I had only met John once, but the killing hit me hard because he was a nice guy and because nobody tried to stop the killer. Afterward I made a clear commitment that I would never let something like that happen in my presence, regardless of the risks. I’m older now, and not much of a badass, but here it is again: the same commitment to the memory of John Chase.

As with all other murders, John was autopsied. His partner, Gilbert was there for the entire procedure. Gilbert is a true warrior.


Can you see how this blog functions as a kind of memoryizer (new word meaning promotes remembering)? I guess it’s a way of keeping my shit together, as we used to say.


Sunset from the deck. NOT Photoshopped

My high school class (1962) has a Facebook page. 20-25% of the class is on that page. It’s nice. Everyone on the page is about 75 years old. There are all kinds of realities associated with that age. In a recent discussion three people noted that they are homebound. Death is near for most of us and not far for the rest. I recently posted on that FB page:

These are truly the years of living dangerously. A classmate’s recent listing of classmates who have passed (about 20% of us) was such a powerful document. And here we are, still living after all these years! We’re all kind of like people living with cancer (and some actually are) – each day, each moment, each touch, each kind or loving word… Treasures. Here’s to each one of us, here and not here.

And it feels so good, and it feels so good

In a meadow, 2016

Three years ago, right before our Endless Summer began we went from Aptos (near Santa Cruz) to La Honda (where the Merry Pranksters had a scene). On the way we stopped in the Coastal Range on the side of a mountain and walked “in a green field, in a meadow, through the buttercups, in the summertime” (from Take Me Back by Van Morrison).

The moment the Endless Summer began in Mendocino in May 2016

Sometime around February 2019 we talked about doing that same thing as a goal in the process of going through the physical challenges we were going through. There was a time (December, January, February, March) when there was no way we could have walked together in a green field like that.

Take Me Back is one of “our songs” – along with The Healing Has Begun and Sweet Thing.

And so last week we went to La Honda. We walked in the green meadow, in the flowers, down an avenue of trees (big trees!), in the misty morning, We took a hot tub (with the Coastal Range spread out before us) with Bill and Lisa, had dinner with Larry and Judith and Bill and Lisa, and spent the night on the floor of Lisa’s studio where early in our relationship we had one of the best nights of our lives – rainy cold night, fire in the pot-belly stove, air mattress leaking, so warm and beautiful…

Down an avenue of trees, 2019

Below are some words from Take Me Back. In this past week we went back, back to when we understood… now, understanding, we’re back, living like this and for the first time in months we…

We didn’t have no worries,
We didn’t have no care.

And yet

In the most difficult times,
In the dark hours

We felt good about life,
About one another – about our loving life
Never losing focus

It was a good hike to and from this beach. Like the beach where the Endless Summer began. No other people, 2019

Van (Here is YouTube of Take Me Back – opens in separate window):

Take me… way, way back, way back
When you walked, in a green field, in a green meadow
Down an avenue of trees
On a, on a golden summer
And the sky was blue
And you didn’t have no worries, you didn’t have no care

You were walking in a green field
In a meadow, through the buttercups, in the summertime
And you looked way out over, way out
Way out over the city and the water
And it feels so good, and it feels so good
And you keep on walking

And the music on the radio, and the music on World One radio

In a meadow, 2019

Has so much soul, has so much soul
And you listen, in the night time
While we’re still and quiet
And you look out on the water
And the big ships, and the big boats
Came on sailing by, by, by, by

And you felt so good, and I felt so good
Take me back, there, take me way back there
Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way back, way back
To when, when I understood
When I understood the light, when I understood the light
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon

Our little yurt in the forest, 2019

Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way, way, way, way, way
Back when I, when I understood, when I understood, yeah
Oh, ah, take me way back, when, when, when, when, when, when
When, when, when, when, when, when, when
I was walking down the
Walking down the street and
It didn’t matter
Cause everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, 

In the rhododendron forest at Mendocino Botanical Gardens, 2019

everything felt, everything felt so right, ha!
And so good

Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, ah!
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, so good
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal now

Bed and breakfast

Back to Berkeley for a few days and then drive to Mendocino – north on 101, through the hills and vineyards, west on 258 through Navarro Redwoods State Park where we turned off on an unmarked road and walked for a bit among the redwoods and then up to Highway 1 to Albion and winding up along the coastal headlands, and there’s Mendocino, from a distance looking like I imagine old New England looked like with beautiful old white buildings, and up close the gardens are pure lush California!

We stayed for two nights at the McCallum House, a nice bed and breakfast a short block from the main street. We walked the headlands, we walked in a rhododendron forest, we sat on the same bench above the crashing surf where we sat three years ago, we laid on a sarong on a beach in a golden

Inside our yurt

afternoon with waves rolling in and hissing back out, we hiked down to another completely deserted beach in a cove and lay alone with just the sky and sea and rocks and surf and sand and sea gulls soaring (this was exactly how the Endless Summer began). The hike back up from the beach was steep and by the time we got back to the trailhead, we knew this hike was a measure of where we are in the process of healing – and it’s a good place.

From Mendocino we took a winding and sometimes rough road to Orr Hot Springs. Along the way we walked in a redwood forest – the only people there, walking down an avenue of trees along a stream bubbling along beside the flat(!) trail. A few miles down the road we got to Orr. We checked in, put our stuff in a cart and hauled it up a path and then carried it  up two flights of stairs to our fine little yurt in the forest. No locks on the doors of the rooms at this place, except when you’re in a room you can latch the door.

Jean – Mendocino headlands, 2019

The vibe at the pools and elsewhere was so good. Good mix of ages and orientations. It felt sexy to me, but there was no acting out. The hot pools are small, but Orr limits the number of day users and campers, so it was never crowded. Everyone has to bring and prepare their own food, so, as so often before, there we were in a kitchen full of nice people cooking/cleaning up whatever – a scene I’ve always enjoyed. There was one little grove where smoking was allowed. The smoke of choice was grown right there in Humboldt county.

Front garden

We were only at Orr for an afternoon, night, and into the next afternoon. It was beautiful, peaceful, quiet (no wifi), a loving and affirming place for us. Berkeley in about three hours. Look at those sweet peas! Pick some strawberries. We’re home.

Random writing – lunar eclipse, the way to the back yard, ER, cardiac cath, lion…

Photo from David Prosper in Richmond, California, a mile our two from us.

I write things that never get posted. Here are some things I found in a few files from several months ago.

We got up at 5 in the morning to see the lunar eclipse. Wrapped up in blankets and a sleeping bag on the deck with the moon hanging perfectly far away above the sea and us getting all dewy damp.


Back garden from the deck

The mystic way to the back garden lies down a narrow stairway with patterned textiles and warm golden light and a couple of turns and through a workroom – now through a narrow hallway, turn right, then left and down four steps into Jean’s studio with high ceiling, the big work table, the sewing machines, journals, materials and mystic masks on the wall – wolf, goat, crows, spirit animals all – through the door onto the covered back porch, past a chaise on the left and on the right, chairs and two big work tables, and now the back yard.

The back yard is small. A path curves off the back porch/deck. Step down 1 – 2 – 3, with chamomile growing between the steps and mint on either side and the path curving past a low stone wall on the right with the large flax plant and earlier in the year there were tomato and pepper plants, and basil, lettuce, and chard. On the left succulents, day lilies, hydrangeas, a bush with purple flowers, calla lilies, and a stone Buddha statue. There is a bamboo grove and a patio where I’m building two raised bed grow boxes.


Streams of consciousness…

The past, running through me alive, beautiful, love not lost love alive and within, reborn, 73 years, death not too far away and how can I lose? Love behind, Love now, Love beyond. Reborn into this!

This endless summer, this endless summer of love.

Jean drove me to the ER at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. I had been short of breath for several days, waiting to go like any other dodgy patient. (I asked myself, what would I say to a friend or patient with sob – go to the ER, of course. So I did.) They took me back right away while Jean waited out front. They took vitals, drew blood, EKG and put me in a room. I went out to the waiting room. “Go home.” “No.” “Go, I’m fine.” “I’ll wait.” But finally she went. CXR, chest CT. Out of cell phone touch.

The past, Love; the now, Love; the beyond, Love. In the room, thinking of Leslie, David, Jean, David, Jean, Leslie, Jean, Leslie, David, life, love. It won’t be, but what if this is the last thing I write? I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve been loved. My epitaph.

And I will never grow so old again. Close to three years ago I was so old. I was dark and dying and now I’m reborn.

The things I will leave.

I imagine when it happens – when I die – I’ll feel a pulse of fear.

Bill, Lisa, Charles, Jean in New Orleans

Finally, they cut me loose, with some abnormal findings and instructions to follow-up. More on that in a moment.


We flew to New Orleans with Bill and Lisa to celebrate Bill’s 70th. In a club in the Treme, sitting in the back (kind of the senior section). Rock & Roll will live forever.

I am happy. It’s 12/1, 2017, 747 pm.

And we’ll walk down the avenue in style,

And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile,

And we’ll say, “Baby, ain’t it all worthwhile.”

When you hear the music ringing in your soul,

And the feeling in your heart just grows and grows…


The moon was shining bright when we awoke in the alive night. We made love in the dawning light.


A page from Remember

Reading Chops WanderWeird’s book, Remember: “I’ll tell you of many things, but the first and most important is that you already know all of this” (one of the hippest things I’ve ever read), and you, Jean already know all of this. I don’t think Chops was trying to tell us anything we don’t already know; he wants to help us Remember.


Three days in New Orleans with Bill and Lisa. We stayed in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house a block off Magazine Street and a few blocks from St. Charles. Gumbo, fried oysters, hush puppies, beignets, all of that. We went to Frenchman’s Street and had a good time bar-hopping (no drinking, no problem). The second night we (Lisa, that is) tracked down a really good singer (Myschia Lake) we’d heard the first night. Hanging out at Chickie Wah-Wah bar. The third night we went to a bar that Jean had been to a few years ago. There we were in the Bullet Sports Bar in the Treme’ – Rock and roll, black and white, young and old, good and good.


I went to my internist today. At the beginning of the visit I said this to her:

I’m 73. I’ve lived longer than anyone ever in my family – partly because of the way I live and partly by luck.

I was married for 45 years to my high school sweetheart. She passed away almost three years ago. The grief was terrible. “It never occurred to me that you could love someone the same way after he was gone, that I would continue to feel such love and gratitude alongside the terrible sorrow, the grief so heavy that at times I shiver

and moan under the weight of it” (from When Breath Becomes Air). I know about this.

For the past year and a half I’ve been in a relationship with a remarkable woman in Berkeley, so I’m there more than here. I have a ticket to return to California next week. And we have tickets to India in January.

All this to say, I have a strong sense of my mortality and I’m intent on living as well as possible.

The internist responded to my situation and got a hurry

-up echocardiogram scheduled. The echo showed a need for further assessment, specifically a cardiac catheterization.


On Friday morning at 0900, the cardiac clinic called to ask if I was coming to my appointment at 0920. This was the first I’d heard of the appointment. I said I could be there in about 40 minutes, but they were unwilling to do this (to my great irritation) and so scheduled me for an afternoon appointment, which was okay with me. When I got to the appointment, I learned

Leslie in the Circle of Friends

that the doctor’s name was Aslan ___.

About 15 years ago in a wilderness area of Big Bend National Park I had a very close encounter with a mountain lion. I had walked away from my campsite to pee and as I started to unzip, I heard a sound and looked up to see the cougar standing about 40 feet away looking at me with those great golden eyes (later, I paced it off; the animal really was that close). Feeling that I should be cool about the situation, I went ahead and unzipped and urinated, all the while talking to the cougar in what I hoped was a reassuring voice. It sat down and began licking its chest, but still looking at me. I zipped back up and turned and walked away – later to learn that you’re not supposed to turn your back on a mountain lion. This encounter had great significance to me. I

Band playing in the garage next to David’s house.

realized that this was my spirit animal.

And now, a doctor named lion (Aslan) was going to perform a cardiac catheterization on me. Talk about a feeling of confidence and synchronicity – glad I didn’t make it to the earlier appointment!

Jean flew in to be with me through the process. Jean and John and I went to UTSW.

On the day of the procedure they took me into the cath room (not quite an OR, but not your average procedure room, either). Everybody is gowned and

Jean and Kristina in Dallas.

masked and it seems serious. I was looking around wondering if this would be the last thing I saw. Someone asked me if there was any music I’d like to listen to. I said no, whatever the doctor liked was what I wanted. They said, oh, never mind, what do you like? I said I’d been listening to the Ramones, I Wanna be Well. They didn’t think they had any Ramones and then someone said, don’t they have a song called I Wanna be Sedated. So I sang part of Sedated to them – “20-20-24 hours to go, I wanna be sedated. Nothin’ to do, nowhere to go, I wanna be sedated.” We had a good time with that, though I can’t really sing like Joey. Then someone walked up to me and said, “I heard you want to be sedated.” I said, “Oh yeah.” And so she started the versed or fentanyl, whichever goes first. I woke up however long later – all was well – Jean was there – they had not needed to put in a stent. “Oh yeah, I wanna be well.”

Some of G-5 men’s Bible study group at Bryce’s ranch


The endless summer: an endless summer is not something that just happens. It needs intention and focus and a high consciousness (like “I embrace your anger.”), and above all, Love.


John and Sherry gave me a copy of Devotions (Patti Smith), one of a series of books on “Why I Write.” The first paragraph of this book sparked this…

Saturday at the Albany Bulb Landfill full of “outsider art”

When I was about 10 I had a vision of the suffering of the world (embodied in my own small suffering – though it didn’t seem small at the time).

When I was 21, home from the war in Vietnam, I made a commitment to myself to never waste my life (though I believe that nothing is something worth doing – Shpongle). And I had a vision that we all are one and took the bodhisattva vow. What was I to do? Leslie was already doing service. I had a groovy little store, The New Store, where I sold waterbeds, waterbed frames, shelves, tables – the store motto was “The New Store is a Wooden Ship.” Then I saw a way to integrate

At the Bulb

the visions and commitments. I went back to school for a year of prerequisites and then on to nursing school, worked as an RN, then graduate school, then hospice, refugees, education, nurse practitioner, primary care. I started writing in 1984 as a way to expand on the vision – healing the sick, relieving suffering (going back to the bodhisattva vow), working toward one world, and so on. Following are titles (pasted from c.v.) of some of what I wrote:


Books: Infectious and Tropical Diseases: A Handbook for Primary Care, Refugee and Immigrant Health, Terminal Illness: A Guide to Nursing Care.

Jean at the Bulb

Book chapters: Promoting Healthy Partnerships with Refugees and Immigrants, Culture and Spiritual Care at the End-of-Life, Spiritual Care in Terminal Illness, Anorexia and Cachexia, Six Stories, Promoting Healthy Partnerships with Refugees and Immigrants, Grief and Loss, Refugee and Immigrant Health, The Baylor Community Care Program, Grief, Refugee Health and Community Nursing, Cambodian Refugee Health Project.

Articles (in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Cancer Nursing, etc. – with thanks to co-authors): Living as a refugee, Cultural issues in palliative care, Community health nursing: Where we are going and how to get there, Culture and the end of life: Major world religions, Culture and the end of life: Chinese, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Hookworm, Culture and the end of life: Nigerians, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Viral hemorrhagic fevers, Culture and the end of life: (Asian) Indian health beliefs and practices related to the end of life, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part II, Sudan, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Giardiasis, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Somalia, Bioterrorism: Introduction and major agents, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Filariasis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Echinococcosis (hydatid disease), Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Sudan, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Dengue fever, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Chagas’ disease, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Brucellosis, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Somali, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Ascaraisis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Amebiasis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Introduction, Culture and the end of life: Hispanic cultures (Mexican-Americans), Culture and the end of life: Cambodians and Laotians, Culture and the end of life: Introduction (to a series), Vietnamese health beliefs and practices related to the end of life, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and uterine cancers, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, oral cavity, and ovarian cancers, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Lung cancer, melanoma, and multiple myeloma, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Renal cancer, leukemia, and hepatic cancer, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and esophageal cancer, Laotian health care beliefs and practices, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Introduction, bladder cancer, and brain cancer, Palliative care for respiratory problems in terminal illness, Cancer detection activities coordinated by nursing students in community health, Managing chronic pain in patients with advanced disease and substance-related disorders, Islamic cultures: Health care beliefs and practices, Palliative care for patients with acquired immunodeficiency disorder, Spiritual care in terminal illness: Practical applications, Community health clinical experiences: The primary care setting, Teaching strategies for operationalizing nursing’s agenda for health care reform, Preparing for death: A Christian guide for individuals and families, Health services for refugees in countries of second asylum, Writing successful grant proposals for services to clients, Addressing the needs of underserved populations, Basic counseling skills: the refugee client. Cambodian refugee health care beliefs and practices, The dying process.

Another week in Berkeley


Door – bedroom/temple

Notes made during a week in Berkeley. Photos were not necessarily taken during this week and most don’t correspond to the text – but they do correspond to the heart and promise of life.

In the morning we had coffee in bed, talked, . Had a bowl of fruit (mango, melon, pear, blueberries), then went to a café on The Arlington for eggs, potatoes, etc. Hanging out at home. Monterrey Market for fruit (Why would the NYT publish a piece on a small independent produce market on the left coast so far from New York?). Home time. I made some maple-glazed pecans.

Mango, melon, banana, blueberries, yogurt, maple syrup

Dinner with friends – another couple, a single friend, the couple’s son for part of the time. What a house! What a meal! What company! The son is headed to a detention camp to volunteer with “detainees” from Latin America. I told him these true words spoken to me by Paul Thai: “If you spend time with refugees, you’re gonna be sad.” True hearts. Tribulation.

Dinner conversation: if you were going to be an expat, where would it be. Everyone said Berkeley, except one person said

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

the town that adjoins Berkeley.


We had coffee and talked and in the morning light. Fruit, yogurt, levain with almond butter for breakfast. We talked about textiles on the walls in Dallas and ways we are congruent. Went to a friend’s house to look at some prints he was giving away. I took one and Jean two. She then took me to North Berkeley BART to catch the train to San Francisco to have lunch with David.

With David

On the train the thump thump thump began and someone dancing in the open area at the other end of the car. Got off at 16th and Mission, up the escalator and onto the plaza with lots of homeless and drugged people

around. Walked up 16th and a few blocks up the 22 bus stopped right beside me – why not? And I jumped on. There was a pretty Central American woman with a baby strapped to her back, so that was nice. I got off at Church and Market and walked up Market and met David

Walkway to Susan’s house

on the sidewalk. We walked to Slurp on Castro – David had a curry soup and I had pad Thai. We’ve been apart for a week, so lots of catching up. What a highlight of my life these lunches with David are. What warm, easy times these are.


After lunch we walked down Market as far as Noe and then I headed back up Market to catch the Muni to BART, then caught Richmond train to downtown Berkeley. My bus home (7 bus) came at wrong time and I was looking at a 30 minute wait, so took Uber home.

Looked at news and FB on computer, then lay down

Jean’s house

on the floor to take a nap. Jean came home and lay on the floor with me, then she went to bedroom to take a nap and I went on internet looking at India, Lonely Planet, FB.

Living room

Made a supplies run to Costco – got 2 pounds Peet’s Major Dickason’s for $14.95. Home: glass of wine, risotto with chanterelles, chicken, salad, bread. As always, we sat at the table for awhile, talking, then cleaned the kitchen, reading and computer stuff in living room. At one point Jean was saying something and my mind kind of wandered back to the computer and I realized that the internet is an expert at capturing my consciousness. I had let it! I started reading the new Alice Waters book, Coming to My Senses. Then Jean gave me a shoulder and neck massage – we lay together on the couch.

We both took showers and now we’re in bed and Jean is reading and I’m writing this and we’re going to sleep in a moment. But then we started talking and kissing and  and we went to sleep.


Coffee in bed, talking, and as day breaks.

Somebody did this and similar art on the far side of the Bulb

Fruit, yogurt, levain with almond butter.

Computer – daily dose of outrage at Trump and Republicans. I think the news is becoming unhealthy for me.

Talked with contractor re sump pump – hey, where y’all at?

Did business paperwork/computer – Aaargh!

Monterrey Market. Sandwich on deck for lunch. Took bulky trash out for the once-yearly pile of stuff. Nap. Went to the Albany “Bulb” for a bayside stroll.

Jean went to a friend’s birthday party for dinner and I stayed home, beef stew, salad, bread for dinner, reading, hanging out on internet – travel, FB, news.

Acme Bakery

Jean came home about 9 and we had tea (peppermint, orange from garden) on the deck. Then to bed, to facetime, to talk, to be.


We lay in bed talking and having coffee as the day dawned. Grey, cloudy day, clouds like stacked folded fluffy blankets.

The usual breakfast – pears (“French butter pears”), mango, blueberries, yogurt, granola, pain au levain, almond butter.

From the deck

Taking it easier today. I think lifting and carrying bulky trash, as well as other activities aggravated my left shoulder pain. It’s bad enough that I’m blunted physically and emotionally – emotionally because I don’t have reserves to truly manifest the love like usual. Taking 600 mg ibuprofen 4xday.

Went to Vik’s Chaat for a great lunch of fish curry, raita, etc., + Dahi Papdi Chaat. Then to There is no

Jean and Marcia in Marcia’s garden

other store like Berkeley Bowl. Central Market in Dallas and Austin comes close, but the BB scene and vibe is beyond CM.

For dinner we had left over risotto with chanterelles, chicken, salad (lettuce, mint, tomatoes from our garden, bread. Hung out at the table talking. Tea inside as it was cold and wet outside. Watched part of an Indian movie about Rajasthan – not a great movie, but a good time with Jean. After movie, talking, drifting off to sleep.

Indian Path

Not having personal existential struggles with reality and truth and so on these days. I used to wonder, is this me? What am I doing here? It’s so fucking painful! Now. Now I am happy. I am fulfilled. I am satisfied. Satisfied!


Coffee in bed (I’m the barrista – getting up first about 6 to make Peet’s Major Dickason’s strong coffee), talking, looking down on you, your beauty – love.

The usual breakfast. Then getting ready to go to The City together, Jean to meet Sherry for lunch and me to meet David for lunch – and I finally figured out how to order my last blog post. Drove to El Cerrito Plaza BART station where the train came a minute after we got to the platform. Riding through the East Bay, listening to music, Jean reading the 20th Wife and me writing.

16th and Mission

We got to the 16th and Mission station as I was listening to Desolation Row. Perfect, because here we were, on desolation row… There was a bloody paper towel by escalator. At the top of the escalator an old man with a deformed body in a wheelchair and the old man who lets the pigeons in his hands and on his shoulders and legs was feeding the pigeons as always and of course, there’s pigeon shit on him as well. People slumped against the railing, drinking, in a daze, talking to themselves, the usual, but maybe the energy in the plaza was edgier than usual.

We walked to the Walgreen’s corner, past two people with weird tattoos around their eyes and mouths buying heroin or something in a tiny plastic bag from a tall, unremarkable looking man with a dangerous looking bodyguard. We leaned against the wall waiting for Sherry. Up the sidewalk a man and woman were walking toward us. They began fighting with fists and feet. He quickly got the better of her and then they continued

16th and Mission

walking up the sidewalk. We stepped to the curb toward the bus stop where the guy selling dope was standing with his bodyguard and the couple walked past us, the woman crying. Pretty soon Sherry pulled up and Jean got in the car and I walked up 16th. I’d had enough weird.

You would not think to look at him, but he was famous long ago, for playing the electric violin on, desolation row.

We baked this: sourdough with currants, pecans, cinnamon; sourdough with cheese; sourdough

Got off bus at Church and Market and walked up Market to meet David on the corner, then to Dinosaur for banh mi and a nice time, sitting by an open window. Nice life. Walked to Castro Muni station to catch train to BART.

Persian breakfast for Bill and Lisa

I rode the train back to Berkeley and got there well before Jean, so drove to El Cerrito Recycling Center to drop of a shredder and dehumidifier, then home. Did some writing, then Jean called from an Oakland BART station, so I drove to El Cerrito Plaza and waited for her. We went to Tokyo Fish to get something for dinner, then to Acme Bread to pick up a “pizza Bianca” (a large flat loaf with lots of olive oil) for Friday dinner.

We rearranged the furniture in the downstairs bedroom so I can have some dedicated and more useable office space. We were lying on the bed, talking and ended up in the afternoon, OH!

Bedroom wall. In memorium, Barry

Jean worked on dinner for Friday when David and Charles will come over from San Francisco and I helped – spectacular chicken dish, rice (a long way from plain), Persian salad, za’atar, crab raviolis with cream sauce (these from place that just makes ravioli). I fixed most of tonight’s dinner – blackened catfish with panko, salad, bread with olive oil and fresh za’atar. Tea, reading, writing. Bedtime, facetime.


Jean coming up the hill at the Bulb – Alright!

Woke at 4:30 with pain. Got up, had bread and almond butter and 600 mg ibuprofen. Never really went back to sleep. Got up about 6, fixed coffee (French roast given to us by our next-door neighbor, Akbar, who owns a coffee roasting company), back to bed, talking, profound.

Fruit, yogurt… My shoulder pretty painful. Jean went to gym and shopping and I started on cake for tonight. It’s a NYT recipe that I had all the ingredients for, but I couldn’t access the directions on my computer. Then I got it on my phone and tried to email it to myself, but it would only send me the link I couldn’t open. I

The cake!

wrote the directions down and by then Jean was home. We had lunch and I continued with the recipe.

After several mishaps, It’s done now!

It’s Friday afternoon. Had a bowl. Hanging out, getting ready for David and Charles. Putting salad together, icing on cake, clean-up…

The dinner and company were great, but I had gotten behind on pain meds and suddenly was feeling very bad and unable to contribute to the conversation. I excused myself and went to the bedroom to be alone. David and Charles stayed for awhile and left, but I didn’t help at all in clean-up. When Jean came to bed,

John and Jack

we talked for a bit and then I moved to the living room and sat up until 12:30 and the pain lessened.


This was my day to totally do nothing to really rest my shoulder. Jean made coffee and breakfast and everything else.

Our kitchen, our life, our committment

One thing I’ve noticed during this shoulder pain stuff is how active I am. Lifting things, carrying, reaching up, on my knees under something, garden stuff, just on and on.

But today, I pretty much didn’t do anything. Jean was in the City to meet Chris from Montana and then to a play with Linda. I spent much of the day downstairs. A few days ago we rearranged the bedroom/office so I can use it better and start doing all my business there.

Dinner was leftovers from dinner with David and Charles – excellent!

We watched part of Wonder Woman (? not so great). To sleep early, tired from the night of little sleep.

And thus ends another week in Berkeley, another week in Paradise. What a life! These are the days.


Morning fog, Denver Airport, Bolinas, waking, sunset

When it’s not too cold, we leave both bedroom doors open – “two door nights.” There are no screens, and it’s a very nice way to sleep, with San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge sparkling 10 miles away.

Golden Gate from the deck (January sunset)

Daytime view from the bed

Last night was another two door night with the outside coming in to the bedroom, into the temple, through the doors, into the room and the bed and the outside and in the morning, thick fog between the trees and just past the deck railing, and the filtered light somehow so pure on the railing I had to rub my eyes – am I really seeing this – and the fog drifting three-dimensionally across the deck and the curtains stirring and the fog is in the room and we’re naked in the warm bed together.


At Bolinas Museum with one of Jean’s pieces

You flew to Denver from San Francisco and I flew to Denver from Dallas. I got on the shuttle bus at the Denver Airport and… there you were! It’s going to be a good trip – and it was!


Last week we drove from Berkeley to Bolinas for an opening at the Bolinas Museum – Art We Wear: Culture and Expression 1960s to Now. More northern California magic… windy roads through redwood forests, the Pacific rolling endlessly along. The opening was good, Jean’s work was presented well, and there were friends and colleagues from the Bay Area, as well as many other people.

David Kemp, Jean Cacicedo, and a photo of Charles Kemp (at restaurant in Castro)


We were sleeping, with our faces inches apart. We awoke and opened our eyes at the same moment. Oh!


Candy texted Jean to urge us to go out to the deck for a great sunset.


Dancing at Flagging, on the train, congruencies

Jean at Summer of Love installation at de Young Museum
Temple door

Jean and I and David and Charles went to a party with about 200 people in a meadow in a park on a beautiful Sunday (Mother’s Day) afternoon. (This is the same meadow where David and I had scattered Leslie’s ashes.) Today, the music was feel-good EDM and we were feeling good, feeling an irrepressible urge to dance – so there we were, dancing at the edge of the meadow, then into the forest, back into the meadow, and into a redwood grove. Yeah, this is the way it should be. I danced with Jean, her friend Courtney, my son, my son’s husband, and random people. It was more “cozy” (as Jean said) than euphoric. We enjoy open and intimate connections every day, and a fair amount of magic in our daily lives – we talked about how this day and its magical experiences are part of living the dream; about our shared commitment to that reality. We walked out of the park, Uber to train, and train home. Really tired the next day, but felt good.

~ ~ ~
Uncoupled couple on the train. Riding the N Judah train from Embarcadero to Duboce Park. A couple got on and stood, each one at opposite sides of the door, standing facing away from one another, staring with flat affect into their separate spaces, never speaking, just staring, unhappy looking.
This is the train – better to be alone with one’s memories I think, than uncoupled like that.
David at Flagging in the Park party

This is the train – riding through/within each precious unrepeatable moment.

This is the train – I want you to put on your pretty summer dress.
This is the train – face time, our faces inches apart, holding you, watching you fall asleep, watching you sleep, forcing myself to stay awake for each precious unrepeatable moment in the firelight, in the dark, in the light.
This is the train. 
~ ~ ~
Lunch with David, 3-4 days/week. How sweet is that! 
~ ~ ~
Jean and I talking of our beloved spouses.
~ ~ ~
Stairs in Berkeley home

Hippie Lady. Our home is sacred space. Living consciously. Flowers everywhere inside and outside the house. Uncomplicated relationship. Free. Lying together, face to face, looking into one another’s eyes – our “face-time.” Recognizing the magical moments of congruency.

~ ~ ~
I discovered that you were making notes about our relationship. And they were the same sort of notes I was making! Things that we both love or congruencies or similarities…
In common/likes/congruencies
Creating – art (JC) and hospice (CK)
Being outside
Love – loving and being loved
Oh yeah – Jean in redwoods in AIDS Memorial Grove


Rock and roll
We’re alive!
Practical politics
The Bay Area, especially Berkeley
Pleasing the other
The importance of the relationship – recognition of the beauty
Working on the relationship
What we see as beautiful
Celebration of hip culture
Living fully/following our dreams/visions
People (JC) – Humanity (CK)
CK in garden in Berkeley

Art (JC) – Service (CK)

~ ~ ~
Dallas: Humid warm night with the fragrance of old fashioned four o’clocks heavy in the night.