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a Rip van Winkle moment with my mother

by kye on June 22, 2010

Her eyes opened, and opened all the way, and stayed open. I said, “this is your daughter, this is Kye” and she nodded once, decisively: “I know that,” said her nod. “Would you like me to tell you the news, or sit quietly with you?” No response. I considered. What was there to lose? I started talking.

Her eyes stayed on mine with total attention. When the news was the kind she likes (“I’m going to go up to see M. this week.”) her face would melt into a quiet little beam. When it was said news (“there’s been a terrible oil spill in the Gulf,” and “the economy is not good”) her forehead creased in distress. She was awake; she knew me; she was there.

Forty-five minutes later? an hour? I asked, “have I worn out your brain?” A rusty little “No” came in response–the first speech I’ve heard in a couple of months. So I told her about what I’m writing (the Tao Te Ching commentary), and her mouth made an ‘oh!’ shape, and she she smiled.

There’s no telling what I’ll find next time I go, but what a miracle and a gift that time was!



by kye on June 6, 2010

I found mangoes on a street corner a little while ago, on my way back from seeing my mother–a whole box of them, sold to me off the back of a pickup truck up from the Rio Grande Valley.

They were sold to me by what looked to be a couple of brothers. They were in their early twenties. One of them was holding an enormous exuberant sign that said ‘MANGOES’. I saw the sign, thought about stopping but the corner was busy. But I found a quieter place to park and walked back along a patch of sidewalk walled with enormous weeds, then through the archway of an abandoned pear tree covered with half-ripe pears.

The box was mine for $5. As I left, one of the brothers smiled and said ‘God bless.’

At the next corner were a man and woman sitting at a bus stop. The man was holding up a tiny sign that said ‘hungry’. I had a box full of mangoes! Unexpected ones! I was going to give them to my son and his girlfriend, but that little tiny sign and that young patient couple sitting there–of course I had to stop again.

I asked “do you like mangoes?” They nodded. I said I’d just found them at the last corner. I told them to take as many as they wanted. They each took two, which still left lots. And I had the pleasure of seeing them grinning at each other, as I left.

Later, I wondered whether either of them had a pocket knife–or did they use their teeth to open up the fruit? Maybe I should start carrying a pocket knife again!


for dolphins and dragonflies

May 25, 2010

A joiku for the Gulf’s creatures, great and small… Teeming water world, Our carelessness has touched you. Please don’t die. No. Please live!

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raison d’etre

September 6, 2009

I turned fifty a couple of months ago. I feel younger than I have since I was a teenager, if by ‘feeling younger’ one means the feeling of one’s own vitality running high. But I don’t feel young. I’ve done too much; learned too much; lost too much. My father’s dead, my mother’s dying and […]

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