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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Too Happy To Be Sad

 A recent conversation...

Me: "I heard that this cancer can cause depression, and that I should be open to speaking with a mental health professional."

Barb: "Quite so."

Me: "But I have NO IDEA what I'd say to a depressed mental health professional!"

Barb: "Uh...."

The thing is, I don't get depressed, or frustrated. Sure, I can't sleep for the pain, and yeah, five steps and I'm out of breath, but so what?

It's life.

Last time I went to my (sadly deceased) doctor...

Doc: "You must be depressed."

Me: "Nope."

Doc: "I'll prescribe some antidepressants."

Me: "I don't need 'em."

Doc: "I'll give you some samples."

Me: "I'm not depressed."

Doc: "Okay."

And then he left, and the nurse came in
 with a prescription, and samples.

So, I don't know. I should be sad, personally and existentially, and I am not.

I'm living the dream.

So, here, tongue mostly in cheek... mostly...

I expect you'll be impressed
with sterling qualities I've got,
like, I'm supposed to be depressed,
but, dude, I'm truly not.
It's not that I'm superior
(that is, of course, a given),
and not by deep ulterior
motive is my virtue driven.
It's just that I'm a happy bloke
(or, a drongo, that's your call)
to whom all life is but a joke,
and the final curtain call
will be a spinning swirling jig
with two Heelers and a pig.

Music from Cat Stevens, with Another Saturday Night.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ROAD. Tough one!

This is the path I'm taking,
but not the one I chose;
still, I am not forsaken,
and my sore heart still knows
that through the darkness of the night,
and through the stormy day,
I can depend on Holy Might
to guide my twisting way.
And so, my friend, I'll skip along,
not fear to stub a toe;
I need not be hard and strong
for I now truly know
that this here is my own Green Mile,
and I'll walk with God in style.

Four minutes!

Here's Barb wearing her anniversary present. Stylish, yes?

The only thing that makes Sylvia sad is lack of ice cream.

Never happens.


Thursday, September 22, 2022

God's Attic


This is a morning rainbow over a mountain called Ladron, which means 'bandit', and is fittingly the peak after which my dear service dog was named, for she stole my heart.

But I can't stop to look back. Not so much because there's a lot ahead, but because the pain of loss leaches the joy from today.

I think that for anyone with cancer, maybe more is lost than is realized.

Like, a shared cup of coffee, or a stroll around the block, or the comfort of a marital bed.

I can scarcely remember what these things were like, and don't want to, because loss will weaken resolve needed for the present moment. There may not be a vast bright future, but I believe, and HAVE to believe, that I still have something worthwhile to give in the now, and that it's wrong to allow sentimentality to dilute that.

So I leave the memories in God's hands, to be unpacked, to live again, in another time and place.

I think back to The Good Old Days,
the hikes, Starbucks, and pillow talks,
offer for them thanks and praise,
then put them in God's attic box
that is marked 'Not To Be Opened'
as I walk upon the Earth;
its seal will stay strong and unbroken
until I pass that great rebirth
into the place of God's own time,
when yesterday lives side by side
with today, fresh in its prime,
and there is no need to hide
from sorrow over what is gone,
for there the past's a bright new dawn.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is REPRESENT.

I come from far Mongolia,
perhaps birthed in a tent,
no scent there of magnolia,
so I shall represent
the line to which I have been born,
the Horde and Genghis Khan,
and from this I cannot be torn;
it's simply who I am,
ready now to go and ride,
to raid and loot and pillage;
try to run, or try to hide,
we're coming to your village,
and we'll live in your memory
in our ruthless majesty.

Three minutes flat. Maybe that says something I maybe didn't want folks to know?

Music from The Moody Blues, with I Know You're Out There Somewhere.

 Ice cream keeps Sylvia in the Now.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows


Rainbows are one of the things that make life worth living. I should say it's because they're the symbol of God's promise to Noah, but when I see one, I have to be honest, I don't think about that.

They're just pretty. And pretty can overcome the bummer cancer can be.

As, yeah, so does Barb, who took the picture.

Pain's the gift that keeps on giving,
reminder with a flaming touch
that it's rainbows keep me living
even when it hurts too much
to live as normal people do,
go to Starbucks, take a walk,
watch a movie full way through
or, even, sit down and talk
about the small gay things in life,
like when the pool guy, tan and hearty,
ran away with neighbour's wife,
and neighbour's days are now a party
to which I have not been invited,
but I hurt so much, I don't feel slighted.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SPONTANEOUS. I shall now sonnetize spontaneously.

Spontaneity of rainbows,
and of shooting stars,
sudden touch of dog's cold nose,
no-warning fights in bars.
Alarums sound without a clue,
ceasefire comes without a hint,
bills immediately come due
when I'm really truly skint.
I wonder if God queers these pitches
to keep us diligent and fit
according to His inner wishes,
or is it needed that He's lit
a flame beneath lazy backsides
that we may stay alert and wise?

Four minutes! YESSSS! (As the reader cries, NOOOO!)
For a Rainbow Connexion, over, now, to Kermit the Frog.

Sylvia prefers plain vanilla to rainbow sherbet. Strange dog.


Thursday, September 8, 2022

Accepting Grace

OK, so that's about 200 lbs of Dog that has just shredded my bed. Belle and Henry clearly work as a team in areas beyond CPR.

Barb says, with justification, that I accept help and comfort from dogs far more readily than from her.

She's right, and it's wrong, and I need to do better.

 You may sometime meet a day
when you can't do it alone;
no matter what your pride might say,
you, kneeling, will atone
for keeping others at arm's length,
refusing aid with scowl or smile.
When you find the end of strength,
then let it go in style,
and reach out with and open hand,
and, vitally, an open heart,
with prayer that you may understand
the need to do your part,
to let another have a place
at the table of an offered grace.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is GENEROUS. Will you be generous in the time I take? This is hard.

The world threw me beneath the bus
when it learned that I had cancer,
but God, it seems, is generous,
and has supplied an answer.
Mostly we don't know the why,
we just live in the what,
but since I'm really gonna die,
God stirred the cooking-pot
and let me know just what had come
to the top of the life-stew,
that I'd be forever young,
and said what I had to do,
was witness love with tears and laughter
for all those who would follow after.

A bit over five minutes. Ah, well.

Music from NeedToBreathe, with Keep Your Eyes Open.

 Sylvia will always accept grace, especially in the form of ice cream.


Thursday, September 1, 2022


Death tried to take me again today.

Saw him coming.

Exhausted, but elated.

Here is a description of the experience, written to a dear friend as soon as possible after the fact.

"I was sitting at the edge of my bed, working on (a present for Barbara),
when I started floating backwards through the bed. I was not a ghost; the furniture became insubstantial as mist.

"I grabbed hold of something, I know not what, and pulled myself back to what I now see as the dream-world of this... I was about to say corporeal place, but it's the other side that's solid.

"Belle helped; I think that dogs perhaps have a paw in each realm.

"I am so very happy to stay."

I would not deign to stop for Death,
and so he stopped for me,
gently taking all my breath,
proclaiming victory,
but his lesson's not been learned,
for he should know me better,
and he perforce was badly burned
as I torched each fetter
with which he tried to bind me to
the carriage at his station,
but he's been vanquished, done and through,
and Valhalla's destination
to which will go this man of strife,
to fight through the Eternal Life.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ROOT. Sounds like what pigs do, but I'll have a lash.

Each day I need to root around
like a hungry pig
eating that which can be found
and getting pretty big.
But it's not food I'm snorting for,
oh, no, oh no, indeedy;
I'm on the hunt for something more,
that for which I'm greedy:
I need a reason to survive
when house of cards doth fall,
a reason just to stay alive,
a cause to give my all
when cancer's fatal hemlock cup
makes me want to just give up.

Three minutes thirty. Snort, snort.

Music from Led Zeppelin, with Immigrant Song from Thor: Ragnarok. Join me, please, in the celebration.

 Sylvia is celebrating with ice cream.