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Thursday, October 27, 2022


Yes, Heaven is real.

I've been there, through the lens of death become birth.

First some pictures, then the poem.


How can I relate to you
where I traveled on that night,
make it bold and bright and true
that as I passed into the light,
that when a final breath did pass
I heard a lovely joyous song,
and stepped out on the living grass
to join a happy dancing throng
beneath a vast and coloured sky,
so fresh and sparkling clean,
a breeze that was a holy sigh
of happiness upon that scene…
on Earth I now know Heaven’s lack,
but also know that I’ll be back.

It’s very hard to describe the essence of a near-death experience, and that loveliest of destinations, without sounding like a bit of a crank.

But I promised I would try.

One thing that I think validates the experience is that while I am not a People Person, I was immersed in a crowd. I don't think it bespeaks a wish to be social; it's just the reality of the place, and, perhaps, a gentle nudge from God that I need to change.

(This first appeared as a comment to Bob Hostetler's post 7 Favorite Writer Destinations on the Steve Laube Agency blog.)

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is WHILE.

Coincidentally, Barb picked up a movie from the library for me..."While You Were Sleeping."

I love romantic comedies.

While I walk upon this Earth
I know that not far up ahead
there lies the glorious rebirth
that gives lie to the phrase, "He's dead.",
for I have been there and have seen
promise made actuality,
more real than a waking dream,
a solid practicality
that turns this sad world upsidedown,
that makes of somberness a joke,
that makes a Pharisee a clown
who from his inner dark has woke
to find the journey that he's on
is lit by an eternal dawn.

Four minutes thirty-nine seconds.

Music from Montell Jordan and Beckah Shae, with Shake Heaven.

And in heaven there  is ICE CREAM.


Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Bleeding

 I guess God is in the editing business, too.

The sonnet below describes my body trying to bleed out on October 19. It's couched in literary terms because it first appeared as a comment in Tamela Hancock Murray's blog post for the Steve Laube Agency this morning, on developmental and copy editing.

I don't know what to say or think. I can't even state with certainty as I write this if I am on Earth, or in Heaven.

See, I am surrounded by love.

And yesterday the plot was changed,
a literal bloodletting 
in organs now so disarranged...
is this what's called Dev Editing?
And my grammar's diff'rent too,
words are spoken with more care,
respecting that which I've gone through;
am I still here, or am I There,
dead but called to higher days,
transition that I somehow missed
along the bleedout's paths and ways
that brought me with a happy twist
to blindly vault bright Heaven's fence,
and would I know the difference?

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is TESTIMONY.

I don't have a testimony,
I just have what I've been through,
and I will not be a phony,
and tell the story straight for you.
I am bleeding, right inside,
and it does not want to cease,
but I have no need to hide,
'cause bubba, I'm at last at peace,
and can let the ol' world go,
while I journey on ahead,
and in my heart of hearts I know
that dying never will mean dead,
and that what you see me as gone
is me awake to Heaven's dawn.

Three minutes. Maybe that means something.

'Bye for now. Maybe I will see you in the morning.

Oh, and this... I try to counter the blood loss with strong red wine and pasta sauce.

During WW2, blood donors were advised to drink a lot of red wine, so that they might give a pint every week.

The pasta sauce is on my own hook. It's red. Deal with it.

I am fully aware that pancreatic cancer and alcohol do not, to put it mildly, go together. I'm just out of options.

Should be interesting to watch.

Music from the Alan Parsons Project, with Closer To Heaven.

Wherever I am, Sylvia's glad to be with me. She'll even bring the ice cream.


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Mirror, Mirror

I am going to have fun this week.

If you can't laugh at cancer, why even have it?

I really can't be clearer
in what I'm telling you;
when feeling down, I get a mirror
and just enjoy the view.
It's not that I'm good looking;
I've left that term behind
with biceps that are cooking,
and smile to eas'ly blind
someone who had not the sense
to quickly don their shades.
I really do not mean offense,
but the way that I was made
puts me upon a GQ page
while others simply show their age.

Last week I referenced high fevers and the old fried-egg-this-is-your-brain-on-drugs commercial...well, here's the link!

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is COMPROMISE. That's a big word. I like small words better, so...

You may sigh and roll your eyes,
and whisper that I'm odd,
but I don't think I'll compromise
with life, the world, or God.
I've seen fashions come and go
(and most are better gone),
but there's one that lets me know
the planet that I'm on,
so bring gold chains, slick back the hair,
button silk shirt halfway up,
channel Travolta through Astaire
and drink deep of the disco cup
because I am a true believer
in Bee Gees and the Sat Night Fever.

There! Five minutes, and with a squirrelly brain keypad too!

Appropriate music for today can only come from Right Said Fred.

And in the interest of transparency, I do still work out and eat right (and, yes, both REALLY hurt), and do look a bit like this bloke in the video (think Asian, shoulder-length dark hair with fashionable sun highlights, and NO I will not post a picture).

Well, OK. Here's a picture. It's just not a picture of me.

Sylvia would roll her eyes (as Barb is doing as I write), but she could thereby miss a lick of ice cream to the Chihuahua Pirates.


Thursday, October 6, 2022

It Rains In The Desert

So it does really rain in the desert.

This post might have taken another direction, like "it hurts so much, what do I do NOW?"

Today I can't explain how to cope with the pain cancer brings, except to delight in God's blessings, great and small.

The blessings that He rains down on us.

Maybe that's why the symbol of His promise is a rainbow.

So, Chihuahuas.

Chihuahuas in the morning,
Chihuahuas through the night,
Chihuahuas that are learning
the world is theirs by right.
Chihuahuas roar at teatime
and thunder in the dawn,
Chihuahuas always in the prime
of a five-pound brawn.
Chihuahuas at the table
(they shoulder Pits aside)
for they are not able
to tolerate, abide
that anyone, however fine
might usurp their place in line.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is BECOME.

I am each day what I become,
and become what I must be
to earn the right to walk among
all the people that I see.
Too many fevers left their mark;
there's much now I don't comprehend,
but wandering though the mind's own dark
must become means to an end,
and I must see in diff'rent light
what others eas'ly ken by day,
and thereby try with all my might
to show it's not grimmest futility,
this fight against a disability.

Four minutes, and while I hate to admit it, it's true. Remember the commercial where a dude held up an egg, said, "This is your brain."?

Then he cracked the egg and dropped the yolk into a frying pan. "This is your brain on drugs."

Have enough very high fevers, it has the same effect. I can mask it in writing, but in person, no way.

Music from Wall of Voodoo, with the politically incorrect Mexican Radio.

Sylvia prefers ice cream to barbecued iguana (did you watch the video?).

She also prefers ice cream to fried eggs. If you ever watched a Pittie trying to eat sunny-side-up, you'll know why.