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The Garden

I am getting excited about the approaching Spring.

Soon I will be digging in the dirt again preparing the earth to receive the seeds and plants which will produce a bounty.

I have little to do with the miracle except making a place for it to happen.

Fall Garden

This was the planting of my fall garden.  I am a partner in a small winery and we use the vegetables and even the blackberries in the restaurant.  The red tubs are old eighty gallon fermentors that found a new purpose.  All that is left now is some kale, the brussel sprouts, and a little spinach the deer have not eaten.

Things will grow just about anywhere and in anything as long as one makes a place for them and tends to it.  I think that is true about my writing.  There are times when I am so full of “stuff” that does not matter there is no room for what is important.  When that happens I become lost and there is no harvest.  This year I think that I will be more intentional.  Not really because I am good or wise (I am not).  But because I want to be alive before I die.  Be Groovy!  🙂

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$ Paying Attention $

It is in the nuanced subtle details that the true soul is discovered.  It is not in the mundane commerce and intercourse of our waking life.

It is not in the habitual presentation of the self through posture, manner, speech, clever lines, or outward stereotyped patterns.  It is never in the masks no matter the power of their allure.   Words spoken may hide as well as reveal.  Flesh uncovered might yet be the last hiding place.

But a pause, a word left unspoken may communicate more than volumes.  Those small traits and qualities that make one soul unique from another are like gems among  rock and sand.  It takes some effort but that is where the valuable material is found.

People always pay attention to what matters to them.

So if someone is paying attention to the details of you, pause.  At least they have glimpsed your singularity.  If they continue they have recognized the unique and exquisite value of you.  By definition then you are valuable to them.  Otherwise they would not pay attention.

It is a compliment in its highest form to be paid attention.

It is a good and life-giving gift.

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The Picture – Fifty One and Five Sixths

I am not accustomed to seeing myself

Looking at that photo, appraising it with no reference except itself

Shyness arose and I averted my eyes

But curiosity sent my gaze back again

Who was that looking back at me

There under the flesh of my fathers

Hint of recognition

Something in the eye seemed familiar

Confused, I wondered how he could have come to wear that dressing

I have been here the whole time and had not noticed the change

If indeed that was him, where had he been

Why is he only now looking into my eyes

It startled me, a jolt of “Is that really you?”

Is it?

The eyes looked back at me unwavering

Then I saw him

There beneath the effects of all those years

I smiled a toothy grin of welcome and of coming home

He asked “Are you ready now?”

I said “Let’s go!”


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Stuff – Noun or Verb?

I have 14 drafts saved on this thing.  They are ideas, the beginning of poems or stories and essays that need attention some day.  I also have pieces of paper filled with words in boxes and journals that had been scattered around in various places.  Much of it has been untouched for years.  Some of it though is now, at least, connected with the posts and drafts here at the Groove.  Over the last month or so I have been gathering up all that stuff.  And have begun to at least  to get it all in the same proximity.  Now, stuff is not a particularly sophisticated word on the surface but it is most descriptive for me in this case.  It seems a good word for this material because that is what it feels like.   Just stuff.

Apparently its origin is late Middle English (1300-50).  It was a verb which denoted the action of equipping or furnishing.  Over the centuries we have continued to use the word as a verb as in “I need to stuff this pillow.”  But we have also expanded its use to include even the (typically undefined) material used in the actual action of “stuffing.”  It has become a noun as in “What is that stuff?”  It can even be used in the same sentence as both noun and verb.  “Pick that stuff up off your floor and just stuff it into your closet until after the party.”  It can be used to describe a state of being.  “Man, I’m stuffed,” might be heard in conversation after a meal.  Or technically you could say “That was good stuff.  I really stuffed my face tonight.   And I am stuffed, about to bust.”  I even recall it used medically.  Instead of a stopped up nose one’s condition can be described as a “stuffed up” or “stuffy” nose.  Quite a handy little word.

So it seems that stuff is at once, both and, and also, nondescript material used in the action of filling space that can lead to discomfort.  So I guess that is why I used it to describe my scribbling to date.  Over the years things would bubble up from my soul which would be jotted down and put somewhere like some toy that came in a Happy Meal.  I did not want to thrown it away necessarily but did not have any use for it.  So it got put in the stuff pile with the other things that had made their way out of deep places in me and on to paper.  The action of writing filled space for me in time when I was uncomfortable or stuffed up somehow.  But those actions were like a burp.  Made a little sound, provided a little relief, but did little good in terms of my overall state of being.  I was stuffed and had been stuffing material that I could not define into my soul.  I was stuffed up and was having trouble breathing in or out, within the stale atmosphere I had created around myself.  There is another use of the word that has a slightly different but similar connotation.  It is used commonly to refer to a psychological act where one “stuffs” emotional material, that is never processed.  That could also metaphorically apply to me.  It’s kinda “Dr. Philish” a bit but it communicates.

What started this little rant was me sitting down to write and feeling tired of the stuff I’ve been doing.  It is emotionally draining and after a while began to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher in my head, wah wah wah wah . . . . .  I tried to work on some of the other but I got bored.  I had a little conversation with my Soul and tried to listen very hard.  What I thought I heard was that I could not move on until I had finished sorting through all that “stuff.”  I can’t get to a new place without finishing up the place that I am now.  If I try that again I reckon I will end up right back here.

Like a messy room that has accumulated years of stuff, it’s just not comfortable.  And after a while is a not a fun place to be at all.  So, I guess my task now is to sit down again and go through the rest of the stuff, keeping some and throwing out what is of no use.  I have already discovered some treasures I had forgotten.  It is no longer undifferentiated stuff anymore.  It now has a purpose and a place.  Some of the other I will hang on to for later, but the best stuff is what I can throw out and make room for the new.

OK, well I gotta go clean my room.  Seems like I’m not going to get to play until I do.  Be Groovy. 🙂

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I think this is my all time forever favorite song.  I’ve loved it since I was a boy.  I did not understand then.  It just moved me somehow.  I think I am beginning to understand now.  Not something to do in your spare time.   It is so rich and layered with meaning.  Don’t ever wish to be an artist or you may learn why Vincent cut his ear off.  Don McLean was a Bard.  Beautiful were his words. There was truth is his music.  Be Groovy.

Listen to this.  Empty Chairs



And of course American Pie


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