In the hour of my awakening
there are thoughts I cannot capture
tickling my brain.
I’ve always said that when you start feeling sorry for yourself, you should find someone in worse shape than you and help them in some way. To that end I volunteered with “Lee’s Friends” to drive cancer patients to and from their treatments. That’s how I met Johnny. He is terminally ill – with only a few months to live. Witnessing his suffering, I remembered my own mother, dying of cancer repeating: “Why doesn’t someone just get a gun and shoot me.”
Right or wrong, cancer is a big business. Looking at my calendar I see I was driving Johnny at the first of this year. They decided to attempt some experimental treatment on Johnny. So for two weeks I drove him every day to and from his treatments. On Monday he would see his doctors. Other days he would just have chemo. Since I’m completely retired now, thanks to the loss of my hearing, driving Johnny became my job. My day is complete when I drive Johnny. And regardless of how difficult my own life is at the moment, at least I’m not dying of cancer.
This past Monday, Johnny was told the experiment wasn’t working. He would probably die on time as predicted. For some reason, this news was a bigger bump in my road than I expected. But I knew he was dying when I first started driving him. We became closer the more I drove him. I often ask him to “help me drive” by watching for traffic and making sure I’m driving where I should be. He always smiles when I ask him this.
So what do I do now? I continue driving him when he needs a ride, maybe just sit with him. We’re both Dallas Cowboys fans. We may watch a game together.
I also have another cancer patient I drive regularly and others occasionally. Driving them has become the most rewarding volunteer work I’ve ever done. I’ve never heard Johnny or any of the other patients complain. They’ve taught me about gratitude, simplicity, and living in the moment. The future is never guaranteed.
The huge orb weaver spider
sits spinning and spinning
on the front porch railing
reminding me of Halloween.
She might explode just waiting
and eating all the bugs
that come to her on the breeze.
Such drama differs from my life:
Maybe I’ll switch places with her
and transcend being unseen.
* written with John
Clouds are condensed moisture.
When the temperature and dew point come together
a cloud is formed: cumulus-graniticulous
it is sometimes called when it obscures mountains.
When flying in clouds a pilot must be aware of this.
The FAA has another anomic for this:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain.
Sometime, they might find the wreckage of my soul
in the Disappointment Mountains,
probably along DisIllusion Ridge.
One good news:
There’s no longer a heart
left to be broken. That warm,
soft bird now completely shattered
with nothing left to break. Her hollow
bones sing. No need to cry anymore.
Just mechanical auto-pilot now
putting one foot in front of the other
focusing on the next task to be done.
Be productive, be practical —
that’s the mantra. The heart
can never be practical
or completely won.
I’ve always loved the sound
of fountains and waterfalls.
It strikes me
beautiful and sorrowful:
The sound of AUM continuously
creating, sustaining, and dissolving
creation. The sound
of my own soul crying tears
of joy and sadness. The sound
of life as it is.