First things first

Knights Ferry – old mill

When I resume “normality” I take considerable comfort in my memories. They remain, thankfully. Although the fear of losing them is present, sometimes, it doesn’t intrude on my reveries; nor on my musings…

Perhaps I should explain something: The year before last, I suffered a stroke. It wasn’t severe. I lost the use of my left arm for some months. I had to learn how to walk (and do other everyday things) again. But -it seemed to me- I hadn’t suffered any cognitive symptoms. My likes and dislikes were unquestionably familiar. (I read detective fiction, listened to Baroque music, dabbled in poetry, and perused tomes on mathematical logic.) I drank coffee by the pot. Smoked too much. Kept irregular hours.

I still didn’t like mayonnaise…or loud noises.

Luckily, I had lost the compulsion to drink beer. Twenty years of abusing alcohol was what had led to my stroke, I’m sure. (I foolishly attempted to renew a moderate habit -drinking only one or two beers in the park – but had to relent. It was too easy to drink more, and more.) Then, as I regained more and more of the use of my left arm, I could play my guitar better and better…

And a manic phase took over!

The world became bright, vivid, engaging, and engagingly intricate. My senses reveled. I began to write songs again. And I got a lot of work done.

It lasted almost six months!

And then…it was gone. But I wasn’t worried! It would surely return.


Photography helps keep my memory in place. Every picture I take becomes, whether likely or not, a container for my episodic life.

The old mill in Knights Ferry, a small town just north east of Oakdale, brings to mind the last time my ex-wife and children -a boy and a girl- were in my company. We’d spent an afternoon together. (This was quite a few years ago.) My son followed me as I rambled over the rough terrain and we chatted; my daughter and her mother quietly ignoring me…

Both my son and my daughter have tried occasionally to stay in touch with me. Until I stopped drinking it was very hard. And even then it wasn’t easy.

My daughter seems to have washed her hands of me, ostensibly over an old misunderstanding. I’d had a fairly regular correspondence with my son for some months into the Covid Age; but that stopped abruptly.

Figuring he was just busy with family and work amid the pandemic restrictions, I let it lie.

Two days ago I sent him an email. I’m waiting as patiently as I can for his reply…


I received a pleasant surprise: My boy was glad to hear from me! In fact, he had just been busy… But not too busy to ignore my emails; I shouldn’t have let such a lapse occur.

And my mania (my muse!) has returned! Oh, Happy Day! Time, again, to get to work. 🙂

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  1. If it seems untoward for me to make the first comment myself…please understand: Immediately upon clicking “Publish” my efforts were deemed spam and became inaccessible! (Oh? You’ve heard this story before? :)) A not-too-old thread on Vivaldi’s Services forum told me who to contact about my travail… (Thanks, BTW!) It came back quickly, and I’m quite impressed.
    So, to continue…


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