1980, the US hockey team defeated Russia in the Olympics, Egypt and Isreal signed their peace accord, and there was a vagabond in a small, depressed Oregon town of 5000.

I had a rare opportunity to interview this 35-year-old college dropout, currently employed as the town gravedigger, his worldly possessions contained in one white wooden trunk.

I revisited his pup tent dwelling alongside the Willamette River that flowed through this section of the State Park. I again saw the places where he foraged and fished, heard the dull roar of the dam’s spillway in the distance, and the music of the shallow river beside us.


Our interview seems to be taking place in several taverns in and around Cottage Grove, Oregon. Michael seems to be wondering, looking for something.


Michael appears to be an observer, the hard lines, a man’s pains, or poor light.


Its here that Michael seems familiar and accepted. This is his view of the world, a microcosm of All. This is LeeAnn pulling beer; she’s 25, has three kids, her husband is gone, and wants to go to college. Sweet, sweet girl.


Michael smiled broadly as he sketched all the ones ‘in charge; his smile grew warmer as he looked at the players, bartenders, bar backs, drinkers, and dancers. With a sweep of his arm, including everyone present, “my loves,” he said s, a tear came to my eye.

I remembered loving; I remembered love.


Michael spoke kindly yet honestly about every sketch, soul, and the people he wanted to capture.

Michael concluded our interview with these words:


Michal (circa 1980)

The occasion of this “interview” was the return of this torn-up old notebook and a few other items, the remnants of an old white wooden trunk.

A rare chance to glimpse the person I was forty-two years ago, unfiltered and not distorted by memory.

It would appear that after all the iterations of Michael, I am as I was, same loves, same values, and same heart. In 1980 I found me, and I have been steadfast and true.

Not bad for an old man.

Michael (circa 2022).

I get it!

this is a quick note to swell guys out there that are stopping by, even out of kindness, to leave a ‘like.’

what I’ve written of late is not worthy of a trumpian tweet.

not engaged in a substantive discourse in over five years. as i’ve passed the television from shop to bathroom, the same may be said of most news people.

my partner watches the news. my partner hates the ex-president, republicans, new construction projects, racists, fat people, bridges, me, and far worse, herself.

i have forgotten how to talk, much less write.

if you enjoy a good read, bye. i’m gonna muck it up, run around in circles, and eventually say naught in the most unentertaining fashion.

i was tired of being abused; i’m exhausted from allowing myself to be abused.

I will run away from home, and there will be just me to blame.

I begin,

broken, scared

I start,

bloodied and in pain.

I begin

to rise.

I begin.

To Be


The wager of the poor;

labor, their word, heart


Guile, gold

no measure.

My Battle Is To Be Free

Surrounded by violent thunderstorms, I sit in a pocket of imperturbation.

I have a small business, woodworking; 2018 was my best year. I only lost $1,400.00. Precisely what I spent on materials. At the end of ’21, I was in a wheelchair. Pain, real, accepted, and imagined; the illusion that this impervious moment is more than a moment. We’re surrounded by storms. They’ll return.

I love storms, even the painful ones.

It was this morning, at 8:17, not to put too fine a point on it, that I realized the ages had finally found me and kicked my ass. The epiphany came to me as I wheeled my chair into the bathroom sink, propelling me from the chair to the sink. I saw a brilliant white light. My store-bought teeth were ejected from my mouth. They ricocheted off the mirror to the floor to the cats’ delight.

I remember standing in my youth before the early storms, fist raised, feet braced to stand against the wind and even the sea. My battles are now less heroic. They’re battles to live a life beyond the perceptions of others.

i yearn to try and fail, to stand before the storm be thrown to the ground and fight, fight to stand again.

My battle is to be free.


Things change.

Saying goodbye. Changes everything.

Being alone. Familiar.

Endings. Begin.



From here to

it has been a while, for any and everything; movies, games, restaurants, walks, smiles, and the hugs, oh how I miss the hugs.

there are a precious few that speak with me in the best of times, in “the before times,” now, fewer still. Conversation, honest discourse, died sometime and there was no obituary, I read the papers.

denied the fulfillment of understanding another’s perspective and having the freedom to accept or reject any or all of their ideas, their black or white, or varying shades of gray.

i, due to advanced age, my various ailments, and now, now I roll about in a wheelchair; I have been elevated to the level of ‘insignificant.’ not ignored, overlooked.

from my place of insignificance, detached, I might aspire to become a “Book” in these pre-Soilant days. but, alas I aspire to live, on my terms.

Sara, a delightful, talented, loving niece asked that friends and family write a letter to her son to be opened on the occasion of his 18th birthday, I had no measure for the level of torture she has brought upon me. I’ve only sixteen years.

in the world we created, shaped by our actions/in-action, the cries we made, or the ones we ignored. should I tell him; don’t trust people that tell you to think outside the box, that sets limits on your imagination to but two dimensions and you’re to be solving a problem.

how should I tell him so always love himself, to be content with his own company, solitude is thrust upon us randomly and there will be times that solitude will be desperately sought.

how would I share with him, where ever he may be in station, location, or despair, theological or scientific belief; he will never be alone. it is accepted that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. every breath that was ever taken still exists, from mother, father, jesus, Mohamed, trees, and grasses. each breath has touched love, given life, and he shall always share.

in the world we have, how would I tell him that he is made of stardust, from exploding stars throughout the universe? should i tell him that he is truly a child of the universe, unique, perfect, just like everyone/everything else?

of all the things i may have gleaned in the past 75 years learning to love oneself is key. when you know that you’re ok you can endure, and there will be things that must be endured and worlds can be changed.

how can i wait?

another lost weekend

it was a typical saturday, i was rolling through the kitchen, maneuvering a tricky course of sleeping and unmoving dog, and an obstinate cat looking for ice. i was inches away from the haven that is my 7′ x 12′ space in the garage.

“should we take her?”, the swmbo asked in her hurtful little girl voice.

that’s the voice that tells you the only correct answer is, “Of course.”

i won’t recite the things, some reasonable, others…hopefully not indite-able’ that flooded my mind. i took a very deep breath…before i drown.

i shall be forever grateful for medical pot.

t’was but a scant 12 minutes; she entered my sanctum with her, the rejected pond pup – on her back to the pond – kona, now kaddie (i did not do that).

there was that feeling again, another deep breath, its all good. rested the fore plane on the bench, slide off the end into my chariot, looked at the pile of wood shavings, smiled.

after the 26 years spent with the swmbo i have learned this fact: any and all plans made a minimum of 7 to a maximum of18 days prior to the event (be it: travel, leisure [?] , or actual geld generating eork, hopefully); if those plans are on a weekend…the thursday before i know those plans will cease to be.

it will happen, the destruction,plans…shattered, again.

but…lovin’ ona new member of the family, make her feel special…not half bad, as distractions go.

i will get back to the shop…probably about the time i get to go fishin”.

Be good. Do good. Be ever so good to yourselves – you’re special.

Note for the day: dealing with depressed people

this is a note for all the sane, well adjusted people out there that have a friend, partner, and, god forbid, a relative that is for some inexplicable reason, depressed. no, this is not having a blue day, this is about depression.

the most common (as in knee jerk) responses are: “i love you”, “i care”, “you’re not alone in this”, “i’m not going to leave/abandon you”, “do you want a hug?”.

at this time, please take a deep breath in, exhale and reflect for a moment on the world we now live in, look at that list and throw that shit out; let’s get real.

doctors have been devising drugs, treatments…yeah. or should i say…yah!…?

the last year has been a fucking nightmare. on the bright side, some have discovered new talents: baking , painting, diying (whatever the hell that is), eating, bing watching well anything, and there’s loads of social media shit.

more than ten souls have discovered doubt on a level.

those ten souls, alone for…a period of time, remembering all the times others have said; ‘i love you’…and it is heard, as the twenty-first century for ‘thanks’, ‘have a wonderful day’.

sane, well adjusted schmucks may, hopefully, not have experienced the descending spiral of depression. not the same for all. hey we’re all unique…in every fucking way.

you can google or bing support for poor souls that are depressed, but, news flash: google (or bing) have never been depressed (or happy as far as i know) and neither have the authors of the platitudes ( i.e;when questioned on the origin of depression, a co-developer of prozac responded: “if the human brain were simple enough to understand, we’d be to simple to understand it.”). and just what the fuck does that even mean.

depression is hell. you can not imagine hell; it is beyond comprehension/imagination. there are an infinite number of hells.

i will tell you now, straight up, if you want to help some soul you think is depressed – cause you ain’t gonna really know right? – meditate on these and understand it ain’t gonna be over in a minute.

you might begin with some thing like this: “i’m sorry you’re in so much pain. i’m not going to leave you. i’m going to take care of myself so you don’t have to worry about your pain hurting me.” for those rare times when you can be there.

“i can’t imagine what you’re feeling, but i’m here i’ll listen, and i’ll try to understand. i will listen.” if you choose to use this: mean it; commit, be open, remember you have no fucking idea what that soul feels but you’re going to try. you will also understand love on a new level.

“you are so, wonderfully…you.” self explanatory.

“i’m here.” and fuckin’ be there; check in…laugh when you call, drop by (really, now).

forget the crap about ‘draw-them-out’ (fresh meat for dinner) be there for the time they invite you in – the object here, for all you sane/well adjusted simpletons, is a meeting of the minds…a doubt, a fear, a pain shared and for that instant you know that soul, that soul. and that soul knows yours. you are then there for that soul.

for all the wonderful sw-a folks out there – you be souls too. all souls trying to understand other souls…arrogant shits, as soon as the word “understand” enters the conversation (in this context) you may immediately insert the word “judge” and or “rate”.

the meeting of the minds we discussed, i discussed, earlier, that shared moment of a doubt, a fear, a pain…you have to examine/feel that all over again you have to expose yourself to your soul. take an instantaneous stroll through real ‘discomfort’ (you’re gonna know white hot searing pain – just for a tiny bit).

there you have the off the cuff, very non-medical perspective on dealing with those other souls that may be approaching or in depression.


wanting to ‘help’ a depressed soul is a shitty way to start…’you’ are looking for recognition/praise for your good works. in the words of the bard; “fuck you and the white horse you rode in on.” (Lenny Bruce)

you may reach out (that is not the same as ‘helping’, idiot), but only if you are real and that’s the hard part. you must,must put the shit aside look at you, the mistakes, the shame, pain all the real things that you hide away…and show them off. do all that you can…to be honest.

when you hit honest, there may be tears…that’s good, alone or in the company of that other depressed soul. it means you’re a fucking human, enjoy.

Shed the fucking shit, be you, do good.

Just For Balance

I have, in the past, come to this site to rant, dream, share, cry, laugh, and say good-bye (at least twice).

Last year I was diagnosed with terminal cancer, endured six months of treatment (designed to keep you alive a little longer and much more uncomfortably…my opinion), seven months ago I stopped treatments (and any and all medications). I just worked on me, me accepting, me living until I die, me being at peace.

Yesterday…yesterday, after blood work and other invasions it was determined that for all their searching they could not detect any cancer. I am in total remission.

Not the shoe I expected.

Now I have to drag all this contentment/peace around all the time.

In this new world with so much pain, fear, and confusion my minor problem (feeling…good) is out of place.

Its OK, I’ve got a plan.