Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seattle in June 2020

It’s a rainy June day in Seattle.

Today the grey clouds and rain, a welcome change.

The peace roses outside my window in bloom.

Hues of yellow, cream, and pink.

A welcome break from the police violence.

All the protestors want is to be heard, peacefully.

Rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, and gas warfare are unnecessary.

Please take off your armor.

Disarm your weapons, throw them to the ground.

March with us. 

I’m at home in my green walled room.

I’ve been too afraid of covid19 to march in protest.

I must manage my mental health.

While an excuse, it’s still giving in to fear.

Fear that if I’m exposed that I will put my older mother in danger of dying because she is part of the vulnerable group.

But that is what the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter movement is all about.

It’s about showing us white folk the fear, violence, and injustice that Blue folk have been doing to them since America started. Blue uniforms with red on the mind.

Facebook posting isn’t enough.

You gotta show up too.

Voting will help… But that’s months away.

March in June.

In the name of love.

Song of the post, Pride by U2:

Song of the week: Pride (In the name of love) -Live- By U2.

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Don’t forget to wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19! The facebook page is also what I use to post updates if late, like I was last week.

Not a eulogy, a letter of hope.

There was no way I could understand why I was having so much trouble writing yesterday until I found out my grandfather is in the hospital from a fall, breaking his hip. Sometimes inspiration is from something nobody wants. Pain…

The man, the foundation of the Anderson family.
Gumpa, 91 years old!

        “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon.

    Dear Gumpa, Please let this be well wishes and not a eulogy!

    I sincerely hope this isn’t the last time I can write to you. You are in the hospital with a broken hip. From a fall. It’s quarantine, so this means you are in the hospital in a room alone. No visitors allowed. No zoom. I believe you are unconscious. I don’t know. My mom, Therese, found out about 40 minutes ago. –A text from Uncle Paul. Something like… “Don fell last night, and broke his hip. He’s in the hospital at Cherry Hill in the emergency room. Pray.”

As I’m sitting here on the back porch, smoking pot like I now do, (It’s okay, it’s not an addiction. I have tight control of my consumption!) I realize just how awful I’ve been to you by rarely visiting you as an adult, period. I’m ashamed of myself for not driving to visit you on a regular basis. My poor excuse is that I haven’t because I’ve been deeply depressed for the last 12 years. I deeply regret not visiting. Your last letter you sent us, broke my heart too.

I’m sad you didn’t respond back to my letter I wrote. I assumed that meant you were done with us. I’m an idiot. I’ll ask you in person. I’m praying for your life. I’m not a religious person. I’m doing all I can from afar to wish you life. I pray this fall is merely a hip injury. That you live so we can fix all this. I don’t want the end to come.

The connection between my phone and the speaker was interrupted for a few seconds just now, cutting off Miles Davis, So what? From playing. I love jazz thanks to you. I hope this wasn’t a grim sign regarding you. Please let it be a technical failure. Please let these tears soaking my face only be to my agony I feel because you are in pain. In pain, but alive. I’m begging because it’s all I can do while the family and I wait. Wait for the unknown future when we find out the results of the fall. “It’s gonna come sometime…” I croak, barely able to speak to the shock to my mom as we take this in on this amazing May afternoon.

Tragedy has always struck on gorgeous days in my life. Please let this be an aberration. I need to thank you. I don’t know if it’s possible in words or any human expression to tell you how much I appreciate you, how much I care for you, and love you. I’ve made so much life progress the past year that I need to show you how much better as a person I’ve become!

I’m working on fixing the mess I’ve made in my relationships. I don’t mind if you think I’m Dad, or if you don’t recognize me. I deeply regret not visiting you. I’m ashamed of myself for this. I’d understand if you were angry. I’ve been isolated for long periods of the past 6 years because of my depression. To be lonely, to feel lonely and alone, is truly an agony beyond comparison. I know how it feels. I’m sorry.

For the rest of my life, I’ll always be reminded of you every time jazz plays. My love of jazz is an eternal gift from you. I cannot imagine a life without you. You are the Rock solid foundation of our family. The gentle Trombone Jazz musician.

I call you “Gumpa” because you were reading a Wizard of Oz book you read to me as a child. There is a character in that book, named “The Gump”, and I guess it reminded me of you. I shortened “grandpa” to “Gumpa” because I love you so much to give you a nickname… And because young me couldn’t say “grandpa”. From then on, that’s what all of us call you.

You and I didn’t talk too much, being mirror images of each other… Classic introverts, barely saying much, but never had to. Because we understand each other without saying a word. We’re both in the moment, quietly observing. Sitting in joy at the rowdy large family thanksgivings and Christmases with everyone there. “Two peas in a pod!” Someone said about us. We both shrugged indifferently, in unison.

I don’t want to stop writing. I feel if I do, that means… the worst. In tribute, I’m still listening to jazz. Maybe it’ll reach you wherever you are, and bring you back in health to us. Hang in there… Please live so we can reconnect. I do want to visit. Quarantine or Covid-19 be damned. I’ll still be safe, be wise, and do all the right things like you taught me.

You are a good man, and deserve far better from me. I am going to fix this when you get out and are feeling healthy again. I’m so sorry for breaking your heart. Because I couldn’t give you a minimum 10 lousy minutes every so often. I am deeply sorry I haven’t been a better grandson. I regret not visiting… Please be well. Please live! Please let this not be a eulogy! 

One last thing: I was going to make Gumbo for dinner tomorrow, but I’m doing it tonight, now. Cooking it, and eating it will remind me of you and grandma Julie at the dining room table in your house. It’s in the evening and the sun is shining in. It’s dinnertime, all is right in the world. I don’t want this dream to end.

Your Grandson, Reilly.

Album of the week: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

If you enjoyed reading this, give it a like, comment, follow and share on Facebook, and subscribe to my email list! Don’t forget to wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19! Don’t make my mistake and call or video chat your elder family members. You may never see them by the time Quarantine expires! If you do, be safe because they are the most vulnerable to this virus. That is love. Yes you can stay 6 feet away, and wear a damn mask. Not wearing a mask and not maintaining physical distance around the vulnerable such as the elderly, children, and the sick means you are selfish and don’t give a crap about life or family values. Show me, not tell me who you are and what you value.

The Gumbo I mentioned. It’s my own recipe.

Edits: Added Gumbo picture, made it on Saturday. I made a mistake with Gumpa’s age. He is 91 instead of 95. Sorry!

Self Care Compromise

This crow and others have been hanging out in my back yard. For a couple years now a family of crows has been visiting us in the late spring and summer as part of their migration. My mother and I have been feeding them nuts by placing them on the deck railing. When we go inside, they swoop in and take the nuts away.

I haven’t done the best job editing this piece. It’s a second draft at best. It’s the best I can do right now with the capacity I have.

I’m worn out on all fronts. My muscles and body aches far more than usual because I’m spending all my time during quarantine on my desktop PC. My spine and neck are out of whack. My usual routine stretching and massaging sore or stiff muscles with my rolling foam cylinder isn’t working. I’m due for a chiropractor appointment, but I’m helpless because of the quarantine. I’m waiting for an email back from my doctor to see what I can do at home to help.

My brain is exhausted because I had a therapy appointment yesterday. I usually have a “therapy hangover” for days after depending on how intense therapy was. My therapist and I are on appointment 11. Things are going well. Yesterday was productive despite me having a muscle tension headache. I pushed myself too hard. This is a really bad habit I have, that I need to stop. My therapist was kind to suggest rescheduling our session for today. I chose not to, to work through my physical pain, because… I’m afraid that I’ll be abandoned by a therapist again. It’s already happened for good and bad reasons 6 times the past 12 years. I’ve been trying so hard to reach the peak of the therapist mountain seeking help. Each fall more devastating as I have to recover from worsening wounds by myself.

Now that I’m here, I’ve been working my ass off building the bridge to the next mountain within my soul, because I’ve wanted to be healed my entire adult life. This looks like: watching videos on YouTube about therapy, relationships, mental health, and self improvement like a job for 35+ hours a week during quarantine. I’m in spiritual pain from multiple grief events the past 6 months. I had to have my 18 year old cat euthanized in December. He was my best friend. (Sorry human readers, my Facebook circle. I do appreciate you, but my cat Flip was my best friend for 18 years.) My coworkers and I were laid off in January because the company went out of business. I poorly wrote a confession love letter to a woman I’d known for 26 years and was rejected. I made things worse by posting online about it.

This emotional wound hasn’t healed all the way yet. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I’m sure a country or blues song could be written about it. It was catastrophic heartbreak for both of us. My word count production has been focused on soothing my emotional wounds instead of soothing my creative need.

The rejection-breakup event destroyed me. It’s so traumatic that it’s changed my belief system about love, myself, relationships, and dating. An ego death.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both lost the Democratic primary. They were my first and second choice for candidates for 2020 POTUS. Andrew Yang would have been awesome too. I’d be okay with Pete Buttigieg. Biden as a choice is an exasperated sigh. I suppose this better than the diarrhea fart that is POTUS 45. So, I lost this year with politics too.

Covid-19 quarantine happened in March here in Washington state. It was the correct step to take for the sake of the world, the country, and the state. For my life, it’s a disaster on the scale of Mount Rainier erupting. Quarantine times grief to the 3rd power is a star going supernova into a black hole. A black hole which will only expire on its own time. In a way, time in solitude is exactly what I need right now. It been hell, but I believe that I am finally seeing life clearly now. I see who is there for me. What I value, and what I want to be in the future. One step forward is progress.

So all of these words are me giving permission to myself to rest. I’m listening to the feedback my body and mind are giving me. This year’s theme so far is: starting on a new path. I feel that the previous era of my life has ended. I will not repeat the same mistakes again.

Songs of the week:

If you enjoyed reading this, give it a like, comment, follow and share on Facebook, and subscribe to my email list!

Don’t forget to wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

Have a good week!