Bookish Osmosis (Some Imagination Required)

 Bookish Osmosis is happening . . .

 But, WAIT:  do I have the right word?

os·mo·sis  äzˈmōsəs,äsˈmōsəs/  

Gradual or unconscious assimilation … ideas, knowledge, etc …:

"What she knows of the blue-blood set 

she learned not through birthright, 

not even through wealth, but  through osmosis."

subtle or gradual absorption or mingling: 

"He never studies but seems to learn by osmosis."  

Informally, “osmosis” … information or concepts come to a person without conscious effort:

“Living in Paris, he learned French slang by osmosis."

Yes.  I have the right word, osmosis.  Bookish osmosis brings words, ideas, sentences into the heart and mind, from books, held close (my theory).  I am nudged in my psyche and my passion, when I think of writers who may have experienced bookish osmosis:  Annie Proulx, Anton Chekov, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, Daniel Silva, Maya Angelou, Tim Cahill, John le Carre, CS Lewis, William Blake, Brad Thor, Douglas Adams, Nelson Demille, Craig Johnson, Vince Flynn …  and Keith Richards; George Orwell; Anthony Burgess (see photos, below).

Image result for Images Keith Richards library
Keith Richards / Rolling Stones … close to his books, listening to his guitar.
Image result for images famous writers and their books
George Orwell, close to books.



Related image
Anthony Burgess, listening to books.



My “book-eyes” are bigger than the hours of the day.  My desire for good books, transcendent characters, kick-ass plots, great stories, goes beyond what is realistic.  And that, my fellow bloggers, is why I am holding out for bookish osmosis.

Grieving Over, Yet?

I woke up this morning, a good place to start.  In my goings, my comings, my interactions, I am asked that profound question that has been lurking close by, since the dinosaurs: “How are you doing today?”

Me: “How ‘you doin’?”

Others: “I’m doin’ good.  How you doin’?”  (Just like the commercial, with a New York accent – “How You Doin’?  I’m Doin’ Good.  How You Doin’?”)

Me: “Well, I woke up, this morning. That suggested that it was going to be a good day.”

I have a theory: most people know, that on some level, it is good to wake up.  Not everyone wakes up.  This morning, when sleep slipped away, I thought of my grieving.  Anyone who has (miraculously) read any of my posts might know that my dad finished up his race (a metaphor for his life), last year, 2016, June.  The grieving process has, seemingly,not been, successful.  Some say that this kind of loss involves a lengthy process, longer than a year and four months.  And yet, I’ve been on the other side of the forest from joy, from victory, from strength, from my dreams … Get the picture? The weariness of grief shows up in more ways than one: the darkness, the sadness, lack of motivation, the loss of dreams.  Evenings, the fatigue may hit like a freight train.  I don’t think this is as simple as I would like it to be.  Is your grieving over?  To think, that there is more life, a different life, just over the horizon.  That is a good thought.  Some of you have already reached that point.  Don’t stop: I’m right behind you.

Sunset Other Side of the Trees




Oreos, Dreams, Realities

Image result for Images Oreos‘Couple of Oreos in the night after a disruptive dream. I could not quite remember the details. The Oreos were amazing.  A son, undisputedly handsome with a good, a noble, heart, intelligent, awareness of his world sharper than a sword, gifted in a way that he did not ask for, bringing him intermittent sorrow, coexisting with joy, a sense of humor, robust imagination, warrior spirit.  I had my share of wounds, lost at times in a world that moves much faster than I can grasp, my own creativity I cannot get to, I look for trails but they are unfairly elusive.  I found myself grieving for a man who was and is a legend, who loved well, lived well, laughed well, my friend and my dad.  But none of the dream was a dream.  Reality has a great deal of mystery, at times.

I was walking with a woman, swirled in beauty with blonde hair and with unfathomable wisdom, a saint of a mother with the spunk to tell me when I was wrong, who married me in spite of me and my wounds and groaner jokes.  Two younger ones looked up to me with love and respect, and I was confused by that: a daughter with eyes that can see into the depths of the journey, the hearts and souls of others; my son who creates so many things, his laughs radiate outward and inward toward others.  I stood in Scotland at the castle Dunnotar, and at the Loch Ness hoping for a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Ness “monster”.  I walked along the ice road between McMurdo Station and Willy Field (camp) in Antarctica.  I sat in the Christchurch Cathedral, putting together some pieces, there at the Christchurch Square.  But the dream was not a dream.  They are sparkling realities and memories I keep close.

Now? Or Before?

I stumbled out of slumber; resistance, prolific (an exaggeration).  No turning back.  Onward.  Life moves toward the finish line, while some still live in the past, keeping a strong focus on memories, life in the rear-view mirror.  I struggle at times, embracing  present and future, vigilantly keeping the past at bay.  I grieve for the loss of my dad, who honorably crossed that profound finish line in June of 2016; ten months have passed.  I remember so much about my dad, the adventures; the pain of what I missed out on, important words unsaid.  I shake my head with frustration: the grieving has gone on for just shy of a year.  I want to wrap this up, move onward from my dad, let him enjoy the great festival of freedom and joy, released from this jaded world.

Image result for Images map of Noatak, AlaskaEven with my intent to be present, in the “here-and-now”, images, people, memories, drift in from the past.  Intrigue.  Curiosity.  Recently, I stumbled across a picture of an Inupiat family in  Noatak, Alaska.  A good-looking family, from 1929. The Inupiat are in northern / northwestern Alaska, and  part of the Northwest Territories.  Inupiat traditional territory spanned Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canada-United States border.  

Inupiat_Family_from_Noatak,_Alaska,_1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872)
1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872) …  

Noatak sits on the west bank of the Noatak River, 55 miles north of Kotzebue, 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This is the only settlement on the 396 mile-long Noatak River, just west of the 66-million acre Noatak National Preserve.  Noatak was a fishing and hunting camp in the 19th century, evolving into a permanent settlement.  In 1880, the census listed the site as Noatagamut: “inland river people.”  A post office was established in 1940.  So, you could probably send a letter there if you felt so inclined.

A beautiful woman, a radiant mother, exuding a quiet, authentic, joy.  The man, with an enigmatic mix of confidence, strength, and peace.  The little one, surrounded by fur and love.  Below, a photograph, an Inupiat group heading out to fish in their kayaks, the same year, 1929, by the same photographer, also in Noatak.  I wonder if the Inupiat man (above), is one of the Noatak kayak-fishermen ( below)?  

Eskimos in kayaks, Noatak, Alaska. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, ca. 1929. Edward S. Curtis Collection at the Library of Congress

 I revisit stories and individuals in the past.  I draw strength from them.  Going back “there” empowers me to move forward, onward.  C.S. Lewis’s words resonate:  Image result for Quotes Onward

Some parts of the stories, I do not know.  I visit the lives of  sojourners who have gone before us, highlighting mystery.  Mystery is very much alive, all over: the mystery of how love works, how love looks; how to find meaning and joy in our circumstances and our stories; gazing into a ravishing sunset; seeing a harvest moon arise, especially when one is not expecting it; and the Northern Lights.   Within this tension between reflections on the past and returning to the present and the future, I am there.  The grieving process … mysteriously … continues, longer than what I would like.  The grieving process continues beyond my timetable; I want to know more about the mystery of the man, my father; and the memories.  My cell phone still shows me the current time.  My heart continues to beat.  My breathing continues.  The future is around the bend, and I cannot hold it back.  I live in the present, and I ride it like a wild bull.  I hold on for the ride of my life.















April, I walked into the trees, climbed up on a rock, belted out a song and a high spirited howl of joy.  Spring was (cautiously) emerging!  Winter was waiting in the wings until our guard was down.

By May, winter left town.  Summer came too soon, pushing spring out.  An injustice, Spring had flown the coop, way too early.  Seasons can be harsh, unfair, fickle.  Indeed, spring had slipped out the back, Jack.Image result for images Winter in Colorado In the “here-and-now”, leaves are turning their colors, gradually gliding downward.  A one-time dusting of snow came, September.  Other than that, we are holding on to fall as long as we can. img_0848  I am in another season: I am pushing through a few barriers of resistance.  Any of us, at any given time, may find ourselves in such a place; our awareness tells us that change is important; but the change is delayed.

The delay comes out of our reluctance to change; the reluctance comes because there is a “pay-off”.  We are getting something we want from that which needs to change.  To break through the barriers of a difficult season: I need a blend of specific, trustworthy, wise, supportive, and sensitive  individuals to walk with; and I need some time to “sit in” a desert place of pain, to think through the process, the motives for wanting to leave what is familiar, and the implications of stepping into (again) the unknown.  What will change look like?  Peace be with you, sojourning bloggers.  Keep writing.

It Is Spring, It Is Not, It Is Good

This post was to go out a couple of weeks ago.  Bummer.

I thought I would hold off before I stood up on a chair and belt out a song and a yawp of joy … Spring has been elusive, winter waiting until our guard was down, believing that Spring was bully here … and then rushing in like fierce snow birds, snow bunnies, snow squirrels.  Now, I think that the snow is over, for the year.  True, anything can happen.  Snow in June?? Not yet.  The injustice, here, is that Spring has almost flown the coop; slipped out the back, Jack; gone for the year … We may have a little  Spring left.   Those seasons, they keep changing. Such a simple statement, with profound implications.  Our seasons in our lives, they look different for all of us.   Me … I belief that I am in a season where I’m breaking through barriers of resistance.  It is one thing to decide that it is your / my season … to break through barriers; and an entirely different matter to do it.  This idea (you have already heard about)  that sometimes the places we are at in life, struggling with certain issues, difficulties, offer us something, like a “pay-off”, and because of that we choose to stay, to linger, in these places.  Those places might be in a desolate canyon with very few trees.  Or, anxiety is dominant, or we wear depression like a heavy wool topcoat.  And some might say that we struggle to move on, to move out, of those places … because we find some paradoxical comfort there.  Maybe it is “the known”, versus “the unknown”.  My final thought is this.  For us to break through the barriers of a difficult season: we need a blend of specific, trustworthy, wise, supportive, and sensitive  sojourners to walk with us; and we also need to embrace the reality that we must have some time to “sit in” a desert place of pain, to think through the process, the motives for wanting to leave what is familiar, and the implications of stepping into (again) the unknown.  Peace be with you, sojourning bloggers.  And, keep writing.