Friday, January 29, 2010


How can you

throw out

a seasonal plant

that still yearns?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger died Wednesday.

Is there anyone of my era who has not read Catcher In The RyeDidn't it grab everyone with this opening line, "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like ...?"  Didn't we all identify with Holden Caulfield, the 16-year-old student who runs away from his prep school during his Christmas break, looking for something genuine in a world full of "phonies?"  He drinks and dances and talks his way through a couple of days in the city, arriving at a moment of bittersweet joy as he watches his younger sister ride the carousel in Central Park.
The book that really stuck with me, though, was Franny and Zooey. And all because of these lines:  
"But I'll tell you a terrible secret — Are you listening to me? There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. That includes your [g.d.] Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his cousins by the dozens. There isn't anyone anywhere that isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. Don't you know that? Don't you know that [g.d.] secret yet? And don't you know — listen to me, now — don't you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It's Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy."
Whatever these lines mean to other readers, as a performer, they have stayed with me for decades.
( [g.d.'s] removed by me - never did get used to G. being tossed around, even for literary flavor)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shameless Promotion Of My Niece's Band

This is Neon Trees. Elaine is the drummer. She is awesome in every way. She was married Saturday.

Their reception was at Velour, the club where Neon Trees
has performed a lot.
You can buy the single, "Animal" on iTunes.
That's "Animal" by Neon Trees.
Buy it.
They have an album coming out soon.
Buy it.
(see more of Elaine on upper right sidebar)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ten Things That Make Me Happy (I've Been Tagged)

When the elegant Christella asked me to  list ten things which make me happy, I was glad because I've been in a mafor fund lately with the care of my (soon-to-be) 96-year-old mother. I hope the people that I have tagged at the bottom of this post realize that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS to make me happy) - It's just a small suggestion.
Ten (In No Particular Order Of Importance) Things That Make Me Happy:
1. Blogging - I've met some extraordinary people and gotten in touch with friends and family in a different way through this forum. It has also released my writing bug, which had gone exoskeletal for a  number of years. I originally started just because it was free and I thought it was a great way to organize my published pieces. 
2. Performing -  I haven't done it for years.  This is probably the place I am happiest, so if you see less of me from now on, it's because I'm working on my One Woman Show: Redoing The Undone (or I'm organizing a flash opera scene like YouTube's "Doe, a Deer")

3. My Family - and yes, I include my Granddogs.

4. Nature - Being able to go to my cabin (which includes hiking, biking and snowshoeing).

5. Books, books and more books. I am what I am today because of books.
6. The two best Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Brands on the planet. Yes, I know I will suffer the outrageous slings and furrows that flesh is heir to, but while I'm eating it, I'm extremely happy.
7. My Friends - and that includes my family and my bloggies.
8. The Arts - I love them all. I am what I am today because of The Arts.

9. My Body - and my knowledge of Anatomy gained through teaching at UCMT (local massage school). Through the senses, my un-Barbie-like body provides access to all the activites I enjoy.
10. My Solitude - I enjoy my own company and feel so grateful for several "rooms of my own" - especially the one inside my head.
The Tags: (some of these people may have already done this - like I said - no pressure:
Autumn: (my daughter-in-law):
Jonas: (already tagged by Christella - but the blog is worth looking at)
Yes, I know I've tagged more than 10, but some people might not even get over here to see that they've been tagged. It's optional. And it's my way of encouraging you to visit these blogs.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Sad King

by grandson, Ethan Edwards, age 9

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Question

This is what my mother said when she learned that my husband and I, along with several members of his family were planning to raft Westwater Canyon. That same year a man had lost his life at Skull Rapids. Her exact words, "Oh, Kass, why invite death?" It became our slogan for the trip as we did flip at Skull Rapids. My husband was sucked under the entire length of the raft. Somehow, we all managed to avoid death or serious injury. We all went bobbing along until we managed to regroup and continue our adventure. A family member who has his own foundry made us all a belt buckle like this.  It is one of my treasures.
How many times in our lives have we taken risks for the sake of a thrill, or in the least, an enhanced experience? 

Here in the west, we have a little re-enactment called the Pioneer Trek. It is supposed to keep the pioneer spirit alive as participants impose upon themselves the same hardships endured by their ancestors. In 2008, a 14-year-old girl and a 74-year-old man were killed when a man in a pick-up with the sun in his eyes plowed into the back of their handcart. This was a freak accident and could have happened even if the group were not ambling along the highway dressed as Pioneers. But people, REALLY, isn't there a better way to appreciate the pioneers? (I have a problem with imposed hardships - and that includes most reality shows). 

We all take risks. Some of us weigh the probable outcome of our actions more than others. I know that I am in my second wildhood. I do dumb things. Last year when I was standing on the roof of my cabin with a foot on each side of the peak, being all one with nature, I knew it was kinda dumb. As I wedged a huge piece of snow off the roof, the whole slab of snow whooshed down in one peice. As I quickly picked up my right foot, I muttered, "Oh shit."

As I was riding down the canyon later that day, semi-congratulating myself for removing the snow so quickly, the left front tire suddenly flew off my truck (seems the mechanic had forgotten to tighten the lug nuts correctly). I spun around several times and landed off the road and into the mountain. My weirdly calm thoughts as I was spinning: "So this is what it's like to die or get in a really bad accident." 

I guess a lot of my actions seem to invite death (according to my mother), but truth be told, I don't mind the idea of death at all. It's the next adventure.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"You Can't Handle The Truth"


"You want answers?" - Col. Jessup (Jack Nickolson)
"I think I'm entitled." - Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise)
"You want answers?" - Col. Jessup
"I want the truth!" - Lt. Kaffee
"You can't handle the truth!" - Col Jessup

How entitled are the people in your life to the truth?  

I have found that age and certain damages in my life have distorted my sense of TRUTH and my willingness to tell all of it. The closer I creep toward my demise, the more I wonder about my own integrity and my version of honesty. There are certain lies I once told and lived that I may never be able to justify to myself or anyone else.

My research into narcissism tells me this inquiry is a good indication that I'm not totally disordered. But I wonder long and hard about those people who sit in judgment and set up criteria for normalcy and ethics. And I wonder about the point of existence in general. Is life about pursuing a moral definition of self? Or is that just a literary device?

Honesty is hard work. It's easier to tell people what they want to hear. Dishonesty is functional. It helps us adapt. No one is completely open with anyone else. We would destroy each other if we were. We all use our version of the truth to manipulate our situation and we justify it by saying all words are lies because they are merely a representation of "something else." 

Do I lie and contort the truth because I deem some people not worthy or intelligent enough to truly understand my intentions? Politicians seem to do this. Margaret Thatcher said she didn't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes she had to be evasive. Alexander Haig said, "That's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation." President Reagan said, "The record seems to say that I traded arms for hostages, but in my heart I did not."   Mark Sanford's, "I'm hiking The Appalachian Trail," upon utterance, became an instant euphemism for, "I'm going to see my mistress." And we all know what Bill Clinton said about the word "is." 

St. Thomas Aquinas (following Plato, Aristotle, and others) understood truth to be the correspondence between what we think and the way things really are. Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel and others talked about a coherence theory, where a new truth must be logically valid and consistent with other known truths. David Hume and the American pragmatists emphasized the role of experience in identifying truth. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said truth is effective communication, and that it exists among a community of truth seekers (who can never reach the fullness of truth, which is God). The more philosophers talk about truth, the more frustrated and agitated I become (giving more evidence to the theory that all philosophers want is to be unhappy more intelligently).

Privacy and secrecy are other areas where the handling of truth comes into question. The access others have to our personal lives and what is appropriate to know about one another seems to be up for grabs in the media.  In which cases do we have the right to know someone's truth?

I realize I am posing more questions than I am supplying answers to the question of what truth is and how we apply it in our lives. How can we make any intelligent choices in an immoral world if we haven't pinned down, locked in, our own code of honesty?

Writers have a way of justifying lying because it is a construct of the imagination. The realm of ideas is our only escape from mortality. And this is true for non-writers as well. We cheat...we lie...because at certain moments, we may not be sure there are consequences after we die. There seems to be less evidence of mystical intervention at the time of a questionable action or utterance.  And what is more appealing than a lie of the mind?  "Get me out of this hum-drum situation," we seem to be saying when we lie or cheat. We put our minds to the side when we are beside ourselves in the heat of our most basic natures. I was "beside" myself and therefore not present. 

Cheating seems to suggest the lowest form of lying. We equate lying to a spouse or partner to lying to the self. If you've made a promise to another, you've made it to yourself. And yet, why aren't we more sympathetic to the cheater as the victim of his own lying? Tiger asked me this just the other day - Oh no, I vowed I would not ever write about Tiger. Sorry.

Does the truth depend on where you're standing when you observe it? What about the notion that 'the truth' or reality is more than one thing? It seems to me, whether or not we can define, let alone handle it, the truth is a constant variable, given to infinite interpretation.

How about we just keep it simple by trying to be as real as we can in our relationships? Try to be as honest as humanly possible in our expressions and disclosures and then honestly listen?  Barkis is willin'.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Some Self-Promoting Blogs Seem To Be Saying (maybe even mine)

scroll me baby
click me
link me
oh yes baby
I'm here for you
pop my window up
older post me
drag me
to your desktop
dilly dally
around my sidebar
I don't care
if you have others

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What's The Story Behind Your Blog's Name?

When I was born, my parents said I cried like a kitten so I was known as Kitty all of my early growing-up years. When I was seven, we moved across town and that was the turning point for changing into Kathy. My real name is Kathryn. I have only used Kathryn when I publish, perform or do something legal (or get caught doing something illegal).

My family calls me Kass. That derived from a phrase my older sister, Kris taunted me with, and yes, my parents like the "K" sound - my other sister's name is Carolyn and my Mom's name is Carol - kinda reminds you of that old song, "K-k-k, Katie?" doesn't it?  In fact, my mom used to stutter and get mixed up calling us.  Anyway, back to the "Kass" derivition - Kris's taunt was, "Kathroom, the bathroom." This morphed into "Kassroom, the bassroom, shortened to Kass. Later, I was Lady, the Maid(y), who makes the bed and plays the violin" - which morphed into our own special pronunciation and language, "Led, the Med, who mecks the bed and plehs the vul-en." But I digress. This has nothing to do with the no-longer silent "K."

When I was looking for a blog name, I thought of "The Silent K."   I'm intrigued by the use of K in these words: knockwurst, knapsack, knot, knee, knead, knoll, knives, knob and knitting. I also like knocking on doors that open. I like the idea of knightly knaves wearing knickers having a knack for knutty knowledge. I like the idea of being known. All of these nifty 'N' sounding words include a K that is silent. Only problem: "The Silent K" blog title was taken. So I became no longer silent (which is strange to Pom Poms, Marie and my family that reads my blog - they have KNEVER known me to be silent - maybe I should have titled my blog "No Silent 'K' Here"). The End. what's your story?