Friday, June 27, 2003

Gerald Joseph Weissinger, my father, was born
in Philadelphia on November 22, 1913. He had 12 siblings.
He was married to Helen Owens for sixty years, and fathered
four children: Carol, Connie, Linda and Mark.
He was a machinist and a working-man.
Gerry crossed over on May 27, 2003, in Van Buren,

Here are a few stanzas of a poem I wrote last November -

For the time being, my dad’s
in a home—not his own—
at the end of the road, at the end
of Maine where nurses speak French
a language which he does not

Gerry roams the halls of Borderview
on swollen feet, cranky and demanding,
pushing his merry-walker, getting
his days and nights mixed up.

He eats his pudding, takes his pills.
The days, the years, the decades blend.
My sisters and I are interchangeable.

He waits for something to happen,
wonders if it’s time: for the time being.
Nurses feed and change him, keep him warm
dressed and dry, and so he asks—

“I’m fine. Can I go home now?”

But he isn’t going home—alone
two years now mom is gone—
the little house in Caribou was
sold to pay the freight for this
his last resort. His term
is terminal at Borderview.

My father’s lost his glasses, but he
hears the geese fly in from Canada—
turns his white head eastward, peers
down the frozen St. John River—
from the edge of one life to another—
across the fog-veiled border
where winds cut to the bone.

It has been three weeks since my last blog entry - the
longest stretch since I started this thing. I have been
paralyzed, it seems, by ennui and a blank perspective.
Many thoughts and images stream by, but it seems
unecessary to share them. Long, long light. A million
tiny bugs suspended in light. Summer grass, smoke in
the air, bosque burning. Brilliant gold and hot, until the
sun drops and the cool air rises off the field.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Larkspur in June

Flower Picking

The garden proffered bloom for us to pick.
My beauty, do you know how many flowers,
Tea roses pale from love around your head,
Wither and die each year?

Their stems will bend before the rising wind.
Rose petals are strewn before us on the path.
Gather them, lovely, for our own dreams’ flowers
Will fade tomorrow too!

Put them in a cup and close the doors.
Languid and cruel, thinking of days gone by,
We shall watch the roses’ agony of love
A death-rattle amid perfume.

The garden blooms no more, my egotist.
Day’s butterflies have fled to other flowers,
And now the only visitors will be
The butterflies of night.

The flowers will die profane to be indoors.
Our roses one by one shed all their grief.
O beauty, shed a tear...Each flower that fades
It is a love that dies!

(Guillaume Apollinaire, translated from the French)

Monday, June 02, 2003

I have two photos from North Carolina to post --
the first is an interesting roadside attraction --

The next one is a waterfall, somewhere in
Transylvania County - We saw at least six waterfalls,
and stood in the mist in the brightest green woods,
fragrant with laurel, rhododendron and azaleas...

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Here's a sweet moment snapped in the mountains of
North Carolina where we spent last weekend - Noah visiting
with the Buddha...

We're back from our trip for nearly a week, and just
beginning to feel on solid ground. Still trying to digest
the thoughts, impressions and experiences that a trip
back in time has whirled us through.

We went to Robert's 25th chiropractic class reunion
in Spartanburg, South Carolina - our first time back in all
those years. It was an amazing rush to see so many people
and remember the old days at SCSC -- a time of intense
growth and community, left long behind.

Driving around South Carolina, mostly in the rain, we tried
to sort our memories out of the changing landscape. It was a
place where the sixties hadn't happened, a time-warp that got
unstuck somewhere and grew up. Now it looks pretty much
like Anywhere USA.

Heading out to Glendale by instinct, we came to the bridge
over Lawson's Fork Creek -- flooding in torrents of red-clay
foaming water, streaming and frothing through the valley.

We found the farm where Ariana was born, 25 years ago.
Of course the old house is gone - it probably fell down when
the pipeline came through the land. The mystery was what
happened to the pond, and the thousand pink roses?
I guess they filled in the pond. The back field was still the
same, the lay of the land, the blackberry brambles, where
I used to run along the woods edge. It was somewhat
disorienting to comprehend the changes, but as we left we
picked some pink roses by the road. I was there with my grown
daughter, and my grandson, struggling to remember this was
where she first came into the world, this very spot.

Here's a picture I took of Ana and Noah, at the reunion -
with the digital camera.
I'll post more photos from the Pentax when I get them developed.