Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Umbrella -
Andrew Nagen - 09/04/1950 - 08/26/2005

We have said good-bye to our dear friend, Andrew.
He gave Robert the drawing, The Umbrella - shown here -
Robert felt it spoke to him at the exhibit at artspace - he felt that it was his role, he was the Umbrella. We have had the drawing for a few weeks - here is the
photo I took of it.

We loved him and he loved us.

i am a warrior
i am not at war
i am seeking peace.
i work for peace.
peace for us all.
peace for myself.
my struggles are your struggles.
my success is yours also.

i am a warrior.
the opponent is unseen.
i am a warrior.
the victory is not celebrated,
but felt.
the battles are bloodless
and brutal.
i am a warrior.
honor is my currency
and merchandise.

you are a warrior too.
your work is defined.
you proceed each day
until the sun drains you
and the moon cools you.
we all work together
as the best warriors do.
there is no war,
there is only living.
suit up!
time is passing. Andrew Nagen

Sunday, August 21, 2005


One night when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become-and where I would find myself-
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.

--Mark Strand

This is one of many datura in bloom at my home - Photos cannot
capture the beauty of these huge, pale lavender blossoms, such as
Georgia O'Keeffe painted. I understand now why she was so taken with them.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Redfish, Bluefish

That was the name of a restaurant on Captiva Island, Florida
which I passed by last week while we were vacationing in Sanibel
with Ana, Jody and Noah - We had a wonderful, relaxing break,
swimming in the languid waters of the Gulf of Mexico and playing
with our grandson. I'll be posting some photos from the trip when
I get the chance.

We left in the height of summer and came home to autumn - cool,
cloudy mornings and that subtle change in the light that signals
the end of relentless heat and the beginning of the slide toward
fall. I saw the nearly-full moon setting this morning, and was
reminded that the next new moon is likely Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish
New Year.

For a long time now, every Rosh Hashanah we would go to
Andrew Nagen's pond, to "cast our bread upon the waters."
Andrew would tool out there
in his motorized wheelchair,
and Robert would read from the prayer
book, while we crumbled crackers and bread
into the pond for the fabulous koi
to gobble up. Always, it would be a gorgeous day -
and there upon the waters,
we cast our sins, regrets, hopes and wishes
for a new year to come.

This year Andrew won't be coming to the pond,
at least not in his wheelchair.
He is in bed, only yards from the shimmering water,
but he can't go out to see the fish, swimming in the
sun under the surface. We have said our
good-byes, tears and laughter - lots of laughter,
especially, over the years we have been friends.
He especially loved to explore Robert's mind
and exchange the jokes and humor that they shared.

We will miss him so much and we pray that the passing
when it comes will be joyful and a true
experience of freedom - the hope of many years of
bread upon the waters -
a celebration of the brilliance of his spirit, released
from the burden of the body.

the end of a day today
front to back, top to bottom
it had everything.

sunrise sunset
trouble and joy
wearing a birthday suit

the doorbell rings
it is nobody somebody
here to deliver a serving of truth.

he hands me a package
it's warm and fragrant
a serving of truth on wry.

i tip him
say thank you
and ask for the recipe.

i am told
it is in my pantry
just add water.

i found it
watered it with tears
laughed and served it
to myself.

Andrew Nagen

Also see posts: i am warrior - remembering andrew nagen
and The Umbrella

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Here are some quick shots from our trip to
Florida - Noah is hard to catch these days,
he is running full-out headlong into life.
What infectious joy - sweetness and delight.