One-Sentence Journal, Weeks Ninety-Two and Ninety-Three

  1. 05/07/2017:  A slow day at work followed by a couple hours of solitude reminds me how perfectly suited I am to the withdrawn life.
  2. 05/08/2017:  The Clark Fork is really beginning to boom with spring runoff, and it is equal parts frightening and magnificent.
  3. 05/09/2017:  Mom is headed to England and I wish I could have stowed-away in her luggage, then expatriated myself while she connected in Paris.
  4. 05/10/2017:  Remembering fondly my years in Washington, where everywhere I went I was peacefully anonymous.
  5. 05/11/2017:  Lots of burly love in the air when Aaron Draplin rolls into town.
  6. 05/12/2017:  I sleep through the opening five minutes of yoga class and only the thoughtfulness of my instructor, who leaves the outer door unlocked, saves Day 16 of my 30-day challenge.
  7. 05/13/2017:  The Bitterroot River is running high while California Quail sneak through the bushes, and an owl calls me closer.
  8. 05/14/2017:  The decadent luxury of sleeping in until 7:30 AM.
  9. 05/15/2017:  Some much-needed contentment, however brief, and the pastel colors of evening sunsets in spring.
  10. 05/16/2017:  The first hummingbird sighting of the season outside my window leads to a rapid reconfiguration of the feeder farm and the immediate production of a batch of sugar water.
  11. 05/17/2017:  A yard covered in snow this morning.
  12. 05/18/2017:  Stopping in a bar to meet a friend for a beer, the televisions blare “President Trump!” this, and “President Trump!” that, and all I can wonder is if there were ever two words less suited to follow one after the other?
  13. 05/19/2017:  My old cat, Kitten, a 20-year veteran of my household, went on to the great beyond without me, where she will no doubt wait to keep me awake late at night with her random fuck-with-mes well into eternity.
  14. 05/20/2017:  Roughly forty ounces of coffee were no match for a long week culminating in Day 24 of my 30-day yoga challenge.

One-Sentence Journal, Weeks Ninety and Ninety-One

I’ve been writing these consistently, pencil on paper (I think I’ve only missed two weeks this year), but I’ve fallen behind in posting them. I’ll see if I can get caught up here, two weeks at a time.

  1. 04/09/2017:  An upside to occasionally reviewing books for hire is that I may lounge around on a Sunday morning drinking coffee and still feel like I’m working.
  2. 04/10/2017:  United screws the pooch again when it comes to handling a traveler, and it amuses me how people say they should have paid someone to take a different flight, as if, given the circumstances, money is the only way to motivate someone to stand in for a fellow clearly distraught.
  3. 04/11/2017:  Parked at the river with a book, I was surprised at the high level of anxiety I felt for every person — among many on a sunny, if chilly, evening — who passed with their off-leash dog running amok … illegally of course, a circumstance I’m usually not overly concerned with.
  4. 04/12/2017:  5:20 AM, nearly 50° outside, with a near full moon glowing through tears in a thick bank of clouds hanging over the mountains.
  5. 04/13/2017:  Bookstore event with John Gierach, a fantastic writer, that led to drinks afterward with a small group of friends, mostly new, in the legendary Missoula bar, Charlie B’s.
  6. 04/14/2017:  Add Butte, America to the list of places I’d love to time travel to to witness it really jumping during its heyday.
  7. 04/15/2017:  Sunshine, wind, randy birds, odd cloud formations, and grauple were all elements of a chilly and lovely Saturday that ended all too soon.
  8. 04/23/2017:  Bottles, cans, and copious cigarette butts at the river signify the return of the ignorant philistine to  my revered sauntering grounds.
  9. 04/24/2017:  My age and gender often trick people into assuming I own the bookstore, especially when I am there alone … but I’ve been accused of far worse.
  10. 04/25/2017:  The old cat grumbles and wheezes her way through a couple minutes at the kibble bowl in the hallway behind me, then shuffles back to her cushion, dragging my heart in her wake.
  11. 04/26/2017:  Like a weekend extended with a long distance lover, the lingering spring days of clouds, rain, and occasional flashes of sunlight prolong the uplift of my spirit.
  12. 04/27/2017:  On the bright side, I saw this year’s pair of great horned owlets for the first time tonight.
  13. 04/28/2017:  A three-hour nap in the afternoon was a feat of accomplishment unprecedented in recent memory.
  14. 04/29/2017:  I am an unabashed lover of the cold of winter, but I also enjoy these first warm days of spring that end with the glow of having spent an afternoon outdoors, soaking up the rays of the sun.

One-Sentence Journal, Weeks Eighty-Five — Eighty-Nine

  1. 03/05/2017:  For every hour that seems to pass in a minute, there are four — like those this afternoon — that last an eternity.
  2. 03/06/2017:  Watching this year’s favorite bird, the Oregon Junco (in the Trunco) hop, skip, and jump across the snow, prospecting for seeds on the crust below my feeders.
  3. 03/07/2017:  Leaving the house in the morning with only $1 and no packed lunch, I wondered how the day would play out . . . and then the universe provided a surprise gift card for coffee and cookies, then a soda, then pizza for lunch, elk meat nachos in the evening, and finally late dinner and drinks bestowed on me by a generous employer.
  4. 03/08/2017:  Up from little sleep in the earliest light of morning, no glasses, no contacts, I can see fresh snow has been covering the trees, my porch, and my walkway, but the street out front — dark, gray, and wet — with its irregular banks of snow, looks instead like a cold river.
  5. 03/09/2017:  It’s just fancy rain that looks like snow that falls all day and  makes everything a sock soaking mush.
  6. 03/10/2017:  The verdict on Howard’s Pizza is that while being a satisfactory option for simple dining, it’s no lateral move replacement for my beloved, much-missed Tower Pizza.
  7. 03/11/2017:  The beginning of the day was warm and sunny, and for the first time I think I began to feel that eagerness for spring.
  8. 03/12/2017:  Up half the night with a cough, today was one of lethargy and  distinct disinterest in much interaction at all with anything other than a cool breeze on my face.
  9. 03/13/2017:  It would be a lot easier to stifle my morning soda addiction if there weren’t so much compelling, passive aggressive melodrama going on every day among the employees of my usual stopping place.
  10. 03/14/2017:  A single hen in the yard yesterday and roosters crowing somewhere in the park at sunrise today is a welcome herald of, hopefully, resumed regular yard visitations from the neighborhood flock.
  11. 03/15/2017:  “One good thing about daylight savings time is that the time on the stove is correct again!” is just one example of the never-ending cavalcade of laughs around here.
  12. 03/16/2017:  When the PBR plans dinner, one ends up having frozen pizza from the convenience store more often than not.
  13. 03/17/2017:  Gates open at Council Grove and the binoculars reveal that mama owl is back and hunkered down in her nest inside the big hollow snag.
  14. 03/18/2017:  A saunter through a little mud and across a little ice to the banks of a big, swollen brown river, with a light sprinkle of rain and mist against the hillsides to make things even lovelier.
  15. 03/19/2017:  Is that the beautiful song of the Western Meadowlark, Montana’s state bird, that I hear these two days in a row now in the fields nearby?
  16. 03/26/2017:  Kid hits culvert and is bucked off quad-runner which promptly rolls over him; before I can inquire as to his alright-ness, he gets up, clutches at his ribs, then mounts back up and takes off again.
  17. 03/27/2017:  Finally made it back to yoga class after being under the weather for over a week, and getting my ass handed to me never felt better.
  18. 03/28/2017:  Tundra swans in the neighborhood; a dozen-plus glide across the sky.
  19. 03/29/2017:  So strange those first moments of spring when I emerge from windowless indoors expecting anticipated darkness, only to find daylight holding strong.
  20. 03/30/2017:  Empire building rests on deadlines of many small projects and I’ve let several pile up on me.
  21. 03/31/2017:  It’s criminal how easily the concept of “Pay Day Pizza” was sold to me.
  22. 04/01/2017:  Turns out the strange bird lurking about the yard lately is a chukar.
  23. 04/02/2017:  I made delicious BBQ chicken pizza for the first time in years, and damn it if I won’t be hard-pressed to want to make it again tomorrow.
  24. 04/03/2017:  Driving storm covers the yard and bird feeders with snow that disappears just as quickly with the return of the sun, which arrives with two male/female pairs of evening grosbeaks, the first I’ve seen this year.
  25. 04/04/2017:  Fifty years old, old, old today.
  26. 04/05/2017:  4 AM on the front porch, no avian clamor from the trees, a faint whiff of skunk on the air, and a single rooster crows way off in the distance.
  27. 04/06/2017:  Thursdays are way better when they are my Friday.
  28. 04/07/2017:  So many people out on the streets downtown for First Friday, which I love, even though I just can’t bring myself to be out among them.
  29. 04/08/2017:  Started the day with four miles or so up the Rattlesnake, which was still pretty saturated after a deluge or rain the night before, and the highlight — besides the joy of just being out — was a long moment spent watching an American dipper playing midstream on a rock from a perch on a fallen log at, arguably, my favorite spot creekside.

One-Sentence Journal, Weeks Eighty-Two, Eighty-Three, and Eighty-Four

  1. 02/12/2017:  I thought I’d seen them a couple times recently, but this morning was the first confirmed sighting — and sounding — of red-winged blackbirds in my yard since last fall.
  2. 02/13/2017:  Dark gray sky in the morning and the rolling landscape of Grass Valley, the snowy hills shaped by wind, thaw, and re-freezing, actually looks like the still image of a restless ocean.
  3. 02/14/2017:  For once the delicious cooking smell in the neighborhood as I arrived home after dark was emanating from my house, courtesy of a crock pot that had been slowly about its business all day.
  4. 02/15/2017:  I’m certain the pristine condition of my shirts at the end of the day lately has more to do with my beard serving as catch-all than it does any graduation to civilized eating on my part.
  5. 02/16/2017:  The liberal moneyed class certainly keeps much of what I care about alive with their donations, but being in their presence — particularly large gatherings of them — trips most of my cultural alarms, and I’m at ease neither in their company nor in the company of my thoughts about them.
  6. 02/17/2017:  A couple hours spent with writer/biologist Doug Chadwick and I’m reminded all over again that I totally missed my calling.
  7. 02/18/2017:  Lamenting the current closure of my river stomping grounds, I nearly miss seeing a coyote out in the field if not for the quick eyes of a reliable companion in the passenger’s seat, and a quick u-turn saves the day.
  8. 02/19/2017:  Half a century of hard-earned wisdom and dignity, yet a well-recited fart story remains capable of nearly putting me to the floor in laughter.
  9. 02/20/2017:  An American Kestrel perches on a power line and tears bloody strips from the mouse dangling from its talons.
  10. 02/21/2017:  A day trip to the state capital to join the most righteous of unruly mobs, an event enjoyed, camera in hand, with an ear-to-ear grin.
  11. 02/22/2017:  Always seeming to be in one of only about three or four different places that comprise my world these days, I daydream about tossing a leather bag onto a motel bed, crossing a strange room to a window, and looking out onto an unfamiliar vista.
  12. 02/23/2017:  Hope may spring eternal, but pessimism rolls along like a  juggernaut.
  13. 02/24/2017:  One of those nights, at the deep-in-the-dark hour of 9:00 PM, where I nearly fall asleep in the time it takes my brain to send my hand something meaningful to write.
  14. 02/25/2017:  A day may come when reading a book where characters indulge at the table doesn’t inspire me to similar, ill-advised activity … but that day wasn’t today.
  15. 02/26/2017:  There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than hanging out in a bookstore.
  16. 02/27/2017:  In a miscalculation of epic proportions, I learned that yesterday was the final opportunity to feast at Tower Pizza, my favorite local pizza joint since I was a child, and I missed it.
  17. 02/28/2017:  I scanned the writing I’ve been doing the last couple days for inspiration to something pithy and meaningful, and this is what I came up with.
  18. 03/01/2017:  I’m pretty certain the thickness of one’s skin is directly proportional to the amount of rest one has acquired recently.
  19. 03/02/2017:  Two old friends with guitars in hand and really loud amplifiers, in a room together for no reason other than to drink a couple beers and write some rock n’ roll songs.
  20. 03/03/2017:  The things the body is able to produce and purge without slaying the host never cease to amaze me.
  21. 03/04/2017:  Snow, slush, water, mud, and pine needles were all welcome surfaces my feet sauntered across this afternoon, and my heart, lungs, and spirit cheered them on with abandon.

One-Sentence Journal, Weeks Eighty and Eighty-One

  1. 01/29/2017:  Awake early in the blackest of moods — why bother, nothing matters, etc. — only to be cheered by the multitudes of birds in the sunlight outside my window, and I’m reminded just what things truly are worth getting bloodied, emotionally or literally, for.
  2. 01/30/2017:  “Yeah,” the baked dude on the phone said, “if I write a triple-x rated sex book will you sell it?” and I said, “Man, if you write it first, I’ll see what I can do,” and he said, “Wow, alright . . . but I have to write it first?”
  3. 01/31/2017:  More wind, more ice, more snow, more fresh birdy little tracks zigzagging my yard.
  4. 02/01/2017:  On a bluebird morning I choose slow over fast to get where I am going and I’m rewarded with a view of the local bison herd up close to the fence; round backs covered with snow and frost, breath clouds of steam in the sunlight, and two young bulls circle and lunge at each other in a game of playful sparring.
  5. 02/02/2017:  A welcome side effect to taking on a few hours a week under the firm and frequent lash of an actual employer is the renewed joy of a couple days off.
  6. 02/03/2017:  Sun-breaking-through-the-clouds-moment while watching a short film featuring the iconic surfer and yogi Gerry Lopez — the first surfer I ever heard of on account of his role as Subotai in the original Conan the Barbarian — when he says, “Yoga comes into people’s lives exactly when it’s supposed to.”
  7. 02/04/2017:  I could happily close out my years living on a meager income in a hut somewhere in Mexico, eating tortillas and corn and beans and firing angry diatribes about the evils of gratuitous capitalism out into the world . . . if I could only find someone to pay me to do it.
  8. 02/05/2017:  Warming weather here in the valley has the snow on retreat, so I daydream of the North just three hours’ drive yonder where falling snow is still being measured in feet.
  9. 02/06/2017:  I was awake and energetic in the early hours before yoga class but after, in the wake of a particularly exhausting hour, it was all I could do to crawl back to my studio, strip off my soaked clothes, and collapse into my chair in front of the fan and doze for another hour.
  10. 02/07/2017:  A bonanza of books and other treasures in the mail today via friends stretching from Arizona to Oregon to Alaska reminds me how much gratitude I am actually capable of.
  11. 02/08/2017:  Wet snow falls on mushy roads; reports of traffic mayhem in all directions; a bearded guy with a tow truck pulls a gigantic SUV out of the ditch well off the road on a sharp sloping curve; and emergency vehicles scramble to points all across the valley, all in one afternoon’s drive home.
  12. 02/09/2017:  Night driving at an hour far later than normal through rain and huge lakes of slush and meltwater, my headlights barely able to push through thick patches of mist that gather about hood high on my truck.
  13. 02/10/2017:  I may try and spend a little more time in the company of wine but no way I’m turning my back on delicious beer.
  14. 02/11/2017:  The mind that collapses beneath the weather will go to some deep, dark places.