One Short Moment at the Train Station

I am not to show/take any photos of my son. That would be the ultimate embarrassment for a teenager.

“Why are you taking so many photos?”

“Why have you said the wrong things?”

“Why are you (all) still here. I can take the train on my own.”

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An automatic ticket machine – Denmark is a modern country.

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Model trains that take your donations and entertain you a few moments.

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Food disguised as sugar and caffeine can be purchased.

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Well, if not then you can pretend anyway.

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No, this is not HAL from 2001, A Space Odyssey. This is where your plastic card containing your money is transferred to someone elses bank, thus allowing you to travel on the train (or, bus) – Rejsekort

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Some of you are probably still looking up 2001, A Space Odyssey on IMDB, so for the rest of you, this is a view to the south at the Train Station.

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And the view north.

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A classic manhole cover (or personhole cover for political correctness)

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This might be the back of someone’s son, showing off his FDF-shirt (FDF a Christian organization for children and youth in Denmark). If you said “Scouts” to him you might just have your face slapped!

 

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One of the trains heading south.

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Raised metal studding on the inside floor of the Train Station. For your eyes only.

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My pathway towards the car, after embarrassing my son, and his friends with my presence.

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Looking across the parking lot towards the buildings on the eastern side of John. F. Kennedy’s Plads in Aalborg.

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Train Station (Aalborg St. ) Kennedy Plads seen in Red.

Courtesy Google Maps.

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Always a few bicycles to see in Denmark.

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The view from the north of the Train Station:

My wife: Why are you still taking pictures?

End of blog…..

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The Gathering

We gather together
ostensibly to celebrate
each other
in reality, though
to celebrate life
it is

We remind ourselves
our mortality calls out
not being revoked,
nor forgotten
entirely,

We gather together
to eat, to talk
enjoy the moments
this life has to give
we speak of the time gone
we speak of the time to come

We enjoy the moments
together as one,

I remind myself
more often as not
as much as I wish
as much as I want
immortal to be
immortal as not,

The gathering
the accomplishment of our lives
the realization of not being alone
while the earth continues to turn

While the seasons of our lives
continue to turn

continue to turn

My Morning Reality

Walking the dog.

The wife forgetting her Cell Phone.

My daughter not wanting to wake up.

 

My morning reality is not always what the poets would write about, but…

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This morning on this side of the Atlantic.

This morning in Denmark

This morning in Europe.

Your choice.

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I was out walking the dog. He likes to walk, anytime.

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The Eastern Skies were displaying fantastic colors.

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The now barren trees made a nice addition to the colors.

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And for those who thought that the skies cannot be pretty on the edge of a large city (by Danish standards)…

Then you would be wrong…

 

On Being 16 Year’s Old

My son turned 16 today on this 3rd of October. In Denmark we usually wake/are awaken by the rest of the family with a traditional birthday song and presented with gifts.

On the way to the bus stop he said, “Wow! 16. Now I know how it feels to be old like you!”

No. No he didn’t. I told him though how it was for me to be 16. In Southern California 16 was the age for getting a Driver’s License. I was there at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) on the day of my 16th birthday, rather nervous at that. I passed the written test, then went on to the driving test.

The examiner noted the date, and said “Oh, Happy Birthday”. “Didn’t you know that you could’ve taken the written test 2 weeks before?”

No. I didn’t know that, but it was too late for that anyway.

Being 16 with a Driver’s License. Borrowing the family car. Driving around with my friends. That was really living! Less attachment to parents. More of my own life. Just wait until I turn 18, then….

That is what my son says on a regular basis, “Wait until I turn 18”.

As if that is a cure for all that ails us? It really means that we become less reliant on our protective parents, with increasing responsibility of our own fate.

I hope he enjoys his quantum leap into age 16. It is a milestone in his life, one of many. He’ll just have to learn how like the rest of us did.

The weather today?

 

 

Cloudy but dry right now, going over to rain later on.

Why should that be important?

Well, in Denmark it is said that if the weather on your birthday is nice then you have behaved yourself during the past year, but if the reverse is true, then….

Enjoy the nice weather as long as it lasts, just as we should enjoy our lives as long at they last,

16, or….

 

Death and Its Changes

A close member of my family died suddenly within the course of last month. To say that I was not affected by this, would be to tell all of you lies, which I won’t be doing in this blog.

I was in the USA for 14 days to deal with this death together with my family. We talked, and racked our brains for any/all memories, or scraps of such to do justice to the person at hand, but the result of this event still leaves its traces upon me.

While I was in the States, I maintained a degree of silence, both due to the cost of calling to other places, but also due to the intensity of the situation. Everything went as it should, with a Memorial Service, and burial, then my return to Denmark.

Death and its changes are things that are not completed by the completion of the burial ceremony. Questions still seem to pop up, affecting both my family over there, as well as in Denmark. Why did this happen, and why did it happen so fast? Why weren’t we better prepared, and who will be the next to say goodbye?

Not everyone will be able to accept these changes, but death, as we all know, is also a part of life, not letting us decide how/when we are able to say goodbye in our own time, leaving only regrets and questions as to our own place on this planet.

My family in Denmark has also been affected by this event. A sense closeness has developed since this tragic event, changing the way we think about each other, and the consequences of something so far away, hitting us as if we were all there during the last moments of life.

I’ve also had to question things like blogging. Why is it important to continue doing so? I realize that a lot of things will fall into place with time, but for now, I’ll be taking a break from doing anymore writing, except this short explanation to any/all that follow this blog.

I really can’t explain things more than I am doing right now, because this event continues to be felt by me in my everyday life and its situations. I continue to reflect on the events of these past few weeks, and will grow with that knowledge, be it good or bad.

Thanks for listening to my explanation…..

The Last Tear

As you boarded the ship
the final journey, looking ahead
while I only behind
could see,
you reached out your hand
asking me to journey along
at least until the point
of no return,

I wiped a tear from my eye
as I stood by your side,
not wanting to look,
not wanting to accept

“Cry not”, she said
while laughing a bit
“look at me, and you’ll know
that soon the time of the tears
will lie behind us”

I still looked behind me
where the tears flowed freely
wanting something, I could not have
wanting something, I could not fathom

The dolphins swam alongside us
the water frothy on top
giving way to the inky depths

I only stood at the railing
glued to that spot, looking
hypnotized at the blackness
the unknown below,

“Silly you”, she told me suddenly
just quickly enough causing me to imagine
my headward plunge into the depths
no hands to rescue me, as I sank below
out of sight, the others
crying tears of sadness,
tears of the finality, the end of all ends

“I imagined this time”, she said at once
pulling me back towards the surface
shaking off the salty brine, eyes in disbelief,
rescued, I was

She told me of her vision
a life here, a life there
no transition between the two
we only stood on the shore
waving and crying, mourning our loss
while you, being all smiles
only laughed again,

The last tear, has not been cried
her words like her voice, echoed
in my mind,
these tears will turn to smiles
the living in-between spaces
before the tears return again,

I only stood there
her words hanging in my mind, while she
while her journey continued
her ship becoming smaller
disappearing from my memory

I wiped a tear from my eye
feeling better knowing
that wouldn’t be the last tear that
I would cry

When the memory of this event
this sorrowful, this tearful event
begins to enter my memory leaving
the the present to be itself
rumbling along toward the future,
these tears will fade as well,

Waiting as well
for my own vision
a ship journeying
taking me farther than tears could cry
taking me along where the dolphins swam

Alongside the inky depths
and the unknown beckoning to me…

Simple Elegance

Being
among my family
their forgotten ways
smiles and frowns
mannerisms, quirks
loud noises, shouts
of disbelief, yelling

Sitting at the table
tasting food in a way
forgotten to my way
of thinking,

The simple elegance
what exists in one family
separated by the years
being reminded
of who we each are,
of who we have become,

Remaining in the family
regardless of the changes

Neglected

My sister’s house was a place I’d visit, now and then, but not as of late, you see. The years became many, and the miles became kilometers, which stretched out between the warm California summers to the cold Danish winters.

My life became something else, than it had been before. I did other things, with other people, yes even doing those things in another language.

My sister’s yard, however, continued along its way, growing and expanding, without any help at all.

I tended and cut, and raked and watered, my present yard and its flowers. I built and tore down. I admired and feared the invasion of springtime weeds, and waited until the flower bulbs gave way to the summer cutting of my lawn.

At my sister’s house, the grasses of springtime had turned their characteristic yellow and brown, accumulating under the pine and oak trees, as if they always had done so. My rake stood silent, as did any mention of me having lived there, or visited when birthdays called out, or a cup of coffee, a tale about something silly, or serious beckoned.

My Danish Dream slept while I left it for a while, breathing in the reality of other places, traveling long distances starting in kilometers, ending in miles returning. Returning to my sister’s house, and her yard refusing to acknowledge my existence, or wanting to extend a hand of greeting.

I raked and I cut. I moved huge piles of downed trees, and observed my work. No one praised my actions, as they were never meant to be. I continued along in my madness, as if it called out to me, reminding me of the 30 or more years, in which I had neglected my duties, neglected to fulfill my rightful place on this side of the world.

My sister’s yard will continue to change and to grow, regardless of where I choose to call home. The leaves and pine needles will continue to accumulate, creating slippery pathways, and an increasing fire danger, year after year.

Existing in a brief moment, between where I am, and where I was, gives me an opportunity to correct my many years of neglect, hoping against hope that my actions will bear some fruit, in the short time that I will exist in this time frame.

My sister’s house. A simple refuge. A point of collecting the family. A rally round meeting of past and present faces, surrounded by the pines and the oaks, dreaming their dreams of someone who used to lean on a rake.

Sweating and toiling under the California sun.

In some place called the past…..

My Special Visit

Dear Little Sister                                                                                       July 4, 2017

As a surprise for you, I’ve decided to travel from Denmark to California in order to join the family in the celebration of your life.

I’ve gathered all of the photos and video clips, any and all papers, and such, so we can have fun remembering how life was, growing up together.

I must admit, I’ve told many others here about you over the past 2 weeks, which is more than I ever have spoken of you before. You know how our communication has been lacking over the last 25 years or so, but last year, when I visited you and the rest of the family, we let bygones be bygones.

I’ve done a lot of writing with your son concerning the visit and the past few weeks. He seems like a fine young man who, under your love and guidance, has grown up into a person that you can easily be proud of.

I’m told that a number of your other friends and family, will also be present to celebrate your life. The greatest thing we possess in this life, are those two things, and my life as well, is enriched by much of the same.

I’ve been meaning to ask you a few things, that have been on my mind over the past 2 weeks or so, but the shortness of my visit might not allow me the pleasure of getting all of those questions answered.

I’ve taken some of the photos with me showing us together, growing up in California. It seems like a million years ago, the last time we were together, but I know that we will always share something special, regardless of where we end up in this life.

I’ve been thinking about contacting you before this trip, but you know how it is with our daily duties, etc.? There is always something that comes in the way, and the unexpected most of all. We can only live our lives, with the knowledge that we put one foot in front of the other, and know that we will get where we are going, some day.

I am not sure, what I can bring you, as you seem to have everything you need. Your husband and your son, a long life to look back on, and the knowledge that something even greater will be waiting for you in the end.

I hope this letter has explained the purpose of my extra-ordinary visit this summer? We can’t control everything in this life, no matter how much we try. Some surprises are good, while others less so.

I hope, you’ll remember, that I am your brother, now and forever, and any/all differences, we’ve had with each other, are now a thing of the past.

Well, gotta run now. I’ve still a few things to pack before my trip tomorrow. Be assured that through the many airports and days until your celebration, I’ll still be thinking of you, and wondering about your life, and how I was a part of it, so many years ago.

Sincerely yours – what? Too formal?

OK. Since it is you,

Love – Your brother

How Many Words?

How many words
comprise the life of one
person?
Starting out, living, going away
how many thoughts
how many tears
and the years,

Oh, how the years
seemed to drag on at times
slow in the beginning
racing to the end
of all ends,
living in the warmth of summer
shivering in the cold of winter
waiting for the one season to end
the other to start,
waiting for birthdays,
waiting for others to make life
whole,

How many words describe
any one person?
someone, I knew
someone, I grew up with
someone, I lost track of
someone, I found again
after all those years between,

How many different people
are we throughout life?
The youth, the adult
father, mother, sister, brother
friend, lover

How many times have we thought
about where life is taking us,
why we are here, where we are going
are we destined to be alone,
or, together with someone to the end

When does the end come?
what would we do, what would we say
if we knew when the finality, the quiet sleep
stirring emotions of those we know
of those we knew,

What will our epitaph be?
were we liked, hated, loved
fun to be around, quiet moments
fiery emotions flaring,
knowing what we wanted
knowing what we needed?

Why all of these words?
because I have lost someone
someone close once, then not, then again

Losing
others before, many others later
I, too will fade away
not necessarily in the manner of my
choosing
just fading into darkness
some might say into the light
others might laugh at who I was
or share a moment to reflect upon
my words,

just as I do now

Reflecting upon these words
only a hollow rendition
of anyone’s rich life
trying to express,
what others also will express

The celebration of the life we know
the life we knew
the promise, the hope
always existing
of better things to come,
until that day,
we are all reunited
being together again

Together again
at the end of all

ends