Posted in Denmark, Family

Blogging Pause

After some consideration brought about by recent changes in my life, I’ve decided to stop blogging indefinitely.

I am not one for continuing to do something that seems to demand my constant attention, and acts as if it is controlling me, instead of me, it.

I’ve still got some ideas, and could return to it someday, but for now the best change for me is to stop and reflect on life and my family a bit more, than I have been doing these past 2 years.

It’s been a great ride though, hasn’t it?

Posted in Denmark, California, Family

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…..

Posted in Family, Poetry, Prose, Prose California

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…

Posted in California, Family, Poetry, Prose, Prose California

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

Posted in California, Family

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…..

Posted in California, Family, Life, USA

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

Posted in Family, Life, Poetry, Prose

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

Posted in Family, Prose

Being Here

The difference
between being here
and being gone,
a matter of moments
might be,
A feeling of something
wrong,
a sudden gasp, a cry
then unconsciousness,
“If only, she had been alone”
the doctor said,
“If only, she had been alone,
we wouldn’t have had to make
decisions, that hurt
making them”
Being here
just a moment ago
getting ready to do
the usual thing,
Being here
together with you
just a normal day,
not normal, at all
it seems,
“She was here
just a moment ago
we spoke, we laughed”
Being here
just not in a state
of consciousness
Being here
for all intents and purposes
just not knowing exactly
where that is?
Everyone present, almost
hearing about you
Everyone talking,
encouraging
you,
to wake up
encouraging you
to be here, again
among the living
the talk, the laughter
just a normal day
not normal, at all
it seems,
Decisions are made
hard ones
choices that aren’t equaled
choices that aren’t pleasant
to think about,
If only, you had been here
If only, you had made your voice
known,
those decisions would have been
easier,
those decisions would have made
more sense,
Being here
together with you
while you are
being gone,
No signs of recognition
no smiles, nor laughter
no sense of the you
being here,
just a moment ago
you were
here,
together with us

just a moment ago…

Posted in California, Family, Life, Prose

We Were Just Talking

The other day
the other year
40 years ago
or so,
We were laughing about
or, were we just talking
about
my memory fades
and tricks me
you know?
We were playing
when we were kids
up in the mountains
at the ocean
we were just playing
when we were younger,
You are not very
talkative
lying there, while I speak
lying there, dreaming
in your sleep,
We were just together
the other day, it seems
we were talking about
what I can’t remember now
We were together,
when mom went away
all those years ago
just talking, were we,
The other day
when you chose to go away
caught me unawares
and me being
so many hours away
being so many thoughts
away,
I was just talking to you
when the machines were turned
off,
You were just there
looking so peaceful, waiting
waiting for someone,
waiting for someone
to take you home,
I’ll sit here
just a bit longer
looking at you
as if we were kids again,
40, no 50 years ago
saying something
We were just playing
and talking like we did,
we were just saying,
telling a story,
You were smiling then,
like you are smiling now,
and I,
am hovering over you
even though
we are only speaking
in my mind,

As if we were kids again
playing some silly game
with mom calling us home

Calling us home….

Posted in Dogs, Family, Poetry, Prose

Building an Outside House

I’ve been hitting screws
and screwing nails
painting glass,
and yelling at someone
who looks like me
just on my good days

Building a house
a room with a roof
bring the inside, outside
or the outside in?

Building and wondering
who will judge, who will laugh?
building, hammering, sawing
nailing without nails, painting
well, painting with ugly colors
painting my fingers, and clothes
my dog and his toes
do dogs have toes?

I’ve put on a roof
one that leaks
one that shakes
and a floor that creaks
and walls that are glass
and stones thrown about
and dogs with painted toes,
if dogs have toes?

A picture?
Hah!
Might as well get
a haircut first
cutting off the paint
hiding my thumbnails, black
hiding my intentions
inside the outside

My family
ready to move in
sofa, Internet,
bar stools, dog bed

I am on the inside
looking out to the inside
out,
we are waving to each other
while I am drinking a beer,
enjoying my inside
while they enjoy their outside
in,

If you wish
to know how
building an outside, inside
outside of my house,
inside room, without plans
using crooked wood,
and ugly paint,

I won’t tell you
I won’t

I wouldn’t deny you
all the fun that I’ve had

Drinking my beer,
looking out to the in
side of things

Out there….

Somewhere…