Friday, December 28, 2007

The Christmas Moon

Coming home after the 4:10 pm movie on Christmas Day, we saw a moon that was so huge it looked as if it had bloated itself on holiday ham and sugar cookies and could hardly float. It inspired this journal entry.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blue Christmas

(words & music by billy hayes - jay johnson)

I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you're not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That's when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas

You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white,
But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007


Although I personally believe that angels in their true form are fearsome and awe inspiring rather than Hallmark cherubs, I've recently been moved to create anthropormorphic angels. In other words, Tis the Season.

Speaking My Peace

Sometimes, pictures speak better than words. Some entries from my visual journal.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Different Kind of Sleigh Ride

Right now, on stages all over America, there are little girls in pink toe shoes fluttering like butterflies to the sound of Tchaikovsky. Like the tree in Rockefeller Center and mall Santas, it's one of the more beloved reminders that The Season is here once more. So why don't I feel more jolly?

There must be a list somewhere of the people for whom the holidays are especially difficult -- victims of loss, the divorced, single parents, those from dysfunctional families, orphans, lone travelers, civil servants, doctors and nurses who must work, patients, American Jews, in fact, I could probably continue until I include every one of us. Some, like me, fall into two or three of these categories.

When did love and joy become supplanted by stress and loss? If you're no longer invited to the feast because your kid's stepmother demanded of your in-laws, who included you in the last 20 Christmases, to leave you out and you have no place else to go -- how are you supposed to make happy and merry?

I wonder if it's too late to make reservations on the Island of Misfit Toys? Or perhaps I should give the Rat King a call. I'll bet he doesn't have plans for Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Shortest Commute

My commute has grown shorter of late. A job layoff combined with the sudden need for some fairly heavy-duty surgery has given me a commuting range no further than my kitchen. However, I've been using it to explore a different side of myself while I heal and job hunt. Above is one of my commutations to the land of color.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

La Vida Contemplativo

I've commuted a little further than usual this time -- all the way to Puerto Rico with my son to visit my parents. I can't say I regret leaving the ice and the cold. Compared to my daily commute, it's only an extra 2-1/2 hours, not counting the drive to JFK, waiting for the plane and the drive from San Juan to my parents' home in Luquillo. OK, that adds an additonal 4 hours, but who's counting?

Far better than leaving the frigid weather was leaving behind the need to rush, to accomplish, to keep up with the Joneses. Here in Puerto Rico, everything is softer, slower, more relaxed. The sky and water conspire to create shades of blue so dazzling that the mind can't think of enough words to describe them. Azure leaps to mind, as does aqua, turquoise, ultramarine, teal, sapphire, cobalt and every other shade in my paint box.

The result is a chance to slip out of my daily skin and into one slathered with sunblock and indolence. Perhaps this is why I've been able to float without moving a muscle, face turned to the sun, the ocean gently cradling me in its saline embrace. I've never been able to float like this without moving; I've always needed to stay in motion so as not to sink. But somehow, I've been able to release this need and totally relax. If there's any souvenir I wish I could return to Connecticut with, it's that.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Existential Commuter

When is commuting a state of mind and when is it a physical state? For those of us who commute long distances every day, it's a little bit of both. While our peers who work closer to home often pity us, they are the ones who lack the chance to switch from the work mind to the home mind. Commuting, in spite of its obvious drawbacks, has its advantages as well. Chief among them are the chance to read, write, sleep, catch up on work and just plain think. It also makes us into a kind of ambassador to those at home who are not familiar with our destination city -- in my case, Manhattan. Thanks to my neighbors, I have become a sort of tour guide and ersatz expert on all things New York, whether I deserve that appellation or not.

In this journal I hope to share my journey, the travel information often requested and perhaps connect to my fellow travelers. After all, whether you're on a train, plane or bus or sitting at your desk, we're all commuters on this spaceship as it traces its annual route around the sun.