Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love And Theft and Jim Morrison

So what does become of a Love Life when the spouse goes into a nursing home? And you aren't 70 years old. And you have an eight year old child. And you're not even old enough to look back fondly on all the years gone by from your retirement recliner (does retirement exist anymore for anyone out there, post 2009?).

Sometimes I feel ripped off. I used to think, when I was a young adult, that when bad things happened to people it was because they brought it on themselves somehow. I'm not sure how, but it was their fault. I got involved with a group of older friends that believed that thoughts can be things. So I quickly surmised that it'd been my fault somehow that my mom died of cancer when I was eight years old. Was it my fault then, that Paul fell in love with me, moved to Encinitas, rode his bike to the Post office to turn in our 1995 taxes and fell off his bike on the way home?

The sun rises on the good and the evil, and it rains on the just and unjust. (Matthew 5:45) Then there is this line from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Good and bad things happen to both good and bad people. I don't think it's the hand of god, it's just the nature of things, like entropy-things fall apart.

Speaking of falling apart I'm worried about Paul's teeth. I got a look at his gums and now I realize he hasn't been brushing and no one at the nursing home is looking after his teeth. So I'm gonna have to go on the gentle war path again and set up a meeting and make sure they are standing over him while he brushes. I figure the home is used to the old guys in their 90s and who cares if they lose their teeth, but Paul is 61 and I'm sure he'll live another 40 like his parents, so lets keep them. And I made an appointment for him to get one of those damned root planings, that we all hate, but saves our teeth.

Yesterday I had to hustle Paul back to his nursing home after I took him out for a smoothie. I was in a rush so I could make it to work on time. I pulled him along to the car trying to get him to walk quicker. Do you remember the "old guy" in the Carol Burnett Comedy Hour, that shuffle walked with tiny little old man steps? That's what I'm dealing with. Paul got testy and yelled "Stop pushing me". It was the old Paul and I was happy to see the old temper flare up. He was never someone to push around.

There are a number of great stories of Paul's famously volcanic anger. My personal favorite was when he and Jim Morrison of the Doors were on a flight together in the 60s. Paul, very enthusiastic about a Vonnegut book he'd just read and had in hand, talked to Morrison about the book and then gave him his copy during the flight. The plane landed and they disembarked from the plane down one of those outside staircases you see pictures of The Beatles waving from. As they were walking down the stairs Paul noticed that Jim Morrison didn't have the Vonnegut book on him. Incensed, he screamed at Morrison and made him go back on the plane and retrieve the book. Morrison did as he was told.

Paul later got to march and cock rifles on Unknown Soldier. He actually liked the Doors quite a lot but thought of Morrison as a bit of an asshole and a drunk- but with amazing stage presence.

And now I am fading, I must retreat into the shadowy land of sleep. xo, clb


  1. Timmie Schramm ( 11, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Hey there, I’m not sure I’m writing for you, or for me. It seems in many ways we are at the same place in our lives. I’m responding to the entire blog up til now: Last fall right when you started the blog I was flipping through the LPs at the Humane Society Thrift Store here in Durango, CO and amidst Kate Wolf and Fairport Convention were a couple of your records. I wasn’t familiar but figured you were surrounded by good company and picked ‘em up. I’ve been without a place to set up my stereo for a year or so, so I haven’t given them a listen, but learned that you’re more anti-folk than folk from what I read here. Hopefully I get the cabin floor finished and will be able to move in soon, meaning I can listen to the records.

    I’d been trying to get the cabin done before winter so that was where all my efforts were going, and I didn’t respond to any of your blogs then, although I shared them with a fellow music fan, and the friend who is generously sharing her home with me. She happens to be a Physical Therapist and was delighted at your results with Paul and the Big Red Ball. So often, she finds, particularly in equine therapy, the activities somehow stimulate communication.

    She recently came home with a stack of cassette tapes a co-worker had recorded and apparently no longer had a device to play them. One was Phantom, so I was reminded that I hadn’t checked in on ya since early Dec. I love the whole sound track, but especially how is it called – Phoenix’s song? Melancholy, of course, but reminds us that love is timeless and what we have had will always have been. Better to have loved, to the extent we have and lost to whatever degree… ya know?

    Recently for whatever reason I caught Lennon’s song – our life, together, so precious… which you quote as well. I’d decided it would be a good one to learn, but doesn’t really lend itself with all the instrumental portions, to my ability. I was caught off guard this Tuesday morning, by Carole King’s (Jackson Browne’s) You’ve got a friend. That was a promise I’d made repeatedly and as it turned out failed to keep. I hadn’t imagined circumstances such as I encountered, were possible.

    I’d normalized a lot of things in the relationship I abandoned. Normalizing is one of our coping mechanisms. Our adaptability has gotten us where we are now- speaking of the human race. You’re watching the process now, with Alexander – who decided that people would drive cars, gravity would be on, we’d use spoken language and keep wolf descendants in our homes as companions. It seems less of a leap to adapt to quirks that our partners develop.

    So – Manifesting. I think you explained it nicely and its application and relevance. Thankfully there are manifesters. Usually I am one, but I think we all have our lapses. The world can be a better place, and we can choose our place in it and guide it toward our ideal.

    Thanks for sharing, it’s helped me feel less alone. Although there are three dogs and three cats in various stages of unconsciousness within 3 meters of me at this time, I sometimes feel the lack of a human connection. I’m amused by the coincidences of our encounter.


  2. Timmie, I'm happy to hear you found a few of the old LP's out there. When I made them I remember saying to Rhino Records, I gotta make sure I like the covers cause I'm the one that will have to live with them turning up in thrift stores many years from now (1989).

    Are you caring for a sick loved one as well. It can be pretty isolating, especially in the wild west like Durango. I once lived in Taos. Love that area. -clb

  3. Other Doors factored into my New Year plans as I went to see Robby Krieger's Door Jamz. His son Waylon Krieger opened with his band called Darkroom.

    After the show I went looking for some Ray Manzarek to listen to on the internet and stumbled on "Live From Daryl's House"

    Speaking of equine therapy, Lili Haydn and Kim Carroll scored the music for this indie movie about a family trying to heal their son's autism with the assistance of the horse people of Mongolia. A photo of Lili and Kim with John Densmore (Doors) from the Sundance Festival was spotted online as well.

    I remember hearing about Paul's participation on the "Unknown Soldier"

    Just a door stop in time.

  4. Timmie Schramm ( 13, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Heh heh good forethought on the thrift store issue!

    I finally made it through Taos this summer. I think I could live in the area. The people seemed reasonably progressive, bohemian and practical. The country is great, but I wish there was more concern on the part of the average New Mexican, for the state of the land.

    I worked as a caregiver for folks with disabilities for many years and have experienced a lot of the governmental funding professional agency vs. family concerns vs. front line staff's advocacy of the needs of the individual. I've done a lot of advocacy. I've seen a lot of needs out there that wouldn't take much more resources or effort to meet, but changes are difficult.

    The toughest situation I saw in my days as therapeutic riding instruction was a newly married couple, one of whom had been in a terrible car accident with just devestating injuries, and of course a TBI affecting cognition, and most particularly mood and personality. This is already a big deal for the folks who survived the war thanks to quick medical attention and body shielding, but TBIs. Thus far the young mans wife seems committed to lining up the best life possible and sticking by his side. It's tough when the grieving process is aggravated by the constant presence of the source of anguish. Keeping up a bold front for the sake of your loved one takes a lot of energy and the one you'd go to for comfort isn't really there. - Intimate Stranger - it's a paradox, sort of a koan.

    My personal experiences are more with folks with mental health issues. Love doesn't always conquer all.

    Medicine Horse did do a showing of, I believe the Horse Boy at the Abbey in Durango as a fund raiser. i missed it - I've been hand feeding a sick dog for a month now, and had her to attend to. Finally sent her home this afternoon for a final night with her siblings. I understand that the scenery in the movieis spectacular. I read a review in a magazine, I think Excepttional PArent, that talks about the film and its results and happily it approaches the results achieved as more a happy accident than trekking across Mongolia to a shaman, than god as the folks with kids with autism are looking for answers, and have jumped on many bandwagons that had no merit.

    Horses are great. For piece of mind and a little perspective tweaking as well as fresh air and exercise, I recommend cleaning pens at your local therapeutic riding place.

    Wishing you whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on your evening/day/life!

    ...mmmmmmmm I've got butterfinger ice cream in the frig!


  5. 教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考.........................