Monday, July 18, 2016


In January I adopted a cat from Fort Collins Cat Rescue
Previously I had had a cat: Princess, a beautiful calico I had adopted from a friend. When Princess came to me, she waseight years old. She lived to be 13. I lost her to leukemia in 2010. Since then I had been caring for my sister's cat until I relocated from California to Colorado.
For a year and a  half I had thought about getting a new cat, but in January I took the plunge.
Fort Collins Cat Rescue said they had one calico, but she (Margot) was at a different location.
With the help of a friend, I went to the new location and met Margot, a two-year-old calico who had been found on the streets of Loveland. 
Margot is a loving feline. Over the last seven months I've found that she loves just about anyone she comes across. 
After a couple months, and a few escapes on her part, I relented and let Margot go outside at will. She always returned for food and water, so I didn't worry about her.
Then, about May, she didn't come home. She seemed to prefer being outside. I discovered that she wandered through my apartment complex. 
She sunned herself on different walkways. She napped on different stairways or door matts. But she didn't return home except for brief periods.
Yesterday I went to a common area near the mailboxes. I started talking to a couple neighbors: they both knew Margot, but had thought she was a stray. Margot appeared, and let all of us pet her, rub her tummy.
That was about 5:00 P.M.
About 7:30 I got a call from the CSU Vet School. Someone had found Margot and brought her to their Urgent Care. (I hadn't known she'd been chipped before I adopted her.)
I had to make a couple calls before I found a neighbor willing to take me to the vet school to get her.
I was told by the vet school staff that it is illegal for cats to be outdoors. 
As I write, Margot is curled up on my futon. She slept with me today, purring all night.

Now, what do I do about her desire to be outside? It's bound to continue, at least until the first snowfall.

Friday, June 3, 2016



Is it a societal thing that people just don't want to walk? Or, possibly, we don't want to exert ourselves beyond an agreed upon minimum distance and effort?
Since I decided to prepare for a 567-mile hike next year, and I've started going out for walks, people I meet seem to shiver--even step away from me--when I tell them about my activity.
What is the acceptable distance for someone to walk? One-hundred feet? A block? A couple blocks? Perhaps a mile at the outside?
This morning I left my studio and started walking toward the south end of Fort Collins. Along the way, I decided to see about getting a pedometer, perhaps from REI. But when I arrived, the store wasn't yet open. I walked on over to Target,and found a simple gadget that will meet my needs for the next year.
I left Target--roughly about three miles from home, and started walking down South College Avenue, with the goal of walking to Loveland.
Five miles later, with sore feet, I stopped when I found a bus stop for a regional bus line. Just minutes later, I saw a police cruiser heading north. I saw it make a U-turn, and it pulled up to where I was now sitting.
"Are you okay?"
"Sure," I said.
"Someone saw you, and called it in," the officer passenger said.
"I know what I'm doing," I assured him. "I've done this walk before. Today though, I'm waiting for a bus, and it should be here momentarily."
"We're just checking on you," the officer said.
A  minute later, they were gone.
Two minutes after that, the bus, heading south to Loveland, arrived, and my day of exercise was officially over.
In the next 363 days, I'll work on increasing my endurance, my distance  walked, and start adding weight to my backpack.
It is my fate, it seems, to be an outlier, an exception to whatever rules I encounter. I don't have the time, or the intention, to participate in debates about what I should or shouldn't, can or can't, do

I have a journey to get ready for.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Night  has scrubbed clean
The street of light
And sound.
Gone, the sound of church bells,
The whoosh of passing cars,
The echoes of spectators
Watching children playing soccer,
Sprinklers spritzing on, then off,
The roar of lawn-mowers--
All gone under the persistent,
Downward pressure of dark matter.
Air--that combination of oxygen
And nitrogen--
Clear in the daylight,
Becomes impenetrable.
See nothing/
Hear everything--
The night is made for listening,
The receipt of words,
The interpretation of silences.
Life’s alternating current--
Day, with the eyes open,
And night, when sight gives way
To sound,
Gives way to touch,
Gives way to smells
Of lotions, perfumes,
These hours--
Sacred, extraordinary, time--
For extrications, contractions,
Retractions and consents,
Of skin and spirit,
Blood and belief--
All in this weightlessness

Of night's caress.


With the right side of the world
invisible, not darkness--
there is no darkness except
when I close my eyes each night,
Navigating through  each day
is sometimes hard work to do.
The left eye, ninety-five percent
disconnected, the nerve torn
I stride down sidewalks quicker
than "normal" people believe.
"You're not really blind, you know,"
is shouted from some passing car.
By now, I just laugh at them.
If they only knew my life
from all its vantagepoints.
I would trade this cane, truly,
for a driver's license.
I envy their freedom--
always have. But I can see
the world at  a slower speed
as long as I have sidewalks,
or bike lanes, wider shoulders
on the roads I travel.
In my two-dimentional
world, I talk to people
everyday, and everyday,
strangers can't help but marvel
at my refusal to yield.
Let's take away their car keys,
force them to walk to bus stops,
waiting in all kinds of weather
for buses that never come.
Let them board buses that stop
too far from the curb 
to manage without stepping
in snow, in puddles, in mud.
Let them try to figure out
how to get from 
point A
to point B
without having to ask for help.
The empty half of my life
has always existed.
Everyone, and everything,
has height and width, but no depth.
"Where is...?" is answered by
someone pointing their finger,
which, of course, I cannot follow.
It must be hard--to drive, to look
where one is going. to shop,
to work, to play, just to live,
with all one's faculties intact:
how do you manage so well?
How do you manage to ask
such stimulating questions?
without tripping on your tongue,
without your brain convulsing
from the effort of inquiry?

I would really like to know.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Ten days old now,
the snow--what remains--
has lost its lightness,
has become hard, slick
dangerous, melting each day,
refreezing each night.
When it fell, I walked
from my studio
to take out my trash,
through fourteen inches
of wet and cold morning.
Now, when I go outside,
what remains is mostly on the grass,
at the edge of parking lots,
thinly spread on sidewalks
I have learned to carefully
navigate in boots--
not my tennis shoes.
Another week
of sunlight, and fifty degrees,
and maybe it will leave once
and for all, only to be replaced
by the next, inevitable, storm.
The groundhog didn't see his shadow,
so perhaps the snow won't fall
as late into this year
as it has in years past.

Copyright © 2016 by the author