Monday, May 29, 2017

America Today

Guest writer Kirk Hill 
This morning I found under my bed a Russian. I ran to the kitchen and found my best fork. Upon returning, the Russian was gone. No one will believe me. How do you know it was a Russian, they will ask.  But, of course, they all look alike. This has been proven many times by official research.  
This whole episode was very unsettling.  I decided to keep it a secret. I have seen Russians. Some deploy disguises, but they are nonetheless unmistakable. Once a Russian, always a Russian, so it is said. 
I now double -lock my doors. One morning I found a window unlocked.  I ran to my bed and sure enough, underneath, there was a Russian. I had left my fork bedside, just in case. Plunging it into the Russian left me covered with blood.  
I ran to the bathroom to clean up. The blood stains had ruined my clothes so I threw them away. They say Russian blood is different, not Type O or Ab, none of that, rather Type Russian, known as Type R. This has been kept very quiet for a very long time. Doctors very much frown on Type R transfusions, or so I am told. 
Returning to my bed with my largest plastic bag I stooped over and nothing! The Russian was gone. Not even a bloodstain.   
I awoke the next morning refreshed. Nothing was under the bed, a relief, yet somehow a disappointment. On my way home from the grocery store I picked up a newspaper.  And there it was, an article, beneath the fold but still on the front page, about a local outbreak of Russians found in area homes under beds. Citizens were asked to report any such incidents. I of course had no intention of making any such a report.  
This has been a carefree land, free of Russians. No more. How does one deal with them? I looked in the newspaper for tips.  Nothing. I received a phone call. I was asked to serve on a television panel to discuss Russians. Word had gotten out that I am an expert on Russians. 
Just before going on the air I revealed that I am not a Russian expert. The program moderator—he had a badge---asked, Wasn’t I an American? I said yes. He said, “Good enough.”  As the show started. I ran out. At home I collapsed. I locked the doors and windows. 
The Russians are dangerous, I know. I do my best to remain vigilant. Now my fork is always with me.  
I have tweeted my friends, such as they are.  
Kirk Hill lives in the Chippewa Forest, near Remer, Minnesota 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Another Change of Face

Always in my past when the way I interface with the world has changed, I have had something happen to my face. 

No really, physically. 

When my kids left home, I suddenly and for the first time had dental problems and I lost two teeth as well as two people I love. It made my cheekbones sharper:) When I lost a job to which I had been totally committed, I started a little growth on my cheek that years later needed to be removed. When my current job description changed from a much busier venue into the job ideal, a lymph node in my neck swelled up and created a cyst so that not just me but everyone saw a different me for a few days.

Now my Eustachian tubes are blocked - for almost two weeks, as if I don’t want to hear. As if I have closed off my ears so I don’t have to address inevitable change; ie. retirement options, my opportunity for the biggest change in perhaps fifty years. I will be opting out of the full frontal engagement landscapes that have been my context since I was eighteen and into the self-motivated isolation of the pasture I will be put out to.  I am not sure if I can take it!

On the other hand, the reason this has come up physically at all is because for the first time ever I have allowed the reality of retirement from the workplace to sink in. And the idea is swimming nicely, thank you. I do love to travel, and it would be wonderful to paint again, and my grandkids won’t be around for me forever. . .

It means moving off the River to the Lake. I can think of it as moving home, to the neighborhood and context I chose thirty years ago. It proved perfect for raising a family then, and I think it is turning out to be just as nurturing for a senior such as myself now.

But the River has been my core metaphor for as long as I can remember, musically when I lived at home, then physically at university and bankside locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis.  This move makes me feel panicky. Can I acclimate to the Lake Country? Can I be happy with the still verses the rolling? Can I live where the perimeter is round and not unbounded? Can I thrive on the quiet?

I don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but the journey to find them has begun as I reluctantly recognize and start to consider to where I am stepping at the end of the work staircase. Maybe it will clear out my ears.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Camelot Remembered

Twice now I have heard it, the music of the spheres.
To my astonishment, it was my own soul being called
from deepest sleep to consciousness, a bird’s wing asked to fly.

Lifting feathers boldly singing, reassuring raptures ringing,
ruby bellows waking and inflating aubergine
and green with brilliant sound, round and ripe with indigo,
glowing oval swelling sounding out and in and through,
a jemstone ringing truth with the knowing still unfolding
long past reason and my emerging sighs.  

Again a major miracle, a bridge into the vast
and unfuckingly unimaginable once and future past.