And now for something completely different

Today I went for testing to the Boulder clinic that evaluates MINDS. We all agree that there is some slippage.
This evaluation was instigated (with consummate gentleness and subtlety) by close friends here, and the clinic is the lifework of friends as well.  
The good news is that they have programs in place, from nutrition on out, to help.
I am extremely grateful:  I would like to keep, and to keep using, whatever is left of my mind.

One unfortunate corollary is that I really do need to get enough sleep.  I might have to bite the bullet and learn to head upstairs earlier than my custom. And actually go to sleep there, not stay up reading for two more hours.  [Thinking of the wonderful children's (?) book, Go the F--- to Sleep!]
So please forgive me for signing off so quickly tonight.  
I'll be back tomorrow.

Ay ay ay


Journal entry by Eve Ilsen — a minute ago

Computer tsuris
  computer tsuris
      computer tsuris
Everything went on the fritz today.  I asked Netanel to give notice in Comments that I might be off line tonight.
The kind folks at Indra's Net (my small local server) stayed on the phone with me and finally got me a phone-fix with Apple---the kind where you share the screen and the savvy guy on the other end of the phone tells you what to do.  I did it, and seem to be back on line.

I do love what this device can do; but sometimes I am nostalgic for the good old days when the height of technology was my KLH turntable and FM, good speakers and radio antenna, supplemented now and then by the TV tuned to PBS.

There were also years---decades---when I lived not only without computer, but without TV altogether.
In college:  who had time?
In grad school:  who had a TV?
In rural Alaska:  what?  TV?
In Israel:  I couldn't have understood it if I had one
In Philly:  too interested in other stuff
In Colorado:  already out of the habit  
We did occasionally watch Bill Moyers, Downton Abbey and Star Trek reruns.
And when Yotam was with us early on, we would turn off the sound when the ads came on, and he would provide the libretto:  "We'd like to persuade you that if you buy this car, you'll get this girl..."

But I discovered today when my laptop crashed how accustomed I have become to "staying in touch"  through this medium.  And my beloved was even more engaged.  He could even talk to his computer, using Dragon.  (Of course, whichever poor dragon was on duty that day had a tough time:  most paragraphs he spoke contained a minimum of three different languages.  Not every dragon had learned--- besides the requisite English---Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Sanskrit, Latin,Greek...)

I wish us all sweet dreams...

Dozing cat......

-->curled up beside the laptop, on the desk.

So peaceful. She really is an inspiration to close up, go upstairs, do my last bit of writing in my paper journal with my fountain pen, maybe read a little, and go to bed at a decent hour.

Everything is muffled and quiet, with the bit of snowfall this afternoon and evening.

It says "make some tea or warm some milk and go upstairs for the night."

I think of the nights we did that together, each reading quietly, separate and together at once.

I know I have written before how it feels strangely so long ago and only yesterday...

Time comes apart at the seams.

Part of the quiet is the house itself, muffled by the light snow.

A good night to go upstairs, open the shades with the lights off, and see the balcony and trees and telephone wires dressed in white.

Good night.


Grateful, grateful, grateful

-->for shabbos.

I so appreciate a day with no cooking, no expectations that I will do any business, no phone.

I ate slowly, sang, visited with one friend at a distance, exchanged stories, played with Mishka the cat, read.

After havdalah, I cleaned up, changed the table back to weekday table linen, and opened the laptop to catch up.


(Mishka is curled up at the edge of the laptop napping.)

I want to spend less time dealing with stuff on line, and don't know how to manage that: the bad-news of the world comes flooding in, along with demands to do something about it. How do I evaluate what things-to-do-about-it are effective and worth it? One of the things I do is check all charities out on CharityNavigator; but that is not enough.

I do not want to be heartless and simply delete all---at the same time, I feel like my time and energy are being eaten up without my consent.

If anybody has really got this figured out, please enlighten us all.

Meanwhile, Mishka has finished grooming herself, and has started grooming me, hand first.

I think this is her signal that it is time for me to go up to bed.

And since she is such an intelligent cat, I will listen to her.

Wishing us all a sweet week---

Late,late, late

I am falling asleep, but did not want to enter shabbos without having noted:

a friend is visiting, and we went to see the Naropa production of The Vagina Monologues tonight.

They did an amazing job.

Then we came home and talked until 2 a.m., like girls.

I am absolutely ready to go upstairs, and cannot put whole sentences together without great effort.

I wish everybody a good sleep, a good shabbos, a good weekend...



I am loving hearing the wind go through the the row of fir and spruce trees in back.

I know I am safe and cozy inside; but the wind out there can blow things around inside me anyway.

What is dislodged comes to settle in unfamiliar spots. Memories are uncovered and suddenly sitting there in plain sight, after having been in shadow.

The wind tonight has taken me to rural Alaska, where I was lucky to have spent almost a year and a half. I am remembering the first time I saw the Northern Lights. I thought someone at the party had spiked the punch with a psychedelic, until I realized what I was seeing: a miracle of Nature.

I was told that if I clapped and whistled, the Lights would dance; and it was so.

Then I float from there and then to here and now, watching Mishka the Cat groom herself on the desk next to the laptop, and think: another miracle of Nature, so ordinary and daily a ritual. Not to be taken for granted any more than the aurora borealis.

Remembering a few words snatched by my memory from a collection of poems called Earth Prayers:

" paw...

everything is holy..."

Good night.

Happens with no warning

A beautiful day, rabbit in the snow in the yard, creation of a good and hearty mushroom soup, a lovely visit with a friend over lunch at the beautiful Tea House, return to a welcoming cat and a homecoming housemate...

...and here it comes again: an intensity of missing my beloved, with whom I want to share the mundane delights of the day, and cannot. I can certainly tell friends about it. But it is different from snuggling next to a dear one and transmitting those delights. And perhaps sharing the purrs of a cat draped over adjacent laps.

Still, the tears do not obliterate the delights of the day, but add themselves into the mix; they are also a part of this day.

Good night.

Sunday Sunday

This was a day of catching up, of retrieving a lost necklace (a loved gift from Zalman) from the hardware store where it had dropped, of belatedly deconstructing the shabbos dining room table, of a welcome tea-visit from a friend bearing flowers and a book for belated birthday celebration. Mishka the cat, snuggled by the laptop in the morning then later on my lap in the other room. A long phone visit with a friend from Denver, punctuated by the quirkiest meows from her cat. Calls with family.

Grateful, grateful.

Missing my beloved.

Grateful nevetheless.

Good night.

Snow, snow, snow

How wonderful: snowing; cold. Perfect time to stay home, warm, with tea, leftover birthday cake, a cat and a wood stove.

Only I did have an appointment downtown, so I went, praying all the way.

There was supposed to have been a reading of one of our local authors at Boulder Book Store, but when I had parked the car and walked to the store, there was already a sign that the reading had been cancelled due to the weather. It has been rescheduled for May. (Some snow!)

I got safely back to the house, and comforted myself for the misssed reading with tea, leftover birthday cake, a bit of the newly-delivered birthday babka-gift sent from New York, and a fire in the wood stove.

Now and then we would sit, the two of us and the cats, watching the flames and sipping hot tea or cocoa, singing niggunim or talking, massaging each other's feet or just listening to the crackle of burning wood.

Good night.