Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Wedding & Absence - Reprise

I got married to this song, chosen by Annie to start the ceremony. Here Comes The Sun, also by the Beatles ended the ceremony. Of course, this arrangement is not the one we used. We used the version on the original album. This wedding took place November 21, 1975. My mother was already a minister and she came out to do the ceremony. My sister came too, both of them from the Kansas City area of Missouri. Two of Ann's three sisters were there from Washington DC and her uncle's family came down from Tacoma, Washington. He gave her away. I got my friend and colleague to come out from Portland to be my best man, and I saw my old college roommate for the last time as he came to the coast from Eugene, Oregon to attend as well. This was entirely too much attention for me and I was a wreck. When it was over and I got back to normal, which took a while, I began saying I would never put myself in a wedding ceremony again. I guess I meant it. I never have.

The picture is Ann's family and me joining it. That's a 70's leisure suit that I am wearing. In the picture from left, on the floor is Chris, Ann's youngest sister, and Carey, her cousin. That's the Sheekley's son John, brother to Carey, and then Jack Sheekley and his wife is behind Chris and Carey. Next to Jack, that's Annie and then me, of course. Ann's older sister Mary is on the far right. Mary is dead now. So is Jack and his wife. So is Ann. That's 50%. That's what time and life do.

Abrupt shift to the old post which appeared here June 21, 2009...this is the first half of that post:

A man I love gave a talk one time and he pointed out that when my distress is mainly mental, or when it is physical at least the mental component can be dealt with by focussing the time frame. He said that there is really nothing wrong right now. He said whenever there is distress it is either coming from the future or the past and if I narrow my time frame to right now my pain will be already over or not yet here. In other words it is nearly always true that there is nothing wrong right now.

When I had the first heart attack, I used this right now thing. Except for the hours of that bloody nose, which was really just irritating, there was nothing wrong right now. The pain was never more than manageable. The drugs did not distress me overmuch right now. Even the shit for brains nurses (the two on shift during the bloody nose) were mostly not there and that was fine with me. I did not fret through any of it.


Today, I'm absent.
I do not sit in this seat.
I deny presence.
I have no purpose
For being gone, but gone I am.
I would be here now
If I was but, no,
I am not here, not waiting
And not writing this.

January 18, 2009 9:08 AM


  1. and so we're tangled in yesterday and tomorrow, now so damned hard to pin. i wonder on your poem. is it defiance? or is it acknowledgement that to be here now is darned near impossible?

    christopher, does now exist? (and so arises immediately in hot pursuit is the question, does yesterday, or tomorrow?)

    i feel grief for you. happiness and grief. i see you in your suit and think about all that will come, all of those sweet times i won't name for care of you. i see robert too and all that has passed him. i see what has passed me. and i see us gone, the photos in an old suitcase, familiar, unfamiliar hands on us.

    perhaps we'll all be together one day.


  2. the remember when's can be so tender.
    Christopher-- i've been thinking about you this past week or so as i and my family work through my father's failing health and his (literal) fight for breath and movement, any movement. reading your past week's posts has been a wonderful meditation.
    i hope your health is holding.

  3. (((Erin))) I was amused writing the poem, I know. I did not have hard feelings writing the poem. I wrote the intro stuff to the original post with some sense of victory over the harder spots of life. The capacity to narrow the focus and discover much of my distress belongs to the future or the past and not to my focus on now is a true power. My life is simpler knowing that so much of my distress is not all the way real, not all the way real like my next breath is. Then of course that breath is over and with it the distress of the moment.

    In this way my real distress is a much smaller bundle and my life easier to live. So despite the heaviness of the subject there is lightness of being behind it.

  4. (((Harlequin))) my health is indeed holding, even improving in small ways as I have been permitted to return to my old sleeping arrangement, no longer upright in a chair but laying on the couch with elevated legs. I make a point of my exile from my bed but I am really fairly comfortable on the couch. For that matter, it was tolerable sitting in the chair, though I yearned to lay down. I don't feel self pity. I think I can say that honestly. I think I am grateful I do have solutions. I am enough of a little boy still that I sort of take joy in the fact that I am sleeping wherever I damn want in this house.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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