Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's pretty cold out, we got some snow yesterday that covered the tracks of the squirrels and birds but left the paths out to the hen house. My back is somewhat dull with pain and there's a periodic flash of deep pain on one side. Not a lot, but then the pills have kicked in by now. Starting March 1st they are going to try to "put the nerves to sleep" with high frequency waves. If it works I might have a 50% reduction in pain and regain some mobility in time to work on the two remaining sculptures for the National Museum of Dance.

The exhibit is supposed to last about a year and will feature various goddesses, mostly from the Greek era, with a small temple set up in a garden like setting. That's the impression I get anyway. I haven't seen any plans yet. I let them hang onto "Dancer", which they want to use as Demeter. It seems funny that they liked that one for Demeter as it's a bit chubby and oriental looking, but then the religions came from the east and body types were different then. Then they want Artemis, which is very pleasant but in need of a solid base so she doesn't fall back. During the firing it sagged a tad bit and now leans back too far. I planned a marble, stone or cement base for her. The Persephone they chose is the older one, just a bust really, but it's shown before and I like her a lot. Now I have to do Aphrodite in a taller size, like 24"-30" and Ishtar at about 18". It's curious how the mingling of forms creates an athmosphere. Combining Greek and earlier goddesses in one spot has interesting implications. If we use Aphrodite and Ishtar as examples of passionate goddesses we get one idea, but if we use Ishtar along with Persephone we get a rebirth concept and draw attention to her role as protector of childbirth. I like the idea that they have a religion whereby the passion that leads to childbirth is handled by one deity. She encourages love, sex and children. Nice Lady.

I have an idea for Aphrodite. Since I tend to appreciate the earlier forms I plan to use the moment she arises from the sea, supported by dolphins and maybe even covered by seaweed, at least the "special parts". The woman in charge of the exhibit is excited about it all, and that sure is nice. Aphrodite was identified as giving passion a singular role in life. It is passion that causes love. It is passion that leads to war. So Aphrodite has an affair with the god of war, Ares. Her husband is the god of blacksmithing and relates to Ptah and other male creator gods. They don't create the universe, as that was done already, but they create things like armor, jewelry, magic weapons. Aphrodite get a girdle that makes her look so good nobody can resist her. Odd, when you think about it, that a husband would make his wife irresistible to other men. But then Hephaestus was not your average god-husband. So she's on her seashell, supported by dolphins, partly nude yet not so much sexy as pure.

Ishtar was also called Inanna and I plan to make Her in the motif of the older forms, the stylized cylinder-like body but with suggestions of breasts and pubic triange, just enough to be "real" but still stylized enough to not be offensive to sensitive viewers. The real older form with Her spread-legged and obscene wouldn't go over too well. Ishtar-Inanna was the goddess who went down to Hell to visit Her sister Ereshkigal and pay respects to Her dead husband. There is some suggestion that Ereshkigal and Inanna as aspects of the same goddess, but that goes without saying. All deities are linked at some level. I like the Inanna version of the Persephone myth, the idea that She goes down of Her own free will and comes back more powerful. Much better than rape and abduction, even if it was by a powerful God like Hades. That version reminds us that Death comes for us all, but the earlier version reminds us that we sometimes have to sacrifice ourselves to ourselves in order to rise above and become stronger, to gain our destiny. We die and are reborn, the earlier version of the Jesus myth, even earlier than Isis and Osiris.

The thing you should get from all this imagery is that idea of the Great Circle, that death is not an end to life, merely a point on the Circle. We become greater by leaving it all behind. Inanna-Ishtar gives up Her jewelry, Her body and Her life and comes back strong enough to cast down her lover-husband who has usurped Her place. Much different take on things from the Persephone myth. Non-linear religions give us hope and despair. We will return in some form, but we will have to die again and suffer through life. Christians and other Yahwehists have a linear view where you die, are judged and then you hang out for eternity praising your Father. Not much point to that one, I think. The idea of returning to life and becoming one with other forms seems not only more interesting, but reasonable. How can an infinite universe just end and follow up with a nonsensical past life of continuous ego-stroking? Makes no sense at all. I don't even like the idea.

So you hope to see your loved ones again, know you will be in love again, in life again and will come to understand more and more about all those forms which are part of the universe. The other way gives you the position of sychophant for eternity! Yikes. Sounds exactly like what a man would invent, especially a man with doubts about his manliness.

An interesting aside is how various publications deal with the birth of Aphrodite. In some she is made of sea foam caused by the casting of Uranus's penis into the ocean. In others they deal with the penis by saying it had a vast ejaculation at the end, something which does sometimes happen to men when dying, and Aphrodite was formed of the froth. So in that one you see that they understood the fact that semen causes birth! Interestingly enough there are some creation myths where the male creator god masturbates the universe into existence, solving the problem of why a male god might not have a female goddess around to use that heavenly penis. Still, the idea of the universe being created by a hairy-palmed deity thinking about Sonia Bragga is disturbing. Gives you an idea of what kind of folks were telling tales back then. NOt much different from Fox News.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This morning the radio voice said that they normally only refer to medical doctors as "doctor" on air, except in some cases as when a reporter might refer to "Doctor Condeleeza Rice". That got me thinking, of course, about the concept of that woman as a doctor. I understand that she did not attend a medical school and is only a doctor by virtue, if you can call it that, of her PhD. BUt still, consider her for a moment holding some helpless preemie in her hands and she is deciding if it's cost effective to let the brat live or not... But I suppose I might be misreading that smirk she gets whenever she talks about women and children being killed by American weapons. She may simply be licking off some stray Thai sauce or something. She might be quite tender-hearted for the right price.

The thing is, as a second rate character in a soap opera, Condie does fine. But as Secretary of State she represents me and everybody else in my family and neighborhood. So, doncha think that when she has her face on the Web in short video clips for CNN and YouTube, and she's telling outrageous lies about how many innocent people are beling slaughtered because of this business deal, this slam-dunk, that went so horribly bad... that the people whose families were under those bombs or hit by those bullets... they might be really, really mad? I know that George thinks all "those people" are ignernt and backard, but actually pretty much all civilization started around there and has never left, except to evolve into a cesspool of dog eat dog, eye for an eye violence, a huge self destruction while they work out their history. Many of those people are skilled at building things, wiring things, mixing things. It's so simple a child could do it. As we learned from Timmy McVeigh you can drive right up to the target and be miles away when it triggers, letting you time it just right for maximum carnage. We do it all the time, you and I. In our name, every day, bombs are exploding people into pieces, bullets are slamming into children, and minds are being made up. It'll be centuries before all the vengence killings will be worked out. We'll be dying violently for centuries. And Condi got a super-tanker named after her. Oil tanker, that is, Texas T, black gold, just like Condee.

So whenever you think about the future, be sure to factor in the potential of daily bombings in some American city. It is much easier to successfully attack a super-power if you are willing to blow yourself up along with the victims. Suppose our military had as an active part of training the idea of strapping on a vest of C4 and walking up to a check point around rush hour? How many American kids would sign up to blow themselves up for their country? It takes real hair to do that. It does, however, violate the one commandment that I, as a pagan, choose to follow: Harm None. So, for me, a suicide vest may not be cowardly and misrepresented, but it is not to be done in the name of the Deity. You blow yourself up because you want to kill people you do not know. That just doesn't work for me. Then you have the other crime in war: distance killing. Firing a missle, dropping a bomb, shooting a bullet, all remove you for the immediate ramification s of your deed. You don't even get to run over and eat a slice out of the heart of your victim. Where's the fun in that? But then, maybe we just don't want to know what Halliburton serves up as Field Ready Meat Product. Bottom line is I think if you are willing to kill someone you don't know, you should be close enough to introduce yourself and acknowlege them as a person. Then you can blow the back of their head out, splattering blood all over the wall of the mosque. And be sure to smile for the camera, because in a few hours every computer in the Mideast could be displaying an all American Boy desecrating a holy site with muslim blood. Yup, that memory will take a while to fade, doncha think? I'm thinking that all those various videos, real and faked, that portray American national policy towards others, especially those of other faiths, are going to keep hatred of you and me and our families high for a number of decades. And the American Government is attempting to control the content of the Web, not surprising except for the complete lack of understanding of the form of creature that is the Web.

They didn't understand the Mideast, either. Not even Condee with her PhD understood how long tribes have been killing one another there, in vast numbers. It all depends on how pissed they are. See, when we want to kill in vast numbers we leave the country. We kill elsewhere. Those loonies kill at the neighborhood market! No, it was a bad idea to send thousands of ignernt, semi-well armed yet poorly trained and armored kids to another, very hot, very violent part of the world to compete with a culture that embraces death and yearns for it. Evangelicals talk a good heaven, but they love their HD wide-screen LCD TV. Bad idea.

I like Dick Cheney likes those field rations, with lots of gravy. But I digress.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's a fine February morning in a place where everything has icing on it. Bright white icing. It's a place of bright contrasts, especially at night. But I'm talking about now and here and it's all a little too bright and white for me.The sun on your back is like a distant bonfire, as well it should. But the trees are broken, the terrible elms that I was going to take down later this year, now they're all broken and I feel sorry for them... but in the spring somebody with a chain saw is going to have to cut them down. They'll grow back as a shrub for awhile.

But these extremes, these whites and darks and swollen birds all puffed and jumpy on the branches. This is like a charcoal drawing, and those things tend towards extremes. That always gets me thinking about the Tree, the One we wern't supposed to get to. Even the Gnostics had that Tree. The First Mother, the one even a Bonobo ape orphan will snuggle against, is the Tree. It starts out as One and then branches out into many. Sometimes that's a good idea, sometimes, it's not. But the Tree of Life splits into two, and then again, and again. Until we show up and name It. Sounds silly, I know, but in the end we have the Tree as a Past and as a Future. And sometimes that's good, and sometimes it's not.

Infinity looked at me and said, "That's what it's all about, this and that, dog and cat. That's what it looks like, more or less. That's my name, you can't help but spread it around." So I looked and found that it was true, every Thing was connected to at least one other Thing, if you looked deep down inside, it would keep being connected. If you looked out in any direction, it was always the same, Something was connected to Something else. That's binary code, Male and Female. Adam and Lilith, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark. Something like that. So naturally you think of the Tree.

We'll get back to Infinity later. There's all these birds flying around, taking up seeds. Some are dancing on the ice, eyeballing some chick. It looks festive, but it looks serious, like rice farmers before a storm. But it's still Binary, the seed and the bird, both symbols that go back as far back as we have symbols. We must have watched them a very long time, and talked about them a lot as well. I've always said, watch what you do, but do it. That's a lot like those birds. Very little gets them to forget their task, right up to when a big Dodge pickup roars by and they split to the shrubbery. Man, do you think they have a collective memory of some carnivore the size of that bearing down on them, like a whale sucking up krill?

So if the Mother Bird Goddess is one of the earliest, she'd be the one most dispersed. I've always warned people about feeding the gods but now they've gone and gotten Yahweh into a blood diet so I thought, why not bring up his Grandmother and have Her set Him straight? Why not make a temple to the Goddess in Her bird form that would look to the passing Dodge like a huge bird feeder aviary, gazebo or something that covered most of an acre? I have that much land here. There's even a spring and a cavern, although nobody has gone in, it's kinda shallow and wet, but then I've dated gals who in the end were shallow and wet.

You start with a few columns and apiaries that had vines that wound around trees forming atriums lined with flowers. Here and there you'd have shrines to the various forms of the Goddess in this area, the local stories. Like a Woodcock shrine, or a Hawk shrine, all connected with small areas protected from the rain and snow. Nice, eh? That's what they were like. That's why you read about the sacred column or pillars that get knocked down and broken in the Old Testament. He's got a lot of explaining there. I'm thinking they don't call Him a Volcano God for nothing. But She would fold Her arms and go on receiving His attention or not. That would piss Him off and the next thing you know we're in Iraq with a moron in charge surrounded by psychotic evangelicals.

You wonder why I'd risk calling in a Goddess with a full tilt local Shrine? It's that or nothing, I read the papers as well as the scrolls and testaments. Everybody says it's ugly when Mom and Dad fight. But I have to say that there's always Grandmother, and She kicks butt. So maybe you go neolithic, counting that by now she's not only spread all over the world, since She started near Babylon, she's just around the corner! Yeah, and the great thing is that by being a custodian of the shrine, me, my wife and cats and maybe a crippled son, we would pay no taxes except maybe a few gallons of our great wines. Or pies, something they'd like. They being the new local reps of the regional militia. I figure by the time we pay off the wars in the Middle East the You Ess of Hay will be broke, dead broke and with a very bad credit to boot. Well, people still gotta eat, and we have a lot of people, so you want to learn how to garden, how to grow organic, because by not almost every item of food gets pulled off the shelves to feed the starving army, or because of E Coli contamination. Could be bad.

But it could also be good. Suppose Grandma comes in with Her Broom of Might and stops the fight, ends the killing and requires Mom and Dad to go somewhere for a few millenium and screw or something? No talking, more Creation.

That might be nice. It'd be Persephone and the ice and snow would melt, most of Florida would go under and the Polar bears would have to go to Canada, which would work well for all those Natives would got given most of that tundra and permafrost as a sop to their national pride. Anyway, the grapes would grow great, so wines would be good, and a few more houses would be fenced and covered with passive defenses, mostly to ward off gangs of orphans or insurance salesmen.

There's this branch from an elderberry that was crushed by the falling elm tree, and as it sticks it's body out into the light, it branches out in two, as if reaching up to a divine figure, and on each branch there sits a chickadee, all puffed up against the cold.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

You may notice that I changed the appearance of this blog recently. I'm working on it, trying to make it more useful and attractive. I started it, in part, to vent my emotions because of Jon's situation, but he's been really stable lately and I have not, so I guess I'll work on the externals of the blog a bit while I work on the writing.

I'm going to be making a fairly classical version of Aphrodite in terracotta for the National Museum of Dance. In order to do this in a manner that I am comfortable with I am studying the construction and set up of shrines. I like to consider the kind of environment a given statue might be destined for. Some shrines are created for an object and some form over time and have objects added later. Let's look at an example. In Goddess worship we look for spots where there is a liminal activity, like a spring, a cave, volcano, etc. Say I find a small opening under a huge tree from which water is streaming out. This is inner energy coming out to light. This liminal place is thereby holy. I might offer a coin, tossed back into the depths. I might sit and listen quietly to the sound of water bubbling up. I think about Persephone, I might think about the World Tree, maybe I'll consider the elements involved here and light a stick of incense. Through the years I continue to visit the site and offer coins, incense and meditations. I might whisper to the Goddess, I might sleep and have dreams. Eventually I might bring others here. It becomes a shrine.

As time goes by I might build a small altar and put various symbols of the Goddess such as statues, bowls etc. There is a spot where people nap to have dreams or visions. A young woman comes to stay there from time to time, taking care of the shrine and keeping it clean. We build a roof over the spot where the offerings are made. The shrine becomes a temple. Maybe the dreams are consistantly true visions or maybe people come and are cured of diseases or psychological problems and more people come. Maybe people who are especially touched build small dwellings nearby. It becomes a temple-town with many shrines, many statues and offerings.

The Aphrodite I am working on is made for that level of shrine. It will be about 2 feet tall and so far at least, will have Her on a shell, holding a dove in one hand and with Cupid or Eros nearby. Notice that Eros counts for physical love and is a lesser figure in the shrine. This is because physical love is but a small part of the Goddess's domain. Love of family, love of country, of ideals... all these are loves, even love of self. Aphrodite deals with love.

She is related to Astarte, Freya, Marilyn and other Goddesses of love. She has a husband who loves Her, lovers who love Her, followers who love Her, and animals who love Her. Oddly enough, these animals are not always what you would expect. For instance, the dove is certainly one we would expect, being beautiful, soft and shy. But the pig is another animal associated with her, as is the dolphin. Both are good mothers and have other aspects which relate to important aspects of the Goddess. Meditation on these aspects, the love of a mother for her child, the love of a woman for her husband or mate, all can reveal truths about ourselves. Aphrodite is not faithful to her husband, but she is faithful to her Nature.

They want me to springboard off Isadore Duncan for the model so I have Googled a number of pictures and stare at them for long periods of meditation. The robes will be clinging so I can emphasize the body while covering it. I will likely have a breast exposed but plan to cover another with a hand. I want to show both the erotic aspects as well as the modest aspects of love. I may support the shell on two dolphins to show Her connection with the sea, as She was born of the sea.

Interesting note on Her birth. Some books say She was born of the sea foam created when a God's penis was tossed into the sea. Interesting, but some stories say the blood whipped up the foam, whereas others say it was an ejaculation after the castration that created white foam. Thus sperm entering the sea (which is ever the Goddess) gave birth to the Goddess of Love. Leave it to your imagination, was it sperm causing birth, or blood? Some writers have a problem delivering to their readers the image of a sea frothing with cum producing a beautiful nude Goddess. Too erotic? But it's the Goddess of Love, fer crying out loud. Christians should not try to write about Gods and Goddesses. They get nervous, especially when too many symbols start sounding like their own tales of Jesus and the rest of the Jewish gods. Like Osiris and Isis establishing the basis for the Jesus death and rebirth. Or Odin hanging from a tree being offered by himself to himself to bring a revelation to the people. Too close for comfort.

When I start mushing clay around I will try to post a picture of the work. The exhibition is supposed to be up for a year and I hope to make some commissions from all this, or at least get my name in the paper. Time to light some incense down by the spring. Goddess Bless, as they say in the temple town.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I've been trying to relax, looking out at the birds and the lowlands, but there are so many downed trees and broken trees in my field of vision. Maybe it's a bad idea to drink coffee first thing in the morning, like a jolt of speed. Then you plug into the box and find out how many people died while you were sleeping, and not just the ones who died when the house fell on them, or the ones who were trying to run somewhere to get away from the killing. No, I mean the ones who are over there looking at their neighborhood, just like mine. The trees that are down, when you look close, were dropped by shells fired somewhere nearby. The marks on their road were put there by tanks. If I look out at my yard and see tanks rolling by, firing at people running away and smashing down my trees. Maybe even someone I know is just under those fallen trees, one of the ones trying to run away. It makes my stomach feel funny.

See, I have a brother in law in a hospital, with stitches that go all over and deep, holding him together in a way that makes even the hardest surgeon pray a bit. That's beside the point, who they are doesn't matter. I can say I know so many people near to death, not quite there and having completely different prognosis that it makes a wonderful circle that is archetypal and easily transportable. Then I think of any other place in the world and drop that circle over it. I think of Rotterdam, which was leveled nicely at it's center and has a lot of people who remember the bombs. My brother in law comes from Hungary and has a good handle on things like tanks in the streets. I suppose having a neighbor who seems just the type to rally a crowd with a pitchfork and torch doesn't help me feel comfy. All neighborhoods are the same at their core, and Kore is an aspect of Persephone, who in any of the myths still went thru a lot of changes thru no fault of Her own. Anything can happen.

I wanted to saw those trees down, myself. I figured they would get real tall and die and collapse on the house, so that was a good reason to want to shave the elm goddess. Still, now I have to have someone cut up and stack the limbs and trunks and then cut down the 20' tall stumps. I suppose it would be real hard to get this done if there were snipers looking to shoot people who looked like they were making things easy for tanks to get through. That would put a dent in my yard work. Of course in a lot of places where there are snipers they don't have big yards like mine, or if they have property this big they have all of it under production, unless of course somebody puts a mine field in it, or a road for tanks with mines on it and people who seem to live in the trees beyond and who shoot people who try to clean up the yard, especially if they have never seen me or my family at Sunday, Friday, or Saturday worship.

What if some thugs with rifles, fully automatic rifles, came one night and informed us that some people would be living in my garage from now on and we were not to walk within a few yards of the place, as the dogs might not like it? Well, maybe I digress, but still. I was preparing to wash the dishes and started thinking about the view, my studio. What if they took it away? They can do that, they wrote and published papers that say they can do that. And they got a blathering idiot to sign his mark on the papers, so of course, that makes it better. But they can take anything they want, anytime they want and that makes me want to work faster, before it happens. Of course we can never say "It can't happen here." because it did, many times, and it was always unpleasant. We think that of course Syria would never have the balls to attack the big, bad, nuclear United States, especially if the head of the military were a drooling incoherent moron, but, I say to you, brothers and sisters, can you honestly say that no Syrian would have the balls to walk up to you and pump a magazine into you before you could squint at their name tag or ID card? Oh, I have to say I do indeed think that almost anybody you can see has the capacity to do just that. This is why a neighborhood is nice, you look out for one another. We bomb entire neighbor hoods out of existence in, oh so many places around the world.

What if some remnant of some neighborhood somewhere decided to even the score on your neighborhood? Oh sure, their government wouldn't have the guts, although oddly enough even the so-called "towel heads" are doing a good job of killing many of our trained troops every day. Man, anybody who wants to kill an American can somehow make it to Iraq, and they could just walk up to a patrol or a dance and do them all in. You might even get to go back home and brag about it. Sometimes they make videos of them doing it, along with instructions on how to do it yourself! Yes, and there are a LOT of neighborhoods where bombs or bullets with little American flags fell, sometimes passing through the skull of a little girl who was running to get her only soccer ball. Cheesy story, yet true. I bet her uncle would love to get some of those videos, or fully automatic rifles. He might be willing to wait until his travel papers come in and he can take it home to roost. There are hundreds of thousands of dead people with friends and relations with little American flags on them. Sometimes we don't let the families take the bodies in, we shoot at suspected looters.

Now I look past the broken elms to the road and I see a patch of white. It's Jess, with her head smashed in from a mortar round and her white pants getting all muddy as they roll by. Even when they pass it's too dangerous to do anything but hide in the bathroom and steal a look when things get quiet. Years from now I'll see the crows sitting on the broken ends of the elms, laughing, laughing, laughing.

But it's just a patch of snow beat down by the passing cars. The crows are sitting on the broken stumps of the elms and they are laughing.
Tomorrow the woodchuck tries to predict the end of winter. I have a hunch he's not going to want to climb out of it's warm bed just to see if the shadow is there. I know I won't feel like it. Even inside this computer room it's pretty darn cold. I have moved my email and various other accounts to this machine, which was a gift from Larry and runs XP, as opposed to the old thing which runs ME and frequently has to be rebooted several times just to get up and running. I backed up a lot of graphics to a portable hard drive and then spent a lot of time trying to convince Picassa that it should import these pics to this new machine. Now I just have to go thru about 4000 images and somehow find catagories for them to make them more useful. I really enjoy Picassa, it makes posting images to my blog easy as pie and organizing even massive amounts of images becomes pretty easy. I really would like to publish my better images, I think some of what I've done is worthy of public notice. Besides, Larry gave me the camera and in his name I would like to use it well.

Speaking of public notice, I am working on a project for the National Museum of Dance here in Saratoga. It's an exhibit springboarding from Isadore Duncan's dances and set in a Greek temple or shrine. I'm using three existing pieces of mine: Persephone, Artemis, Dancer (playing the role of Demeter) and a new piece I haven't created yet, Aphrodite. I'd have like to have been able to design the thing myself, but they already have designers, I just have to supply some of the art. It's very exciting in part because the exhibit is scheduled to be up for a year! Now if it generates a commission or two that would be swell. I have a number of pics of Isadore dancing and will use that energy to come up with a good design. The lady running the show obviously has strong feelings toward Duncan and the various Goddesses she portrayed. Those feelings are not always in synch with mine, as she seems to be working off the later, classical period and I tend to pull the stories back to their origin points. Thus, she talks of the rape and abduction of Persephone and I lean toward her incarnation as Inanna, who went down on her own to visit her sister.

My brother in law has had open heart surgery to repair a bad valve and two arteries. He's going thru the climb upwards back to the light, seeing insects on the walls and having odd fixations and dreams. Poor Sis doesn't know what to make of it, but she is really scared. He just retired, doesn't like to eat right and like Dad, seemed to think he could dog it out by being tough. Well, he is tough and that will help him, but it is the love of his wife that will give him the kind of strength he needs. Sis does love her man and she will fight tooth and nail to keep him alive. I wonder if she can see the common thread here between the classical Persephone and her own experience? In this case the sexes are reversed and the abduction was done by a heart attack, so the abductor is the victim himself... but we still have the image of going down, down, to the dark unknown and then rising to a new life, changed inside and out.

This month they want to stick more chemicals into my spinal fluid to try to undo some pain. The first time I tried epidurals it did nothing, but they want to try different chemicals. I have an appointment with the pain management people on the 23rd, and the orthopedic on the 27th. I hope something happens. I had to move Artemis down the stairs to take it to the lady from the museum so the designers could see what we have and I discovered that I could barely lift it, much less walk it down the stairs. I used lots of padding and a dolly finally. But I built that piece and I used to be able to move her around fairly easily. My weakness annoys me a lot. Today I am suffering a lot from the lifting. My back is like a sheet of steel and feels like I'm in a collossal vise. So I am cutting this entry short. It's really tough typing...

Jon is still Jon but I hope to go back down and try to move some papers around to get him on a list to move him to the Saratoga area. Since they no longer bother with stimulation therapy... since they have given up on him... I can get as good a care up here as down there. Turn him, clean him, talk to him. I can do the rest.

Talk to ya later. There's more going on.