Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The New Song


by W. S. Merwin

For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then

there is no time yet it grows less
there is the sound of rain at night
arriving unknown in the leaves
once without before or after
then I hear the thrush waking
at daybreak singing the new song
from The Moon Before Morning. © Copper Canyon Press, 2014.

Friday, April 18, 2014


In her poetry collection, Traveling Light, Linda Pastan explores the ironies that assault us every day. We seek control of our world, experience, but time escapes even our understanding of its nature. Disease, disorders and defects we control by research into their origins, a cure only dollars away. Relationships we control by avoidance or setting severe boundaries. But time has a life of its own.

Clock   by  Linda Pastan

Sometimes it really upsets me—
the way the clock's hands keep moving,

even when I'm just sitting here
not doing anything at all,

not even thinking about anything
except, right now, about that clock

and how it can't keep its hands still.
Even in the dark I picture it, and all

its brother and sister clocks and watches,
even sundials, all those compulsive timepieces

whose only purpose seems to be
to hurry me out of this world.

"Clock" by Linda Pastan from Traveling Light.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


No matter how long we care for people in our home, Adagio AFH, we never get used to experiencing their decline. We resist their disintegration as vigorously as possible without impinging on their right to die.

After only two weeks working with Hospice, we succumbed to the inevitable and gave comfort care only. Early Wednesday morning our resident took in a shallow breath and then no more.

Saturday we attended a continuing education class at our pharmacy supplier considering the subject “End of Life.” Considering our recent experience, the presenters helped me differentiate Palliative Care when the symptoms are serious but not fatal, and Hospice Care when we no longer look for solutions and a cure. Our ultimate goal is to help give “good death.”

Our grieving family has been gifted with exceptional weather for travel back to home base and warm, sunny days as they circle around the area of their childhood making their plans.

Viewing the pastel sunset last night, I reviewed a few comments made in our training.  Our 30ish pharmacist reminded us of the earthquakes and deadly landslides we have experienced this past month. “We never know if today will be our last.” We treasure each sunset as though it is our last.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Sunsets are valued as beauty in nature at its best, and highly desirable even though they indicate the movement of time through another 24 hours we will never again see.

The best sunsets require clouds. Clouds change their shape and basic nature in less time than it takes to run throughout the house closing windows. Clouds are seen to hide the sun in the sky overhead, and in metaphors holding truth in a small, vowel congested word. Every cloud has a silver lining. Her head is in the clouds. There are dark clouds on the horizon.

In 1802 William Wordsworth invoked a lonely cloud to represent his solitude, writing, "I wandered lonely as a cloud/That floats on high o'er vales and hills/When all at once I saw a crowd,/A host of golden daffodils;/Beside the lake./ Beneath the trees,/Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

Float clouds, cumulous or cirrus, above the western horizon as the earth turns your small plot of land away from the sun and you have potential for a breathtaking sunset. Growing up on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan my father would scan the early evening sky and announce, “Red in the morning, sailors take warning. Red in the night, sailors delight.” And another day passes into our memory.