Voice From The Past

Three years ago today, my family and I were numbed by the news of the the passing of a friend, a friend that we had shared Thanksgiving dinner with the day before. He (‘D’) sat at the table shared by his children, his ex wife (‘K’), with whom he still shared a strong bond, and friends including my family. It was a happy gathering. The news of his death the next day was crushing.

On April 29th. 2018, my wife read me a letter that ‘D’ had written to ‘K’ just after the divorce. For whatever reason, ‘K’ had not opened the letter and it was lost amid the various papers and letters of that time. ‘K’ was devastated when she discovered the letter. It was a beautifully written declaration of his love for her despite their divorce.

That letter inspired the following that I wrote between 4/30 – 5/2/18. I don’t feel like it wasn’t mine to write but it came out in a gush and it took me a couple of days to arrange it properly. Only two people have read it, both trusted friends who I’ve miss daily since they moved away. I’ve wanted to share this for a long time, now is the time, the third anniversary of his passing.

Is that you, is it really you?
I never thought I'd ever hear
your voice, feel your closeness,
your breath caressing my ear,
whispering words that fill me.
why did you have to leave?


i never left you, i'm still here
look for me in the faces of our children,
you will see me there,
gazing back through their innocent eyes,
longing to find my way back to you.
please, don't forget about us.


I will never forget, you are a part of me,
I'm incomplete, I will never be whole.
I yearn for you, every minute, every day,
more now that we will never again walk hand in hand.
You were my life, you hold a piece of my soul,
you were my best friend. Oh, how I want you back.

i cannot return, i'll wait for you,
i'll hold your soul piece, i'll keep it safe.
it reminds me of what we shared.
it reminds me of what we've lost, and,
when first you turned your gaze to me.
you were my best friend, you are my best friend...

my best friend
my best friend
my best friend



Tim Blodgett 11/29/19
originally written 4/30/18 - 5/2/18



I’ve kept this close for a long time and it still makes my chest tight when I read it, probably always will. My family is still friends with ‘K’, her children, her new love, and we still miss our friend ‘D’.

The Path to Rapture — The Light is On

I’m re-posting this piece with Michel David Ring’s permission.

A doorway empty and charred awaits Look in and see what you left behind Forgotten on the path to rapture…

The Path to Rapture — The Light is On

Yesterday morning I checked to see what y’all had posted and saw this new one from Michel David Ring, henceforth known as MDR, or ‘The Kid’. The post is titled ‘The Path to Rapture’. Well crafted with a hook at the end. I don’t know, maybe it’s a Saturday morning thing, but like last week, it prompted me to write the following.

I just want to say, before you get to the piece, That I had a most wonderful day with my daughter and her fiance. We went to a farmers market and then went hiking on a local trail up a small mountain (hill to you out Rocky Mountain way). Highlights of the day; the trail we hiked was far enough north of where we live to have been snowing instead of raining and less than an hour away; we had a fun snowball fight on the way up; nobody got hurt on the way down and the Defiant Ornamental Pear tree in my brother’s yard is still green and doesn’t look like it will surrender until Spring!

The Road Through Torment

A door stands ajar, beyond, a room before the fire
I peer at the people inside and linger
Counting the cost of my inevitable crime
Before extinguishing the light forever
And plunging the revelers in darkness and ruin
No thought, just muscle memory honed keen by psychosis
To steal the warmth from their still beating hearts.
I wait for the night to fall and conceal my heinous crime
I run headlong from the screams of condemnation
Voiced by those whose judgement I openly scorn
Hiding within myself, I deny the past,
A past too bitter to contemplate, a past irredeemable
And leave behind a place where I never wanted to live
Now endurable only in its destruction

You never know where an idea or an inspiration will come from. When it does, grab hold of it and wrestle to the page before it gets away. I guess you could say that this is a piece of Fan Fiction. Thanks, ‘Kid’, for the great writing that you share.

A Father’s Father

Dad

I went to the late Paul Lenzi’s blog site at Avia Tinder’s suggestion and read all of the recent posts listed there. Reading the final words of a man who knew he was dying had an affect on me that I’m still having trouble reconciling. I hurt and feel like I experienced something private, that although freely shared by Paul, I didn’t deserve to to be part of.

My father died of COPD, for lack of a better description, last year on September 9th, and I remember his struggles and fears as his ability to take useful breath diminished daily. He was scared, “imagine drowning” he said. My father was old school smart and intelligent in ways that school couldn’t teach. he worked with his hands until he couldn’t, and even as he faded, I could see his work bench by how he arranged the paraphernalia of his last days on the kitchen table, though no-one else could. He would become frustrated and angry when anyone tried to rearrange his space. Unless you had worked with him and understood the pattern, you would think he was making a cluttered mess of things. I saw it, I was fortunate to have been able to work with and learn from him. When I explained, they stopped trying to organize his space, even though it was a clutter. It mirrored his work bench. I once made the mistake of trying to organize his work bench in the garage one time and he wasn’t happy. He knew where every tool and scrap piece of metal, wood, sandpaper, you name it, was until I ‘helped out’. I don’t think he ever found some of the things that I’d moved. He was independent, knew how every thing mechanical worked and why, literally, and could fix any piece of machinery, big or small, with the tools he owned. I watched him make tools when he didn’t have just the right on close at hand. He was gifted with the intuitive understanding of how things worked, and as good as I am along the same vein, I looked like the village idiot compared to him.

Too late in my life did I rekindle my relationship with my father. We didn’t have a falling out, I went a different direction and we kept to ourselves. My family is not especially close, we love each other fiercely, but we don’t seek each other out frequently, even though my two siblings and live I within 20 minutes of each other. Our parents divorced when we aged about 8, 10, and 12, and that had profound and different effects on each of us, shaping and influencing us to this day. The birth of my daughter helped bring my father and I back together. I can only imagine how my life would have evolved if things had been different when I was a child. I hope that I have been a better father to my daughter than I was a son to my father.

I didn’t intend to write this tonight or probably ever. I have done what the men in my family have always done and buried my feelings, swallowing the words and letting the emotions cool to ash. Sometimes a breath of air stirs the ash and fans an ember to flame. I miss my father and all the lost possibilities that may have been. I don’t blame, if there is any, it’s mine to bear now, both my parents are gone. Both of their obituaries were written by my hand and seemed so inadequate as a testament to their lives, but how can you give fair treatment in 300 words or less.

Too Late

My only regret;
I was never satisfied
When I should have been

Why did it take me so long
To learn to appreciate

I met Avia Tinder through her blog site, The Friday Sparrow, a few days ago and she recommended that I visit Paul Lenzi’s site and read his poetry, now, so do I.

Please go to Avia’s site, https://thefridaysparrow.wordpress.com/

and to the Paul Lenzi site, https://poesypluspolemics.com/2018/07/07/mortality/

I’m done now.

My Girl, I love her so

Hiker Girl

My little girl turned 24 today!

I call her Pie (and who doesn’t love pie!) which is short for sweetie pie. She used to hate it when I called her pie when her friends were around. That was during her difficult years, you know, middle school, high school early teen years, but she got over it. I didn’t do it to be annoying, she was/is just my Pie, and that’s what I call her.

I did do plenty of other things to annoy her because, that’s what dads do.

For instance, she didn’t know that I knew the pass word to her phone. She still doesn’t unless she reads my blog! So there we were on a hike, years ago, and she needed to use the portable facilities provided by the park. “Hold my phone”, she said. Like a thunderbolt from heaven the idea occurred to me that it would be hilarious to snap a photo of her as she exited the plastic privy. I did and almost forwarded it to all her friends, by accident of course. Not one to be outdone, she turned the tables on me the first chance she got, thus began the Porta John photo war that continues to this day. She’s a great sport and she gives as good as she gets!

Pie, George (her man) and I went on a Fathers day hike last June. She thought that she was taking her old man out for some fresh air. BUAHH HA HA! After we reached the top of the Overlook trail, where I took the previous photo, we headed back down and stopped at a pretty spot on the trail where George pulled a small box out of his pocket and asked my Pie to marry him. I guess she’s his Pie now.

Newly engaged girl

Now it was my turn to play my part. I grabbed my belly and said that I needed to take the trail down to the beach/picnic area to use the bathroom. This was a different trail than the one we came in on. Pie reluctantly agreed, and that she too would take advantage of the facilities. I claimed urgency and ran on ahead. I didn’t stop running until I got to the pavilion we had rented for the surprise engagement party. Final preparations were made and I went to wait for Pie and George at the restrooms. Once business was attended to, I asked her and her new fiance to come over to the pavilion and say hello to a few people I knew. Again, she reluctantly agreed and griped about not wanting to hang around with a bunch of people she didn’t know. She also wondered why everybody was looking at us as we walked up the path. Suddenly, she realized that it wasn’t a bunch of gawking strangers, but a bunch of family and friends that loved her.

That was the best fathers day ever!

And now for her birthday limerick and one of my favorite pictures of my little girl.

Goofy girl

This is my forever screen saver! The best part is she did it to herself!

I love my Pie! (and her George too!)

My response to ‘The Leading Edge of Time’ by Mitchel David Ring

Image result for arrow of time images
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjeo6HyhPDlAhVCxVkKHWROB9oQjB16BAgBEAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fresonance.is%2Farrow-time-not-absolute-new-experiment-shows%2F&psig=AOvVaw1Z3s1KKHGwLOVBewrrwShz&ust=1574034313273193

This fella that I follow, Mitchel David Ring; The Light is On, posted this morning. I saw it a few minutes after it went up, liked it, and was going to comment but, I was at work and I had to do a work thing. I kept it on screen so I wouldn’t forget and started a task. I was about 12 seconds into it when I rushed back to my desk and started writing. Sometimes, it just happens that way. I’d been struggling with a cluttered mind for the past week, and suddenly the gears started turning.

Mitchel wrote a piece titled, ‘The Leading Edge of Time’, that you should read and interpret for your self. It must have gotten away from him a little bit and concluded differently than he expected. Not sure if he agreed with what he wrote, he asked,”What do you think?”.

Buahh ha ha!

I really like his style of writing and wanted to give it a try, so here’s my response to his call.

This is Where Time Leads

We live in the dimension on the leading edge of time
In the here and now of the new reality
Where doorways open onto memories and dreams
The past, fast receding, collapses upon itself
And in its leaving, spawns potentials and possibilities
That shimmer unseen beyond the edge of our dreams
Their siren song beckoning from the unknown future

Human nature compels us to constantly forge ahead
'til the bubble in which we live is over stretched
Then, pricked by fickle destiny, it bursts
And those myriad possibilities heretofore concealed
Break free of Time's prison walls
To thrive and take form in creative 'gasm
And become the now that once we dreamed

I think I captured the essence in my response. Please go to Mitchel’s post and read his last and the start reading anything else he wrote. I can’t say enough how talented a writer he is. So now, I’ll pose the question.

What do you think?

Also, I’d love to read anyone else’s interpretation of ‘The Leading Edge of Time’.

Defiant

Ornamental Pear tree in my brother's yard.      11/12/19
I
stand
against
winter's blast
unbowed, unbroken
my green defying season's change
that browned the mighty oak trees, stripping their branches bare;
that extinguished the fire blazing bright in the maple's crown, I will not strike my colors!

Fibonacci sequence (what can I say, I like numbers!)

This tree made me smile when I saw it. the sun was just breaking free from the clouds and lit the tree. I regret that my picture didn’t capture the image as I saw it. Never said that I was a photographer.

I was out of town the last couple days, near Cranberry Lake, in the Adirondacks. No cell, no wifi, no sound but that of the wind rustling leaves and bare branches and the tinkling of icy snow crystals on those branches, stubborn leaves and the brim of my hat. Saw deer, bear sign but no bears(darn), and walked for miles in unfamiliar woods. Had a great time and didn’t get lost! I would have taken pictures, but my phone run out of charge searching for signal and my digital camera was acting up. The bear sign was a thrill for me. By the tracks, it was a sow and her two cubs. The were raking the leaves around Beech trees looking for beechnuts. There was three fresh inches of snow on the ground and from where I was standing, I could see the path they took for over a hundred yards by the turned up leaves they left in their wake. Mama bear also left claw marks in the Beech trees about 7 feet up from the ground. I followed their tracks for quite a ways and never caught up, they were probably a couple hours ahead of me because the leaves were starting to freeze up.

That was my weekend, I hope yours was as enjoyable as mine!

Winter Mix: An All Outdoors column

As you may have read in a previous post, I will be archiving past columns that I’d written for the Saratoga Today newspaper, and other publications. I want them to be accessible to you and to anyone who may be seeking a writer for free lance work.

Today was the first day that snow fell where I live and it reminded me of a column I wrote 4 years ago, almost to the day. I will post the entire piece at the end. This is how it opened;

Just a few days ago, my wife, Rosemary, tried to tell me that the small white particles falling slowly from the sky were snowflakes. I patiently explained that what we were seeing couldn’t possibly be snow. The first day of winter, December 22nd is still over a month away so it’s way too early for snow. The flakes, I insisted, were ashes from a fire, possibly a forest fire out west, carried aloft by the wind and were only now completing their long journey. She was unconvinced. “Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, now let’s go inside, it’s cold out here” I said. She said something about being in denial but I wasn’t listening because I didn’t like her tone. Winter will arrive soon, no need to rush it.

I enjoyed writing that and it was remarkably close to the actual conversation we had. We’ve been together for a long time and she’s wise to me, so I knew better than to try that line on her again. Today’s weather was a pitiful attempt at winter, and should be ashamed at itself for such a miserable failure. If It’s going to snow, then bring it on!

I know I’ll be regretting that later.

First snow

Winter approaches
bringing sorrow bittersweet
memories remain

The column submitted to Saratoga Today on 11/17/15

Those Weren’t Snowflakes!

All Outdoors by Tim Blodgett

Just a few days ago, my wife, Rosemary, tried to tell me that the small white particles falling slowly from the sky were snowflakes. I patiently explained that what we were seeing couldn’t possibly be snow. The first day of winter, December 22nd is still over a month away so it’s way too early for snow. The flakes, I insisted, were ashes from a fire, possibly a forest fire out west, carried aloft by the wind and were only now completing their long journey. She was unconvinced. “Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, now let’s go inside, it’s cold out here” I said. She said something about being in denial but I wasn’t listening because I didn’t like her tone. Winter will arrive soon, no need to rush it.

Last Casts.

Last week, I winterized my boat because it became clear to me that I wouldn’t have time to take it out again before the lakes froze. That doesn’t mean I’m done fishing though and you shouldn’t be either. If you’re so inclined, dress warmly and try your luck. Walleye come out of their deep water haunts to gorge on bait fish and I will recommend a few places you can reach them from shore. The state boat launch at Saratoga Lake is one of my favorite places to go this time of the year. The drop off is within casting distance and the weeds have died back enough to work a lure without getting hung up. I like throwing suspending jerk baits and swim baits. Work the jerk baits slowly and allow them to pause frequently. Swim baits work best with a varied retrieve that mimics the natural behavior of minnows. In other words, be the bait fish. I find that the fishing is best for walleye at sundown and into the early evening but any time of the day can be productive for bass and pike. Another place I like to go is Lock 5 on the Hudson River in Schuylerville. You can’t keep the fish there but they are usually cooperative. The biggest challenge is landing the fish you hook when you fish the lock wall. You will need a long (8 or more feet) handled net reach the fish or you will have to walk them around the end of the wall to land them. Try using a white twister grub or a tube jig to get them to bite. Swim baits worked parallel to the wall work well too. You never know what you’ll catch in the river, so be prepared for anything. Any of the other locks on the Hudson and Mohawk rivers would be worth a try also. If that’s not your speed, you can always dig out your ice fishing gear and get ready for the hard water season.

Where’s the Venison?

The extended run of nice weather that we have been enjoying has not played well for the deer and the deer hunters hoping to fill their tags. Sure, deer have been active playing deer games, but according to most of the hunters I’ve spoken to, the games are being played between midnight and 4am and witnessed only by their trail cameras. Deer are wearing their winter coats now and are laying low during the balmy days of late. Until the weather takes a wintery turn or the rut really kicks in, hunters will want to be in their stands before sun up or be ready during the waning of the day for the best chance to get a shot at deer moving between feeding and bedding areas. I’ve only been out a couple of times myself opting instead to go fishing on warm days. I love to hunt but when you don’t have a lot of free time, taking care of a deer shot on a 60 degree day can be problematic. You need a reliable plan if you do take a deer on a warm day. Either have a butcher on retainer or a couple of friends and an empty freezer if you want to avoid seeing your efforts go to waste. It doesn’t take long for meat to spoil and you owe it to yourself and the deer you shot to make sure that it doesn’t. Deer activity will increase as the temperatures drop and their procreative juices start flowing. Patience and a steady aim will serve you well in the next few weeks.

Drilling for fish.

Winter may be a month away but it’s not too early to prepare for the excitement of ice fishing. Too often we wait until the last minute to check our gear and that strategy often ends with a bite to the posterior. Change the blades on your auger and get it tuned up if it runs on gas. Dull blades or an auger that won’t run will ruin an excursion before it begins. Replace leaders on tip ups and line on jigging rods or all you will come home with is a fish story. A lot of ice fishing equipment can be hard to come by when the season is in full swing so make sure you’re stocked up with the things you need by shopping now and special ordering hard to find items if needed.

Pretty soon, the small white things falling from the sky will undeniably be snow so get your gear ready and be sure to sharpen your shovels for what will soon arrive. In the meantime, I’m content to stay in denial.

Sunday morning in the woods

Sometimes I start to write and the words take over. This started in the general direction I gave it, only to wander off on a sort of parallel path. My thoughts were unfocused, likely a result of the forest floor scent and warm sunlight on the back of my neck.

Thought

Once again, I found myself alone
not lonely, just alone
away from watchful electric eyes
unscanned, unrecorded, invisible
to all but the bright black eyes
and twitching ears
of the forest's sentinels
who hide unseen and watch
Afterthought

Alone with my thoughts
my mind on rapid shuffle
random phrases
ideas
chemical triggers
cascading impulses
in the fourth of July sky of my mind
they seem so real
they are almost nonexistent
yet each one creates a ghost
that cannot cross over
until every ghost is given up
so,until that day comes
I will be their host
and God-like, I will create
with reckless abandon
out of mental clay
and the scattered bones of
long dead dreams,
countless brothers and sisters
who will briefly flare
and quickly fade

so beautiful was their light
so alive are their ghosts

Where monsters be

Sunrise at Harrisburg Lake

I was driving the old school bus down a country road, past the farm fields and hedgerows along my route. As I drove, I was admiring the way the fog shrouded landscape and also gave it a an odd brightness. I couldn’t stop to take a picture, but it set my mind in motion and I wrote this between runs.

Diffuse Light

Tell me
What lies hidden by the mist
Is the scene being changed by unseen hands
By giants
By dragons


What will I see when the curtain lifts
Will I see what I saw yesterday
Will I see what I expect
Or something new
 
Will others see what I see
Or will they see something different
Damn Heidelberg and his uncertainty
I feel like Schrodinger’s cat
 
How can we be sure of anything
If the act of observation
Changes, alters, determines
That which is observed

What was it before or instead
I want to know, but
My sight is obscured
By diffuse light

I’ve always been fascinated by old maps that label the unknown as the realm of monsters.