Thursday, January 26, 2023


Back at my desk in the corner of my front room, surrounded by the familiar friends of books, piano books, folders, CD’s, memorabilia on bulletin boards, photos, the things I still need and refer to combined with the things I should someday soon let go and recycle. Looking for places for the little gifts I accumulated to fit in and thinking about how the best gifts these days are food or drink items, here and then gone.

The flight home was delightfully smooth. I watched some Seinfeld re-runs while traveling and one was Jerry’s revelations that when something went bad for him, it was soon followed by something good, earning him the nickname Even-Steven. After the fiasco of the Hobart to New Zealand flight, the karma gods made it up with a no-line, no-hassle get my ticket, get through security, get through customs, then the elite lounge for a free lunch of saffron rice, vegetables, fruit and other goodies, on to the plane and the miracle of an entire row to myself! Three decent movies and then lie down for a 4-5 hour sleep! I could get spoiled by this! Left at 2:00 Wednesday afternoon, got to San Francisco at 9:00 am Wednesday morning, that always strange International Dateline experience. Slept in my own bed for the first time in three weeks, awake at 1pm, a walk through the park on a sunny day and everything feeling crisp and sparkling. In bed again at 9 and somehow slept all the way through to 7:30 the next morning. This is as good as it gets!

Now the task of closing out the details of the trip—things like laundry, uploading photos, sending invoices— and facing what lies ahead. Tasks like preparing for a week of subbing at a local private school, figuring out my schedule for the one I’ve been co-teaching at, accepting people for the summer Orff course, buying tickets for a Portland grandkid visit, an Austin, Texas screening of my film, deciding on a Bangkok teaching trip late March and so on. Not to mention bigger projects like writing books, a possible podcast, getting a new computer, working on the new Website, Pentatonic Press details like translation contracts and converting some books to e-books. At once a bit overwhelming and yet happy to still have work ahead. 

I find myself signing letters to people with the closing “Onward!” I’m painfully aware that I someday will not be able to use an exclamation point as my steps grow smaller and of course, someday will reach the end of the path where there is no more onward. And least on this earthly path. But while there is and while I have energy, I’ll stick with it.


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