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January, 2008: 10 17 27 30 31

1/10/08-Thurs.-After her medical procedure, I drove Frances and myself today over to Jason's Deli for a late lunch. We are both hoping for the best. She had, for the first time, a breast biopsy. She was quite appreciative of several rather sweet yet professional women who attended her before, during, and after the operation. Now she is fairly sore and not supposed to move around much lest bleeding resume. The results should be ready Monday. Tiny calcium-deposit looking abnormalities had been found on her latest mammogram.

The weather has been gorgeous lately, including a new cool front that breezily blew in this morning. On our way back from the restaurant, we saw great clouds windswept into marvelous abstract shapes reminiscent of giant wings or ocean swells.

1/17/08-Thurs.-Over the weekend, we had a good visit with my distant cousin, Harry, his wife, Eleanor, and their kids, Carol and George. My brother, Ron, joined us over at the Tien Jin restaurant, and we had a good buffet meal and chat there as well.

Happily, Fran's biopsy was negative. Only benign findings from her breast. Yes!

"Easy come, easy go." We've now lost about $50,000 in paper value from the $900,000 in net assets our nest egg was worth as recently as December. And the markets keep going down. Oh well.

1/27/08-Sun.-Have experienced something of a crisis in my dream work. I keep having nightmares, presumably because I am not dealing in conscious awareness with whatever is bothering me from the dream realm. Have decided, though productive, the dream interpretations apparently are not going fast enough to permit the needed change. Some type of psyche confrontation or dealing with my demons seems required. Have considered breath work, as taught by Stanislav Grof and described in his The Adventure of Self-Discovery.

However, my reactions to intense experimental "trips" in the 1960s (when I was in San Francisco and Berkeley) included months of flashbacks, suicidal ideation which I tried to actually put into effect, a dissociative disorder (with briefly a multiple personality manifestation), hallucinations that lasted for days, and being locked up in a mental ward for awhile. Among other things, I thought I had experienced much of World War Three (seen in advance, but looming), had died, and then had gone to Hell. Fortunately, I also had "gone to Heaven," from which, of course, I had no inclination to depart, but a pair of "angels" there said my time on Earth had not yet ended and that I must go back to complete my ordained existence. Subsequent such experiences also "foretold" that I would write a great deal, make a lot of money, and, for what it is worth, achieve some type enlightenment.

So, all things considered, I would just as soon avoid the breath work (which in some ways may mirror the effects of heavy drug experiences) in attempting a breakthrough. Nonetheless, have decided that, if I cannot do so via the dream work or meditation, I shall need to try Grof type breath work in a few months, or by the end of the year at the latest.

Accordingly, have resumed meditation to a greater extent than for quite awhile. In the past couple days, these sessions have been productive. I'm sure I have much, much, much farther to go, but I am encouraged that this can be an effective means to positive resolution of the inner conflict or crisis.

Worked as usual at the temporary library facility yesterday. On Wednesday, 1/30, am going to Waco for a visit with Mom. Then she and I will head for Houston for a visit with Mary. Frances thought about going with me but decided against it when she remembered having a natural history field trip she wants to attend during the period I would be away.

She and Puff are doing just fine.

1/30/08-Wed.-On the road again. Spending a few days visiting with my mom in Waco and Sugar Land, TX, where we'll also get together with my sister-in-law, Mary, whose birthday is Friday.

Last night, I was rereading my journal from 1980. Amazing to realize that almost 30 years have passed since that late spring when I completed my masters in counseling and broke up with Betty, the woman I was to wed, but for the Justice of the Peace not showing up. If there were a god, there must have been some divine intervention that day!

It was also later that spring that I joined my brother, Ralph, who had no way to know he would be dead in a decade, and his wife, Mary, in moving (after completion of our respective educations) from the east coast to TX, there to each, within the next several months, find work and begin our careers. In his case, this meant settling in the Houston area for his final years, whereas my job began in Orange but, just 18 months later, continued in Austin, where I have resided ever since and where, a couple years later, I met my wife, Frances. (Both the move to Austin and my meeting and marrying a woman like Fran were predicted in a late 1981 psychic reading.)

Recently, Fran has, with the benefit of digital photography, become quite a good specialist in images, particularly invertebrate, from the external natural world. Though neither of us planned it this way, roughly in the same period, by coincidence, with the benefit of my dream groups plus meditation, I am becoming a specialist in images from the internal natural realm.

Later. Things are busy enough here in Waco that they do not get boring, yet relaxed enough that they are hardly hectic.

Had a short rest, did some meditation, and went for a long walk this afternoon and early evening. Mom and I chit-chatted about politics, economics, family, and investments.

She said my brother, Ron, is expecting to quit his job, that he has been making "too much money." Evidently he stands to lose his (undeserved, it has seemed to me) disability payments from the U.S. Postal Service, because he is making a over $18,000 a year. He must quit before it reaches that limit (not to mention that he's never done all that well as a hard sales rep and had been hoping for something easier that he could do just part-time. It is ironic that he already had just such a position with Sears before quitting it to take this security service sales position he now expects to quit as well. He is thinking of becoming a travel agent next. He likes the prospect of work that will send him on free vacations and yet won't threaten his government check for (pretending to have) an inability to work. Some have thought Ron basically lazy, but maybe it's just that he really is handicapped.

Perhaps I ought to be more compassionate and understanding. Maybe we all just do the best we can. Each of us adjusts to existence in her or his way, then dies. I am certainly no saint. Nor do I have the best record for hard work under endlessly difficult conditions, that I have therefore any reason to be self-righteous.

Besides, if some folks weren't the grasshoppers and hares, how would the ants and tortoises have a chance to look good by comparison!? Of course, these creatures have their own deficiencies.

1/31/08-Thurs.-Drove with Mom in my car to Houston and then to Sugar Land today. We got to Mary's place about 2 PM. She was still at work and got home about 5:00.

Mom and I rested. I shaved, took a shower, and changed into fresh clothes, things I'd put off doing this morning so we could leave at the time we had set.

Soon after Mary had gotten in and we had noisily greeted one another, we drove over in Mary's car to a Lebanese eatery: delicious! We all talked a great deal, at dinner as well as before and after, all the way up to 9:45 PM, when Mary had to get ready for bed. She still works tomorrow. Mom and I will be on our own. We'll likely go for coffee, to a bookstore, and to see a movie.

After the others had gone to bed, I meditated for close to an hour, relaxing after all the buzz or excitement of the evening's chatting, eating, and emoting. Tomorrow I shall be quiet, attending more, yapping less.

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