:::this is the way the world ends:::

Category: Time (Page 2 of 2)


And now, looking ahead, it must be asked: what do you foresee in 2007? This can either be predictions of important events or people, or it could take the form of personal New Years resolutions. It’s always such a reflective time. I’m reminded that the month of January comes from Janus, the Roman god of endings and beginnings, with a face looking backward and a face looking forward.

So, looking ahead now, here are a few thoughts and resolutions from me.

In 2007, I expect:

  • to see Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, and Rudy Guliani in the spotlight for the Presidential elections of 2008, as they all announce their candidacies. (I’m already surprised to see John Edwards announce his candidacy, and so early.)
  • a withdrawl plan from Iraq.
  • peacekeeping efforts deployed to Darfur, through a renewed United Nations.
  • the biggest seller in books, by far, to be the new and final Harry Potter.
  • the biggest movie, in terms of blockbuster status, to be the new Harry Potter movie.
  • to be exhausted by Harry Potter by this time next year.
  • additional evidence for global warming.
  • one of us to announce a child on the way.

Some of my personal resolutions include:

  • to eat vegetarian as much as possible, with only occasional fish when eating out.
  • to eat less, eat more healthy foods, drink less alcohol, and drink more water daily.
  • to exercise at the Y at least 12 times each month.
  • to post and comment regularly on the Hollow Men site, including a weekly literary/poetry feature.
  • to work to organize our house better.
  • to begin more sustained writing.
  • to be in better touch with family and friends.


October, and kingdoms rise, and kingdoms fall


We approach our gathering, and I’m enjoying the anticipation. I look forward to speaking with you all. It’s been a long couple of weeks, one of which was spent on the road in New Jersey for the Dodge Poetry Festival (anyone who has viewed Bill Moyers’ special The Language of Life knows the Dodge Festival) and then in New York for a few days. A week away has paid a toll.

First, some housekeeping:

Toby, are you ready for us to descend upon you? Anything we can do, bring, or otherwise?

J.E. and Ned, are you able to be there?

Peters, I assume you’re set to come?

And second, a few things:

I know I’ve put in for a guys-only kind of weekend. I still stand by that, but certainly don’t mean to put any of you in a strange spot–Toby especially–about this. So whatever the configuration, it will be great. Toby in particular, I know you and Steph have had a hard few weeks by now. I hope this weekend is still good for you, and I hope it’s useful the way friendship can be useful to grief.

I look forward to such candid talk. For one, I would like to hear more about our marriages and the ways each of us makes them work. Who would have thought we’d have an HM gathering and talk about our relationships, let alone our marriages? Considering that most HM gatherings centered often on our solitude, perhaps we’ve come some distance. But I guess that’s the vicinity I’d like to discuss–how do you protect your solitude and still remain a committed and loving partner? Certainly some of that conversation can and should occur here on the site–so please do respond here–but I hope we can talk openly about some of these issues. Speaking for myself, in this last year, I’ve found it very difficult to maintain the things that I used to value and still value–solitude, reading, writing, contemplation, running, certain friendships, and so on. While I realize a new balance is being struck with Jen, and one that most often seems only to improve, it’s still sometimes hard not to feel some loss. Peters brought some of this up awhile ago on an earlier post, and it would be great to continue some of that conversation and to hear from Peters on this, since he and I are at least in a similar time frame in our marriages, but also to hear from Ned, J. E., and Toby, who have had some longer time to live within their marriages.

In any case, this is on my mind, and it’s part of what I look forward to. Of course, I also look forward to tea and coffee, walking through the leaves, and catching up on all our eccentricities. Autumn has been in full force here in Minnesota for the last couple of weeks–truly exhilarating around the Mississippi, the bridges, the lakes, our neighborhood and in the parks. It will be great to come down while Kansas City will be in the throes of its autumn.

See you, in less than three weeks — Jeff

Verse V of a poem I wrote in college

It’s not very good, but I just felt like posting something different…the following is true and I put it in a poem while I was in college.

V. The police called to tell me my car window was reported “found shattered.” I slip on my shoes and white T-shirt and break out of the front door, heavily squinting in the morning sun. I slowly twist my head through where-the-window-should-be to find glass seeding the front seat. I talk to the police officer; taken:

1 rental tape,

26 music discs.


The letter that came this morning:

“Your recent letter came. I have read it and reread it many times. You know you can count on us for prayers for your safety. It’s a problem I have understanding how God answers in so many unusual ways.

Your mother needs you so terribly much. Through her tears is sobbed, ‘I wish he could spend some time with Andrew this summer.’ I really don’t know what else to say.

Congratulations on your graduation.


Grandma C.”

Continue reading

That saying about life being hard is sometimes true…

I mentioned in the Music Thursday post that I was sorry for my lack of involvement over the last week.  This blog has been a great outlet for me, and I hope to come back in full force soon.  I know there will be ebbs and flows…last week was a tough one for many of the HM.  J.E. and Shotts, I think, had mentioned a tough week also.  This last week was particularly hard for Steph and I, and I’m glad to be able to have a group of friends I can share this with. 

It started out hard, but I thought it’d get smoother instead of more difficult.  I had some deadlines in the beginning of the week that caused a lot of stress.  I still was feeling like I was coming out of my post-vacation pining (which makes it really hard to sit in front of a computer screen).  I had to hit my workload hard, and started up BirdBox activities bright and early Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and worked until 9:30 or so each of those days.  It really takes it out of me to filter my world through an LCD monitor most of my waking hours.  Steph knows I’m not much to talk to after days like that.

Continue reading

Novel Inbox

I thought this was an curious idea. it’s interesting how literature is trying to employ the tools of modern internet to thrive.  In fact, the first blog I can remember took the shape of posting Samuel Pepys’ diary in daily increments.

Anyway, there’s a depthful flurry of information and content out there…I find so little of it really valuable to me other than an instantaneous visceral experience.  I think that’s one reason this blog has surprised me, because it’s got me excited about something online again.  That hasn’t happened for years.

What do you think?  Do you think this is an interesting tool, but not one that anybody will use?  Do you think it can help bring significance to a space that seems devoid of it sometimes? 

Time, Part II

Time is elastic, I heard once. I always believed this thought to have some merit.

Recent posts about time and how we spend it got me thinking. Is it truly about how we spend it, or how we experience it? Good times go quickly, bad times seem to move more slowly — that is, if you believe in good and bad times. Or is it all just time, experienced as we choose?

I have no answers, but I do have a recent observation: I should have been careful what I wished for, for now I have it. I have a job I love, a wife I love, a dog I love, and a dozen or so activities I wish I could spend more time doing. Every minute is marrow. There are no scraps anymore, and time feels as though it is whizzing by faster than I can experience it. No longer do I have the sour, which emphasizes the sweet. No longer is there a sweet anticipation of good things to come, simply because it is all good now. Is this a better quality of life?

I certainly never feel like there is an opportunity to rest and reflect; to enjoy the subtleties of my introversion. I think back to the days where I was in class, looking forward to evening activities, dinner, a bike ride. It was as though i got to savor those events, both in the mind and then the reality. Gone maybe is the savoring of the mind.

I am not saying I am unhappy, just that things were good in a very different way.


The Switch is On, Or The Coming of Autumn

There’s something strange that happens to me once or twice a year.  It’s a perceptible switch of preferences.  The switch usually coincides with the onset and subsiding of summer, starting mid-spring and usually lasting until the Indian Summer hits. 

Sometimes, I’m surprised as I skip a cycle.  Instead of a six-month turnaround, the phases last a whole year. I don’t ever make a conscious choice about it, it just happens.  I sometimes wonder if it’s body intelligence, shifting me to something that inherently it knows I need.  That doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, though, as the shifts seem to be preferential, and not necessary.  I’ve tried to wrest control of the shift, but I don’t seem to be able to affect it.  I think I’ve ruminated on this to a few of you before….

The shift looks something like this: I move from coffee (black) to tea (Earl Grey, white and sweet).  I move from Gin & Tonic to Scotch (neat).  I move from water to Coke (especially with Mexican food and pizza).  I start thinking of curling up in a blanket with a book and hot chocolate — instead of images of sun, outdoors and cool drinks.  At Starbucks, I’ll order a Hot Carmel Apple Cider instead of the usual Latté.

There are other shifts.  Salad to soup. Just a week ago, I was craving salads, fruits and vegetables.  Yesterday we had chili, and now I can’t stop craving the heartiness of meat and beans.  I can’t even think of the lightness of salad right now.  I think it has something to do with the weather.  It’s gotten a lot cooler and rainy in the last week than it has been since mid-June. Perhaps I’m more like a bear than I realize, and my body seeks out heavier, calorie-laden foods.

Maybe foods are the clothes my insides wear.

Do you have a shift this way? What cravings leave and arrive in your life this time of year?

Drive Around!

Thought of you last week Peters.

On the first rainy day we’ve had in a months I was out at Stock Building Supply loading up the Performing Arts Center pickup with 4 x 4s and 2 x 12s. By the time I was finished my leather gloves were soaked through. With slimy reactivated glove sweat and grease inside my gloves and rain dripping down the back of my neck I was reminded of those days at the pipe yard.

The highlight of the morning was watching the “new kid” drive the forklift around. The kid hits a pot hole and dumps half his load in the mud. He crashes around, backs into the racks; has to climb off the forklift to adjust the load by hand. The old guys drive by pointing and laughing, coercing a rueful wave from the kid.


Ed on a Massey Ferguson; McPherson, Kansas; April 1, 1994.

I am somewhere that I don’t know where I am. Simpson, H.J.

I must begin as is the ritual now with, “very interesting”. 

all the blogs so far are really, truly fascinating.  So difficult to express so much in so few words. 

I think the heart of the matter is context.  it is nearly impossible, to dissect our time, analyse it, and make conclusions which really capture all there is to be captured in the subjective experience.  A person can only write so many words to describe the indescribable, the billions of molecular-level interactions which make up any subjective experience.  Is it a bike ride, or is it a moment of zen, a time when the subconscious goes on auto-pilot, freeing the mind and body to just experience.

Continue reading

Date Change?

My super will not allow me to be gone on the weekend of October 28.  I may have to work that Saturday.

Alternate dates are the weekend of October 21 or November11.

What say you?


At long last, here are each of your responses to my questions about how we spend our time…

Response from J. E.:


5:00 alarm
5:10 out of bed, coffee and cereal
5:25 read, write, whatever
6:00 make sure Liz is up, make eggs and Liz’s tea
6:15 water plants, feed birds, tidy up, collect crap to take to work
6:25 eat with Liz
6:35 out the door!
7:20 at library, reading
8:00 at work
12:20 at library, coffee?, reading or getting books or CDs
1:00 at work
5:10 leave work
5:45 home, make tea, shower, surf internet, watch part of a movie, water plants, make supper or the like
6:30 eat with Liz
7:00 finished with supper, read, write, work in shop
9:30 in bed, light reading
10:00 lights out

Continue reading

No title whatsoever

This is truly fantastic. What a wonderous tool! Ned, was great to see you, even briefly, while you were down. Thanks for stopping through. I have to admit that I am intrigued by your line of questions while at the Stieben’s and feel as though we did not get to finish the conversation. If you have additional questions, please let me know and I will get you any additional information/resources you need.

Tober- You da man! excellent work, my friend. Thanks for going the extra mile. As Shotts might say, you are the best of us.

Shotts- schedule is the following- Monday through friday (varies slightly) up at 6:30 or so, walk the dog, get ready for work and depart at 7:30. Arrive and begin work at 8. See 4-8 clients per day, have lunch with Amanda at noon and commute home at 5:30. Work in garden, read, ride my bike or make dinner from 6-9. Walk the puppy again. Watch “good eats” at 10 and asleep at 10:30. Weekends have been very different and there has been no steady routine. will let you know more when we get things settled. If you want more information, let me know.

Jeeves- I hope we get to see you over the holidays, and that all continues to be as well as possible with your family and Lizzo’s.

Cheers, Mates.

Newer posts »

© 2023 The Hollow Men

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑