Dear Dennis


Dear Dennis,

You know how energy washes through us, like a current of warm air on a cool breeze bringing in a memory, an idea, or sensation? I had this exact feeling as I followed a track winding up the path the other day. Someone had meandered with a branch dragging behind which left a long mark. I thought~ Dennis would erase this entire line with just a quick swipe of his staff. I could almost hear you bellow once or twice about “damn humans!” and their need to interfere with nature by drawing on the trail.


So much traffic, do you believe how many are in the hills? I’ve lost touch with the landmarks of the past. Remember “The Lady of the Trail”? I can’t find her. Rocks jiggled loose and let go, many of the old footholds, no longer there. At the same time many new routes abundant. Folks are out in nature. Enjoying. Doing their thing. As I write this, the quiet enfolds the echo of a far distant voice.

Quiet. No more.

We talked this week and I was inspired by your enthusiasm, the positivity. A sturdy, confident bear carving replaced the old deer hoof on the top of your stick. I noticed the “anti establishment rant” was gone as you shared your strong message that we humans co exist with nature & the animals. Like a superhero, swooping in, giving me hope for this changing season, urging me not to worry. “The trees loose their leaves and are no longer sucking up water. The animals have plenty of water.” Reminding me of the cycles.


Far below the identity of “character” is your modeling of loyalty to life, to the creative, to the elements, which insists upon a deep understanding. I think I am not the only one thankful that you allow us to be included by the skimming along the surface with your whimsical bubbles, bare foot walking, and the 1,000,000 miles on the VW van, as it is through these connections where we glean insights that, without you, very few of us would ever come to on our own.


And have a really beautiful birthday!


If you haven’t already, you can get Dennis’ book here:

link to True Stories by Dennis Shives

Never Forget- Never Remember

The nebulous date of my brother’s death has been floating around as “sometime in the beginning of September” for a long time.

I can look back for years to the first hints of autumn and see indications of my unrest- ending of jobs, moving households, adrenaline hits of choice, as well as underlying depression- around this time of year. I read in my daily writing “deep, deep, something going on, don’t know what it is”.  The scribble echoing concern, a disturbance that runs through many of my journal’s end of summer entries.


It comes and it goes, as do the unconscious gestures I’ve made in order keep this grief at arms length.  Or to give it life- senseless expression out into the world, a relief from the tension, letting off steam.

Just this week a mystery was solved.  September 1, 1966.  The date of Danny’s death fished out of a file.  The veil lifted unto the next clue in this process of life.  In this process of untangling a death.

Mom’s story about my brother’s death So Young.



Astrology footnote:  I celebrate as Saturn finishes strong this last degree of Scorpio- Thank you mom for digging into the death certificates regardless of my being “too eager about death”.  The eclipse (11:41pm September 12, 2015) exact degree Danny’s rising – 20 Virgo. My natal rising being 19 Virgo and my mom’s natal moon at 18 Virgo(7th house) PLUS.  This TedTalk reeks of what I see in the sky now.  As astrology continues to bring to me an awareness of choice.

Thank you for reading.

We are all connected.