Briefly Away… Kinda’

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Events have conspired to limit my time on-line in the next month or two, to what extent only time will tell. I am working on a small combined heat and power project that is completing construction and will be entering the start-up and commissioning phase, and I will be working at the project site as part of the start-up team. I had hoped to say a few words about this last weekend, but a sinus cold staged an intervention, and so I’m late in saying how much I will miss the regular interactions we’ve shared here. I look forward to being back on-line more regularly soon, and until then will be thinking often of all of you who have met me here to share a few thoughts.

Here is a piece I wrote before being caught up in events…

The Signal

Having lost the reference,
we measure the days
against our selves,
making for seven billion
hungry points of origin.

All those tiny minds
working the paddles
of Nature’s invisible pinball machine
at once
sometimes results in

wrecking balls
the size of our doubts
converging with increasing speed
upon the shed
in which we stashed
our happiness to keep it safe
until the tremors passed

lights in the sky
where five lanes of
pick me!
pick me!
reached the end of the road
and slammed on the brakes

and legal battles
that are scheduled
to occur via television.

We like to think the pinball machine
is a fiction, until the light
starts to burn out
on the only future we
ever thought we could have.

Then, stumbling through the dark,
we’re left with nothing but the urgency
of our listening

The thing I love
about the signal
is that without time,
you can’t blame,
and without blame,
you can’t project,
and without projection,
you can’t conjure
wrecking balls from the darkness.
You only have access to
the life you were given,
which is still right here
sitting on its haunches
and purring sweetly,
looking out
from inside the cage
chaos made of things.

And purring so sweetly.
But look…
the door is open

I’m learning
not to blame the chaos
in which I occasionally marinate.
Because if you’re falling
over the edge of a cliff,
a little scrambling
is probably warranted.

I like to remember peace only makes sense
because it’s happening everywhere at once.
That realization reminds me:
I should reboot my connection.
I should reset my heart’s windings
by the drifting of the stars.


  1. You had me at pinball machine 😉

    Make the most of your work and offline break. I’ll reboot the pinball machine in the meantime so it will be ready for you upon your return.

    peace and return to wellness, Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Linda! I think we’re in the pinball game that never sleeps. I’m just exploring somewhere off in the far corner right now, mostly hidden from view, in a land of black light and a thousand glowing bumpers… 🙂

      I’m sure I’ll whiz past again soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. footloosedon says

    Michael, I’ll miss you and your marvellous magical ways of using language to convey the ineffable. In the meantime, be well and continue to trust that there are no accidents, only the mysterious workings of the Great Creator. Don

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Don. I’ll miss sharing them, and yes–! in the meanwhile I’m embracing the whole of it. Enjoying the challenges and uncertainties. Walking past the humming of machinery, I pause to wonder at the Mystery buzzing all about me… 🙂



  3. ‘Having lost the reference, we measure the days against our selves…’ I tend to see this and leave it at that… this is how it is. I’m always happy to find you have somehow completed a sentence that I didn’t know was incomplete. ‘Then, stumbling through the dark, we’re left with nothing but the urgency of our listening…’ And I’d still leave it at that, saying there is no object, but you provide us with one: ‘You only have access to the life you were given, which is still right here sitting on its haunches and purring sweetly, looking out from inside the cage, chaos made of things. Thanks Michael, nice one! Come back soon…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Tiramit. I appreciate your kind words, and especially the way you describe the completion of sentences that we share. It evokes a familiarity for me. Will be back more regularly in a little while…



    • Thank you, Aleya! It will be one of those stints we sometimes have where a string of days is each fully accounted for. It’s a distinctly human phenomenon I believe, this packing of urgency and consequence into a series of events we surely cannot control… 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brad. I’ll be on the lookout for wisps of exactly what that might be… Ha! It will be both fun and challenging, this one, and I look forward to returning and renewing my spirits here in the friendships we share…


      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have signalled masterfully your hiatus, and I look forward to the return of the Pinball Wizard ere too long. In the meantime, keep flipping peacefully my friend.

    “He plays by intuition, the digit counters fall.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Hariod. I do feel deaf, dumb and blind at times to what lies ahead in this assignment, but that is part of the adventure of it, and here’s to finding the way one becomes part of the machine… There’s a certain smoothing of the bumps in the road such a tact provides…


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Overlapping with Tiramit’s quote of you, which makes me shout, “YES!” inside my head, “You only have access to the life you were given,which is still right here sitting on its haunches and purring sweetly, looking out from inside the cage chaos made of things.And purring so sweetly.
    But look…
    the door is open…”
    The door will stay open, Michael, for your return which we look forward to. Take care and drink plenty of water for those sinuses.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, JoAnna. The sinuses are considerably improved from the evening this was penned, and I am grateful for the open door awaiting us all… 🙂



  6. Good luck with your project Michael. Don’t forget to come back!
    I find myself laughing about ‘marinating in chaos’ at this moment as I find myself in the midst of it to some degree right now. Not blaming but wondering if this will add to the flavor when the ‘getting cooked’ happens 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

      Yeah, a little scrambling is probably warranted. Nice to know the door of this cage that chaos has made is open. 🙂
      You will be deeply missed.
      Love and Healing,

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello, Mary, thanks for the love and healing. It’s working… Which is good, because you do need a bit of energy for the scrambling… 🙂

        Hope all is well on your end, and thank you for the kind-hearted words.



    • Hello PR, I’m not sure I could forget to come back…! Ha! Hopefully your chaos has smoothed out a bit, but yes in the end I’d say it all adds to the flavors stewing in the glories of our own hearts…

      Much Love


  7. I missed this, slow as a Cloud here tsk. Taking time out for other projects, in all aspects, is a good thing I find. You’ll be missed (I get there in the end), so don’t be gone for long.

    This is super –

    “Then, stumbling through the dark,
    we’re left with nothing but the urgency
    of our listening…”

    My favourite quote from a poem of all time, and one which is to be my epitaph is –

    Teach me half the gladness
    That thy brain must know,
    Such harmonious madness
    From my lips would flow
    The world should listen then,
    As I am listening now.

    – Percy Bysse Shelley

    Be careful out there, wear a warm vest, and always have a good towel to hand.

    – sonmi waving from upon the Cloud

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your timing is perfect, Sonmi, as I must confess I prefer the lazily (slowly) drifting clouds to the ones streaking across green skies that deposit hail stones the size of small rodents upon the ground and lambaste small dwellings, reducing them scrap.

      I love that piece of poetry that you’ve shared, too. I found a copy of the full piece and nearly copied the rest of it here in happy response… 🙂

      Yes, I’ll stay warm and dry,
      though particular evolutions of cloud
      may temporarily trump this oath…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. after a few weeks away
    i’m feeling energized enough
    to continue this blogging experiment, myself!
    wishing you gentle, supportive healing
    and possibly
    into the
    lounge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this one, Michael (and if I had a dime for every time I have written those words to you….) 🙂
    As a child I was lucky enough to be able to join a friend’s family for weeks at a time at a campground. This is where I learned that even though I love the great outdoors, I was much more comfortable in the 35 foot fifth wheel “camper” than I was in a tent!! Apparently more prone to ‘glamping’ 😉
    The rec hall had 3 pinball machines, which I must say I became VERY proficient at. So, I have much experience with “tiny minds working the paddles…wrecking balls the size of our doubts…oh…and the lights in the sky!!” I can relate to this on so many levels, my friend!
    I’m happy to hear you feel better…and I b know you are in the “middle of it” with your project. I send you beautiful thoughts and look forward to the day we have both returned on a regular basis. But know, always, you live in my heart!! ♡♡

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much, Lorrie. I went on a camping trip to the beach once in our family’s pop-up, and was able to bring a friend. We were probably in the fourth grade or so. One of the highlights of our trip was the loss of $20 each down the coin slot of a Mario Brothers arcade game… 🙂

      Yes, I’m in the middle of it, but it’s good. Thank you for the beautiful thoughts, which I receive, carry with me, and send back with a few notes attached…


      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a gracious and beautiful exit sign amid the necessary scrambling –
    i’ve been given a similar relentless flowing for my life until mid december,
    but your words return me to my present station from a much more cat
    empowered and graceful lens. hanging on…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, M. Sounds like we are following similar orbits of late… Hope you catch a few quiet moments and that neither one of us are too worse for the wear when the magic carpet spits us out at the end of the road… The word relentless says a lot, and I’ll be intrigued to look back in a few weeks and wonder what all the fuss was about…! ha! Hopefully you, too.



  11. Hope your project is going well Michael, and here’s to the tiny paddles of our thoughts as we paddle away and let us hope we press all of the right buttons in destroying that wrecking ball of doubts that often hit us..

    Great Poem.. and Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving time also..
    Blessings Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sue. The project right now is like a modern day version of that Zen proverb I’ve seen before– the first story at this link… One day at a time is the mantra here, which is a good one. Lots of moments to look up from the stalling forward progress and remember peace makes sense because it’s happening everywhere at once…

      Blessings to you also–

      Liked by 1 person

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