At Manhattan Beach

West Drift Hotel.

So far haven’t seen hide nor hair of a beach yet but still looking. I have a belief that I can get a blog post out from anywhere and under any conditions and I am here with a few minutes in between things at the hotel restaurant. Big windows overlooking pool and golf course. If Mama could only see me now!

Our showing and presentation went awesome yesterday. Probably the best that we have ever given. We fine tune it each time, not that it is always the same. It is always spontaneous for me, for us, and I tend to go where the audience wants to go. I am being there for them and their concerns. So, the richer the group the richer the meeting. And by richer I mean the more folks that are actually involved currently with cancer, patient or caregiver, the more we get into the nitty gritty of it. It is not theoretical for these folks. It is all too real for them and they appreciate what we have to offer the most.

It is extremely rewarding to interact with this kind of audience. They are hungry in a way that reflects their situation. It is beyond politeness or beyond causal interest, it is shared experience stuff that is at play. We got a club going.

Am I spending too much time on my iPad mini, that is what I am asking myself? Last evening I nodded off while working on it and woke up to the phone ring on Messenger and I had called Cris in Buenos Aires in my sleep. Hmmm. Not that talking to Cris is a problem but yike.

Here is some bonus info. Several people have asked me about some of the things that Dr Zucker was talking about on the documentary. As in who was he quoting? Just got this, Irv Yalom, poet. So there, will have to look him up.

God willing I will be back to you tomorrow from the ranch. Just have one more thing to do here at the conference and will be off to the airport.

Safety third loves, Felipé.

Saturday Morn

Annie and I last evening.

All checked in at the 2-Day Cutaneous Lymphoma Patient Conference here in Manhattan Beach, California. We go on stage at 2 this afternoon with a screening and Q and A session. So, I got time right now to be with you. I found a semi quiet corner overlooking the golf course and the cement pond.

I’ve got my name tag on and underneath my name is the title Cancer Commando. I like it. Here to beat up the bad guys and liberate the good guys! Or a least give them all a good talking to.

Man, there has been some excellent posts bouncing around the Comments these days. Check those out, they are for all of us the way I see it, kind of like a FAQ page. People that need to have private conversations need to email. Sometimes the real action here at Caminoheads is at the Comments which could be the case right now.

Annie and her husband Quint are here. Shari Annes and Handler Carol are showing up shortly. Janet, my energy worker, is touching base later today. Drs Asher and Wertheimer are showing up tomorrow to give their presentation on the GRACE Program, “Growing Resiliency and Courage”. Really great to be with this group. More news later.

Standing up to it loves, Felipé.

From Cris

Crazy wild Sunset with a capital S. Vashon in the distance.

“Hola Felipe,

This is quite a profound post… one it is good to read today…

“It is the place where we may find ourselves after we have spent a lot of time and effort trying to avoid. The place that is the opposite of our best dreams for ourselves and our loved ones.”

That is the worst of the struggles, isn’t it? And that is the one I have the hardest difficulties to deal with… We work so hard, we trust so deeply, we keep the hopes, and yet, the point we come to is one where we have to reconcile with the fact that things are not going to be as we want…

But, at times (not always, I must admit), I can see what David Whyte may have meant when writing “what you can plan is too small for you to live”… Who of us dreamed to meet each of us? Who of us thought the Camino would change us so deeply? Or in your case, have a movie? Or even better, that walking in your backyard to recover from cancer surgery would open this world to you? Or me… find a friend like you (or Rebecca, or Jim and Gloria, or Catherine and Dana, or PFJ), so far away from home? And honestly, trying to get ready for our “get-together in the Veranda”, I was thinking how that started and what is looking like it will be… and certainly, this phrase “What you can plan is too small for you to live”

I think we must trust (I know I MUST, and specially these days) in this other phrase of another David Whyte’s poem that calls that “Everything is awaiting for you”… and in this “Everything”, different from what we dreamed, there is a lot more than we could have ever imagined. It is a practice to see this… but a good one for when the “Everything” we see hurts deeply.

Keeping the grateful eyes Love,
Cris”

This is Cris’s comment today on, Some Blue Sky, yesterday’s post. I was talking about how my buddies were stepping forward with stories of how they encountered “bad luck” and what they were doing about it. They weren’t all “succeeding”. That is the central theme of that meeting as I put together in my own head. We all find ourselves in these “bad places” if we live long enough.

Cris does a nice job of following the thread that David Whyte has laid down about our lives being way more than our puny imaginations, dreams and preparations. And that brings both “good” and “bad”, right? That is what we have to see and deal with at a certain point, the realization that life with a capital L is totally out of control. Well, our control that is. And that is scary as hell for us.

Well, of course, there is the flip side of the bad stuff, the blessings that arrive on our doorstep. The “bigger than life moments” that occur for us. But that is what Cris is saying that when you are living Life with the big L you are open to all of that. Wowie Zowie!

Wowie Zowie Loves, Felipé!

Some Blue Sky

Was reading a Seattle newspaper article yesterday about how our warm dry Spring weather is going to be replaced by a cooler wetter version which will last for a while. The local firemen always pray for a wet Fourth of July. Vashonites celebrate with a lot of fireworks and tend to burn down a certain amount of stuff in the process. Anyway the corn is reaching for the sky so the weather is fine with me. We are approaching knee high as of now.

So, we made it to the ballpark to cheer on our Mariners and we did a bang up job too. I think the final score was 8 – 1 Mariners. Wow, a good time. And good to hang out with Dave and Helen. Dave is one of my Bible Guys that I have been with for fifteen years studying.

Last night when the conversation shifted to our last Bible Guys meeting, Dave said that that was the best meeting that we ever had and I agree. And I have been thinking on it because I’ve had a little time and space to do that. Without being specific I want to talk about that for a moment.

One of the guys who we haven’t seen in a while spoke of his challenges with his wife’s cancer. It was very open and moving and brought us all up to date. And other guys shared stuff about what was going on with them and theirs. It all seemed to have a central theme as I listened. And that was getting to the place where one can operate, function and maybe even thrive in that place of dislocation and discomfort. That is what I am calling that state for the moment, dislocation and discomfort. It is the place where we may find ourselves after we have spent a lot of time and effort trying to avoid. The place that is the opposite of our best dreams for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s in my own case dealing with cancer.

But how do we get on top of those obstacles? How do we get to the point where we can work with that and live with that and make it into something positive? Yea, and that is really the bottom line of this blog and five years of blogging. It has been the unfolding of this process for me. It has been a long drawn out process but worth every penny and minute of it. That’s what I am beginning to see anyway.

Hey, time to go find my shoes for the morning walk. So glad I can still ambulate. Thanks for being here loves, Felipé.

Wednesday, Hanging Out At The Hospital

Still on!

Working on my clinical trial here at the hospital today. My Rebecca is here since we are off to a Mariners Baseball game this afternoon. Dear friends Dave and Helen are treating us to that.

So, lots of comments on my wedding ring lose and panic post. Apparently a lot of folks can relate to that one. To tell you the truth I never even thought about it til it happened to me. But that’s life I guess, one minute you are happily surfing along and the next minute you are swimming with the barracudas.

Here in the waiting room where I was goofing a couple of weeks ago and first connected with the word Veranda that was a coffee flavor, Veranda Blend. And then there was the guy with the sport’s team jacket that said “The Attitudes” across the back, he is here again this morning. Right now there seems to be an abundance of couples that one or both of them are hard of hearing and are using their outside voices. LOUD IN HERE!!

Well, Henriette showed up for the walk yesterday afternoon as did Jim my friend who has been helping with the corn. We had a short walk and a long tapas session. Some of the talk was about My Rebecca’s book that she is working on getting published. Henriette is a veteran of numerous book projects and was on hand to give sound advice. And Jim’s wife is an author of history books so I was the thick of that, a mire blogger.

CAMINOHEADS’ VERANDA NEWS

Let me repeat the dates which are August 23-26. That is out here on Vashon Island in between Seattle and Tacoma WA. Would love to give you exact location and contact numbers but want to do it via email. My email is caminoheads@icloud.com .

OK, til tomorrow loves, Felipé.

Something New Everyday

The ring My Rebecca crafted, inspired by wind blown grasses.

Yesterday was a bit much, speaking of something happening. It was just the most absolutely ordinary day with us puttering around the ranch like a lot of days. It was an all of a sudden realization that my wedding ring wasn’t on my left hand anymore. After forty years of traveling with me it was gone, solid gone. I stared at my hand; it didn’t even look like my hand.

I exhausted myself searching for it. What a frantic feeling. Oh, it is wearing me out right now just thinking of it. There was one spot where I was convinced it had fallen. I went over the area with a metal detector, put stuff through a half inch mesh to no avail. Had to finally give up and lie down.

A couple of years ago My Rebecca had made a beautiful silver ring that she gave to me and that I have been wearing on my right hand ever since. She suggested that I just switch hands, easy peasy. That made sense and felt good. And then she had a story for me about a young friend of ours, a new Mom, that found a wedding ring while gardening and it wound up being her wedding ring some time later. I feel better. Maybe I am part of some bigger story yet to come together.

Life is like that I should remember from the Camino where it seemed like daily I was loosing and finding things. Of course in the end these things are only things and sharing them with people that we don’t know may be important somehow.

Walking later today. Henriette will be here with a bottle of Sangria. That could be the opening line in the great novel that I need to write yet.

OK gang, time to scram loves, Felipé.

My Particular Father’s Day

Years ago and far away.

I, particular me, had a great Dad’s Day! From morning to night all good. Hoping that you did as well or that you participated somehow.

Father David started it out by making us all stand up at church and receive applause and then gave us each a flashlight. There he was shining light on the world as usual! Guys and flashlights go together like peanut butter and jelly I would say.

Then watching our dear Mariners play baseball and then I was out in the corn for a few three hours wrestling with the weeds. Jim, one of my archery students has been coming to help out with that and he was there also. Dads in Corn. And Wiley and I got the water system set up and we have been throwing a lot of water at the crop. Way almost knee high way before the Fourth.

My Rebecca took me out for dinner and a show in the evening. We visited Camp Convos a new establishment on Vashon. They have their own beer and food. They feature meat pies, way yum.
Convos by the way is the name of the water between Vashon and the land to the west of the island, that waterway is called Colvos Passage.

Then the show was the best thing that I remember seeing here on Vashon well maybe after all the kid’s plays. Anyway it was called O Brother and was a musical I guess. The plot was that it was the audition for a Island show featuring the music from that great film O Brother Where Art Thou. So, it was a crazy mix of quirky Vashon culture with the fun soulful music of the movie. I laughed and cried my way through the whole thing. Kudos to all involved. Vashon has so much talent and one tends to forget about it til there is a call to arms like this and they come out of the woodwork. I am going to try a lure a few to play at the Veranda maybe.

So, ah right on time, have a walk in a minute. Phil Volker you had better get out there and say a prayer of thanks for all that which was your day yesterday! Oh, and I forgot to say that I heard from both our wonderful kids yesterday, right on time. So everyone got an A plus.

A plus loves, don Felipé.

On The Veranda Speaking With Counsel

Our friend Steve-O Caminoheads North West Bureau Chief helping me farm away.

We are back with the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and speaking with number seven today, our beloved Counsel. Well Counsel, someone had to be last so nothing personal. With the others once I got started one thing lead to another and we spoke with you all one by one.

I did look up the word counsel and one word in the definition stuck out and that was “advice.” Why don’t we start there? You say that you often speak through the saints. Yes, meaning that their quotes are sound advice for us. I’ve often felt that they are our big brothers and sisters who have traveled these roads before we came along. Yes, the same roads.

We need good advice don’t we? Or else we could try and figure it out all by ourselves. Personally I’m running out of time to be doing much of that anymore. What’s that, there is not enough time in the whole world. Ha, good one.

Any last thoughts today? Oh, you just want to say that you and your brothers and sisters, the other gifts, enjoyed the opportunity to be here and say a few words. Yea, it was fun and educational for all of us Counsel, I thank you all too.

Walking in a few minutes. The sun has broken through. See you all tomorrow. Alperfect loves, Felipé.

Here We Are On The Veranda With Wisdom

Heart rocks with tomato.

Ah, time to be together for a few minutes anyway. This morning we will invite Wisdom in to speak with us about, well wisdom. I have seen that term and thought that it was something for old guys. But wait I am an old guy. Hmmm. But it has always had an unattainable quality about it like it was for someone else to play with. I’ll have to wait for someone else to fill me in on what is wise and what isn’t.

This morning we had a great Bible Guys meeting and we talked of a lot of things but one thing that came up was a definition for wisdom. And that was that it is healed suffering. Wisdom, any thoughts on that? Yes, you say that it reminds you of the phrase School of Hard Knocks. Yea, haven’t heard that in a long time. That is learning through living life, right?

Well yes, each one of those knocks needs to heal up to garner wisdom out of them. Yes, otherwise we could complain about them and not get any further. Or we could be unforgiving and it wouldn’t go beyond just a painful memory to relive and relive. I see that.

How else can we think of this? Yes, we know heart rocks. We like to collect them and have them around, yes, rocks that are in roughly a heart shape. So, you are saying that the cleft in the heart rock is basically an injury. That the rock is rolled and tumbled for a thousand years afterward and it becomes worn smooth or healed but there is still evidence of the injury. That’s cool, yes I can see that. In order to have heart as we say we need to have suffering and healing. I will think about that, yes.

All right, there you go! Heart shaped loves, Felipé.