Do not judge my journey

If you want to try:

Please put my shoes on and walk—-not forward~ No — Too easy –

Walk back – walk through all the years – walk through all the pain – walk until there are no shoes on a tender little baby foot – then you can judge me — If you still want to.

I refuse to do that anymore, to me or to anyone else – we can only go forward — and I only know what you dare to tell me of your own journey — and that is still just a drop in the ocean of your existence…

I won’t judge you – that is a promise, that is my philosophy – that is my mantra

– if we meet on the same trail; I will try and help you – or at the very least, not make your way more difficult.

We each make our way– we are each walking the best we know how.

Until we learn to walk better –

We can always learn to walk better.

Notes: This is on one of the trails in Acadia National Park – so many wonderful steps in the high ground by the ocean. The landscape is majestic >>>>>>> it restored my soul.


Music and Ink…..and blogging

Music and Ink…..and blogging

I woke this morning with full awareness that my mind and spirit were connected, attached to my body that was hurling through space on a giant rock. That rock was spinning in a beautiful dance of gravity playing a part in an endless universe … which may be just a drop in a vast ocean of countless other universes.

Yeah baby, I’m back!

It makes all the mundane connections with people I know seem nothing short of miraculous.– I mean,…  to make “me”— all these weird connections of people, places and things over the eons of time since before we even got to living in the caves – I just think about that — everything had to line up or this “me” that is writing would not be here—- and that goes the same for each person that reads this — and also the same for the lady at the deli that I will let cut in ahead of me because she has two screaming kids and needs to get her maple ham and American cheese.

Which makes the connections that are truly “special” nothing short of divine because ….. I mean, …. What are the chances that you and me have a conversation?

It just causes the brain to ignite and fire countless neurons to not figure out.

You may think that this is a strange —- but I think like this all the time —– and have not thought like this in many weeks.

Because I was not connected.

My mind was in severe pain – my spirit was lost and whirring out of control – and my body seemed to disconnected.

They said I was depressed – I don’t know if that word fits – but I will go with it because it and me were so similar that you could not tell us apart even at a short distance.

So we go to ink –

A thought in my mind – that becomes a sketch (in fact, many sketches before it was right) – that goes into illustrator to become a vector – that sings to me in a perfect riot of frenzied negative space.



My mind thinks it – my spirit is at peace with it – the tattoo artist inks it to my body – we are all together again. One happy family that is the trio of the Wayne. I am here – I am validated.

My first tattoo – and already thinking how to add to it.

And as I ran through the chords of “Key to the Highway” last night on my acoustic guitar — I understand what Big Bill Broonzy was saying – I understand the feeling – I understand the blues.

I get it – there are things and feelings that we all share – that are the human condition – It’s part of jamming a spirit in a body and having a mind trying to figure out what to do with it- how to make a way – how to rise above and move forward.

Isn’t that part of why we blog? This need to connect and validate our existence.

I play a lot of guitar and I sing all the time – this is new – but was always there.

I just could not put in the work to access it – I don’t feel like that anymore.

I feel that I have nothing to fear – I feel that I better get whatever is in there out.

Be dammed if it is good or bad or indifferent.

Just get it out!

So I feel better – And the only reason I am writing instead of playing right now is because it is too early and I will wake the kids.

I leave you with a new song that speaks to me – attitude and blues – I need it.



Space Junk

02271602Taking the dog out to pee in the early morning when still dark.

I look up and see a plane and beyond that something else is sliding across the sky.

A satellite – cool – that is not a plane.

How do you know?

  1. Looks like a star moving at the speed of a plane*

*(yes turbo geeks – I know it is much faster and much higher up than a plane – but those ratios line up to make it “appear” the same speed to the observer. Everything is relative – Einstein said that!!! So there!)

  1. No flashing lights on a satellite.

That is it people — You are a satellite hunter – go forth and catch one!

There is a great website where you can track these things.

You put in your location and then you get a map with predictions of all the things that orbit bright enough to see– this means I could check the chart and find out that a soviet rocket body launched in 1984 just flew over me and my dog.

Hint: If it is straight up in the sky above your head — you are looking for the magic 80 degree number to help you narrow it down.


I drew my little not to scale map because it got me thinking how I look from up there – A random non-descript person with a huskie/corgi  dog. Outside looking up – The sun has to be at the right angle to light this rocket for me to catch it. I am alive on the planet earth. I am somebody and me and my dog are ok.

This is a big deal – to realize how special it is to be involved in the grand scheme of the universe in a moment. Which by the way — is every single moment!

We only get so many of them.

I am a lucky man.

I am.

Notes: My next post will be the cave re-launch post – I am trying something new which means fixing all the typos and glitches before I publish.

Thanks for the support and happy existing everyone!


Clouds this morning

I walked outside to a renaissance painting of a sky – I got this thing for looking up – clouds, stars, birds, rain, snow — all the stuff from the heavens— I don’t know if it is a thing or a sensitivity.

You could be accurate when you say – “I have my head in the clouds”.

This morning was wild – the clouds were painted – I almost expected Zeus to reach down and tap me on the shoulder… saying something godly like “Dude, really? What you looking for? Take your dog for a walk or something – It’s going to be a nice day!”

Something like that – but it was just me looking up and feeling a little juice in the atmosphere.

A little wake-up call to action.

I need that spark  because my next post will be the grand “Mission Statement” about the future of the cave.

Changes coming to the way we operate around here.


Walking on water is faith

icewalkingWhile I was walking on Mirror Lake –  I was thinking   “wow’ – this is cool – this is like …  ice on a wound.

Maybe “wow” is not the right word – How about “whoa!”

The snow was fluttering down like at the end of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Big Flakes – big fluffy formations that will melt in your mouth if you just open up to receive this frozen manna from the heavens.

And I did

I don’t care who is watching and I don’t care what anybody thinks – I am walking on a frozen lake in a snow squall and I am….

I am …

Walking in faith

Walking on water is always that – and walking on a frozen lake is walking on water.


I know from the science that water freezes at 32 degrees F or Zero degrees C. And while that freezing takes place the temperature remains the same.

If you put a thermometer in a glass on freezing water it will be exactly zero.

But something amazing is happening —TRANSFORMATION

I am working through this grieving process which frequently leads me to still places in my mind — and still water has this soothing effect.

Not stagnant water (there is a difference, believe me,  spent enough time swimming in that!) — This is calm, pristine and renewing water.

Nothing is more still than frozen – nothing more pristine than a mountain lake and nothing more like walking to a renewed shore than walking on water.

I am the same – but transformation is happening.

And yeah that was yesterday in Lake Placid (of all places)

[I am not making this up -I am just trying to live my life]





Night Swimming – under the radar


I am thinking of going anonymous with a hidden blog so I can swim a little further out – there is stuff I can’t share with my friends – there is stuff I can’t share with anybody I know. (or more accurately: anybody that knows me)

When I say can’t~

I guess I can.

No – don’t think so.

What stuff we talking about cave guy? – you are a free sharer on your blog and on your Facebook. Some might say a nauseating over-purveyor of pics and sayings and all kinds of crap.

No – I am not.

Because I am conscious of the audience – on Facebook there are lots of kids —including my kids.

And on WordPress there are lots of … well everybody …. including an occasional visit from my mom.

Does that limit me or is the censorship a curb that keeps my insanity digestible?

So a question to my anonymous friends out there.

What do you think?

Does it help you to keep a veil between you and us?

I am not talking about “coming out” but “going in”.

Like a skinny dip in the pool at night with no one watching. (see- should I even say that? A bit edgy don’t you think, but then again —at my age and physique coupled with my pedestrian appearance – is anybody really going to be intrigued?)


This picture was taken at daybreak last February at the infinity pool in Cancun! Loved that trip!


Skate = Joy

My blades hit the ice and I am free – even though I am weaving in and out and around masses of inept humanity —

I am free

Even though I am old and rusty

I am free

You people don’t understand – you 4 or 5 better skaters out here that seem to be taunting me

I am free

You can’t contain me – you can’t diminish me

I am free


Thanks to my kids for dragging me down to the rink. Something happens when I get out on the ice – my spirit tends to soar, not just a little – but completely. I don’t care what anyone thinks about it—-

And to know it still happens, …. Even now, when I am feeling a bit “relicly” and a bit “used up”.

It is a cold fact that I am beat-up and in recovery mode.

But not on the ice

On frozen water

I am free.

[Disclaimer: I am a 50+ dinosaur from another age with semi-blunt skates that are half my age – I may have a diminished skill set—–but the SWAG —-oh yeah —- that is intact]

Cheers from the ice!

Monochromatic and Moi

I go to this photo all the time – it is special – not only is it my favorite but my wife was on the riverbank with me when I took this back in 2012 –

It was the first time I did any work in manual mode with my DSLR and of course later — some gratuitous and unrefined use of Photoshop

I made it black and white and then hit it with an orange filter to give it that “old time—found in the attic” vibe.

The contrast is stark and extreme because that is how the world looks to me—-everything hits my brain like this.

It will calm down (it’s starting to slowly subside at times) – and peace is back-filling into my absent conscious.

All things change and flow – and there comes a place when a life is not bound by the constraints of time —- all is a flood.

Yeah – it is like that today






The Dodo

I followed this blog from Mauritius because it seemed such a cool and exotic place — in the middle of nowhere — out past Madagascar (which seems like the true edge of exotic).  — No — keep going, there is more.

I looked and looked and gave up trying to re-find this blog that I am pretty sure I still follow —- sadly— I can’t get back. So this country in the middle of nowhere has a blog on it that is lost to me right now.

If you see this, nice blog person – please click me a like or something and I will visit.


I just finished “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson (excellent book! — A cave 5 star rating!). And it has a bit about Mauritius because that was the home of the infamous extinct dodo bird.

So – I did a sketch.

I wanted to show the respect I have for this animal — not cool that it got screwed over.

Sailors just clubbed everything in the 1600’s — I know there were no resorts that served cold drinks with fancy straws in them at that time… but …. Seriously—– you just wipe this creature off the face of the earth?

And to add insult to injury – you gave it a name that makes it sound stupid.

This is not cool.

This bird was just chillin’ on a nice exotic location. It was not bothering anyone.

Why does history have to be so cruel?

This is my part to right that wrong.

I aim to make it more detailed and add color.

I also want to make it look respectable.

I feel some connection to this bird that is based on absolutely nothing – but is there nonetheless.

Coming out as a caregiver in a “C” family.

This is how I feel while working

I was asked to write a letter by the Center that my wife visits for the treatment of her cancer – the goal being to make some changes in order to help the entire family get through some difficult days. The disease brings with it all these satellite evils that conspire and gang up. This letter is not about what got you here and the person you love – it is about the mundane and stifling which can become debilitating.

Example: Your wife was moved to another hospital for a procedure, you answer a call from your work about a problem on the way down to visit and help as best you can (yes, you already put in a full day, no, you are not mad about it, work is work, health insurance is health insurance, money is money). You left no food in the house for your 17 teen year old who is hanging out with his friends in the living room and staying home—-the scene has a “Lord of the Flies” feel about it that disturbs you as a Dad (they will go to a garage sale and get a replica sword to complete this picture of mayhem!) but—-your son is a teenager and he is dealing with it the best he can—-and you have to let kids be kids—-they will be alright. And the whole group are good kids (you pray and you hope you have done the right things to this point- there is no teaching once 17 is reached).

It’s another trip thru a random Drive Thru for you and the 13 year old, who is an excellent navigator and will keep you from making a wrong turn in the big city, damn, that was a sketchy neighborhood on the visit last night…

You are not hungry but you are very tired – you want to cry but you have no idea what to cry about – there are so many entities competing for tears, they cancel each other out and you drive on.

There was a sense of comedy before leaving when you get out of the shower and there are no towels and no toilet paper on the roll —- you are missing the “automatic” ——- there is no automatic when it gets like this.

We get home – for some reason, the group of kids had to hose off the driveway and seem to be guarding something.

You don’t ask.

You check to see if the dog has messed in the house.

No—-looks ok.

(That was yesterday, and only the 50% that I feel only semi-awkward about revealing)

Note: I did not leave my wife and her condition out of this story because I don’t care—-this post and the following letter is about what it is like to be the husband and caregiver.

I pray everyday and I know we will get through this.

The following is the letter for the hospital.

Caregiver Resources does not exist yet.

My name is Wayne, my wife Marie was diagnosed with kidney cancer two and a half years ago and I am still learning as I go.

There is some help available at the center for my specific needs but there is no central “point of contact” place for a caregiver to start.

We need that (especially the husbands).

Here is why:

When a diagnoses happens – we are in shock – you guys know that – you see it all the time.

It is not a simple “deer in headlights” moment – it is “deer in headlights” structure that quickly replaces everyday existence — the way we live and the way we think is completely blown up and all we hear is something coming right at us on a dark rainy road.

And you say – “Keep everything as normal as possible.”

I know I am a loving supporter of my wife while she fights this battle –that I understand.

But this comes with more responsibilities:

  1. A politician among all of my family and friends – How do you deal with stuff that well-meaning people are going to say to you? How do I let them help? Do they really want to help?
  1. Chief financial officer for a family. Now, we have less money and more bills = much stress. Serious problems that can be made much worse unless we do the right things. How do we keep our jobs and insurance? What happens if we lose them? What about Short Term disability? What about Social Security Disability and Medicare? FMLA? When do these things kick in? Am I eligible? Can you help with paperwork?
  1. I got kids – What about the kids?


  1. My role is changing in the family – You might think things like laundry and meals are simple to adjust to —- and for a guy that does it sometimes – it should be – but wow – it is not.


  1. I still have to take care of myself – not because I want to but because I have to – this is the toughest. If I have learned anything —–The luxury of being mad at yourself and feeling like you should do more or do something different is off the table. Move forward as best you can – you have no time to waste in self-pity.


So I ask one of these questions as we check in on a random day last month – like who do we talk to about our health insurance and what happens if we have none? And the answer I get is “We don’t have that here – Let me see if I can find you the number for some person from this place or something or other—no, can’t find it”. Keep in mind that we have been seeing the same people at the check-in desk for two years and they know us and want to help—-there is no mechanism for them to use. How much easier for them to say: “Go to Caregiver Resources—they can help you”

The second part I want to stress is that even though some of the help might be available at this Center already – it is difficult to understand. The hospital website has the psychologist listed close to spa services – the financial help looks like it is just for bills that are already in the system. The look of the site is very clinical and cold –—-We need to be led by hand by a friendly person – we don’t know where to start and we are in trouble —- like if you just got off a plane in a foreign country and are looking to get somewhere —that is exactly how it feels. Lost in a strange world as a caregiver. I may very well need to speak to the psychologist – but I don’t want to click that link – I don’t trust it…

The American Cancer society has some excellent and targeted information on its website – as a suggestion; maybe linking to some with specific help that a caregiver needs?

Again and again – all the help and resources are largely already out there – the problem is not the supply – it’s finding out how to connect to it.

I have no issues with the excellent care my wife receives – or with the staff who I admire and respect as they do God’s work every single day.

Most of the resources are directed at the patient, as well they should be.

But we have to get that patient (in this case, my loving wife) to and from the best care they can get.

We live this with our loved ones 24/7 – when we arrive for care – we need to make the most of our time – how great would it be if there was a place we could go to get questions resolved?

And we have to keep our families strong and healthy as we all fight together.

So please – give us clear, concise and accurate help to guide us through this

Now for two things meant so much in the beginning:

The Family membership at the Y you gave us for six months was a true blessing. The kids, my wife and I could work-out. It kept her as strong as she could be. The benefits of being able to melt stress away cannot be overstated. The downside — it was for only 6 months and the application of it was clunky—–they weren’t exactly sure how to process it but were not going to argue with a cancer patient – So they put it through. In the future, if you do this —Please— an activated membership ready to go for a whole family would do wonders. They need this and would not abuse it.

And making us the family to be sponsored by the Center for that first Christmas after diagnosis was a monster help. Removing the burden of the holiday is what the spirit of the season it all about. Forever thank you for that.

I am writing this because you asked how to make things better for the caregiver from a caregiver perspective.

I will never forget when I was in the hospital recovering from G.I. surgery myself last year and the nurse wrote on my board. “Lives in a C family” She put a circle around the C. – It was when it truly hit me that I was in a different place with a different mission and better do it right. So any help I can give to making Caregiver Resources work for other people – I am all in.

Thanks for the consideration to want to make the Center work better for everyone.

Just another caregiver among many doing the best they can.