Happy birthday baby

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all-weather-creativity_1172259080_oYour daddy loves you, beautiful creature.

Grandpa Jones – The Banjo Am The Instrument For Me

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God how my daughter used to dance to this song when she was a toddler. There’s just something so infectiously happy and accomplished about his playing & singing in this track –the audible little laugh he gives in the last verse, the charming expressions on his face as he sings– it really struck a chord with Addie.

Now I’m old and feeble, grand children by the score,
Every night they set upon my knee,
That’s when I scoot ’em over just to make a little room,
Cause the banjo am the instrument for me.

Gary Snyder – Not Leaving The House

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adeline_asleepToday is my daughter’s 10th birthday. Though a stay-at-home father for my son, I was a working dad when Addie was young. I have well-thumbed memories of our family at this time, gathered around her like a tiny fire. A child enters a life that predates her existence but only in some ways survives it. The life Gary Snyder describes here reveals the sum of her experience as the bud from which her life will –indeed must– emerge (albeit hereunder in reference to his son).

Happy Birthday to my world-maker.

When Kai is born
I quit going out

Hang around the kitchen – make cornbread
Let nobody in.
Mail is flat.
     Masa lies on her side, Kai sighs,
     Non washes and sweeps
We sit and watch
     Masa nurse, and drink green tea.

Navajo turquoise beads over the bed
A peacock tail feather at the head
A badger pelt from Nagano-ken
For a mattress; under the sheet;
A pot of yogurt setting
Under the blankets, at his feet.

Masa, Kai,
And Non, our friend
In the garden light reflected in
Not leaving the house.
From dawn till late at night
     making a new world of ourselves
     around this life.

-Gary Snyder, Regarding Wave (1969)

Ikkyū, or how I feel about children

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Watching my four year old daughter dance
I cannot break free of her.

― Ikkyū

Addie at 4, on our back porch in Grenada
Addie at 4, on our back porch in Grenada

Applepalooza 2013

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Raw Materials
Toots, Cal, and Charlie
Driveway Wildmen
A small portion of the finished product


More a press prototype than functioning device. Five or six dudes always standing around it, re-engineering…
A late appearance by haloed Wy’east

Independence Lake :: July 2013

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Got snowed out of North Lake by at least a month. Guys with gaiters and poles were coming back down daunted. We however were undaunted by the inattainability of our ultimate goal. Giant ice-slides were slid, smoke-dried clothing was worn to bed, dogs were chased (and chastised). Everyone came home tired; happy.

Rufus & Addie

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It’s funny to me how much Rufus loves the kids: how he leaps to honor their calls. Addie threw the tennis ball for him yesterday until I thought his little heart would burst. Even the soles of his little feet were hot!

All early worries about his spirit were entirely premature. The joy he takes in living his life couldn’t be more evident than on this sweet, happy, tired face.

Addie & Rufus resting on the grass at Kerry Park; Seattle, WA :: Father's Day 2013
Addie & Rufus resting on the grass at Kerry Park; Seattle, WA :: Father’s Day 2013

Polar bear cub hitching a ride on an adult; Grenada analogue

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Addie used to ride on my back for the swim across the little reef between our place and Grand Anse beach. It seems a million years ago and a million miles from a polar bear cub hitching a ride on the family’s best swimmer, but somehow also completely the same:

Polar Bear Cub Hitching A Ride On An Adult
Polar Bear Cub Hitching A Ride On An Adult

Peter Broggs – Fuss & Fight

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In Grenada Addie was 5 and Cal was 3: prime age for the young antagonist to learn the hassling trade and his sister the art of active resistance. This was the song I used to sing to defuse their occasional flare-ups, increasingly to their annoyance as they came to realize I was accusing them of being fussy. Now whenever I hear Peter Broggs’ call for peace in the community, I imagine my beautiful children in some of their less-beautiful moments and smile.

Everyday they get up and fuss
Everyday they get up and fight.
Everyday they get up and fuss
Lord everyday they get up and fight.

What you fighting for?
I really want to know right now.
What you fighting for?
I really want to know right now.

It’s a good thing to live up fully
In true love and harmony
Respectfully with dignity.
I know it’s a good thing.

Sourdough Gap – August 2012

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Sourdough Gap – August 2012, a set on Flickr.

We spent the weekend in the hinterlands. A return visit to our old favorite Sheep Lake, plus an ambitious climb up to Sourdough Gap. Mr. Beastie was along for the hike, game as ever (though unashamedly sleepy at every pause).