My new email is: email@example.com (stands for sun in Gemini, my sun sign).
PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT ANSWER ANY EMAILS PURPORTEDLY FROM ME, UNLESS WE HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATING. SOME ONE IS SENDING “PHISHING” EMAILS, PRETENDING THEY’RE FROM “TIM STEPHENS.” IF YOU OPEN THESE, YOUR COMPUTER WILL BE INSTANTLY INFECTED.
All times/Dates are PDT – Pacific Daylight Time zone. PDT is eight hours before Greenwich England (BDT). For example when it is noon PDT it is 8 PM in England – and 4 AM the next day in China. The world clock in the right margin gives you some clues. You can also Google “time zone converter.”
If English is not your first language, you should be able to translate this blog into your own language by using Google’s translation app. Hopefully I will soon have this translation feature back on this blog.
START NOTHING: 1:57 am to 3:46 am Mon., 5:35 pm Tues. to 3:59 pm Wed., and 11:20 pm Fri. to 4:36 am Sat.
(More in the AFTERAMBLE — after the Weekly Forecasts.)
*** I’ve just learned that Telus, the local telecom, has been blocking some of my calls for at least nine months. If you have an unlisted number, or do not want your phone # to appear on my telephone, Telus has simply blocked your call. They tell me they’ve fixed it today (May 29). So if you think I’m rude or have disdained you, please blame Telus!
My advice to Mike Flynn, now that they’ve subpoenaed his documents: destroy them. It’s obviously legal, everybody does it — even Hillary.
The FBI? You mean the organization that destroyed Senator Ted Stevens (a senator for 40 years) with false accusations that ruined his re-election bid? Actually, it was worse than that. When it looked like Stevens would win another seat, the FBI manufactured false evidence, charged him with a crime, sent defence witnesses out of the country so they could not testify for the Senator, and hid the actual evidence (which proved his innocence) from the defence. When the Bureau’s criminal activities were exposed, the judge threw the case out, but by then Stevens had lost his re-election due to the FBI’s false charges. Just another case of the FBI trying to influence an election with their dirty tricks. The best thing? The agent who brought the false charges, who manufactured the evidence, and was exposed by the judges, was never charged for her crime — and is still employed by the FBI. But the whistleblower who exposed that agent’s crimes, left the bureau. Whether he/she was forced out, I don’t know.
All the pundits and politicians who praise the FBI, who revere it as an unimpeachable, almost sacred bastion of American justice, shut their eyes to the fact that it began as a corrupt organization.
J. Edgar Hoover, the original FBI potentate, used the bureau’s information — much of it illegally obtained — to blackmail and control innocent people. American presidents feared him. He was, basically, the KGB of America. For a massive list of his crimes, just google his name and read the first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia article.
Now there’s J. Comey, who has not acted sincerely since at least 2016, and probably colluded with the Democrats. (More accurately, I think poor Comey was a victim of the Dems, Clinton and Obama and Loretta Lynch. When he announced publicly that Hillary broke the law but that he wasn’t going to prosecute her — the “won’t prosecute” almost certainly came from Bill Clinton via Comey’s boss, Loretta Lynch. Poor Comey was cast in the middle.)
ARIES: March 21-April 19
You’re busy but the days are easy, Aries. Small chores, errands, trips, calls and paperwork fill this week and next. The pace slackens from recent days. Your money picture looks good, this Tuesday to early July. You can afford to spend on a luxury item, or on something for your loved one. Hold your temper at home, now to late July. DO NOT begin living with someone or move into a new home, before July 20. (Otherwise, you’d establish a house of shouts.) Sunday’s for relationships — all the wrong ones before 10 am (PDT) and the right ones after. (Though even the right ones can be a bit feisty, challenging or teasing this day.) Dive into life’s depths Mon. to mid-afternoon Wed. Your hunches are accurate — physical attraction stirs, some investments call, and mysteries intrigue. No errors here — your luck is mildly good. Investigate, dig deep: valuable info lies hidden. A mellow, wise mood steals over you Wed. late afternoon to pre-dawn Saturday. Again, your luck is fine, life’s benevolent —but avoid some deception, chasing illusions, Thurs. eve. Otherwise, pursue far travel, international, legal, cultural affairs, higher education, publishing and similar themes. Be ambitious Saturday — you could grab a fine opportunity!
TAURUS: April 20-May 20
Continue to chase money, add to your possessions (and/or sell some) and to soak up the sensual beauty of the world. You might form a sexual (but not particularly interesting) bond with someone. Don’t use someone just for sex or security, or you’ll suffer a “dry spell” later. Accept surface appearances — digging deep, skepticism, will delay or negate progress. You’re going to be very busy for six weeks ahead, with paperwork, small chores, perhaps involving the government. Be patient with this, and all will be resolved (by July). Your personal charms radiate, Tuesday into early July. Expect a flirt or an invitation. Great few weeks ahead to write, if you’re a student. Sunday’s for work, health concerns. Dress sensibly. Be cautious before 9:30 am (PDT) as water, tainted food, plumbing, gas, will be “difficult.” Relationships fill pre-dawn Mon. to late afternoon Wed. — be co-operative, eager to join, or to chase fresh horizons and new opportunities. A mild, sweet luck rides with you. Life’s depths emerge, and your subconscious bursts to the surface, late afternoon Wed. to predawn Saturday. Beware Thursday’s illusion or deception, but otherwise march forth, especially Friday. Invest, make lifestyles choices, seek medical aid, research, and enjoy intimacy. Love and wisdom — chase them both Sat. But avoid arguments before 1 pm (PDT).
GEMINI: May 21-June 20
Your energy, charisma, effectiveness remain high. Start things. Approach people. Be a leader. The world is yours to conquer now, Gemini — especially the world of love, romance, creativity/invention, speculation, sports and talented children. Many Gemini singles either have (since last September) or will (up to October 2017) enter one of the most significant love affairs of their life. (This influence occurs every 13 years.) This love affair could turn to marriage (which could happen soon, or in 2019). You talk more easily, less chaotically, now to June 20. You inner life grows sweet, affectionate, to early July. You might “hide away” with a loved one. For six weeks (now to July 20) money will rush toward you — so will expenses. Be wise, bank extra income and avoid big new purchases. Sunday’s romantic, but before 10 am (PDT) avoid commitments and “exposure.” Plunge into chores Mon. to late afternoon Wednesday. You’ll accomplish a surprising amount! Eat, dress sensibly. Aspirins for headache. Relationships face you Wed. pm to predawn Saturday. Some singles will agree to wed. Careful Thurs., when deception or a love dilemma can erode trust. Until 2024, Gemini, you might have to choose between ambition and mating. Saturday’s sexy, mysterious. Be cautious with investments, finances, debt, and “new sex.” Research, look beneath appearances. A good week!
CANCER: June 21-July 22
Continue to lie low, Cancer. Rest, plan, examine the past and your future, meditate/contemplate, be spiritual and charitable. You’ll have to deal with the govt., or head office. Despite your weariness and briefly lower charisma, 2 things happen: 1) you grow more popular all month, or rather, you soak up affection from friends and others; and 2) your determination and intensity (mostly about your ambitions or career) causes you to radiate sexual magnetism, now into July 20. (Stronger for men.) Be home, with family Sunday. The morning’s a bit confused, and the night becomes a little disruptive or “wild.” Not the best day to tackle repairs, etc. Monday to late afternoon Wed. brings romantic notions, creative and risk-taking urges, beauty and pleasure. The whole interval flows luckily and easily — though perhaps not enough so to promise “dating success.” Tackle chores and health concerns Wed. eve to predawn Sat. You’ll get a lot done but take care with plumbing, water, liquids, gases (e.g., propane tanks) Thurs. eve (to 9 pm PDT). And, “measure twice before cutting” — applies to relations, too. Saturday brings relationships — feisty ones until 1 pm, then sweet ones. If you’re seeking aid, partnership, etc., act after 1 pm; if you’re chasing career or ambitious opportunity, act before 1. In both cases, be diplomatic!
LEO: July 21-Aug. 22
Wishes can come true, Leo, especially this month. You remain popular, optimistic, friends fete you, and life smiles benignly. Even more friends pour in this week and next. Hope you don’t have a law suit, for it (and international affairs, travel, education and cultural norms) can weigh on you now to July 20. Judges, VIPs, bosses and parents favour you — even affectionately — now to July 4, so ask favours, present proposals and plans, show off your skills. Sunday starts confusedly, especially in sexual and financial zones. A “secret” you might learn is actually untrue. This night you might meet someone exciting — but stable? Be home, in thought or actually, Mon. to late afternoon Wednesday. Your luck’s great here, making this a splendid time (before Wed.) to start landscaping, repairs, renos, etc. — or to seek family “cures” or agreements. Romance strikes Wed. eve to pre-dawn Saturday. So do creative, speculative, pleasure-seeking urges. Listen, romance (et al) is great, but if you “address love” Thurs., it probably won’t include sex. Still, some Leos could fall madly in love, especially Fri. Tackle chores and health concerns Sat. It’s a bitter-sweet day, first the argument, then the make-up. A lovely week!
VIRGO: Aug. 23-Sept. 22
Remain on your ambitious path, Virgo. You might be climbing the career ladder, or dealing with higher-ups, enhancing your reputation, buying status symbols (not like you, really, but a good idea) and some of you are even “marrying up” or at least ”romancing up.” This is a good week, overall, and so is next week. Three planets change signs this week, indicating: 1) your ambitious drives actually increase, and you can express yourself well to the powers that be. 2) a gentle streak of love wafts through until July 4. And 3) you are growing increasingly hopeful about — and might start gathering the rewards from, a sexual situation, an illness or disability, a future lifestyle, an investigation, or a financial opportunity, until July 20. Sunday features money, buying/selling, possessions, and a sensual attraction. Overall, be cautious. This morn, a “partnership” might be “cancelled.” Errands, short trips, easy tasks, paperwork and details, communications fill Mon. to late afternoon (PDT) Wed. Charge ahead, luck rides with you! (Now a “partnership” — or love — finds a way.) Be home or head there in your heart, Wed. eve to predawn Saturday. Again, your luck remains high, especially Fri. — but again, a partner, spouse or other won’t co-operate (Thurs., pm). You might settle a question, inside, as to whether you want, in future, to embrace your family or your ambitions. Saturday’s for romance, beauty, pleasure — no sex, bad investments before 1 pm (PDT) — fine after.
LIBRA: Sept. 23-Oct. 22
Your wise, calm mood continues. This is an easy, lucky week. Continue to pursue profound ideas, world travel, law, cultural venues, philosophy/religion, higher education, and love. A Gemini plays a key role; so, perhaps, does an Aries. (The Gemini becomes more talkative now, for two weeks.) To early July, you’re blessed in finances/investments, research, and physical intimacy. A new affair might now turn to the bedroom. For the next seven weeks, bosses and authorities will be short-tempered, impatient — be diplomatic, smile and bear it. This boss might be a bit of a bully, but is also loyal and protective. Your energy and charisma shine Sunday — the morning’s deceptive, unreliable; the pm might bring a new but ephemeral prospect in love or business. Buy/sell, chase money, cultivate clients, pay bills, Mon. to late afternoon Wed. (PDT). These few days are superb, so charge ahead. Buy things related to your home or your work. Errands and casual friends enter late Wed. afternoon to predawn Saturday. You might encounter a bit of deception Thurs. eve, but otherwise this is a great interval for travel, fact-gathering, and communications, especially, Friday, about love and partnership. Settle into home and the ‘hood Sat. Avoid anger, embrace affection.
SCORPIO: Oct. 23-Nov. 21
You remain in an intriguing place, Scorpio: amongst mysteries, secrets, hidden forces, and possible huge steps forward, in lifestyle, finances, or sexual bonding. This trend lasts 16 more days. Three new trends begin early week: 1) your search for the truth or “hidden things” increases for two weeks; 2) others begin to treat you with real affection, until early July; and 3) you’ll “work at” travel, education, legal matters, cultural and intellectual goals, until July 20. Strictly avoid lawsuits during this long phase. The present week is smooth and benevolent toward you. Lie low, rest, contemplate and plan Sunday. (Avoid chasing romance this morning.) Your energy, charisma and clout soar Mon. to late Wed. afternoon. Charge ahead, get out, make contacts, impress people, ask favours, and launch projects — be the leader! Chase money, buy/sell, pay bills, seek new sources, Wed. eve to predawn Sat. Again, most things go well, but avoid romance, romantic purchases, films, gas, plumbing and promises Thurs. eve/night. You end on a satisfying note of accomplishment and friendship. Saturday’s for errands — on one hand, be careful driving, and don’t challenge anyone — on the other, accept a sweet interval with someone. Don’t contact the government.
SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22 – Dec. 21
Relationships remain your prime focus for two more weeks. Happily, both weeks will run smoothly and benevolently. In fact, relationships will intensify in communications now to June 20. Your work grows more interesting and your work mates affectionate, now to early July. For almost seven weeks, to July 20, your private side intensifies, even grows red hot — this is the zone of sex, research, hidden actions, and financial consequences. Sage, put it this way: you’re in a year (to Oct.) of great friends and light romance. You’re in a month (to June 20) of serious relationships. And, now, your planet of romance enters your bedroom zone for seven weeks. A romance might become a sexual affair, and this itself could morph into marriage. Sunday holds these themes and hints at your future, AFTER a stupid morning (to 9:30 am PDT). Retreat from the crowd Mon. to late afternoon Wed. — contemplate, plan, connect with govt, institutions, large corporations, “head office,” agents, therapists and psychics. It’s a lucky time for domestic matters, and mildly good for investments. Your energy, charisma and effectiveness soar upward Wed. eve to predawn Saturday. Usually I’d say go out and launch new projects, make contacts, impress others, lead the way — yes, do these, but do them in co-operation with another, or in the service of love. (E.g., far better to chase someone than to go off and, say, independently tackle a project.) Use your charisma “for another.” Chase money, buy/sell, etc. Saturday. All’s well!
CAPRICORN: Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Two more weeks of work and heath bothers, Cap, then you’ll be free to chase delicious new horizons and ambitious new opportunities. Meanwhile, to work — it’s even more intense, fast-paced in the two weeks ahead than recently. But all that toil will be relieved by a sweet streak of romance or beauty, pleasure (to early July). At the same time (but acting until late July) your relationships heat up. Make love, not war. You could form a career or business partnership, at least for a while. But you must be diplomatic. You’re rather “indomitable” this decade and next, but right now others hold some pretty powerful cards — if you oppose them, you could be in for a cruel fight. Smile instead! Be ambitious Sunday — after 9:30 am (PDT). (Best to carry on last Saturday’s — June 3’s — idea or project — it’s a winner.) Your optimism rises Mon. to late afternoon Wed. — expect friends, popularity, light romance and flirtations, entertainment, but most of all, happiness. There’s not a cloud in the daily sky. This is one of your “big boost upward” years (to Oct.) Cap, so charge ahead, believe in your future! (A 4-month delay in career zones will end Fri.; the train of luck will start chugging again.) Retreat Wed. eve to predawn Saturday. Again, life is benevolent, but be wary of travel, communications, or someone’s promises Thurs. pm. Contemplate, plan, contact agencies, large corporations or civil servants. Somehow, these will improve your income over time. Saturday, you burst forth with health, energy and charisma — remember, make love, not war. You could experience a spat, followed by “sweet makeup.”
AQUARIUS: Jan. 20-Feb. 18
You remain, for two more weeks, in a romantic mode. (If you’re married, this translates to joy in children, affection between spouses, fun, vacation, pleasure travel.) However, the last few week’s intensity (and your aggressive pursuit) fade now, and you return to normal, happy, talkative romance. (That intensity doesn’t just disappear, it moves into your work and health sector, until July 20. Considering this, practice safety rules, drive carefully, and guard against rash, sunburn, cuts.) Your home life glides along in sweet affection, now to early July. Sunday’s wise, mellow — after 9:30 am (PDT). Avoid swimming, suspect food, alcohol and video this morning. Be ambitious Mon. to late afternoon Wed. — you can make solid progress in career, reputation, dealings with higher-ups (or wheedling funds/permissions from your parents) — not a cloud in your blue-sky goals, so charge ahead! Wishes can come true Wed. pm to pre-dawn Saturday. You’ll be popular, flirty, optimistic. A full Moon could turn an “almost” into the real deal, love-wise! This Fri. ends 4 months of “happiness delays” and now to Oct., you’ll meet great good luck in far travel, international affairs, law, intellectual pursuits, cultural venues, and social rituals. Some will wed. Saturday, be satisfied: rest, relax, observe. Don’t rise to any bait.
PISCES: Fee. 19-March 20
Hi, Pisces. (I always like getting to Pisces, as you’re the last sign, the end of my toil.) The main accent lies on home, family, real estate, Mother Nature, nutrition, soul, and sleep. Don’t feel guilty about hibernating a bit — although you can accomplish wonders around the home if active: landscaping, garden, renos/repairs, planning for your kids’ future, your own retirement, etc. The two weeks ahead are a great time to look at where you are, where you want to go — cut out wasteful or stale projects and people-links, nurture new ones. Now to early July, travel around the ‘hood brings you into contact with sensual, affectionate new friends, casual links. Now to July 20, your passionate, creative, gambling and romantic side enters like a train without brakes — intensity will be the norm. (This will become more solid June 20 onward.) Sunday is for mysteries, finances, intimate snuggles, and lifestyle choices. Tackle any of these after 9:30 am (PDT). Wisdom, learning, far travel, legal, cultural, religious and international affairs, media and intellectual pursuits — all enter in an easy, fortunate way Mon. to late afternoon Wednesday. Love paints part of the picture, too. Buy a ticket to ride! Be ambitious Wed. eve to predawn Sat., another fortunate period when you can impress the boss, win a parental favour, succeed in a task, etc. Show your skills and eagerness. Saturday brings quiet celebration, joy in friends, light romance, happiness and optimism. Skirt any arguments — pick the affectionate path instead. (It’s there!)
AFTERAMBLE: Today is the first instalment of “TIM’S COMPENDIUM.”
I’ve hesitated to start this project, not because it’s complex or unwieldy, but because it will inevitably reveal some of the less attractive sides of my character.
The Compendium will contain several moving parts: autobiography, a novel, opinions, short stories, one poem, predictions, articles on astrological themes and methods (especially the ones I’ve invented) and my astrological discoveries (e.g., when Pluto enters Scorpio every 247 years, a new historical trend is born). The autobiographical parts might repulse some readers, but I thought it would be interesting to try to reach as closely to the truth as possible, as an exercise and an exorcism.
To keep you from being confused, every segment will be labelled, e.g., “STORY” or “OPINION” or “PREDICTION.”
So, to start, where else but autobiography? There are two main problems with this kind of writing: 1) what do you include and exclude? 2) true, brutal honesty is extremely hard to accomplish, and perhaps hard to read. I will try to be as honest as possible, but will not promise to include everything: that would take five lifetimes to write.
I was born in Waltham, Massachusetts June 6, 1948, at (approximately?) 2:30 pm.
My early years, to age seven, contain only snatches of memories, rags of images. My father was unstable, and we moved — I’m guessing — 10 or 20 times. My memories are of gliding at night along the highway, banks of dark trees flowing by… a sunny front step of a small pink or white house, and the sun on me… a snow-filled street, the black rotting planks of a fence steaming in the sunshine… these sorts of memories, I can’t place any in time or location. Perhaps there are 20 of these.
I was a dreamy child. I have Neptune rising in Libra — hence, an intuitive astrologer. My mother used to tell us/me that our father would hit my older brother Lee with his fist, as my brother stood screaming in his crib — probably screams of rage. I was never hit that I can remember, and have been told I was my father’s favourite. The evils that follow favouritism are, in moral terms, felonies — serious crimes. Yet parent after parent still favours one child over another. (Was Cain really at fault? Perhaps, but I harbour doubts. The Bible is a great book, but the Old Testament is the biggest load of bull I have ever read. It’s basically a handbook for murder, genocide, child abuse, bigotry and intolerance, filled with instructions on how to worship an intolerant, vicious — but protective if you were His favourite — god. Murdering your friend so you can enjoy his wife? Perfectly okay in this Bible, as long as God loves you [David’s story]. Try this experiment: everywhere the Old Testament refers to God, substitute the word “Devil” and see how closely it fits. The New Testament is much better. Then Revelation merges the two. [In Revelation, Venus becomes the embodiment of both Jesus and the Devil. Why are they not shown to be equal, but to be identical?])…. I don’t remember my brother’s beatings or tantrums. In the years before her death, our mother began to say that Lee was “just like his father.”
My father was wounded in Italy in WW II. He told us, I forget when, that he’d taken shrapnel from a grenade, mostly in his head. He said he bent the steel bar on his bed when they were taking the shrapnel out. My mother says he was a rat, rotten, and insane. My feeling is, whatever he was, he spent years in war, in strange countries, and I can forgive almost any man who went through that: a war in which the soldier had no free will, and no individuality. Well, it deserves more subtly, and has more complexity than that. But my mind goes limp at the prospect of delving into these meanings, levels.
My Dad, home from the army or some such, sitting in a chair, an elbow on his knee, showing us that no matter how hard you squeezed an egg, it would not break. His arm was brown and smelled savoury, re-assuring, like pecans. I don’t remember his face from childhood, but in photos, many in uniform (he joined at least 3 armed forces, and was thrown out of each) his face is angular, gaunt but healthy. Anger glowers in his eyes. His hair was black, his face olive-skinned, almost negroid. Later, my mother would call him “Black Irish.”
When as a young man I met him on the streets, I first saw his jittery eyes trembling in their sockets. His head, eyes and hands shook constantly. Genetic tremors, I possess them also. (Met him on the streets: like a ghost with a hollow heart he had taken to living in the city where his ex and children lived, circling, wondering, maybe regretting? So I ran into him by chance, at 19 or 20 years old, on a downtown street.)
… intense moments of happiness, they float around the cave of my memory like sparks, lazy from a fire… I can’t place them, can’t “see” a landscape or room, but am most reminded of them by the angle and quality of the light… mostly, when the light is weak and grey, like a snow-less winter, kids playing, afternoon…
Hunting and exploring with my brother, who had just been given a bb gun, in a forest of bamboo and vines – Columbia, South Carolina; minutes earlier, travelling down the street or though yards, my little sister following us and crying because she couldn’t keep up, yelling “wait for me! wait for me!” with her white-blonde hair and my brother yelling at her, “Go home!” Until she gave up, in tears.
Lee shot a neighbour boy in the eye with his bb gun.
Our little white house on Elm Street was empty. I climbed up on the kitchen counter, then onto the shelves above, because I was going to please my mother by setting the table for supper. (Actually, at that age, I don’t think I had the awareness to want to please — I was just eager to do some new thing.) The entire cabinet came off the wall, wood and dishes crashing onto the kitchen floor and table. I ran and hid, not under the bed, but under the mattress. I knew they’d look under the bed. I listened to them hunting me; it seemed hours. When I heard nothing else, I emerged to face the music: but my mother laughed and hugged me, and cried “my little lamb!”
… green lawns and flowered trees, a gentle sun, gardens and vast lawns everywhere… church, and sunlight dappled and fresh; my mother wore a white dress with dark blue polka dots, and a hat with a black veil; you could see through it.
… stumbling down a night-blackened hallway littered with mops and buckets and toys and furniture, terrified, lost, trying to find my parents’ room, calling them, no answer.
…writing “I love you” on a blackboard … a nun gave me a little white plastic statue of Mary that glowed in the dark. It was half the length of my little finger, sheathed in a small clear-plastic envelope. I walked away from the church’s large front doors, and down the walk, looked back. A kind of sad mystery hung in the air, above the lawn and walkway. But I was glad I had that statue, that I owned something. Satisfaction, not joy. At the same time, it made me feel reverent, although I did not connect that reverence to Mary or Jesus. I saw and felt the reverence in the street, the green lawn, the church, the trees. It was the first time I felt the earth was alive, in a way that struck me as fascinating yet sombre, as if the earth itself was brooding. My first hint that there was more to life than the surface; or perhaps the surface itself was the mystery.
… standing on the sidewalk outside my house, asking people for money. A man gave me a quarter, and I still feel a quiet rush of power, majesty and joy whenever I look at a U.S. quarter… It was an old, unpainted wooden house, in a yard without leaves or grass, just dirt, one big tree… a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling… a stark window… bare walls.
… swimming in a drainage ditch, brown water, green grassy banks, slippery, warm rain.
… “Asshole! road hog!” he shouted at another car. He was always tense, ready for a fight. I said, “Hey, Dad, look at the is-lands in the sky.” I meant the clouds. I thought “island” was pronounced as “is” and “land.” Obviously, I’d begun to read. He didn’t answer.
Now, as an adult, I have discovered many black and white “Brownie” photos of our travels and sojourns. There’s my dad, William Dominic, holding my sister Susan, three or four, up on the car’s hood; there’s my mom, sitting posed on a porch. There’s my brother Lee, with six-shooters and a cowboy hat. I must have been in a dream most of my childhood, because I don’t remember… every so often, a photo will trigger a memory, but it’s largely gone… I don’t remember having toys, nor wanting them.
…. hundreds of small crabs, small as a baby’s palm, surging, flowing from the pine trees down through the sand to the water… quiet joy at nature’s wild bigness.
Then there was a long bus ride, with stops at restaurants and strange cities and towns and countrysides. My sister Sue and my grandmother rode with me. I saw a western town and cowboys, and being 7, I was thrilled. Small antelope fleeing the huge bus. Then a long, twisting descent, snow on each side of the glistening road, banked higher than a man… the bright white snow.
I had no understanding of where we were, or why. I usually didn’t bother with such questions anyway. I was too dreamy, I guess. I soaked up everything, but questioned nothing. Why, then, so few memories?
We had come from South Carolina to Vancouver, Canada. Our mother, Beatrice, later recounted: our dad went out for a pack of cigarettes, and never came back. She said another time that her monthly checks had stopped, so she contacted the army: he had quit the air force and re-enlisted in the army as a single man, so she received no money. Later, she told us he had married another woman, committed bigamy. She was pregnant with her fourth, Michele, and when he found out, that was the end. You see how there are different threads, different stories, woven into different times, times unknown? And now she’s dead, though she told us little when alive.
We arrived at our grandparents’ house, a modest two-story and basement on East 19th in Vancouver’s blue-collar East End. The front door opened and our mother stepped outside to greet us. (I didn’t remember the baby she’d just birthed; I probably didn’t even know it existed.)
Susan, silver-blonde, 6 years old, eyes opened wide, looked around, and her face collapsed, “I want my Daddy!” she cried, and broke into tears. At the time, I was puzzled. Why was she crying? Now my heart breaks with pity. Though only 6, she knew more than me. Awareness must intensify suffering.