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The things which i have seen, today, seem to have lasted many weeks and seasons, days and nights. And probably, in their formulation, they did. I set out for some kind of a spiritual journey, or at least one of insight, and that is what I have found.

It is with sleep, I seem to feel like some aspect of complete wholeness is passing over me, or that I am dying, returning to some life of aeons ago. Up the ladder I have climbed, tomorrow surely seems a low bit of work compared to the ancient mysteries, compared to standing on top of the mountain and seeing my place in the whole universe, and seeing the big picture and the little bits.

It is not so complex. There are philosophies of grande ideas, numerology and symbolism, layered intricately. They try to communicate some basic human truthes, to say very simple things. But it is not that complex. These things are common virtues, good and sharing, and empathy. They are mundane and rarely thought of as anything more. But they are the most heavenly and celestial of virtues considerable.

The little things. There are many little things. They fail at fully expressing this grandness that needs to be communicated or felt in a much more poetic way. The little things are like vessels, they are pots. Though the vessels of little things, there is a grand wine, a divine knowledge or ambrosia, which moves through these pots. It holds to them like magma.

This grand element moves through these vessels, in various forms. In some pots or crannies, it might seem beautiful and love, but in others, it may seem stark and undesirable. It is not the element that is defined by the vessel shapes. The vessels, the small things, they are like knobs, they seek to describe the grandness but fail to do so but in the most superficial of manners.

Now, there is an emptiness.

Dear E2 and whoever else is reading this, but mostly E2,

I try to refrain from writing of my personal life, but that doesn't always happen. Tears on a writer's page tend to make their ink run. I have been a noder per se for less than a year, yet I love E2. I have been actively talking to noders, ones I would not otherwise know except for E2, on a regular basis for over a year now. E2 has become part of me, and I would like to think that at least in some small way, I have become part of E2. So far I have less than twice as many nodes as I produced during IRON NODER. But hey, it's quality that counts, right? I haven't been doing so well in that department either, but we press on. The third and final piece of my not-so-short short-fiction series is still incomplete. I have had nodes nuked, I have made Cream Of The Cool. Also, pipelinks work less than optimally IRL.

Society seems to think that time has made me no longer a teenager. I am not a number, I am a free man. Ah, yes, time. It's been five years since I was where I loved. The past twelve months have been interesting, depressing, exhilarating, amazing, and useful. I have been clubbing, I have stayed out overnight, I have been to my first LAN party. I have acquired new hardware, including my first "real" handheld computer, which I bricked then recovered within the first two weeks. I finally updated my kernel, and still didn't get it perfect. I have spent large amounts of money, and regretted more than I wished I had.

Oh yeah, speaking of money, I finally got paid for last semester today. Who set the catbox topic earlier, by the way? I nearly used "BTW" there. "lol" has finally made its way from sarcastic speech to my written vocabulary. Son, I am disappoint. Back to money though, I have another job. Not a job packing shelves or feeding people heart attacks on a plate, a job working where my passion lies. They asked me back for a second interview, and basically handed me the contract as I stepped in the door. I've changed universities, and yesterday I officially became no longer a student of any kind. There is more than just a page break in my life here.

Un-job-related though... I attended art shows and gained an appreciation for art. I was asked to speak at a conference on electronics. My musical tastes and library have expanded beyond what I ever expected. Same with movies, and I even went and watched a movie at the cinema by myself. Now, come on, I only ever used to watch movies to be sociable to others who were watching them. I continue to go interesting places. I still don't remember all of that night, but I've lost another day a different way. I fell forever in love with my best friend, and I went on my first date. I have been suicidal, I have welcomed the first of the next generation to the family. Noders have touched my heart, not only through nodes, but through personal conversation. I have had trust shattered, I have found friends where I never expected. I travelled 160 kms to see someone for an hour because I could.

I went to see a doctor, willingly even, for the first time in ten years. I've moved house, again. There is even less stuff set up here than the last place. I built an HF antenna myself for the first time, a special compact type due to space limitations. I still occasionally catch the wrong bus routes. Living here though, I am close to horses again, something I have grown fonder of since knowing tenty. Currently I get to be around them more than she does. I have played with fire and explosives and high-voltage. I have finally bought actual climbing gear, but CAT5e still takes my weight fine. I've sort of given up on ever gaining weight, at least I've stopped losing it. I got a Facebook account, then ended up actually using it for its intended purpose rather than what I got it for. I have not been arrested lately.

My life is good, mostly.


Today is the first day of school here for my three boys. It doesn't matter that one is heading into his senior year, one into his sophomore year and a new campus, and the youngest into fourth grade. The waterworks for me still flow.

The alarm went off at 5:45am so I could make their lunches. Luckily, their appetites had not changed a whole lot over the summer so the weekend shopping (which, the weekend before school, looked just a couple of notches below hurricane shopping) was almost automatic and I fell mostly back in step for the morning kitchen jitterbug. Here's the menu:

Vonda MaShone:



On the first day of summer vacation, breakfast became relic for the older boys. Who needs it if you get up time for a mid-afternoon snack? This morning it was eggs, bacon, and toast for MaShone, cheesey eggs and bacon for the Hammer, cereal for SFB. Waffles was the initial request, but those weren't on the shopping list, and I didn't have time enough to make some batter. May have to get up a bit earlier for that tomorrow.

Once dishes were put away and teeth brushed, it was time for pictures. I have been taking pictures of the boys on their first day of school since kindergarten. Usually I remember to take them in the same spot as the year before, and I managed to do that this morning. Not only that, but I have a picture of the two older boys in the exact same spot on our walkway where I took one of them on their first day of kindergarten and first grade. Once I snapped it, I felt the waterworks start. Luckily, they were in a hurry to go but I also kept my head down and away as if i was checking a patch of weeds in the lawn. I told them I loved them and to have a good day, and they sped off.

I remained outside for a bit. Ridicule meets emotional eyes and the attendant sniffling in my house, at least from the other grown-ups, and I didn't want RunningHammer to be concerned about anything since, like I, he's a worrier and the slightest tug exercises the tear ducts.

When I got back inside RH was dressed and ready. Teeth brushed. Lunchbox in backpack. I took his picture on the front step as well, a real keeper, but maintained impeccable self-control. A quick goodbye to Mom, Grandma, all the cats, the snake, and the goldfish. I gave him a hug and kiss at the door.

"You don't want me to do this by your class and embarrass you, do you?" I asked.


And we were off to school.

Traffic wasn't the madness I expected, but I didn't take any chances. We passed the school, looped back on a side street, parked in front of someone's house, and walked a block or so. He had a shy grin on his face as we crossed the street, backpack and long summer-scorched hair bouncing behind him. "Excited, huh?"


The sidewalk split in two by the gate, and one half ventured into the yard that held the hurricane-proof portable in which he would spend the year. We did our handshake: a high-five plus fist-bump plus snap. Only then, as if through that we had detached, did apprehension, like a bat across a full moon, flash in his eyes.

"I'll meet you right here after school," I said.

"OK, Dad." He walked up the sidewalk and through the gate. "Love you, Dad."

"Love you, too, pal."

Then, abandoning the sidewalk, he cut across the grass to his classroom. After the door shut behind him, I walked back to the car. I kept my head down as I passed other chatting parents, and by the time I started the car, my eyes were dry enough to see.

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