September 4, 2016
Flying Off


Two months of static obsession, the major new production being a double hip replacement for Elizabeth—the hips six weeks apart, or, that is, well—

Not so much new as an adaptation based on the previous versions. The surgeon & artistic director was Dr. Michael Bollinger, and a jolly time was had by all—well, except for the fact that it hurts.

Elizabeth was up walking the afternoon after the 7 a.m. operations, and home the next day. Now, three weeks after the second surgery, she’s still on mild pain-killer and uncomfortable with edema in the lower limb, but more mobile as she was in the days before the knife, and much looking forward to a more limber future.

For myself: I attended a three-day men’s retreat in the Mendocino redwoods, a very welcome time of meditation, writing, fellowship and food, and then the Santa Barbara Writers Conference—one of the few conferences, ever, where I felt I came out with greater skills than going in. One of our short stories, “Sleeves to Turkey,” was cited as Best of Festival in the fiction category. It’s had only ten or so rejections so far, so hope springs eternal.

Meantime, we’ve just finished what we hope is the final draft of our novel Akedah: the Binding and jumped backward into a total rewrite of our second novel Galahad’s Fool. The one advantage of getting lots and lots of rejections is that it gives you time for your talents to mature or at least for your eyes to get sharper—which amount to the same thing.


And we’re preparing for a trip with no redeeming social purpose other than the challenge of travel. We leave Sept. 6th, returning Oct. 4th.

First, a week in Iceland in a camper van circling the country on the Ring Road. Then visiting a friend briefly in Amsterdam and on to Tuscany for a week with daughter Johanna and her mate Francesco.

Then we split: Elizabeth to Zurich and Brittany, myself to Paris—doing what I can, by my presence, to discourage international terrorist conspiracies. Then we reconnect, and back to Iceland, mostly exploring Reykjavik, and then home and back, reluctantly, to news of the election.

In November we head northward, with a performance of Lear at Western Oregon University and in Portland, with a likely jaunt to the Seattle area. January will see us in the Southwest: shows in Phoenix, Santa Fe and Taos. We hope to come East in late spring or summer, plans still pending.

Very soon after our October return, we’ll announce our DVD of King Lear. The editing is finished; we have only to package it and get a blurb up on the website. It’s a good video version, though it’s a bit like seeing the trapeze act on TV rather than in the sweat of the arena—lacks that sense of “What are they doing!!???” But it’s definitely worth seeing.

More anon.