keta / KAY-tah / n


keta /KAY-tah/
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.

You are immersed in the passage of time. Sometimes you can feel the current moving. Sometimes you forget it’s there, only to be reminded again, another in a series of passing moments.  A moment is defined by its momentum.  It keeps moving.  We think of a memory as somehow dead.  As a memorial, anchored in its own time and place. A half buried reminder of what was once here.  You can’t just hang on to things. You have to let go. You have to move on.  It’s hard to imagine that certain memories are still alive. Still fighting against the current. Struggling to keep up.  That certain images still have the power to leap back into the present.  So you look across the room at someone you know.  Maybe they’re all grown up. Maybe they have children of their own.  Maybe you’ve known them for 50 years.  But in your eyes they are still the same goofy kid you once knew.  It’s not just the moments that we remember.  Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It’s the invisible things. In minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time.  These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth. Still developing.

~ John Koenig


Source: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
See more by John Koenig: Sunday Morning: Sonder


Christmas Tree?

Christmas-tree-kid-back-lights


There was some debate in our household over what I saw in this photograph. No, debate isn’t the right choice of words. I was mocked. What do you see here?


Image Credit

I win

frosty-car-hood

It was cold.
A bone rattling winter morning.
Brother Rich and I are waiting for a ride to hockey practice.
We’re stomping our feet.
And banging our mitts trying to warm.

The hood of our green, ’55 GMC pick-up, is coated with frost.
A frosty floral design.

“I dare you to lick it.”
“You dare me to lick it?”
“Yes.”
“What do I get if I do?”
“You won’t do it.”
“I won’t do it?”

He grins.
Pudgy boy shoots his devilish grin.
I pause.
I wheel around,
And, lick it. [Read more…]

Do Over

stream-fishing-gif

British Columbia. 1970’s:

Mountain firs line the banks of the creek bed.
Shadflies, flit in from the shadows, and back out into the sun.
Mountain run-off, clear and pure, glistens, sparkles.
I’m standing knee deep.
I pick the line with my forefinger, click, cast and release.
The bait lands with a plop.
I start working the stream.
I’m Working it.

December. 2013.

[Read more…]

Running. With Ferns.

green,photograph,woods,fern,

We’d run.
Our sneakers dripping with mid morning dew.
Hearts pounding.
We’d reach the plateau.
And See.
Our eyes held in rapture.
Not just any Green. An ethereal magnificence.

In Spring, it was an unfurling of a carpet on the forest floor.

In Summer, the ferns rose.
They climbed, fed by hard, warm rains.
Knee-high under the cover of deciduous trees.
Chest-high in clearings.
Emitting an earthy fragrance, fresh and cooling, filling our lungs.

In Autumn, Green gave way to a harvest of Gold.
Tips of fiddleheads crumbling as we batted them with our hands in our climb.
Rising particles of fine dust in air behind us.

We’d reach the creek.
A trickle now.
We’d kneel down, the moss cushioning our knees.
Lips rushing to slurp the cool water.
Pausing to catch our breath.
And, then back.
Back down the mountainside.
Our footprints cutting shadows through the ferns.
Leaving their imprints etched in our consciousness.

It’s so close.
So close today, 40 years later.
Thousands of miles away.
I close my eyes,
My skin tingles from the coolness under the canopy.
The Canadian Cascades lingering in my nostrils.
There it is.
Right there.
The Sea of Green.


“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.”

Luis Buñuel

Credits: Image Credit: Saicode via Sunforhersoul. Quote Source: Journal of a Nobody

Related Posts: Running Series.

Ears dragging the edge of the goldenrod

james-stratford-woman-and-dog-in-field

We’re in a field I used to love,
a redbone coonhound running ahead
her ears dragging the edges of the goldenrod
till they are tipped in pollen,
like twin paintbrushes dipped in gilt.

Kate Daniels, from “Crowns,” in Five Points


Poem Source: A Poet Reflects.  Thank you for the inspiration: James Stratford for the photograph and Ophelia Keys for her poem: Up to the Sweet Hill:

…Up to the sweet hill where the bees sing and faithful animals place their heads upon our knees. There we’ll set the horses loose and stay forever. There let it rest. The sun, the gorgeous sky, and you and me.”


That old September feeling

angle of repose - wallace stegner

“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air… Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”

— Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose


By one my favorite authors from one of my favorite books, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Angle of Repose.


Quote Source: Stalwart Reader. Find book on Amazon here.


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

bert-sesame-street-funny


Photo Source: Thank you Madame Scherzo


Drive-In Movie Theaters: Going Way of T-Rex?

Drive In Movie Theaters

This article evoked vivid, early teen memories. Sultry Friday and Saturday nights in August. Shad flies filling the night time sky over the Kootenay River. We would race our bikes to beat the twilight turning to dusk. We’d hide our bikes in the bushes and go searching for a grassy spot on the hill at the Sunset Drive-in. The tantalizing smell of buttered popcorn and hot dogs. The car window speakers cackling. The older high school kids cozying up to their girls.

I googled the Sunset Drive-in and was shocked to learn that it showed its last movie in 1986, over 25 years ago. The old drive-in is now a RV Park known as Kootenay River Kampground.

Italo Calvino’s words capture my recollection of these memories from where we sit today, in front of our screens, big and little, in our homes: “Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.”

Here’s a few excerpts from the BusinessWeek article titled: America’s Last, Remaining Drive-Ins Face a New Threat

[Read more…]

Summer. Stretch it.

beach, summer,boardwalk,ocean, clouds, photography


“…if you’ve experienced enough summers, you know how quickly the season can come and go: Just blink and it will be autumn. Is there some way to prolong the lazy days, to stretch summer out? Perhaps—in the mind at least…We all know the dark side of time passing slowly. A terrified person in a life-or-death situation commonly reports that the whole experience felt as if it took place in slow motion. Time also creeps along…if you are made to believe that a whole room full of strangers don’t like you. A 20-minute wait on a windy railway platform seems endless, but the same 20 minutes spent grabbing a sandwich for lunch with a friend feels gone in an instant.  Fortunately, psychological research also points to techniques that allow us to extend happier feelings, including our enjoyment of the blossoms, sunshine and long evenings of summer.”  Here’s excerpts on 3 mind tricks on how to accomplish this: [Read more…]

Hot Summer Days

summer time cool down

Ours was with a hose and plastic pails – – and far, far less elaborate, yet equally effective.  This photograph evoked childhood memories of sultry summer afternoons.  As did these posts:


Photograph Credit: Colours of Futbol

New Research. Bull. It’s the natural order.

black and white photography, siblings, brothers, childhood, memories

6:30pm NBC Nightly News last night. Brian Williams shares a feature story on how younger siblings suffer adverse long term effects from bullying by their older siblings. COME ON. Don’t believe everything you read. Here’s some real life case studies involving long term research.

But first, a short bio on my brother. He’s two years my junior. Today, he is married. He has a beautiful wife. Two handsome well behaved, high potential teenage boys. He has a great job and is making a real contribution to the community. A good man.

Roll it back to his teen years. Pudgy, but nimble in dodging blame. Lazy, but quick to vanish when it was time for chores. Shirt untucked and laden with food droppings.  Pants hanging off his a** before it became a fashion trend.  And foreign ooze dripping from his nose, year around.

Case 1: Lazy summer afternoon. We were chased outside to play. I grabbed our baseball mitts and ball. He reluctantly agreed to play. We tossed it back and forth a few times. He then sat down in the grass in the shade and called out: “It’s too hot.”  I walked over, glared at him and told him to “get up.”  No movement.  I’m staring him down.  He’s scooching backwards on his hands towards the tree: “I’m tired. This is boring.” That was it.  I marched back down the lawn.  Stopped.  Took a deep breath.  Turned, and in a single motion unleashed a fast ball from 15 feet away nailing him in the forehead. Based on his reaction, you would have thought I hit him with a Scud Missile. Outcome for me: Capital Punishment. Outcome for him: Appropriate long term attitude adjustment. (One doesn’t forget a baseball to the noggin’.) [Read more…]

What did Dad pack you for lunch?

David Laferriere, a graphic designer and illustrator from Massachusetts, has been drawing on his kids’ sandwich bags with a Sharpie marker for more than five years.  1111 bags and counting.  “I’ve been doing it for my kids since they were little…They love it, and nothing makes me happier than hearing their reaction at the end of the day…I used to work nights at a newspaper, and I’d be up early in the morning making my kids sandwiches,” LaFerriere, a graphic designer at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, told Mashable. “I started drawing on the baggies, sort of as a way to channel my creative juices in the morning, and it just ended up sticking.”  His kids, Evan, 16, and Kenny, 14, were both in elementary school when it started. Now that they’re older, LaFerriere said, they and their friends still look forward to the drawings every day.  I’d like to keep doing this for as long as possible. Of course, things will change once they go to college — but I can still send illustrated care packages,” he said.  See Flickr blog for the video.  See Laferriere’s Flickr photostream for all of his illustrations.  Cool!

sandwich bag art, cookie, monster,sandwich bag art, illustration


Sources: blog.ficker.net and Mashable.com,

By the Creek Bank

black and white, photography

There is some secret that water holds that we need to know.  I edge up close to the creek and peer into it for a revelation of some kind, an explanation of the world.  Some things I think I know: that the sun rises, that the darkness heals, that animals are intelligent, that rocks are aware, that the earth has a sense of humor.  The spring wind is blowing hard.  The aspens along the bank make sounds of wood rubbing together, dry boards of an old house in a storm.  Fair-weather clouds break loose on the bottom of the western horizon and drift one by one across the blue sky.  Below me in the creek there is a clear pool full of minnows. I get down on my belly and carefully put my hand in the water among the small fishes. The minnows jerk past my numb fingers, swift as black seconds ticking.  I cannot catch even one.

~ Tom Hennen


Tom Hennen was born in Morris, Minnesota and grew up in a farming family.  His poetry was informed by a lifelong and intimate relationship with the prairie. He lives in Minnesota.


I couldn’t tell you…

grandpa, photograph

My Grandfather. Deda. Walter Cecil Kanigan.

He was born on March 22nd. Yesterday.  In 1909. 103 years ago.

I couldn’t tell you with certainty where he was born. Believe it was in the Ukraine. In a hospital? Home delivery?

I couldn’t tell you what he did as a child. Who were his friends? Did he have toys? A bike? A cat?

I couldn’t tell you of his journey to Canada. Where did he land? Did he ride the rails to get cross country? Was it Spring time?

I couldn’t tell you if he attended high school. Did he learn “his figures?”  Did he know how to write?

I couldn’t tell you how he met Grandma. Baba. Did he ask her Father for permission to marry? Was she his first choice?

I couldn’t tell you his dreams. He mentioned that he wished he could fly. Just once. I couldn’t tell you if he ever flew in a commercial airliner.

I can’t tell you much about Deda.

But, I have moments.

He mixed different cereals for breakfast.

He slurped vegetable soup off his spoon.

[Read more…]

Clarke’s Pool

Clarkes Pool

The photographs of Clarke’s Pool are described as a walk down memory lane for “three generations of Castlegar kids who learned how to swim.”  Well he’s partially right.  It was also the training ground for the suburban kids like my brother Rich and me who hailed from Ootischenia (pop. 856).

Rich’s recollection of the pool was that it was “one of the scariest places he’d ever seen.”  Ominous.  Large.  Deep.  Dark.  Intimidating.  With a “giant” slide coming down high above from the rooftop.  My memories were frighteningly similar.  Yet, the picture today certainly doesn’t align with the Stephen King-like depiction of the darkness banging around our heads.  The pool was smaller.  And shallower.  And brighter.  With a kiddy slide jutting off the side of the garage.

The prize? [Read more…]

My whole childhood was a big lie…

warner brothers, funny, cartoon, children, childhood, memories, wile e. coyote, the roadrunner, the Coyote


10000birds.com: “Every child who has ever seen a cartoon featuring Wile E Coyote and Road Runner has to have wondered if poor Wile E Coyote ever had a fair shot at catching the Road Runner.  According to Mark Lockwood’s Basic Texas Birds: A Field Guide, with or without Wile E. Coyote chasing it, a Greater Roadrunner can reach speeds of 20 MPH (32 KPH) while a Coyote can reach speeds of up to 43 MPH (69 KPH).”


Image Source: themetapicture.com

I am here on purpose…

Boy Running in Water on Beach Gif

Six days back at work…after a two week vacation.

Tension. Decompression. Recharge.  Ramp-up.  Escalation. Full engagement. Tension.

Full loop restored.

And, cycle time is compressing year over year.

Meetings. Emails. 2013 Planning.  Events. Phone calls. Problems. Opportunities.  Running. Faster.

In a momentary gap in my schedule…a mental image of this photo flickers by…a photo tripped into during the recharging phase of vacation.  Image darts in and out for days. Pulling me back to a time when life was simpler. When picking sweet, juicy Bing cherries and filling the bucket was the task of the day.

I am here on purpose... [Read more…]

Cousin Billy


Saturdays during my childhood were spent playing with our cousins.  Or fishing.

Billy was the oldest by a year. Like his Dad, he was built to run and had a spiritual connection with nature. With ease, Billy filled his match box with grasshoppers (for fish bait) while we stumbled around with the creatures making a mockery of us.

We’d grab our fishing poles and race our bikes to the Kootenay River.  Billy would bound ahead from rock to rock. With grace.  Like an Aboriginal Tracker.  Quiet. Surefooted. No energy wasted.

The rest of us were in pursuit.  Jimmy’s arms and legs flying. Baby fat rhythmically swinging up and down with each stride.  Sweating profusely. Screaming at us to “wait up.” 

[Read more…]

Sunday Morning: Fly…

Good Sunday Morning. Let me make two points here: 1) I would NEVER do this. 2) Wow! I could not stop watching.  Base Jumping at Mirror Lake, Norway.  Breathtaking landscape.  Exhilarating flight.


Last Walk Around Mirror Lake – Boom Bip (Boards of Canada Remix) from FroschYankee on Vimeo.


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