Archive for November, 2008

Excellent video, great music from Goldfrapp, I had
to share:


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Braving 35F Water

I usually don’t take the pier out until after
Thanksgiving but this year is different.  The heavy handed cold snap that
we’ve been experiencing has started the ice formation on the
lake.    The 15 day forecast is not showing that warmth will
appear any time until perhaps March of 2009.  For this reason I decided it
was time to take the pier out.


Last year, my rubber waders had a leak that flooded one leg of my pants
with 38F water.  It was not pleasant. I ended up pouring hot water down my
pant leg to keep from freezing and restore feeling in that leg.
At this time the water is just a tad above 32F.  Only the winds have
kept the lake from freezing. Smaller lakes in the area have been frozen for more
than a week.  The pier is supposed to be able to be taken out of the water
without climbing into the water.  It’s not really possible without some
serious winching and cables – and that’s out of the question. 


Each section of the pier is like a drawbridge so someone
(me) needs to jump in, push the pier part way out of the water and, after
locking the pier in place part way out of the water with an 8ft long wood
curtain rod, climb out of the water, pull the pier like a drawbridge with 
a rope and hook all the way up and then lift it out. That’s it!


To prevent any serious bouts of hypothermia or frozen limbs, here was my

This entire grouping was worn under the waders.  The upper half of my
body was protected by a polyester top covered with a fleece lined windbreaker
(that I dogsledded with some years back). That’s it.  Since I was doing
some physical work, I literally felt no coldness at all until
I finished the job, and even then, it was merely a pleasant coolness.


This is me almost chest deep in the lake where the pier used to be and the
ice behind me. It’s already a quarter inch think or more in some places.



Special thanks to my loving wife Debbie who helped out and didn’t
heckle me in spite of the fact I was climbing into freezing water.


That spot of the lake looks bare without the pier…but the swans and geese
are taking advantage of any and all open water that’s

Posted by email from The Cave Wall (posterous)


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November Rose

November Rose

November Rose


Why of all times did you choose now?

When winter’s knuckles frost the door with every knock?

Was it vanity – the need for all eyes to gaze upon you and no other?

I find it hard to believe, especially with your brother-

of course not as far along but on schedule to arrive still later on the scene


There are no others…

long ago have they left you on your own,

“We wish you well!” they chimed as petals fell


To risk, to brave

to be beauty when all else is gray

to battle

to reach your prime

without warmth

without sun

with cold rains drenching your feet

winds that snap your head back and leave you bobbing

a fighter receiving rapid fire punches

and still standing…


A slight fragrance

last night’s sleet robbed you of essence

no bees to delight in your blossom

yet you choose to share

to be light

so I may delight

in your mystery…

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Kristie is quite beautiful. Even with braces.  The hat she wears as part of her uniform covers eyes that trust and smile all at once.  I’m not sure if she’s an “A” student but I don’t doubt her effort.  Some may label her “slow”, or “ADD” , but she knows what she’s doing-she just needs to learn it.
I brought the milk to the counter and she rang it up.
“Seventy-five cents please,” she said with a smile.
“Are you sure?” I responded.  I knew it cost more than that – I had bought the milk before.
“Wait…” She glanced nervously at all the pre-labeled keys.  Nothing else was there.  She called a senior employee over.  Perhaps it was her manager even though she looked less professional than Kristie.
“No, you have to press, here…” her voice trailed as she showed Kristie which buttons to push to bring up the proper charge.
Register popped open with a new price of $1.01.  The manager grabbed a penny from the “give-a-penny-take-a-penny” tray and tossed it into the register but missed the penny trough. 
Kristie carefully counted the change.  The manager  made a comment, but it was lost in the shuffle of money.
“What was that?” Kristie asked her boss with a gentle urging that screamed she just wanted to learn and be better.
The boss’ face scrunched and she lightly huffed.  It was a face that said, “You should have listened when I wanted you to listen.”
I turned to the smiling braces, “Thanks Kristie!”
“Thank you, have a nice evening!” Kristie professionally but joyously shared.  I actually could if more people were like her.
The boss lady…
Cascading thoughts, a waterfall of life…
…and words from Christ: “I tell you, when you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me.”
We all get our chance….this one was obvious….

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Michael Plishka, 2008

copyright: Michael Plishka, 2008

within your eyes
tears falling
touches soul
I gaze
hoped once
once ended…
to know
yours is joy
is mine;
to know
you smile,
is mine…
shared words
paper white
bleed not
your heart beats
with love…
when winter’s wind batters,
your eyes look west
I pray that arms
keep you warm
that love beats within your breast
that lover’s kisses
taste snowflake on your cheek
that joy
fills your heart-
you smile….

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In honor of the change of seasons here is Seven Sisters. 

Listen and Download this tune

Sunlit sliver in an aqua sky
Greek God planet shines into my eye
High above immersed in char-blue sea
Seven sisters looking down on me
Frosted breath beneath a mercury light
Twists and curls
Disappears from sight
On wings of angels
From the skies above
Bring me whispers from the one I love
Wind wisped flurries swirl around my feet
Gold Fall leaves dancing
across the street
Through barren branches strain my eyes to see
Seven sisters looking over me
Frosted breath beneath a neon light
Twists and curls
Disappears from sight
On wings of angels
to the skies above
Take these kisses to the one I love
Flying through the dark
to Southern skies
Wing to wing beneath the stars
they cry
Fly my soul
to the love you seek
While seven sisters looking down on me
Frosted breath beneath a neon light
Twists and curls
Disappears from sight
On wings of angels
to the skies above
Take these kisses to the one I love
Frosted breath beneath a mercury light
Twists and curls
Disappears from sight
On wings of angels
to the skies above
Take these kisses to the one I love

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 I’m not sure exactly when it happened. It was like walking back into a symphony after intermission and the orchestra was gone, the musicians had left and no one was around to tell me the concert had finished.


But there were no instruments save the wind that snapped my jacket open. I wrapped the jacket around myself and held it closed with crossed arms…still listening for the harmonies of crickets and katydids.




An owl’s rhythmic “who…who, whoo” played on wind’s wings so it almost was imperceptible. Above, a faint blue smudge on black sky – the Andromeda Galaxy.


There was no flickering of lights during the intermission, no nudges to return to the performance. Spring and Summer Symphony had left the stage for Fall’s soliloquy – a lonesome phantom unaccompanied by insect voices.


I stood hoping that perhaps I could hear one last voice, one lone, brave soul in this windy tempest – no one.


Cheated, slighted.


No, hurried and harried – I missed hearing the last note. Five months loom before new insect voices will audition to exploding greenery. How could I?


I went back inside and took my jacket off and looked in the mirror. I noticed a gray hair on my scalp. It was as long as the others and had apparently been there growing right alongside the brown. I missed its journey as well. Perhaps for the better; I may have truncated its life had I seen it earlier.


That which I wanted I missed, and that which I missed I no longer wanted…

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While walking along a pier and gazing into the lake, a flash of gold caught my eye on the bottom of the lake some feet off the end of the pier. I walked closer and looked. Nestled in the green growth of water plants was a leaf, a maple leaf to be exact. It was one of the first leaves to drop this fall. It no doubt, landed softly on the surface of the water and danced with the waves for some time. Then, as time passed and the rains began it became soaked….


…it sank.


We’ve all seen leaves floating gently on the surface of a stream, spinning and gliding effortlessly along. They, quite literally, go with the flow. For this reason we think of them as a great metaphor for how we should approach life. Yet, that same leaf,when it stays in the water, gets buffeted by the waves, gets overwhelmed and eventually sinks. It’s not easy to sink a leaf. Try it sometime. I did. You can push it under, put holes in it, abuse it- yet it wants to float and does. The leaf seems, well, invincible, unsinkable if you will.


When the word, “unsinkable” is used, the first thought that comes to mind is the Titanic. It sank too, just like a leaf.


We too, are not unsinkable. We are not indestructible. If buffeted by cares and concerns, if soaked with worries, we will slowly lose our bouyancy – we’ll sink.


We feel there is a need then to make sure we stay on the surface, that we don’t let ourselves get waterlogged by life. There are times when it seems difficult to get out of the stream of life. We can’t, so we can latch onto a rock and let the sun dry us out. But the rains will come and the leaf will once again begin its journey as the waters rise. It will, eventually sink.


But what happens when we sink? A leaf that spent an entire season pondering the water from above, plays upon the surface, and then views the water from within. It sees the tree from the perspective of the water.


“So this is what has filled my veins,” says the leaf looking around as it descends through the crystal coolness.


“You, green plant, this is your world,” says the leaf as it touches the water plant and nestles into its arms, “I was once green too!” and the water plant smiles and welcomes the maple leaf.


“You have traveled much,” says the water plant, “You felt the wind on your face, the sun warmed you, you fell freely through the air, and now you’ve joined me here. Now, rest in my arms and please tell me what it’s like and I will tell you of my life here with the fishes.”


We are creatures of experience, we can let go and latch onto. We can move in three dimensions. Our feet are not anchored to the earth. Our souls are not anchored to our bodies. We can breathe the air and swim with the fishes, we can orbit the earth and go to the moon and beyond. What is sinking?


Sinking is perhaps the wrong phrase as it carries negative connotations-but it needn’t be so. Sinking can be viewed a passive event. An acceptance and willingness to move on. It is, going with the flow but in three dimensions as opposed to two. Yet it somewhat akin to learning to swim- that adventure into the unknown with unproven skills. It is also exhilarating and wonderful. It is a moment to learn anew, to share and to grow. It is a new beginning.

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Hello world!

Here is my official blog away from home, so to speak.  You can always find me at www.michaelplishka.com . Thanks for stopping by!


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