Archive for the ‘life’ Category

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These flowers started popping through the ground and then we got hit with snow. They toughed it out with glorious results.

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Church bells ring with joy

Once in darkness souls now sing:

“Christ from Death, Rises!”

 Click on arrow to play

(Notes: The words “Христос Воскрес!!” mean “Christ is Risen” is Ukrainian.  It is a traditional greeting between people during Easter Season.  The response is “Воїстину Воскрес!” which means, “Indeed He is Risen!” The song I wrote above repeats the traditional, liturgical phrase, “Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and to those in the tombs he granted life!!” in Ukrainian.  It is done with entirely with loops – in other words it’s done in one take, live. Symbolically speaking, loops have no beginning and no end.  There is a fitting aspect to using this technology to sing about Easter.)

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Just came across this beautiful video and wanted to share…

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.


Yes, it’s about the dreams…

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Actually this is me, skating on the rink before Plishka’s Law of Conservation of Snow* kicked in to the tune of 14 inches.

I make a couple of these a year.  This is the first one from this year. 

The Ice…
A Stick…
A Puck…
It doesn’t get much better in the winter…
*This states that removal of snow from an ice surface results in the arrival of snow to cover the ice (It’s like washing your car and then it rains)


Posted via email from The Cave Wall


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The Lions I Am Learning From

The Lions I Am Learning From


Cats are fascinating animals. They’re lone predators so they are equipped to hunt and kill by themselves. This means they’re smart, have sharp teeth, a startling quickness, mindbending flexibility and the most vicious weapon of all – retractable claws.

Carrying concealed weapons in public is illegal but not for cats. That’s why some people have a tough time trusting them.

One never knows…

It’s why I was even more in awe when I saw my father first tame a lion. (Okay, it wasn’t REALLY a lion. But those retractable claws make EVERY cat a lion!) I don’t remember where it was, perhaps on an uncle’s farm, but I remember…

The ferocious feline was suspicious of us. My father reached a hand slowly forward. The carnivorous beast stared back, but my dad’s hand reached below the chin and softly touched…

The magic began…

The cat slumped to the ground and rolled onto its back. Its paws against its chest. It purred loud enough to be heard from a couple feet away.

My father continued drawing small circles on the cat’s throat. The cat closed its eyes.

 I watched in wonder and it was indelibly burned into my grey matter. Never had I seen a predator so utterly subdued. This wasn’t Francis of Assisi, it was my dad!

I leaned over and placed my finger by his and began doing the same thing.

The cat opened its eyes and lifted its head.

I continued and he laid back down.

I had seen my father do that “trick” on multiple cats always with the same result.

Try as I may, the effect just isn’t as pronounced and sometimes doesn’t work at all when I do it.

 Somewhere in all this there is a lesson of peace. My father lived it…

I’m still learning…

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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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 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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