• so do love you •

I had a pretty sweet mom.

I can still hear her voice in my head, “Hey, baby!”

Still smell her perfume.

There’s a connection that time can’t touch.

An elegance of unalloyed affection.

A hand holding mine,

when I was sick,

or celebrating a hard-won success,

or didn’t know how to go on,

or what to do.

Love you, Mom.

So do

love you.

~ Tim Burchfield

5/12/19

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• a life well lived •

Not unlike my inspiration,

Dr. Maya Angelou*,

I am not willing to forgo

the opportunity to grow.

“Finding courage in our voices

and letting our words rise,

and rise and rise.”**

That’s the Maya Angelou legacy, for me.

She once said,

“I’ve learned that

people will forget

what you said,

people will forget

what you did, but

people will never forget

how you made them feel.”

I quite agree.

Today, I celebrate

the birth, and the life,

of Maya Angelou.

Her life, and her work

has made

all the difference, in me.

~ Tim Burchfield

4/5/19

*(Maya Angelou born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.[3] Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.)

** (excerpt from The Legacy of Maya Angelou:

How a child who did not speak found a voice that inspired nations”

by Shakirah A. Hill)

• relative anonymity •

People who are rude

on social media,

due to relative anonymity,

don’t realize they are missing out

on a rare opportunity:

to be effusively nice to people

without being suspected

of something unsavory.

See now,

you couldn’t get away with that

in my family.

~ Tim Burchfield

3/16/19

• a close shave •

I can’t abide canned shaving cream. It comes off too antiseptic, for my liking, and in my opinion, does a lousy job of lubricating my face. It goes straight from the can to your hand, and then, you have to smear it on with your palm and fingers, which is always awkward, for me, and then, your hand is covered with the stuff. Yucky, is how it strikes me, what can I say.

Some years back, when I was investigating how to use a straight razor, just for, you know, the sheer experimental archeology of it, and out of curiosity—by the way, if you’ve ever tried to shave with a straight razor, you have some understanding of why men went to the barber for a clean shave, back in the day—I discovered the use of a brush and a dish to make my own shaving foam, and I have never gone back to canned shaving cream, since. The soaps are made especially for shaving, and come in a variety of scents, no small aspect of my attraction for the process of lathering up with the good stuff. The whole experience, in fact, is so darned sensual, I’m almost very nearly too emotionally invested to tell you about it. Almost. It’s wonderful, okay? Before you die, you must try it. Ladies, I can only guess what it would mean to you! For your pits, silly. Not that I’m an advocate, but that’s another story. It’s your body, am I right, ladies? There’s all kinds of beauty. I just happen to be a naturalist. (*grins*)

But, I digress.

Anyway, I have been out of shaving soap for a few days, now. And have been perusing the local shops and supermarkets for a new supply. Guess what? I can’t find it anywhere. A travesty and a horror, I know. So, what do I do? Shop online? You must be kidding. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that you can, get this—listen to the radio, on your computer—so, what do I do? I casually linger around in the ladies department, ogling the sweet scented soaps, over there, and what before my wandering eye, should appear, but a fine selection of glycerin soaps, and in tantalizing colors with accompanying scents: Green Apple, Coconut, and oh, heavens to Betsy, Mandarin Orange!! I bought two.

Oh, my, under the influence of warm water, and my vastly experienced shaving brush, what a lather they got themselves into. Look away, if you are the Puritanical sort. I’m about to get in a three way encounter, here. Whew! And after, in the golden glow of the moment, after a moment, and I have caught my breath, I’ll opine, gratefully, “Oh, my, that was a close shave! Thank you.”

~ Tim Burchfield

3/2/19

• and with witnesses •

For the longest time, I didn’t let my family see me doing things around the house—you know, vacuuming, and loading and unloading the dishwasher, wiping the counter tops, deep cleaning the stove, and refrigerator, taking out the trash, and so on. Oh, and yard work, as well. It’s a little harder to disguise scraping and painting, and building the back deck, and so forth, but I did my best. And I did this, not because I dislike my shared role as a maintenance provider around the house, but because I thought it would be fun to have people wonder how all this stuff seems to magically get done. Come to find out, nobody notices things when they are in good order, and stuff that works when it’s supposed to. Come to find out, I had cultivated this illusion that all I did was bop around the house being carefree and emotionally available, and whatnot, to such a degree, that the people who have taken up residence in my home, a couple of them, since birth, had come to the conclusion that I never do anything, and am, therefore, completely worthless. So, to combat this injustice, I now make darned sure that if I so much as wipe the kitchen counter, someone in the house is there to bear witness to the fact.

Only thing is, it is actually painful for me to put off taking out the trash when onion peels start to make the kitchen bin a bit odoriferous. But I am, with an effort of will, that astonishes even me, muscling through it, so successfully, now, that I can choose to do the bit of housework, in that crucial juncture in time, between when the permanent guests, who abide here, come out with the unconscious disapproving sniff (a dead giveaway that something ought to be done) and the pointed complaining comment. Not that it’s my job, you see, nothing as formal as that has ever been worked out, no, but since it hasn’t occurred to anyone else around here that they might could actually do something about it, this, whatever it is, this offending thing, whether it’s a clogged sink or toilet, or a rug covered with dog hair, or simply taking out the trash, I do take on the task, now, with flair, not to say, enthusiasm. I’d say, with a flourish, is the best way to describe it. Yes. And with witnesses. That’s what I have learned. That’s key, you see. Now, if I could just get a receipt, with a time, and date stamp, on it.

~ Tim Burchfield

2/23/19

• valentine’s day •

Valentine’s Day has strange origins. In a nutshell, about two thousand years ago, sometime between 269 A.D. and 278 A.D., on the orders of the king, Emperor Claudius II (a.k.a. “Claudius the Cruel”), marriage was actually outlawed. Crazily, it seems, married men were refusing to go off to war because – get this – they had much rather be safe at home, with the wife and kids, than risk death and dismemberment, for the sake of the Republic, and for a bag of salt, which was the coin of the realm, for soldiers, back then. Go figure.

So, new law. No marriages, period. No connubial bliss, no sanctified unions. Nope. None at all. No problem. If you’re king, that is. He had consorts aplenty, happily for him.

So. Everybody is horny, and, presumably, pissed, and ready for a fight. Now, Rome is ready to invade… everybody. A perfect state of a union, for a republic. Hm. It seems division was good for business. For a Republican. Good thing we have evolved beyond this kind of pettiness.

Then, a dissenter, a certain Roman priest, by the name of Valentine, believing in the inviolability of the institution of marriage, was, on the sly, performing ceremonies illegally. Apparently, young Claudius the Cruel got wind of it. Valentine the priest was executed on February 14, on the orders of the king, for breaking the law of the land: a three part execution of a beating, a stoning, and finally a decapitation, all because of his stand for Christian marriage.

They had Claudius the Cruel. We get chocolates. And Trump the Fool. What a world.

Oh, Happy Valentines Day. I’m still a believer, in the power of love, by the way. (He said, with a glint.)

And chocolates. I loooooves me some chocolates. (Hint.)

~ Tim Burchfield

2/14/19