Archive for category Remembrance

Cold Silence

Posted by on Friday, 24 June, 2011

In my last post, I was trying to make some point about coincidences that, to be honest, I do not even understand myself. I thought I could throw some anecdotes together and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. However, I was not very respectful to the young lady mentioned.

I have been struggling over this for the past couple of weeks. I did not know her well; she was just one of the kids I knew at a job that I used to have. It must be a decade or so since I last saw her. With the modern stalking marvel that is Facebook, I was able to surf through friends of friends with poor privacy settings to find some recent pictures. Had I happened to encounter her somewhere in the past few years, I doubt I would have recognized her. She merely looked to me like some random twenty something year old.

So I do not remember much about her, but the disturbing part is that I am ashamed of what I do remember. The fact is, I really did not like her. Looking back now through the fog of time, it is hard to say why. I thought she was a brat, but perhaps I was too quick to judge. She was only, I do not know, in her early teens, I guess. That is an awkward time for everyone. Maybe she grew out of it. I was quite young myself, and not mature enough to deal with conflicting personalities. Perhaps if I had met her again more recently, we would have gotten along much better. We will never know now.

There is one incident in particular that I had completely forgotten about, but now it haunts me. I am not comfortable going into details aside to say that there was a conflict. As far as I can remember now, it was a conflict that was never “resolved”, but rather never mentioned again.

It is troubling in a more general sense as well. I tend to be an out-of-sight-out-of-mind type of person.  To think now about all the people who come and go in life, and I never give them another thought until maybe ten years later I hear that they are gone forever. It is especially unsettling in cases of unresolved issues, where it was just easier to never see the person again than to address the problem. Which is pretty much my default.

There is one other thing that has been itching at my memory. That contrary to what I said above… I did see her more recently. I want to say that one time I went into a store where she happened to be working. Yet it is so blurry, like a barely remembered dream. Did I actually speak with her? Did I just see someone who resembled, and may or may not have actually been her? (Especially considering that, as I mentioned above, the young lady she became did not look like the girl I remember.)  Maybe this incident did not involve her at all, and I am confusing her now with one of the other kids that I had not seen in equally as long. I am just not sure. I want this to be real, although I hardly see why it even matters now.

I realize that this rambling nonsense probably means even less to the reader than my usual rambling nonsense, but still I want to say, thirteen years too late: I am sorry, Rachel.

We Keep Trying, And We Do Not Forget

Posted by on Tuesday, 11 August, 2009

Back in January, I posted an old song for someone special. That song was, how do you say, “kinda crappy.” It was more of an unpolished sketch with some interesting ideas and more than a few noticeable mistakes. Perhaps it was not so terrible for what I had to work with back then, but I remember thinking when I posted it that these days pretty much anyone could throw together something better in Garageband.

Now I know what you are probably thinking. That was seven months ago, and we have all “moved on.” Sometimes the world moves a little too quickly for me. So finally, I took my own challenge and threw together something in Garageband.


Timothy “Timmy” Elfstrand
August 11, 2007 – January 10, 2009

For Years

Posted by on Friday, 22 May, 2009

In New Orleans a couple of years ago, the church at which we were staying had a time for people to share there experiences from the week. I do not remember any of what was said now, but I do recall the sudden realization that my mother did not know that I was currently in New Orleans helping hurricane victims. My mother did know that I had been there the previous year either. This is simply because my mother never knew about Hurricane Katrina.

It was stated at the recent dedication of CSUSB’s new literacy center, “Kathy taught ESL at 10 locations on three continents… in five different languages.” Through “Kathys’ Corner” in said literacy center, mother has managed to continue teaching children to read four years after she died.

What have you done lately?

From The Vault

Posted by on Friday, 16 January, 2009

I did this song, Toy Shoppe, (if indeed it can be called a “song,” as it is really more of an “aural painting”) a long time ago. It was originally intended to be accompaniment for a circus act – for which it was (understandably) rejected. I later considered amending the name to “Toy Shoppe (In the Sky)” and thought that I should like to have it played at my funeral*, but I never told a soul, and eventually forgot almost everything but the name for more than ten years.

Yesterday, I was inspired to dig out the cassette tape again. (“What’s that?” you ask.) My initial thoughts upon listening were, “WTF?” Followed closely by, “How on earth did I make those sounds with the technology that I had in 1997?” So okay, it’s not exactly what I would call “good”, but it does have a curious blend of whimsy and gloom which is precisely what I was looking for on this occasion.

Anyway, I thought you might like a little backstory, because today, this song is for you.

*Do not hold me to this.

You Know It's October When…

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 October, 2007

It’s funeral time. I don’t know what to say anymore. This is getting old. I imagine that most people my age have more living ancestors than I do.

Dorothy Marti Ziilch
December 10, 1920 – October 7, 2007

Another Day in September

Posted by on Saturday, 9 September, 2006

Almost exactly ten years ago, I was in the room with my mother when she received the phone call that her father had had a stroke. “He’s only seventy-six!” was all that she could say. Only.

No one could have possibly imagined that he would actually outlive her…

…But not by much.

Charles Nicholas Ziilch
June 21, 1920 – Sept 8, 2006

Treading Water

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 August, 2005

I was planning on buying a bigger bowl for my goldfish this weekend. Maybe even a small aquarium with a filter system. A sunken treasure chest, perhaps. I was worried though, after I changed his water and fed him Saturday morning, he simply wouldn’t touch his food. Just drifted aimlessly, for a couple of days. Well… I didn’t want to be left with an empty tank. I was hoping that maybe he just didn’t like the Redlands heat, and would perk up again when he got back to good ol’ air conditioned Pomona. He was floating on his side when I came home today, and awfully pale for a goldfish. It was two weeks, almost to the hour, since I won him in a stupid little carnival game. I honestly hadn’t expected him to make it past the first Wednesday. But he did, and I was getting fond of that little guy. Jeremiah was a good fish. He deserved better.

Am I to cry over a dead fish? Oh for the love of… I had a boxing tuna sandwich for lunch today. I’m really just tired of things dying. Relationships, dreams, people, pets, whatever. So. Very. Tired.

Elle Dort

Posted by on Sunday, 22 May, 2005

She was at the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve. So all the hospital stuff said HUG. She must have liked that.

Kathryn Z. Weed
Dec. 5 1945 – May 22, 2005


Posted by on Sunday, 22 May, 2005

Aujourd’hui, Maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.
-Albert Camus

why try at all when everything’s out of reach
at times i feel just like a stranger on the beach
they’re looking for shelter from the pain
i’m so sheltered, i can’t see the rain
– Less is More, “Wasting”

The call came around 1:00 am. From my father, he was there.

The rest of us had fallen into routine. Get up. Shower. Eat breakfast. Go to the hospital. Wait. I found it surprisingly easy not to think about exactly what we were waiting for. But occasionally I would remember. When this is all over, my grandmother, my sister, my father, myself, we all go home to empty houses – some of us for the first time.