Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Baby World


Yesterday, that girl and I spent part of our day with Mackenna, our grandchild.  Aside from her being the most beautiful child in the world, she is also the most beautiful child in the world.
And she is the most beautiful child in the world.
I think I have that covered.
Here is a photo of Mackenna and that girl I captured with my smarter-than-me-phone.
Beautiful, right?













--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 29, 2016

49 Pounds


Traveling is easy.
It’s the packing that is difficult—at least it is for that girl.
She and I flew from Montana to Ohio yesterday.  Our flights were simply beautiful!  Perfect take-offs and landings.  Big blue skies.  We barely experienced a bump in the air.  Most amazingly, that girl’s suitcase weighed in at 49 pounds.  One pound under the limit.
Quite a story, that.
For that girl, packing is something akin to prepping a rocket for a manned launch to Mars.  Our entire house becomes a staging area.  Bins of shoes and clothes are transferred in from the garage.  Closets and dressers are flung open.  Piles of clothing are spread across our two bedrooms in various stacks.  Some by color.  Some by type.  My 40 pounds of housecat, ever sensitive to any kind of household disruption, slink away to hide behind the furniture.
That girl spends the better part of a day—sometimes two—packing for an extended trip.  She becomes something of a human whirlwind.  I do my part by flinging my stuff in a suitcase and setting the suitcase in an out-of-the-way corner so I don’t distract her.  During the packing procedure, I don’t actually see that girl much, but I am still able to watch clothing migrate from point to point in the house.
Really, it is an amazing process.  At various points throughout this process, I might peek in at her suitcase in the spare bedroom to gauge progress.  Sometimes, I even bump into that girl and engage in something I call “normal human conversation.”
“How’s it going in there?” I might ask.
“If you were a girl you would understand,” She usually answers, grimacing.
“I sure would,” I respond.
And then I go hide behind some furniture.
I must admit, that girl's packing process works.  I was astounded when her perfectly stuffed suitcase weighed in at 49 pounds yesterday.  I think NASA could learn a lot from that girl.

--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Better World


I am pretty sure this is not an original train of thought, but I was thinking about ways in which this would be a better world.  You know…stuff like figuring out how to end poverty or figuring out how to make zero gravity with a hand-held device.  Then it occurred to me: this would be a lot better world if I could do everyone’s thinking for them.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Pink Flamingo is Down


My sister and brother-in-law, Terry, live next door to some folks who are raising chickens for their eggs.  A few weeks ago, the chickens escaped their own yard and took refuge inside Terry’s garage.  Terry had to herd the half-dozen chickens back into their yard.
No small feat, that.
Not long after, Terry felt a slight bump as he started backing his truck out of the garage.  “I bet I just hit one of those chickens,” he thought.  “To hell with those chickens!”  Terry gave his truck more gas and felt a bigger bump.  “That’s one tough chicken,” he muttered.
When he climbed out of truck to investigate.  He found his truck backed against the four wheeler he has parked there for the last ten of so years.
Terry is one of those guys who—as we like to say here in Montana—never says “whoa” in a mud hole.   He always goes big.
Another example is that time he caught his back yard and his neighbor’s wooden fence on fire.  A coworker had suggested that he might use a little gasoline and fire to rid his back yard of ants. 
Terry used a lot of gas spread over a wide area.
To hell with those ants.
Yesterday, Terry decided to give his grass one final trim before our weather turns.  He got through the grass and then some.
You’d be surprised at how much damage a weed-whacker can do to a yard flamingo when the two tangle.
Posted is a photograph of the pink flamingo as I found it when I arrived for a visit with my sister and brother-in-law yesterday evening.













--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 26, 2016

That Girl’s Birthday


Today is that girl’s birthday.  Today is also the second anniversary of our first date.  Though, technically impossible, I think she is getting younger.
So…if not younger, more beautiful.
I love that girl when she is all bathrobe and curls of hair.  When the early light of morning makes her glow.  When she leans down and sincerely asks my 40 pounds of housecat how they are doing.
I love her all of the time, if you must know.
We met for a hike on our first date.   I presented her a bouquet of flowers.  We trekked to a waterfall and ate lunch in a sunlight forest.
What, then, for a gift this year?
I would love to invent a new color for her, but I don’t know where to begin.  I can’t afford an island retreat or a vacation in Spain.  I am incapable of writing her a song.  I gave her an early spray of flowers the other day.   Instead of all that, I stopped in to Free Ceramics and purchased something cheerful. 
And when she wakes in an hour or so, I shall wish her a happy birthday/anniversary, kiss her, and give her my humble gift.  Later we will hike Mount Helena.
Happy birthday/anniversary, that girl!

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Mistake


I want to make that mistake again—the one where we accidentally bumped into each other in the hallway and kissed for a long time and then parted without saying a word.  That was the best mistake I ever made.

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Insincerity


The other day, I noticed a certain insincerity about myself.  I bumped into someone I have not seen for a while and said this: “How are things going for you?”
I know that this is a common if not perfunctory greeting.  But in this case—and such is often the case—I found myself uninterested as the person I had chanced to see verbally listed the various items about their present life they felt defined how things are going.
I didn’t really listen.
Instead, my mind wandered off to a corner and leaned against the wall picking at peeling paint chips.
Once my acquaintance finished speaking, I tossed out a couple of meaningless details about my life at present, not acknowledging anything he had said.
Only after we parted did I question my own behavior.
What kind of behavior is this?  Would it hurt me to really listen?  Am I too busy for authenticity?  Did my acquaintance notice my disingenuousness?  What might I have gained from a sincere exchange?
I suppose the only way to answer my questions is to try a little sincerity at the next opportunity.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 23, 2016

Six Pushbuttons


Imagine six pushbuttons are on a panel before you.  You will be allowed to press a single button one time for one of the following results:
Button #1:  Vastly improves your math skills.
Button #2:  Makes your favorite sports team win the next two championships.
Button #3:  Changes your middle name.
Button #4:  Causes the clothes to fall off your favorite actor/actress whenever you see them.
Button #5:  Makes either a songbird or butterfly (choose one) land on the palm of your hand whenever you extend your hand and whistle.
Button #6:  Gives you a new car.
Which button would you press?

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Learning from Cooper


My buddy, Cooper, celebrated his fourth birthday not long ago.
I really like Cooper.
For the last couple years I have been paying a great deal of attention to his behavior.  Cooper is a people person.  More importantly, I like how he interacts with everyone.  Says exactly what he is thinking.  Not afraid to look you in the eye.  Knows what is his.  Knows what is yours.
I have always been fascinated by the bare honesty an innocence of kids.  Cooper has that.
A while back, I was visiting Cooper and his parents down at the lake.  Cooper’s dad, Tad, was fishing from shore.  As we all sat there chatting, two men in a small fishing boat trolled along the lake in front of us.  The boat was easily within our casting distance.  A certain tension always exists between fishermen on the shore and those in boats.  Those of us on shore normally grumble when a boat sputters by, especially when the boat is close.
Tad and one of the men in the boat exchanged a few strained pleasantries—a “how’s the fishin” sort of thing.  Almost immediately after that, Cooper yelled out to the fishermen: “Love you!”
Well, that’s not something I would have yelled out, but it certainly eased any previous tension. 
Lesson learned.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Sweet Refugee


Uyen, my now departed wife, was a refugee from war.
She arrived in this country pregnant and carrying little more than a swatch of sacred cloth given to her by a mystic in her homeland of Vietnam.  The mystic told her that her life would get better once she fled.
I think about Uyen every time the current debate about refugees surfaces.
Not everyone embraced Uyen and the half-dozen other refugees sent to Helena, Montana, from Vietnam back in 1975.  Then, and for the rest of her life, she encountered stark and ugly displays of resentment from fellow citizens.  My own grandmother resented her at first.  The Second Word War had filled my grandmother with a revulsion for all Asians.
When I announced that I wanted to marry Uyen, one of my friends, in a drunken fog, pulled me close and said: “You can do better than Vietnamese.”
Before I go on, know this: My grandmother learned to love Uyen as much as she loved her own.  Uyen stopped by to see my grandmother every night after work once they settled into a peaceful relationship.
Only a few days before my grandmother died, Uyen confided in Grandmother that she had lost a valuable ring I had given her.  Uyen was afraid to tell me.  That very same day, I went to see grandmother in the nursing home where she was suffering from a broken hip.  My grandmother told me about the ring.  She then said the last words she ever spoke to me.  “Mitch,” she said, “Uyen feels awful about the ring.  Don’t you get mad or yell at her.  She’s a good woman.  You are lucky to have her.”
Uyen brushed aside all adversity.  She worked two and three jobs at the same time.  She built a life here from the ground up.  She became a naturalized citizen and proudly voted in every election in which she was eligible to vote.  She raised a citizen-daughter.  She gave to charity.  She proudly stood for The Star-Spangled Banner.  She gave her love.
That’s what I think about when I hear the word “refugee.”
I wonder, how many Uyens are standing there outside the fences right now?
Sure, there might be some bad dudes trying to sneak in.  I get that.  But every apple tree has a few bad apples.  Everywhere I look I see good and bad.  Not just at the fences.
Are we defined by the good people we push away, or are we defined by the bad people we push away?
Or something in-between?













--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In My Experience


If adopting a third housecat seems to be the answer, perhaps you should rephrase the question.

--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 19, 2016

Invisible Friend


Sometimes, when you’re walking alone in the snow, making fresh tracks and feeling a little lonely, it’s helpful to imagine that someone or something is there making tracks alongside you.
Unless you imagine a bigfoot there with you.
We don’t know that much about bigfoot.  He might turn on you at any second.
--Mitch Hegman

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Misadventure


“If you love someone, let them go,” is probably a bad motto for an adventure company that takes people on cliff climbing excursions.

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 17, 2016

We Can Keep This Friendly


We have been under a bright moon for the last few nights.  Both yesterday and this morning, I woke long before sunrise and immediately trotted outside to soak in my hot tub under the moonlight.
You don’t get much better than that!
This morning was gorgeous.  My hot tub lay under full moonlight.  The trees just below shown silver.  The surrounding mountains seemed almost luminescent.  I thought about a few projects I have planned for the day as I sat in the water.  I nearly drifted back to sleep.  
After soaking for about twenty minutes, I climbed out of the steaming water and stepped around the side of the tub to close the cover.
Say, that’s not 20 pounds of housecat!
There, less than ten feet away stood a skunk.
The skunk was facing me, his fuzzy tail upright.  I saw moonlight reflecting off his beady eyes.  “Listen, neighbor,” I half-whispered, “I think we can keep this friendly.  What do you think?”
The skunk did exactly opposite of what I expected.  Instead of turning away, the little fella started waddling in my direction.  “Not THAT friendly,” I yelped.
I was a wet, naked man.  A skunk approaching is (as my buddy, Rodney, would say) ungood.
I think I reacted just as any other wet, naked man would.  I quickly covered Winky and the Downhill Singers with one hand and galloped off into the house like cowboy on horseback.
The skunk waddled under my deck, which is built low the ground—low enough that I cannot crawl under it.
I am fully clothed as I write this.  I have downed two cups of coffee.
The skunk, as far as I know, is still hanging out under my deck. 
I am not sure what works as an effective skunk repellant, but as they say in some regions, I am fixin’ to find out.
In the meantime, maybe I can trick that girl into going out on the deck before I do.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 16, 2016

Blinding Light


It’s about the cabbage white butterflies.  They go crazy in mid-September.  Numbering in the thousands, they come bouncing haphazardly through the bluebird sky.  By late afternoon, the butterflies have gone completely daft.
Yesterday, driving across the North Valley on my way home, I encountered hordes of butterflies tumbling across the highway from the surrounding alfalfa fields.  They were blind with brainstem instinct.  Singular in focus, maybe drunk on sunlight, the cabbage white butterflies encountered their own slaughter on the highways.  I cannot tell you how many dead butterflies littered the highway or how many surfed into the grill of my truck.
Theirs is a quiet desperation.  Living as an adult for no more than three weeks, but able to reproduce after only two days, they have much to do in the waning days of our summer.
Here the come—flapping toward the next generation or fluttering toward a grim end on the long highway.

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Why I Bother


On occasion, someone will ask me why I “bother” with writing these daily blogs.  Well, for one thing, this is old behavior.  I started writing pencil and ink journals at the age of nineteen.  I initially wrote my way out of a long and severe depression.  Those journals eventually transformed into my daily blogs.
I have been writing all these years for the same reason: I need to write errant thoughts out of my system so they don’t stick around, purposely planting weeds and starting spot fires in my thinking.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Unusual Thing Happened in Philly the Other Day

Imagine you are a Pennsylvanian.  Actually, you don’t need to be a Pennsylvanian.  You can be a Montanan.  It would even be okay to be from Rhode Island.
That’s kind of a funny story, Rhode Island.
Back in the day, I and my buddy Kevin ended up touring Mainland China with a guy from Rhode Island.  He was an honest-to-goodness film critic—the first and last one of those I ever met.
Kevin gave the guy a funny look when he first mentioned he was from Rhode Island.  “So,” Kevin says, “we are from Montana and we call ourselves Montanans.  What do you call yourself?  A Rodent?”
Fortunately, the guy from Rhode Island, Mike, had a decent sense of humor.

Now, let’s get back to Pennsylvania.  You can be from anywhere, but you are walking through a city park in Philadelphia.  Of course, you are minding your own business.  All shocking stories require this.  Then, of a sudden (because there is no other way this could happen) a five-pound catfish falls through a tree and knocks you on flat on your ass.
This really happened the other day!
A woman named Lisa Lobree was walking to a CoreFitness class through Fairmount Park when she heard something rustling through the trees.  Before she could look up, something smacked her on the head and knocked her to the ground.  The “something” then bounced off Lisa’s friend, Annie.
“Oh my God!  It was a fish!” Annie yelped.
At this point, both women clearly saw the dead catfish lying on the ground nearby.
Lisa could smell the fish as she reached up to feel a cut near her eye.
Before you get all freaky and imagine that the tree murdered the fish or imagine the fish lived in the tree and only fell out after having a massive fish-heart attack, you need to know that witnesses reported a large bird flapping away from the area.
Strange, but plausible.
Lisa suffered only minor injuries, but did not make it to her exercise class.  The women also managed to get cellphone photographs of the fish.  I have posted one of those for you.
By the way, you call people living in Philadelphia “Philadelphians.”   I think “Philidelphineans” sounds better.
Gotta have that “fin” sound.













--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

First Friend


Uyen, my wife, was my first Facebook friend.  That makes sense—especially considering that she walked me through the process of joining Facebook.  I recall whimpering about how silly “friending” and “liking” was as she tried to explain the whole process.
“What?  Are we back in seventh grade here?” I groused.
“You’ll get used to all this,” she assured me.  “And now you will be able to see what Helen is up to.  She posts on Facebook all the time.”  My wife turned out to be correct about that (read everything here).  Through Facebook, I recently found out that my daughter—after returning from the Olympics in Rio—has become a marathon runner!
After helping me set-up my profile, Uyen sent me the very first friend request I ever received and showed me how to accept.
My first friend!
That was back in 2009, if memory serves.  We soon began posting back and forth.
Uyen passed in May of 2011.  I didn’t pay much attention to Facebook for a while after that.  Gradually, I worked my way back in.  Eventually, I began sharing these daily blogs.
Somewhere, about a year after Uyen’s death I decided to view her profile and I realized that she was no longer among my Facebook friends.
She was gone.
I was only able to access Uyen’s profile though Helen’s profile or by searching.
I did not unfriend her.  What happened?
I continued to view her profile—especially on her birthday or on the date of her passing.  I even tried to seize administration of her profile on her computer, hoping I could share a post every so often.  Then, about two years ago, with tears in my eye, I sent her a friend request.
I knew it would never be answered, but I feel better having it out there in the ether.
I never wanted to stop being her friend.

--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bad Numbers


When Ava was five, she chased a pair of vesper sparrows into her father’s field of wheat.  The honey-colored wheat rolled to silver as she ran through, parting the rows.  Ava quickly lost the birds.  She stood there in the sun-cured wheat for a while, watching clouds gather like sheep in one corner.
Ava’s father had bad numbers.  “Really bad,” her father said.  The doctor had told him so.
Ava didn’t know any bad numbers.  She knew some big numbers. She knew some little numbers.
What was a bad number?
When Ava returned to her yard, she found her mother sitting in the swing hung from the willow tree.  Her mother sometimes sat in the swing when she wanted to be quiet.  “Do you want me to push you?” Ava asked her mother.
“Yes,” her other answered.
Ava tried to push her mother as high is the clouds. 
After a time, Ava stopped pushing and her mother slowly rocked to a stop.  Her mother spoke softly: “You need to stay out the wheat from now on, Ava.  Your father is going to start harvesting soon.”
When Ava was seven, she chased a single raven from a field of weeds. 

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Survivor’s Tale


Howard Lutnick was standing with a crowd when he first heard the rumble.  Instinctively, the entire crowd scattered.  The people who ran to the left died.  The people who ran back died.  Howard Lutnick, for no thoughtful reason, ran to his right.  He lived as One World Trade Center (the north tower) crushed down into a heap on the street around him.
Mr. Lutnick was standing at the doorway of the north tower when the building collapsed.  Inside the collapsing tower, 658 of Howard Lutnick’s employees, including his brother, died.  Lutnick was then (and is now) the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald.  Cantor Fitzgerald, a brokerage and banking firm, occupied floors 101-105 of Tower One.  That’s just above where the plane struck on 9/11.  Nobody in the offices that day survived.
Howard would have been there, too, save for an important family event.  On 9/11, Mr. Lutnick had arrived to work much later than normal because he had taken time off to escort his son, Kyle, to his very first day of kindergarten.
Howard Lutnick lives today with an unrelenting survivor’s guilt.  His guilt is especially deep because Cantor Fitzgerald, by his own design, adopted a policy of hiring people who were related.  He wanted a close-knit company.  For that reason, many families lost more than one loved one when the tower fell.  Howard also had a sister working at the World Trade Center, but like him, she survived because she had a late starting time on 9/11.
Fortunately, the story of Howard Lutnick and the Story of Cantor Fitzgerald did not end in the rubble of the World Trade Center.  Howard has since rebuilt the company.  At the time of the attacks, Cantor Fitzgerald employed 960 employees.  Today the firm employs twice that many.
More importantly, Howard Lutnick and Cantor Fitzgerald have become leaders in charitable giving.  The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund (a non-profit) has given almost $280 million to the families of loved ones lost in the Cantor Fitzgerald offices on 9/11 and victims of more recent tragedies.  Each year, on or near September 11, the Cantor Fitzgerald offices and affiliates donate 100% of the day’s revenue to charity.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sources: NY Post, Daily Mail, History Channel

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stand Up 2 Cancer


Cancer.
Simply hearing the word sends an electric jolt of emotion through me.  A swirl of hospital rooms and pill bottles and grim faces comes to mind.  I recall, for the ten-thousandth time, the doctor telling my wife she had cancer.  “It’s terminal,” the doctor said.
All of the air rushed out of that room.
The air never came back.
Last night, an hour-long fund-raising event was aired on NBC for an organization called Stand Up 2 Cancer.  The organization helps fund doctors and clinical trials for groundbreaking cancer treatments.  Dozens of celebrities and dozens of cancer survivors participated in the event.  Celebrities even manned the phone bank.
That girl and I watched the entire event.  We were transfixed.  We are together now because we lost our spouses to cancer.
I found myself regularly wiping tears from my eyes.  Each time I closed my eyes, I saw the face of my wife, or that girl’s husband, or my father, my mother, Kevin’s mother, and too many children.
There are weird outliers of people who have not known the ravages of cancer.  An example is a small community of dwarfs in Ecuador who seem immune to cancer due to their altered genetic code.  But for the rest of us, cancer is the most savage beast yet stalking us.
What kind of animal is it that drags down a three-year-old child?
Cancer.
After recent revelations about fraud and impropriety in various charitable organizations, I stopped donating to all but a select few local groups.  It is not because I don’t want to help.
At the end of the show, Celine Dion sang a song called “Recovering.”  The song was written by Pink.  Celine lost her husband, her brother, and her father to cancer.  Celine.  Me.  That girl.  We were all greatly moved by the song.
I want to help.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 9, 2016

Pain


I have always been good at handling pain...so long as it is not my own.

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Up and Over


If I had my way, every Montanan would be required to drive from Red Lodge, Montana to Helena, Montana at least once in their life.  Such a trip would have a mandatory route up and over Beartooth Pass, through Cooke City, Montana, across the upper part of Yellowstone Park, through Livingston, Montana, and between the Bridger and Crazy Mountains in the Shields River Valley.  Optional, would be stopping to pee at Skidway Campground (at the top of Deep Creek Canyon).  Also optional would be driving a van with failing brakes.
I drove such a van yesterday.  Each time I pressed the brake pedal of the van I was driving, a sound akin to a pair of cargo ships grating against each other filled the van and all the surround.
On the brighter side, we experienced perfect weather as we drove the trip I have suggested here.  I cannot begin to explain the feel of traversing up and down the mountainsides, crossing through valleys filled with free-roaming bison, driving along the cottonwood river bottoms in open Montana.
Required: that’s the best I can say.
Today, I am posting a few photographs I captured from the trip.  They barely begin to give you the feel of the entire day.  The deer photograph is the very last picture I captured.  She was standing in the last patch of sunlight at Skidway Campground.




--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Once More, the Pass


I slept fitfully last night.  Normal for me when I am away from home.  Something about the bed being a bit bouncy and the room temperature being too warm.  Warm enough to force me to kick the blankets away at times.
Each time I awoke during the night, I heard Rock Creek rushing along just outside our room.
Nice, that. 
Yesterday, we (four of us) drove from Helena to Red Lodge.  We are going to make one more attempt at driving over Beartooth Pass so we can enter Yellowstone Park from Cooke City.
Beartooth Pass is the highest highway in the Northern Rockies.  The road reaches nearly 11,000 feet in Wyoming and nearly 10,400 feet in Montana.  We last tried the pass in July, but were unable to access the climb due to a freak summer snowfall at elevation.  As luck would have it, the pass was also closed the day before yesterday due to another fresh snowfall.
Fortunately, plows opened the Beartooth again yesterday.
I should mention that the van we are piled into—Kevin’s—is making a great deal of brake noise.  A bit worrisome.   Fortunately, we are driving up the steep side of the pass and descending gradually into Yellowstone.
Today: Yellowstone or bust!
I have posted one photograph I captured yesterday from the window of the van when we stopped for highway construction exactly on the Sweetgrass County line.  Not a great photograph, but I thought the fence running out there for several miles was interesting.  Beyond that is the Crazy Mountains.  The other photograph was taken from a bridge over Rock Creek immediately behind our room here at the Rock Creek Resort.












--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Saving Baby Jessica


Remember baby Jessica?  While playing with some other children, she dropped 22 feet into a well at her aunt’s house in Midland, Texas, and got stuck.  That was back in 1987.  Jessica was a mere 18 months old at the time.
I woke at 4-something this morning thinking about her.
Why?
I don’t know.
One second my mind is digging carrots in my neighbor’s garden.  The next second it is jamming a stick through the spokes of some kid’s bicycle wheel as he rides past.
So I got up this morning and poked around the web a bit looking for baby Jessica.  I even found a baby Jessica rescue webpage with a timeline and about a gazillion related links.
For those of you unfamiliar, the baby Jessica story is all about the dramatic rescue following her dropping into the well. For the next two-and-a-half days rescue crews, including mining experts, tunneled horizontally through rock to reach the little girl.  Throughout the rescue, Jessica could be heard crying, humming, and singing through a microphone that had been dropped down the well.
Hang on baby Jessica, we are coming to get you!
I spent a few minutes reading through some of the stories about her rescue.  It boiled into a worldwide news phenomenon.  How is it that dozens might die someplace and get little notice, but the baby Jessica story went big?
Actually, I know how.  It was my wife’s fault.  People like her, I mean.  She always held her heart out for children and animals.  She was transfixed by the story.
I even feel a little better for rescuing Jessica a second time this morning.
You’re welcome.
Posted is a recent picture of Jessica I found on the web.








--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 5, 2016

An Exercise


If you are tired of your life, try this exercise: imagine you are someone else for a day.  If you do this, and then find yourself in the kitchen wearing a wig and holding a large knife above your head, maybe this is not such a good exercise for you.  

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Tapestry


I always thought he was headed toward a bad end—the half-naked man riding his rusty bicycle along the highways, collecting aluminum cans.  But he returns every summer.  I am left wondering if he has a wintertime condo on stilts in the turquoise waters of a Bora Bora lagoon.
It took me years, but I have learned not to make assumptions and not to judge.
The guy on the bike might collect cans because he enjoys doing so; exactly because it doesn’t mean a thing.  Me?  Maybe I have tried a bit too hard.  Did I need to work all those hours?   Should I have visited my grandfather one more time than I did?  Did I step on others?  Could I have given more to families in need?
Collectively, when the pot is stirred down, we are going to find you, me, and that half-naked man collecting cans alongside the road.
I had a dream about the end last night.  Not so much about the end.  About my life.  My life was, literally, a tapestry.  The tapestry was framed in wood and made of earthy-colored fibers.  A small crowd of people—strangers—were looking at the tapestry.  I stood there with them.
On the left side of the tapestry, the beginning, the fibers were smooth and tightly woven.  A flower pattern extended for a foot or two from the frame.  As I scanned across the tapestry, the fibers became loose and frayed.  The flower pattern broke apart, became a mix of random colors.
By the end, the tapestry was no more than plain burlap.
From the crowd around me, a man spoke.  “Put your ear against the fibers and listen,” he said.
I bent forward and pressed an ear close to the fibers.  I heard the soft beginning of Ravel’s Bolero.  As I moved across the tapestry, the music grew bigger, more chaotic, crashing.
Bigger than it needed to be!
I woke.
I have been thinking about the tapestry ever since.  I have been thinking about us…collectively.
What are you hearing?

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Civil Wars


Posted today is a song by the Civil Wars.
--Mitchell Hegman

If the video I posted fails to launch, click on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnkM_ebv9BI

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sun Canyon


Yesterday, on a whim, that girl and I drove to Sun Canyon.  We stopped at Sun Canyon Lodge for a Bloody Mary and then drove on to explore some fifty or so miles of gravel road along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
The Front (as we call it) is where the Earth flexes its strongest muscles.  Giant chunks of stone and whole mountains have been upheaved.  The backbones of the Rocky Mountains lie exposed for miles upon miles as you drive along the grassy plains or traverse the foothills on the east side of the Front.
This time of year, the grasslands are sun-bleached.  The green has receded to moist arroyos, low marshes, and back into the Rocky Mountains.  There is a lot of open and a lot of blue sky along the Rocky Mountain Front.
Just the way I like it.
Posted are three photographs from our drive.


--Mitchell Hegman