Non-Fiction

My steps were smooth, quick, and simple. My breath kept even. My heartbeat was a slow 140 beats per minute, according to my heart rate monitor. The grass below my feet was wet from last night’s harsh rainstorm.

The house felt empty, at least it did at the time. My mother and sister were out of town and my dad was out in the garage, probably tinkering with something.

To each of you:

In the darkness of the night at Aldermarsh, with my window open wide, I hear a coyote howl.  It reminds me of the loneliness I felt before this place, the longing, not understanding why.

I think of how much he’d love this space, yet if he were with me the internal journal might not have taken place.

Aldermarsh opens itself to people. It breathes of a life force not found many places, and certainly not spaces I’ve found. It’s natural yet welcoming, and I can feel that many have loved it before I.

 “Story is a search for community.” ~ Christiana Baldwin

As I walk through the mud, I wonder if I’ll even make it to the other side. I wonder, how did it get to this point? Me, midnight, two babies, scared.  And I think back to just a few years ago, and him. 

“Why?” All the questions I have start with this complex three-letter word. The thing about this one word question is it requires an answer much longer than one word, such as, “yes” or “no”.  It asks for an explanation, justification, and knowledge.

We begin at the end, 9/11/10

“I need to talk to you,” I say to my wife, Connie.

“No,” the nurse says as she puts the mask back over my mouth. “You have to keep the ventilator over your mouth.”

In the late fall, the rolling sand hills of western Nebraska were stunning.  Autumn days there possessed a diffused light like … it had journeyed through a soft-focus optical filter.  Abundant bluestem and buffalo grasses covered sandstone bluffs the precise color of oatmeal.  The pale tan and russet colors of t

Hope was when my Grandmother Suzie used to take me fishing at my Grandfather’s cabin down by Medicine Lodge. He, my Uncle Bud, and my father had spent a summer building it in front of two spring-fed ponds of which they had dug by hand. A small cedar lodge with a stone foundation, they had built it into the side of one of the red hills.

When going about the task of interviewing a trauma victim, I was lost as to who I should question. Then it struck me; my own mother had seen more trauma than anyone else I knew, and the trauma she endured was and is a taboo topic in the media.