Strolling for Joy

I walked out the back door this morning, right around 7:00, with the daily intentions to empty the coffee filter, check on our tiny vegetable beds, and open and walk through the garage studio. Pretty much every morning, after meditation and coffee and reading in the recliner, I do these things. Like today. We have…

By BuddyCushman 08/13/2019 0

Inspired to Keep On

  From The Morning Pages: Late to the party this morning, got hung up reading a bunch of my old Blog posts. I, for the most part, dig them, there is a voice – my voice – and there is both a gentleness and a fairly clear sense of loathing and doom. Again, the idea…

By BuddyCushman 08/08/2019 1

The Value of Me

I have a painting – this one, oil, which is now framed and under glass – and I painted it with a palette knife on a piece of 15 x 11 watercolor paper. The painting slightly influenced, in my mind while I was making it, by the work of Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell, primarily…

By BuddyCushman 07/28/2019 3

Saucer, Krasner, and Mrs. Maisel

I have one distinct memory of the 1950’s. I was walking on my street – High Street in Wareham, Massachusetts – knocking on doors of houses and encouraging anyone who answered my knock to vote for Dwight Eisenhower for re-election to the Presidency. This would have made it sometime in the fall of 1955, and…

By BuddyCushman 07/23/2019 7

New People

I was out on a walk late yesterday afternoon and twice along the way I smelled honeysuckle. A surprise and a gift – twice. Later, before nine, I was in the basement involved with an eighteen-minute timed-writing session. Channeling words and sentences. One sentence formed in the expression of hope I begin a new oil…

By BuddyCushman 07/13/2019 5

On the Orleans Rotary

“Some day I’ll fall back into the pattern of the world. I’ll still be free On the Orleans rotary.” From “Some Day”, ‘The Automatic Poems’   That’s poem number one in the Cape Cod “Summer Daze, Deserted Winter” section of my newest book of poetry, the first stanza. It’s a hopeful poem, I think, and…

By BuddyCushman 07/09/2019 6

Atomic Monkey

I’d like to talk about my poem “Atomic Monkey”, and in doing so, talk about my whole life. When I got sober I use to go to these meetings where people trying to get alcohol and drugs out of their lives would gather and talk about how that was going. Sometimes a whole group of…

By BuddyCushman 06/13/2019 5

Walking in the Rain

I was the victim of a scam this week. I say “I”, but my wife Susan played a role in the victimization as well. Also a victim. This afternoon I texted my friend Gavin in Oakland and asked if he had any time to talk. That I needed to talk. He got back to me…

By BuddyCushman 06/08/2019 9

Tuesday

This is Tuesday and I have decided to fast today. It’s 1:25 in the afternoon and so good so far. I am also home alone today, always a treat. It’s 1:27 in the afternoon and I’m all alone here. I was aware of both facts last night, – fasting and alone-ness – meaning I knew…

By BuddyCushman 05/14/2019 0

Lesson

After I was about three and a half months sober I’d saved enough money to haul my sorry self off my sister’s couch and move into an apartment of my own – actually less than half a mile away, also on a third floor, above the family who owned the house and lived on the…

By BuddyCushman 04/30/2019 6

We Give, We Get

For many years I made an annual donation to The Jimmy Fund – the Massachusetts Children’s Cancer research and treatment fund. The Boston Red Sox have been affiliated with The Jimmy Fund for about forever, and one year my donation was large enough that I was afforded a lunch in the Fenway Park press room…

By BuddyCushman 04/28/2019 1

Hey Bro

I woke up Wednesday morning, and after sitting on a cushion and drinking coffee discovered someone had become my third patron on my new Patreon creator’s site. It was my friend Butch, all the way over in Florida. Hey Bro. I’d been thinking for a few days that I’d only managed two patrons on this…

By BuddyCushman 04/25/2019 0

The Me of Me

Periodically, I’d say maybe three or four times a week – more if I’m “on” – I sit at this keyboard and do “timed writings”, kind of stream-of conscious, automatic writing in which I try to begin with a particular thought and then dish on that from there, the timer on the phone set for…

By BuddyCushman 04/21/2019 0

Shower the People You Love

I am about to ask you to become a Patron of mine. A someone who supports my devotion to and efforts at creativity – in my particular case as a writer and an artist. And as an artist working in both oils and acrylic, drawing with pencil and charcoal. Working at keyboards and coffee shop…

By BuddyCushman 04/17/2019 5

Two Cans of Ballantine Ale

I remember it being sometime before 11:30 when I let myself into my sister’s apartment – like 11:20. A Friday night. I could not tell you where I’d been the last seven hours or so, other than flashes of being in my car driving on Route 1, I think through Saugus and maybe as far…

By BuddyCushman 04/15/2019 7

Thirty True Fans

Well, that didn’t last long. I’ve toyed with the title of this post, asked myself “What’s the goal?”, and decided I’d leave it here -“Thirty True Fans” – where it’s been a while, a title only, because in fact that is the goal. The not lasting long was my re-entry into the world of nine…

By BuddyCushman 04/05/2019 9

Coming Soon

    ….to a Monitor directly in front of you. Ah, maybe a mobile device. Some screen. Lots and lots and lots of goodies from me. Stuff – mostly new stuff, a bit of old stuff, recycling maybe. I have much to say and a burst of plans – you’ll see why – and all…

By BuddyCushman 03/28/2019 6

Gifts

It is crystal clear. I do need to buy the Mary Oliver book (“Upstream”) and then pick it up and read it regularly. The way people early in recovery read “The Big Book” and “The 12 and 12”. I feel entirely filled with inspiration and awe and a bit of regret and the hope for…

By BuddyCushman 03/07/2019 5

Thin Slicing

Here, now, is a slice or two of my mind. Back on October 17th of last year I published a post called “Risks and Other Things” in which I talked about a suggestion I had read – to begin each day by coming up with and writing down 10 Ideas. Every day. It would not…

By BuddyCushman 03/03/2019 0

Quickly

It has been a while since I posted on Couch Surfing at 70, too long, and I plan to have a lengthy update early next week on three of the current “adventures” in my life – trying to find a job; trying to sell my car; trying to read 50 books in one year. All…

By BuddyCushman 02/14/2019 5

My Last Mistake

I made my last mistake yesterday. At the tail end of a job interview, an actual in person person-to-person gathering to which I was invited as a result of an emailed application, resume, cover letter — and please believe here that before the interview began I grabbed the empty air space to thank the woman…

By BuddyCushman 02/01/2019 1

On the Cusp

I am filled with questions, here, on the cusp of my 70th birthday. A day before the first day of my eighth decade on the planet. Still up here, above ground. Still upright, no white chalk outline around my body. Not yet. And I wonder – will I get another decade? Out on a walk…

By BuddyCushman 01/18/2019 6

Lost and Found

Sometimes I feel lost. Not too often. But, yeah, I do sometimes. It may be connected with self-talk – all those things that I say to myself, generally about myself, through the day, days into weeks, at this point so many weeks. Want to know how many? This many – 3639. Multiply that by seven…

By BuddyCushman 01/10/2019 0

Back on the Chain Gang

I recently pulled my resume from the ‘Do Not Disturb’ pile where it has been collecting dust for some eight years or so. Reading through it I see how it must have been a nightmare for any perspective employer who had received it in the mail – good old snail mail – or later on…

By BuddyCushman 12/18/2018 8

Number 9, Number 9

There’s a story here, one of mine, if you’ll hang with me for a moment or two. I’ve talked off and one about the “10 Ideas”, written first thing every morning because, well, ya can, and one of those ideas for me being to read 50 books within a year. I described in some detail…

By BuddyCushman 12/14/2018 9

Here’s a Day – Irvine

Repetition breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds, what? – Comfort? In other words, is there comfort in a butt-and-back-worn seat on a Greyhound Bus? Like the one I’d taken from Boston to San Fran. Just tell the story. Now a month on my friend Bob’s couch, and having struck out in my lofty job search for…

By BuddyCushman 12/04/2018 6

The Other 364

We have flannel sheets, Susan and I, on the bed. Soft chocolate brown. I think they cost twenty-five or thirty bucks a year ago, maybe it was two. But, here’s the thing. I crawl into bed at night, it’s cold, I’m always cold now that I lost all this weight, and the sheets are already…

By BuddyCushman 11/22/2018 6

My Taurus

I walked onto the lot of Bonnell Ford in Winchester, Massachusetts one warm afternoon in May of 2003. I was with a woman named Mary, with whom I was living at the time up in Lowell in her house. My 1996 fire-engine-red Ford Taurus was near death. I needed another car, and I was clear…

By BuddyCushman 11/14/2018 4

I Was Thinking

Timed writing #2. Wednesday One – Oh, was gonna, well, enough of that.  The suggestion read in a book to begin each day taking a few minutes to come up with and write down ten (10) ideas – every day – and if that felt to difficult, come up with 20. Sticking to the 10,…

By BuddyCushman 11/08/2018 1

Ranting About Self Talk

See, I am overdue for a weekly Blog post and have been focused on projects other than the Blog (Zine, DeLoreal Beach Mysteries, upcoming art show and sale) and yesterday when I asked myself what was next for the Blog I answered “I don’t know.” Then, in the third piece of timed writing for the…

By BuddyCushman 11/02/2018 4

When 10 Becomes 50

I try to picture myself at, say, age 11, imagine myself curled up on a soft chair in the living room, or on my bed, head propped up by pillows, reading a book. But I can’t see it. I can’t see that image through high school either, at my family’s home, at Jay’s or Water’s…

By BuddyCushman 10/26/2018 10

I Sit, and I Am

Please sit down for these three stories. I bought this pink recliner when I first moved to Portland, Oregon in January of 2009. I bought it directly off Craigslist for $40, and that price included a father and son delivering it into the living room of my apartment. It stayed with me there, then moved…

By BuddyCushman 10/18/2018 5

Risks and Other Stuff

I recently read that if you don’t have enough failures in your life it means you haven’t tried enough things. Let me phrase this from a personal viewpoint. If I can’t look back and see a long list of failures – and included among them at least one or two that could be labeled ‘spectacular’…

By BuddyCushman 10/17/2018 4

No, Not Like Spenser

I woke up and got up at 4:42 this morning, soon after began my morning “rituals” of sitting in meditation, bowing, drinking coffee while reading books that help me out, then heading to the basement and writing my three Morning Pages. The alarm in our bedroom has been set for 5:30 mornings for years, which…

By BuddyCushman 10/16/2018 7

My Last Post

I truly thought my last post – ‘Taking Help Part Three’ – would inspire and generate lots and lots of comments. It feels important, like I got to channel some big stuff. Have you read it? Do you have thoughts about its ideas?

By BuddyCushman 10/15/2018 3

Taking Help – Part Three

It was nearly 35 years ago when a kind, goofy, full-of-life man named Dick Morrison gave me this suggestion — “Your Higher Power didn’t bring you this far to suffer.” His comment was in reply to one of an endless supply of moans and complaints, cries against the unfairness of life, I was regularly wailing…

By BuddyCushman 10/12/2018 5

Taking Help – Part Two

Cash Only In his book “On Writing Fiction” author John Gardner reminds us that reading fiction involves “a suspension of disbelief.” Not a usual collection of words but easy to understand – if you truly want to enjoy this story about a young wizard and his friends you need to believe, at least here and…

By BuddyCushman 10/09/2018 2

Taking Help – Part One

Will It Go Round In Circles I wonder when my story began? In a delivery room in St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts sometime early the morning of January 19, 1949? A Wednesday. That’s the easiest answer. Or was it the winter-turning-into-fall of 1969 when my outlook on life – perhaps stance is a…

By BuddyCushman 10/04/2018 17

I Am What I Eat

Two disclaimers before I begin:  One –  This is my story. I tell you these things to tell a story. There is no intention of suggestion, encouragement, preaching – none of that. It’s just another story on Couch Surfing at 70.  Two –  For all I know, I could drop dead tomorrow.   Picture this:…

By BuddyCushman 09/20/2018 13

Your Stories

As promised, these are comments in the form of dislodged memories and other thoughts and thinking from subscribers in reaction to the “Flying down Durant with Doug” post. And as always, I bow to your commitment. And heart.   “Jim Morrison was always my muse, light my fire playing on my families’s car radio at…

By BuddyCushman 09/19/2018 2

Addendum of Sorts

9/16/18 Verbatim ‘Morning Pages’   I have a distinct sense, which feels to be clearing with time, that the “Couch” Blog is in fact something special – special for me as an opportunity to move closer to focus and devotion and intention, loyalty even, than what I have usually wrung from myself in the past.…

By BuddyCushman 09/17/2018 1

Flying down Durant with Doug

The scene is this – It’s midnight, give or take, a Friday or Saturday, I don’t remember. We leave our room on the sixth floor of the Durant Hotel. Before dark there is an in-your-face, up-close perfect view of UC Berkeley’s campanile from our room’s window. But now it’s dark. We’ve been to a disability…

By BuddyCushman 09/14/2018 13

Kind of How it Goes

A couple of weeks ago a friend named Eric stopped by the house. He lives up near Seattle and was down in Portland for the weekend. Talking on the phone a week or so earlier he was describing a room he’d rented in a house under construction – the floors were torn up, he was…

By BuddyCushman 09/09/2018 25

Coming Attractions

Hello there my Blog subscriber. Just a quick non-post post, a few odds and ends I’d like to note.   First, I have just come to understand that my replies to comments you have graciously taken the time to leave are not automatically being seen by you. You don’t know I’ve replied, or someone else…

By BuddyCushman 09/06/2018 9

From the Tool Kit

I’m not big on telling anyone “You ought to try this.”   But….. Along the highways and the byways of my life, from ultra cool apartments I’ve rented, gifted mattresses on floors where I’ve laid my can-I-crash-here head, the house belonging to Susan I’ve called home these last eight years. Within and from these places, out…

By BuddyCushman 09/02/2018 6

Surfing Around the Rail Trail

There’s another story that proceeds this one, but I’ll begin here. The third or fourth week of May 2007 my son Cameron and I completed a cross-country father-son journey and adventure from Oakland, California to Cape Cod, that peninsula-like-thing that sticks out from the Massachusetts coastline. Technically homeless (me), Cameron and I had spent a…

By BuddyCushman 08/28/2018 27

Nine Words and a Question Mark

I have had a habit, pretty much all my life, of talking myself into not doing things. Not trying things, not joining, participating, leading, confidently chasing each and every dream I ached for. Pema Chodron, the Catholic Buddhist nun and author of many wonderful, helpful, and supportive books, talks about “our ancient stories”. Stories we…

By BuddyCushman 08/22/2018 8

Dumb Luck

Early in August in 1982 I left my apartment in Salem, Massachusetts and a three-year part-time Sports Editor and high school stringer job with the Newburyport Daily News some 30 miles away and dragged one suitcase and all my dreams onto a Greyhound bus in downtown Boston. I had stored two large trash bags of…

By BuddyCushman 08/17/2018 17

Couch Surfing at 70

To google ‘couch surfing’ results in this on-line dictionary definition — “Stay temporarily in a series of other people’s homes, typically making use of improvised sleeping arrangements.” Every morning finds me up at 5:30, ‘sitting’ in meditation from between eight and 20 minutes in a straight-back chair in the living room. Often I’m thinking about…

By BuddyCushman 08/09/2018 4

Dating My Wife

Dating My Wife

A SHORT STORY — Once upon a time my wife took yesterday off from work. It was her birthday. I like it when my wife is home from work. We hang out. I’ve tried to convince her to quit working the last couple of years, so we could hang out more. But she is too…

By BuddyCushman 08/08/2018 9