Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Decades Full of Dreams Redux

I first wrote this post ten years ago on August 20, 2005. It was in the early days of our blogging, when I was using the blogging pseudonym Rexroth's Daughter. We were also using Haloscan for our comments back then, which were all exported to us in a mostly unusable format in 2009 and then unceremoniously deleted forever. It's hard to imagine that an entire decade has passed since I wrote this post. So, I think it must be time for an update. One more photo, one more haiku. It is my birthday today May 13th. I am now seven years from seventy. Next update in 2025!

PS-- I updated the comments at the end with 58 of the comments I could find from my old Haloscan files. There are eight comments from me with the text of those older comments. It's lovely to re-read them and remember some of the folks from the early days of blogging.

I thought a long time about posting this series of photos and haikus. I put this together over a month ago, then the mood to post it passed. I was growing tired of being Rexroth's Daughter, and wanted to introduce myself as I am. My name is Robin, but I am not sure it really matters.
I am one of four kids. The earliest photos only show the youngest three. My older brother is 3 1/2 years older, so he didn't hang around with us when we were little and too boring to be his friends. Later, when we were all in our teens, we started to smoke pot together and those were the days that cemented our familial connections. Even now when we laugh, we can all flash back to the same moment. The four of us living together was like life on a very wild commune. Our parents thought we were mad. We were.
I think the photo that may require the most explanation is the one of me when I was 14. Behind me is a table full of relatives. My parents had thrown a party for my uncle's in-laws who had flown to New Jersey from California. Everyone is sitting in chairs, except for me. I am striking a very odd pose, and I know that I was influenced by the news of the times, the era, The Beatles (Relax your mind and float down stream). Shortly after that photo was taken, I parted my hair down the middle, grew it down to my waist, ironed it straight, painted flowers on my legs, and plastered peace signs on everything. Those were the 60s. Later, when I was building a cabin in southern Oregon in 1974, my parents came up to hammer in a few nails with us. That's my father in the picture. And that photo of the smiling group of long-haired folks in 1975 is of my siblings and me.
This is my life as I remember it.

1953 1 year old
boy girl twins emerge
each a lonely half of two
connected always

1959 7 years old
this trio of love
grounds my sense of place on earth

1966 14 years old
buddhist monk headlines
tells of self-immolation
sacrifice for peace

1971 19 years old
lover looks at me
sees beauty where I did not
shy heart awakens

1974 22 years old
back to land movement
buy ten acres, build cabin
bake pies, coleman stove

1975 23 years old
heart's excavation
finds deep in cells, blood, and bone
our shared history

1985 33 years old
lose love and falter
seek solace, find Darwin and
fossil ecstacy

1995 43 years old
love comes thundering
two broken hearts try again
perfect confluence

2005 53 years old
crone's age upon me
hope to be fearless at death
so, wink at future
2015 63 years old
 ten years older now
and not the least bit wiser
dancing in the trees


  1. Happy Birthday, deer robin! So heartening to see this fine photo showing you thriving at 63 in the company of roger and the redwoods. A vision of your enduring love of life, sheltered by one of the ancient ones with whom we all share DNA:

  2. I love these. Happy Birthday!

  3. Happy birthday. Such fun to look back on life once in awhile to what was and what is :). I especially like yours as you have always been and still are a very beautiful woman, unique and strong looking.

  4. I don't know how you see it, but when I read about it, I think, "What a hoot!"

  5. Happy birthday!!! What a lovely way to let us see glimpses of your life. Thank you.

  6. Happy Birthday
    Sister Spirit!

  7. am-- Thank you for that link! I love knowing how much dna we share with other living things. I wish we could measure how much stardust we are made of too!

    jo(e)-- Thank you!

    Rain-- I like taking these visual looks back at life. And, thank you for your kind words.

    Mark P-- It was fun doing this ten years ago, in the early days of blogging.

    Sabine-- Thank you. Really glad you liked this.

    MandT-- Thank you, dear friend.

  8. In a couple of these photos you remind me of Joan Baez. I love this post Robin. The photos and the haiku's say I am here

  9. Tara-- I have the old comments from when it was posted in 2005. Slap Me Silly Sally wrote to me then. I'm so glad you love this post. I would love to see some old pics of you and some poems too!

    1. I'll try and put something together for my birthday

    2. Cool. Can't wait to see it!

  10. Belated Happy Birthday. Loved this progression of photos. You lived the life I thought about living but didn't have the courage.
    Sixty three?? Still a puppy with many miles to go yet.

  11. Happy Birthday! I loved this post and the progression of your love and life. Just beautiful.

  12. Wow, Robin Andrea! Wow! This is a great post; it may have inspired me to do a similar one (but I'm really going to have to dig for images). And, now I know that you're a fellow Taurean--only eight days younger than I am (May 5, 1952). I do want to take issue on one point, though--you clearly have gained some wisdom (even if it's not as much as you think you ought to have gained).

  13. Arkansas Patti-- I'm always grateful that I came of age in the era that I did. It was a wonderful time of exploration and expression. Yes, I'm "only" 63, but I knew from the time I was very young, that I was truly born old. Thank you for your birthday wishes.

    NCmountainwoman-- Thank you so much. This is one of my favorite posts, and I am glad I had an opportunity to repost and add another decade.

    Scott-- Thank you! I would LOVE to see you do a post like this. It was really fun and challenging when I did it ten years ago. How wonderful it is to know we are only eight days apart. It's been good 63 turns around the sun. And thank you for thinking I have gained some wisdom, this may be true. The jury is still out. LOL!

  14. 1. 2006-03-22T04:15:14-05:00

    I love this

    2. 2006-03-22T04:21:19-05:00

    Javaseeker (my husband) and I love your writing! I think this is so beautiful, very touching. You've aged so gracefully.

    3. 2006-03-30T22:51:08-05:00

    Some time ago, I read this post, appreciate each photo and love all them.

    Today I return to see this post again. So beautiful your "Decades Full of Dreams"!!

    I think I told you that I have a twin sister. But I am not allowed to show up her photo, so ... some day I will put only my photo on my place.

    4. 2006-04-04T19:50:23-05:00

    yeah, i hope to be fearless when the time arrives for my soul to leave my body, but i don't know...doing the work, but still a bit "lazy"...
    love your blog
    cheers for now,

    5. 2006-04-29T11:57:58-05:00

    Thank you so much for this. Absolutely beautiful.

    6. 2006-05-01T06:38:01-05:00

    Sure like everything about your site, your haiku, etc. You live in a beautiful place (as we all do) and one that I would like to travel to...sometime. Love your thoughts, bird photos, etc.
    Literally stumbled across your site...but as you must know...there are no accidents. Thanks for being there, I sure enjoyed it.

    7. 2005-08-21T03:27:02-05:00
    Phantom Scribbler

    Thank you for letting us get to know you, Robin. It is a privilege.

    And that Joni Mitchell song will be in my head for the rest of the night!

    8. 2005-08-21T04:27:19-05:00


    I loved this blog. I'm so glad you two broken hearts tried again. Seeing pictures from days long gone by are fun. You get more beautiful as the years add up. You too DPR...

    9. 2005-08-21T04:33:07-05:00

    What beautiful photos and words. How delicious that you introduced yourself to the wider world. Even those of us who know and love you got to learn new things about you tonight! Thank you for your courage, honesty, and - as always your remarkable and sparkly creativity! So glad you two great spirits found each other! So glad we get to be in your life!

  15. 10. 2005-08-21T05:33:10-05:00


    Phantom Scribbler, I'm missing the Joni reference, and I think I'm familiar with teh entire canon.

    11. 2005-08-21T05:46:26-05:00

    Very beautiful, Robin. The photos, haikus, and you.

    12. 2005-08-21T06:04:28-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    Everyone-- Thank you so much.
    Phil, the reference is to the song Cactus Tree:
    There's a man whose been out sailing
    in a decade full of dreams
    he takes her to his schooner
    and treats her like a queen

    13. 2005-08-21T07:23:23-05:00

    Though I am sympathetic to the more Wiccan-oriented connotations of the word "crone", well, I just don't see it.

    You look due for 53 more good years. Cute little shoes, by the way.

    14. 2005-08-21T12:42:37-05:00

    A beautiful series of photos, and more than a little courageous given the conventional anonymity of the blogging universe. But hey, stand tall and proud, live loud. The rest of us will try to keep up with you.

    I fear any contemporary photos of me would startle dogs and small children.

    Also, I think my favorite picture of you is the high school one in the, um, comfortable clothes!

    15. 2005-08-21T17:18:42-05:00

    It's interesting to see those ingenue years where your head is consistently turned away from the camera, making the viewer long to see your face.

    It really gets fun and satisfying when you see the last few pictures where you are looking directly into the camera, and in the last one especially where you see to have a certain not quite sure what you've bitten off, but also "come on, I dare you to say something..." look about you.

    The last picture, you definitely look ready for what life has to offer. Congratulations on such an arrival!

    16. 2005-08-21T17:44:48-05:00
    C. Corax

    Wow, RD. Just "wow."

    In that last photo, it's like you were waiting for us, your expected guests, to arrive. We've just gotten there, you greeted us, we've answered, and you're just on the verge of inviting us to join you on the porch for a bit until DPR finishes up whatever task he's working on in back.

    Which, in effect, is what you do every day on this blog.

    Thanks for all of it.

    Rexroths Daughter

    thingfish23-- I was definitely going for the "new-age" crone that has gone beyond child-bearing age to the age of wisdom. I'm working on it-- in my cute shoes ;)
    Pablo-- LOL! I really wanted people to be able to picture me when they read my comments. I don't know why. I didn't want to be anonymous anymore. I have always tried to picture everyone who comments here, or whose blogs I read. I wonder if everyone does that?
    Speechless-- You said exactly what DPR said about the photos. He was glad I was looking directly at the camera in the last few shots. I think I've gotten comfortable with who I am and what I look like. A dark-skinned woman in a fair-skinned country.
    CCorax--I had not thought about it that way, but I think you are so right. I am rarely on the front porch, but there I am. Yes, welcoming everyone in. and feeling really glad you could join us.

    18. 2005-08-21T18:59:16-05:00
    dread pirate roberts

    the light of my life
    arrived at just the right time

  16. 19. 2005-08-21T19:09:34-05:00

    These pictures and your comments brought a flood of memories and tears.
    Love you both and all your fellow bloggers...............Mom

    20. 2005-08-21T20:01:37-05:00

    awesome memories...beautiful pictures...

    21. 2005-08-21T23:43:30-05:00

    22. 2005-08-22T00:48:17-05:00

    You are just as lovely as I imagined. Really nice post.
    Take care.

    23. 2005-08-22T01:08:24-05:00


    24. 2005-08-22T02:44:54-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    DPR-- I have often wished for a heart icon instead of a smiling face to add to comments. If blogger would give us one, a heart would go here. Instead, you'll just have to have the real thing.
    Mom-- I don't know if you'll be back, but if so, you should know that you and dad created four very cool kids who love, celebrate, laugh and grieve with the fullness of our hearts.
    Lynn-- The very best sister any heart could hope for. Sister and best friend. Always.
    Cervantes-- I feel a little ancient for this to be the beginning. But having a blog to write about politics and be creative has breathed new life into this old soul.
    FloridaCracker-- Thank you kindly. That sincerely means a lot to me.
    Dave-- You are so welcome.

    25. 2005-08-22T04:45:41-05:00

    Gee. I hadn't looked in on the blogosphere today, until now, which is late for me. What a pleasing Sunday evening discovery, the photos, and such nice biographical poems. Thanks

    26 2005-08-22T11:08:15-05:00
    Ontario Wanderer

    27. 2005-08-22T15:07:26-05:00

    Just beautiful.

    And you may have a crone's age creeping up on you some years from now yet, but you're no crone.

    28. 2005-08-22T15:19:59-05:00

    In my minds eye, you were heavier, squater, with short blong hair and blue eyes.

    I too used to have long hair like yourself, but a decade ago, I got drunk and cut it all off. I've not been able to let it get past my shoulders since--I have every intention of growing it long again, but it gets to a certain point and I just can't stand it any longer, so I cut it off. Right now, I'm trying again.

    You're beautiful Robin. I hope I look as good as you in 20 years.

    29 2005-08-22T15:24:23-05:00

    You can import pictures to your Blogger ID. I change mine fairly regurally.

  17. 30. 2005-08-22T15:54:40-05:00

    What a wonderful family and personal photo album, Robin. Your parents must have had their hands full with you and your siblings. That picture of the four of you all grown up is great - the wild bunch. If you still looked like that you would be profiled every time you took a flight, especially if you traveled together.

    I had three children close in age and three teenagers at the same time. It was a wild time in the family, and I did a lot of worrying, so I can imagine what it was like for your parents. My kids turned out fine too, after the years of wildness. To my dismay, I have two bubba boys - me with two bubbas! Good bubba boys, but much more bubba than their daddy. I came to the conclusion that peer pressure is much stronger than genes and nurturing. My daughter, on the other hand, is something of a woman after my own heart, so maybe genes and nurturing count for something.

    From what I gather, there's not much purpose in trying to remain anonymous on a blog; even blog commenters don't really have anonymity if someone chooses to ferret out their identity. You are one lovely lady in mind, body, and spirit, and the pirate is blessed to have you. Now I can picture the two of you when I read your blog.

    31. 2005-08-22T16:14:23-05:00

    Ah, you are so lovely, Robin. I think we would have been good friends if we had known each other as kids .. had I been alive when you were a kid.

    Odd, how our thoughts have turned to death and to wondering how we might face that eventuality .. I too, have been preoccupied with such thoughts these past few weeks.

    It's true that determined and skilled people can ferret out our true identities if they really try .. but I think that most people won't do so unless we bloggers "come out", as you have done. Most people who read blogs tend to respect others and their reasons for remaining anonymous (or semi-anonymous, in my case) and leave it alone.

    By the way, I am sorry I was late to the party.

    32 2005-08-22T16:51:16-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    Huitzil-- I am so glad you stopped by. We've gotten to see your face on your blog, and now you've see ours.
    Ontario Wanderer-- Such kind words. Thank you. The blogosphere is full of the loveliest people, and lucky for us, they stop here and grace us with their presence.
    KathyR-- I was also inspired by your posting of photos of yourself. It's good to show our faces.
    Nio-- How funny that you imagined me squat and blond! I love knowing that. It's why I put this post together. Now you can see me as I am when I comment over at your blog.
    janeboatler-- Peer pressure is definitely more powerful than genes. Fortunately, when we were growing up the pressure was to be politically aware, active, and committed. That coupled with our genes, made for a good combination of compassion, goofiness, and an irrational expectation that we could change the world.
    Grrlscientiist-- I am sure had we grown up in the same time and same town, we'd have been fast friends. I think about death often. Not morbidly so, but because it is the ultimate outcome, and I'm interested in that other end of the parentheses of my life, and how I will get there.

    33. 2005-08-22T17:02:17-05:00

    Well, perhaps I'll shed my morbidity when I think of death. One day. Currently, death just seems to be a punishment for a determined life gone horribly wrong.

  18. 34. 2005-08-22T17:51:49-05:00

    35. 2005-08-22T18:16:52-05:00

    Currently, death just seems to be a punishment for a determined life gone horribly wrong.

    GS, so sorry you're feeling down. Death is not a punishment; we're born, so must we die, as the cliche goes, a fact of life.

    I think about death too, but mostly not in a morbid way, just that we are born to die. It's a sad thought to have sometimes, especially upon the birth of a newborn, but it's no less true.

    Could you think of each day as a kind of rebirth, a chance to start anew to determine - as much as possible - a life that goes wonderfully right.

    BTW, I think you are in a lot better place than folks who mostly stay in denial about death.

    36. 2005-08-22T18:27:17-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    Pablo-- I love having gray hair. I have to admit I was surprised that I grayed so young, but my father did as well, so I guess it was to be expected.
    Grrlscientist & janeboatler-- I agree with janeboatler, death is not a punishment. We are born to die. It's the way of all living things. Disappointment and depression feel like punishment and, in a way, like small deaths, but death is the end for everyone-- even the happiest and most joyous.

    37. 2005-08-22T18:49:59-05:00

    Thank you so much for going ahead and sharing these images and words. I have to make sure I don't read your blog at work anymore because it is embarrassing to be caught weeping in my cube.

    38. 2005-08-22T20:46:31-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    Rosewood-- I'm glad you liked the images and words. It felt good to get just let it go.

    39. 2005-08-23T01:04:58-05:00

    I'm starting to find grays here and there, but I'm not sure how long they've been around. I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago--after almost two decades of revolving hair colors--so for me they have seemed to have come from no where.

    I would love if I went white. Pure, snow white because I think it's really beautiful on womyn, but I don't think that will be my fate. Looking at my mother and her mother, I expect my mousey brown hair will go gray. My paternal grandmother is white, but that is only a guess on my part as she has colored her hair for as long as I can remember. Prior to the artificial hair color she was red. Or rather, ginger. My grandfather nicknamed her Ginger because "that's the color of her hair." Still, after all the years of coloring it to cover the white, people still refer to her as Ginger:

    "Oh, you're Ginger's granddaughter. How is she today?"

    "Nana is fine, as always. Still working 3 jobs at 85. I'll tell her you asked about her."

  19. 40. 2005-08-23T02:08:18-05:00
    Chris Clarke

    All them lovely brains and she's an utter babe too? Life Jest Ain't Fair.

    Had I met you n the mid-1970s, I think I would have developed a huge crush almost immediately. (Not that I don't have one in 2005, mind you.)

    Anyhow. Nice to put an image to the lovely words. Count yer blessings, DPR.

    41. 2005-08-23T02:36:39-05:00


    42. 2005-08-23T03:41:11-05:00
    dread pirate roberts

    chris, and all of you,

    blessings indeed i have. ain't she great? and ain't i lucky!

    43. 2005-08-23T04:52:50-05:00

    44. 2005-08-23T05:09:10-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    It's a good thing we didn't meet in the 70s-- we would have broken each other's hearts. Of that I am sure.
    Trix-- Welcome, and thank you so much for your kind words.
    OWL-- 53 as middle age? I like your positive attitude! Awesome and marvelous-- that's so nice. I thought for sure my bitchiness would come through. Guess not! ;)

    45. 2005-08-23T05:32:28-05:00
    Chris Clarke

    I dunno. I think in the 1970s you would have chuckled to yourself and let me down easy, seeing as I was 15 in 1975.

    46. 2005-08-23T07:49:56-05:00

    A stunningly beautiful post.

    I understand your urge to no longer be anonymous. I "came out" too. It was cathartic, which surprised me.

    Take care --

    47. 2005-08-23T15:14:33-05:00
    Patry Francis

    An autobiography in photographs and haiku--what a wonderful idea. And clearly documenting an amazing life. The spare beauty of this post contains more truth than any number of 500 page narratives.

    Thank you.

    48. 2005-08-23T15:24:58-05:00

    Fantastic post. This is my first visit to your blog--came here from Whipporwill--What an introduction. I will return.

    49. 2005-08-24T04:00:07-05:00

    (I'm late again as usual, sorry.) Love this series. People are never how you imagine them when you read them first, are they?

    The 33-year old you looks a lot like a girl I knew in college. (Yep she was Indian.)

    Love the bench in that last pic too. Is that a psalter in the window?

    50. 2005-08-24T05:16:45-05:00

    I can't believe I almost missed this post. It might be the most sincere and touching post I've ever read on the blogosphere, and i don't mean to cheapen it with superlatives. What a beautiful, simple, and poetic way to 'introduce' yourself. Should i ever be vain enough to write my own obituary, perhaps i will take a page from the haiku visual art herein. thank you.

  20. 51. 2005-08-24T10:44:02-05:00
    tony g

    what a wonderful series of juxtaposed words and pictures needing none (but nevertheless sharpened by them). very, very nice . . .

    52. 2005-08-24T17:40:14-05:00
    yankee transplant

    I love this post. I've been lurking here for a while, via Phantom Scribbler. I am exactly your age. I love being this age and having seen the years I have.
    Again, a great post. Thank you for revealing so much of yourself.

    53. 2005-08-24T18:13:56-05:00
    Rexroths Daughter

    Kate-- Welcome. I've been checking out your site. Great writing there.
    Patry-- Thank you so much. I think if most people took a deep look into their lives, it would look pretty amazing.
    Marie-- Welcome. Thanks so much for coming over.
    Rurality-- I always try to imagine what bloggers and commenters look like. So, I figured I'd just come out! What is a psalter? The piece in the window is from an artist in town-- it's copper and glass that he heats in a kiln. He's got some great pieces. He gave us this, after we returned the dog to him that we had for a day.
    Charles-- Glad you could come by. I thought you might like the haikus.
    tonyg-- very kind words. Thank you.
    Yankee Transplant-- What a delightful surprise finding you here! I am so glad. Welcome. It is fun being 53, isn't it? I never thought I'd enjoy it so much.

    54. 2005-08-25T19:10:46-05:00

    five degrees of separation
    or less
    separate the joys of our histories M

    55. 2005-08-27T01:08:48-05:00

    Beautifully gray. Enjoyed the review which brings up to now.

    I get very poor response to this but I'm going to continue to pester anyway. I do digital art--enjoy getting deep into people's faces that way. I was wondering if you had a current photo of yourself, at least 200 dpi, one that you favor in particular, and if you wouldn't mind my working and seeing what I came up with. Like I said, it's just something I enjoy doing. But I certainly understand if the notion doesn't sound appealing.

    56. 2005-08-27T03:50:36-05:00

    I might be spelling it wrong. :)

    57. 2005-08-28T02:45:29-05:00
    Slap Me Silly Sally

    well, robin, thanks for alerting me to this post. I'm really really late to this particular party.

    I must say, retirement from the rat race has been a glorious forward movement for you! And DPR, what a lovely haiku you wrote in the comments.

    Somebody said it, and I must agree, you DO get more beautiful the older you become. I think it's your inner light not hiding under a bushel basket anymore. What's yer favorite phrase? Oh yeah, "F**k 'em!" It's the best attitude to adopt as we get older. We said it when we were young and stupid, but didn't truely mean it--we needed that approval. Now, I think we mean it. F**k 'em!

    yours in hilarity,

  21. Sweet compilation. Enjoy your cumpleanos.

    1. Thank you, Phil. Much appreciated.