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  • I'm too immersed in this video editing project to bother with the phone, I'll let it rattle to voice mail.

    Just a few more cuts to tighten.


    Persistent, motherf--- oh crap, it's my brother calling! What time is it in Seattle? He's probably coming off of late rounds, at 58 he's still doing his regular shifts at UW Med Center. Or maybe he's doing another lecture tour in London.

    I'll ring him back in 5, he knows my focus. He'll want me to fly out for a weekend to go fishing in Oregon or skiing in Colorado, that guy knows no bounds. He's taught me everything I needed and then some about fishing, camping, women, how organizations use people... He is a rock.

    But mostly he will listen intently to my ramblings about projects or media, and truly be there in a listening mode though it's not anything he is passionate about.

    He will want to tell me----


    Cancel the day dreams. Today is the day in 1987 my brother David passed away, April of the year I most radically transformed my life, picking up in August and driving across the country to Arizona. All adventures sprung from there.

    I never had the chance to tell anything to David, since he was born with a major brain defect, and never grew much more mentally than 2. He was ten by the time I was born, and my Mom, over burdened with three kids already, made that horrific decision to put him in the state mental hospital.


    Just the name sends a shiver down my back. I can reach back and feel the clamminess of the dark hallways, the smell of disinfectant and what it could not disinfect... it was a scary place to a 7 year old.

    I day dreamed, still do, of the alternate universe where I've had his presence my life long; who would I be with an older brother? What would I be?

    I can only make up stories. I can sit in his rocking chair and try to feel a ghost.


    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.
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