Call in the Calgary

Coming out of a foggy mist,Guitar-Sunset  I found myself listening to Eddie Francis (my nephew) his latest CD – Radio Waves. Shaking me from months of slumber – I was jolted by the melodic rhythms and seismic leads as we lifted off for Calgary and a romp through the Canadian wilderness of Banff and Jasper.

It had been nearly a year since hitting the road for a break from the action and in-action (the mending of a broken wing, my shoulder, from over a year ago). Mark on bikeMy Physical Therapy (PT) continuing relentlessly after a series of operations. An MRI, a tweaking of scar tissue, and threading shreds of tendons thru a micro hole to reattach a muscle to my shoulder. Ahh, the marvels of modern medicine. And if that were not enough, months latter being knocked out for barely 5 minutes to have my arm twisted like a chicken wing to break free even more unwanted scar tissue. OMG, really? Yes, they call it Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

My saviors (and there were many) kept me sane. Among them my many physical therapists who kept me laughing through the pain. One of my favs was David Cortina, a transplant from LA via New York, had twisted many arms of professional athletes. He warned me about the Manipulation option, we laughed though, said it would not come to that for me. But it did. My Doc who assured me this was a good move was relentless. He was more concerned than I that my motion wasn’t quite 100%. I was content that I could still walk among the living without a sling. I watched a couple of You-Tubes about it – but never showed my wife. She would have freaked. I went for it though – I was lost, and I needed a way out. To move again, to get back some confidence.

This was just a few weeks before my son, Jeffrey was to be married to his college sweetheart, Bre. It was dicey but I went for it.

I fancied that I should at least be able to shake hands at the wedding and maybe be able to dance.  All in all, the operation went well, and I actually felt much better afterwards. And the wedding was miraculous.

Earlier in the year I had to retreat though, stopped working for months and slipped into my cocoon. I watched dozens of Sherlock Holmes movies. sI took up solitaire, a game my mother played hours on end with real cards (I used digital ones). I must have played a thousand times; I know she did. Smoking cigarettes and drinking numerous cups of coffee in the early mornings. IMG_2900

But me, I had my prescribed drugs and my little dog, Ollie.  I lost track of time, I lost money, my mind and a little weight.

And music for me was healing. As I did all my many PT exercises, I made a Healing Mix and then several Exercise music mixes. index

I reached back far to early Van Morrison, Coldplay, Vonda Shepard, Robots, Rachel Yamaguchi, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, U2, Neil Young and Joni. I was transported to my past to when I first heard these songs, these stories.

What was I doing, who was I with, what was going on in the world? And how did I end up here? I don’t know. Reflecting, I dreamed amazing dreams each night. I measured my sleep with my Fit Bit, I explored how to lengthen my Deep Sleep time. I worked at it more and more. It was a freeing, weird healing game I became entranced with.

“I turn my eyes to the sky…” (EF) and head to a land of glaciers cocooned for centuries. mark in spain It has been hard to comeback, somehow from somewhere that fog, where I don’t remember what I use to be like. I only know now what I think now.



Vai Campbell 2019
Vai Campbell

I recently lost a friend and coworker on the diving boat, Conception. So sudden and abrupt, removed from life, her children, her husband, her everything. So tragic and sad. A Go fund me: to help her family.





Thawed, I know I’m lucky, my arm and motion have gotten much better. Still timid I’m always afraid someone will slap me on my shoulder to say – Hi! And sometimes they do, but the good news is I twitch much less than I used to. And so is with these thoughts and revelations we begin a new journey into the Canadian wonderland.


One thought on “Call in the Calgary

  1. So many threads coming together on this trip, Mark, and so many thought provoking reflections on these past months of healing. May the sublime landscapes around now you fill you with great joy! I’m glad I’m with you just a little through the music…yet, that’s a place where we’re always together on some level!


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