Love Life—It’s What We Got

“Retreat cancelled.” I got a big disappointment in yesterday’s emails. My friend Diane Farrar notified the group of quilters from Big Island’s Ka Lae quilter group that our much-anticipated 2021 KMC Quilters’ Retreat will be cancelled—due to Covid 19 surge in recent weeks. From the years 2012 until 2019, this annual retreat has been my treasured time of productive quilting, priceless camaraderie, blessed renewal, and too much ono (good) food. Since we all missed last year’s retreat, we were holding intense enthusiasm and commitment in knowing that this year, we would gather and feed our souls.

But…not to be.

Yesterday morning when I got the news, I sighed and replied with a joke about folks soothing their let-down feelings by buying a good read (and I just might have a good suggestion!!!) A day later in this evening hour, I am swimming in some different emotions.


I am “done” with this virus and its hold on our lives.

1). I am empathetic of the folks, who honestly don’t know and don’t trust and have too much valid history with reason not to trust. These folks are hurting; I hurt too. Not “in their shoes”—that would be presumptive and dis-ingenuous. I hurt because I want them not to hurt—so that I don’t have to hurt. See, it really is about being selfish, isn’t it?

2). I am angry with the millions, who are lapping up the disinformation and who really believe this is about politics and vaccination is on the wrong side of that political divide.

* How many of them have that perfect little circular scar on one arm in the middle of their deltoid muscle? That saved the lives of 1/3 to 1/2 of us. Because of that little scar, we don’t have a smallpox pandemic.

* How many of those nay-sayers drank that little paper cup of polio vaccine in kindergarten? That prevents thousands/ millions of us from living lives with paralysis and deformity.

* How many of those (dammit!) hard-headed creeps refuse to get the necessary vaccines when they travel to foreign countries? Answer: None!

* How many of the non-vaccers realize that it’s only because the rest of us say, “Sure, yes!” that THEY can live healthy lives? Answer: All of them but they refuse to acknowledge it.

3.) I am outraged at the right-wing media tyrants and self-serving politicians, who sell this load of manure (bull***). 

They KNOW better. They all got the vaccine! They all mask in their work hallways! They all do everything they can to avoid moving among or sharing space with the folks in category 1. I honestly believe they should ALL be behind bars for their lies and their perpetration of a pandemic, which could be going in a different direction.


Okay, I let out the anger and the outrage. We need permission and space to do that. I found the time and took the space. Now—that’s done.


I am living a pretty fine chapter in the life of one Ric d. Stark. I have found a way to light my flame and a place where I can put my candle on top of a hill, rather than hide it under a basket. It’s really really really a gooooooo good time in a life.

At seventy-two, I am more enthused and on fire than almost any other time in life.

* I have nine Hawaiian quilt masterpieces and another nine to design and sew.

* I have published my first book! Hooooooray!

* I have Book #2 on the far end of the editing floor, near the finish line, and almost ready for print.

* Book #3 is splayed out in a clutter of unorganized memoirs and just begging for my devoted attention.

* I have a job that is meaningful, rewarding, and that gives me rent.

* I have a doggy who demands that I back away from the keyboard or the quilting needle to take time for him.

* I have gardens that are growing and winning heaps of compliments from appreciative neighbors.

* I have a wellness coach (I call Kevin my shrink!) who inspires me and helps me to remain my own best cheerleader.

* I have good friends, who insist (by their very being) that I open and share my heart and my life.

* …and I have MEMORIES, my new and latest “husband,” the life companion who nurtures me and who feeds my soul and who gives me more than enough reason to bounce out of bed and “just do it” every day.

I told my BFF Nikki today, “That damn virus may cause my death,… but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let this thing poison my life.”


Every morning at 6:00 a.m. when Heno (my doggy) and I go for a walk, I pick a flower and bring it back home to sit at the base of my new iMac. Each day for the whole day, that flower reminds me, 

Life is beautiful.

Time may be fleeting.

“NOW” is the best thing in this universe.

So, smell the aroma; appreciate the beauty; be kind to one (or any number) of folks today; and love life. It’s what we got…

Published by Ric d. Stark

New to a post-retirement commitment to literary non-fiction, Ric d. Stark will focus memories on gay life, Hawaiʻi life and Hawaiian quilting.

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