Thursday, July 7, 2011


A happy Thursday, dear readers, tho I admit I’m writing today’s post with a heavy heart.  This doesn’t come as news to those of you connected to me thru Facebook & Twitter, but I’m now making the general announcement that I will be leaving Indian Valley, Idaho before the month of July is out—as of this writing, the exact date is still a bit up in the air.

I first visited Idaho in April 1997 to visit an old friend & new romantic partner—if you’re familiar with this blog at all, you know Eberle Umbach, at least thru her writing & music.  Eberle & I have known each other since we both moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1984, & we became friends thru a shared love of writing, music, good humor & more.  After falling out of touch for some time following her move from Virginia (& my eventual move to San Francisco), we re-connected in 1996 &, as they say, one thing led to another.

Although I’m probably by nature more of a town or city person, I must admit to being totally charmed by this rural setting in which Eberle lived.  I remember well how it looked then, & all its changes over the years: the outbuildings, the garden, the willow boughs turning red & orange in the spring, the little pond out in the pasture, the massive old cottonwood in the yard & so much more.  To make a long story short, I moved here in January 1998—what a time of year to move from San Francisco to Idaho!

Eberle & I have been together since, but that chapter is now coming to a close.  Is this permanent or temporary?  No one can say right now.  I will be living in Portland, Oregon for at least the foreseeable future & I have no specific plans to return to Idaho.  But a return at some point certainly isn’t impossible either.

As far as the blog goes, I’m expecting (hoping) the transition will be fairly seamless.  It’s possible there may be a few more days off than usual over the next few weeks, but I believe all the main series will keep posting pretty much on schedule.  It is odd to think that on next month’s blogoversary, the Banjo will be transmitting from a much different location, but that’s the reality of things.  As an aside, I should note that I’m going to stop the 19 Elastic Poems translation series (which was appearing on alternate Saturdays), simply because I’m not satisfied with some of the upcoming translations, & under the current circumstances I don’t have the time, energy or resources to work on them. 

Things have often been difficult over the past few years.  At a certain point, I made a conscious decision to minimize mention of my personal life on this blog & instead let it develop into something more like a “magazine” than a personal journal.  I’m happy with the way the blog now exists & will continue to keep personal news to a minimum here.  However, I felt something of this much significance should be posted, especially as some specific aspects of the blog no doubt will be affected.

I’m torn as to whether to say more or not.  There’s so much I could say about the past 15 years (since the summer of ’96), but perhaps this isn’t the right time &/or place—but I will note that when I state I could say so much, I mean so much “good.” 

Thanks to you all for your support!


  1. I saw this on FB too the other day, but didn't comment there.

    I hope your move to Portland is a good one for you. Good luck in all of your preparations!

  2. Very best wishes, and most sincere hope that your heavy heart will be eased, your soul refreshed, and a new beginning will be fruitful.

  3. Hi Jessica & Jacqueline

    Jessica: Thanks so much!

    Jacqueline: I really appreciate your kind wishes & support--thanks!

  4. It must be very hard to anticipate leaving, John, and yet you must also have a bit of a sense of expectation for new challenges and life-experiences. I can only imagine what that must mean for your head and your heart.
    I do hope that perhaps some of these transitional and new experiences will lead to new poetry.
    I wish you all the very best and will stay in touch.


  5. John, I haven't commented nearly often enough, but I am a regular visitor here. Every good wish to you now and for the future.

  6. I wish you both lots of strength and luck.

  7. Hi Kat, Martin & HKatz

    Kat: Right now I think there's more than a bit of trepidation, but I'm still in the midst of getting a lot of details ironed out. But I have hopes that Portland will be a good place for creating!

    Martin: Thanks so much! I appreciate all readers, & I also go stretches without commenting on various blogs. Really appreciate your good wishes.

    HKatz: Thanks so much!

  8. I suspect it's a hard place to be right now, John. I remember my visits to that place. Hope it all turns out well in Portland or wherever. I'm glad your great posts will continue.

  9. Hi Banjo52: Thanks for your kind wishes--much appreciated. & have no fear: Robert Frost's Banjo will keep on keeping on.


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