Dec 11 2013

reverb13: day 11
between the lines


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 11: What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?



living. loving. aging.


with grace,

and courage.


Dec 10 2013

reverb13: day 10


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 10: Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull.
How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?
How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014


hold your heart
in your hands
on your sleeve
on the tip
of your tongue


is telling
their story


step aside
let life
race past you
stand in silence
and wait


feel the wind
lift your hair
the sun
warm your skin
embrace this place


claim your path
carry baggage
burn the bridges
of time
offer shelter


Dec 9 2013

reverb13: day 9
look again


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 9: Who inspired you in 2013?


If this were an actual mirror, rather than just a photograph of a mirror, then you would have the answer to this question.

I’ve never been a huge fan of celebrity or fame or those that claim to have all the answers… these have rarely been the people who inspire me.

Instead, which I suppose makes sense given that I am mrs. mediocrity, I am inspired by the everyday, ordinary lives we all lead, inspired by those that live with the questions, those that struggle and persevere, those that give and give and give and ask for nothing in return, those that offer kindness without expectation, those who toil and survive, those who find comfort and solace in nature.

In other words, you.

I’ve walked on this earth for half a century now, (why does that make it sound so much longer than 50 years?) and I am blessed to have so many people in my life (both here in this virtual place and in the “real” world) that inspire me on a daily basis. By showing up, by carrying on, by giving and helping and offering kindness in tiny and gigantic ways to almost everyone they meet.

Just yesterday I was cleaning my studio and realized how lovely it is to dust and straighten all the tiny pieces of people that I have surrounded myself with. Works of art, photographs, written words, lovely notes, cherished gifts, both from the closest of friends and family, and from people I’ve never met face-to-face. People who are part of my life, just the same. You are all here, in this room with me, this room that I spend most of my time in, surrounded by the most valuable type of gifts–gifts from the heart.

This room is my safe harbor, my portal to the world. I look out and see you all there, and this space I write in, here, has allowed me to show you tiny pieces of myself.

Always, you have been kind and accepting and generous, and for this, I am ever so grateful.

I aspire to be the same.

You are all, each in your own way, an inspiration.



Dec 7 2013

reverb13: day 7


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 7: Please post your favorite picture of yourself from 2013, self-portrait or otherwise!


I looked. I really did. But I am good at avoiding the camera, both when it’s in my own hand and when it’s in the hands of others. And perhaps someday I’ll get over my camera-shyness, (probably in the same year that I stop dying my hair and let it all go to white). But, I am not there yet, and today is not the time to start, I’ve been sick forever and I look like hell. (Though I laughed at this photo of this queen, because in truth, that’s how I have felt and probably looked for much of the last two months, flat out on my back with a miserable look on my face.)
And I realized, as I was searching, that in truth, my poetry reveals more of me than any photo ever could. Each one contains at least a tiny piece of me, and many others are full-blown portraits. So I offer to you a favorite from April, a word-selfie, and hope that this will do:


sixpence and jabberwocky

i want to pull an alice and dive into a mirror
surely life looks different from the other side

backwards and cockeyed and filtered through
lint left on the surface or smudges stamped
by florid fingerprints and the brittle bones
of everyone who’s ever touched you

always lit like a window in an opulent dream
this place where everyone wears dresses
and no one ever thinks to ask your name
loneliness is a hamper and heartache
is eternally for breakfast, served over easy

with tea, of course

i want to talk to prepubescent butterflies
smoking peace and posturing philosophy
aces and spades kings and queens grinning cats
roses that bloom and bleed and bloom again
always late all this hate always late

shadows are made from silence turned sideways
and music is the way your mouth moves
time is a harness on the horse of hardship
dragging hard on the carriage of comfort

and i am the queen who wants to be whole
but no one hears me in here, knocking


Dec 6 2013

reverb13: day 6
reflections are a mirror
of impermanence


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 6: What precious things have you gathered in 2013?
Which memories from this year do you wish to keep with you always


This is a post I wrote a few months back
for my contribution over at Vision & Verb.
A memory of some memories, a day I will always remember:

Sometimes your see yourself first, and other times, you catch a glimpse of your surroundings. And the truth is, both are mirage.

I sat on the shore of this lake recently, and found myself taken back, to my youth, to years gone past, to yesterdays and forgotten dreams. Mostly, I thought about the things that haven’t changed.

I was there with my father, now 75 to my 50, him fishing and me reading and dreaming, just the way we did when I was a child.

It felt like all those years had never passed. I suppose the only difference was that I cherished the moment, more than I ever could have then, knowing now the value, and the rarity, of such a day.

I had no agenda, and we had no plan. The sun was warm on my face, a mid-October gift.

It was the kind of day to write stories about, the kind of day that plays itself out in quiet minutes ticking off on a clock that no one notices. The kind of day I’ll remember, forever.

And nothing happened. No fish were caught, no deadlines met, nothing of note was accomplished. And yet, it was everything and enough.

This lake, nestled in these mountains, holds bits of my heart from each of the times I have come here. I’ve come here alone, with my husband and our children and their friends, with our parents.

This water holds a lifetime of memories and reflections. And they’re different every time I look. I see grey skies and blues skies, water rippled and murky, quiet mornings clear as glass.

My dad and I sat and listened as leaves fell from trees, laughing at how loud a sound it was.

A sound that will always take me back to this place, an echo of love and light and time’s steady passing.

Our laughter is still out there, somewhere, bouncing back and forth between blue mountains, skimming the surface of this lake to dance with loons.

Next time I come I will only have to stop, and listen.

It’s all right here in this place that calls me home, again and again and again.

Dec 5 2013

reverb13: day 5


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 5: What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome?



every day,

i got out of bed.


every day,

the sun rose.


Dec 4 2013

reverb13: day 4


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 4: What have you lost, what are you grieving?


I sit in the dark of very early morning, pondering this question.

The truth is, I feel I have no right to answer.

The truth is, I feel blessed by the fact that I’ve lost so little. That I have so much.

Not material things, because the truth is, that is not at all where my wealth lies. When it comes to things, I have very little.

But when it comes to life, I am decidedly rich.

The truth is, I’ve yet to experience the kind of earth-shattering loss that will make me grieve for years. There have been a few bumps along the road, friends, and pets that I loved, truly. But all the people I am closest to, all the people I hold close in my heart are still here, in my life.

I could talk about other things I’ve lost, things like time and youth and innocence. But, no matter.

The truth is I am so glad to be here in this life, so happy to be alive, so in love with the beautiful mess that surrounds me, that I have no time to grieve small losses.

I know that someday, this will change. Someday my heart will be broken in ways I can only imagine. Someday there will be devastating losses. This is a truth I cannot escape.

But today, just now, I can only sit here in this chair, in front of this dark window facing east and wait for the sun to rise on another day, a perfectly boring ordinary day that I will do my best to cherish.

Today, just now, I’ve lost little. Regret almost nothing.

I am here.

And I will make that be enough.

In fact, it will be everything.


Dec 3 2013

reverb13: day 3
stay open

don’t be afraid of the cracks and wrinkles
the pockmarks and pitfalls
the threadbare and worn spots

this is where you learn

no wait, that’s not right:

this is where you shine

bring your heart out
at least once a year
polish it up
plaster the wounds
give it some air

don’t be afraid

it’s not as fragile as you think

nor as bitter as the taste in your mouth

there is glitter on your tongue
baker’s sugar, marzipan molds

reshape the breaks

repurpose the shards

reuse the molten memories

don’t just lie there
in your mess of sharp edges

bleed a little




This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 3: What does your heart have to tell you?

Also joining in today over at dVersePoets for Open Link Night.


Dec 2 2013

reverb13: day 2
feeding the beast


This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 2: What made your soul feel most nourished this year?



this year,

and every year before it,

it is always

simply this:



Dec 1 2013

reverb13: day 1
in which stubbornness
becomes a positive trait


Because that’s what we do, isn’t it, when we come to the end of our rope (or leaf)?

We hang on until we have the strength to climb back up again.

I took this picture back in May, and while, in general (as a gardener) I consider snails to be the enemy, I had to admire this one, sound asleep on the tip of this leaf, seemingly unconcerned about his position in life.

He got to the end and took a nap. And though I wasn’t there to witness it, I’m certain that when he woke, he started the climb back up, perhaps had a little snack, and carried on. {That is, unless he was eaten by a bird first.}

For me, all the best lessons come from nature. I think we forget, in this techno-virtual world we live in, that we are part of this chain, that in truth, the same rules apply to us. Oh, we want it to be different, we want to be above all that, ignore those rules, think we have conquered the laws of nature.

And perhaps we have, a little. But when it comes right down to it, when we take ourselves out of the modern conveniences that we’ve surrounded ourselves with, we are just as vulnerable as a snail on a leaf. And just as tenacious.

Maybe, on the days when life seems so overwhelming, all we really need is a nice long nap. A bask in the sun. A moment to collect ourselves before we carry on.

It’s all an uphill climb, isn’t it? But I like to think that the view from the top will be glorious.

And if it isn’t, well, then I guess I will stop and take a nap and dream it that way.

And start again, and again and again and again.

Who knows, perhaps I’ll never really get there. Perhaps that’s the point.

It’s the naps that count. The hanging on. The pauses.

The listening.




How do I feel on this first day of December? (see question below)

Calm, broken, love, light. In that order.

And three out of four ain’t bad.




This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 1: How do you feel, on this first day, in your mind? In your body? In your heart? In your soul?