Dec 31 2015

presents

The bows get harder to tie each year, wrapping life up into neat little packages is a gift of the young. But no matter, the new year comes just the same, wrapped or not, prettied up or painted over, parceled out or held close in hidden pockets.

We like our second chances, though. New year, new month, new week, new day. The chance to begin again, be better, live more, love more, give more.

We bring our scars and broken bits to the party, and after a while, no one notices. Because what matters is that we are there, standing testament to each other’s existence. My paint is peeling and your paper is torn. My corners are crooked and your ribbon is creased. Packaging, no matter how perfect or pretty, ruined or wrinkled, is not what we offer.

The gift is always inside.

And the bits that poke through, refusing to fit neatly into boxes or hide beneath brightly colored paper, those are always the very best parts.

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Here’s to another year of gifts and smiles, tears and scars, sunshine and puddles.

Here’s to you and to me and to us.

All of us.

Here’s to being here.

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xoxo

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Dec 3 2015

feeding my heart

on the quiet colors
of a cold grey sad day morning
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the scent of winter
crisp and silent
creeping up behind me

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Nov 24 2015

only the edge stays in focus

as i swim through center
muddy toes, bony fingers, brittle bones

i will not drown and the sky keeps changing

clouds of starlings dance in pulse and parody
and i smile at the futility of standing

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float and eddy
swirl and bend
let go let go let go

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it’s all happening

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Jul 23 2015

for dear life

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Finding center in an asymmetrical world is never easy.

Balance is always elusive, and mostly, temporary.

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But you can find your axis, even as you spin.

And that’s the piece you hold onto.

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Jul 21 2015

widow’s peak

remembering the history of love
is not the same as living it

so much of it is
setting seed
and letting go

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Jul 16 2015

focused on the center
of acceptance

Or struggle vs. acceptance, and how to know which one to adopt.

These days I lean towards simple, where less always feels like more,
and grace, where struggle always dresses in silence.

And I’m not sure it’s wisdom.
I fought life so hard when I was young,
these days I prefer to acquiesce to the nature of opposites.

The good with the bad, the light with the dark,
the tears with the laughter.

It’s not giving up, it’s honing in.

It’s not compliance so much as forgiveness.

It’s arms wide open to whatever comes.

Life rains down upon us and washes us clean.
Again and again and again.

We live in the dust and we live in the dirty.

And then comes the downpour and we live some more.

Soaked and sodden, a bit downtrodden.

Bending in the wind that did not break us,
the breeze that dries our hair,

the sun that warms the shadows on our skin.

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May 28 2015

reaching for the moon…

and coming away with a handful of air.

Isn’t that they way of things, always? But we never let it stop us, and that is the magic, the miracle, of living.

To be human is to struggle, and it’s an ongoing battle, this existence, even when skies are blue. And that’s what keeps us going, that’s what makes us whole, the dark and the light, night and day, sun and moon, babe and crone.

It’s so easy to forget that we need all of it, the shade and the shadow, the hunger and the hurt, the fear and the frustration, all the parts we’d rather hide or ignore or bury, because nature, human or otherwise, will always strive for balance.

And we, as humans, would like to think ourselves out of the equation, we want to rise above, to banish the things that weigh us down, without accepting the fact that these are the very things that keep us grounded. Without them, we would simply float away.

The size and the beauty of the bloom are determined underground, in the darkness of the soil that anchors us.

Roots, air, water, light, earth, growth. It’s a package deal.

And just look how beautifully it’s wrapped.

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Mar 5 2015

pattern play
on a grey march day

It’s the shadows that reveal the pattern: dark light white, dark light white. The days roll into a fog of sameness, and I am stuck, wallowing in boredom, or ennui, or something worse: a voice that whispers not good enough.

Habits form and are broken. Wounds heal and become scars. Time is relentless and finite and never sits still.

Chaos is the natural order of things. We fight it, stacking plates and sorting socks, pushing snow and building walls, but it’s always there, lurking around every corner.

I kind of like that.

Except when I don’t, but that’s the nature of life.

I think a lot lately of a book that changed my life once, a very long time ago. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. It’s essentially a book about giving up, accepting, trying less and being more. At least that’s what it was for me.

The joy of sinking into who you are rather than who you want to be.

Walking into the sea of self and washing yourself clean of life’s dust.

Standing naked in today’s mirror and not cringing at your own humanity. Not wishing to be something or someone or someplace other.

I cook dinner and wash the plates. Again and again and again. I tidy the room and sweep the floors and straighten the papers on my desk.

The chaos always returns.

We spend our lives fighting for order in a world that offers anarchy.

And that’s the lesson. That’s the pattern.

Just now, the plates are clean.

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Jan 27 2015

the sun was shining when
i woke up this morning

an abundance of optimism
can’t ever be a bad thing

really

though sometimes the glare
can force you to turn
from those stricken
with the smile of this affliction

as you raise a filter
to the black hole sun
you grew up singing

singed by this little too much
and all that nothing
and color color everywhere

when some days you just want some

black and white

grey matters

taupe tenacity

anything to make you look away

because there is always dust in the corner

and hemingway said all you have to do
is write one true sentence

There is always dust in the corner.

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Jan 15 2015

reflections on a
january morning

Some days I think it all comes down to self-preservation. The things we do to survive. Then I remember that it isn’t about anything at all, there are no answers, only questions. And survival is such a relative term these days. Read a book about the way life was lived 100 years ago, or 200, and survival becomes an entirely different word. By necessity, survival used to be a physical accomplishment. For so many of us these days, it’s a mental one.

I find this fascinating.

The internet was birthed to take up that slack, the distance between all my basic needs are met and now what do I do with all these thoughts? We share everything these days, and still, everyone seems to be looking for something. Already it’s changing the world.

I find this fascinating and frightening, all at once.

The other day I heard a story on the news about a program that’s being developed that will take all of a person’s social media input and, after they die, use it to create an artificial intelligence type of interaction, creating new output to mimic and offer new things that person might say. Using everything we have ever said on the internet to re-create our personality. It was presented as a way to cushion grief, so that people could still have a relationship with someone they have lost, at least virtually speaking.

I keep thinking about this, wondering if we would all like the artificial self that would be created by the things we type and offer up on all these venues. How true would it be to who we really are? Would it be a better version of us, or a worse one?

Again, fascinating. Again, frightening. Also: enchanting.

I sit and watch Mother Nature outside my window, here on my own tiny piece of earth, and then I watch the whole word inside this window, a computer screen that contains infinity. No wonder my brain hurts.

I drink my tea and watch the birds forage for their breakfast and think that I should walk outside and feed them.

And then I start thinking about survival all over again.

There is so much information. When what we really need is food.

At least that’s the way I think it goes.

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