Dec 8 2015

tree of life

rising high from a red bed of thorns
on a morning dressed in grey before dawn

and this is all there is

i stand to one side
worn and torn and still exuberant

breathing in the chill of tomorrow
as today twines up bare ankles

remembering to live

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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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Oct 1 2015

pressing flowers and saving grace

Some days you have a story that isn’t yours to tell. The words add up and bobble around inside your head, bouncing off the boundaries you’ve put in place to keep them corralled. Silence fills the room like a big grey blanket. Everything is muffled, charged with static, covered over with the possibility of fog.

Today in one of those days, and all I can do is think about the ways we save each other in this life. The ways we save ourselves. The tiny little things that heal hearts, or sew them back together with crooked sampler stitches. Smiles and soup and hugs and listening. Being there.

Love is always messy and unchartered. And we are always finding our way together, bumping blindly along the path that stretches before us.

And the questions rise. How do you fit a whole life into a box?

The memories we have become a knot too complicated to untangle. We can only pull out a strand here and there and watch as it dangles. That day, that night, that violet neatly placed between the pages of a bible. Remember when? Heartache and happiness all mixed together in a jumble of once was. Love holding it all together like glue.

Suffice it to say that all we have is our story. Some of them are big and broken, some are smaller and demure. I am learning to cradle each one in the palm of my hand. Delicate petals dried and tucked away between pages that smell of time’s passing. Bits of hope gone dry and brittle, but saved, just the same.

Cherished.

And there it is, the dust of grace, gathered in the seam.

Some days you purse your lips and blow that dust back out into the world. Other days, you close the book back up again, ever-so-gently.

For safekeeping.

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Jun 25 2015

scattered

Lately, life has been all about getting stuff done, flitting around like a busy bee in the garden and the house. And while it hasn’t exactly been fun, let’s face it, sometimes stuff needs to get done.

The grandbaby is coming this weekend, it’s already been over a month since I’ve seen her and I am so looking forward to this visit.

And then, summer. Soaking up the sun, reading, relaxing, enjoying life.

Writing again. Paying attention to more than peeling paint and dust bunnies.

I can’t wait.


Jun 13 2015

saturated

A week of too much that left me longing for balance. The scales are always tipping, on way or another, and we do this dance, don’t we, to keep ourselves in the game.

Too much work, too much rain, and a tiny tornado touch-down one road over… and yet, here I am, still standing, still hoping, still growing.

Resiliency is a beautiful thing. All the ups and downs are connected, somewhere.

The birds are still singing.

And here we are, in a brand new, fresh-washed now.

I look out my window and think: lush.

Too much is just abundance looked at crosswise. Or vice versa.

There.

I wrote my way to a smile.

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May 30 2015

blue on black

yesterday my cat
dropped a grackle at my feet
alive, but injured

and i tried to save it
(to no avail)

i lifted it gently and
placed it beneath the yellow
lilies, offering shelter and
food and water and also
a projection of hope

and the bird looked up at me
frightened and resigned,
and then together, we waited

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later, i carried the body
away and noticed, in the way
humans do,
that it was heavier in death
than in life

as if its spirit had somehow
managed to counteract gravity,
at least a little

and i realized
we have it all wrong,
this thing called grief
our underlying fear
of being forgotten

because the world
always remembers

it’s just that we
finally

 forget ourselves

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I took this photo a few weeks ago, and it made me laugh, Mr. Grackle looking all fierce.
I’d like to think that’s the look he’s giving NaughtyKitten™ just now.

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May 2 2015

in the kitchen of my shadow

The crows and I have tea every morning, rain or shine, smile or sadness, awake or still mired in dreams. I am drawn to the world outside my tiny window, a world of birds painted bright on a backdrop of trees. The shape-shift of shadows as we pass through the seasons offers up a daily dose of impermanent art in one corner, the place where no one ever sits.

Soon, I will be out of doors as much as I am in, and these walls will talk to each other. I wonder, often, what they say behind my back. Sometimes I catch a whisper when I walk around the corner, or crash through the door with my arms full of groceries, and hush! becomes an echo of everything I’ve missed.

A house is always telling stories, but you never know which are fact and which are fiction, so you label them all tall tales and let them bob around up high, near the ceiling, and watch the spiders eat them for breakfast.

Late at night, sometimes, those same stories will drip down the walls like tears, and I’ll remember a day long past. I’ve lived in this house almost 30 years, more than half my life. There are words shoved deep into every crack and crevice, and all the dust is made of promises. It’s a tiny house, and someday I think it will burst with the memory of all the lives that have marched on through, in life and in books and in my imagination.

I never thought I’d spend all these years in one place. Never thought I’d still be staring out these same windows with the eyes of an almost-old woman.

We’ve grown up together, this house and these birds and this creaky laughing body of mine.

Beneath this sky that holds the sun that draws these ever-changing shadows.

It’s my job to sit here, to watch and to listen.

The crows and I have tea every morning.

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Jan 22 2015

the postulate’s theorem

I feel the cold seeping into my bones
on a day too warm for that to be true.

But some days are like that,
filled with mysterious ache and ailment,
and I think, again,
how tied to the earth we all are,
and how often we forget to listen.

Everything feels frozen.
Time, my feet,
the calendar, this heart.

I find myself holding my breath,
watching the sky for a sign.

The crows will carry me home.

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Sep 30 2014

dear september

How have you been? I’m sorry I keep missing you, it seems like every time you stop by I’m off doing something from the great list of needs to be done. It’s never-ending, that list, and even though you kept bringing me treats and good sunshine, I just haven’t had the time to come out and play. Your cousin, October, has already written and told me she expects better treatment. And I’ll try, I promise. Maybe I’ll even cook her up a nice pot of chili, with a pan of apple crisp for dessert. I mean, a girl’s gotta eat, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for letting you down, I know you tried really hard. I’ll try to do better next time.

I do have a funny story for you, with your allergies being so bad, you’ll be able to relate. This morning I walked to the kitchen straight from my bed, just the same way I do every morning, and turned the stove on to heat the teakettle. While I waited, I talked to the animals, offered treats and fresh water and snuggles, and then I made myself a cup of tea.

I walked into my studio to start getting organized for all the work I have today, and puttered around for a few minutes while I waited for the teakettle to whistle. (Wait, what? I know!) Finally, I figured I hadn’t turned the burner on again, I do that pretty regularly, so I walked out to the kitchen and saw that the kettle wasn’t even sitting on the burner–I usually get that far, just forget to turn it on. And it wasn’t until I saw the cup I’d just made sitting on the counter that I remembered I’d already made it. I think I might be losing my mind. How could I have forgotten something I just did five minutes before?

Apparently I need tea to wake me up enough to make tea. Not sure how I’m going to solve that conundrum, but I thought you might get a kick out of that story.

And just yesterday I made myself a cup without boiling the water first. I realized what I’d done before I took a sip, thank goodness, but still. I’m telling you, these allergies are a killer. I feel like I’m walking around in a fog half the time. Then again, that’s pretty much my normal state of being.

I haven’t been sleeping well either. Some nights I feel like I don’t sleep at all. Damn hormonees. (You saw that movie, right? My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I can never remember if that was you or January.) And have you heard the coyotes lately? They’re crazy loud and it creeps me right out. Sounds like there’s a million of them out there, trolling around in that field right across the road. It makes me worry about Naughty Kitten.

He’s been on a rampage, killing everything he can find. He left us a chipmunk by the back door just the other day, belly up and pathetic looking. Sorry Mr. Chipmunk. I always feel bad about the chipmunks, until I remember that time I saw one in the basement. Then I tell him to get on out there and find the rest of them.

Well, I guess I’d better go and get busy, I have a million things to do today before October gets here. I do hope you’ll come and stay with us again, next year. Maybe you’d like to come for tea. Ha ha.

Love ya tons,
Me

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Jul 31 2014

in the shade of the shadow

The sky is angry again this morning and the dog tries to climb onto my chest as I lie in bed listening to hail hit the windows.

I know the back entryway will flood for the second time this week, just as I knew when I went to bed last night that I wouldn’t sleep for the third night in a row.

Everything in my house feels damp, including the sheets that wind themselves ’round my legs. It’s been one of those summers, but it seems they are all either too dry or too wet or too hot or too chilly. We want perfection from Mother Nature, and she simply refuses to live up to our standards. I love that about her.

Naughty Kitten went outside early, still-dark early, before the storm hit, and I don’t know where he found shelter. He has a secret life when he walks out the door, I don’t think he travels all that far, but he has hiding places I know nothing about, and I will let him keep it that way. He doesn’t mind getting wet in the rain, and he’s not really afraid of thunderstorms. I love that about him.

It’s the end of another July, a memorable one marked by marriage. That day the weather was perfect, and for that I am grateful.

Water runs and there is never any stopping it. If you try, it finds a new path, around you or over you or under you or through you. Just like life.

My garden keeps growing, my face keeps aging, my fingers keep typing.

The sky is black to the east, but I know the sun can’t hide forever. It’s always out there, shining, burning itself up and out with no concern for those requiring its warmth. I kind of love that, too.

Between the trees, the clouds have formed their own horizon, just beneath a mirage of ocean.

If I liked the water better, I’d pretend to find a boat. But my feet travel best on land, gripping stone and root and hard-packed soil, always climbing.

Today, I thirst for nothing.

Water drips off leaves, and just in that moment before letting go, I see the world I live in.

I see it again in the puddle at my feet, smiling back up at me.

In the distance, I hear more thunder.

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