Sunday, July 31, 2005

sunday morning

Sitting alone - just me and the air - and thinking of the thousands of people that are readying themselves for church. I used to be one of them. Somewhere along the way I lost the desire and the comfort that it once held for me.

Maybe my reluctance began with the crying.

I would enter a church, find an empty spot, kneel for a moment, alone with the crucified Jesus, and the tears would begin. Mostly they dripped silently, one after the other, sometimes they would become salty rivulets and occasionally they would be accompanied by deep sobs, disturbing the quiet reverence of the space.

I cried for myself mostly, grieving the death of happily ever after. I cried for the unworthy child. I cried in helplessness and hopelessness. I cried to soothe the unseen wounds.

Under God's watchful eyes, I begged for peace. But somehow I knew it was not to be found within brick walls where judgment was everywhere and I was nothing.

So I sought out the holy places - grassy hillsides, lush canopies of green, pasture fenceposts, and rocks big enough to climb. I close my eyes and feel the wind on my face, the sun's warmth, soft grass beneath my feet.

In this space, my heart leaps with God's resounding "yes". I connect with all that is, humbled by the vastness of his universe. One with God, I am great and small, wondrous and simple, perfect and worthy. His gifts affirm love and wholeness and connectedness. And sometimes I cry, not in grief, but in the possibility of happily ever after, for childlike joy. Wounds knit themselves together and I am strong, powerful and peaceful, able to see through the illusions of pain and fear and helplessness and guilt.

I think of the crucified Jesus and take him from the cross in my head. He becomes again the God/man who walked the earth. I find his message in his life and all of life, and not in his death. We play and celebrate in this beautiful kingdom - with butterflies and ancient trees, shimmering dragonflies and dog kisses. I find him unexpectedly, as I wander through my day. He speaks to me in the breeze, the words of a song, the rain, the voice of a stranger, the eyes of a laughing child. And I pause to listen to life as it happens, and give thanks.

I can't imagine that he expects me to wait to share in his kingdom at the end of times, when he's dropped me in the middle of the garden, and there are so many lilacs to smell.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Love calls

Poetry from another time...

Love calls to me
a moon
glimmering on indigo nights
distant and full
orb of light and promise
even star sparkle fades in your glory

I dream of you
fear you
keep you in dark sky
where you are only
wish and memory

You cannot touch me
but shadows you cast
on irridescent skin
remind me of the dance once danced
in your gossamer gaze

With lover and friend
safe and sure
my unrehearsed steps passionate and playful
Wrapped in your glow
I was one with another and you and full

Night was as day
indigo fading like denim
forever washed in crystal tears
Soft and warm against flesh
leaving me light blue

Love calls to me
a moon
My arms stretch through miles of sparkling darkness
I answer
I touch your face

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

in between

Today I am fascinated by what is in between...the unfilled spaces. The gauzy moments between sleep and wakefulness, the words between the beginning and the end of a poem, the dawn between night and day, the deep blue sky between the stars, the seconds between the eyes meeting and the kiss - these spaces that connect what "matters."

Quite unnoticed, they often slip through our consciousness, leaving no footprints or memories. And yet if we pause, observe and remember, it is these spaces that might change the course of things. We are great at celebrating beginnings and memorializing ending, birth and death, but pay no notice to those things in the middle.

How we planned and prepared for the wedding, the beginning of our life together...being sure to attend to every detail...white or ivory?... roses or irises?, attendants, guests, menus, readings and vows. We created a perfect beginning. And then married life began, year passed, and the details became insignificant, blurring together in a flurry of daily activities, jobs, homework, finances and bath time. The goal became getting through the day with as few obstacles as possible. We skipped the details - the moments of gratitude, the whispers of love, the touches of support. And in the end, which will be filled with details of who did what and who didn't do what and who gets this and that, it turns out that it was the in between that mattered most.

I have made a new beginning, and find myself at the space in between. Alone with myself, I will enjoy this misty space and will attend to the details of each day. I will buy myself orange gerber daisies , and will smile at my own face in the mirror. I will be grateful for rainy days and for sunshine, for kind and unexpected words from strangers, for a body that does what I tell it to do. I will remember to send cards for no reason, and to write for the sake of seeing the words on the paper. I will savor the scent of the cut grass, despite the noise of the mowers.

And when the end comes, I will know that it was the beautiful in between that made all the difference.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gift giving

When he offered his company over coffee, he was unaware of the weight of the task before him - the fragility of a healing woman's heart. Hope and confidence were at stake. Unknowing, or perhaps with the kind of knowing that comes deeply and below the consciousness, he accepted the challenge.

With a simple smile his face said, "I'm glad to be here." With inquisitive questions, his gentle voice said, "You're interesting." His honesty said, "I respect you," and by staying longer than he intended, he said, "You're worthy." The casual encounter was an affirmation of hope. Just coffee? I think not.

It came simply and unexpectedly. Not too carefully wrapped or tied neatly in silk ribbons - this priceless gift.

Whatever form or shape emerges from the collision of two lives in time, this gift has been honorably given and graciously received. Life unfolds, tension eases, wounds heal, hope springs.

With gratitude.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I walked with you this morning. In the quiet of the rebirth of day, your face reflected dawn, rosy and light. Softly your feet moved across the, then the other, leaving little evidence on dewy grass. Busy mockingbirds went about their business as soundless raindrops fell into the stream. You noticed the turtles, slipping down the bank, and stopped to observe. The breeze fingered your hair and carelessly, you brushed it from your skin.

Did you know I was there? That I watched, your face familiar to me? Your gentleness is a memory that has been reborn in me. The ease with which you walk comforts me. I would like to know you again, in every moment. I would like to find you in times of anger, of sadness, of pain. For your peace comforts me.

I embrace you. Filled with warmth I accept your joy, your inquisitive nature, your gentle spirit. I pull you into my very center and we become one again, as we were. For you are me, in a simpler time and space. I step in unison with you. The journey back to myself has begun and a simple wish has made it so.

Monday, July 18, 2005

the rules of disengagement

I spent Sunday disengaged. I spent Saturday night disappointed, which led to my disengagement. I woke up with battle scars on my heart and thought about ways to facilitate healing. Nothing immediately came to mind. My head was full of fog. But somewhere inside, I knew the rules for disengagement and self care. I recommend them. Feel free to use them when you need to disengage. They work for me.

1. Call your mother...she will always make you feel better.
2. Call your best friend...she knows what will help (In my case it was a pint of Ben and Jerry's and Harry Potter.)
3. Turn off the phone.
4. Stay in your most comfortable pajamas all day long (white cotton works for me).
5. If you have bunny slippers...
6. Drink coffee with sweet cream.
7. Eat Campbell's soup.
8. Cuddle up on the floor or the sofa with your dog. Enjoy his warmth, softness, quietness and wet nose.
9. Nap.
10. Watch old movies.
11. Nap.
12. Don't think about the cause of your disengagement.
13. Don't think about the effect of your disengagement.
14. If you feel inclined, take a twilight walk. If not, don't.

What might have been a miserable day was magically transformed into a retreat of the spirit. Good for the soul...and the ice cream...perfect.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Lately I've been engaged by the moon and the indigo of the night sky. Moon shadows hold my gaze in their gentleness - the antithesis of sunburnt afternoons. The coolness of the air fills lungs longing for relief from daytime's glaring heat and crickets sing songs of praise. Meditation comes easy in these moments. My thoughts stop stumbling over themselves and stand still. The need to do fades into the night space replaced by the need to be. I see my own shadow cast from lunar light, and in it's hazy outline, I find myself.

Luncacy is defined as intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon. Perhaps it is instead a moment of perfect clarity. In these moments, the lunatic finds his truth.

Bathed in indigo silence and moonlight - I am sane.

Glorious moonlight
bathed in your glow I glimmer
Irridescent me

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Living in Limbo

Limbo - an orchestrated dance in which one sinks lower and lower just slipping under the bar without falling over. Music blares in the background, drowning out every conscious logical thought. And finally, we fall, unable to sink any lower. One has to wonder why we frantically seek to achieve such a low level - our peers cheering us on as we melt to lower ourselves.

I'm tired of the old dance. Time to choose new peers, to set the bar higher and higher and see how far I can fly above it. I shake the sand from between my toes, buy some new dancing shoes that bounce and reach for clouds and sky. I hear the silence of uninterrupted air and race the wind. The wing of a hawk clips my shoulder and I can see where I wallowed. The vantage point is much better from here. From this view the possibilities are endless and the universe filled with promise and light.

This new dance has no name. I will call it immense and stretch to its rhythms. I will touch the sun.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Coffee Pot Zen

So my Aunt Jean sent me a little 5-cup coffee pot when I moved into my new apartment. I was touched. She knows the importance of my morning coffee. Turns out she bought five of them when they were on special at HSN. So like her. She's precious. I was a perfect recipient - living alone in a small space. Turns out it is the perfect size. If I use a large mug...I can fill it twice with some left over. When I feel the need, I make a second pot.

There is just one small challenge. Not a morning person, I am often impatient when I pour the coffee. Pour too fast, and coffee drips down the front and onto the countertop. Puddles of the precious commodity get wiped away leaving stains on the dish rag.

Because I think there is a reason for everything, I begin to ask myself, "What is the message in this?" I contemplate and realize that there are many things I do without thinking, including pouring the coffee. I light a cigarette and find it burning in the ashtray - thoughtless. I walk the dog without enjoying the morning sky and the birdsong. I pull back the sheets and get into the bed without appreciating the scent of freshly washed cotton or the softness of the pillow on which I lay my head. That little pot has taught me to observe - to savor the moments of my life.

This morning I pulled out my favorite "happy bunny" mug - I looked at it and smiled. Then I poured my coffee - slowly and thoughtfully. I didn't let my mind wander. Attentive, I poured my coffee into the mug. No drips, no mess, no stained dishrag.

Thanks for the lesson Aunt Jean.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Snow memories

Last night I dreamed of an old lover, felt myself lingering in the glow of the memory until the coffee pot was empty.

It's been years since I've seen your face and decades since I felt your touch. I wonder if you still love the snow, and if you think of me when you listen to Rod Stewart. Do you still stay up half the night and compose bad poetry, or have you taken to sleeping like most of the world? I would like to see you, find you in the park, hidden in the old truck tire, or sitting on the grass without shoes. I would ask you if you're happy. If life has treated you well. Has it gone as you expected? Does your heart still break? I would ask if you've climbed those mountains you dreamed of, and did you take a picture? Are your shoulders still broad and do they hold those you love with your strength? I wonder if my hand would feel the same in yours, and if you ever grew a full beard. Would I fit in your arms as perfectly as before?

It's been years since I've seen your face. Would your recognize me in a crowd? Only pieces of the girl that I was remain. Reality has left its wounds on me...I don't know how it happened. One day I was listening to your laugh, the next I was drinking a cup of coffee, my legs curled up under me on a sofa I used to love, wondering how I happened to get here. And if you still love the snow.

Friday, July 08, 2005


I've been thinking a lot about time, and the pointlessness of measuring it the way we do. Clocks seem to rule the lives of most people I know, which is why I think they're always tired.

I'm trying to live without clocks for the most part. My sister laughs at me for this, and is always looking for a clock when she's visiting.

I don't need an alarm clock. My dog wakes me up with his cold, wet nose every morning by 7. Though I resist, he's very persistent. I stumble to the dog food and start the coffee in the place between sleep and wakefulness. Very few days do I have an early appointment. I know myself well enough that I keep my mornings free. I like quiet in the morning. Nature noises are okay. Lawnmowers and phones are not. I don't like to speak out loud before 9. I don't think anyone should. Between 7 and 9, I run through a morning routine that has become comfortable. It begins with writing "morning pages" - thank you Natalie - followed by some reading and meditation. When this time is disrupted, the entire day may be doomed.

I think there should be gentler ways to measure time. It seems to me that when the sun comes up it signals the beginning of the day. Slowly it rises over the horizon, allowing all creatures to come to terms with waking in their own way. And as it lowers itself at twilight, the air cools and the darkness comforts us and tells us it's time to rest.

Our bodies are also great replacements for clocks. My stomach tells me when to eat instead of the clock. Just because the clock says noon, doesn't mean I need to eat.

Animals get it I think. They would laugh at us if they were smart enough to figure out just how we let clocks rule our day. They just know when to wake up and when to sleep and eat. Our great minds, which set us apart from them, have distorted what comes natural.

I suppose some would say that not being ruled by the clock is a luxury. If so...I must be rich!

My internal clock is ticking...gotta go...

Thursday, July 07, 2005


The world has been plunged again into fear by "extremist" bombers in London - randomly taking human life. We live in a world where life's sanctity spirals into scarcity. Those with power get to decide who lives and who dies, based on a set of what they believe to be universal moral values. Ironically, these values seem to change based on who's doing the deciding, and what serves those with power. We allow people to starve as we create weapons to destroy life. We talk about pro-active wars. "Get them before they get us." Yet they will continue to get us, despite all our preparations, we are no safer from death than we were four years ago. Our airport security screenings and color-coded terror alerts only foster the fear that leads to more death - separating us from them.

I wish I knew who they were. But intuitively I know that they are us. We impose our beliefs on those we seek to save, thinking that he who carries the biggest stick or shouts the loudest will win the battle of wills. The voice of the bomb is a loud one. It carries the power of fear. Listen to it and it will win. Like the cry of a baby, it seeks comfort, acceptance, satiation. Would we put a knife through its heart to silence it? Or would we feed, clothe and nurture it?

I've been called a liberal. I don't even know what that means anymore. I'd rather be called a lover of life, a seeker of truth, a harbinger of joy, a cry for peace. I want to be one who sees that every action I take indeed affects every other being on the globe. The wings of the hummingbird, you know.

What I know is that global unrest is mine and yours. Undermine it in your silent visualization of peace. Change it with a giving hand. Soothe it with a loving heart. Let it grow into global rest.

I send blessings and comfort to those who have lost loved ones in London this morning. The earth weeps tears of blood yet again.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's hot

I think I've been transported to the desert. What was green is now brown. My perky gerber daisy has heat stroke and the grass has become fodder for horses. I used to dream of walking barefoot on the grass, but today it may cut my feet. While red is a good color, it would clash with my new pedicure. The fashionistas would not approve. Just ask Carol who is investigating purple. She dropped her drill on foot. Purple is a good color, not for toes. The swelling is going down we think, but can't tell because her body's natural response to heat is swelling. Perhaps around November we will be able to tell if the toes have improved.

I've been working on revising the draft of my children's story. I've hit a wall. Not sure if it's permanent. Hoping it's not cemented to my psyche. Seems like I want to be Scout instead of writing about her. Playing in the sun and becoming a princess sounds good to me. I'm second guessing my career choice. Perhaps I really hate being a writer and I just haven't realized it yet. I want to be the Ozarka man, delivering bottled water. When the truck's empty he goes home. And the uniform is hot. Okay, not really, but it can be on the right body. Are my words like the water and is my head like the truck? When it's empty can I go home? Or will it keep replenishing itself like a mountain stream, creating a well written aqua nightmare with no preservatives or calories?

Scout calls; I answer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

see it...


The sun is rising on my darkest night. But I hate mornings. Especially mornings without cream for my coffee. I struggle with the memories of the night, wishing it were a dream and not my reality. I remember other nights, not nearly so inky. Full moons and cloudless skies. Stars and light. Day came and there was cream. I was peaceful, raising my head from the pillow. Eager to begin a new day. The eagerness remains.