Reaching out beyond the dream of what you thought was real, spinning on this ball of life, head now under heel. Ready to die, to live this life so raw, alive on ledge- dancing, hurling, freeing your soul to finally stretch the edge.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Old Year to You!

It’s the last day of this year. 

In my attempt to ignore New Years’ celebrations I am reminded of the disappointments that cause me to do so. Ugggghhh.

This whole concept of getting excited about a new year and a new beginning irks me when I hear people talk about how horrible this past year has been and how they hope the next one is better. Seriously- can breaking through the confines of an annum like some super-charged hero really somehow magically cast a new spell on you? If so, why wouldn’t you have summoned a new minute, a new hour, or a new day- and hope for the same?
What if, instead of seeing the bad with its neon-flashing, bold colored, italicized, badass fontness, you see instead the broader thinking it has quietly gifted you? What if you hold the good as well as the bad, in this life, this year, this day and this minute, to offer you balance?

These last couple of days of 2011 have been beautiful beyond measure here in San Diego. The sun is shining, the warmth is soothing and the doors and windows are all open. This would not be feeling quite as spectacular, had the previous days not been cold or stormy. 

With all of this sudden splendor I keep finding myself outside on my patio, soaking up some sun. My beautiful tree whose arms stretch across the hill beneath me is going bald.  What is left of its pale yellow leaves is now dwindling to an emptiness through which I can see the Eucalyptus tree beyond, dancing for me. The remnant leaves petrified by the loss of life sporadically plunge into a crinkling melody on the ground below, where the breeze lifts them and they dance, mingling in a symphony of life and loss, in the key of beauty. 

Today I am thankful for this minute which showers me in golden leaves, on this day when I am called to acknowledge what has made me this, in a month that seemed mostly hard, in a year that was more painful than most, in a life where I have learned to love the dance of the leaves. Time stands still in every moment that we are alive. 

But heck yeah, I too am looking forward to a new year- one that will bring me the love I have longed for, a world more peaceful with each day and hour, friends more beautiful than ever, and eyes that will revel in it all.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

the odd petal

Maybe he does
maybe he doesn't
maybe he someday will

flitting slowly through the air or
spiraling to their senseless death
plucked questions carpet
the wet, salty ground


one thousand flowers
one million petals
queries of the heart do squander
the life that was meant to


maybe he does
maybe he doesn't
care to pluck my sweets

maybe she will never again question,
escaping new reasons to sacrifice
the odd petal, never plucked from
its bountiful, sumptuous field in


Twelve or so years ago I was climbing Picacho Peak on the 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. The volcanic remnant was covered in orange flowers, calling to me from a distance, like a fiery dream. I got a bit of a high from the tizzy of poppy wealth and bent down without thinking, and picked one of the glorious little gems. Before he yelled at me, I was unaware that a grumpy conservationist was on my tail. Having picked it without thinking, I was disoriented as the reality of my crime sent me spinning. What was my defense? How do you defend insanity? I think I probably just looked at him with shock that someone could be so angry at me for this non-meditative sin, for I truly did not realize the harm until the deed was done. He wouldn't stop scolding me. All I could manage to utter was that it was "just one." He was even more disappointed with me once I had answered. I fear I ruined his day.

It's bad enough that we pick and kill flowers for our own satiety. But the pressure we put on the poor thing... all that it should ever be is a beautiful flower.

 3 he loves me
2 he loves me not
1 he loves me

Saturday, December 24, 2011

An apple a day...

Last night as one of the great loves of my life was leaving after a sweet little visit, she noticed that one of my baby Christmas trees which adorns the entry way, was sagging. Having a black thumb myself- (it's genetic, my dad used to hum The Funeral March any time my mother dared to bring a new plant into the house) I was grateful for the helpful advice to stop drowning it with too much water.

Don't we do that sometimes, though? Maybe coming from a life where there never seemed to be enough of anything to go around, now that I can, I drown things in overabundance. God forbid I let something go or die, before I find a way to squeeze the life right out of it?  Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic.

Children are the most incredible gifts. From the baby smiles when they learn to recognize your face (validation that you are loved and appreciated) to statements made from their adult consciousnesses, (which affirm that maybe, in spite of the mistakes and horrors that you dwell on, because you inflicted them) that they have somehow turned out to be amazing human beings.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be a little hard on myself. Fortunately I have also learned to do it in a way that does not disregard the wonders that really do dwell in me. My belief that to be a good parent you need to allow your children to become their own individual wonders, has been both the difficulties and the successes of my endeavors. One of my proudest moments as a mother (who raised the two older ones pretty much single-handedly) was when my older son told me that what he admired about me was that I never inflicted my own opinions on them, but allowed them to believe what they wanted to. This took great courage for me (I don't mind telling you) because it would have been easier to just follow rules and traditions and not have to think or try so hard.

In some of my closest relationships I have seen people that act out of obligation, blindly disciplining because that was what they were told to do. I have suffered on the front line of blind enthusiasm for a legacy of anger that was handed down from one generation to the next. I watched my children suffer and cringe because of this. I saw myself check out, causing my children to starve for affection because I was no longer there. A 'chip off the old block' is a heavy, jagged stone that can maim the spirit and the joy of a blossoming child.

Along the way I chiseled away at the fear that paralyzed my hunger for something better. It wasn't easy, but it resulted in something- plainly, beautiful. My great fear and regret in the most recent years was how my beautiful children were hurt, maybe even damaged by their step-father's rage. My focus on the negative worries blocked me from seeing what might have been good. What a waste of time because there is SO much good. My daughter is one of the most caring, empathetic and generous people I have ever known. And then there's Frank- the boy who didn't want to live, who is now a 4.0 Berkeley student, heading for the Peace Corps, who is going to write Christmas letters as his gifts to his family.

Last night at dinner Frank was sharing some of his college stories with us. Loving him the way we do, we of course wanted to know the intimate details of his life beyond us, like what he eats, at what time, and with whom. When he was done answering our petty inquiries, he started to tell us about how he would take an apple (hidden safely in his backpack) out of the cafeteria with him, for later. He only ate two meals a day because that is all he can afford, and sometimes he would get hungry in between. I don't know what it was that brought him there, but according to him he had an ethical epiphany where he realized that taking those apples was illegal. You're supposed to pay for a 'to go' box if you want extras. So Frank went and bought a bag of apples and brought them to the cafeteria manager, to make amends.

I'm not sure if the manager laughed at him, but I cried listening to this, because I was never so proud in all of my life, for that apple that fell from this tree. Frank's incredible spirit is what makes him so resilient, so driven and so pure. But I am so proud and honored that my choice to not smother and drown him in dogma and pretense, has lead to this authentic and bountiful force of life.

Truly, the greatest gift of all! Thank you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dark waters

My dream was one of those dark and haunting scenes crafted in artistic flair. We bobbed in the dark ocean, and you could not see me through the reverse fog... that space between the molecules of air and mist that were filled with the ether of dreams, but this time, the air was clear and just the space in between was foggy. You called me- by my name and then you reached for me- but you could not see where I was. It took every ounce of strength that I had to not grab your hand and pull you out, but I hovered lovingly and watchfully to be sure you didn't slip away, in the murky blood-drenched water. How can I be bleeding so when we barely scratched the surface?

The calls we cry in our sleep- these are our deeper awakenings. The light of day washes them out while we "live" in the midst of what we deny. Safely in the light of day we refuse to fear that which might drown us. But it is in the night that our souls open themselves to the darkness, the truths of our bare, uninhibited souls, into which we must plunge.

The choices that we make with our own hearts, and not borne of fright or obligation, are the ones that will set us free.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lulla bye

Handsome and tall, at me, you look down
my jumping heart furiously pounds
Shamelessly begging- me, for your kisses
like candied sweets, full and delicious

Reaching for the stars above,
on the tips of my toes I steal some love
This, not mine to dream, to keep
yet real in night's sweet dreams, so deep

Lulla-bye, lulla-bye, lulla-bye, Love
how can g~d's beautiful face be not enough?
Lulled in the rocking of waves in the wake
when you leave my heart, drowning in ache

I once read that the moment just before death by drowning, is euphoric. It's kind of fun to think this is true.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Evidence of Autumn

She breathed in, and then out again
colder than the dark afternoon
as if
death had already seized her limp
Staring into the gray blue autumn
watching the still clouds frozen
as if
the very last moment before the ice age came
to freeze
Remnants of life and love and hope
the pictures scratched by the bare, stark
that cling listlessly to yellow threads of
Lingering in the cold, all alone again til her
shattered the stillness of death's frozen
scene when
she dreamed of sleep's blanket, to awaken one
the new life, the warmth, the promise of

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Beauty has that way of rising
through the sludge and the muck
through the dark and into the light
because we breathe and hold onto
and worship the warmth
trapped in the bubble
at the bottom in the dark
we hold it so close
never letting it go
while it slowly rises-
into the light

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wake up!

The strong smell of coffee
filled the rooms and halls of the
house this morning
Restless puppy, little kitten
rousing in their hideaway
sleeping bags
The mother quietly
washing dishes in the sink
but none were from last night
Lost in thought, not seeing the
puddle on the floor til the smell of
the burning coffee wakes her

Come in and sit a spell. Cup of coffee?