All things melancholy · Great Quotes · Musings · Pirates · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure

the winding of the cuckoo clock


I wake earlier than I should for the late night, watching the ball drop as I rested in his deep embrace, his firm masculine kiss warm on my forehead, telling me how good I am at hosting guests in our home, how great I did taking care of everything, how pleased he is with me, in some ways it makes me happy to hear this from him, but only because it confirms what I already know, I don’t need someone else to cook and clean for me to make people feel at home and there is nothing special about it, it is part of who I am.  I make coffee and take out the dog, feed the cats and start a load of laundry before I sit to check the internet.  The strings of the cuckoo clock are low near the arm of my chair so I reach up and wind it.  At some point many months ago, he stood over me in this same spot, and in his gruff and grumpy way, informed me that he should not be the only one to wind it.  In other words, you can wind the clock if you want to.  Ordinary.

Mary Shelley said something about life being an accumulation of anguish, and I think as I hear it that though she used it to justify life, it is a statement in and of itself.  Life for me has never been about the accumulation of joy.  The joy has been highlights and nothing more.  But the ordinary, yes that has accumulated as well.  We come back from lunch with his aunt who in her way is showing the kind of meal we should eat while we try to lose weight.  Our mutual resolution, I suppose, though when I ask him what his is, he says, drink more water.  And I adopt it immediately, it solves so many problems.  You can say, I am giving up soda, but still be putting cream and sugar in your coffee, you can say, I won’t eat sweets, but fill up on diet cola, or cola, or carbohydrates, you can say I will eat less and exercise more, the highlights, and the darkness, but the ordinary, yes that is it.  Drink more water.   Ordinary.

We work together scraping ice and shoveling the dusting of snow off the front driveways, and then together he shoveling off the back deck as I shovel a path around the yard for the arthritic dog, who cannot hump across the drifts as he once did.  He grins at me periodically, I think he likes this, me outside helping him do the work of the two houses.  And I know I like the fact that I don’t have to ask him to help, the bane of the American male, he doesn’t need to be bossed or told what to do, he does it.   The dishes get washed and the vacuum run and his bills paid, and I have nothing to think about.  As I lay in bed earlier I thought of this, how we have separate accounts and neither one of us would have it any other way.  I don’t have to think about how his bills are going to get paid, I only have to think about mine.  What a gift this is, one I appreciate more than I would have ever imagined.  The the dog and I do a lap around the yard, he calls out to me, wait up for me and he does a round too, smiling at me and wrapping his arms around me, the brim of his hat burning a line across my forehead as he rubs noses with me.  He goes in, the dog and I go around again.  Joy.

Inside again I finish hooking up my Wii fit to his Wii console, don’t break it, he hollers, in other words, what is this thing and how does it work, will it somehow damage my console?  Then begs a Mii for himself, and tries ski jumping, besting me right away.  Though I love it best of all the games.  I spend the next 40 minutes trying to shed my midsection of extra weight.  I resolve to start walking again, though the injury to my foot has been preventing it, okay, then maybe the bike, the dog stands in front of me, between the Wii and the TV, he knows when I am using this, it means less time in the woods for him.  My heel hurts after.  And I click my teeth annoyed.  Getting old really sucks sometimes.  Anguish.

And in the late hours after he has gone to bed I spend several hours loading music onto my ipod.  Surfing the internet for the biggest CD wallet money can buy, and dream of the day I can get rid of this CD tower, and make room in this house for space.  Yes, space, there is a great gift in making space in a home where there was none previously.  Slowly bit by bit, I open up the space in this home.  I open up space in his heart.  He sat on the sofa and lifted his hand to wave at me, in that cute way he does, his curly hair standing on end and smooshed from sleeping, his face tired and his eyes sleepy.  I wave back and blow a kiss, which he laughs in way that says he likes it and cannot believe I did it, then he pushes it away.  Hey!  I say don’t push my kiss away you are supposed to catch it, I do it again this time he puts it in his pocket.  Okay seriously, I say, you are supposed to smoosh it on your face.  He reaches into his pocket takes it out and smooshes it on his face, then he says there is the other kiss, its a boomerang one, and smooshes that on his face too.  Then he yawns really big, and like a little kid rubs his eyes.   Go to bed, I say.  You just want the remote, he says.  Yeah, I do.  But I don’t really, I really have no desire to watch TV rather I am looking forward to the quiet of the ticking clock and my thoughts.  I look up and see its weights are hanging low again.  I reach up to wind them.  And then reach not for a glass of wine, but instead, for a glass of water.  Ordinary.




In the Light of You

As I was preparing to leave, the dog and I walked down the hill to the road.  The creek runs under a bridge, the one where I caught two bullhead last summer. Along the road were deer tracks, large and small, and giant dinosaur like turkey tracks.  I rounded a corner and between the trees was the most beautiful blue of a mountain I have ever seen.  A color unlike any I have ever painted, or dreamed of.  My breath is caught as I take in this royal color.


I walk on lost in my thoughts.  Stuck on this notion that here in the country, this is civilization, this is sanity, this is normalcy.  But on the long hill down back to the city, I am stuck with this notion that it is not something I would want to do alone.  There is too much work in running a home, particularly up here where there is wood to be chopped and the same work to be done.  I am annoyed with this man when I walk in the door, he never seems to say the right thing, he never seems to be quite what I want.  And yet.  And yet.  I look out the window and see him cutting up a dead tree at the top of his land.  I put on my boots and a warm coat and walk up to him.  Do you want some help?  Do you want to help? If you stay here and work alongside me, yes.  Ok, you can help.  We work until it is too dark, burning the junk mail in a barrel, and having a beer in the crisp dark evening.  



I think on this, all week.  This problem that I have.  The one that doesn’t allow me to love all the way.  This one that seeks to condemn and destroy when all I want is to loved, and cared for.  More than once in this week he asks to go up the hill to our tree, to finish its decorating.  More than once I say no, I don’t want to.   And I don’t.  Why can’t you drive?  It’s too dark.  It’s too cold.  

On Friday, we are talking as we walk up the long hill.  What makes a person want to take a gun and shoot a bunch of little kids?  Do you just wake up one morning, look at a gun and say ah ha?  And is it guns?  No it is mental illness, it is the increasing violence in our media and culture, it is the numbing of people to violence through the increasing graphic quality of video games, it is a split from the heart, a split from love, a split from connection, it is all of this, it is none of this.  On the hill he says something, one of his stupid jokes, that I become so angry at, I stand turned away from him, from the top of the hill, I turn to call my dog, who has abandoned me and I am forced to finish the long hard push up the hill, in the dusk a giant doe and I catch site of each other and I stop and she stops and then runs.  I go to the tree, and he hugs me, I am sorry.  I am sick of it, I say, I don’t want to do this anymore.  I don’t want you to say things like that to me.  I know he says.  I know.  I am sorry, and I hear you.  Although what he said was maybe more than a little bit true.  He reaches in and takes out the bag of decorations, which is the wrong bag, and it is the one full of art supplies.  I start to laugh, I am an idiot, I say.  He just puts his arms around me and kisses my cheek.

In the morning in the market, I pass a small, elderly Nepali man.  I look into his eyes and I smile and his eyes sparkle, and he smiles and between us our grins get bigger.  As we exit the door, I am laughing.  What he says.  That man, I say, the light inside of him was just shining out of his eyes, his soul was full of light and I saw the great sparkle in his eyes and we both grinned so big.  

You are an idiot he says.  

I know I say, but can you imagine, if we were all like that no one would want to kill little children.  

Fucking Aye right, he says.  Fucking Aye right.

We walk up the hill to the tree again.  The day is cold but bright and clear.  He goes on a bushwhack, and I dressed in a wool skirt and long underwear remain on trail.  The dog cries for him.  And we call back and forth on our phones until we reunite.  I have dropped my mittens on the trail and we back track to find them.  

Today, as I washed the dishes, I decided to wash the stein where we keep the cooking utensils.  I finally looked at it.  It has a woman on one side and a man on the other, she clutches a book, he a rifle.  In the middle the two are together clearly in love.  I turn it over in the washing and the rinsing, and I see his initials and a date on the bottom.  


Huh.  You mean Mr. Prickly Pear Cactus is a romantic?

I suddenly see him differently.  

But I guess I knew this all along.  If I hadn’t known it, I would have let him go.  

But for me.  I have a wall to breach.  
It is my own.

Don’t we all build walls to protect us from hurt?

Buddhism · Cooking · Magic · Musings · Nature · Photos · Pirates · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure

Slow Cooking

Iron Ore

There is this kind of perfection in cooking.  The slow kind.  Yesterday I used the food processor, something I would have never bought for myself, because there is a zen quality, a peaceful quality, a hands in and hands on kind of quality to carefully cutting the vegetables.  I love this.  This act of cooking.  I understand the purpose of a sous chef, but I love the act of creating the food from the beginning to the end.  But today, the processor does the stalks of celery in seconds, the onions sliced, I pour them out onto the cutting board and chop them into small pieces.  Saute the veggies in butter.  I do not have any sage.  I call and ask if anyone has it.  No.  I am not yet fully here in this household.  Several minutes later, I have a brand new container of sage in my hands, delivered to my door, via the grocery store.  And I cook it all on a stove I could never have imagined owning, it shines brand new in the kitchen, they went out to get it, so I could bake properly for Thanksgiving.  I open the windows and bake nothing for the first time, as directed in the manual.

For this new family I feel a deep sense of gratitude.

In the morning, I wake early, to the crispy frosted grass and leaves.  The sun is shining and the day promises to be warm.  I raise my arms up and stretch in the brisk air.  Lovely day.  Lovely day.  There are no shortcuts for pie crust.  I put on Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, the heavenly choir fills the air.  The dog comes to me and rests his head on my knee.  I look into his eyes, he is almost smiling as he “hugs” me in his doggie way.  He does this at least two more times over the course of the morning, though I am regularly admonishing him to get out of the kitchen.  And as I mix the egg and ice water into the flour and butter, I feel a sense of something, I do not know what, it is profound though, and I savor it.  I cannot name it.

For this beautiful animal and his unconditional love, I feel so very thankful.


He comes in from hunting, smiling, cheerful.  Last night I said to him, in the hot tub, that he was clearly miserable, so clearly not happy with me living in this place with him, that I just didn’t know what we were doing.  He said, I have always been miserable, but with you here, I am this much more happy than I was before.  He holds his hands apart like the fish that got away.  Later I tell him, thank you for telling me that, he pulls me down on top of him and kisses me.  Later still he comes into the living room and places a big plate of sliced apples on the coffee table, but not in front of himself, but off to the side.  I look at him, into those stunning green hazel eyes, he smiles.  I get off the awful chair and sit beside him.  We should bring that small couch in here, he says, it is a good snuggle couch, and put that chair in the office.  Okay, I say.  I would like that.  I go from one house to another, my side dishes and dessert a hit, and get containers for the remains of dinner, when I come in they are talking about rings, and cruises to Alaska.  They change the subject upon my entrance, but not quickly, slowly as though to tell me something.  Later I show him my board of pins, ‘for the wedding I will never have”.  He laughs.  But he is quiet too.  I don’t know, honestly, if we will ever go there, but I know at the very least, I have his love, and he is my very best friend.

For this man, who is difficult, moody, miserable, and sometimes positively awful, I am so very thankful.

She comes to the door without being announced, he lets her in.  She sits in her favorite chair, the cats come to her to cuddle, the dog sits beside her.  I pour her a beverage, it is kind of fun to have a drink with my baby, though she is not a heavy drinker, and I have water.  After he goes to bed we tickle each others backs, a multi-generational ritual of affection, that I have not had the pleasure of in months.  After, I tell her come here, and she cuddles me like she did when she was little.  It’s hard huh?  I ask.  She nods her head as she sucks her two fingers.  Harder than you thought, isn’t it?  She nods her head more vigorously.  But, she says, it is so worth it.  I know, I say, and it will get better if you are prepared to work your ass off.  I fall asleep while we are watching reruns of NCIS, she nudges me awake, come on Momma, she says.  Do you want to drive your car home, I ask her, as she gets in the car I have not owned long, but is now hers, minus, for the moment, the title and registration.  Yeah, I do, she says.  I feel butterflies in my stomach, as I realize that I am still being the fearful mom, but she has got the driving thing down.  It is my tension, not her maturity that is the problem in this moment.  Its a good car I tell her.  It is a grown up car she says, I see now the truck wasn’t a grown up car, but this car, is a car for a grown up.

I am so very grateful for this child, though she is now an adult, most of the time, she has brought me so much joy, so much worry, so much love, so much angst.

It is late, but I started to straighten the house as we watched TV together, folding blankets, sorting junk mail from bills, organizing my side table, preparing the dishes to be washed.  I come into the dark quiet house.  I notice how the house looks better day by day, than it did when I moved in. The gorgeous hardwood floors hidden under a horrible cream Berber carpet.  The organized area where the shoes were, the cheap cruddy looking throw rugs gone, the kitchen de-cluttered, and more open, my belongings scattered throughout the house, in spots here, and there.  I wash the dishes, clean the bit of pie off the bottom of the new oven, note the work to be done, the rugs in the kitchen need a wipe down, the wallpaper torn off and a pale blue wall added, the out dated light fixture moved to the middle and replaced with something a bit more modern, simple fixes.  Small steps.

For this house, which I live in, for all intents and purposes, for free, I cannot even tell you how unimaginably thankful I am, for the halved work, for the beautiful space to paint in, sunny, airy, open and the warmth of a wood stove to make it a four season room, for the deer that are in the yard, for the hot tub, for the bird feeders in the lawn, that he loves as much as I, for the herbs and vegetables he has planted, for the sanctuary of my own room, for the slate rock patio, for the sunny front steps, that cured a recent bout of the stomach flu, 36 hours into it (first time I have been viral sick with more than just a cold in literally four years), for his willingness to help me make it the kind of home I want to live in, though it takes a great deal of dragging, for all of this…I am humbled.  So grateful.

And for the love of my family, my friends, my Mom, whose birthday was today, for my students, and the cats, and their conditional love and occasional affection, I am full of gratitude.

And there is that feeling, as I clean up my room, organizing my jewelry, I stop and notice it.  What is that?  I ask.  I notice it, this ordeal, I think, has been divine in its making.  Long did I think it in the dark hours, with all the weird things, the odd coincidences,  divine.  I have hated it, and I was destroyed by it, but it had to be, didn’t it?  Divine?  And as the things happen, as I get further and further away from it, it feels divine.  As I sit, at a desk, waiting for my new vehicle to be prepared, this song comes on, and I stop, I listen to every word of it.  I cannot believe that only a few months before he left me, he played this song for me, sending it to me by phone, from the concert we were watching.  I listen to it, for the first time, with a kind of passive acknowledgment, why would this be playing, here, now, when I realized this morning, that this is perhaps one of the last steps in the letting go of what I had lost.  I am grateful for the gifts of things I wouldn’t have without it.  And there are good things I carried out of it, for sure, but the greatest gift of all, is how much better my life has become with the after.

In the cool night air, I stand, same place I stood as the sun was rising, and I look up to a blanket of stars, and there, staring me in the face is the constellation Orion.  I thought I was free from it here.  But I see, it will never be wholly gone.

It is like the act of cooking, it is the process, the act of being whole and present, and putting your self into each moment.  They say I am a good cook, but it is the love of the act that makes it so.  The wholesome ingredients, the small bits of knowledge, the years of experience, the immense failures taken as lessons, the lack of attention resulting in burned ruins, the pleasure of sharing the meal, and of partaking in a meal alone.

For this life, I am grateful, deeply, profoundly.

Thank you for destroying me, because by that act, you have made me whole.

I loved you, I love you still, and I always will.

I am sorry I was hateful and so terribly angry when you left, see what happened was, that I made the mistake of following you, into the dark.

For the path I made out of this darkness, I am so very grateful.  For this new life, of my creation, I am so very grateful.

The fire here, is set on simmer, and the meal promises to be good.

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ~ Rumi

Snail Shell, or “Life Continues – Profoundly, Beautifully”


Awake self.

What do you behold?

A mirror?

Even the photo holds a momentary event in hand.

This is a truth, however small.

I walk, i think, i dream, i wake, i walk, i work, i think, i wonder, i…..

welcome self, here is the gate

where are the people?

love, darlings, friends, those who seek to harm me

heart rent open

ah i cry hands aloft.



i explode in a brilliant flash.



the way opens.



a curse

a blessing

a gift.

I am the smallest tendril

of innocence

i am

the hardest rock.

i falter not.


or perfectly in place.

like a word you say over and over,

until it’s meaning drops.

and you jerk awake.

and you are still asleep.


Birds · Black Ink Drawing · Changing Seasons · Healthy Eating · Nature · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure

Song of My Soul

Chickadee and Cattail

“Adversity is life’s way of testing and perfecting a person.  Without that, we would never develop character.  Rice suffers when it is milled.  Jade must suffer when it is polished.  But what emerges is something special. ”  ~From 365 Tao Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao

The crocus are all in full bloom as I dash from the house, forgetting my camera.  The sky a crystal clear blue,  I stop, I wait here just out of the shadows of the forest. I lift my face to the sun shining and warm between the long straight poles of two spruce trees.  I am quiet, basking.  I turn and look at him and watch as he fiddles with his sound equipment, we both listen to the children and dogs on the other side of the pond.  There are no parking spaces left here along this old dirt and gravel road, slushy with melting snow.  My skin is like a sponge soaking in every ray of light, warm here, but cool only a step in one direction or another.  We make our way through the brush to a path that is less than clear, skirting a fallen tree, slipping and sliding on the packed path when we get to where people have crushed the snow.  I walk ahead, the dog running back and forth between us.  He has taken to not listening to me, but when the dog is bothering people that are on the trail, I tell him to call the dog who runs to him right away.  I think now as I write at my dining room table that my dominance has lessened in his big brown dog eyes.  We come to a spot and I stop and wait for him to catch up, I gesture forward, this is the path I say pointing to the slash of blue paint on the trees, but this here is a clear road though disused.  He agrees with me and we decide with no back and forth of discussion, that the road is the way, though it has drainage issues, and is thick and spongey with moss and fern and spruce needles.  My feet get wet quickly, I am determined that I have to find my favorite hiking boots in a waterproof style.  I can walk for miles in them, and never feel it in my feet, I hate to have to replace such a good and sturdy pair.  We hear a woodpecker and he turns his parabolic microphone to it, I bang on a tree with a rock, hoping to draw the woodpecker near.  I think about doing t’ai chi chih, but instead stop and listen as the breeze sings in the boughs of the evergreens above me.  I turn my face to it, and bask in the lovely sound of it.  It is like a voice I say, like a song, it harkens back to my childhood, I think it harkens back to a time of deep mysticism.  I feel so grateful.  We walk side by side, saying nothing, he walks ahead making trail, I walk too close and get a good smack in the face by a snapping branch, he apologizes and I say, I know better I shouldn’t be walking that close.  Sometimes he takes the lower wetter trail, I seek higher ground.  Damn boots.  But there is something about it that I like.  That I am just as comfortable making my way as he is his own, and yet we are traveling together.  It is as though our paths are parallel and twisting back and forth upon themselves again and again.  We come together and I kiss his warm mouth.  We do not hold hands.  We look at cattail fluff, he tells me it is tinder, I tell him, dig down to the root and eat in the spring, but later I review the plant in my Edible Wild Plants book, and cattail is pretty much a versatile and completely edible plant all year long from its roots to its stems to its head to its pollen and back down again in winter to its roots again.  I think about Annie Dillard when she wrote A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and Anne LaBastille and how the two after the end of their marriages, found a peace, a place of words and silence in the woods.  I cannot say I am a writer like either of them but I find solace and serenity in both the woods and with writing.  Pico Iyer writes in his essay “A Chapel Is Where You Can Hear Something Beating Below Your Heart”  that “So much of our time is spent running from ourselves, or hiding from the world; a chapel brings us back to the source, in ourselves and in the larger sense of self—as if there were a difference.” I write in the margins, “writing is a running back to myself” and myself is this day, this wooded chapel, where I walk in communion with my best friend, with my dog, with God.

We stop close to the car and we listen to the robins and chickadees as they sing in the tree tops.  I call to them, trying to sound like one.  They change their song again and again, until I, in my human voice, am stuck wondering what they might be saying now.  ‘Oh humans’, the chickadee scientists must say to one another, ‘a few of the smarter ones can mimic’ (and not very well).  One curious male flies to the top of the bare branches of tree, and flies about ten feet over me getting a good clear view of the two strange humans, and the dog.  I call to him again before I go to the car and I start to wipe all the mud off the dog’s feet, tail and belly.  I told him this the morning as he lay on his side of the bed and I like a mummy upside down, arms crossed in front of my chest, face turned away, that I would have never dated him in my 20’s.  Why not, he asks.  Because you don’t recite poetry or write your own, because you don’t tell me you love me all the time, because you hunt and you fish.  I know now, I just had it wrong back then, and as I turn to look into those golden eyes, and he wrinkles his face at me, I feel like I am in the woods, walking alone.   Yet there he is, making his own way, on a path alongside my own.  I am at home in my soul when I am beside him.  I am at home in a way I never was when I was married, it still strikes me at times like a slap, full of red faced shame, at other times like a bellyache, a churning in my stomach, and like a bad dream where I wake up and say, thank God that dream wasn’t real, only it was and I still wake from confronting him wanting to slap the shame into him, will this heartache never leave me full? And it makes me  worry sometimes that in 10 years or maybe in 20 he will annoy me to the point where I no longer like him or worse that he will no longer like me – just as I have already played it out, badly.  And should he leave me, broken, or I him, wanting,  I worry I will be too old and stodgey to make my way to the woods, I say aloud, I hope I am never too old to do this, that I will always want to find myself in a place like this on a beautiful day.  But when I think no matter what, I will never lose this chapel I have in my heart, I will always be strong.  I sing the song of the wind in the high tops of the spruce, like the song of the water melting in long rivulets along a long abandoned road.  I sing the song of my soul.  And then I realize, I am not singing alone and that gives me comfort.

Artists · Great Quotes · Music · Musings · Nature · Photos

Adventures on a Windy Day

After running errands in the morning the Pirate and I decided it was too warm to spend the day indoors watching TV and vegging out, so we grabbed the dog and went on a road trip.  The wind was really cold, but the air was relatively warm.  We drove to one of the lakes in the Fingerlakes Region and did a little walking in the woods there, the lake was really choppy but it was pretty even in the grey and wind of the day.  After I snacked on Venison jerky I did some Tai Chi by the water.  My hands were freezing, so cold that they hurt.

We stopped at this store just because we liked this truck of Mater from the movie Cars.

I saw this wonderful quote at a shop we stopped in at on the way home….

“Working with clay is not just making pots, but also a kind of music in my mind.  Real audible music is often a distraction from the inner melody.”

~ Jim Kozlowski

This quote is exactly why I never use an ipod while walking or hiking or being out in nature.  I love to listen to the sounds of the world.

Lake in the Fingerlakes Region


Poem that came to me in my state of wakefulness on Friday.

For once it seems to be fiction.

Your icy fingers
grip my throbbing heart
it freezes instantly
cracking like the mud
when the desert sun steals its wet.
I exhale in a cloud
the wind whips
the breath out of my mouth
and carries it across the chopping lake
it moves like waves
on amber grains.
I do not breathe again.

I cannot breathe again.

My heart is cold
like a stone
and no chisel
can crack it open.

I was listening very briefly to NPR this morning.  I do not even know who was speaking but he something I loved.

I must paraphrase:
When we write even with so much negativity, even about the ugly and hateful things, the horrible things and the bitterness and aching inside of us, we can only see that as a positive, it is beautiful and creative way to open ourselves up and make something real out of what is happening to us.  It is a way of healing, it is a way of making something good out of the bad things that have happened.  In that moment, I felt that any negative karma I may have accrued for pouring my guts out for the last three and a half years, may have in fact not have been so very negative.  I did truly try write and write and write in order to heal.  And now that the healing is so close to being done, I am ready to move on and write about other things, because now it is a habit I never want to break.

I love writing, it is another way to paint the richness of my soul.



Musings · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure

more on mindless platitudes


when life hands you lemons, throw them at the person telling you to make lemonade!

you choose your own happiness?  Put big yellow smiley faces all over the outside of, and paint the moon and stars all over the inside of, and fill it with flowers, call it your happiness palace, but it still smells like shit and its still an outhouse.

the very definition of platitude is a trite and meaningless statement

and yet when people are going through the most profound and deep moments of their lives, we want to plaster happy face stickers on their pain, like big yellow bandaids.  Put this on it won’t hurt any more.

am I the only one who craves truth?  am I the only one who thinks being real is more important than smiling in the face of your own heartbreak?

in the face of death?  in the face of pain?

why do we want to tell people, pull yourself up by your boots straps when the problem is that the boots straps just snapped off and you are standing in quicksand, it isn’t always as easy as your little platitude.

glad i went through it, hard for everyone around me but so glad that i trudged along on my own, snotty tear stained and red faced for a whole year.  glad i did, stumbling fumbling trying to remake my life for another year.  glad i did.  and then building brick by brick a new life, glad i did.  i didn’t make lemonade i built the fooking pyramids of egypt.  so take your lemons and make your own damn unsweetened drink.

i tell him, you know, the truth is, that he wasn’t such a bad guy, he was smart, and sometimes he was nice, but the truth is, i was just married to the wrong person, he wasn’t right for me, at all.

he says, because you were dumb, when you married him, you just were not thinking.

yeah i know i say.

he kisses the top of my head as he waters the great big healthy plants behind me, reaching over me.

knowing you makes me realize it, i say, realize what kind of man is right for me.

you are such a dork, he says.

i know i say.


you know everything happens for a reason….

just dont forget that shit is still shit.

and sunshine is still sunshine

and the moon, is made of cheese.


All things melancholy · Birds · Poetry

The Broken Heart

Can you hear the subtle sound of my breaking heart?

Can you?
To me it is a clarion bell.
Broken? you say,
Do you not see my shattered pieces?
Heart? That rusted tin man thing?
To me it is like wine, and the heart of a fresh kill,

it is the heart of an old woman
who is incapable of understanding.

What more must I do in this life?
Wait and See.
Wait and See.
I cannot wait any longer,

This life is too short.

Just once in my life
I want to matter more than things,

More than someone else,

More than a drug.
or an ego.

Just once,
I want to be swept up.


Can you hear the sound of this heart?

Its the flight call of the killdeer.

The flutter of its dubious broken wing
Spins the cauldron of my gut.

Changing Seasons · Great Quotes · Musings · Strong Woman · Treasure · Uncategorized


The Cemetary Gate by Caspar David Friedrich

‎”As long as we’re caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we’re always running from discomfort, we’re going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and discomfort, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us develop inner strength. And what’s especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think that we’ve hit the bottom, when things are at their worst.” ~ Pema Chodron

I walk outside in the midnight blue of twilight.  The moon is a sliver in the sky and either Venus or Mars hangs heavy in the sky, bright.  Wish I may, wish I might. The snow is falling in its quiet way, if you don’t breath you can hear it hitting the surface of the cold pavement, you can hear it softly landing on the grass, you can hear as the trees sigh, waiting for the angle of the sun at spring.  There is need, there is desire and then there is the quiet contemplation of my evening constitutional, the Writer is loud tonight, her words in my mind pure and crisp.  She says that she doesn’t need the stars, and she doesn’t need you, and she will never need anyone ever again, but she says you are like the stars in the sky, she doesn’t need them, but for the poets inspiration, she wants them, her world wouldn’t be the same without them.  Pirate, you stole the treasure of my heart.  A heart I promised myself I would never give freely again.  Hunter, you keep me by luring me in, capturing me, and letting me go again.  Frustrated I want to give up the hunt.  You scare me by your distance.  And yet the more I come close the more you hide in the trees and keep your distance.  I am sure I will not ever be able to capture you.  You have not buried your treasure, but you keep it close, and I am not privy to your secret pearl.  My problem is, mine is bare for all to see, I have never learned to protect it well enough.  I am like a doe that thinks she may have scented a puma on a fleeting cross wind.  I startle jumping, and then wait to smell it again, it all depends on how the wind blows whether I live or am killed by the predator that lurks quietly nearby.  While you hide in your trees, I steal back my own treasure.  And I walk away, and then I hear your call.  I ignore you.  You ignore me.  Do you not tire of this ridiculous game?  I am angry now.  And I have no patience for this.  I never have had, and that is part of it too.  I feel unbalanced by your boundary gate for I have none and never have.  I tried to build a gate three years ago, but I suck at it, and it all looked haphazard and broken, like it was a gate of ancient times, off its hinges. The truth is, this is hard and I feel off balance.  No one has ever taken their time with me, no one has kept so quiet.  I find treasure in the small gifts, heart shaped venison patties, and a kiss on the hand attached to the arm that is wrapped tightly around you.  The times when you say your day is better for having me in it.  But then you don’t answer me, you push me away, you don’t seek me out.  I tell myself I am stupid for believing, I have always been stupid for believing.  I am stupid for hope, for faith, for my fidelity.  Yet you are my definition of a man, when none before you have been anything more than boys.  And then your boyish joy at Christmas, charms me, I see myself in you, I gaze in wonder, as though I realize what I am hunting is my own reflection, but with antlers and the buck’s broad shoulders, instead of this old doe.  Sitting with the brokenness of my heart, I realize, there is nothing to do but wait.  Maybe someday you will come and sit beside me, maybe you won’t.  I can no longer chase your shadow in the twilight.  Starlight , light star bright, you were my wish tonight.

Changing Seasons · Healthy Eating · Nature · Small Joys

Resplendent Mother Nature

This was the kind of weekend you find yourself hoping for the minute the temperature drops below freezing.  The skies were brilliant blue and the leaves fell quick and steady on what few trees remain foliated.  The sun was warm and I opened windows and aired out the house, and hung two loads of laundry on the line.  I have been sick with a rather nasty virus that leaves me coughing some but mostly is a congestion that is not in my nose, nor my sinuses but in my neck and the back of my head.  I slept and watched movies alot this weekend.  And drank Goji berry tea with lemon and honey.  I also took the dog out in the woods twice.  The first day he was so happy you could almost see the glamour.  Today when I took him again, and met my friend J. there, he was overjoyed.  Two days in a row?  Not since the spring.

The pirate hunted all day and once home I brought him pot roast and gingerbread with lemon sauce.  Today he returned the favor, bringing me leek soup with parsnips, kielbasa, and brussel sprouts, and a delish whole grain garlic bread.  He asked all hopeful “is there any of that gingerbread left?”  I raked leaves, somewhat sporadically because I tired easily and felt winded.   I did about half the yard, and since the rest of the week promises to be nice I am sure I will get the rest done soon.  My neighbor A. came over and asked me how I thought one would go about finding the owner of a lost cell phone.  He handed it to me and in right order I got in touch with a couple people, a friend and a relative who passed on the message to an older woman in the neighborhood, who walked her adorable llapsa apso down in the afternoon to retrieve it.  She was so grateful.  I told her it was a group effort, my other neighbor J. came over to ask me about my thoughts on s certain brand of car and stood looking over my shoulder helping me find the contacts list on the phone.  She said she was so glad for honest people, and so thankful for all the effort I put in to finding her.  After she left I returned to my spot on the sunny front steps and continued to  knit a pair of khaki green wool socks.

I feel relaxed after the weekend.  No I didn’t mop the kitchen or bathroom as I had hoped to, and I didn’t finish the raking but I really kicked back, I had to.  I was wiped out from this cold.  And the long walks in the sparkling sunshine and bright resplendent day surely helped me with recovery.  I have always said fresh air is like chicken soup, or now like the pirate’s brussel sprout and leek soup.