Monday, December 22, 2014

a poem written with a cat on my lap.

today is soft and gray.

the chimes are singing in the breeze

as the morning fog drifts lazily

just above the rooftops

and in through my open windows.

i breathe in the scent of the sea

and a distant rain.

it is nearly christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

the day is near

beyond the shadows, 

she rises amid the mist

as the light gathers

Thursday, November 13, 2014


she sent me flowers for my birthday.

roses for remembrance, iris for faith —

and thistles, for the fray.


by Ted Hughes 

Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.
Every one a revengeful burst
Of resurrection, a grasped fistful
Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up
From the underground stain of a decayed Viking.
They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.
Every one manages a plume of blood.
Then they grow grey like men.
Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear
Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

the bee.

i’d been lying in bed for a long time, 

focused on my pain

and where my body might be taking me 


i’d been lying in bed for a very long time —

and then i saw the bee.

it was just outside the window, hovering,

like a tiny alien spacecraft 

suspended between earth and sky.

it was only a bee.

but it was also a miracle,

i could see that. 

and as it zipped away, i remembered 

to believe

Friday, October 24, 2014

lanterns in the dark

It's been over a month since I posted here. I haven't had the heart, somehow, to put words and images together, at least in this form. Instagram, with its one photo, caption-or-don't-caption format, has been a less intimidating way for me to try to distill the droplets of goodness from each day - or maybe even to whine a bit, in a cool, hipster sort of way (although I'm not sure this 58-yr-old woman can really pull off a hipster vibe. Probably more of an aging hippie vibe, at best.) But today I am feeling sadder than sad, and wanting to remind myself that even now, even here, when I am sick and hurting and discouraged and generally walking around in the darkness that life has thrown my way lately, even here - there is light. 

I know you all have been going through your days as well, and I'm hoping they've been good. I'm hoping that you've laughed more than you've cried, that you've breathed in the scent of crisp autumn air and witnessed the bluer than blue October skies and held hands with someone you loved while doing it. But I know the chances are good that a lot of you have suffered at least some degree of pain, this month. Some of you might be having a hard time breaking through the fog of heartbreak or illness or loss. Some of you, like me, might need a reminder that the light is still there, waiting for us. 

So here are some images, to remind us both. That for an instant in time, captured with the click of a camera shutter, light existed. It shimmered. It danced. It burst forth with uncontained joy. And in that instant, the darkness was annihilated. So here's to those fleeting sparks of light. Here's to holding them forth, like lanterns in the dark. I'll swing mine, and you swing yours, and together we'll light each other's worlds, for a moment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

morning walk and a little mary oliver

how grateful i am for freshly showered cosmos,

for crimson-beaked moorhens

and blanket flowers gone to seed,

for mallards with outstretched wings and marmalade feet,

for affable daisies

and the magic of garden starlight.

And because i can't say it better, here is the master at work:

by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying
I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry
but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

august birds

These past two months since our dear basenji dog died have been a bit lonely.

My husband put a bird feeder outside the front window to attract some new friends. 
This is a Tufted Titmouse.

The sprightly little sparrows never fail to bring a smile :)

Especially when they're jostling for space on the feeder with the feisty Titmouse.

You wouldn't think this tiny gray bird was such a powerhouse, but I've seen him chase away birds three times his size! (Tufted Titmouse again.)

 And this is a young Mockingbird contemplating his breakfast. His doting mother swooped in shortly after this photoshoot, to make sure he was keeping his energy up :)

As you may have noticed, I've been away from my blog for a bit, again. Health issues have been distracting me, and I've still got some tests to get through in the upcoming weeks. I've been discouraged. Yet looking through these photos I am reminded yet again of the beauty that surrounds us, even on the darkest days. 

I am grateful for eyes to see.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

see how they trust.

there is a kind of glory
in the tattered and the threadbare,
the faded and the worn.

see how the daisies gently tilt their heads
to catch the morning light?
 how they hold themselves upright,
despite the ravages of sun and storm
and inevitability.
how they ready themselves
for the seed-time, the time of endings 
and new beginnings.

see how they trust.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

sometimes i pray the psalms.

Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;

in Your faithfulness and righteousness, come to my relief.

I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

Free me from the trap that is set for me ...

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning…

(Psalm 143:1, 6;  Psalm 31:4; Psalm 30:5)

Friday, June 13, 2014

on the beauty of darkness

Grief makes everything so dark and confusing. Sometimes it feels as though I will never have a free and happy thought again. And then this morning it rained, and I took these photos:

Do you see it? The way the darkness brought out the texture and pattern in the light? This morning I'm holding onto that. And this, too:

“So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?”   Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

blithe spirit

you always were, you know.

a blithe spirit.

love abounding.

and then you grew up

and got so wise, too,

but never old, somehow —

that's why we were so surprised

when it was time for you to leave us.

brave, bright, funny girl.

not a dog, so much more than a dog —

a ministering spirit.

we are lost without you.

Lady, beloved friend. August 12, 2000 - June 3, 2014.

Friday, May 30, 2014

may recap

As I sit here waiting for the vet to call with our dog's latest test results, and hoping he'll call before I have to leave for my own appointment, I'm thinking that May was a really forgettable month. Mostly it was a series of dealing with various health problems, both for me and my sweet basenji dog. Some of the problems are ongoing, the latest being that Lady somehow punctured her eye with a sharp object and now has a corneal ulcer in her left eye, which is not responding very well to treatment. She has ongoing kidney problems, her lungs are a bit sticky, and this past Wednesday she had her first seizure. It was scary. She had another mild seizure last night. She's almost 14 years old, and so far even with these problems she's been happy - but we're not sure what's going on now. We'll see what the vet says when he calls. Mostly that's what this month has been - waiting around. Here's a few snaps to prove it:

Naps are always a good idea.

So is sitting around in the back porch (until the mosquitoes find you.)

More napping.

Managed to get a pixie cut in between naps.

Got some flowers for mother's day ❤

Moved a bit of furniture around. The dog did not approve.

We marked one year since Mom left us for heaven. She is still with us in so many ways.

Lady still loves her daily walk. She's a great believer in the restorative power of fresh air and exercise.

So that's the May recap. And with a new month, new hopes, right?

"And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days."

— James Russell Lowell