Through the night

We are driving through the night

Darkness some how lightened and thickened

with a dense fog

encasing us within our car


We are slipping through the atmosphere

propelled to our destination

by the effort of the turbines

and all of the other mechanical processes

in today’s modern vehicles


Three beings beside me

Sleep comfortably

As we hurl ourselves forward

to that place of tranquilty and peace


We are slipping through the night

A fox crosses the road

A mouse crosses the road

and suddenly we slip through

beyond the dense fog


And it is warm and dark when we arrive

In the place of peace

Arriving to the call of the loons and the silence in-between

Quiet all around envelops us

Bringing us to a place of peace

and harmony.


Write Me

I admire so many great American writers

Their volume!

Their tenacity!

Their creativity, bravery, and courage!

Word, thoughts, ideas, stories, relating the human experience.

Writers, writers, writers, giving me so much to read.


Stephen King- quintessential, Maineiac, prolific.

He writes everyday

And he gets down into it- fear, pain, hallucinations, phobias, sex, blood, gore, psychology.

Did I say fear?

He writes and he writes and he writes

He even wrote about writing. His children and his wife write.

Carrie, The Stand, ‘Salem’s Lot, Pet Cemetery,

The Dark Tower, Children of the Corn, Christine

Cujo, Firestarter, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Green mile, and more, more, more.


Ken Kessey- truly a master who somehow was not able to write and write and write.

One of the best novels I have ever read

Sometimes a Great Notion

Read the book, don’t watch the movie, unless your heart swells

for a young Paul Newman.

Characters come to life in an Oregon of brutal reality

Feuds, chainsaws, and death. You will cry. Cry, cry, cry.

Your heart will open wide.


Mary Karr, the great poet and autobiographer

Sharing her deepest secrets in Lit

The Lair’s Club


How does she remember those specific conversations?

I remember so few from all of those years ago

And she captures pages, and pages

Chapter upon chapter

of precise conversations and dialogue-

Real stories, real people, a genius who found sobriety and God.

I love you Mary Karr (not in that way, silly).


James Frey

With the repeating catchlines

You may even believe he was a drug addict, an alcoholic, and a criminal

Despite the facts that proved otherwise

He still may have been a drug addict, and alcoholic, and a criminal.

How can you resist

James Frey

With the repeating catchlines, the repeating catchlines.


Three books in a series, all captivating and yet somehow all the same

Violence, greed fear, love, pain upon pain, war

Suzanne Collins- an empire known as the Hunger Games.

She did it- bestseller, sold the movie rights, admirers everywhere.

Katniss creator; a female heroine.

What about peace Suzanne?


Caroline Knapp, gone too soon

Such relate-able stories

Chronicling the challenges of growing up

And becoming a woman in recovery

Rowing saved her

How did she drink so much, and yet write so well?


Hilarious writers: Too funny to believe

David Sedaris, an NPR regular

His sister Amy Sedaris

Augusten Burroughs

And his family-

Not as funny, but still relatable

brother John Elder Robison

mother Margaret Robison


And then there are the great spiritual teachers and leaders

of personal transformation, so many books, so many methods.

Help us to be present, to know love, to let go of Ego and attachment:

Pema Chodron, Thich Nat Hahn, Louise Hays, Wayne Muller,

Joan Boryenseko, Wayne Dyer, Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil,

Jon Kabat-Zin, Jack Kornfield and many many more

Fill my hunger for a better life


Ah God, please just shine yourself through me

Help me to write, write, write-

Funny things, factual articles, touching moments,

Help me find the time

Help me get the kids to bed on time when I really just want

to sit at the keyboard and write.

Grant me the grace, strength, patience, focus, love, and passion

To write

Help me write, God, shine down on me as you have upon them.

Write me God, write me.

A Heart

How do you fix a heart

That was broken so long ago?

It was stitched and patched back together

With silk and gossamer tears

And thin scar tissue barely threatens to hold

The broken heart halves together


How do you mend that hole

Where the blood and the tears mix

Together as one

Before they leak and then pour

Merging into a lake sized puddle

Spreading slowly across the floor?


Where do you go

To buy the proper materials

And find the best mechanic, artist, technician, or doctor

To put it all back together,

in a way that makes sense?

Please make this poor heart, so full of holes

A whole heart again


This heart full of holes

Releases its leaden balloons

Sending up signals

Here is anxiety

Here is pain

Here is fear

And anger comes along too

Leaden, heavy balloons


They are floating

Floating heavily before me

Until they slowly fall

Dragging the broken stitched up heart behind them

Into the lake puddle of blood

Leaving me wondering

What now for this empty, empty space

The remaining hole in my chest

With the heart that could not be patched or stitched up again

What now.


I have a list

I have a list sitting by my computer

It is a bit long

And a lot boring

Words scrawled on lined white paper

Tasks like: call xyz, and finish that article you started a year ago

And I just was stuck with it all today

Because a certain file would not upload


Instead of simply coming back to it

Maybe tomorrow or maybe next week

I tried over and over

and over I tried to upload the file

I shrunk it

I saved it as a .pdf

I saved it as a .jpg

I saved it as a .docx

It would not upload


That task was not complete today

And the list is folded over

Sitting by the computer

Folded over perfectly

So I can forget what it is I am supposed to do

And instead I will do something else

Something else indeed


Like lay on the hammock with the girls

Under a beautiful clear blue sky

Not a cloud in sight

Two eagles fly high, high, high over head

The kids run races and they train the beagle

to be a racing horse-dog

We become royalty, wearing crowns and smiles

As I talk in my best-worst English accent

Issuing orders on how the queen herself can best be served


We eat tacos and broccoli,  like all of the royals do

And I request that they add some money to my royal pile of money

I am the queen after-all.

The imaginary pile turns into a mountain of money

The royal horse-dog eats his dinner and gets walked before bed.

Flowers picked by the princesses are placed in vases.

Teeth are brushed.

Royals kisses and queenly hugs are distributed.


And after the princesses are in bed

Far too late


The list remains, upside down and inside out

It will be there tomorrow

Unless the royal cat spills water on it

Or the horse-dog eats it

Or a giant wind whisks it far, far away

Up and up and up

To where the eagles fly across the bright blue sky.

The list would flutter there

An unidentified lying, flying object.


Most likely

I will have this list tomorrow.

Inside out

Upside down

The list will remain.

On mother’s day

The greatest joy, the greatest challenge
Being a mother
I am not sure why
God has blessed me with such angels
though they seem to offer so many opportunities
for doing things differently in life
Learning to be patient, compassionate, open
Trying to let them grow at their own pace
Thoughts of being a mother, lead to thoughts of my own mother
And this is where I get stuck
again and again
Stuck in that muck of not knowing
The why, the how
Of not being able to walk into
how she was or was not as a mother
Of not being able to mourn the loss
of her love, of her presence
She was right about so many things for me

And I do seem to mourn how distant we were those last years of her life- was it me

or was it her?

Or both of us, lost in this muck of life.


When I received the call from the hospital, it was a beautiful sunny day in Northern California

The Sunday of memorial day in 2005

I had just graduated with my PhD and I was pregnant with our first daughter

My husband was away gigging and the phone rang

My mother was in the ICU, throwing PVC’s, already several MIs

She was 500 miles away


What did I want done?

They said she would not make it, would not last the 8 hours until I could get there to say good bye.

So I directed them to remove all life support and let her go

I called my husband and he headed home

I sat and chanted for her, chanted her toward freedom in death


Two days later I saw her

at the funeral home

We had to wait while they prepared the body, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes

30 minutes to wait and this would be the last time. In two more days I would pick up her ashes

They rolled her body into the chapel, her face exposed.

She looked relaxed, salt and pepper hair, such few wrinkles

I stood their with my daughter in my belly, my husband at my side,

In this town where I had gone to college, and lived for too long

where I had brought her to after her first stroke.

And I said good bye and we cried.I had the feeling of the three generations together, though my daughter would never meet her grandmother.


I still have her ashes. I also have some of the ashes of my brother and now my mother in law as well.

What to do with these fine grains of dust

the dust of what once was, the dust of the memories that drift by

They do not somehow offer enough to connect her to me and me to her

I do still feel so unable to go there; how do I get to those feelings? How do I create a container for them to be viewed?

Unable to walk into the loss of the mother and remembering her all the same

Holon Speck

I am driving along, somewhere between Maine and Vermont
It must be New Hampshire
64 mph in my SUV
And suddenly I am a speck
A tiny speck in the universe
And I feel like a universe within a universe
On my own
And so far from home

That’s me, the speck


I feel so far away from my family, my grounding

And I wonder just what it is I am doing

What do I think I am doing

Whizzing around across 3 states in 3 hours

By myself in this big car

Looking for some answers

Chasing some rainbows

On this beautiful day meant to be spent outdoors

Not driving across 3 states


I chew on my inner lip

I do not know why I do this when I am driving

It hurts and yet somehow that is comforting

I check in with my body, I listen to Terry Gross, I give myself Reiki while I drive

I do not stop driving


I get their, to this college town

Where the beautiful boys without shirts

are working out on the track

And the co-op I stop at for supplies asks me if I am a member

And I don’t know where I am going

But I find the Thai restaurant right next to the campus

I request that they make the green curry with tofu

Thai spicy

I laugh and I say, “I like for it to make me cry”

The young lady laughs and tells me to wait for 10 minutes for my order.


Despite the friendliness of all around me

In this amazing college town

I feel like an outsider amongst these beings

Who are perfectly nice and friendly

Who let me in when I am trying to turn left and it seems impossible

who recognize my out of town plates

I know I don’t belong here

At this Ivy league school

With the hippie children and the beautiful boys

Perhaps my children, though, one day….


That night in the lovely resort

I cannot sleep

I sweat and shiver; they call it peri-menapause

The window is open and I hear the rain

I wake up craving coffee

And I run mile after mile on the treadmill

Looking at the beautiful lake

Rain pouring down

Feeling shy of those around me


I get to the conference early, I absolutely must have a front row seat.

I have driven 200 miles to see the speaker

And I want to absorb her knowledge and wisdom

I want her to look at me when she talks

I want to be her, I want to share my life with her, I want her authentic self to be my authentic self

I sit and silently watch her set-up

Right in front of me

I am in the front row

When do you tell her about how you use the book and your students do as well


And then it begins

She gives me everything I needed

Every bit of science spread right there in front of me

To demonstrate that learning to love oneself, learning to walk into things

and not run away

Is all a capacity based in psycho-neuro-immunology.

It is brain science


She is alone at the break and I take my chance

The book is signed

I stand face-face to tell her my story

Of how I saw her last year

How we adopted the book

How we struggle to convince others of the importance of this work

She authentically wishes me well and holds my eyes

And we diminish that space again and again.


I cradle the book after the conference

I am so content and happy with what I have learned

So affirmed on my journey and ready to welcome the challenges

Ready to welcome my voice

Ready to let go

I do not look at the message

It is like saving a piece of candy

To be opened at a time when it can be savored


As I drive home

In pouring rain and poor visibility conditions

Flying across the highways,backtracking 24 hours later, over 3 states,

I now feel like a more powerful speck

Like perhaps I am not a speck of dirt in the universe

But I am more akin to a speck of cosmic star dust

An eternal aspect of the universal whole

A holon- both whole onto myself and an aspect or a speck of something greater


I arrive home

Freshly bathed children inside are eagerly waiting, wanting kisses and treats and hugs

Husband inside is rapidly cleaning, after a messy dinner was consumed

And before I leave my SUV

My time capsule, space ship, traveling mobile, giant machine of safety

I open the book, read the inscription

And I radiate with love.

I should be

I should be writing

I should be finishing this article

Going on a year with it sitting on my lap top

It’s open now

And I should finish it

The data is there

And it needs to be done


I should also finish that book

That book that will captivate your mind

With it’s strangeness

And tail of enlightenment of the human species

And the troubles with balancing technology and spirituality

It’s only 1/3 of the way through


I should be writing for real

Every day

Everyday making that effort

to let something else move through me

Speak through me

Push me along to somewhere else


Yes perhaps writing is the answer

It is one of the things that will make my happy list

My list of things I want out of life

To be a writer

To explore the human condition

To share just the tidbits

And the big bits of life


I should be writing

Oh wait

I am writing

right here and now

putting the fingers to the symbols on the keyboard

the fastest three finger typist you done ever seen

ever seen


I used to have write everything out by hand

Big Yellow Pads of Legal paper

Scrawling away

and handing bits to my husband to be typed

It was not that long ago, 12 years ago

That I bought a computer

and taught myself to write on it with two or three fingers


I should be writing

but instead I am pecking

pecking away at the letters

staring at my fingers sometimes even now

instead of the screen

where the creation appears.


Yes, I should be writing

even it means nothing now

Someday it might

it might reach somebody’s cold, hardened heart

and break it wide open

let the cosmos seep in

and change the universe.


The sun came out, and the moon followed it too

The sun came out

On a gray and cloudy morning

After days and days of rain

The sun came out in all of its glory

Breaking through the clouds

on and off shining through

all day long


The sun swept across the sky

warming our bodies

working against those cold Maine Spring winds

That sweep over the ocean

and burr through our spring layers


Later in the long bright day

The sun cast pinkish shadows

Making its way toward the West

Always headed Westward, though eventually rising Eastward


The west where I was born

The west- where the sun seems to live

Her workday is done

We bid you a sweet good- bye sun


The moon will be rising soon

Any moment, when?, any moment now

We prepare ourselves

for its glory

its round fullness

its super status- tonight only


Super moon- round and full, pulling the tides

higher, higher, higher

Super moon- boldly shining

Following me through the night

Creating a changing and brilliant light-

Red, yellow, super white



The super moon then follows, chases, follows

The moon is constantly chasing the sun

Occasionally appearing in the Western sky

And she never turns back

That route would be faster


But they never turn back

They take the same routes

Content to make another loop

Another loop

Ad infinitum

Another journey

in pursuit of the West and yet always rising in the East.

Madly, wildly disturbed

Yes, he was my brother

Yes he was disturbed; madly, wildly, disturbed

When he went off his medications he could become violent and scary.

He was not my friend for most of our lives

except maybe for Christmas Day

When we were young and would conspire to see the gifts early.


When we were kids, he would berate and manipulate me

A few times he punched me in the stomach

He was 3 years older then me and much bigger then my tiny self

But the pain was worth the price I paid, to see him punished by my parents


He was successful in high school

A national running champion; he had a girlfriend and a few good friends

I think his girlfriend did his homework for him

He received a running scholarship

Our parents divorced and then he was gone, off to school


He took 5 years to graduate

He was not a champion in college

He worked for a year

And then he lost his mind

One big break

Yes, he was disturbed; madly, wildly disturbed.


He spent weeks on end in a psychiatric facility

His best friend called the police

After my brother threatened to kill the friend and his friend’s wife.

He gave away almost everything he owned

He owned a pair of running shoes and a pair of running shorts.


He was madly, wildly disturbed

He hallucinated for weeks

Bipolar with schizoaffective tendencies

He was the drummer for U2

He was a terrorist

He became a thorazine shuffler

He was lost

He was gone and disturbed


He eventually was medicated enough to function

Problem was, he would go off his medications

And even medicated he had some serious issues

Like gambling and building gigantic debts

Stealing from my mother

He was disturbed.


His first wife was young; not old enough to drink

Though he was approaching 30

He was acting disturbed before the wedding

Crazy in his usual I am a stupid jerk way

That I remembered from childhood

And I had to walk out of the last meal we would share together

Because of how he treated his soon-to-be-wife,

It reminded me, reminded me, reminded me

of me


She left him after he held a knife to her throat

And forced her to worship the TV

He was found running naked, naked except for his running shoes

Naked except for his Nike’s, he was found picking flowers

Thinking he was the next Prefontaine

On the Nike campus in Beverton, Oregon.


Patterns repeated over and over

on meds, off meds

Lousy jobs with lousy pay

Lousy relationships

Spending too much, earning too little

He eventually remarried and had a daughter

Had a run in with the law

Assaulted an officer

And was sentenced to three years in prison


In prison, he was surprised by the number of homosexual men

He was not great with figuring out how to mind or work with the guards

He was able to help some people get their GEDs

He made some friends in the prison church group


And then the letters, letters, letters began

Clearly he was wildly disturbed again

He was in a psychiatric prison now

Completely off his medications

And his cryptic writing stated, over and over….

I feel like I am dying, help me I am dying


I could not help

The letters were not written to me

I was sacred to figure it out

I had two babies to care for

And he was madly disturbed


The email arrived, your brother is dead

Case in point: never tell somebody that their brother

has died

via an email


45 years old

Madly, wildly disturbed

He died in his cell

Alone; alone for hours

He was right; he was dying, just like we all are.


And I don’t know anymore or what else to say

I don’t know what to feel

So I feel nothing instead

It’s easier


He was  madly wildly disturbed.

She is 6

She gets up early, before me even, and I hear her stomping down the stairs

Stomping, stomping down

Stomping, stomping back up

How does a 6 year old make so much noise with her 43 pound body?


She is happy

She colors- diamonds, she calls backgrounds, she colors the man’s beard

I make coffee, sip it slowly

Do some reading


She is the best kid in school

Kind, loving, caring, generous, helpful

She is sweet, fun, and beautiful with blonde hair and big blue eyes

She has a “boy”friend and a best friend

She can count to 200

She writes her own stories and makes her own books


And then it is yoga time

I pull out my mat

She joins me quietly

and we begin


We stretch up, side-side, backwards, forwards

We breathe

We twist

We stretch

We arch

I reposition her little awkward body

That is not yet graceful


We chant;  I say:

Aum, Shanti, Aum

She sings:

Aum, Shanti, Aum

I chant (Aum, Shanti, Shanti, Aum) she sings, I chant, she sings

And then we both sing

Asking for peace, love, ease.


She is 6 and she has school

She needs to eat, make lunch, get dressed, hygiene attended to

She is 6 and I give her some tools

I hope she will remember