Frozen Land

I woke up and I was here

In the cold and frozen land

And I wondered

How did this happen?


I woke up from the dream

And I thought

Wasn’t I just over there

Just a moment or a breath ago?


How did I make it all of the way

Over here from over there?

In just a moment

In such a quick flash of time?


Did God just pick me up?

And move me over here?

Was I just a pawn

In the universal chess game?


It seems strange to be awake

And be all of the way

Over here and not over there

How did that happen?


Over here, over there

I want to go back

And I want move forward

And I am standing still


Right here  in this place

Though I have no idea how I got here

And what I am doing here

In this frozen land.


I should be

I should be writing, I think

Instead I am just sitting here

Stumbling, grumbling, grasping

Fighting with the words

That keep getting stuck

in the nooks and crannies of my head.


I should be singing

With a full heart and voice

Sending it out

Across the Universe

For you to sing too

Instead I sit quietly

A burning lump in my throat


I should be running

Faster and stronger

Moving from here to there and back

Again, repeat, again

Meanwhile I lay perfectly still

staring at the icicles

Dripping and losing themselves


Something in me wiggles and writhes about

This is not right to do just nothing

To be bored and restless

Find a focus, something urges

Do something, get busy

Grade these papers, edit that paper

Write this poem


Or go somehwere

Get in your car and go somewhere

Shopping, movie, food, coffee, clothes, shoes

Yoga, gym, hiking, skiing, therapy, bodywork, library

Anything, just get out and go

Here or there or wherever


Or meditate, yes that is it!

Go deep and feel it

Oh yes, that came from here and this from there

And I can feel it there, and here, and over there

What a crazy little monkey mind you have there

And oh yes, write about it

Journal it all up and tie it with a bow


Just do something

The mind propels, compels, active and wild,

Bored and restless and angry

You can’t just sit there

Curled up on the couch like that

Under how many cuddly blankets

Napping like some middle aged loser baby


Don’t just be

Don’t just rest

Don’t just sit there

This is it, just today

Remember all of those other days you just sat there?


I should be….






The picture

Laying in bed

A vision comes to me

My mother

standing in a bikini


She is not at the beach or by the pool

She is in the house

Standing by her bedroom double doors

Frowning at the camera


The bikini is red, white, blue

Stars and stripes forever

It may be 1976, the 200th Us birthday

She frowns at the camera


My father took the picture

and in the days before photoshop

He sculpted her body

With a black pen


He marked out the extra weight around her abdomen

Black pens marks on her arms and thighs

Scars on the picture

Reflect her suffering from her imperfections


She was not morbidly obese,

barely overweight, 5’6″, 140-150 pounds

And yet it was not what he wanted

So he chose to mark her up


Years later, a similar set of pictures

Pictures of my brother before his death

Shorts and overweight, Father encouraged him

Go off the medications, lose weight


Mother suffered from this critical eye

Brother dies, off his medications

And me, I shrink away because of this scarring

Fearing the marks, the shame, the fat, the padding


The difference is that it is easier for me

I do not hunger the same way

I love to work out and move my body

I care for my health


And yet I know somehow, I have been marked

The black ink fading onto me

Staining my body

Scratching my picture.


Call it epi-genetics

I can feel those scars across the family

The shame, the frowns, the disgust

The fear, the pain,  captured in the picture.

This Mountain: A story of and lesson in ease

It is cold out; it is June and we are at 8,000 feet in the sky. I do not believe it is only 43 degrees at 7 in the morning

So I check several sources and yes it is 43

But I am from Maine, so I can wear shorts and layers

I head out toward the mountain and pass a lady along the way

She wears a hat, a jacket, sweat pants, and gloves

She is not from Maine, I gather

As I say good morning


I begin to jog, it feels good and easy

Until I get to the slopes

And the lactic acid kicks in

Heart pounding

Legs aching

Lungs crying

I walk

and I stop

I almost crawl up some of the steep slope

But I stop again

and I look around me

Taking the time to find the ease and beauty

in the moment


At any moment we can find this

We can stop our uphill battle

be present

and see the beauty of the mountain

of melting snow

of rushing water

At any moment we can breath

And honor our human condition

as we step into the here and now

at any moment we can let go and simply be


I re-evaluate my route on this morning walk/ hike. I  jog

Starting and stopping

jogging and hiking

Sliding down the mountain

Breathing and noticing

Finding the ease for myself

as I look for the way back

Back and back and back


I stop and breathe and notice God’s creation

all around me

within me

this journey goes on

I change paths and go further, further, further then I had planned

and all that I must do is notice, seek ease, trust that I am guided toward

exactly where I need to be.


May all beings be able to stop and let go of the struggle

May all being know peace, joy and ease

May all beings uncover the truth

of that which is the only permanence

the alpha, the omega, the mother-father God within

And find a way to create ease from the heart.

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.

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.