Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a really good watch

i may have posted this before...
can't remember....

i know i've seen this before.
and my gosh. it's fabulous.

a friend just sent it my way.
and since i was havin' a cup of tea anyway,
i decided to snuggle in and watch.

j.k.rowling's commencement address at harvard.
if you have some time, it's so worth the watch.

orange and gray

i've been havin' trouble gettin any really
tight set schedule ever since the time change.
so my walks are sometimes in the dark, sometimes
in the light, sometimes in the inbetween.

this morning i just figured i'd hit the full light.

but as i was getting ready to go out, i looked out
my window.......and it was orange and peach all over
the sky! i gasped.

ohmygosh, i haven't missed it!

i ran to get my shoes on, grabbed my orange coat...
'i'll match' i thought as i grabbed it, literally
ran over to grab a quick drink of water and rushed
my way outside. as i was runnin' around i realized
it was like someone was honking in the driveway
waiting for me to get out there! only it was nicer
than a honk.

i realized i was runnin' out to what felt like one
of my best friends, and i didn't want to be late.

that so made me smile.

and as i turned onto my driveway, there was the


i felt so lucky to have found it.

as i looked up at it, i realized it was raining???
how weird.
but just like spitting.

so i walked, and the sky spit, and the orange turned
gray. and the sky kept spitting.

i'm everything inside.....so many different emotions
floatin' around right now.
the sky crying on me felt just perfect.
so did the brilliant orange color.

cause that's what i felt like inside...
brilliant colors, and then gray too.
singing and then crying.

me and the sky. we're full of stuff today.
and as the sky dropped its tears, i carried them
on my face and in my soul.

exercisin' a little bit of everything...

i curled in with a book that i thought would be wonderful.
and maybe it is. but not to me.
it drives me nuts. makes me cranky.
and i thought maybe i'd hang in there and see if there
was gonna be something good for me sooner or later.

finally, figurin' that was a dumb plan for now,
i went to put it on my shelf and saw one that i had
read recently and had loved.

so i picked it up.
what the heck.
i had wanted to read it again.
now might be the time.

and as i opened it, my insides trembled with joy.
okay, this is more like it, i thought.
and in a matter of moments i was inspired.

and in a matter of moments it put a whole lot back in
perspective for me.

yesterday was the first day back on the treadmill in way
too long. woe. my legs were feelin' it. man, i'm outta shape,
i thought.

well, you did just totally goof off and eat way too much.
oh yeah.
makes sense.

that's kinda how i felt about my mind yesterday too.
it just felt way outta shape. forgetting all the good stuff
and just wallowing in the not so good.

well, guess you gotta exercise that a bit too, i thought.
and that's what the book felt like to me.
stretchin' me back to where i want to be.

this morning's treadmill deal was pretty sore as well.
man, this is gonna take more effort than i realized.

and as i walked this morning, i realized it would be the
same with my mind. i hadn't really thought of it like that
before. but it does need some stretchin' and exercisin' to
stay in shape.

and that's an okay thing.
actually, it feels kinda good.

Monday, November 29, 2010

a mish mash

a jumble of thoughts this morning that don't really
seem to go together, and yet, somehow it feels like they do.

i was thinking of our celebrating her 50th yesterday.
the three of us. the coffee buddies. there we sat honoring
her 50th. my other friend had turned 50 a few months ago,
and i'll be headin' that way next spring.

'have you guys really thought about this??' i asked.
'i mean SERIOUSLY has this 50 stuff gotten to you??'
i threw in some drama in my voice and eyes and hands
to kinda make the point.

they were pretty calm about it.
'well, it makes no sense to me. i mean SERIOUSLY how
did this happen???' i went on. and on.

we talked of how we felt inside. what age. they were in
their twenties on the inside. i sheepishly admitted to
feelin seven.

this morning i had a vulnerable conversation with my guy.
he does excel in making a safe place for vulnerabilities.
but vulnerabilities are....well.....um......vulnerable.

vulnerable was lingering inside of me after i hung up.

later, i stood brushing my hair in front of the mirror in
my dimly lit room. i looked at the jeans, and the button
down guy's shirt and for a moment, in the dim light, i saw
myself as a teen. my dressing habits haven't changed much.
my favorite is still baggy comfortable. i stopped when i saw
the teen standing there. i'm kinda thinking the vulnerable
mood had something to do with me seeing her. the dim light
of course, helped. but i think the vulnerable was a significant
factor. i saw her. stopped and stared. and then after a few
moments, she was gone.

'you don't have to worry about growing old,' my friend had
said to me yesterday. 'you have the youngest spirit of anyone
i have ever met.'

we looked around at all the goofy birthday stuff i had brought
along and we laughed.

walking i thought of being vulnerable. i thought of young and old.
i thought of aging and living.
somehow...and don't ask me how...i'm thinking that being vulnerable
ties into being young. (by 'young' i'm thinking i really mean
'alive and really living') maybe cause it's being open.

i tried to figure out vulnerability. is everyone vulnerable
about the same stuff?
does mine always boil down to i'm unsure if i'm really worth

i wasn't sure. it feels like it without really thinking it
thru. i came inside and looked up the definition....
'capable of being wounded or hurt.'

and i guess where i feel that is with my value. my worthiness.
does everyone?

i had told my fella there i had something inside me to work on.
and that i would.

it's always gonna be that way, isn't it? i pondered.
and it doesn't matter how old you get.
it's always gonna be that way.
always something to work on...
and the way that i really want to stay young is the open
way. i think i'm okay with the other stuff. mostly.
but the staying open....i don't want to lose that.
cause to me, that's really living.
i think maybe when i think 'old' i think not really living

and i thought of actively working on walking into the
instead of hiding from them and avoiding them.
actively sitting with them. talking about them.
opening to them.

i sighed.
why do i always think of these things?
it kinda tires me and excites me at the same time.
but i think i'll try....

Sunday, November 28, 2010


i have been doin' so darn good with my newest awareness thing...
about valuing the process more than the goal.

really good.
really really darn good.

excitingly, thrillingly good.

and then...

i fell flat.
THUMP. BLOP. i fell flat.
just plain ol' flat on my back.

i asked for help with it, and he was right there,
so patient and kind.
and it's really really wonderful having someone there listening
and trying to help and nudge and remind.

but ya know what?

it is completely up to me.
whether someone's there or not.

and i honestly honestly think that it's something i so
want to incorporate into my life.

i think we could sum it up by saying 'live in the now.'

i always hated that phrase.
cause i could never do it.
it's an eye roller for me.
yeah. right.

but when i rephrased it and got this 'value the process more
than the goal' thing....it so clicked.


the fall.

but then again...the fall is the process, isn't it??
don't want to twist the whole thing up and not value the process
of trying to value the process.

which is what i'm doing.

i have a really talented, tricky way of taking great things and
twisting them into exactly what they were sposed to be getting
away from in the first place.

how DO i do that???
ahhhhh........the process.
the ever loving process.

so here i sit.
on the floor.
at least i'm not flat on my back.
feelin' like i'm about ready to stand up and step back in.
think i need to sit here for a little bit tho.

and i thought the fall was good to share.
because...it's gonna happen.
it's just the way it goes.

and the question for me this morning is...
who do i want to be in that fall?
how do i want to treat myself?

because the fall is the now.

jeesh,this is funky stuff for me to grasp....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

an ornament...

the tree was up with lights on.
it was time for ornaments.

i ran down to my studio to grab her package.
she had sent me some goodies, wrapped for

the idea was both incredibly loving and incredibly
sad to me.

the fact that she sent me anything was incredibly loving.
i'm pretty sure she's doin' the major budgeting thing too.
and we've never met. she certainly didn't 'have' to send
a thing.

the fact that she sent them early made my stomach wobble
inside. made me sad. she wasn't sure if she'd be here for christmas.
she's the one i've been mentioning who's been in the darkest
of dark. not sure if she'd make it out.

there were several things, and i had told her that i would
put them under my tree. that i wasn't going to open them early.
that i figured that was symbolic and so there would be no early
opening on this end.

she suggested one tho. one i needed to open.
understanding it was an ornament, i agreed.

as i brought the package up to my couch, i felt a sense of
something i don't even know how to describe wash all over me.
seriousness. respect for life. understanding that we can't
take it for granted. reverence for connections. that kinda thing.

something kinda came over the room, because it got quieter
and the guys stopped what they were doing to look.

i smiled when i opened the lid of the box and whispered
'a star...'

she had sent me a star ornament made of seashells and beads.

the tears came to my eyes as i held it up for the guys to see.

it was the first ornament i hung on the tree.

and if she walked into my house, and looked for it on the tree,
i don't think she'd be thrilled (at first) of where i put it.
but i would explain to her that i sit over here. on the couch
here. and i look at the tree as i sit. and mostly, my gaze
will fall right here. and that's where i hung it. right where
i'll see it every time i sit and look at the tree. it's near
the window too. on purpose. cause i wanted light to shine thru
it during the day. and a christmas tree light to shine thru it
at nite. there would be light shining thru it all the time.
and if you lifted your eyes just a little bit, hanging from
the ceiling is the star i bought last week. it holds a candle
that i lit it for her and the one i lost. the stars are near
each other.

last nite as i sat and looked at the tree, i looked at the star,
and i remembered that each one of us has stars inside us.

if only we'll open our eyes to see.

and i held a prayer inside me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

our best yet...

as we headed to bed last nite, there was agreement between
us all - best thanksgiving ever. yep, absolutely best ever.

there were a couple things that coulda thrown me off. and
tried...but i'm learning. a lot. and i focused on the day,
and these guys i was with. and it was amazing.

sitting on the floor at one point, playin' some dumb game,
i looked at each one of 'em. i just went from face to face
to face. i remembered when they were small and thought of how
i'd never have guessed what they'd look like now or how they'd
be. i just looked at their manly faces and couldn't believe
these guys were my sons.

at some point, sitting on the couch with zakk, i wondered if
we'd even cook. we had pie and coffee and i was thinking we
may not get any further than that. i felt so lazy and good.
and what thrilled me about that was that if we did get lazy,
then we wouldn't cook. we had that option. i think just having
that option was one of the biggest gifts of the day.

life is always so full of obligations and time limits.
i'm forever watching the clock and figurin' out my minutes and
fulfilling my obligations. on this day, i had no idea what time
it was and the only thing we were sposed to do, i wasn't sure if
we would. and i smiled over that one.

we walked down to the river. just bein' out in the chilly air
was great. noah brought the camera so we could get a picture to
send out with christmas cards. this turned into great fun as
everyone tried to come up with original ideas for the shot.
the blooper pictures were the ones we were howlin' about later.

the chilly air worked up an appetite so we actually did cook.
all gathered in josh's kitchen, reachin' around each other,
listenin' to an amazingly weird range of music genres.

dinner was really good. can't tell if it was just delicious or
because no one had eaten much all day...but it was perfect.

after dinner it was more games...playing longer than we had thought
we would as we got swept up into it. zakk was giving hints to words
on a card he had, and we were racing to get them first...
at one point, again, i sat back and watched. there was so much
brother chemistry goin' on i had to watch it. their thought processes
worked together so amazingly that i was just intrigued.
'there's a family thing goin' on here' i thought and was taken
with the magic of it. as i hopped back in the game, i got one of
the words before zakk had even finished the clue.

'a dish....' he started
'MACARONI!' i shouted.

he completely stopped, looked at me with his eyes scrunched up
and said 'how'd you do that???'

i grinned.
hammed it up, of course, carried on in a dramatic way, of course.
cause that's what games are for...
but all nite i kept thinking of this family magic thing happening.

we finished it off with a movie at my house and more pie of course...
giving josh two hugs on his way out, we were all gathered sayin'
what a great day it had been...

our best yet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

ya know it's not like i'm grateful for everything.
there's a lotta hard stuff here too.
a whole lotta hard stuff.
and there's annoying stuff.
and there's heartbreaking stuff.
and heavy stuff.
and stuff that makes me really angry
and really scared.
and really really sad.

it's not like it's all good, ya know?

i could drop ten heartbreaking stories on you
without even having to dig to find them.

i totally get it's not all goodness and light.

i totally get that.

i can't honestly say i'm grateful for all those
things individually.
i tried to be.
i tried to think about it yesterday.
i want to hold the all, ya know?
so i sat with the ick and the heartbreak and the sorrow.
i pulled them apart, set them on the table and looked
at them and shook my head and thought nooooooo i'm not
really grateful for that one or that one....
and certainly not that one.
what's to feel grateful for about that one?
i mean, really??

i can't do it that way. i get stuck.
but when i take it all and mix it all together.
the inspiring and the incredibly good and loving
with the ugly and the frightening...when i mix
it all together.......

then i can do it.
then i feel deep gratitude.

that makes me think of a recipe.
of all the ingredients you mix in.
some i won't even taste on their own....but mixed
together....it's another story.

i think the bottom line is that the older i get, the more
i see how challenging life is, and the more i see there's
a beauty in that very challenge. i really think that's
sinking in more and more.

and tho i can't put into words the feeling inside of me
when i think of what life is, i honestly do feel like it's
the gift of gifts. and i honestly feel a real deep gratefulness
for being able to be here right now at this moment and for
even being able to try to be love.

i may never make it like i want to make it.
but as i keep stressing these days...it's not the goal.
it's the process.

and for being able to experience the process...
there is such a gratitude for that today.

the sorrow and heartbreak and pain and suffering is not gone
today. it's here all around. but so is the other. so is the other.
and for the love we offer each other...i am so darn grateful.
and somehow, i can't even explain it...there really is a gratefulness
for the all.

happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

this whirling dance...

i've been doin' a lot of thinking.

a lot.

first came the thought that was so exciting to me
it made me tremble.

i've been holding it in my hands, turning it over,
putting it in the light in different angles, and
just generally checking it out.

i like it every way i look at it.

i blogged about it recently....
it's bottom line is this:

value the process more than the goal.

it occurred to me today that whenever i get something
big and new to grow with, i get a challenge to go right
along with it.

and this was no exception.

the insight felt huge to me.
the challenge that came along felt equally as huge.

exactly the same time i was grieving the anniversary
of a deep loss due to suicide,
i got a note from someone suicidal.

i also blogged about this.
and yes, thankfully, the woman who wrote the note is still here.
and i say that with deep gratitude.
i don't take that lightly at all.

in fact, i take it so seriously, i have been thinking about
this all week.

it's a dance inside me that feels so gigantic that it feels
beyond me. and yet, i want to try to at least stay on the
dance floor.

it goes something like this......
back and forth around and around like this..

life is worth fighting for.
i want to do all i can to help someone find their way out
of the darkness.
she matters.
it's not my decision to make.
who am i to tell someone to live?
i cannot even begin to understand her pain.
all i can do is tell her the things in my heart.
people have to make their own decisions.
can i give her something to hold on to?
how do i value the process and not the goal?
isn't the goal to live?
i have no right to make that the goal.
which brings me back to the process.
the process is such pain for her.
how do i value that?
what is the honest and loving thing to do?
what is the process?
her process?
my process?
the process we share together...all of us?
what exactly is the process???

i listened to a song today.
to me it was a prayer to love.
it moved my spirit so deeply, i listened to it over
and over again.

my soul moved inside of me.
and i remembered who i was.
who i was way down deep.

maybe that's the process.
working on remembering who we are.
and over and over honoring that.
over and over again.

that's the process.

over and over and over....remembering.
and honoring.
and trying it again.

that so matters.
and we all have to do it for ourselves.
otherwise it's not a process.
we can remind each other.
we can be mirrors for each other.
but we have to do it for ourselves.
we have to experience our own process.

my mind whirls and tries to stay on the dance floor.

and i bow down with gratitude to this dance.
the deeper i go, the more incredible it seems....

baby i know....

i quit early.
what the heck.
the holiday mood had arrived...
i wandered up to check in with the guys.
they were still working.
didn't seem right to stop them and make them goof
with me...
so i curled up with a new weird book i got.
ate some popcorn and relaxed.
for just a bit.
then i got up, called bob to tell him i knew where he
could find a fascinating dinner date.
no answer.
decided i needed to hear some clarissa.
(the author of 'the dangerous old woman')
curled in at my desk and did some work while i listened.
this woman just delights the depths of my being.
i filled with inspiration as i listened.
josh called.
he can get out early.
can he come for dinner?
absolutely! bob's not taking me anywhere, come on over, i laugh.
i finish up my cd, put my work away and come up to the kitchen.
the boys have begun their baking.
i can't believe it and i actually laugh out loud when i see zakk
sitting at the table with a pile of apples in front of him.
he's making an apple strudel. i'm not sure but i think he's winging
it on the recipe.
noah's at the counter starting pumpkin pie.
i laugh again.
they have no idea why i'm laughing.
they can't imagine the complete delight inside of me.
i could type it out here, but i doubt there's a woman alive who
hasn't experienced the many kinds of thanksgivings that i have...
you know the ones...
the overworked/underthanked ones.
or the ones where even the people you didn't like were missing
and you couldn't hide from the aloneness echoing all around you.
there were ones overshadowed by death, sadness, family division.
there were ones that were okay and you made it thru and thank god
it's quiet now and there's leftovers.
but how many were delightful???
there's so many things that come together for the holidays.
and so many times, it ain't so great.
but this year, i walk up to my kitchen and laugh with delight.
the guys are baking.
josh is stopping by for dinner which i have no idea what will be and
don't care. i'm just glad he'll be here.
i'll tease bob later about the great evening out he missed with me
and laugh with delight that i have him to tease. he'll laugh back
and i'll soak up that sound.
there is love and caring at every turn.
not to mention pies and strudel.
tomorrow i spend the day with my sons...i have nothing to do but
hang out and laugh with people i truly care about and who truly
appreciate me. oh yeah, i'll cook a bit. but they'll be right next
to me in the kitchen playin' with me.
oh yeah...i'm laughing with delight.
cause, baby, i know how precious this is.
believe me, i know.

appreciating the jumble

my mind was all over the place....
i was just walkin' around the block, but then, took a
different turn.
not cause i planned it.
but because that guy walked right there right then
and i'd be walkin' with him if i didn't turn
the other way.
and since i wanted a solo walk, i turned towards
my goodmorningworld spot.
and since i was heading that way anyway....
i kept going.

and my mind kept going.

i thought of the bone sigh 'your inner voice is the
voice of the soul...follow it.'

as i thought about that, i gazed up at a tree with
magnificent red leaves way up top. all the leaves
below had fallen. but the clump that was there was
lit up in the sunlight.

i had no idea why, but it seemed so fitting.

the wind came by and blew across my cheeks and i
laughed and thought about how it was painting my
cheeks red. it was putting on my makeup for me.

i thought of something bob had just said to me a
little bit earlier - 'you really are like an otter.
you just love to play.'

yeah, i do, i thought.

the jehovah's witnesses drove by. two of 'em.
and waved and waved and waved. i laughed and waved
back. i love how we know each other and like each other.

i thought of my newest theme of valuing the process
and not the goal. it's helping me a ton. just as i
was diving into that, i heard some noise.

then a rattly ol' pick up truck got my attention.
it was a low rider kinda thing, and it was black,
but it looked like it was spray painted black. and
it rattled and it was so full of character. i watched
it turnin' the corner and head my way.

i grinned at it.
all i saw was a huge white guy's arm and hand. and
his hand was waving but it was one of those cool
white mechanic guy waves.

and yes, i live in a really mixed neighborhood and i love
the differences in all the waves. there are cool black
guy nods and all kinda different waves from different
colors, different sexes, and different ages. and i love

well, the cool white mechanic kinda wave....which is kinda
like the guy's reachin' out to put a VHS tape in the VCR...
that kinda wave....well, that wave suddenly flooded me with
memories from growin' up.

i grew up with a cool white mechanic brother so that was the
kinda wave his friends gave me as they'd drive by.

mixed in just after thinking that the leaves looked like
thanksgiving colors which really worked since it was thanksgiving
tomorrow.......and i had so much to be grateful for.

all this mixed up jumble was with me as i walked.

all this mixed up jumble is always with me.
all this mixed up jumble has brought me here.

to this day.
and i love it.

i love the mixed up jumble.
including the hard parts of that mix.
and especially the fun parts.

it's gonna be a mixed up jumble kinda day.
i can tell.

and i don't know......i just want to honor the all today.
the white guy mechanic waves, the cool black guy nods,
the lit up trees and the dropped leaves, the playing,
the processing, the living.....the dying...the changing.

all of it.
for some reason that matters to me today.
maybe it's gearin' me up for tomorrow....where it's not
just the good that you're grateful for....but the all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

round robins

i haven't read them all yet....but i tell ya,
the ones i've read have moved me to tears.

my friend, karen, got some great 'round robin'
thing goin' with her blog buddies.....

it's really worth checking out and maybe if you
don't have time for them all now, just keep goin'
back thru the holiday season. definitely good
stuff here.

check out karen's project!

my kinda pearl

ohhhh i was gonna get out before the sun totally did.
i slipped outside and held my breath for the first few

it was like if i breathed, i would change things.

and this morning as i stood there not breathing,
i felt the holiness of the morning surround me.

i was so delighted the moon was there.

i had seen it last nite when i put out the trash.
it was dark, and the moon was rising over my neighbor's
house. he was out in his driveway talking to another
neighbor. i waved, but didn't want to shout that far
as again...i was afraid if i was too loud, something
would change.

the one neighbor headed towards home and it was more
towards me, so i braved a shout and he shouted back
a 'how ya doin'?'

'ya just couldn't be doin' bad with a moon like that!'
i shouted back. 'did you SEE it?!!'

and there it was with me this morning.

i rounded the corner and all my insides squealed 'look
at that pearl in the sky!! it's a pearl! it's a doggone pearl!'

and i laughed and i thought of all the corny things i wanted
to say about that glorious moon.

'you sound like a corny poet' i told myself.

'yeah, but there's this pearl hanging in the sky!' i argued back.
'how could you not??'

i walked and soaked in the morning.
wondered how i've ever lived a day without doing this.

how can anyone truly be alive without touching the morning??

oh, yeah, there have been lots of mornings i haven't touched.
but was i truly alive then, i wondered??
cause this feels necessary to truly living.
it really does.

i turned another corner, and another, and when i looped back,
i got a great view of the moon in bare branches and the sky
and the branches were all kinda pale. it was gorgeous.
i stopped and looked. smiled at the bare branches and remembered
why winter is my favorite season. i love those fingers reaching
up to the sky.

thanksgiving is almost upon us. and i'm revvin' up into gratitude
mode. and i thought about how lucky i was to have a pearl in
the sky and how lucky i was to be out there soakin' up some pearl

funny...i was never into pearls. never wanted any.
but i tell ya, that's where the pearl belongs.
right up there. lookin' down on us and reminding us of the holy.
beamin' the holy down so big time you can't miss it.
that's my kinda pearl.

Monday, November 22, 2010

diggin' it.....

this whole 'valuing the process more than the goal' thing
that i bumped into last week has been really helping me.
i've been thinking about it a whole lot.

and tryin' to use it all the time all over the place.

and i tell ya, it's making a difference for me.

it helps me stay more aware.
it helps me focus in healthy places.

i'm really likin' this.
and i'm thinking the timing is nice.
nothing like a little help during holiday time......

her energy...

there had been so much heaviness around the weekend.
and yesterday was one of those crazy, busy days.
there really was only one moment that woulda worked
for them to drop in.

and sure enough, they dropped in at that moment.
one of my best friends and her 14 year old daughter.
my god daughter. i was so happy to see them.

they were making their 'thanksgiving gratitude' stop
and brought home made muffins and lots of love.

we grabbed a quick cup of tea together and i sat and
watched 14 year old girl energy.

my gosh, it's completely different than anything i've
ever known with my sons. and i remember this energy
from being 14 myself once. and i soooooo loved it.
i just reveled in it. i just sat there soaking her up.

and it felt so good to rejoice in life and see someone
just living it so fully. she made me laugh. she made
me feel lighter. she made me happy.

i looked across the table at her, thinking of how much
love she's grown up with. of all the good things in her
life. how all that has come together and given her now.
she had no idea what i was thinking. she was busy telling
me all about the harry potter movie.

i watched her interactions with her mom and laughed.
briefly realized how much i have missed in not having a daughter.
let that go, and loved my god-daughter and waved goodbye
in the driveway as they had running to do yet. and so did i.

she came thru like a breeze and just made me happy.

ah, the energy of a 14 year old girl.
they have no idea how they can light up a world.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the glow of the candle...

he gave me the space i needed yesterday to talk, cry,
and think about it all.

and then he helped me with the lighting of the candle.
just made the room for me to be able to do it.

i had heard from the woman who had been struggling so.
not enough to know if she had decided to stay living,
but enough to know that she was still here.

and so i lit that candle for her and for the one i lost.
and then we sat in the living room talking about it all.

when the guys landed in, the chatter turned to life
and our days and laughter and goofiness.

every now and then i'd glance up at the lit up star and
just hold them in my hearts.

and then i'd look around the room at the guys i loved so
much. and join in the laughter.

i told myself over and over yesterday that it was a process.
and that that was what i needed to value.

that's beginning to make a whole lotta sense to me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

thanking you....

i had no idea how much the support around me would help me.
the notes i got from people lighting candles last nite,
sending thoughts, prayers, vibes, dedicating their performances,
listening to music with the intention of holding me and my
loss in their hearts...it was overwhelming.

and right away i knew it mattered to me so much.
right away i knew it would help me thru a rough nite.

and then, when the nite got rougher (see post below)
and i didn't know how to hold it together, i stepped
into the shower and i closed my eyes and i thought of
everyone doin' this stuff.......and i held on to it.

i just held on to it.

and it mattered so much to me.

i want to thank everyone who took a moment for this
last nite....

it ended up being more helpful than i ever could have

there is a web of connection.
and it so does matter.
it's up to us to reach out and hold on to it.
that's the part that we have to do.
we have to grab it when we need it.

i grabbed it last nite.

thank you for offering it.....

lighting a candle

sometimes life stuns me.

last nite in trying to honor the memory of someone i lost
to suicide, i heard from someone who is suicidal.

i'm not even sure if she's alive today or not.
the tears flow as i type that.

i hung a star in my window last nite.
it's glass and it holds a candle.
my intention was to light it and remember the young
woman who died three years ago.

i couldn't light it last nite. after the note i read,
i knew i'd completely fall apart.
if i was alone, i'd be okay with that.
but the guys were here, and i didn't want to do that
to them. they had been thru enough.

this morning as i thought about it all, i thought
that this was something i needed to know. something i
hadn't held yet.

with my loss, i have kicked and blamed myself for
not knowing, not communicating more, not being there
to help her. always thinking that i could have made
some sort of difference. sure that i could have touched
her in some way.

with this note i got last nite, i see that that may not
be the case. even if you tell someone all the things
you think you should tell them, even if you say all
the things you think matter and can change things...
it's not yours.

it's not yours.

it's theirs.
ultimately it's theirs.

and today, i'm trying hard to just hold that.

i am going to light the candle tonite.
i am going to gather everything inside of me and light
that candle. i'm going to ask bob to help me do that.

i will be holding the one i lost and the one i pray we
haven't lost in my heart as i do.

Friday, November 19, 2010

my son

i love him so much....

if you have the time, go check out josh's blog.

lighting up the darkness tonite.

it's been on my mind all month.
last nite as i made dinner, i thought of things
to do tonite to ease the nite.
and this morning, it was the very first thing i thought of
as i opened my eyes.

as i walked and looked at the day, i thought of her.

scenes from the days after her death are locked inside of me
and just come blaring thru with a will of their own.

as i walked one of those scenes took over my eyes.

i remembered being gathered in their living room, everyone
stunned and trying to grasp what had happened as we each read
her goodbye note. trying to make some sort of sense out of it all.

after she wrote the main body of her note, she added extra thoughts
around the edges. the writing got smaller and smaller. even if you
had young eyes, you needed a magnifying glass to read it. i wondered
how on earth she could write that tiny.

i remembered holding the paper. reading the note. trying to hold on
and be strong for those around me when the whole world seemed to
be spinning.

this young girl and her pain pulled out of every deep dark crevice
my own pain. pushing that down and trying to focus, i watched those
around me. and i learned more than i ever wanted to know.

three years later i want to do something to honor her today.
i asked the guys if they'd be around tonite. and thankfully, they
all are. i asked them if they'd be okay about hanging christmas lights
tonite. 'we don't have to light them up yet, but we could hang them,
try them out briefly, light up the dark with them, then turn them on
after thanksgiving.'

openly and with such love, they all agreed.
they knew what i was doing. and they wanted to be part of it.

'maybe we could make stars with the lights' i suggested.

stars are such a big theme with me this year. and well, it seems
really really fitting.

and to light up the darkness briefly tonite...well, that feels so
darn right.

and to have my sons next to me...well, that just feels holy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


i am feeling so very honored...and humbled right now.

someone just wrote me and sent me a copy of a talk she
gave at a fundraiser for a shelter for victims of domestic

in it, she included one of my quotes.
which is why she sent it to me.

i sat and read about this woman who found her way out. and was
working hard on helping her children heal from the wounds.
and i was so profoundly moved.

and i get to witness this because one of my quotes moved her.

and that honors me so much i don't even know what to do with it.

i have been thru my own hard stuff. and i have found it so
challenging. but you know what? it doesn't even compare to
what so many women have been thru. it doesn't even make it
nearly to their level. and yet, i am honored over and over
again with people sharing their struggles and their triumphs.

i'm not sure how any of all this works.
and i don't want to even soil it with 'i'm not worthy.'
what i want to do is hold it with such complete awe and
humbleness and bow down to the strength and hearts of these
amazing women and thank them for including me in on their
paths just a tiny bit.

i am overwhelmed.
and so so grateful.
thank you for sharing your stories and your hearts with me.
your grace and your strength inspire me every single day.

rewording it....

it's this.

what i was so wordily tryin' to say in the post below.

i think i got it.

it's this:

the process has become more important to me than the goal.

ta da!
that's it!

for real.
not just in theory.
well, i'm experiencing MOMENTS of this, anyway.

that's what i'm seein' this morning.

and in that somewhere is this space where i'm actually
making progress towards the goal. more so than when
the goal mattered more than the process.

that's it.

that's what i'm feelin' this morning.

the process is more important than the goal.

it's like with bone sighs.....

when i finally let go of the financial worry and know
that it's something i HAVE to do....and i have to do in
a certain way.....than that's all that matters.
the process of doing it has taken the front seat.

the rest follows somehow.

maybe it's like that with all of life.

and i think i got that this morning.
for real.

a no brainer that's sinking in deeper....

when i first started seriously searching -
really tryin' to see who i was and make my life
honest and real...i had so many things to learn
that i never had to figure anything out besides
what was right in front of me.

i had goals, and had so much forest to clear before
i could reach them, that i was pretty much focused
on the clearing.

i was told i was on a 'quest,' rolled my eyes
at the phrasing. and then gradually came to know
that was true.

i understood as i went along that it was 'a process'
and that 'it's the journey, not the destination.'

i understood that.
mostly agreed, tho sometimes really really just wanted
to get to the destination.

have thought tons about love. because that's the core
of the whole thing.

and have just been workin' really really hard.

and now.......quietly.......subtly......i'm starting to
notice something....

it's changing. slowly. but i think steadily. there's
a changing that i think i'm seeing. and it kinda freaked
me out this morning. in a good way.

i was reading last nite. it got me thinking about life and
growing old and who i wanted to be. what i wanted to be. what i
wanted to offer those around me as well as myself.

i was excited. really really inspired to live the best i could
live. really inspired to grab life.

and then this morning, life kinda grabbed me.
and i cried over something. and felt bad over something.
and then....i took a walk and thought about it. and i thought
of what it was i wanted to offer those around me. what i wanted
to be. who i wanted to be.

and that guided me.

it just plain guided me.
it guided me recently in another situation in a very similar way.

the focus was so much more than it has been in the past.
the focus was so much more on the life that i wanted to live.
the focus was broader, and so much more loving.

and part of me is stepping back and watching and saying
'hey! hey! look! you're actually pulling it off!'

the grace is in the struggle.
the love is in the handling of the struggle.

i can be grace and love in any easy situation. got that part
down pretty good.

but in the struggles.....i struggle.

and twice now, in a row, i did it.
i really did it.

and this beautiful haunting feeling came thru my insides
just kinda echoing that the struggles aren't bad. they
aren't bad. i don't have to run from them. i don't have
to hide from them.

they give me the chance to offer who i am.

grabbing life doesn't mean not struggling.

grabbing life means grabbing it all.
all of it.

and offering who i am thru all of it.

that sounds like a no brainer.
but it's sinking in for real over here.
and it's kinda freaking me out.
in a good way.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

what are the chances?

i mean, seriously, what ARE the chances??

the guys and i were finishing up an order in the studio.
we looked outside at the leaves and i commented that
we'd have to clean the gutters again. 'in fact, maybe
i'll do that today.' i said without even thinking.

uh oh.
i realized it too late.

i looked at zakk who was opening his mouth to tell me
that i couldn't get on the roof. they're way too darn
protective about that. and i love to get up there.

'oh no, we don't need to do it today,' i lied.
'i've got way too much work anyway.'

they finished and went back to their own stuff.

i gave them some time to get safely tucked away,
then i headed up to grab a jacket.
as i walked thru the living room, i heard zakk
comin' down from the attic.

oh no, i thought.
what were the chances of this???
he usually goes up and stays up there.

i ducked into the kitchen, grabbed a cup of
water that was on the table and held it.
like that's what i was there for.

he walked in 'whattya doin'?' he asked.

'nothing' i said, tryin' to sound innocent.

it wasn't workin'.

nothin'? he asked.

nothin' i said as i sipped some water.

'you look a little guilty,' he said.

and that did it, i spit water outta my mouth and laughed.

'okay, now i know you're guilty' he said.

i laughed and said 'whatya YOU doin'??'

'nothing' he said. 'i was thinking i might go wander outside.'

'me too,' i said. 'but you know, we both have a lotta work to do.'

'yeah,' he agreed. 'we should go do it.'

'yeah,' i said and wandered back to my studio.

i figured i'd give him a few minutes then sneak out to the roof.

yeah. right.
next thing i knew, i looked out my studio doors and saw him
wandering back to the shed.


i ran outside.
no! no~! no! not fair!

the timing was just too crazy.
how on earth did he know to come down when he did???

he cleans the gutters out in about two minutes with the leaf
blower. i take forever scootin' around the roof and usin' my hands.
i knew his way was 'better'....but i still wanted up there.

so i followed him up on the roof and just said hello to the day
and grinned at how fun it was to have zakk in my life....

i'm still laughin' thinking of spittin' the water out and tryin'
to lie to him.

ahhhh....those gutters are turnin' into such fun!

goin' outside to get inside

i stepped out my door to say hello to the morning.
my socked foot landed on a wet leaf and i smiled.
ohhhhh man, i am sooo headin' out here today.
and i hurried off to get my shoes.

as i turned off my driveway into the road every bit
of me was thrilled to be outside and i felt like
a walking sponge soakin' up the air and the color.
even my arms felt like they were tingling with excitement.

i thought of the book i had just started reading.
another joan chittister book. this one on growing old.
i've only just begun. she mentioned finding our meaning
in life, finding what we are when all the other stuff is
gone - careers, kids, that kinda stuff.

i walked and thought about that. and was soooo darn full
of the feeling of being alive and soakin' in the outside
that i thought i'd pop.

i felt it. how strong and good and incredible that felt inside
of me. and then i had a really sad thought. and i watched
what it did inside of me.

i took it and mixed it with the incredibly good feeling i
was having. i mixed them and watched.

i honestly could feel all the mixing goin' on inside of myself.
i could feel reactions thru out my body. and while the feeling
was completely different now, it was still strong and alive.

i always need to go outside, i thought.
how is it i don't get out enough?
and i so need to remember this as i grow older.
this is where i feel alive.

there is so much inside of me. there's a whole world inside
of me. and when i'm outside somehow i can feel it all and
touch it all.

and in there is my meaning in life.
whirling inside of me.

i remembered my mantra of when i first started out on my own.
'everything i need is inside of me.'

i said it again and smiled.
i think i've been forgetting that.....

everything i need is inside of me.
and going outside helps me find it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


my son, noah, mentioned a documentary on youtube
that he thought i'd be interested in.

it's a documentary on the hateful group that pickets
the military funerals and since that's been the topic
around here for a bit, he mentioned it.

he told me the interviewer was awesome.

it's a busy day here. i only have so much time.
thought i'd watch part one and then leave the rest
for later.

but i got so swept up in the interviewer, that i
ended up watching them all.

his name is louis theroux and i was stunned at the
reserve he showed thru these talks.

at first i was just kinda surprised.
and then i got more and more taken with him.

i'll be thinking about him all day now.

what's so cool is that what i came away from all that
ick was more him than them.

there's not a lot i can do with them.
feel sick over them, shed some tears, block the view
of them when i have a chance and try not to let them
pull me down as a person.

but there was inspiration in louis for me.

you don't have to be loud to say something powerful.
not at all....

gray dreay days

i have had people call me things like 'sunshine' my whole life.
'having a sunny disposition' and god forbid the one i just want to throw
up with every time i hear: 'bubbly.'

i gotta tell ya, if you tell me that i'm bubbly you get major
points against you. i HATE that. and then if you say i giggle,
you might as well leave, i don't want to talk to you.

but you get the idea. those kinda words.

and what's funny is that ms. laughing sunshine here ADORES gray,
rainy,drab, dark days. cause they match so much of my insides or my
mood or my emotions. i don't know...something like that.

there's always a hunk of sadness in me. and the rainy drab days
speak to that hunk. and that hunk always seems to love be spoken
to like that.

somehow when i was a teen, i got this concept down.
my personality is very similar to my mom's.
and i remember buying her one of those small posters that used
to be so popular when i was young...and it was of a sad clown.
with a great quote under it that said something like:
'share with me my sadness and i'll share with you my joy.'

somehow way back then i got how it worked inside her and how it
worked inside me.

both joy and sorrow seem to be doin' a dance inside me all the time.

it's been a hard road to be so acutely aware of both.
it still is.

but as i grow, there's some understanding of the beauty of both
coexisting inside of me.

there's some understanding that that truly is what life is full
of and that it truly is a balance and that somehow there's
a great profoundness in that dance.

gray, dreary days always touch something profound in me.
and ms. sunshine here revels in them.....

throw in fallen leaves everywhere echoing the change that is in
the air....and i'm in heaven.

Monday, November 15, 2010

quite a morning....

so we went to stand and block the protesters that were
spreading hate.

turns out that they couldn't get very close to the church.
which was way way way awesome.

it was all worked out and the biker guys had the protesters
covered. the rest of us were to line the road and just
be support.

the church provided a whole ton of small american flags to wave.

and there was a ton of people there to hold them.
it was so moving to see all the people who had showed up for this.

so there i stood for a couple of hours along the highway with
a flag.

it gave me a whole lotta time to think.

first of all, just holding the flag was a big deal for me.
if i could have chosen what we were all to hold, it would not
have been an american flag.

but i was there to support the family. so i held it.
and i thought a whole lot about it.
thankfully, it was made in america, and i felt a sense of
relief in that.

many many people had shirts on that said 'thanks' with the boy's
name on it.

it was just four days ago that i posted on veteran's day that
i have trouble with the 'thanks' part as the whole thing is so
darn complicated for me. and 'thanks' just hits me wrong.

again, i understood the sentiment and was glad to see the shirts,
even if i would have worded it differently. i was impressed with
the amount of them along the highway.

and again, it gave me a lot to think about.

i thought of war.
i thought of this kid who 'wanted to make a difference.'
i thought of our concepts of wanting to make differences,
and how they change over time.
i wondered how his family felt about that dream of his.
i thought of our culture and how this group i was standing in
was not your ivy league educated group and i wondered how many
ivy league educated marines there were.

i wondered if those boys walking by in uniform were scared
by all of this, or if it somehow made them feel more brave.

i thought of the protesters and wondered if they'd ever see
the pain that they spread.

and i thought of how amazing it was that there was this huge
response to that pain.

i watched mourners walk by fighting the tears, and my tears
fell with theirs.

i went to block out hate.
i went because no family who is mourning needs to be harassed
by hatred.

i ended up feeling like i walked into something that perhaps
i wasn't....a flag waving american.

and then......the police escort came down the highway with
the family following.

and the most incredible silence i have ever heard in my life

everyone got silent.


and i knew that what i had walked into was something that
we all were.....love.

my tears fell as that silence echoed inside of me.

praying for peace, i held my flag and watched the family
drive by.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ms. mad

i already liked this young lady...
she's the inspiration behind our 'ms. madeleine' prints
at bone sigh arts...

but i loved her even more when her mom shared this
link with me. i think she'll inspire you and warm
your heart.

i so love to see people care.
and when it's a kid who cares....enough to give up
her birthday presents.....
well, my heart gets totally melted.

wanted to share with you guys.
go check her out!

thinking about tomorrow...

i sat having a salad with my guy and his son.
it was a new panera and it was cozy and warm.
we had just taken a chilly walk and it felt good
to snuggle in. where i sat, i could see the sunset

it was the town below the one we usually meet up in.
and it's the town my sons and i will be in tomorrow.
so i turned to his son and asked him if he'd heard
about the boy who got killed in the war from that town.

he'd heard.
and he added that he had friends that were close to the

and he heard what i did. that that group that spews hate
at funerals of guys who died in the service will be there.
i just even hate naming them. i don't want to give them
any power whatsoever.

we talked about it briefly. there will be a gathering of
people to stand and block the group as the family drives
by. he's gonna try to be there.

my sons and i will be there.
and from what i can tell, a whole lotta people will be there.

the topic changed and moved on.
and the sun kept setting.

the awareness that i was sitting in this new panera in this
kid's home town and that he'll never sit in it, hung around me.

when we pulled back into my driveway and i saw josh's car there,
the awareness of lost sons was still on my mind. it felt so
good to see that car.

when i walked up to the attic where they all were hangin' out
talkin' to each other, i held the scene.

tomorrow i will watch a family enter a funeral for their dead
19 year old son. and i will stand quietly and try to block
the view of completely insane hatred.

and i will mourn for the world.
and somehow i will try to hang on to the idea of being love.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

such a day!

sometimes i just so need those breaks.

there is something about piling in that car with
those big guys....where there's not enough room and
there's knees and shoulders everywhere along with
food, caffeinated drinks and loud music.

we hadn't even gotten all folded into the car yet
when zakk had the music blarin'. one of his latest
weirdo songs was goin' and it's some kinda genre of
music that josh hates. he rolled his eyes at the guys
as he stood on the driveway waiting for noah to fold
himself in the back seat with me. he's complaining about
their taste of music, noah's pullin' his legs into the
car, and zakk is pacin' around the driveway because
that's what he does.

i'm hollerin' over the music from the other back seat,
'no, no, no, josh, that's what i thought....but you gotta
listen to the lyrics, it's my new favorite song!'

noah has now curled himself in. we joke about him being
the master of this bending kinda stuff and we pull outta
the driveway with zakk talkin' about some guy who can
smoosh himself into this incredibly tiny space as josh
listens to these wacked out lyrics that got me thru a hard

and the trip has begun.
i'm asking how the guy could fit in whatever he fit in,
zakk is explaining the human body to me, and josh is laughin'
over the song sayin' 'oh man! i want to cover this one.'

it's all at once. the rhythm in the car is different.
it's more chaotic and crazy. and that's what i love.

there's not enough room in the car for the food to start with.
so whenever anyone wants a sandwich or something i lean way
far up, noah pulls open the hatch door behind me and reaches
the stuff outta the trunk. sooner or later all the food has
found its way into the car, and noah has a bruised arm because
i tend to fall against the hatch when zakk accelerates.

the best moments for me, revolve around the car part of the trip.
and this time was no exception.

having gotten outta the car for less than five minutes at some
quiet little spot i managed to step into some horrific smelling
stuff. and of course, didn't know it, and got back in the car.
zakk pulled over immediately, we all piled out.
and the icky icky process of cleaning it all up began.
with the guys circling way far away only to come in close to
grab a bag or a paper towel for me....

unable to get it all really clean and with a smell still in the
car, we stopped at a store and josh ran in for 'anything toxic
and strong smelling!'

out he came with some fabreze.

handing it to me in the back seat, my brain totally went dead.
i don't know what happened. but the simple spray trigger bottle
turned into something i had never seen before let alone understand.
with the complete puzzlement of someone just landing on the planet,
i pulled on the spray handle saying out loud 'what's this???'
as it sprayed full force into noah's face.

i screamed. noah turned his face quick, and josh whipped out his cell
phone to record what was happening! (that's just what josh does)
when i realized noah wasn't blinded, i laughed so hard i couldn't breathe.
i laughed and laughed and laughed.

and then i cleaned the floor a bit more and sprayed so much of that
stuff on it that you couldn't smell anything else.

and THAT moment, right there, in the parking lot....was one of my
favorite moments of the day.

cause it was completely idiotic, it made me laugh harder than i had
laughed in weeks, and noah wasn't blind.

there was the hunt for coffee and the discovery that seven eleven
actually has pumpkin spice latte! there was the looking at art with
the guys in our favorite gallery and his brothers buying noah's christmas
present for him, there was the dopey games home in the dark with zakk caffeinated
and animated, there was watchin' my sons from a friend's truck while
they stood around my surrogate mom talking with her, i sat in the truck
and watched them and loved how they stood there talking so gently with her.
and there was wandering around a big antique place with zakk tellin' me
not to admit that i used to have some of the stuff i was finding. and there
was the landing home in our driveway in the dark. all moments to heal the soul.

those days are the world's best medicine for me.
the feeling of those days is what i want to share here.......

life...it's so darn full.
and sometimes it's so darn hard.
and then there's days like this..........
when you land in your driveway at the end, in the dark,
and you look up at the sky and you just whisper 'thank you.'

Friday, November 12, 2010

a slice of heaven

i really don't know what it is....and it seems really
odd to me that it's now......this month.....but i seem
to be getting all kinds of reminders about suicide.

there have been so many that i'm really stepping back
and wondering about it....

and...i'm stepping back and appreciating the people in
my life. and their presence here with me.

and this morning, after one more reminder, i turn to my
day...a day where i get to spend the whole darn thing
with my sons. all three of them! a day i have no expectations
of anything and have nothing i have to get done. a day
i get to walk away from all the work and forget about it
for a bit and just look at their faces and hear them
talk and banter.

a day i worked hard to get.
and a day i'm gonna soak up with all i've got.

a day that will be filled with things that i think will
really be the best tending of my heart that i could ever do.

these days matter.
these days are precious.
and i wanted to remind everyone once again, that you matter.
whether you feel that today or not....you do.

hang on to that.
hang on to life.

because the days that are so delicious they feel like
a slice of heaven do come around...

today is one for me. and i'm gonna slurp it up with all i've got~!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

honoring the day

i never quite know what to do with veteran's day.

the very first thing i can really remember about
a vet was my babysitter dated a vietnam vet.
and my mom used to try to explain to me that he
had some problems because he was in vietnam.

i remember the tone of her voice and i remember
the feeling when i was around him. he was scary
to me.

later, i heard stories of how the korean war
affected an uncle of mine. of things he did when
he came back home. of things he saw when he was
in the war.

those were the first vet stories i remember.
and now, i've heard so many different kinds.
world war two guys tellin' me some stuff.
world war two guys telling me nothing. they won't
talk about it. some talk. some don't.
one guy smiled thru the most gruesome story and
just made my insides go cold.

vietnam vets, korean war, the wars now....
josh tells me stories of guys he knows.....
legs missing, young young guys...

i think of all this and don't know how to honor the day.
thanking them for what they sacrificed just doesn't
work for me.

acknowledging it seems at least a start.
acknowledging this is so big that i don't know what to
do seems a start.
acknowledging my complete confusion with this stuff
my understanding that there are no black and white answers.
and that i am beyond grateful for my way of life.
and that i know not all of it has been about my way of
life....and i don't have any answers.

i can't even begin to try to hold the pain that vets have
lived thru and cannot put down.

i open my heart today to all of that.
and close my eyes and honor each of these people today.
and pray that we somehow find our way to learning peace.
within ourselves and thru out this world.

the leaky tree

i was busy. goin' from one thing to the next when i glanced
out the doors and saw this tree leaking color into the sky.

i had to stop.
you don't see that every day.

i stopped, and stepped outside.
it was this great big peachy orangey tree with the sky
behind it a matching color.

ohhhhh it's leaking, i thought.

and stood there watching.

and thinking.

it's leaking its color into what's surrounding it.

kinda like me, i thought.

kinda like us all.

what's in us comes out.
and colors around us.

the sun's fully up now, the sky is blue
and the light seems to be shining only on that
tree as i look over.

it's completely lit up in glory and splendor.

not leaking anymore.

maybe what it put out came right back to it and
made it all the more beautiful........


that tree is really making me think this morning!

quite a group.....

i don't know why, but i'm getting a kick out of this.

last nite josh called. he asked what was up and i told
him that his brothers and i were sittin' around discussing
shipping for bone sigh arts. and i laughed. it was 8:30
and my brain was still on it.

at 9:00 last nite, i emailed the hoodie guy a question,
assuming he'd get it in the morning, and he answered right

what are you doin' still workin'? i asked him.
there for a big poster order, he was still goin' strong.
i joked about the life of a small business owner.

the nite before i found myself talkin' to a shop owner
around 9:00 about networking and the nite before that,
i was on the phone with a shop owner taking an order
around that time.

it's the time of year it just doesn't stop. which after
a really slow year, feels good.

but what i really am getting a kick out of is that everyone
i work with is also a small business owner, and also givin'
all they have to make it work. and we've all had one heck
of a year. so i'm watchin' people tryin' really really hard.

and i don't know what it is, but this morning, it feels like
such a tickle to be part of this group of people. people who
fight for their dreams, and people who work hard to keep them

i really love the people i work with. well, most of them.
there are some that are tight and tense, and really no fun,
and sometimes just downright selfish. they can get to me.
what's interesting is to watch who's making it thru. and what
attitudes affect what. this is a whole life study just workin'
with this group.

and this morning i really love it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

this women thing...

something happened yesterday that just totally
touched me.

a woman i've exchanged just a few emails with
came thru with some writing she wanted to share with
the woman i mentioned in a blog recently who was told
she was taking too long with her grief.

she's working on publishing a short book and actually
sent me a copy of that. if you're a writer, you know
what a big act of trust that is. and she sent me a poem
and another piece she had written.

all really cool acts of trust and reaching out.
they were for the woman i mentioned in the blog.

see, i'm just the middle (wo)man. and what a treat that
is! cause i got to read the stuff! and let me tell ya,
when she publishes, i will announce it cause it's the
kinda book we all want to give to a friend having a hard

her heart is magnificent.
and her reaching out just touched me so deeply.
i thought of the comments left on that blog.
heartfelt comments from women who've experienced loss
and grief and were sharing their wisdom and support.

last nite as i was headin' to bed, i had to make a quick
call to my surrogate mom. it was quick. and yet...
it was so full of love.

as i climbed into bed last nite, i was just filled
with the grace of women.

if you're lonely, feeling like no one understands,
feelin' that kinda thing......guaranteed there's a woman
out there willing to talk to you about it. you just gotta
find her.

and how do you find her?

i think by showing people your heart.
the first woman you meet may not be the one who will
listen...but i don't think it would take too many tries.

i find it hard not to find a woman who's hurt in some
way and wants to share your hurt with you.

and THAT seems like one of the most profound quiet miracles
we have walkin' around us every single day.

i'm headin' to coffee with a girlfriend today.
and while i've always known she's a piece of gold in my life,
i'm not sure i ever looked at her like a miracle before.
i am today.....

we are really really special.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


this is a p.s. to the blog post below.
you should read that one first.....

but i just belly laughed at my kitchen table
cause the guys noticed i raked outside.
they looked at the pile of leaves and mentioned

and sooooooo i just had to tell them my story
about my heart (see blog below)

noah listens and then says 'let me ask you something, mom.'

'sure,' i say.

'when you picture your heart there, what's it look like?'

'it looks like a real heart. all gooey and slimy and oozey.
that's why the stuff sticks to it.'

i grinned at him.

he looked at me and said 'you know, i just don't even know
what to say.'

that's when i did a belly laugh.

i love these guys.

we had breakfast and talked and joked and there was a lot
of laughing goin' on.

'ya know, mom, whatever you did sure seems to have done
something to you.'

i grinned again.

'it's the leaves....and the moss....and the seed pod thingie...'

zakk just looked at me with this goofy grin on his face....

ah, life......
sometimes the little things mean everything....

soft leaves

once, years ago, my heart hurt so much i didn't know what
to do.
the pain was so strong, and so big i just had to do something.
and so i did a visual where i took my heart and actually put
it on the table and tended to it. put some medicine on it,
and cared for it. and then figured out what would be medicine
in 'real life' and gave it that until it felt stronger.
interestingly enough, that medicine was surrounding myself
with the strength and compassion of my women friends.
which is what i did.

as i walked on the treadmill this morning, i thought of
my heart. it's been different lately.
with everything....the good stuff, the hard stuff, the
sad stuff....it's been different.
the reactions i have are different, they don't feel familiar to me.

and i've been different with it all. allowing it more often
to just 'be.' listening more. and watching more.

i think my heart and i are changing.
i think my heart and i are growing.
and right now, my heart seemed to need some tending to.

as i did the treadmill thing, i thought of the leaves
i was gonna rake when i was done.

i could use them as medicine....vitamins.

and as i walked out my studio door, i actually said to my
heart 'c'mon, let's go get you some vitamins.'

ya see, trees to me are just so many good deep things.
they're wisdom, and understanding, patience and strength.
they're peace and they're quiet, and steady and full of
an energy that can't be put into words.

i was going to lay my heart in a pile of their leaves.
and i was gonna cover it in their warmth and wisdom.

and so i did.

i raked up a little pile, and stopped and closed my eyes
and pictured laying it there.
and then i covered it with leaves.
i raked and covered.
raked up a few sticks, a seed pod thing, and even some
little bits of moss....
ohhhh yes........
cover my heart with those.

as my arms went back and forth with the rake i could
feel the leaves just resting on my heart...
filling it....
comforting it...
caring for it....
accepting it and loving it.

i pictured the little bits of moss stuck to it along
with the leaves, and i smiled.

raking had never been so wonderful.
i wasn't raking leaves....
i was feeding my heart.

when i was all done, i stood over the pile and closed
my eyes.
i felt my heart in there.
warm and cozy and soakin' up the energy that was all
around it.

gently picking it up, i slipped it back in me.
leave bits, moss bits, seed pod bits...the whole sticky

i'm gonna hold it all today.
the energy of the trees.

i thought of a hard conversation i had yesterday when
she just bluntly put something out there that was so hard
to hold. she doesn't mean any harm. she just doesn't know
how to put extra words around things to soften them.
and this thing could use some softening.

i closed my eyes and felt the feelings from that.
and felt the leaves and moss...and my heart beating
with them.

i closed my eyes and thought of the hard.
the sad.

it all just is.

and i smiled. now, i thought, what will be medicine
for my heart here in 'real life?'

i slipped on my softest sweatshirt and knew this time
the medicine was just being quiet with my heart.
just being soft. and just feeling the leaves and moss
for awhile...

Monday, November 8, 2010


i'm a really careful walker.
i really am.

i get well out of the way of cars, and
i pay attention....

but this morning, i almost got hit.

and man, it made my stomach sick.

a young kid driving, with a car full of his friends,
prolly on the way to school.....
scared the daylights outta me.

he kept zoomin' by.
i stood there feelin' like i was gonna throw up.


i walked home shaken with my eyes big and thinking,
wow......that coulda been it for me.

and i wonder if he woulda even stopped......


i looked at the trees and the sun coming thru
them. i thought of the guys up in the attic doin'
their work...i thought of the things i was gonna
do today....the soup i was gonna make....all that

and i felt sick and grateful all at the same time.

talk about a reminder of the preciousness of the day.

i'm there.
and i'm holding it as the gift that it is.......


and the seeing continues.......

oh my gosh.

i did an audio to go up on our site this morning on 'seeing' -
it's about the idea of really trying to see each other.

ya know....
that's a lot harder than it sounds, i think.

i pulled out a greeting card i made years ago.
have it sitting on my desk right now.
it says:

'for clarity of sight - to see herself and her
intentions - for this she prayed.'

i wrote that years ago.
i was in a place where i just felt so blind to who
i was. i just so felt like i couldn't see myself.

i've come a long way with that.
but you know, i don't think this seeing stuff ever
really is gonna end. this workin' on it.
this polishing of my eyeballs.

which is why i pulled the card out and put it here
this morning......

i want to see.
i want to see me.
i want to see the people around me without the
filters of my baggage.

and the funny thing is...they've got their own filters.
so even if i get my part down....they might not get
their part down. ya know?

and i think that's part of the seeing.
knowing that.
and understanding how hard it is to dissolve the filters.
and allowing people their own journey with their own

i think this journey into being real is so much more
than i ever could have imagined. i had no idea there was
so much to truly living, truly loving, truly being.

for clarity of sight.....for this she prayed......

Sunday, November 7, 2010

comment inspired......

i came down to a comment this morning from coleen.
and i tell ya, it sparked this whole thing inside of me.

she lost her husband of 30 years 5 months ago. she says
it's getting harder for her emotionally, not easier,
and people think she should be further along in her

when i hear stuff like that, i just want to scream.
(not at YOU, coleen! not at you!!!)

what is WITH people who tell other people how their
grieving process should go??!! and WHY do these people
think there's some sorta time table?!!

it makes me crazy.

i have heard this kinda thing so many times from people coming thru.
a sister lost her sister, and her coworkers told her she
needed to get on with life.
a mom lost her daughter and wasn't healing fast enough
for her friends' tastes.
a mom lost her son, and didn't know how to go on, but felt
such pressure to 'put on that happy face' for her family.

all these women felt some kinda guilt or shame about their

what is up with that?!!!

and coleen was commenting on the 'watching' blog....where
i stepped outta myself and watched what was goin' on.

and while i think that's a really cool thing to do, i think
we need to be aware that that's not always something we're
able to do ESPECIALLY when we're carrying grief. if there are
moments you can and want to try that, that's fine. cool.
do it. it's interesting and can show you some stuff, i think.
and if there are NO moments where that feels like anything
you could possibly do, then that's fine. because that's not
where you're at right then.

accepting where we're at and allowing our emotions is what

i like to tinker with mine at times. but not always. that's
for sure. and i know when i'm grieving, i don't tinker. it's
all i can do to stand up.

i've also learned that grieving has a life of its own.
the anniversary of one of the deaths that has hit me hardest
is coming up in a couple of weeks. it will be three years
since we lost her.

this year, i happen to be standing. i'm watching tho,
wondering how i'll do.
last year took me completely by surprise and knocked me to
my knees.

that would have been the second year she was gone.
and when the month of her death rolled around, it was like
i got hit by a truck.

i was amazed. it was the SECOND year, after all.
shouldn't i be okay?
what the heck happened???
it wasn't even the DATE of her death, it was the MONTH.
my gosh.
i didn't say much to anyone else around me.
it WAS the second year after all.
i should be okay.

knocked to my knees, not saying much to anyone else because
i really felt like i should 'have it together by now'
i made the treadmill my best friend.

when i felt like i was losing it, i got on that thing.
i would be on that thing three or four times a day.
just goin' as fast and as hard as i could -
puttin' on music that got me into the center of it all,
and just movin' my way thru it the best i could.
each time i was on that thing, i would cry and cry and

i had never experienced anything like that before.
and i didn't feel like it was an entirely okay thing to have


this year i haven't mentioned the date to anyone around
me. i've heard it come up in conversations. friends making
plans on that day, schedules being figured out.

each time i feel a tug on my heart.
'that's the day' i think.
and never say a word.


because for pete's sakes how much can you harp about it?
how much can you dwell on it??
when are you gonna let go of it???

does any of those reactions sound healthy???

why do we feed that stuff???

we loved someone.
we lost someone.
our lives changed that day.
our hearts broke open that day.

i have a bone sigh i just posted recently for a friend
who lost her best friend....
it's about honoring the person who died by being the
best us we can be.
(you can find it here)

if we go with that thought and believe that thought.....
then allowing our grief to do what it needs to do, and go where
it needs to go and allowing ourselves that process is part
of honoring the one we lost because it's honoring ourselves.

and maybe, just maybe, it's time we took our grief process
and let it educate those who haven't been thru it yet,
that it really is okay to grieve.
and there is no timetable whatsoever.

that's probably better than kicking them to the moon.
which is what i want to do when i read a note like coleen's!

coleen, be gentle with yourself.
it matters.
and so do you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


i just watched this whole little thing take place
inside myself. and this watching of it, so far,
has changed something about it.

let me see if i can explain this.

i feel like i got slammed in the face.
it's a great description because i think my head
even went back a little bit like it got hit.
and my whole body felt something. hurt. jolted.
that kinda thing.

wow, huh?

an emotion can so feel like a slam in the face.
i mean, it REALLY did.

then i steadied myself, tried to figure out what
happened, fought off a few tears, tried to think

then i kinda acknowledged it was no surprise,
my face would survive. no teeth got knocked out.
and stepped back a bit.

and then i started looking at it all. not the
feelings part, but the reaction part.

so what happened doesn't matter.
that's not the point of the post.

the point is this whole reaction i had. and the watching.
and when i step back and watch it turns so much
more objective.

one of my all time favorite books, called 'who dies'
is written by a buddhist who keeps tryin' to teach
the stepping back and watching. i say 'tryin' because
well, i suck at that. i get caught up and carried away
in it all.

so while he may teach it just fine, and he's one heck of
a writer....i'm a little lame with it all.

but this morning it happened. just like he said to do.
well.....noooooooo that's not true.
i haven't gotten to his part yet.
i'll do that in a moment here.......

i stepped back and watched.
detached and observed.

now, he'd ask 'WHO got hit in the face?'

and okay, that's where i get a little lost.
a shower will help me find my way.
i'll go do that.

but this was too cool not to share......

i actually think i'm gonna try to be aware of this
all weekend.....play with it a bit.
see what happens....

Friday, November 5, 2010

final tidbits...

i finally finished the book, scarred by struggle,
transformed by hope
. seems every time i sat down
to read, something happened. but last nite, i just
about bolted my door so i could finish!

wanted to share some final tidbits from it......

'we become what we are, but we do not do it,
in most cases, in any kind of linear progression.
we go from one struggle to another, becoming as
we go. the hard thing to come to understand in life
is that it is the becoming that counts, not the
achievements, not the roles in which we manage
to mantle ourselves. but becoming is our most
byzantine task. giving ourselves over to be sculpted
can take a lifetime of shifts and gyrations,
of aimless orbits and dizzying spins, of near
despair and of dogged, intransigent, tenacious hope.'

'hope is not a matter of waiting for things outside
us to get better. it is about getting better inside
about what is going on inside. it is about becoming
open to the god of newness.'

'we always think of hope as grounded in the future.
that's wrong, i think. hope is fulfilled in the
future but it depends on our ability to remember that
we have survived everything in life to this point -
and have emerged in even better form than we were
when those troubles began. so why not this latest
situation too?'

i do like this woman.
thought those were good for a lot of people i know
right now so thought i'd share........

Thursday, November 4, 2010

a gutter freak

i've apparently got a gutter fixation.

my gutters needed some help.
right over my bedroom window, i'd get a waterfall.
and even i knew that couldn't be good.
altho, if i wasn't the homeowner, i sure would have
found the waterfall pretty.
actually, even tho i was the homeowner, i sure did find
that waterfall pretty.

but i knew i had to fix the whole deal.

noah got out there with me and we did a little repair.
i loved it.
it felt so good.
slappin' my hands together in satisfaction, i felt good.

the next rain we had was hard, and the waterfall now fell
right over my living room window.


so out we all went, noah, zakk and i.

i got up on the roof with zakk.
noah on the ladder with the hose.
we were gonna be scientific about it.

some cleaning it out, an adjustment here,
staring at the water we flowed into it. talking angles
and technical water talk....
we tweaked our gutters.

as the boys rounded the corner to fix that side of the gutters,
i got down to check the downspouts.

even the word downspout tickles me.

just hollerin' up 'I'LL CHECK THE DOWNSPOUTS' made me feel
like an explorer.

one was gone.
the turny part at the end.
where does a turny part go???

zakk tells me we have a spare in the shed.
you're kidding.
a spare turny thing???
we rock.

checking out the next downspout turny thing...
my gosh.
it's BURIED.
i mean...it's buried.

and for some reason, this thrills me.
i unbury it.
move all the earth out of the way.
boost up the downspout.
clear that out.

you would have thought i discovered australia
by the way i felt. i was so darn proud of myself.
and for some reason i felt like an explorer.
a conqueror.

now, i get this takes no talent at all.
and i get that one could point out that a really
good homeowner (or even just an okay homeowner)
would not have let the whole thing get buried in the
first place.
i get that.

but for some reason, it didn't matter.

i was thrilled and so very proud of myself.

when i walked back up to my house in the rain today,
i checked the gutter situation.
just like a real handy dandy homeowner.
i checked for waterfalls, and weird wet spots
AND i checked my downspout.

and i smiled.

all was flowing perfectly.

as i headed in my house, i felt the smile on my face.

and then i laughed.
i'm a gutter freak.

and proud of it!

it's the little things in life..........

a great line

i thought about it.
i drooled over it.
i shook my head no.
it'll be there in a few months.
i thought about it.
drooled over it.
wiped my chin.
and then, the little voice inside said:
'it will feed your soul.'
'your soul needs feeding right now.'
'do this for yourself.'
and that day, i went ahead and ordered it.
my very own copy of 'the dangerous old woman'
by clarissa pinkola estes.
the audio version.

when it came in, my hands were trembling.
think that's a sign my soul could use some feeding.
they seriously were trembling.
i was so excited to do this for myself and to
hear what she had to say.

stealing a little time here and there i've managed
to listen to a disc and a half so far.

and i gotta tell you,
i forgot i could be touched like this.
i forgot how it feels to be touched like this.
there is a deep deep deep part of me that can't decide
whether to weep or dance over being found again.

how can i lose these parts of me?
how can i let them fall asleep or get buried?
it almost aches it feels so good......

and i make a mental note to pay attention to feeding
my soul. to make it priority. to make it part of my life.

there's this one sentence that she said that i've repeated
to three different people.

so i thought that would be the one sentence i put out here
to start with....

of course, i don't have a direct quote as it was many sentences

but it was something like - wherever there is beauty, the predator
shows up.

wherever there is beauty the predator shows up.

i'm not sure why that sentence made me feel good.
but it did.

and over the last few days as i think about it, i see that truth
everywhere. in so many different forms. in so many different ways.

and i think why i like it so much is that i find it helpful.

i can get caught up in 'the predator' and get muddled.
but if i just know that that shows up....and that that's the way
it works, i think i won't have to get so muddled.

and when i think of the stories i've heard the last few days,
if the people only understood that they were the beauty....
and that that's a good thing....
and that this stuff isn't there fault.
i don't know, it seems like it would help.

not sure if it will hit anyone else like it did me....

but that's been floating in my head for days now.
thought i'd share........

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

budgeting ain't all bad!

a friend read my sneakers post and worried about the
break i gave her on an order.

oh no. no. no. no. no.

i talk freely of my budgeting because it's part of my
life right now. i budget. and sometimes i struggle with it.
and sometimes i don't. sometimes i budget more than others.

and....one of the best lessons i ever got was from my
budgeting recently. which i haven't posted because now's
not the time. i have to wait til i'm rolling in the dough
to tell that story. but then i will.

budgeting and finances are part of life. and i don't
want to not post that stuff here and leave it out. cause
it impacts my world daily.

but if it makes any of my friends feel like they have to order,
or that they can't get a discount, then that ruins the spirit
of the posts.

i want the posts to be honest.

and honestly? the budget isn't affected by the good hearts
of my friends. it's affected by the economy, and the stores
that i work with hurting and closing, and me deciding to not
offer consignment anymore because too many stores have walked
away with my stuff, it has to do with a catalog struggling and
not ordering as much as it used to.

and you know what???
the economy will pick up, stores are gonna pull thru,
not offering consignment will balance out and help me in the end,
and the catalog is beginning to breathe new life again.
and bone sigh arts is getting better and better as we go along.

when i make it so that i'm not budgeting anymore and when i'm
easily writing the checks and money flows in and out with ease...
i will look back with glee that i made it thru a rough time.
and i'll feel proud of myself. i already do. some of my best
stories have come from my hardest times.

and, for me, the only way i will ever feel poor is if i can't
do something for someone else. if i can't give something away,
if i can't cut someone a deal, if i can't be giving.

if i can't be giving, then i'm in the wrong business.
and i don't want to do this anymore.

so please, no one take my budget posts as sad.
they're filled with good good things.
and it's important to see that.

my budgeting days have given me some of the best days of
my life. don't miss that part.

it's important to share the struggle and the triumph.

and the giving and receiving that goes on here daily.

my life couldn't be richer.
don't miss that part.


it's a story i've told before.
if you've seen it, just skip on over this...
i think it's an important one and i found myself
tellin' a friend privately today, and thought i'd share
it again.

it was in response to what she sees when she looks in the
mirror. it made me sad to think of her standing there not
seeing her beauty.

when i was 35 a close friend of ours died. he was the one
who showed up to all our family events with the camcorder.
he took all our home vids for us.

after he died, i found some quiet time where it was just me,
and i put the vids in to watch.

i was 35 years old. i had three kids, had been married for
awhile...and didn't even think about the fact that i thought
of myself as 'fat, loud and obnoxious.' it's just what i carried.
that would have been my description to you if you asked for
a truthful one from me.

so as i watched this vid, and saw myself, i was stunned.
i don't think i will ever forget that moment.
i think it was the first time i had ever seen my adult self
on any kinda vid.
i watched this woman who was thin, gentle and quiet.
i became glued to the movie. watchin' every move this woman....
i watched me reach out to one of my sons.
my gosh, my hand was so gentle and i was so gentle with him.
i was stunned by the movements. by the way i touched the kids.

i was thin. how could i be that thin????

and quiet. i was in the background doin' the stuff that needed
to be done. takin' care of what needed to be taken care of.
not loud and obnoxious.

the tears poured down my face.
they poured and they poured and they poured.

who was this?
who was i?
how come i never knew this?????

it was one of those days that something profound happened inside.

when i was in the thick of writing bone sighs, i wrote a lot of them
about seeing myself. i knew that i had to do that. i knew that that
was something that needed to be resolved inside me.

i really really struggled with the seeing.

somehow, and i think this is so significant, bob has helped me
see a lot. you know that thing about being mirrors for each other?
thru him, i've come to really see that i'm gentle.
i really didn't have a clue on that one.
and now i can see it. and i know it.

and as i've gone along, i've dropped the obnoxious stuff too.

the body issues are a tough hold out....but they're better.
not as bad.

and i think of all the years i've had it wrong.
and i think of my friend standing in front of her mirror having
it so so wrong.

how can we see ourselves???
how do we learn???

i think part of that learning has to come from those around us.
we need to start somewhere, and we can't always find it inside
to start with.

surrounding yourself with those who see your beauty....they
can help.

learning to listen and trust and hear them....that's part of
the deal....

seeing yourself reflected in their love....

all that stuff....

i think all of that is what helps you get to the place where
you can really start to clear that film away from your eyes.

start there?
maybe watch a vid of yourself too.....
it could change your life......