Wednesday, December 31, 2014

on this last day....

hands down, my all time favorite author is mark nepo.

my guys gave me his latest book for christmas.

i'm only on page 24 and i just feel like they handed me a trunk of treasures.

i wanted to end the year from something from this new book -
'the endless practice, becoming who you were born to be'

but which quote???
even having only read 24 pages it's just so hard to pick.

but then i saw this one line.

and i thought what a perfect line to end the year with -

so for all of us,
i offer a thought from one of my heroes -
(thank you, mark, for all that you do)

'Life is made just difficult enough that we need each other.'

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


i've been going to a different grocery store lately.
this one has more organic stuff in it.
so it's drawn me over.
got me out of my habit and creating new ones.
that right there is a good thing.
throw in the organics, and it's a real good thing.

there's a cashier there that i totally love.
i remember the first time i talked to her.
i was completely taken with her beauty.

i see her just about every time i go up there now.
and each time, she's just as beautiful.

she caught my attention this morning as she was being so attentive to someone
most of us would just tolerate.

i didn't realize it was her.
i just noticed the person was being incredibly kind.
i looked over.
her hair was different so i didn't recognize her at first,
and then i saw her face.

of course it was her.
warmth completely exudes out of her.
and it's true warmth, straight from her soul.

as i looked at her, i realized that she wasn't the beauty 'standard.'
that'd she'd never be on a magazine cover.
in fact, she didn't have to be seen as beautiful at all.
but i'm pretty darn sure every man in the area would be attracted to her,
and every woman think she's worth admiring.

so i thought about that as i walked past her this morning.
she is an example of beauty that goes beyond physical.
so far beyond, that she breaks the 'standard' physical barriers
and carries you away with who she is.

her being who she is, reminds me to be who i am.
her being warm and kind and considerate reminds me that that's what
i care about in a person, and reminds me to keep at it.

her being the most beautiful woman i've ever seen up there,
reminds me that the magazines have it all wrong.
and that yeah, when you see real beauty, it is so striking it inspires you -
it doesn't make you feel less than.
it reminds you to be who you are.

how incredibly cool is that?
and what a great reminder as i go into the new year.......

Monday, December 29, 2014

reaching for the soap

wow,,,,,,what a crammed full few days it's been!
lots of festivities.
lots of food.
lots of goofin'.

moments that seem to be walking me up to the edge for new years -
moments encouraging me to dive into a few new things,
to explore some more inner territory, and to see where i can travel.

i feel like i'm looking at new years a little differently this time around.
i've got all the usual exercising - eating right - writing more - things on my list,
but there's a deeper thing goin' on with me.

an understanding that it's each moment that i have to step into.
an understanding that it's up to me what i bring to my days.
it's up to me how much i dive into my own realness
and how much i offer that.

i listen to my sons speak of the traveling they want to do,
and i feel old.
because for me now, this year, i want to travel more on the inside.
there's so many places inside me i want to explore.
i think that is definitely an age thing.
and i'm okay with that.

this morning i decided to take a candlelight shower.
i had just finished a little exercise, my mood alive and awake.
i put some music on, lit the candles and showered.
at one point, i reached my arm out for the soap
and saw the water droplets all along my arm in the candlelight -
i filled with a feeling -
something like an understanding of the holiness of living.
just right there, for a momnet, reaching for the soap - i had a glimpse of the holy.

that's what i want to explore this year -
the reaching for the soap holy moments.

Friday, December 26, 2014


christmas has whirled me into a flurry of activities.....
in trying to catch up on emails, i found this gorgeous quote
a friend had shared with me. had to post it here.
the timing seems wonderful to me.
as we are smack dab in the holidays and the new year is coming fast -

thank you, margy, for sending it.
thank you, john odonohue for writing it -

It is a strange and magical fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you. It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here. Rilke said, “Being here is so much.” It is uncanny how social reality can deaden and numb us so that the mystical wonder of our lives goes totally unnoticed. We are here. We are wildly and dangerously free. The more lonely side of being here is our separation in the world. When you live in a body you are separate from every other object and person. Many of our attempts to pray, to love, and to create are secret attempts at transfiguring that separation in order to build bridges outward so that others can reach us and we can reach them. At death, this physical separation is broken. The soul is released from its particular and exclusive location in this body. The soul then comes in to a free and fluent universe of spiritual belonging.

If you really live your life to the full, death will never have power over you. It will never seem like a destructive, negative event. It can become, for you, the moment of release into the deepest treasures of your own nature; it can be your full entry into the temple of your soul. If you are able let go of things, you learn to die spiritually in little ways during your life. When you learn to let go of things, a greater generosity, openness, and breath comes into your life. Imagine this letting go multiplied a thousand times at the moment of your death. That release can bring you a completely new divine belonging.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

a christmas visit

i really struggled on whether i should go visit her or not.
i seem to make her mad these days.
not so sure i bring her goodness.

is it a kindness to go, or is it better not to go?
i struggled with this one.

i've visited her during the holidays every year for over twenty years.
but this was different.
i had decided not to go.
but that was last nite.
this morning i changed my mind,
took a deep breath, grabbed the goodies i had for her,
and went down.

she answered the door with a scowl, tellin me she wasn't doin' good.
i handed her her goodies and turned to leave,
but she told me to come in.

another deep breath...
at first i think she knew who i was.
but it didn't last.

in the middle of everything, she didn't know anymore.

i tried real hard to keep the subject off things that would get her upset.

and was amazed when i saw a doll layin' there by her chair.

i asked about the doll.
and she lit up.
she lit up like a little girl.

she talked to the doll like it was real.
and it made her smile.

and i could feel my heart break just a little more.

i was so grateful she had something that made her happy.
and so sad at what was happening.

i stayed as long as i could without letting the tears out.
but i knew they were coming soon and i wouldn't be able to stop them.
so i got up to leave.
bent over to give her a hug.
whispered 'merry christmas' to her as i hugged her, trying to just hold
her for a moment longer.

and then i left.
and the tears came before i had gotten off her driveway.

it's christmas time. with the dark and the light weaving in and out
whispering to me of life and the muscle it takes to live it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

shadows in the light

christmas has got me a little off kilter already.
tryin' to squeeze the work in between the fun has been crazy.
it's a combination the keeps me moving and brings me joy.

but there's another piece to the craze that i can't help but notice.
it's the shadow to all the light.

i have noticed the shadow every day of the season so far.

and when i start to think i'm observant,
i have to snort.
cause the shadow and the light are with us every day, i would think.
i just never notice.

but i am noticing now.
and while that doesn't make me the queen of the observant,
it does make me curious.

today was filled with joy and chaos.
literally running around trying to keep up with a job i love
so that i can go out to be with people i love.
there was such goodness, such love, complete with laughter that made me double over.
it was a morning of light.

and then the shadow came thru.
one of the darker ones.

and yet, at the same time as i grappled with trying to accept the dark,
i shared the struggle with someone i loved.
and right there is the dark and the light dancing together.

it is constant. it is everywhere. and i gotta wonder where have i been all my life.
i feel like i have never noticed it quite the way i'm noticing it now.

christmas week.
honoring the light in the darkness.
and maybe.....something i didn't ever realize before -
honoring the darkness in the light.

the shadows.

a new thought for me..........

Friday, December 19, 2014

window musings

sometimes in the spring,
the weather is so gorgeous out,
and the sky so incredibly blue,
you can just feel it all blowin' in your window
and inviting you to come out and play.

those are times i just can barely stay working,
and i finish up fast so that i can get outside and just be there.

today has seemed to be the winter version of that.

the weather is overcast and quiet,
the sky a soft gray with a deep blue mixed in,
and every single time i look out the window,
i can feel it just whispering to me -
you aren't alone,
everything is okay,

i've gone outside several times to just touch it all,
and have looked out the window more than usual today.

i woke up this morning wondering what life was all about,
wondering what we're doing with our days and why.....
all that stuff someone wonders during mid-life.
it was there inside me this morning.

but every single time i look out my window, or walk out my door,
there's a peace that lands on me.
and it just kinda makes the world stop.

it's the coolest thing.
and while i've noticed those spring days that call to me, many times,
i think this is the first time i ever noticed a winter day that's doin' the same,
only in its winter style.

maybe this happens every single day.
and i never notice.

wouldn't that be amazing?
and if that's the case, maybe that's the answer to those mid-life questions -
maybe every single one of 'em can be answered with -
look out the window and breathe.
soak it in and be.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

appreciating the season of light

the sad has lifted.
and i'm glad.

i mean, there's still some there.
today's the actual anniversary of my dad's passing.
and that's there inside me.
along with some other stuff.

but i could feel it all lifting last nite.

i opened a box of presents from a friend and set them out
along with lots of tinsel and garland and glitz that she had included.
and i laughed.

stood right there in the middle of the sad and laughed.
because the tinsel and garland and glitz and packages and love
had trumped the sad there for a moment.

seemed to be an important moment.
cause i could see the beauty of the season.

and then i opened a gift from a different friend.
and found handmade love inside.

and it really hit me how it is the perfect season to have sadness in.

because everywhere you turn are reminders of joy, and love and hope and light.

just when you need them, you turn one way and you find one of 'em.
turn a different way, and find another.

that's one of the things that stands out the most for me in my memories
of when my dad passed. the driving back and forth to the hospital and
seeing the christmas lights. i remember how much they meant to me and
how glad i was that they were there.

beautiful light.

it's the season of it.

and i love that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

one of those days

what an interesting day.

i've just been sad.

just sad.

which is okay.

sad is part of the season as well.

and i know it'll lift and joy will come running back in.
i honestly know that.

so i've been watching the sad.

i sat at a stop light at one point today
and looked across the road at the brown tree arms reaching up to the blue sky.
they were the perfect hues - my favorites.

i looked up at them and thought - 'can you see the beauty there, terri?
can you still see it and hold it?'

so i consciously stopped to hold it.
and i could.
and i thought how incredible it was that there was such beauty
all around me and how hard it was to keep seeing it when
my eyes were heavy with sad.

i know i missed a ton of beauty today.
but i did see that.
and i held it.

and i thought that was cool.

later, walking outside, i leaned my head back and breathed in the mild air.
it felt so good.

and i realized how lucky i was that i wasn't so sad that i couldn't still
feel or see these things.

i knew there were times that was just too hard.

i thought of some of the really heartbreaking emails i've had lately
from people experiencing incredible grief.

it would take them a long time before they noticed the trees and the sky
or felt the mild air and breathed it in.

but the beauty will be there when they're ready to see it again.
it will be there waiting.

and that thought right there made me tear up with gratitude.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

now's the time

so many many threads are running thru my mind lately.
i think the holidays bring up a lot.
and i guess a whole lotta things come together and meet this time of year.
so my head has been swimming.

rather than untangle the threads with you right now,
i'll just go down to the bottom part that seems to be screaming at me thru all the rest -

it's something like -


that's pretty much what it's screaming.
i have heard incredible stories of loss and lives unlived.
there have been stories of people not living their truth because of guilt
and obligation....and then dying and not even realizing they had things all mixed up.

the whole 'what are you bringing to the party?' thing i've talked about here -
what is it you bring to the moments of your life?
and why?

is it because you want to be who you are?
or are you trying to be who you should be?

LIFE IS SHORT! is also being screamed inside of me.

we gotta grab it and live it for our own reasons.
for the reasons the feel meaningful and real to ourselves.

and everyone else will have to deal with that in whatever way works for them.

all of this is whirling inside of me in a thousand different forms.

every day lately i've engaged with someone who tells me they don't feel they're enough,
they don't feel they can be who they are for whatever reasons,
they feel less than.
they feel obligated.
they feel too sad to move.
or they just don't have any 'giving back to the party' that they're showing.
they're just there.

it's the end of the year.
the dark time of the year.

the time just before we take some time to sit and think about where we're
going with our next year....with our lives.

maybe it's time to reflect a little on who we are and why.
and who we want to live for.

what a cool thing to do.
what a vital thing to do.

now's the time.
let's grab it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

two sentences got it!

there are just times someone else captures what you've been
tryin' and tryin' to say.
and they capture it in two sentences,
when you've been goin' on in paragraphs.

this is what has been on my mind for months now and
i just haven't been able to express.

it was posted today on facebook....and i totally had to share -

'The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply.'

that is so huge,
that's just what i want to leave here today.

i love that.

Friday, December 12, 2014

a proud mama

ah! today's blog is just a proud mama showin' off one of her sons.

so proud of this guy.

it's long, so it might be something to save for a teabreak.
or just run by and watch a few minutes and get his vibe.

i just love this guy.......

you can find josh's interview here...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

magic moments

it keeps happening.
this crazy mix of so many different feelings.

then last nite, just as i was walking out of my office
and turning off the light, the phone rang.

it was a friend calling telling me it was time for a root beer float.
i laughed, said 'perfect timing, give me 20 minutes.'
and i ran down and got the ingredients.

when i came back we shared a float over the phone.
and laughed and talked and slurped.

it's the root beer float moments i'm thinking of today.

we need to know they're there and they pop in at wonderful times,
and that all the crazy mix is just that - a crazy mix.
and we just need to keep trying to open to it all..........

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

what a day

this time of year finds me running.

which i love.
mix it in with the holiday magic,
and i feel pretty darn good.

but, every now and then, without really expecting it,
a wave of weary will come over me.

not everything is always 100% wonderful, ya know?
not everything is a hallmark movie.
and while i'm pretty good with that,
i think those not so easy things can sneak up on me in the quiet moments.

and sometimes they bring weary.

this afternoon, in what felt like out of the blue,
a wave of weary hit.

i've been thinking a lot about the questions in the blog below
about living from habit or from what i want, and being who i am in the moments.

so i checked in with myself and asked where i was.
and i was okay with weary.
it wasn't habit, i knew what it was from,
several things mixing together,
and i knew that it had to kinda wave in and out when it did.
and that was all part of the process.

so i decided it was okay, and i'd pay attention to who i was thru it.

that in itself felt kinda cool.
awareness, acceptance and watching to see where i went.
i am making some strides here and there!

well, it IS the season for magic.
and as i sat back down at my computer to catch up with some things,
i saw a lovely woman, a beautiful friend, had donated to bone sigh arts.
an incredibly generous amount.

and a whole new wave washed over me.

i knew just where i would use the donation. there's never a loss for places.
and i just smiled from ear to ear. this gave me such help in spreading bone
sighs - in trying to be a candle this holiday season. this was such a treat.
and it felt so affirming of who i was and what i did......
and i love what i do.

and gratitude just went thru the roof!

and then i watched.
the weary was still there right there next to the gratitude.
and i thought how amazing that is.

i have so wanted to learn to hold it all, hold the mix.
and no, i'm nowhere near that,
but i could see steps in the right direction here.
i could hold both those things together.
and that in itself felt like magic.

what a season.
what a journey.
what a day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

a few good questions

here's something really really really on my mind right now.

how much of our lives are we living the way we want to?
and how much is habit?
and how much do we like the way we're living?

that's really it.

you could go on forever about that.
but then those questions might get diluted.

and i'm thinking those are awesome questions.

now that i'm on my own,
i really see how i'm living.
i guess cause i make a whole lot more of my decisions based on just me.

i'm pleased to say i like a whole lot of how i live.
that makes me very happy.

and i see places i need to work on.
that makes me a little tired.....but mostly excited.

throw this last question in and sit with them all and see what you come up with -

how much are you listening to the world around you and the people in it?

i've been walkin' around with all this on my mind.
and it's making for a really cool holiday season.......
thought i'd share.

Monday, December 8, 2014


whew! been one of those days!
finally sittin' down to blog.

there's been a poem i've been wanting to post now for about a week.
tonite seems like the perfect time as i would just end up rambling about
the wonderful birthday adventure we had with josh.

it truly was wonderful!

a poem that will knock your socks off.

by mary oliver

i read this and when i hit the last line i almost fell over.
gosh, do i understand that line......

The slippery green frog
that went to his death
in the heron's pink throat
was my small brother,

and the heron
with the white plumes
like a crown on his head
who is washing now his great sword-beak
in the shining pond
is my tall brother.

My heart dresses in black
and dances.

Friday, December 5, 2014

gettin' ready for the birthday.....

so tomorrow's my first born's birthday.
and being very much like his mama,
he's begun the celebrating already.

today he took me out to lunch as a thank you for giving birth to him.
kinda cool.
kinda darn cool.

when i look back at all those years we've traveled together,
i'm amazed at how packed they've been, how very magical,
how very difficult, and how totally full.

i think of some of those moments where we locked horns and
just wrestled things out. how we cried our way thru things,
or laughed and laughed with delight.

i have moments in my memory that i wouldn't trade for anything.

we share some kinda weird cosmic wavelength.
we think the same thoughts sometimes and understand things
before the other has finished speaking.

i love that.

right now we're waiting for the bleach to do the trick so we can
dye his hair red for the holidays. the perfect start to a birthday weekend!

no one could have explained the road i was going down 29 years ago.
no one.

and i'm kinda glad.

you have to live it to know.

that's just the deal with life, isn't it?
you have to live it to know what it's full of.

if anyone teaches me how to live fully, it's this crazy son of mine.

so to honor him for his birthday, i wanted to put a reminder out here
for all of us - let's remember this weekend -

to live fully, to embrace it all, to follow the road where it takes us -
cause no one can explain where we're goin'.......or all the magic
we'll bump into.

if only we open to it......

Thursday, December 4, 2014

the way you look at things

i have days where i literally run from thing to thing.

this was one of those days.
i ran all over the place.

i generally like that as it keeps my energy up and
i end up smilin' a lot as i run.

this morning tho, i took my time outside.
which may explain the running the rest of the day!

i raked.
and raked.
and raked some more.

but that's not why i went outside.

i went outside because i saw the morning just beginning to break
right out my living room window.
and i couldn't stand it.
i HAD to be out there with it.

so, yeah, now that i think about it,
my running started then.
i ran to get ready to get out there.

and i got lost in thinking and raking.
apparently i needed to sort thru a few things.
so i raked and sorted.
raked and sorted.

and then as i finished up raking,
i looked at my yard. really didn't look raked.

i mean, it looked like it had less leaves.

but you know that look you get when you rake?
where it's all neat and clean?

i don't get that.
mine still looks like it needs raking.
every time i rake.

so i noticed that.
and for the first time, felt discouraged.
thinking i just wasn't good at this job.

luckily that lasted for about 3 seconds.
because then i remembered why i went out in the first place.

i came out to be in the morning.
i came out to be outside when the morning burst thru.
i came out to soak in the world.

not rake.

well, in that case -
that works well.
cause i'm pretty good at doin' that.

it's all just in the way you look at things, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


She left.
And she won't be back.
As if that's not hard enough -
someone came in and took over her weak and sagging body.
Someone nasty and mean
who has forgotten how to be nice
and caring
and where she put her key
and how to reset the clock
and that people aren't things
and where her meds are.
Who has forgotten everything
except some mixed up threads
that don't tie together just right
like her address
or your sons' names.
And it all comes out confused and angry.
And paranoid.
That someone has taken over.
And decided to stay.

As I watch,
confusion also washes over me.
It's different,
but it tangles me too.
I want to run and hide.
To duck, to be out of her range.
To not look and see.
To not witness this cruel game.

But shouldn't I try to be a taste of kindness
in these unrelenting jaws
of this predator part of life?
What of my belief in love?
What of my wanting to live light?
I try.
It doesn't work.
I give up.
And again I try.
I anger her.
She looks down,
avoids my eyes,
mumbles words of frustration,
my heart echoes the frustration in silent screams inside myself.
My bones weary from the vibrations and the watching.

I look at the splatter on the floor between us -
the place where my offering fell.
Splashed on her toes, I stare at her feet.
When did she start wearing those slippers?
How long did it take her to wear those holes thru?
Does she know how filthy they are?
Does any of it matter anymore?

How do we communicate to someone who can't understand?
How do we not become hardened?

How do we honor the one that we loved and manage to survive the one that is here?

How do I become more of who I want to be
rather than less of who I really am?

I think of her toes.
How they've captured it all -
old and worn out, in need of care,
sticking thru the filthy remains of something that was once pretty and functional.

It is those toes I find myself in a dance with.
It is those toes that I want to embrace.
And yet I step on them over and over,
fumble and fall.

Looking again and again for some kind of grace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

coffee shop thoughts

there's nothing like working in a coffee shop to keep yourself entertained.

sitting here trying to add up numbers, i couldn't help overhearing a young woman nearby.
for some reason, her voice really carried.
and i found myself grinning over and over by the snippets i'd hear.

but it was this little bit that made me pull out the laptop to write the blog -

i heard her say 'i'm getting old.'

that made my 53 year old eyebrows raise.
because the next line was 'i'm 24.'

and she was serious.

this really hit me as i was greatly saddened yesterday by the state of my
elderly neighbor. and by elderly, i really mean elderly - not someone in their 30's.

i heard the old twenty four year old talk about how life was tough.
and i wondered if she really did know that.
she might.
i understood that.
some 8 years olds know more than i do about how tough the world is.
life seems to feel free to teach anyone that, no matter what age.
so i thought maybe she understood.

i heard her ask 'cancer?' and i thought - okay, yeah, she does know.

and then i heard 'leo.'

and i laughed.

and i hoped she really didn't know life was tough.
i hoped life was full of astrology signs for her right now.
there's no need to rush the lesson.

yesterday as i walked back inside after trying to help my elderly neighbor,
and ending up doing nothing but frustrating each of us,
i thought how life could be so cruel.

'cruel' was the word i thought.
it was definitely beyond tough.

i don't feel like this is the woman i've known for years.
she feels gone.
and someone really just not nice has walked in and taken over.
and is torturing everyone.

and i know this happens over and over and over every day all over the place.

and i don't like it.
not at all.

i think back to the days when life was about astrology signs for me.
gosh, i looked at life so differently.

i honestly wish everyone could have that 'astrology' time in their life.
and i know some kids never get it.
they know life is cruel really early.

i didn't find out til later. and i'm kinda glad about that.
cause it gave me time to see that life is beautiful as well.
i was lucky. i got that.

now i spend my time trying to figure out how to hold the mix,
and to trust it, and to know there's magic in it all.

i stumble a lot.
like yesterday after dealing with my elderly neighbor.
but then i hear this young woman's voice, and i remember again.

life is a mix.
and i'm so glad i'm in it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

finding the joy

someone around here has been ahead of herself.
since my busiest time with work is now,
i try real hard to get a lot of my personal holiday stuff done as early as i can.

which is why this weekend you could find me wrapping presents.

i had so much delight in that project,
i even kinda amazed myself.
i've always enjoyed doing that, but this year was the most fun i've ever had.

and i find that worth noting as this year i had to budget big time.
this is my third year of the budget stuff.....
the first year was really hard.
hard for my ego for sure.
second year wasn't much better.

this year tho......
well, there's been an occasional ruffled ego feather -
where i wish i could give more than i can -
but i gotta say -
i'm mostly over it.
so much so that the joy of what i am giving is totally filling me.

and it's not at all about what i'm giving, of course.
it's the time and the thought and the love that went into the choices.

of course.

the reason this is all news to me is i didn't think i'd ever get over
the darn budget stuff....the drag of all that.

but i did!
and now........there's more joy than ever.

there's more joy than i coulda imagined, and i have no idea if the budgeting
is related to it or just there too. i have no idea.

but it's something to remember when i'm feelin' sad about something,
or something isn't quite how i want it......
maybe if i get over how i want it, and go with how it is......
well, maybe there's a ton of joy that i didn't even know about waiting to be found.

THAT'S why i thought it was news of note.

ho! ho! ho!