Monday, April 29, 2013


We live in a linear society -- perpetually moving forward or up or both. 

But the Truth lives in circles: the circles of the seasons, of the sun and moon, the paths of planets. And we can touch the Truth in circles of community. 

Last week I stepped out of my ordinary circles and routines to be with my brother on his birthday and my friend for her mother’s funeral. 

The birthday party revealed ways we can love each other: by what we cook, by the things we give each other, by the laughter we share. We were a circle of family warmed by each other – a circle of love in a late April snowstorm. 

It was harder to find the circles at the funeral. People sat in separate pews, then at separate tables. There were evanescent circles that formed, then vanished as siblings looked at photos of their mother’s past. 

I slipped away from the sorrow to briefly visit the Garden of the Gods where the circle of great stones – perhaps a great vortex – comforted me. 

Later, I went with my friend to her AA meeting. Sitting on the side, I witnessed absolute community – where people shared their struggles with absolute honesty and humor, knowing they would not be judged, only supported. Hallelujah. 

There are circles everywhere – in churches, in coffee shops, in AA meetings, and writing groups. Find one. Find many. Circle round.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Every time we turn around, the flags are at half-mast. 

Every time we turn around, people -- often children -- have died from violence. 

And still we do not change our laws, or our attitudes. 

It is time 

 It is past time 

 That we raise the flag.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Be it known that I shoveled my walks on April 15 and 16, 2013. 

We had nearly a foot of snow – the moist, soft kind of snow that clings to every branch and bush. 

And it was beautiful – not just to look at, but also because each flake of snow added a drop of moisture to Colorado’s thirsty land. Each flake extinguishing a potential spark, warding off the horrific fires we feared would come again. 

And it was beautiful – just to look at--a late reminder of the inherent beauty of tree limbs. Soon the structural sculpture will be hidden by innumerable leaves. 

It is good to remember the strength and symmetry that supports the blossoms and green. And it will be good to see the blossoms and green. 

It’s coming. I have seen the tulip buds poking through and the haze of future foliage. 

Today we pause and drink it in.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Spring was progressing nicely. Textures of the new season emerged. Snow traced herringbone patterns in fields. Tulip leaves speared my garden. Bud bumps foreshadowed future blossoms on tree branches. There were even the occasional crocus, daffodil or grape hyacinth. Good signs all.

Then, Wham! The winds went crazy, the temperature plummeted and snow threatened. We all retreated indoors, lighted our fireplaces and ate soup.

About the same time, I received a letter from someone from my past that knocked me for a loop.

The past should stay past. 

You can’t go home again. 

 Isn’t there another cliché I could use here?

 Perhaps, ‘let sleeping dogs lie.’ (But who is the dog?)

Twice we had connected. Twice we ended the connection … no that’s not true, I ended the connection because it was too painful for me, too one-sided.

He is brilliant, creative, unique and (most of the time) supremely self-confident. I am intelligent (not brilliant) creative (on a more conventional scale), pretty ordinary, and only tentatively self-confident.

And he is oblivious to normal stuff like domesticity, commitment, grocery shopping, or any aspect of standard suburban existence.

 Still, after a decade, he called, then wrote, suggesting a rendezvous.

Why? We’re both older of course. Perhaps mortality was the motivation. But a one-side relationship on the edge of the grave does not appeal to me. I’d rather be alone – with my cats and computer and community of friends.

So I said no, but thank you.

And lo! The sun is shining again.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I think their names were Gus Gus and Jocko – the mice in Walt Disney’s version of “Cinderella” who helped her escape her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and live happily ever after with the kingdom’s heir apparent. 

There are never any mouse droppings in Disney films. 

There were however, plenty in my garage. Evidently, the mice came for the cat litter, which contains wheat. One side of the garage had been cleaned up and I thought I was home free then I saw the mess on the other side. Actually, I saw the mess yesterday but was not about to clean up mouse droppings on Easter. 

So today, too tired to be brilliant but awake enough to clean, I swept and scrubbed. It soon became apparent that this, the storage side of the garage, had not been swept and cleaned for a very, very long time. I found artifacts of my own history that should have been dumped ages ago -- now dumped. And deep debris -- now banished. 

So I guess I am grateful. Well no, not grateful – instead I think I am, perhaps, grudgingly glad that I finally had unavoidable cause to clean the place up. 

Sometimes shit has a purpose. 

And sometimes it is good to be reminded that real mice leave droppings and there probably isn’t any such thing as happily-ever-after. 

But mostly happy is possible -- as is a clean garage.