Here and There

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Poem for Ash Wednesday

The Waiting Color

Purple is the waiting color.
And the figs--and the plums and grapes, are the waiting color fruits.
Each with a dusky layer that can be polished away to reveal a gleam.

And isn't the time spent polishing the fruit the time spent in purple time?
Isn't it seeing the dust rubbed away?
Bringing the sharpness of pain into gleam.
The remembering that it's all playing at something, but not quite real.
Murky reflection in a mirror.
This is all some kind of lent, or advent.
The advent and lent, two sides of the same yearning.
Your whole life is that, not just these weeks:

It's a candied violet and a bruise.
Eggplant, sea urchin, lilac, the top of a sunset sky.
It's a jacaranda, amethyst, the king's color, or the queen's.
The center of the geode.

So, imagine the fig, sitting on its bottom in your palm.
Its purple a particular kind. So dark and delicate.
Somehow, this short, hard, beautiful life is an echo of what is to come.
And the fig and all the purple flowers and fruit, animals and stones are there.
All ripe and waiting.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Love letter

Our house went on the market today and I wrote this after thinking about how, from the start, everything I imagined or batted around with Peter, he just built or made:

It is true that 736 Channing Way is Peter's love letter to me and our children.
It is also true, that like any good love letter it doesn't exist on the page it was written.
It lives in the hearts of the giver and the receiver as little tended fires of mutual love and tenderness.
Onward! To our next places which will become love letters to each other because it's the way we live.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wild Geese

I saw geese in a field today and was already thinking about Mary Oliver's death, and I was overcome with sadness at what seemed to me like the tameness of those geese in the field and I felt like something wild was lost and never to be found, or returned.

Her poem Wild Geese was a starting place for me for many lessons I am still learning.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Solstice Reflecting

 "Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" And apparently, what he's telling his people is just forget about the Exodus, forget about all the ancient miracles, and pay attention to the new miracles of rebirth and new creation that God is enacting before your very eyes. I often wonder when I read that, what was it like the day the poet got those words and what did it feel like and how did he share that? Of course, we don't know any of that, so it just keeps ringing in our ears.

This, Walter Brueggemann’s words from an On Being interview I heard today, have been tickling my brain on this day of solstice.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


I went into Henry's class this week to share about Advent. Blurry photo, but such a sweet day to remember.
Advent practices help me engage in the season, a little deeper, a little more thoughtfully. When I have a specific thing I'm working on (creatively) I remember the years more distinctly.
This year, I was back and forth about a project. I had a poem collection I was working on this fall-mostly about figs, and the content seemed to flow into Advent thinking for me. But I feel finished with them, so I want to follow the path forward. Angels have been in my mind. So I'm kind of toying with that theme as I doodle (with paint, with words, etc.)

I also like to reflect a little on things that are inspiring me at the moment, as the season begins. These things feel like invitations to taking time with them as topics to explore during Advent. For me these ideas mainly were: moss, figs, the idea and image of God as connective tissue for created beings/created beings as connective tissue for God.

Advent isn't for closing doors on wonderings, so I'm not worried about not having a "thing" yet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


This Autumn has found me in a tender new place, all my kids are in school and the dog and I are left at home. Me working fewer hours for paid work than I have since I was 16, trying to keep house, cook, write, explore the meaning of (my) life...

I'm trying to see the bigger picture in all things. I'm trying to "be patient with the slow work of God."

Our family is in transition this fall, on the edge of more transition, I want to be stable, sane and prepared.  Below, some moments I didn't 'gram, but want to remember from this season.

 At Chipotle after a random trip to Lafayette to pick up a Godly Play piece gifted to me by a long time, experienced Godly Play teacher. Even just taking a moment to listen to her tell me about how she herself was gifted with this piece (the temple) 20 years ago and stories of teaching her grandchildren Godly Play, was a total gift this season.

In all his sploot glory.

The trees at the Adobe Art Center, Maggie and I took a class together there this summer. As we imagine and prepare for moving back to Castro Valley, the sad side is often there on top. But these trees waiting for me feels good.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Poem for the Earth, because I love her.

Mama Nature

Sometimes she catches fire
And it doesn’t matter what burns.
Sometimes it’s lightning, but mostly it’s not her fault.
Sometimes she wears a hurricane like a fascinator.
Her eye is its center, calm and silent.
Lace, tulle, feathers, siding, cement piers, branches and
Her gaze, her hold.

Sometimes she erupts from within.
It isn’t something we can handle, to see what she holds inside.
We run, cower and are covered over while she cools.
Sometimes she shakes, grinding teeth, shuffling the cards of her layers.

The tide pull, the daily turn, and the yearly turn, too.
Her movements through space, beyond imagination.
A mother’s love life.

We can’t know her or see her for who she is.
We can’t even find our place on her surface properly.
We ruin, we find dominion.

She, herself, a drop of life on a web we can’t fathom. A vast home ranging far above our thought, ranging past our extinction.

What’s that they say, “To know her is to love her”?

Or maybe “Have mercy on me a sinner”.