Here and There

Monday, August 15, 2016

In August

Favorite things I watched:  Broad City, every episode...over and over...., Stranger Things, The Little Prince
Favorite things I heard:  In the Heights, the On Being with Krista Tippet episode with Thich Nhat Hanh
Favorite thing I read:  The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Friday, July 22, 2016


open fire cast iron cooking...
perfect light, perfect temperatures

Didn't even have to use a fly: sleeping under the stars, and getting dressed under the trees and filtered sun.

We went camping at the Russian River last week.  We swam and floated and drank Kirkland light beer, we made good food and now, looking back, even though Henry was wild and naughty a lot of the time, I think we had a pretty darn amazing time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Last week, I walked through a school garden with the kids.  Deserted on a summer afternoon, we picked golden raspberries and strawberries and chard, I studied the labyrinth, there were flowers and herbs and vegetables.  It seemed like the sun was holding it all down with a steady heat.  And me too, I felt like I was clobbered and disoriented by bad news and this fuzz of the sun in the late afternoon was gentling me.  The garden was terraced and full of small paths.  I wandered and felt calm.  A bee working, a dove.  The fuzz of gold on everything in the garden on that warm afternoon.  How could it possibly comfort me?  I don't understand that part.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Grown Ups at the Kindergarten Play

I happened to watch one side of the audience during "Chicken Soup With Rice" at the play and was stunned by how beautiful it was to watch the families watch the children.
The Grown Ups at the Kindergarten Play

It was almost like flash bulbs flashing, but it was their shining eyes blinking.
All the phone screens, they were horizontal, filming.  
But there was still this twinkling about the whole thing:  
Like gems catching the light, sun on the pond.

They were all standing there, half standing, sitting there.
They had forgotten where they were, so charmed they were.
Chuckles and sighs escaped like steam from underneath the lid of a boiling pot.  
Bubbles of pride and delight becoming “aha-has” or a little “oh”.

It didn’t matter what the song or the motion was.  
The kids either sang, or didn’t sing.  They did the motions, or they forgot.  
But seeing them up there had inside-outed the adults’ affection and it was extravagant.

They were so lovely to watch as they were watching,
standing there, half standing, sitting there.
They weren’t hoping for anything for the kids.  
They weren’t dreaming of anything for the kids.  
They were happy to see them up there, just as themselves.

Grown ups, can you feel it?  Can you feel that love coming at you from the audience?  
For you, when you learn, when you forget, when you just sit there, remembering the school play.

There is a presence who is agog at you on your stage, so full of bright love, not even hoping you’ll be anything better than you.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

May begins

Just finished Death Comes for the Archbishop yesterday.  Beautiful.  I loved this passage:

"The ride back to Santa Fe was something under four hundred miles. The weather alternated between blinding sand-storms and brilliant sunlight.  The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still,--and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world.  The plain was there, under one's feet but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud.  Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it.  Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.  The landscape one longed for when one was far away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!"

I also had the suspicion and it was confirmed this evening that my personality type which used to be solidly ENFP is now INFP.  How have I become an introvert?  When exactly did it happen?  I felt it, but I was reluctant to acknowledge it.  And how is it that Peter's is ENTJ?

May will be a busy month, but I hope to spend lots of time working in the garden, watching the chickens, listening to music, drinking deliciously herby cocktails, reading good books and writing more poems.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Home, but with a little more of me left back there I think.  

Desert lovebirds
The big room at breakfast.

One of my favorite spots, the patio between the living room and the sauna.
The adobe house was amazing and the many windows let in the light and the views of the mesa. Multiple sheltered patios and lots of space helped everyone feel together, but independent.  One day, I sat outside, perfectly still in the morning sun for almost an hour just watching the birds and enjoying the silence.  It was a beautiful retreat.  It was clear and cold one night, and there was no wind, so we got to sit under the stars.  More than I had ever seen in my life.

What silent tree shadows this whole earth with night?  
It covers each little town and towering city with star-laden branches.
Here in the desert, I can see all its fruit trembling above me.
And in some wind you can’t feel, those stars seem to spin on their stems,
So ripe, so ready, and threatening to fall at any moment.

Monday, March 21, 2016


At Plaza Blanca
We'll be in New Mexico again for Spring Break.  I can't help it, in so many ways, I'm already there.  Getting filled up by my soul's favorite landscape.  I remember the last time we went, I had such trouble extricating myself from the family when it was my turn for solitude and creative pursuits.  I think I wrote just 1 poem.  Peter made a beautiful collection of songs that are some of my favorite sounds ever.  I was dry.

So, I look forward to this time--Henry isn't a baby anymore, and I've had good practice this year in writing more.  It will be easier to start.

I love our Spring Break retreat vacations.  I love road trips.  I love the desert.  I'm turning in my mind to the time of quiet.

As I've been planning and preparing for Holy Week and Easter, I worked more on a poem I wrote a few months ago, as I processed a sad story that happened far away. Still working, and have two versions going, but this one is my favorite right now.

Close your eyes now, I’ll take a turn and keep watch. 
I’ll get the baby tonight.
I’ll sit up with the sick one.
I’ll listen to the wind;
If it seems like we should take cover, I’ll let you know.
If the earth shakes, and you sit up straight with surprise, I’ll take your hand and lead you to the doorway.  That’s the best we can do about that.  If the place will hold, it will hold. 
If someone pounds on the door, I’ll be there first, to answer the questions.  I’ll be awake, don’t worry.  I know it doesn’t lock anyway, I know it doesn’t matter if it does lock.  I’ll stand there in the opening as long as I can.
You, exhausted with worry and fear.  You, watching and waiting through the nights.
You need back up.  You need a break.
Or at least, company.
It’s unending…”Before the disaster”, “the disaster”, “after the disaster”. 
No amount of watching could make it stay away.  (But if I see it on the horizon, if I have a little warning…)
No amount of waiting would make it never happen.  (But if I anticipate it, if I can ready myself…)
So you have to lie down now, while you can. 
I’ll listen.  I’ll watch.  Except, I cannot.
I feel sorry that I can’t do that for you.  I feel ashamed that I am not able. 
“Can’t you keep watch with me for one hour?”

No.  I cannot.