Thursday, October 30, 2014

Roller Derby

I almost didn't post this.  But hey, here it is.  I think we are, all of us, several people.  The idea is to get everyone together, on one team.

I am peopled by bitches
With short Roller Derby names:
They demand to be called
By their shortened names
So they will be named out loud
More often,
Held and cherished
And part of me.
Gert is my Depression:
The black dog with her red spiked collar.
She Who Must be Indulged
She will take some time
To love
But love her I will.
The Small One Who Must be Heard
She has been waiting for years
With bows in her hair.
Ang is my Anxiety:
The pit bull:
She goes for the jugular
With even imagined threat
So I may lay even lower.

I am peopled by bitches
With Roller Derby names.
They are part of my team.
There is no “I”
In team.
There is only we,
All of us together
A pack of bitches.
We demand
To be recognized.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stay here

Sometimes I become wed to the notion of moving along because it seems I should be moving.  I can't figure out what good staying here will do.  It seems lately, when I don't listen, I am brought to my knees, put in my place.  OK.  Here I am.  For as long as it takes.

Just when I think
It’s ok to move along now
I hear
Stay here.
When I try
To move along anyway
I am brought to my knees,
Learn the next step
Is one step back
Now hold.
Hold some more.
Stay here
For now.
Now will last as long

As it needs to.
Just as long
As it needs to.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


There are so many things that tempt my creative nature.  I have started things, even churches, and watched them grow and die, only to become ground for something else.  Sometimes I can't see that "something else"  but still I know it's there.  Churches, and even life, are not meant to be grasped and held.  My daughter attended a great new church in Denver.  What a wonderful thing it would be to plant a church... she thinks.  Me too.  Still... me too.  I am reminded again... me too.

I have reached the stage
In my life
I realize
I will never start a church
From scratch.
Scratch never made
A good beginning anyway.
After all
Begins from scratch,
Much less
Much more
Gatherings of people
Who care about one another;
Who figure out new ways;
Who adopt old ways
To care.
No one
Will ever start a church
From scratch,
Not even me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

After the first

Perspective changes with experience.  After seizure #2 at the halfway house, while in training for substance abuse counseling,  I remember sharing with the men in my group: I am Catharine and I am an epileptic.  Yep, perspective changes, maybe slowly, maybe in fits and starts, but change comes, nonetheless.

After the first seizure,
I tried to bring
Another one on,
Stood on my head,
Cushions all around.
Nothing came.
Four years,
Six seizures on,
I am not so inclined
To lure seizures
From the abyss
Where they live,
Where they sleep.
I would rather
Tuck them in
For a nice long nap.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mothers' weekend in Denver

It's decided.  She will transfer to Marquette in January.  Closer but not too close.  It looks to be a good thing.

I thought to visit her
For mothers’ weekend
This winter,
Only to find her moving
I do not know if the new place
Offers such a thing
As mothers’ weekend in February.
Winter in Milwaukee
Does not hold the same appeal
Winter in Denver.
Visits will not require
Airline tickets,
I can keep a picture
Of the Rockies
On my desk
And see her on a whim.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


So.  Much as I would like to be on to other things: Flying, not standing, for example, I am not. Decisions are being made all around me.  I watch them.  This is often what I do, post-seizure.  It is time to re-figure where I fit in the picture.  None of that moving on to the next thing.

I have the urge
To stand like a crane
Or perhaps the heron.
It captures my heart
Even flying.
I would like to be
That flying exclamation point
Moving on
To the next thing.
Still standing
Is for now
One leg posed
On the other
Still standing
For right now
The one part of yoga
I can do

Friday, October 24, 2014


Since my seizure experience following yoga, I have been doing some research.  It seems meditation triggers seizures in some folk.  Really?  Of course, why would this surprise me?

Will not cure everything
That ails you.
Like yoga
It may send you spinning
Into places
Every time we play
With consciousness
We may find ourselves
Somewhere else.
Is not the cure-all.
Is not the cure-all.
Cures everything.
One size
Does not fit all,
Does not cure all,
Does not heal all.
Just when we think
We've found the answer
We find we need
Something else

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wisp of humor

I would have loved this yesterday.  Still, it came today... I am grateful for today.

I woke with a wisp
Of humor
Carried in by the cat,
Laid next to the bed
Like some mouse.
The redbud out the window
Is yellow.
This amuses me
As well.
Grackles fill the trees.
Humor perches
In the yards,
Front and back.
I woke with some humor
A wisp of humor
Carried in by the cat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grackle lessons

I had thought that yoga would be a good idea.  Having never done yoga before, I thought a class entitled Yoga for Beginners would be right up my alley.  It seems my brain did not agree with me.  So I am home learning lessons from the grackles, paying attention to the things I already know how to do, perhaps learning to do them better.

I am home
Making different plans.
The grackles gather
First in the back yard,
Then in the front,
Now in the trees.
They plan their trip south.
I am home
Making plans of my own,
Plans to continue doing
What I am doing,
Things that have worked
Up until now.
Change is not always
A good thing.
The grackles,
After all,
Are planning their usual trip
South for the winter
To return again in the spring
As usual.
I am home
Making usual plans
Like the grackles.
I am home
Learning grackle lessons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


That time of year... ladybugs are in search of warm.

It’s that time
In the fall
Ladybugs land
On the doors and windows.
They feel the chill
In the air,
Know it’s time to find
Warm cracks to hide in.
It’s that time
We find ladybugs
They wait for spots of warm
To open up,
They know
In their tiny ladybug minds,
Their minuscule ladybug feet,
There is warm

Monday, October 20, 2014

My best-laid plans

Coffee with a friend this afternoon.  Yeah!  I am back on foot, so she will meet me here in town,  Of course I am reminded again that driving is not what it's all about.

My best-laid plans
Have come un-laid.
There must be other
Things to do
Games to play
Words to be written
Or perhaps it is simply
A walk in the sun,
Coffee with a friend,
Learning once again
I am not in charge.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


It does get easier with time.  My brain takes at least an hour or two before it seizes.  I have learned when I must take it easy.  Pause.  I am gone for the seizure, but there are reminders left behind.  The same questions arise from those who perhaps haven't asked them before: Do they know what causes them? they ask.  I have epilepsy, I say.  

It gives pause:
The coming to
The waking up
The bit tongue
A reminder I have left
And returned.
A re-set button.
I never return
To square one.
I’m not sure anyone
Ever returns
To square one.
Here it is again.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One more break

Epilepsy is an odd thing.  Usually I have indicators.  I did this time too.  Who knew Yoga for Beginners would set me up for a seizure?  I thought it would be an easy beginning.  No.  I will skip the next four sessions.

Nothing like waiting an hour
After beginner’s yoga
Before completely
Losing it.
The family has different stories
Of me
In seizure mode.
Now I am back to walking
Surrounded by the fall colors.
The cat is happy
For a lap.
Speed up
Slow down.
Take another break
From driving.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yoga for beginners

Alas.  Not a good idea.  I guess I need an even slower start.

Yoga for beginners:
It seemed like a good idea
At the time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking volumes

The usual people spoke way too much.   Others... not so much.  The trees lining our way to and from the meeting spoke volumes.

Mid-afternoon in the gray,
The leaves appear even brighter
Reds and oranges
Even still the greens.
The meeting which often runs late,
Ends early.
No one has much to say.
I wonder if other people’s heads
Contain what I am thinking.
Maybe so.
Perhaps not.
The way home
Bright oranges and reds
On each side of the road,
Speaks volumes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


And here I thought I was applying for obtain a job.

I apply for jobs
To learn what’s out there,
Possibilities ringing
Probably endless
But certainly
Not all there is.
Nothing is ever
All there is.

I apply for jobs
It seems
Simply to apply,
Only sometimes it is
To engage in conversation
What I might do for you,
What you might do for me,
What we indeed
Might do for each other.

This is more                          
What it’s all about
But certainly
Not all there is.
Nothing is ever
All there is.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Two of three

Funny.  I work with clients around this: All The Time.  Write down the things you were able to do (I say).  Sometimes I even take my own advice.

This weekend
I managed
Two of three things
On the list.
Still oh
The things that happened
In spite of me
Because of me
Outside of me
Inside of me.
The Third Thing still looms.
It will probably be
As easily managed
As Thing One
And Thing Two:
When I get to it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Still waking up,
I’m “off” in a few moments
To meet the one I will mentor
For confirmation.
Perhaps I’m really off
Most of the time.
I love the English language,
So many definitions
For one simple word.
So many uses
For such a simple word.
How does person
Ever learn to speak
At all?
Oh I will be a challenge
This morning.
Me and my ment-ee
Will trade words
Over something hot to drink.
Maybe I will mostly listen.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Everything begins somewhere

This is for all my Minnesota compatriots.  You all know where the Mississippi really begins.

Everything begins somewhere.
I like to trace things back
To their source.
I stood at the headwaters
To the Mississippi
Pretended I was there,
At the beginning,
Even though the water
Originally came
Up from the earth
Down from the sky.
It is still complete mystery
Where it all began.
The Mississippi is my Minnesota metaphor:
The headwaters at Lake Itasca,
The dividing line between
Minneapolis and St. Paul.
I lift my feet
So they don’t get wet
Every time we drive over the bridge.
The Mississippi is my Minnesota metaphor.
Louisiana has its own interpretation,
As do
All the states between.
Everything begins somewhere.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Living in the in-between. Working to let my thoughts be thoughts, and consider implementation later. I'm thinking lentil soup for dinner.

The morning meeting
Exactly an hour
Registered as kairos,
Merged into rest-of-the-day thoughts
How and who and where
I might engage
Or be engaged.
This is not
As I imagined.
So much remains
To be seen;
So much
To be considered,
And yet
Time stretches
Like a rubber band
What will be,
Will be.
What will come,
Will come.
It will all take
As long as it takes.

If I still counted hours

For a friend who knows who she is.  Time with you is most always kairos.

If I still counted hours
Lunch last week
Would have counted
For two,
Maybe even three or four.
Sometimes things count
More than simply
Now I am off
For an hour meeting,
Or Kairos
Remains to be experienced.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

We wait for sun

More lessons from the cat.

He props his head
On the rail of the rocker.
Sometimes we find odd places
To rest our heads,
The cat and I.
Sometimes the morning
Is just too much.
Sometimes it is important to wait
Until the sun is fully out
From behind the clouds,
So we can rest
In the light and the warm.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I missed it.  Or maybe I didn't.

I missed it.
I know pictures
Don’t do justice
To the real thing.
Last night the moon shone brighter
Than I have ever seen.
When I left church
At 8
The moon lit my path
To the car.
Arriving home,
The moon lit the whole front yard
I thought
I will write about the moon
The awesomeness 
of the moon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hard bits

All is not always lovely, even in my favorite season.  I am working on holding the lovely and the not so lovely... together.

I love Fall.
The season
The leaves
The sunlight angling
Just so,
The contrast of blue
And clouds,
Dark birds migrating south.
I know they will return again.
I do not love to eat
Fall vegetables,
Hard and orange
They must be peeled
And baked
Or boiled.
Someone even figured
How to carve them
Into faces.
Fall is my favorite season
With the difficult bits.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today is for sifting

Today is a day I reclaimed for myself.  I could have attended Clergy Conference.  It would have been the first time in three or four years.  I have always enjoyed reconnecting with colleagues.  Clergy Conference was always at a very familiar place.  Now it's not.  Nothing wrong with that, just too much new for now.  Maybe next year.  Today is for sifting.

I am not adding
Any more information
To this day.
I am not meeting
Anyone new
Or old,
Unless I count
As old yet new.
Today requires nothing new.
Today is for sifting.
Today is for reclaiming
An order to things.
Today is for finding out
Whether this particular puzzle piece
Is part of the sky,
Part of the landscape,
Or perhaps a piece
Of the edge.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Friday and Saturday were a whirlwind and yet, not.  There was a lot of driving, a lot of discernment, a lot of clarity.  Way more than two days worth, if such things can even be measured.  And now... a plane to catch.

Some days feel
Like a week’s worth of living
All at once.
Settles to kairos.
Time gentles down
There is enough time;
There is
All the time in the world
And then some.
And then
There is a plane to catch.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Wow.   Two college visits, one day after another.  One so right, and the other signed, sealed and delivered oh so wrong.  Rarely has discernment been so easy.

How does one visit
Go oh so right, the other
Oh so very wrong?

Friday, October 3, 2014


Milwaukee today to look at another school.  Then we drove around and looked at things, as is our usual wont.  We got lost... a lot.  But with a clock on every church and public building, we were never at a loss for how long it would be until dark.

There is a clock
On every church
In Milwaukee,
An amazing thing:
This attention
To the time of day.
We got lost several times
But we never lost track
Of what time it was.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Next year

It seemed to be a good conversation.  Then I was left with see you next year.  Maybe that's right, I think, maybe that's right.  Still... it was a good conversation.

I’ll see you
Next year
She says
Even after proclaiming
That people say
They want to get together
But then
Never call.
I’ll see you next year
Though if it’s sooner
That might be o.k. too
She says
Landing it in my lap.
We only live twenty minutes
Next year it is then,
Unless we just happen
To pass each other
On the street,
Just happen to recognize
Each other.
Just happen
To have time for coffee.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Sometimes a feather is more than a feather.

Before I go in
Four geese practice a vee
In the parking lot
Outside the therapist’s office.
Now at home
I find a feather
Watered red.
It seems a cardinal lost it
For me to find.
On this day when the leaves
Have not yet begun
To turn;
On this day when
The birds mass in the back yard;
On this day when
The geese practice vees
And cardinals leave tokens
Of the coming colors
For me to find.
On this day of all days:
A feather.


I didn't write yesterday morning, so I thought I'd write a short something this morning to get back into the rhythm of things.

A short one today
Before setting off into
This startling sunlit world