Sunday, August 30, 2015

Admire from afar

I receive Brain Pickings in my email box every Sunday morning. Today's column highlighted wonderful line drawings of Every Person in New York: Illustrated. Then... another book of people in San Francisco... line drawings filled in with watercolors. I wish I could draw like that.

So many ways
To view the world;
So many ways
To describe the world.
I try to stand back
Admire from afar
Without being jealous
Of a turn of phrase,
A drawing which captures
That particular gesture.
Never mind.
So many ways
Admire from afar
Add my own sparkle
To the world
By writing every day
By paying attention
To the words
To the pictures others draw
Release what I have done
Into the world
Admire from afar
What others see
Add my words to the mix.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Classes begin on Monday

Learning new patterns. We are not in charge of the "returning to school process." Me, the cats, or the turtle. The other two are sliding through a longer process than I had anticipated. One is off getting a bike carrier, the other is vacuuming the rug for her dorm room. I am watching.

I thought it might help
To keep them company
So they might leave
This is a repeat
Of vacation preparation.
I declare today
Is day one
Of moving back
To school.
It will happen
As it happens.
I will write
As I write.
The cats
The turtle is active
In his turtle tank.
The plan was to leave
Classes begin on Monday.
No matter what
Classes begin on Monday.

Friday, August 28, 2015

You might be Jesus

Have you thought...

Have you thought
Might be Jesus
For the next person
You run into?
Might be Jesus
For the ants you save
By leaving the anthill
You might be Jesus
By noticing the yellow flower
On the weed blooming
Next to the back door.
Might be Jesus
When next you say
Might be Jesus
In the next
The opportunities to participate
Are endless.
You might be Jesus
Absolutely anywhere
At all.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I love this weather. I see more at cooler temperatures. I spend time sidetracked in order to pay attention to what's next, to "who's" next.

The cooler weather
Sidetracks me to watch others:
Trains in their own right.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dried lavender

Stopped off at Whole Foods this morning. At the entrance were bunches of dried lavender. Sending the daughter off for year two of college. The two things matched up.

At the entrance were bunches
Of dried lavender
In brown paper,
Tied with raffia.
It seemed the perfect thing
For your new room:
Who waft lavender
Through the house
As you go,
Room to room,
Carrying the kitten.
Lavender girl.
The next time through that entrance
I will buy a bunch of dried lavender
For us,
Place it on the front table
In the living room.
A reminder.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Someone new

I will walk to Starbucks soon to meet a friend of a friend who recently moved to the area. An adventure.

Off to meet someone new
At Starbucks
A friend of a friend
Who thought we might
Be friends.
An adventure.
I will arrive and scan faces
For someone
My age,
Order the standard
Venti non-fat latte
And a blueberry muffin.
And then
We will settle in.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Who we saw at church today

I never quite know who I will see.

A young girl
In pink rubber rain boots;
A man
In quick recovery
From angioplasty;
A client or two;
Dizzy with barometric changes.
Home from church
We see the cats
The turtle
Our own particular chairs
The traditional
Sunday afternoon nap.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Words in the evening

I made my way through the list of appointments this week. The yard is still not weeded. Still, every time I go outside there are one or two plants which catch my eye. They curve in an appealing way. There is a stray rosebush branch reaching toward the back door. There is something with heart-shaped leaves that reaches to the front door. 

Words in the evening.
Too much to do
This morning.
The words had to wait
For the sun to sink,
The kitten to sleep,
The laundry
To be halfway done.
Words in the evening
I wonder whether the bats
Will slide through the sky
As the sun hangs
By its fingernails
Only to give up
Only to finally give over
To night.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ricochet Rabbit

Home watching cats, and remembering cartoons of my childhood.

I remember Ricochet Rabbit
As the kitten bounces
From chair to table
To claw her way up the desk chair
To loop the loop
Under the chair arm
Land on the floor
On her head,
Only to begin
All over again.
The older cat watches,
If cat bemusement
Is indeed possible.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Perhaps the kitten will cheer her up.

Disappointment arrives
For a visit.
I’m not sure how long
She will stay.
I have put her in the guest room
With the kitten.
Perhaps the kitten
Will cheer her up.
It is difficult
To remain uncheered
In the presence of a kitten:
Chasing flies
Springing off the walls
Placing a water bottle cap
In the toe of every shoe
She finds.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Sometimes anxiety wants to dance with me. Most of the time I'd like to sit this one out.

Sometimes anxiety
Is just
Stray synapses firing.

Sometimes anxiety
Wants to dance
With me
You know the moves,
She says,
You know the steps.
I tell her once I learned the box step,
Tried to learn the cha-cha-cha,
But mostly I make up the steps
As I go along.
Sometimes I am rather hard to follow.

Anxiety says
You’re telling me!
You never let me lead!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We might live almost anywhere

Where to live? Oh where to live?

It seems
We might live anywhere
Except New Orleans
Or perhaps the Amazon.
I would like a place
Where indoor air blends
With outdoor air,
A regular breeze
Blows through it,
An occasional firefly
Blinks on and off
Water flows at a distance
And a train whistle blows.
If a rose breasted grosbeak
Happens by
We will know
This is indeed the place.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Entirely possible

Asheville was a little like Iona, which was a little like Santa Fe. I'm not sure if maybe it's in the rocks.

In vacation mode
It is entirely possible
To meet the woman
Who had to wait for her dinner
Last night
One table over
Because it was delivered
To you
It is entirely possible
To meet that woman
In the thrift store
The next day
Oh you’re the one
Who got my dinner
She says
The one
Without mushrooms.

I say
That was me
Except I wanted mushrooms
With mine.

She says
I want a hamburger.

In vacation mode
It is entirely possible
To have conversations
Like this,
Count them somehow

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Re-entry today. Consoling the cat is task number one. Tomorrow we pick up the kitten.

We are home
Consoling the elderly cat
We love you
We will stay home
I declare today
The last day of vacation.
Re-entry must be taken
One day at a time
Like everything else.
We console the cat.
The refrigerator
Must be cleaned.
Grocery shopping
May happen.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Of course here changes with time. We leave for home today. First we stop in Asheville. I heard from friends in Thailand this morning. My beloved just heard from the church grease-trap people back in Illinois. Hmmm.

My friends are spread
All over the world
I should have known.
I stay put
Consider where we might move
Or not
When the time comes.
My friends are spread
All over the world
I have been planted
For now.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vacation plus planning

The point of vacations is not to accomplish everything planned.

It must be working:
This vacation thing.
I have lost track
Of the week
Even the planner
Among us:
She who must be listened to
Is still asleep
And not planning
At all.
We leave tomorrow.
We will wind our way back home
With our vacation brains.
We have not done everything
The planner
Has planned.
I guess we may
Have to return.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I received a gift last week. It was a gift which I received along with my own baggage of how another important person had not given me the same gift, in exactly the same way. I woke up this morning realizing I 1) had not received the first gift fully, and 2) No one gives things in exactly the same way as another. Another lesson in forgiveness.

I wake up and realize
I have now forgiven you
For something
You never said
You never even
It was the small child in me
Who was rarely noticed,
Rarely praised,
Who interpreted things
In a twisted way.
You might have said things better
But now I hear the tone,
A clear tone
A silver bell.
I look at the mountains,
Out the window,
My shoulders relax,
The bell sounds,
And it is simply

Evening yoga

Vacation goals. One of mine was to take individual yoga lessons. My intention at the beginning was "not to have a seizure" afterward. Two sessions: intention realized! My third session is tonight. My intention will include something "more positive." Yay!

Now I have learned
About evening yoga practice.
I’m sure I will not use
The correct language.
This is not my area
Of expertise.
I have learned enough
That I may well continue
When I arrive home.
In my own way
I will do the stretches:
The starfish
The baby cobra
The cobra.
Being me
I will probably make up
A few names
And laugh.

Monday, August 10, 2015

There are mountains here

Not Illinois.

We awaken to trees
Out the window.
These are North Carolina trees.
Mountains live
Around them.
There is a train
Whistling past
It is not the standard
Illinois train.
We are ten hours away
From Illinois.
Even the road sounds are soothing
It is humid but somehow
North Carolina humidity
Does not bother me
Like the humidity
Of Illinois.
I awaken to North Carolina trees
And frizzy hair.
There are mountains
All around me.
It is not Illinois.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Vacation church

This is the problem with clergy visiting other churches. My tendency is still to assess the worship experience: What works, what doesn't. It doesn't matter that I mainly worship in the pew these days. I am on vacation, which means "vacation church." The bread was square. The wine tasted like grape juice. My daughter told me it was wine. If so, it was a grape juicy wine. It was good to find out that children are still children here.

We sat in the back row of church
In Black Mountain.
The music was lovely,
Even supplemental.
There was a massive Jesus window
Behind the altar
One arm to the sky
One arm down
So we could tell
He identified as both God and man
But He was still
Very white.
The bottom of the window
Held mountains.
The young boy
At the end of our pew
Crawled under the pew in front,
Then back,
Then under again.
People laughed.
A good sign.
That massive Jesus
One arm up
One arm down
Will stick with me
For a while.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gentle yoga

In an hour I will walk up the hill for my first private gentle yoga session. I guess I needed to make a new beginning in North Carolina. After that I will see whether I continue.

I feel myself
Settling in to where I am now
Soon: gentle yoga

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Not in control

We all have decisions to make all the time. I declare this is day one of our matter when we leave. We have a reservation for seven nights at an airbnb in North Carolina starting tomorrow night. We may only stay there six nights. Still... I declare... this is day one of our vacation.

I am not in control.

The kitten has reset certain settings
On my computer
By walking on the keyboard,
Clicking unknown keys.

I am not in control.
Three of us are leaving today
For vacation
The other two are still asleep
With clothes in the washer
And dryer.
They arrived home at 11
Last night.
I am not
I am not
In control.
I am awake
And writing this.
We may be a day late
To leave for vacation
So I have begun my vacation
Hot coffee in my hand.
I watch the cats,
The sun pouring
Through the window.
My two companions
Are still asleep.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Taking pictures

I admire those who capture what they see on film, and somehow, even add to the seeing. Amazing. I am in awe.

Taking pictures:
It’s not a strength of mine. No.
Not a strength at all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tend the sick, Lord Christ

Number five in the bedtime prayer reflections.

So much to do at night
While others sleep.
Our God is a God
Who doesn’t sleep
Our God doesn’t close His eyes,
Close Her ears.
Our God is always attentive,
Always present,
With a cool washcloth,
A hand to hold,
A breeze to soothe
A fevered brow,
A quiet word that morning
Will come
A whispered word
That all looks better
In the light of day.

Monday, August 3, 2015


It didn't occur to me that this hinges on yesterday's reflection, until I got to the end. Where's the bread? What's a companion? Who will walk with us, and who will stand at the door and wave farewell?

And so
I find companions,
One at a time,
Those who see
What I am getting at,
Those who hope to see
What I am
Getting at,
Even those who ask me
So what?
When I threaten
To stay stuck.
Oh yes
And even those
Who wave farewell
As I walk out the door.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I am the Bread of Life. Yeah. Right. Huh?

Jesus meant a lot of things
When he talked about Bread.
No wonder his disciples
Were confused.
He didn’t say
It’s a metaphor.
He just kept talking,
Tried something different
Perhaps if he talked
Perhaps if they listened
Long enough
They would get it.
I’m not sure they ever
Really did.
They trailed behind him
Walked next to him
Perhaps soon
It would be clear.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


The older cat shows up at the front door, like a dog, to welcome in whomever has arrived. The kitten is not into display behavior for the sake of display. She is almost "anti-display," while still being full kitten. The visitor says: Maybe you can socialize her. She is a cat. Social is as social does.

The kitten:
She does not perform
On anyone else’s
She is a full member
Of our family