random thoughts

That was the River– This is the Sea

These things you keep, you’d better throw them away.

from This is the Sea, The Waterboys (Michael Scott)

I can’t get this song out of my mind. It is a lovely, haunting melody by The Waterboys from their third album. I listened to it on repeat back in college (in the dark ages, aka the 80s). How fitting that it is running through my head as we delivered our eldest boy to college this week. I have so much to process. I was ill-prepared for the intense heartbreak when he turned to walk away from us toward his future. Left alone in the parking lot by the car, the emotional pain was physical. Holding my breath, I realized that there was no calling him back. To be sure, he will come back, but everything has changed. Mike Scott was right: This is the sea.

I returned home to an ocean of supportive friends, each having said goodbye to a child or two and survived. They shared their infinite wisdom with me and buoyed my spirit; I am grateful for their words. We are better together and built for connection.

How are you tending to your connections? Who will help you navigate the wild, blue sea of this life?


Son with Father @ Saint Mary’s Cross, Moraga, CA
10 Second Habits, random thoughts

It’s Time…Are You Ready?

And just like that, the year is here, and we are ready (almost) to go. Are you ready? Or are you, like me, not quite prepared, not sure when I will be ready, but the tumbling of time will not stop, so I must proceed.

One son began high school, and we will move our other son into his college dorm for the first time next week on my first day of school. By next Friday, my world will have completely altered. I am not sure how I feel about this. Ok, that is a lie. I have many feelings, and they are overwhelming at times.

But, I have spent many years re-writing the negative self-talk in my brain when it shuts down my feelings. And this morning, I reminded myself that I have lived through all the most challenging times and made it through every difficult emotion. It’s ok to let them have space. They will pass.

How are you getting through difficult times? What are your favorite tools to help you center yourself?

One of my big self-soothing activities is reading. And I read this and thought it worthy and relevant to share with you:

It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” -Hugh Laurie

10 Second Habits, daily draw, random thoughts

Summer’s End: Making Way for Change

random thoughts

Immaculate

The Annunciation, Simone Martini

I spent a bit of time pondering the life of the Virgin Mary today. Looking up at the crescent moon this evening, it felt like I was looking at a desert moon, one that may have hung up in the night sky for the Mother of G_d. What does it mean to be free of sin and bear the Divine? To watch the Divine be sacrificed and ascend? What does it mean for one’s own ascension? What must it have felt like to watch your love (the heart that lives outside your body) die before your eyes?

Death and birth are both difficult and shocking. It is almost winter. Things die to make way for new life. Is that our purpose?

Poetry, random thoughts

Giving Thanks

I was raised between the kitchen and dining room table, flitting between cutting board and stove. Learning the lessons of taste over the chopping of onion and garlic. The transmutation of anchovy into love as it melts into tomato sauce. The spoken prayer after sliding cookies into the oven. I know that the magic of the kitchen is a form of sacrifice and alchemy.

I do believe the kitchen table is where everything begins and ends. I am grateful each morning and evening, and if I am lucky, some afternoons in which I can break bread and share a meal with my loved ones. For me, there is nothing more healing than a meal with conversation, questions, and laughter.

As we head towards Thanksgiving, I want to share one of my favorite poems by our indigenous poet-musician and US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Her words have constantly fed me. May they nourish your spirit as well.

Blessings around the table to all.

Amen.

random thoughts

What Do You Seek?

What you seek is seeking you.

I have been attracted to this quote attributed to the 13th century Persian Sufi poet Rumi since my 20s. It makes a lot of sense since I am a medievalist at heart. But I’m a lot older now and feeling impatient at the transitions I face in life.

But what is it that I seek? And what do you seek? Is it comfort, love, money, or status? The meaning of life, your purpose? All I know is that the paradox of the quote has me all tangled up in a loop because if you seek it and it seeks you- it’s like the prophecy in Harry Potter: neither one can live while the other survives. The resistance of opposites feels like an infinite loop.

I do have a mystic’s inclination, but at the end of the day, I want to feel like I can get grounded and not experience the infinity wrapped up in the spell of Rumi’s words. I would like to connect with what I seek. It’s time to create a new affirmation: I already have what I seek within me.

random thoughts, writing

I’m Back, and I am Thrilled to Share this with you…

I am back! It has been too long, but life offers us twists and turns along the way. If you know me, you know that I appreciate randomness and the magic of what appears random. If you are new here know that it is my intention to bring topics and conversation about creativity, writing, tending to joy, and random magic back to this page.

Right now, I am thrilled to share my friend Laraine Herring’s new book is out soon! It’s got ghosts and ravens! I am beyond excited to read her speculative memoir. Laraine is a graduate from Antioch University’s MFA program (like me!).

If you haven’t pre-ordered this book yet, there is still time!

If you would like a SIGNED copy use THIS LINK

From BOOKSHOP

From AMAZON

I can’t wait for my copy of the book to come! You can check out Laraine’s web presence at https://www.laraineherring.com/ From there she has connected activities related to A Constellation of Ghosts. Perhaps you might want to speak to your dead. There is #onemorechance to connect HERE.

Thank you!

random thoughts

Found this Beauty between barren apartment and concrete edifice of freeway. I’m always amazed and soothed by sights like this rose bush. Perfect reminder of the impermanence of difficulty.. 🌊. . . #lifeisbeautiful #seekbeauty #bloom #impermanence #spring

10 seconds to Zen, creative thinking, Poetry, random thoughts

What are you doing to save yourself today?

“The world is violent and mercurial — it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love — love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.”  ~ Tennessee Williams

I have read this quote many a time before, but I don’t think I fully appreciated until now, the few short months before I turn half a century young (!). However, we won’t need to refer to my age beyond this point since I have decided that age is only one POV after-all.  Instead, I volley this quote out to you, my friends, as a point of reflection today.  Reflection.  How often do you reflect?  In my short life, I have found reflection to be integral to finding meaning and purpose in life.

I know that for myself, this Tennessee Williams quote rings as true and as pure as the characters he brought to life with his plays.  I still remember desperately attempting to use my research on A Streetcar Named Desire on my AP English exam, so inspired I was by his poignant work (it may have worked, but I am still traumatized by the Sylvia Plath poetic analysis of The Sow that dominated the exam.  No offense to the brilliance of the poet, of course.).

Creatives (artists, poets, playwrights, designers, musicians, etc) often have a way of striking the ore of truth.  I am going to save myself today by devouring the words of this genius playwright. It only takes 10 seconds to get down to the good stuff.  Hold your breath, and Love, love, love.  What will you do today?