Wednesday, February 25, 2015


though once i loved the scarecrow (that stupid silly scarecrow)
the heartless tin man and even the cowardly lion

i pulled back the curtain to reveal oz for who he is
(just a man no more no less)

i had the power all along

no technicolor fantasy to back me up
with each step i follow my own brick road

Saturday, February 21, 2015

on being a writer: write

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.”  EB White

This topic, “write”,  emerges halfway through the 13-week plan I created for the start of my 2015 writing life.  Since this is Chapter 5, I am only a bit behind!  During weeks one and two, the workload at my practice was considerably light, and I had the energy to write every night when I came home from work.  I also wrote about my writing in on a google doc of running dates.  For 8 days.  Then the writing about the writing stopped.  And soon after, my work schedule increased and my daily writing frequency dipped in the other direction. 

This lull in my written output is typical when my business life gets busy. I treat patients almost back-to-back patients for 8-10 hours a day, keep up with the necessary documentation, communications and office needs, and return home at night close to depletion.   I need the evenings to relax and process before I go to sleep.  My words have been spent, albeit wisely, in other efforts during the day.  This can initiate several weeks of silence at the blog before I have a little break and I have the emotional energy to write once again. 

In the past I have accepted this rhythm, but now I want to change that pattern and write through the busy times, too.  I was surprised this past month when I couldn’t stick to my daily plan, thinking I created reasonable goals for myself, though I haven’t fallen as far away from writing as usual. (In 2014, I participated in three online courses through Tweetspeak and published 20 posts total at my blog.  So far in 7 weeks of 2015, I have published 8 posts). I spent time hashing out thoughts on this with my writing partner in our weekly chats, and refined some of my goals and expectations for my writing life through this process.

I am grateful for my writing partner.  It’s given me joy and encouragement to share what I am writing, and the accountability has kept me connected to my plan.  During weeks three and four, a week passed and I didn’t have anything written to discuss, so I chewed on my barriers during our discussion.  Another week went by, and still I had no writing to share.  The start of the fifth week I was motivated to write SOMETHING.  I was stuck on a piece that didn’t seem complete, but before my next online chat, I published it anyway (see “notice”).  Even reading it now there are lines that I would edit, but surrendering perfection allowed me to move forward.

I know that for me to keep writing during these intense phases, I need to have some prompts to work on, whether it’s blogging through a book, refining journal entries and thoughts, or participating with other writer’s/groups prompts.  When blogging through THIS this book, I am provided with guidance to hone my skills, and often have a topic bubbling right at the surface to develop.  I enjoy the notebooks of my notes that I continue to mine.  I have been writing and re-tooling some of these thoughts, even if I don’t publish them at the blog.

Most importantly, this week I have been evaluating how well my goals support the vision for my writing life.  Right now, I am not writing to earn a living, but I am writing because I feel a passion to do so and I want my writing to continuously improve.  The pressure to write daily is actually taxing my motivation to write regularly.  I have decided that each week I will look at my calendar and schedule 3 blocks of time to write that fit flexibly within my composite schedule.  I am going to keep the rest of the goals as I initially established them, and look forward to exploring the next chapters in this second half of my 13 weeks (I can still finish “on time”). 


all is not lost if, in parting,  
you release your drowning grasp
and offer the remnants
of love’s creation to the sea

the vessel of your dreams,
though empty, will not perish,
fractured in violent and
reckless transformation,
brokentumbled edges,
smoothly ground,
once whole and held fast,
that vessel resembles 
nothing of its original form

sunglinted seaglass scatters
at the ocean’s edge,
seedlings of hope for new love’s birth

I wrote "seaglass" this week with my friend Nancy Marie Davis on my heart (see her work here), and before I had a chance to share it, she posted the photo above to her timeline. Enjoy our synergy wherever you are in your journey, knowing that it is in the breaking we become beautiful.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Sunday, February 15, 2015

halley's comet

you linger in the air
long after leaving

like the tail of a once (or twice)
-in-a-lifetime comet

I blush to chase

Saturday, February 7, 2015

on being a writer: notice

Washington Square Park, July 5, 2014

I exit the cool air of the train at the Christopher Street station.  Negotiating a heated wind tunnel to climb the staircase from the platform, I emerge onto the sidewalk into blistering sun.  I squint and shield my eyes as they adjust to the light, slipping my hand into my bag for my sunglasses, then head east toward Washington Square Park.

While walking, I adjust the straps of my backpack and slip both arms back through for a better balance.  The bag isn’t heavy but its contents fit awkwardly in the space: phone, wallet, a baggie of trail mix, a large bottle of water, pens and my journal, and my new camera.

Most locals are out of town for the holiday weekend, leaving Washington Square Park to us visitors and tourists.  I am a visitor; not native to the city by any means, but one who frequents the parks and shops and museums and restaurants with a degree of ease and familiarity. A visitor takes no detail for granted, but unlike the tourist, is not on a sole hunt to document these details via selfies for Facebook.   I have my pick of seats, and I choose a wide, flat concrete bench so that my back is to the Arch and my view is set on the fountain.  An a capella doo-wop group harmonizing behind me draws a crowd; the people sway and clap along with the tunes.

I sit down and jump up from the heat on bench’s surface that threatens to sear my white skin.  In the summer sun my legs actually look a little nuclear in their glow.  I sit again, gingerly, close the edge so my shorts protect my legs.  I take off my white ankle socks and grey Converse All-Stars ®, but the ground is too hot for the soles of my feet so I rest them atop the empty shoes.

The sun is almost directly overhead and the shadows are harsh, so I decide to write instead of taking pictures.  Do I seem a cliché as I observe here in the park with my recycled paper notebook and gel point pen?  Or does anyone even notice me?  Probably the latter.  The invisibility here in the park, among other artists and citizens and visitors and tourists is a comfort, and I settle into my space and have a closer peek.

Parents stroll past me, singly or coupled, swaddling babies to their bodies with slings and pushing strollers.  A precocious toddler breaks free of her stroller, running ahead (not quite as far as it seems to her) with chubby legs and a banana’d belly, stopping short and turning to let her dad almost catch up.  An older girl whizzes past on a blue scooter.

A man stands next to the bench one down from mine, leaning against his bike. He stares off in one direction, not idly but as if scanning a crowd for someone to emerge.  There is no crowd where he is looking.  His sneakers are like mine, but black, and his socks were probably once bright white like mine. Now they are mottled, clean but thrown in one too many times with a washload of colors.  He holds an iTouch in his right hand and places the ear buds with his left.  I wonder why he would choose the isolation of a personal soundtrack over the streaming sounds of the fountain or the silliness of people splashing in it or the voices and languages too numerous to count and too comingled to identify, or the harmony of the doo wop group or the beats of the drummer across the circle.

The wind carries spray from the fountain to my skin. I wish I didn’t carry all this stuff with me so I could slip my feet in the fountain without getting my supplies wet.

A man stops beside me.  Hard-worn Nike flip-flops expose the most weathered digits I have ever seen.  They are thick with elephant skin wrinkles and callouses.  The yellow toenails curve on the edges a bit too much, grotesque cookie cutters pressing into slabs of dough.

A kid with a guitar is sitting on another bench 15 feet away from me.  I sense the beat of his foot tambourine and I see his mouth moving.  He is strums his guitar but his song is imperceptible from where I sit.

A  Hispanic man with a grandfatherly countenance sits across the fountain with two drums.  A small boy, not his own, sits on the bench next to him.  The man is patient and warm, smiling as he shows the boy how to add his beat to the man’s.  Both look up and smile at the mom who snaps a picture of the moment .  They boy and the mom say thank you and walk away but the boys hands are stinging with the vibration of the skins (his and the drums and the mans) and his heart was changed, just a bit, forever.

Suddenly, I am filled with longing and hot tears threaten to overflow my lids. I wish I was brave enough, or hopeful enough, to walk over and sit with the man myself.

A tiny girl walks by, probably a petite 2 ½ year old.  She is VERY sure of her steps with her tart lemony pants and sweet strawberry sandals.  When you were that little girl I cared for your every need.  Now that you are gone I only feel the care I need.

An older woman wearing  orthopedic black shoes, a white blazer and black polyester pants walks slowly through the park.  She is tall, upright in her shuffle, pretty with silver hair coiffed into pincurls and lacquered, unmoving in the wind. She has been here before and will not cease to return, although today she wears too many synthetic layers for this heat.

Soon it’s my time for me to board the train that will bring me home. I tuck my notebook and my pen into the backpack, finish the water in my bottle and discard the remains of the trail mix that has melted in my pack.  The sights and sounds of the park fade into the distance as I descend the stairs to the platform below.