Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Smooth waters

Smooth waters, when they hit these rocks, 
Disperse into patterns, 
 Variations making ripples, and foam, 
Just as the spirit, 
Pouring into each of us, 
Takes shape, and spreads into a wider world…

Monday, October 30, 2023

When nature teaches

Having struggled all afternoon 
With a painting that just wouldn’t come together, 
I came downstairs , defeated, 
And then, looking out the window, realized 
The sunset was offering to show me 
All I need to know about color and contrast. 
What a gift it is, when we pay attention 
 To what nature longs to teach us!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Small blessings

Cat sleeping on my lap, 
I watch from my window 
As this morning’s moon,
 Embraced by the reflection of our trees,
 Slowly fades from the sky: 
Precious moments of peace to be shared; 
 Small blessings to offer a troubled world.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Slow morning

My phone can’t do it justice, 
 But the morning moon, 
Washed orange by the rising of the sun,
 Sinks down below the mountains
(Those distant islands in the sea), 
Moving as slowly as the elderly raccoon 
Who crawls up onto my deck, 
Dragging his injured foot, 
Braving the cats in hopes I’ll throw 
Some peanuts in the grass for him to eat.

Friday, October 27, 2023

The road ahead

The road ahead stretches before us; 
We cannot know what waits 
Around the corner, sight unseen, 
Yet still we proceed forward, 
Slowing down a bit, 
 Prepared to brake as needed, 
Drinking in the beauty of our surroundings 
 As we go…

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Moon over Mary

Driving home from an art event, 
 I happened to notice the moon, glowing 
Low over the nearby hills. 
And so I pulled over to the nearest dock 
To catch its reflection in the water. 
Perhaps you can hear the music 
Now playing in my head? 
So grateful — for the moon, the still waters, 
And all the musicians over the years 
Whose songs have blessed my ears…

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Bringing joy into darkness

One of the many joys of making art 
Is the opportunity to add a bright spot or two 
To the endless gray days 
 Of a Pacific Northwest autumn… 
A gentle reminder that we have the option 
Not just to admit to how bad things are 
But to find a way to choose happiness; 
To bring a modicum of joy to dark situations.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

May you find peace

May you find, sometime today, 
A peaceful spot to rest, empty your thoughts, 
And breathe the sacred air 
Of love, and trust, and hope, 
That the energy to accomplish 
What you were born to do might be restored, 
Refueled, regenerated, re-inspired.

Monday, October 23, 2023


I recently learned that as many as 1 in 10 people 
 Have a condition known as alexithymia: 
Difficulty recognizing or expressing emotions.
 And thinking about the high incidence of that 
Makes me curious: 
Are those who have it more successful 
 In leadership roles? 
Could that be why those who DO feel 
Are often written off as too sensitive? 
But oh, how sad, to live in a monochromatic world, 
 Missing the bright colors of emotion …

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Take the leap!

So often we imagine 
Some glorious fate awaits us, 
Anchored somewhere just beyond 
 The path that we can see, 
And all we have to do to get there 
Is walk on water — 
 Which we don’t think we can do. 
And so we stand here, on the brink,
 Imagining and regretting, 
Afraid to either jump right in and swim 
Or trust a helpful soul to guide us to our future. 
As my husband’s fond of saying, 
You’ll never win the lottery 
 If you don’t buy a ticket: 
 Don’t just stand there; take the leap!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

When the road is wide

So grateful, when the road ahead 
 Is wide and clear and beautiful to boot: 
Doubly appreciated as I age, 
Knowing the choices that we’re asked to make 
Are not always this clear, 
And roads we thought we were meant to travel 
Can narrow down and/or disappear, 
Grow dark or even dangerous, 
Forcing us to retrace our steps 
Or trapping us in dead-ends til we figure out 
We need to rescue ourselves… 
Such open, welcoming moments as this 
Are a blessing, and we lift our hearts in gratitude.

Friday, October 20, 2023

We can be Suns

So lovely, 
 To look out the window on a cloudy day 
And see the colors of the sun break through, 
Even though, moments later, 
The sky’s all gray again… 
Imagine, if each of us could be suns like that; 
Spots of color in what now seems 
A sky made unrelenting gray by the guns of war…

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Remote but still connected

What is it that drives some folks to choose 
So remote a place to live? 
I’m reminded of C.S.Lewis’s book, 
The Great Divorce, in which people keep moving 
Farther and farther apart… 
And yet, have I not done the same, 
Perched on a cliff as we are, between 
Two horse farms and the sea? 
Somehow, no matter where we’ve lived 
We’ve found community, and cherished that. 
I pray these folks have been able to do the same, 
Their lives enriched by friendships 
Despite the distance.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Art astonishes

Art astonishes me, yet again: 
Who thinks — and has the expertise — 
To paint this on the side of a building?
 I am repeatedly humbled 
 By the imagination and inventiveness of others; 
The ingenuity that resides in the hearts and hands 
Of other, more accomplished artists…

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Highlighting fragility

After a day of rain, 
A break in the clouds, a patch of blue, 
And there it is: the promise of the rainbow — 
And yet, what I find I’m focusing on 
Is how bare those branches are;
 How many needles have been lost 
After so dry a summer: will they return? 
Their bareness makes my heart ache; 
Like seeing someone lose their hair to cancer —
 So fragile, and so vulnerable, yet still standing…

Monday, October 16, 2023

The workings of the muse

Art takes many forms, 
And who’s to say which ones have merit? 
Though this might not be to your taste, 
It’s still possible to respect 
(Whose origin means “to see again”) 
The effort and the thought involved; 
The willingness to respond
To the workings of the muse, 
However that might manifest…

Sunday, October 15, 2023

A Sunday welcome

Whether you believe she falls 
At the beginning or the end of the week, 
Sunday welcomes us into her loving arms 
As a parent welcomes a tired child, 
Cradling us and carrying us 
 To a peaceful, quieter place; 
Offering us a respite 
 From the challenges before and behind us, 
While reminding us yet again 
Of the blessings to be found 
In stillness.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

The true friends

Who are they? 
The true friends,
Who let you speak your mind without retribution; 
The ones with whom you can totally be yourself, 
Who help you learn who that fullest self is; 
Who honor the bright vermilion spark 
In you that ignites the world 
While sharing in the deep pure flow of spirit 
That lies beneath and fuels us each 
As we green the world together.

Friday, October 13, 2023

When music teaches us

I grew up in a house filled with music — 
Mostly classical (my Mom was a pianist) 
Or religious (both parents sang in the choir) 
Or my favorite — at least as a child — 
The soundtracks of Hollywood musicals. 
So of course, on seeing this photo, 
The song that whispers in my brain 
Is Bali Hai, from South Pacific — 
Which is inevitably paired with 
“You’ve got to be taught, before it’s too late, 
Before you are six, or seven, or eight, 
To hate all the people your relatives hate; 
You’ve got to be carefully taught.” 
… And the good news is, that musical taught me 
Before I was six, or seven, or eight, 
About the evils of prejudice — 
 For which I will always be grateful.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Born of the same stars

Scrolling through my photos from yesterday, 
I was struck by the similarity between these two. 
On the left, faces of Polynesian ancestors; 
On the right, detail from the trunk of a large tree.
 I find I ache for both, and am lost in memories 
Of a time we made the decision 
To fell a large oak that was threatening our house.
 It was the first time we’d cut down a live tree, 
And I remembering being shocked 
 To hear it scream… 
When will more humans realize 
 That we and the trees are born of the same stars, 
Each scarred by the traumatic events 
And losses that befall us?

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

On reflection…

There’s something so enchanting; 
So intriguing about reflections: 
The distortions that can transform 
Right angles and straight lines 
Into sinuous, undulating filaments 
That dance across an image in delicious abandon… 
We, too, can be transformed 
 By making time to reflect; 
Softening or blurring our rigid assumptions 
And finding new connections 
 Between past experience and present challenges.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The appeal of beauty

It’s hard to resist the perfection of beauty — 
Wars, divorces, and celebrity mags 
Can all attest to that. 
If only spiritual beauty were as easily 
And readily recognized and valued…

Monday, October 9, 2023

About that dirty laundry

This was the first time I remember having seen 
Someone literally air their dirty laundry. 
And now I understand the association with shame:
 I believe we find it shocking 
That they didn’t wash it first! Did they not care? 
Did they not even see? 
Or did they just assume we’d turn a blind eye? — 
Which you could take just a wee step further, 
And use to explain the phrase “spin doctor” — 
The person who, like a washing machine, 
Tries to clean up the story. 
The problem, of course, is there’s just some dirt 
That no amount of bleach — or excuses — 
Can ever successfully erase…

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Swimming alone

There will always be those times 
When you feel like you’re paddling upstream, 
Alone in a sea of non-like-minded creatures. 
It’s good to share the water, 
But it’s okay to paddle away 
When the going gets rough: 
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to change 
A fish into a duck.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The thing about forgiveness

The thing about forgiveness is 
You’re going to have to clear out your arsenal; 
Let go of all those real and imagined 
Slights you’ve been storing up; 
All the times someone said no 
When you wanted yes; 
All the remembered instances 
When things didn’t go your way; 
The insults and the wounds imbedded 
Deep in the bunkers of your brain; 
The ones that have been fermenting for so long 
There’s a pool of acid leaking into 
Every step you take; every sentence that you utter. 
All the weapons you’ve stored up 
 To fire off at the least provocation? 
You need to let them go.

Friday, October 6, 2023

The power of love

Seeing how the force of water 
Has carved its way into the rock, 
I find myself feeling hopeful; 
That the power of love, of spirit and compassion 
 Will carve its way 
Into hearts that have been hardened; 
That light and truth will pour their way 
Into souls that live in darkness; 
That love, and light, truth, spirit, and compassion 
Will always prove to be the stronger force…

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Long distance relationships

Looking at the broad and graceful spread 
Of the branches as they arc across the cars, 
I wonder how they support themselves 
 Over such long distances. 
How do the leaves out at the tips 
Remember that the leaves at the other end 
Are still part of the same tree — 
Or is it only humans that have those issues?

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

That whiff of oneness

And there it is again, 
That whiff of oneness; 
Those moments when we share a common 
 Breath with all that lives: 
The trees, the grass, the deer; 
The horses in the barn — all drinking in 
The nectar of morning light; 
Inhaling peace; exhaling puffs of gratitude.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Somehow, in this pile of stone I see 
Some creature, rising, clawing his way out 
From beneath the burdens that he carries, 
Or perhaps a runner, crouched and ready 
For a race he may not win… 
Imagination’s wonderful; our astonishing ability 
To project onto our surroundings 
The emotions of the moment 
 Or whatever story we’ve just seen or read 
 That occupies head space — 
 Which is why we tend to edit 
What we watch and what we read, 
To protect ourselves from feelings 
 We’d prefer not to unearth…

Monday, October 2, 2023

While we were gone

While we were gone, autumn arrived: 
The trees have begun to turn, 
And the sunset’s once again moved south, 
Hiding behind the trees instead of 
Hanging out over the ocean and the cliffs.
 I mourn the loss each year, and then adjust: 
We humans grow adept with time 
At mourning and adjusting, especially as we age — 
The thousand tiny deficits 
 That pare away our confidence and competence, 
Yet still we persist in living, and find new ways 
To cope with all the change and stay 
As self-sufficient as we possibly can…

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Beautiful imperfections

With time, even as the new 
Continues to be born in us, 
That which has been around a while 
Starts fraying at the edges; holes emerge 
In our carefully constructed vision of the world. 
But imperfections have a beauty of their own, 
Adding a texture and a richness to our thoughts; 
A complexity and depth one rarely finds in youth, 
And so we celebrate emerging openness, 
Though it must also serve 
 As a harbinger of endings; a reminder 
That the full-fruitedness of autumn 
Will lead to harvest, 
 And the ground in which we’re planted 
Will be plowed under to make way for the new.