Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Writing 101 – Haiku – Fare Forward

Glass raised high in toast
Course of writing comes to end
Day to celebrate.

After glass drained dry
Live into new words and tales
I’ll be filled again.


Writing 101 – Haiku – Flight

Wild geese need no map
Nature’s compass deep within
Deftly guides their flight.


Writing 101 – Haiku – Timeless

Watch battery died
Found that I can do without
Cell phone tells me time.


Writing 101 – Haiku – Farewell Old Friend

Trusty old gray car
Polka-dotted with rust spots
And still running fine.

Sad to say goodbye
My treasure of memories
Spans nineteen rich years.

I also show my age
Gray-haired now with slowing gait
We’re two of a kind.


Writing 101 – Reflections

Viva change! I chose my writing name in the midst of a season of life changes which afforded no end of inspiration and material for my posts. I would not have thought my stats had anything to contribute to the heart of my blog. I checked them out and discovered an objective view of exactly what I have been writing about. Touche!

Riches of aging, memoir, changing seasons, creative aging are the categories my readers like best. The most clicked tag is poetry. No surprises there. My stats reflect what flows from my muse. Being fallow is another chosen category high on my stats that gets to the root of my creative force.

“Once upon a time” as stories begin, I sat beside a brown fallow field. I was on the cusp of receiving Social Security when I spent a week in a resort by the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad CA. My room had a balcony that overlooked a huge field where thousands of tulip bulbs bloom every Spring. It must have been a glorious sight but this was June and all I could see was acres of dirt. There were a few workers digging up the last of the tulip stems and bulbs in preparation for next season’s planting.

The fallow field called to me as a spiritual sister. I felt the energy of change – the life force unseen but pulsing. I knew this well within myself. Though I was entering a new phase of life and appeared as one aging, I deeply affirmed the possibility of wonders still ahead. I contemplated the field rich with everything necessary for life as it lay there doing nothing. It was nice to be entering my own fallow season where my creative gifts can bloom in good time.


Writing 101- Signposts

I have loved books and reading as long as I can remember. As an English major I studied English and American literature. At the time I wasn’t conscious of how much of classical writing is in the form of poetry. I prefered reading novels. Years later I became aware of the power of poetry when I read a novel whose name I don’t recall that quoted T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets repeatedly. I bought and read the book of Eliot’s poetry which presented me with a fork in the road. I began a new journey guided by signposts of meaning I found in the poems.

Books of poetry were not foreign terrain for me. My mother had a copy of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s A Few Figs From Thistles that I liked to look at. However, only two short poems held meaning for me as a child. This small volume of poetry has been among my books ever since my mother died.

My copy of Four Quartets is well-worn. Narrow pieces of lime green construction paper mark passages I like especially. The theme of the poems is beginnings and endings in time. T.S. Eliot’s poetry makes spiritual and practical sense to me. I have adopted as a mantra these lines from the poem “Little Gidding”.

What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from….We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And to know the place for the first time.

Several years after encountering the poetry of Eliot I went to a Women’s Study seminar. There I was introduced to the poetry of Adrienne Rich in her book The Dream of a Common Language. I have book-marked her poem “Transcendental Etude”. I included these lines as further guideposts for my living.

No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history or music, that we should begin with the simple exercises first and slowly go on trying the hard ones, practicing till strength and accuracy became one with the daring to leap into transcendence.

About ten years ago I went to a seminar called Body and Soul where I heard David Whyte read his poetry. In the poem “The Journey” included in his book The House of Belonging I found lines that further traced my path as I am beginning to understand it.

Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.

Whyte’s words are the theme of my blog. My previous theme was the Ghanaian saying ” You don’t know where you are going. You don’t know how to get there. And you arrive just the same”. I experience this over time ¬†as how things fall into place for me in ways I would have never imagined.


Writing 101 – Summer Decamped Today

I first heard the scraping
Iron chairs against concrete
Patio furniture moving toward winter
Protected in storage from frigid blasts.

Then down came umbrellas
Graceful tents over tables
Shields from bright sun rays
Where families shared picnics.

Our pool-side table
Under the oak tree
Summer scene of our word games
Was not spared from the march.

All put away in a few hours time.
Apartment management had given notice
Today was the sad day
That the pool would be closed.

They removed the ladders
For entering and exiting
Floated on the water
Three large inner tubes.

Not for the children’s play
These tubes bob all winter
Under the surface of tarp
Spread over water.

Tomorrow morning I’ll look from my window
Remember the joy the swimming pool brought.
Although the tarp is a beautiful blue
It’s a pale imitation of the real thing.


Writing 101 – Sibling Snapshots

Among my huge accumulation of family photos there are some snapshots that are so vivid in my mind I don’t need to look at the actual picture to remember them. Some of my favorites are of my two sisters, my brother and me.

There is a black and white photo of the time my parents took me and my sisters to Galveston, Texas to the beach. All three of us sisters were born in the span of three and a half years. Our little brother arrived five years after my youngest sister. I am the oldest. The black and white photo shows us sitting on the sand just above the water line. We have constructed a sand castle by dribbling fistfuls of sand like cake icing until it is shaped like an up-side-down cone. The slowly incoming tide has filled the moat we dug around the bottom of our castle with water. Our mother sits and watches while we crawl around adding finishing touches to our creation. I remember our wool bathing suits that were scratchy when they were dry. We were wet so that was no problem. Our little brother is not in the picture because he was not born yet.

Taken on my fifth birthday there is a black and white snapshot of my sisters and me wearing identical dresses. I am holding a Story Book Doll, my favorite present. Our mother made the dresses for us from remnants from our grandfather’s shirt tailoring business. The dresses were a dusty blue with a square neckline framed by an eyelet ruffle embroidered with tiny rosebuds. Of course the photo doesn’t show the colors. Our little brother is not in the picture because he is not born yet.

Skip ahead to my college days. I have come home for spring break my Freshman year. The weather is warm and the azaleas are in bloom in the flower bed in front of our house. There is a picture taken with color film of the four of us siblings standing like stair steps in front of the azaleas. I remember my bright red sweater. We three sisters are wearing Bermuda shorts which have just come into fashion. We stand tall and smile for the camera. Our little brother looks like he wishes he were somewhere else.

Our mother died one Christmas morning when we sisters were in our thirties and our brother still in his twenties. The funeral was held in the small town where my mother was born and many family members and friends still lived. After the service we went to the cemetery where my grandparents were buried. My mother would join them. There is a picture of us four siblings standing by the gate of the wrought iron fence that enclosed the family plot. My coat is sky blue and one of my sisters has on a camel and black plaid coat. We look so young though we sisters are married with children. My brother’s first child is on the way. It was sad to think this child would not know our parents.

In the summer of 2014 the sister next to me in age invited me to visit her and her husband. She said we had better start getting together since we sisters were in our seventies. Our youngest sister who lives nearby drove over to spend one night. We never did stop talking. My brother-in-law decided he would start the grill and fix supper if he expected to have anything to eat. He’s a great cook. He took a picture of us sisters sitting on a low brick wall on the front porch. We look happy wrinkles and all. Our brother is not in the picture because we hadn’t thought to invite him.

In the summer of 2015 we sisters decided it was time our little brother, now seventy, should bring his wife and join the rest of us for a few days at my youngest sister’s house. He’s never been very inclined to go to the big family reunions of my mother’s family held every five years. He surprised us and agreed to have our first-ever siblings gathering – no children or grandchildren, just the four of us. It was amazing! Words cannot describe the joy of telling the same old stories and seeing them from our different perspectives. We shared good belly laughs. We cried as we remembered what it was like to lose our mother. My brother-in-law cried when he told us about when his first wife died of cancer. Tears have a way of creating family ties. After our mini-reunion was over my brother asked when the next one would be. He felt we should start sharing what aging is like for each of us and what we are learning from the experience. After we returned to our homes we realized that no one had thought to take a picture.


Writing 101- Resetting

Starting over is basic to solving computer problems. I restart my computer to clear confused loops. When my TV stops streaming a movie I unplug router and modem and count to fifteen. My printer can’t talk to my computer. Unplugging clears the way. I wish we could re-set our world.


Writing 101 – Yin and Yang of Writing

Writing and not writing
Balance scale equally
Both necessary
When they’re in sync.

Time to be fallow
Await inspiration
Creative energy
Stirs in my soul.

Writing is joy
Of words cascading
Free from restraining
Of censoring mind.

Re-working, tidying
Tweaking, spell-checking
Follow in progression
Before edits and posting.

Then time to rest
Play and rejoice
Another birthing
A labor of love.