Tuesday, December 25

Deep In My Heart...Texas

Christmas Day, 2007
Washington, Texas

The Next Generation

Instead of "pass the gravy" I heard "pass the baby" at Christmas this year. 2007 marked the arrival of Brady, third son of Melissa and Preston born in May and twins Grant and Grace to Gus David and Bubba born in August. Brady is such a happy baby and I'm sorry I didn't get a picture, but here is my cousin Donna holding a sleeping Grace and a lovely family portrait of Bubba and Gus David holding Grant.

Welcome Brady, Gus David, Grant and Grace to the family. Your presence gives us another chance to open our arms, hearts and minds to the hope of our next generation.

Monday, December 24

Morning Mist

The sun's rays
coaxed the water to rise
in a swirling, dancing mist
'round the island home
of heron and panther
one is light
one is dark
and in between...

Friday, December 21

Three Cheers for Untethered Women!

We met a decade ago. Since then, we've cried, laughed, danced, fallen flat on our faces, helped each other back up, shaken our heads in disbelief and shared some pretty fine wine. KC encouraged me when my spirit said, "write." Now it's my turn to encourage her in her journey. Her spirit has yet to speak its desire, but I'll be there to cheer her on when it does.

Wednesday, December 19


My mind lies fallow.

Words catch
in the stubble
of autumn’s harvest.

The blank page
blows onto the river.

It too (the river that is)
is being pushed,
its only defense
to rise up with clenched fists
punching the black water.

The choice:
stand still or outrun the wind.

Monday, December 17

'tis the season

'Tis the season to lose sight of peace, joy and humanity. I suggest everyone stop for a moment and take a collective breath into a brown paper bag.

There, there...it's going to be ok.

Sunday, December 16

First Snow

A light, soft snow is falling. I've been anticipating the first appearance of the season for the past two days, waking in the middle of the night, lying still in my bed listening for the signature silence that accompanies freshly fallen snow. I would rise and rush to the window, only to be disappointed and return to bed.

It began about 9 this morning and I am thoroughly delighted.

Wednesday, December 12

No She Didn't!

This dog...this little dog just dissed me!

Uh-huh, she uttered dog-mockery behind my back, with the righteous indignation of a put-upon teenager. I actually turned around in disbelief with one raised eyebrow and asked, "What did you just say?" and I swear she rolled here eyes at me. All because I let out an "Awwwwwww," (admittedly dripping with estrogen) while looking at this picture.

I ask you gentle reader, whose heart could not be squeezed by the likes of a 5 week old coyote pup?

Tuesday, December 11


and on the seventh day,
there was a glorious sunrise
a hint of blue sky
dotted with whispy white clouds
the gray ceiling has lifted
senses awaken
golden rays of morning sun
a homecoming parade

Monday, December 10


...in my own personal advent.

Driving, my mind wandered much the way the river road bends, slopes, climbs and dissects the thick tangle of woods between home and town. Tires cling to the gray slick ribbon of road, navigated more by memory than by sight. White-washed farm houses perched atop hills with their red-shuttered windows lean slightly forward as I pass, nudging my psyche into awareness that something is missing. I shake myself into the now, realizing the slow-footed river (usually to my right) has vanished under a shroud of fog. So deceivingly dense, it transformed the dark water into a white pristine beach.

Where had my mind wandered? Into the paradoxical thicket?

I cannot taste what I hunger for.
I can only smell what lives in my memory.
Sight is diminishing, yet I yearn to see more clearly.

A mirage on the contemplative landscape is seductive. The familiar crunch and groan of gravel under the weight of the car registers in my ears. I jerk the steering wheel to the left, inches from driving onto the fog bank and being swallowed by the slow-footed dark waters of the Cumberland.

Wednesday, December 5

It's a pj's kind of a day.

After a great struggle between the sun, mounting storm clouds and a raw north wind, the promise of a bright day has diminished into a cold, damp and dark cave with little contrast between now-barren branches and the sky.

I'm hunkered down in my big comfy chair looking at the birds outside my window who are feeding feverishly on thistle seed. Because my living quarters are in the basement, the bottom of the window is nearly flush with the ground, which gives me a great vantage point from which to observe creation.

Although winter has not officially arrived, today feels like the familiar gray days of winters past. Since my psyche is susceptible to the lack of sunshine, I'll move upstairs and park myself in front of the fireplace, working, reading and writing in the warmest and most well lit room at the Retreat Center.

This time of year puts me in a reflective state of mind. I'm not sure what it will produce, but I feel something churning inside me that's part melancholy, part anticipation and part gratitude.

Monday, December 3

American Pie

pluck the note from my throat
replace it with a sob

sharp wind of discord lofts
a soaring refrain into the air

what crescendos from the breast
snags on the swallow of intent


when branches bend
when leaves tumble

I hear a chorus

Sunday, December 2

A Moment of Silence

My love affair with high heels started long before I actually slid my feet into a pair. As a young girl, I sat mesmerized watching my mom transform herself from a hard working mother of three into a goddess in long gowns, rhinestone jewelry, beaded bags and stiletto heels. I'm sure there's more than one black and white photo in the family album of me parading around in her heels with an ear-to-ear smile on my face. A rite of passage as a budding teenager was mom teaching me how to walk in heels. "Glide, glide, glide...walk from the hip, not from your knees," she coached. I was a quick and willing student.
I carried on the family tradition in fine form, acquiring heels the height of which made most women shudder. For years, I was more likely to stumble or trip in a pair of flats, rather than a pair of hot pink patent leather stilettos with 4" heels.
When I prepared to move to Tennessee and my new life at the Retreat Center, I didn't pack a single pair of heels, not even a sensible pump! I've spent the last two years in hiking boots, tennis shoes or sandals. So when the occasion arose where I needed to dress up, I had to buy new heels (what a sacrifice!) I purchased a classic pair in black with a wicked point and a mere 3" heel. The other pair, let's just say they are what fantasies are made of!
Today was a dress up day. I spent 5 hours at a local church standing at a table talking to passersby about the Retreat Center. So there I was in a tasteful dress, full makeup, hose and classic black heels. About 3 hours into the shift, I was overcome with a strange and unfamiliar sensation...my feet were hurting, no, throbbing! After only 3 hours? "What a lightweight," I thought to myself. I immediately found a chair in the high hope that the pain would cease.
My plan did not work. The longer I sat, the more aware I became of just how badly my feet hurt, how desperately I wanted to take off my classic black heels, which I was now cursing under my breath. Did I mention I was in church? To add insult to injury, not only were my feet screaming, but my knee was beginning to swell and that's when it hit me...
My days of wearing high heels are over. Yes, over as in I do not wish to torture myself in this way ever again.
Please join me in a moment of silence as I journey through yet another rite of passage in my life as a woman. I don't know whether to be sad or celebrate. I do know I need to find a good home for my collection. Maybe I'll find a drag queen who would appreciate a bequest of gently used, but flawless high heels!