Saturday, December 19

River Road

a river, swift and dark
creeps closer to an asphalt ribbon,
the one with a parallel name

one raindrop, joined by others
a watershed gestating until eventually
it has no choice but to unleash its torrent
scattering remnants of sodden lives
on unfamiliar shores

the fine silt of our ancestors
a button, a bone, a seed
or the shard of a porcelain cup
once carried in the belly of a ship

i want to dangle my fingertips
in the frigid water
absorb the memories as they float by
before dissolving
into a gulf, a sea, an ocean

Wednesday, December 16

Carolina Wrens

Carolina Wrens are known for their antics and big voices, disproportionate to their tiny bodies. I love to watch them year round, but especially during nesting season. A pair of wrens built a nest above the porch light this year and raised their family right before my uplifted eyes.

This year the fledglings didn't want to venture far from the nest so each night, they perched as close to the nest as possible. A most precious sight to see four little wren bodies lined up like soldiers sleeping contently. As they grew, so did their trademark beaks. They could no longer face forward when sleeping, so cleverly turned their heads...little birdies in profile.

As often as possible, I'd invite guests of the Retreat Center to peak at them as they dozed.

Cute is meant to be shared.

Monday, December 14

A Surprise

On Thanksgiving, neighbor Kathryn and I walked at Radnor Lake. It was a cold, blustery morning with a sky threatening rain, but we were not deterred. Fallen leaves no longer held any autumnal crunch after weeks of rain, but flocks of Canadian geese on the lake lent a picturesque quality to an already bucolic setting.

We chose the Spillway Trail which meanders through the woods, across the spillway and dam, then leads you along the edge of a ravine as you make your way back to the Visitor's Center.

The vivid colors of fall have long passed in Middle Tennessee, so I was delighted and surprised when a lone ray of sun lit up this small tree wearing it's hot pink leaves. This is not a color I've come to expect in the fall palette but there it stood in its unapologetic glory, a neon sign from Mother Nature.

Sunday, December 13


Since moving to the retreat center in 2005, silence has become a welcomed part of my daily existence. Having moved from the center of the nation's 4th largest city, it took a while to embrace silence, both aurally and emotionally. But embrace it I did, except for today.

When there's a retreatant in the main retreat house who chooses to be in silence during their stay I too am in silence by default. Miss Mocha finds this silly and picks the most inopportune moments to take her squeakiest toy upstairs and give it a good workout. So there she is squeaking away and I'm shushing her while the retreatant is giggling in her room. So much for silence!

I had both arms wrapped lovingly around silence today, until about noon. By then, I was about the climb the walls wanting to hear music, dialogue, the sound of a raindrops on the window pane. I'm not sure why today was any different than past times when it was the breaking of silence that unnerved me, but I confess on this Sabbath day that something's niggling me under the surface.

Most likely, the contributing factor to my can't-sit-still-in-my-seat condition is the anticipated death of my biological father. He's been diagnosed with colon cancer, that's spread to his liver, lungs and lymph nodes in his chest. He's under hospice care in Austin, with my sister acting as primary caregiver.

We've been estranged for more than 20 years. I'd like to think I can get to a place of forgiveness before he dies. Time for some meditation and healing and maybe a visit to Austin.

Saturday, December 12


A wet fall and bitterly cold temperatures have resulted in spectacular hoarfrost events over the past few weeks. It's hard to describe and even harder to photograph, but here's my latest attempt at capturing the magical explosion of white ribbon candy along meadow edges and road sides. Enjoy.

Friday, December 11

Back in the Saddle

It's taken a while to get all the gears of my life moving again. The cogs and wheels and whirring things that spin round and round have sorely lacked attention while I've concentrated on LaLaKnee.

Good news...a clog may still slip now and again, but all-in-all the engine of my life is running pretty smoothly.

Here are a few highlights:

1. 12 weeks of physical therapy came to a natural conclusion last Friday. The surgeon is ok with where things are right now but there's still work to be done. So now it's an hour and half exercise routine at home to get more bend, straighten the leg fully and strengthen the thigh muscle. In short, more fun for me.

Anyone have tips on staying motivated?

2. I'm on the radio again in my co-host seat on Queer Talk, which airs most Saturdays on WRVU 91.1 FM (in Nashville) or streams live on the internet at I'm excited to be interviewing author Malinda Lo about her recent book "Ash", a 21st century twist on the Cinderella fairy tale. Even though it's under the Young Adult category, it's a great read for anyone who yearned for a different ending to the age-old tale.

3. I've read a mountain of books, one might say I've devoured them. An enthusiastic recommendation is "What Wildness is This", a collection of intimate portraits of women's lives and the land(s) that have shaped them. Edited by Susan Wittig Albert, Susan Hanson, Jan Epton Seale and Paula Stallings Yost, this collection of essays and poems make my heart sing with images of the American Southwest spilling across each page.

4. Speaking of books....I'M PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!! Recently, the book "Waiting...A Time to Hear God's Voice by Fred Cloud was published by Upper Room Books and I am one of 16 contributors to the project. I agreed to contribute a prayer for this book as I loved the premise. It's a little heavy on the Jesus for my taste, but hey, I'M PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pick up a copy or 10, I'll even autograph it for you.

5. So here's a low light...writing is not going well. Lovely, lush phrases and ideas for poems drift in and out of my mind, but don't seem to culminate into a poem of any substance. Of course, I didn't write at all while recuperating from surgery and am a bit rusty. Other than Facebook, I haven't been writing at all AND the two writers groups I belong to are on hiatus at the same time...what's a girl to do.

The Lovely Linda suggested I get back into the habit of writing every day and see what happens, so...

6. With this post, I commit to blogging daily and moving my hand across the page (or the keyboard as the case may be) to see what bubbles up.

Sorry to have been absent for so long. I'm not sure there's anyone out there reading this blog any more, but if you are, please drop me a quick comment letting me know you're there. Like the daily knee exercises, I need motivation on those days when it seems easier to feed the horse a carrot instead of getting back into the saddle.