Christmas Lights and Silent Nights

Yesterday, I went to an appointment, then did some online shopping, caught up in the secular Christmas that it seems most people “celebrate.” I, possibly like others, sometimes forget what really matters. silent night, holy night It’s a cold December—but not yet officially winter—morning. I take off my glasses and write with a pen propelled […]

Peace During the Holidays

The antonym for “peaceful” is “unpeaceful.” Okay, that’s fair, but I was thinking of something a little more descriptive like: “chaotic,” “tense,” exhausting,” or “stressful.” What emotions do you experience when you don’t feel at peace? Countless situations can be responsible for creating the opposite of a calm and tranquil home:• full-time caregiving for someone with a debilitating physical […]

Thankful—Full of Thanks

THANKFULconscious of benefits received, relieved that something has (or hasn’t) happened, contented, appreciative, grateful благодарно, reconnaissant, אסיר תודה, grato, 감사한, riconoscente, agradecido, 感謝している, dankbaar, ευγνώμων, 感激 “Thankful” is expressed and felt differently. Many of us have the privilege of being grateful for people who love us, health, a career (or retirement), a roof over our heads. In […]

Unbalanced and Running on Empty

Balance is a state of equilibrium: stability, calmness, harmony, serenity. But, for many, that equilibrium is missing. My life has been unbalanced. I’ve often not spent as much time honoring and caring for the core of me as I’ve spent dealing with body and mind matters. (Have you experienced that?) Professional jugglers know the importance of balance in […]

Poetry on a Tuesday

I started a post then scrapped it—too serious (life feels serious enough right now). I started another one, but it felt too “minimal”—not strong enough for the times we’re living in. So, I decided that this would be a good day to post pieces from Poetry and Other Random Thoughts. All of these poems have […]

Truth & Dare

“Truth or Dare” is something I’ve never played, having heard too many stories of young (and not-so-young) people divulging personal information or performing dangerous, humiliating, or out of their comfort zone “dares.” (What we sometimes do to others, or allow them to make us do, is heartbreaking.) Unlike the game “truth or dare,” I’m talking about truth and dare. […]

Peer Pressure

As children, your peers were likely close to your age, but as adults, they’re usually people who have similar backgrounds, social statuses, lifestyles, or abilities, regardless of age.  Peer pressure occurs when you’re influenced to adopt views, goals, or behaviors matching your peer group.  We often think of teenagers when we hear “peer pressure” because […]

Z to A

Amid the sorrow and challenges of COVID-19, significant changes have taken place in the lives of everyone I know. It was seven months ago that the World Health Organization declared a global emergency. And, since March, when a national emergency was declared in The USA, it often feels, for me, like time moves as slow […]

Heart & Breath

We’re familiar with the expression “thinking outside the box”— choosing to see things from a different perspective, perhaps more creatively or unconventionally, not boxed in. There’s value in “breathing outside the box,” too, taking the time to hear your breath, slowing down, consciously inhaling and exhaling, honoring and acknowledging what’s often taken for granted.  Breathing sounds simple, but […]

Perspective

Often, true happiness is borne out of understanding what unhappy is. When young, you, likely, didn’t have a myriad of choices, but, as you “came of age,” you may have been able to turn the lens, culling joy from relationships, choosing where to share your heart, knowing when to run from pain, creating (at least to some […]

Greener Grass and Rosier Glasses

When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places. As humans, we often have a bias […]

Letting Go

Two weeks ago, a large, heavy ceramic pot broke into a dozen pieces. I decided to glue it back together. It was time-consuming, requiring a lot of patience—which I sometimes don’t have—as I clamped individual pieces together, waiting for them to dry before adding the next part of the puzzle. Eventually, (with almost an entire […]

The Fabric of You

A while ago, I made pillow covers from delicate fabric with silk fibers of amazing colors. These different threads, woven together, make gorgeous patterns of free form flowers and leaves. The non-selvage edge of this fabric unravels easily and really looking at each strand, I was surprised by how much movement and beauty they had, […]

Bridges & Life, Crossing Bridges Instead of Building Walls

We build a little wall first—just tall enough so that when we venture out (into the sometimes scary world), we can turn around, run fast, jump over it, get really “small” and hide behind it. It’s the “level 1 protection wall” built from something like sand or leaves (sad, lonely). If we have to jump over that wall often enough, we end up creating a sturdier divider. This “level 2 protection wall” is made of materials like brick or wood (bullied, wounded). It still allows us to venture out into the world, but now we have to climb over it to safety. When we’ve had to retreat behind wall number 2 long enough, we finally build the “level 3 protection wall”. This one is serious stuff, an impenetrable structure that no one is getting through! It’s made of steel or concrete (scarred, crushed) and reinforced with pain and abandonment.

Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”➀ was one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century. I’ve always loved the simplicity and significance of these words: “When you’re weary, feeling small,when tears are in your eyes,I will dry them all.I’m on your sideoh, when times get rough,and friends just can’t be found,like a bridge […]

The Positive and “Aha” Moments

These past few months have been, unarguably, incredibly challenging times. Last week, I wrote about racism and its painful impact on our world. This is a critical conversation that needs to be ongoing. During the past few weeks, I also asked friends and readers:Has there been anything “positive” that you’ve experienced as a result of […]

Gratitude, Even in the Chaos

Gratitude is an “Amen, Thank You!” to our world. When we only see what we don’t have, we close the door to the joy that comes from acknowledging what we do have. Many people wish they could walk in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes, that’s jealousy-based, but more often, it’s the result of wanting lives more like what they presume (the […]

Hatred, Violence, Pain, How Do We Move Forward? (Part 2)

Today, I intended to share the answers I collected from questions regarding the impact of COVID-19. However, responses are still pouring in from: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, pain, and sadness going on right now, how do you think we move forward; how do we make a difference?” This is a big picture life question—a […]

In Memoriam

Memorial Day—a time for formally remembering the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces—began after The American Civil War to honor the over 625,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. The sheer enormity of memorializing and burial took on immense significance. Originally called “Decoration Day,” because decorated graves […]

What Languages Do You Speak?

I love this story from my grandson’s first year of grade school: Ethan had an excellent teacher, and at the beginning of the school year, she asked if any of the children spoke a second language. A few children raised their hands. When she got to Ethan, he said, “I speak Duck➀.” She heard that […]

The Journey

I am a journeyer, traveling through this life, looking and seeking, searching and learning. I pick up things as I journey— a book, a photograph, a postcard and put them in my backpack. Sometimes, I take those things out and look at them, mostly at night, mostly when I’m alone. I smile, I laugh. I […]

Choices

Choices; this seven-letter word sets the course for your life. Choosing moves energy, creating change that sets what you want into motion. Choices empower you, so it’s critical to discern what you desire and require in your life. You choose every day by weighing the pros and cons, considering alternatives, and then taking action. A considerable amount of this goes on […]

Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part I

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Does it sometimes seem that despite how hard you work, how often you “put yourself out there,” or how much you love, it just isn’t enough? Are you ever on the brink of hopelessness, imagining that if you […]

Poetry for Thought

CHOICES peace, peace, precious peace pain, pain, poignant pain   hope, hope, honored hope hate, hate, horrid hate   love, love, lasting love loss, loss, lonely loss   faith, faith, fervent faith fear, fear, fractious fear   peace, hope, love, faith pain, hate, loss, fear  all of these are part of life which of these […]

Finding Tanquility Now

We usually have some sense of which way our lives are headed, but one of the many lessons, during this time of upheaval is that: when we learn to embrace uncertainty by being present in the moments we have right now, we will have mastered honoring each day as the gift it is. In light of what […]