Tuesday, October 9, 2012


In the pre dawn I know for sure
I am the created
not the creator

When the Pine Trees' dark shadows cast upon the lake
Mystically dissolve into glassy ripples
When the tawy haze in the east melds into the whole sky

The west, a moment ago inky black
Now, a muted lavender;
the most gentle of colors

Stars fade into oblivion
I am cradled in this breath of creation

The lone bird calls his kind to wake up, wake up!
So too
my Creator
calls me.

"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters" Genesis 1"2

Friday, June 8, 2012

Knowing Best

Okay FINE we will look at the Collie Mix puppies.
( the” okay fine” very much like the “ okay fine I’ll play soccer” said by our 4 year old future two time state champ)

Not the Lab or Golden we wanted

But knowing best isn’t everything. 

After “Nutcracker” we three family delegates stopped.

Just to see.

The forlorn mother and her twelve

Last and least of the twelve, our future Franklin ate from our hands.

(grateful for whatever was left after the eleven had theirs)

And the last was again first. Our love match was found.

And lasted almost twelve years.

Forever actually.

What a life those twelve years held.

His family grew up.  

And left.

Left us with memories to last a lifetime.

But Franklin stayed.  And shared our new silence.  And howled wildly when they came back. The very best part of the coming homes.

But now he too leaves.

So we will learn to walk alone, in so many ways.

Not so fine. But okay,

Farewell Franklin, our faithful friend.


Friday, January 27, 2012

My companions

Breeze, not gentle, not brisk
Clicking palm fronds rhythmic taps
The seas timeless surf
My mother across the table sunning her already wrinkled skin, her rings hanging too loosely on her no longer, but forever married, widows hands.
Cousin Carol cross-wording in the shady corner
Four o'clock sun lingering on my neck.
We are good companions as we journey
Into our shadows.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Love and the Lunar Eclipse

I recently  read an article writen a woman, a mother, whose child has a disease with a death sentence.  The child, the baby, the beloved son will loose his life by his third birthday.

The woman, the mother is on the clock. She has learned a few lessons about what is important in life sooner than most. The striving has taken second place to the savoring. What to feed, where to educate, how to excel; all those questions now not so important. How to love is.

He child will die. The only questions that remain are how to live now. And how to love. Now.

Saturday morning 7 am. The phone rings. Fine by me, I'm awake ( as all over the age of 50 are?) but who is calling? It's Emily.

Oddly enough Emily often calls at this time of day but not on a weekend. I know I'd better hurry and look to the east when I hear the phone ring that time of day.  She calls me on her way to school with excitement typically reserved for bigger things. But she, it appears, is her mothers daughter in this way. A beautiful sunrise is a big thing. 

What a wake up call.
But on a Saturday?  Well, it turns out there was to be an lunar eclipse and she and Caleb ( who is such a man that would happily do this) were driving downtown to get a better view from the top of a parking garage.

They would pick me up if I liked. I liked.

It was a wild goose chase. We did manage a glimpse craning our necks through the car window.  But by the time we made it downtown, and after scaling two parking garages all the way to the top, fog, and the rising sun had shrouded the moon.

To say this morning was anything short of perfect though would be to miss the point. We were pursing beauty and we found it. We didn't find it in the sky but rather in our hearts.  You should have heard us laugh at ourselves. Not only could we not see the moon, we got "dizzy sick" spinning up and down the parking garages. Over the bagels and coffee that followed  the same sun that obscured the eclipse revealed something even more beautiful. Because when you do anything out of love the sun and the Son can shine through.

We get up early to pursue our jobs, our ambitions, our goals.  The striving is important. The educating and the earning, and the pursuing. But this was Saturday. We could pursue something else. Because we too are all on the clock.

Because we know how fleeting sunrises, lunar eclipses and life are. Because you've got to grab the good when you can. Because there is plenty of pain and ugliness in life. Because beauty is one of Loves faces. And if we let it, Love conquers all, shines through all.  One sunrise, or lunar ecplise, or belly laugh at a time. And I bet that young mother and her son would have been at the top of the parking garage with us.

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time -
 It's easy. All you need is love, love, love is all you need. The Beatles


Sunday, December 4, 2011


For this moment.

For this moment I am content.

 All is well, all is perfect, in this cocoon of my moment.

Last nights magical moonlit dance with my shovel under waning flakes, a memory.

Muffled silence of the wet heavy snow weighs on every branch I see outside my window.

Winters first snow.

The newly risen sun leaves the blanket of comfort and adds the joy. It screams wow-wie what a world. The sweet dance of the old and the new, like a rocking-chaired grandma reaching out for the new born babe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods...

As kids we really did travel over the river and through the woods ( Hudson river, Berkshire mountains) to grandmothers house for Thanksgiving ( albeit by car, not sleigh). Throw in the stop to watch the  Fox Hunt (beautiful!) and the likely covering of snow and you about had all the bases covered. This was diminished (although probably only in my eyes) only by the fact that our table held  just my brother and I, my parents and grandparents. As one who craved a big noisy, happy, well, Italian like family, my little, not so noisy Norwegian one fell just a bit short . But, it was a day of warmth and goodness and love. The chairs were full and our hearts were too. We were blessed and knew it. A place, a day, I will always remember.

While our kids were growing up the picture was similar. Over the river ( Missouri) and through the woods ( well, Loess Hills) to their grandmothers house we went. No Fox Hunt, but the table was a bigger and noisier. While still of Nordic stock, (hugs, no kisses) our four kids did their part and the "Step's" ( siblings and cousins that is) added theirs. The days were good.  Every single one.  Blessings and prayers were shared and counted. A tear or two were shed for what we had. The chairs were full and our hearts were too. We were blessed and we knew it. A place, a day I will always remember.

This year the table will hold only Paul and I, his mother and husband, and my mother.  Divorces and death, kids scattered where they live and work, too many rivers and woods, dollars and days away, have shrunk the table again.  Last year I cooked but illness and weather consipired against us. We two were alone. This year our table will be at a restaurant. But I expect, like the last 52 I've been gifted with, it will be good. Blessings and prayers will be shared and counted. A tear will be shed for all that we have. There will be empty chairs and hearts both full and empty. We are blessed and we know it. And I expect and place and a day I will always remember.

"There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all"

The Beatles

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There is something achingly beautiful about seeing the men and women, oldish and older, aptly self described as a mini UN, making, creating, a thing of beauty. A thing, a  piece of art really that they, in any other scenario, would never encounter.
The immigrants ,the aging hippys, the boy from down the block, the women who seem better suited for the rocking chair, all investing mind, body and spirit for the better part of their lives, have clearly created and received something more than a paycheck.
The story is simple. "The Making of Steinway number L1037" is about just that. The years journey from a piece of wood to instrument.
It drew me in. These people embody the power of passion, pursuit of excellence, pride of work. I don't know what their wage is, apparently enough to build a life, if modest, but not enough to own an instrument of their own but  not so little that they leave for greener pastures.  Ever. But I venture to say a wage is not their primary reward.
They clock in, punch out, sweep up after the day, exit en mass, eat lunch from their brown bags. But this is no ordinary factory.
They make instruments. I will never look at a piano in the same way. I figure we must be created in our Creators image to in turn be the creators of such a thing.
They make instruments and they are the instruments. Sort of an unbroken circle. As we, or the planks of wood and wire, submit to the duress of the molding, the instrument is formed.
Assisi Italy, a place of deep and gentle beauty produced it's insturment too.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy"
St. Francis