August 10, 2013

in the moment

she's gonna kill me. this is one of those spontaneous photos i delight so much in taking but mom is not always so happy with. i told her the photo was just for me. sorry, mom, how could i NOT share this slice of unbridled joy?

it's right before dinner is served. mom is hand drizzling freshly made Italian vinaigrette dressing over our salads, blissfully unaware of me surreptitiously picking up my camera. dad, eagle-eyed sees the camera lift to my eyes and quickly sneaks in behind this woman he adores gleefully showing his love and affection. the moment his hand slides on her arm and tiny waist, she blushes and smiles.

you can't miss the radiance. the camera captures them. the sweetness of their relationship. their playful spontaneity. living in the moment. dad being the affectionate husband. so in-love enjoying every moment after 56 years with his beautiful bride.

they're meant for each other. but even more than that, despite all the challenges that life tosses at them in the aging process, they grab each moment with joy and gratitude. she hosts birthday parties despite kidney stones. dad graciously greets you at the door with a beaming smile and entertains company despite pain.

today i realized, this is where i got it from. where it was modeled. bred in me. taught in a master class. this voracious appetite to seize every moment in life. to change my perspective when i can't change my circumstance. to retain the sensitivity to feel delight in the smallest things that surround me. to feel and express joy because it is IN us. to treasure these moments as gifts.

every since i was a teen, i have a little painting placed where i can see it every night before i go to sleep. it says happiness is not so much about what we have. it's about what we enjoy. yep, truth...

August 02, 2013


i don't know who gave me the rose. but a full-bloom variegated rose greeted me as i opened my mailbox, returning from a challenging business trip. having flown all day, driven 2 hours in friday rush hour traffic, it was a bright surprise that instantly brushed a smile across my tired face.

i popped it into a small vase and enjoyed this unexpected aromatic delight all week until the last petals fell off, below. i made phone calls to family, friends, neighbors. was it you? i would ask one by one, calling individuals i suspected may have been so thoughtful. no one fessed up. no, they'd say, wish it was me or you must have a secret admirer.

the past 2 weeks have been arduous. experiences and outcomes i eagerly anticipated turned into disappointments. that's life, isn't it? just when we think we're firmly footed on solid ground, we find we're actually swimming in unknown waters. disillusions, fears and unrequited desires can toss our little ships. 

i'm learning to float. feel peace. let the waters flow thru and around me. realize that i do not have to drown in these turmoils, that life has plenty of illusions. that i am resilient. buoyant. that every hour of every day, i have a reason to look forward to next

i'm learning to trust that. even when i don't know what next will be. 

like the lyrics from my favorite song by adam randall, let the mystery stand...

so i’m learning to swim
in spite of the dry land
i’m learning that what i know
has nothing to do with who i am
i’m learning to let my world
go to pieces and then be made again
i’m learning to drift away
and let the mystery stand

April 15, 2013


i am content
nothing more is needed
nothing need change or be subtracted
for me to be at ease
i am here, now, feeling complete
tomorrow floats on the other side of sleep
yet it does not concern me
yesterday needs no reflection or judgment
my mind flows neither forward or backward
but cradles me gently in the evening air

i am unconstrained
undefined by the words seeking to shape me
simply being the shape that i am
in a womb like sense of neutral, buoyant
no need to analyze or plan
connecting with the night air
the silk of these sheets
the warm fur of bella purring beside me
appreciating each breath we inhale
the spring color beauty of my maples
a full tummy

i am beautiful to me
warm to my own touch
sweetness inside my own supple skin
accepting all that i am
hands bruised from gardening
hair that curls in gentle disarray
as if it were tousled in sex
there is no loss, no gain, simply what is
this form of me, simply whole

April 01, 2013

bubbling on

For months before my uncle Les died, we talked every Tuesday on the phone. While his heart and kidneys were failing him, his spirit, humor and warmth did not. He was fully at peace with his life and embraced his inevitable conclusion with dignity and contentment with a life well lived.

The moments we shared were priceless to me. He told me stories about the ornery escapades that hardly anyone else knew of his growing up as a kid in Georgia. Like that one about him leaving the house on a mission to buy ice cream, without enough cash in hand. A kind policeman noting his curious walking about trying to find the ice cream store, buying him ice cream and bringing him back home.

Then there was the afternoon we spent together when I drove up to Oregon. For nearly 4 hours, we went thru the pages of his life. Scrapbooks and photo albums. As each page turned, he'd giggle and tell me another story. Or I'd gasp at a piece of memorabilia and ask him to explain something. We walked, side by side on the couch, thru the decades of love he shared with his beloved wife Anne. I learned that every day, they would softly reassure each other, always in Russian, in their own sweet tenderness. When one would say I love you, the other would reply back, I love you more.

He left a gift of money for me in his will. I bought a beautiful water fountain that sits right outside my home office sliding door. It's bubbling right now. Just like the bubbling conversations he and I had.

The day my uncle died, I could not be there, miles away. But I knew he was at peace finding release from a world of pain his body had endured. He told a family member at his bedside to tell me that he loved me.

As my fountain bubbles tonight, I can hear it say, I love you more...

March 29, 2013


the most
is not found
in our wallets

it is held
in our hands

March 27, 2013

alternate universe

in my fraction
of a second
he took me in
alternate universe
hummer's eye view
of us gravity prone
ground dwellers
in the whoosh
of an exhale
he thought

March 16, 2013


i started with steamed brown rice, asparagus and baby carrots.
to season them, i tossed them together in the frying pan.

that’s when it started to go south.

i had run out of my regular olive oil.
i grabbed the lemon infused olive oil to saute them together.
then i spritzed it with soy sauce and aromatic pepper.
didn’t like it.
had some leftover pizza sauce.
i poured that in.

uh oh.

scooped a dollop of sour cream in to mellow it out.
almost edible. almost not.

i’m hungry.
it’s edible.

March 15, 2013

i'm different

It started with a funny & sarcastic Facebook posting of a photo that showed a bowl of chili and not chili in the individual’s opinion.

She had been “held hostage at the nail salon” forced to watch a cooking show in which the cook, horrors of horrors, put in tomatoes and green peppers. She stated that if our favorite chili had ANYTHING but meat, chili powder and water in it and wasn't cooked for around 2 days, it was not chili. It was simply soup.

Most comments fell on the side of supporting a variety ingredients in chili citing various personal reasons as to what flavors the chili they love the most.

One person joked, then I guess I don’t make chili right.

Then we were told, don’t even try to defend not-chili. It’s not chili.

That made me sit up and connect the dots. Isn't this the human quality from which the arrogant surety and superiority of one’s beliefs or behavior starts?

If you say this, you’re not American.
If you are gay, you can’t marry your partner.
If you vote for the opposing candidate, you’re wrong.
If you don’t believe as I do, you’re going to hell.
If your country origin is not mine, you’re my enemy.

At first, I’m right, you’re wrong may just pass for humorous or snarky behavior. It quickly escalates into characterizations that annoy, offend, hurt and distance us from each other. Convinces us that alternate ideas and behavior pose a threat to our own. Cultivates a mob mentality prone to persecute. Transforms into a weapon to justify eradicating those that think, act and look differently than we do.

Society is a beautiful plural fabric of unique human beings, beliefs and behaviors. Let the differences delight us. As beautiful as we are, 6 billion other people that look, act and believe as we do would be really boring.

I’m different. So are you.

March 08, 2013



... of earth, crevaced in stone and silt
     chiseled ridges of clay penetrating the sky
     pressing anchor below tide pool murky depths

... of salt, licking and sipping at the coast
     bathing sand with little toes of driftwood
     gifts of shells telling stories of farther reaches

... of fog, slinking through the curves
     defying the sun’s command over the sky
     dusting the air, my hair, with bubbles of mist

... of music lilting above the pounding surf
     notes brazenly dancing, joyously unrestrained
     floating and flying in a coastal revelry

... of time, pausing in a stolen moment
     milky way matchmaker of sky, surf and sound
     basking content in a mendocino smile

March 05, 2013


She relaxed at ease in the coffee shop, watching an Americana band jam on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Every once in a while, she'd mouth the words to a song she knew. Her comfort in the moment, exuded a peace with her past, present and future. A serene smile said she was writing chapters, enjoying each one. Especially this one...

January 13, 2013


i've been working on a project with a friend to set the reading of one of my poems to a modern dance number her troupe will perform. i've written poetry since i was in first grade and never done a "reading". only read aloud to close friends. i've always wanted to go somewhere public and do that.

this is the next best thing in taking a few first steps... i created a video of the reading of part of the poem "breath" and set it to the very soulful jazz of richard elliot. i hope you enjoy it...

Breath, poem written by me, performed to Metro Blue by Richard Elliot

January 08, 2013

sonoma winter

the moss, lichens and liverworts that spring back to life in winter here in sonoma county are exquisite. while the rest of the country sports shades of brown, grays and white, we celebrate our greenest time of year. special...