Friday, May 31, 2013

JB and Alaska

Alaska for almost two weeks.  JB went with her sister and without me. She was only partially impressed with the Princess Cruise, "food too bland and too much gold decor" and there was alot of transport from one place to another.

 But the glaciers. Oh my. They are crystal blue. See for yourself. 

They traveled by river boat

And dog sled

And train

And foot

They saw salmon smoking

And from years past, protective doorways: short and small enough that no enemy, man or bear, could enter without the disadvantage of being bent over

And meanwhile, back at home, JB's partner--that would be me--nursed a damaged knee, faced the necessity of putting her Mother in a nursing home, worried about their very pregnant daughter and her family moving to a new house; all the while texting hellos and how-are-you's? to a traveler who arrived home happy and tired and ready to step into summer.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Writing Nibble

I said I am going to spice up my blog and I mean it. 

I am going to use this photo when I post some of my poems and snippets: snippets in this case being the beginning of the book I have been writing for several years now. Why so long? Distance. I've needed some.  The two main characters in this book are so far out I've struggled to make them believable. I'm not done yet (but almost). 

Here is what may well be the opening pages.  My writing teacher says I should NOT be revealing any of this until I'm done, and not on my blog, But it's a new day and my way. :^)

Sorry about the spacing problems. Here goes: 

Some of this story is true and some of it isn’t. A wise reader will probably figure that part out. Please don’t ask me. I have enough angst worrying about Bee’s reaction and whether Catherine will sic a Filipino dragon on me.  
Also, don’t ask me if hearts heal. I have no idea.

Donna lives in one of the Carolina’s and says she services the world.Given the fact that I spoke with her from a parking facing the ConnecticutRiver, I suppose that could just as well be true.
I found Donna  through Allison, a member of my writing group, who sought her out because of a confusing love hate relationship with her therapist Sylvia. Donna’s advice to Allison,mirroring my own take on her messy mess, was so spot on that I readily agreed to the $ 120 fee for a telephonic one hour past life reading of my own. 
When I contact her, emails me a  a questionnaire and email it back to her. She wants some history, some 
birth dates,some idea of my motivation.  We book a time two weeks in advance and I 
hope that she will tell me the situation is  not as bad as I know it is.
I am returning from Trader Joe’s when it’s time for me to call her. 
I pull into the river rest area and steer my car to a shaded spot encased by 
overgrown maple trees. 
Donna gets right to the point. “Use the information I tell you as a tool to heal 
yourself and also to heal others. That is the purpose here. First I am going to  
review the information you sent me by email.”
She proceeds to question me as if she is hearing it for the first time.
What is your full name?
Your birthdate and time?
What do you want to know?
What is this woman’s name and birthdate?
“Okay, Casey,” she says. “I am going to be silent while I tune into your pictures.This is what happens: I see pictures.  If you don’t hear my voice within three minutes, say something. This is important in the event that  we’ve become disconnected as opposed to me concentrating on the internal pictures that I will be viewing.”  
I nod. Then, remembering this is a phone call, I almost whisper, “Yes, Donna, okay.”
“I will be focusing on several of your last past lives,” she explains. “I don’t predict the future. It is up to you to learn what you need to know from the past.”
Donna goes silent. I wait until she speaks again.
“You have to have compassion,” she begins. Her voice is strong. “Catherine was your mother. She was a really good mother but she had a personality weakness. It was the culture of the time: women were subordinate to men, the only exceptions were witches and bitches and seducers. If you can understand this, you’ll have compassion for Catherine.”
“She was married with two children. Her husband went off to fight and she became pregnant from another man. She had the baby and she put off what to do. You were that child.”
“She worried, There was no way she could stand up about it, she had no plan. When someone spotted her husband coming home, the news spread. She grabbed you up, you were four years and one month old. She ran with you through the woods to a place where there was a dug out well four feet across the bottom. It was covered up with logs. She thought she could talk to him first and she’d come back for you, she snuck back and gave you some food.”
“You couldn’t get out on your own. It was fifteen feet deep. You had one blanket, you were emotionally paralyzed. She doesn’t know what approach to take. On the second day she comes back, you are really scared. You think she doesn’t love you, your world was her face. She is paralyzed too. You cry, you are so afraid.” 
Donna stops at this point. Her affect is shifting. Her voice is softer. “There was a huge storm. You drowned. You died on the fifteenth day. You couldn’t reason at four years old. The whole world was caving in around you, even though there were people around. You died with intense craving and fear and confusion, an utter emotional state.”
“Jesus,” I say. This is chilling. And familiar. 
“And now? Can Catherine and I find our way back to each other?”
Donna is quick to respond. “I know nothing about the future. I can only help you understand the past. YOU have to pick that baby up. You do it, in your mind, as if you were some woman who stumbled through the woods who really wanted that child. This is the energy between saving yourself and being a victim.”
“You want Catherine to save you from these torrid feelings you’re having and she never will. So how is the best way to die? Die in that life knowing the truth. Be like two to four year olds: someone gives you the information that your mother loves you. She loved you but know you are going to lose your mind, you slipped away into hallucinations. There was no clarity at death, Death was a gift.” 
“Your choice is you will never let go or you will leave in harmony and peace without her. You are like a bulldog that won’t let go. That is a beautiful quality you have—you are a person who gets what she wants, you fight for what’s most important—that’s an incredible gift you have.” 
“But the bigger picture is how to be comfortable when you’re out of control. Your healing comes from creating things you cannot control and sitting with them. Let things go into chaos.  Let things be out of control.”
“The day will come when you can turn your energy with Catherine toward merging your heart and mind with God. You’re on the right track.”
I am frozen in my silence. Donna continues.
“It’s a hopeless relationship. You should climb fast away thinking she will make you happy. You will be completely liberated. You will help others from permanently suffering. You will merge with God. Pray for the faith and determination to make that your focus.” 
“You cannot be part of the family. Have compassion for her.”
I start to cry. You cannot be part of the family.  I know my deepest pain comes from this reality. I have not known this until now.
“God is giving you Catherine’s non desire for you. You are screaming, ‘No, I don’t want that!’ The fifth pathway of the chakras: The supreme way is not difficult if only you do not pick and choose.The only cause of suffering is craving.” 
Donna stops. “That is all I have to say.” 
Stunned, I ask her if it makes sense to talk again, knowing she had had three sessions with Allison. 
“No,” she says. “I have told you everything. You are on a remarkable path. That’s the thing for you to know.” 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Playmates Wanted (please)

What has happened to my blog? Where is my community and the back and forth of wit and whimsy? Where is my creativity?

Okay I'm not at the easiest place. Transitions abound. Plus my knee hurts like hell and my walking and gardening ability is currently pathetic.


I've been thinking. This blog is a place where I am honest, yes, and when times are tough that's honest. But I am also hopeful. And grateful. And playful.  This blog is built for creative fun. That's been my promise to myself since day one.

So I'm looking back to recapture and reclaim. Here are many reasons I love sharing here. Please play with me again. I know many of us have been blogging inconsistently. That happens. But I am hereby giving notice that my blog is super duper important to me. I am going to get my good camera fixed and I am going to post my best (or worse) writing and I am going to enjoy you and all of it.


cookie breasts

a monster in the back yard

my recommendations for provincetown

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Auspicious Day

I am driving her to a nursing home today--my Mother and a suitcase of clothes and a painting of her childhood home in Canada.

This is a sad day. She will leave the rest home where she has lived for the last five years, where her dignity and imagined independence have been nurtured at every chance. She can't stay there any longer. She requires two people to help her stand and yet at night she somehow gets herself up and uses the commode in poor fashion. She has fallen. She is not safe there. 

Her bed at the nursing home will sound an alarm when she tries to get up by herself and I know that will both frighten and upset her. 

She will not thrive there.

My Mother is 97 years old. Her memory has not worked for almost a decade but in the present moment she has been bright and lucid and always as sweet as a honey bee. She has elegant hands, long beautiful fingers. Lately she has started to bite her nails down. I know that is a bad sign. More of the time now she has periods where she calls for her sisters and her mother, where she determined to get in her car and drive herself where she is supposed to be.

I had hoped she would have no need for a nursing home. 

I am driving her today and my emotions are thick. Most of this is the substance of love but some is concern for myself. I do not want to see her decline. I do not want to be on edge for her, worrying that she will be frightened or harmed, knowing I am the most important link in her well being. I do not want to be exhausted from it.

I am pushing myself to hope for the best. 

I know that is a wise thing to do.


Thursday, May 16, 2013


I don't get to choose when I can rest? Is that true?

Do you?


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Just an Update

I should not be writing. It's after midnight and I have a long day of work tomorrow. After tomorrow, I will have three weeks left of the job I have had for five years. I am saying goodbye to clients and colleagues with mixed emotions. I'm so glad to leave--no more hours of writing reports and so much paperwork and no more having to be reliable, but my heart will hurt to say goodbye. It's been great work.

I am currently in the midst of swirling high winds. So much wonderful news: my Jessica will soon give birth; she and Mike and the boys are moving into a forever dream house; JB and I are over the moon with our own dream house. Want to see it again? Oh, of course, certainly :^)

All of this is a clear transition for me. I won't move from my present house to this one, but someday I think JB and I will live here. Someday I think JB and I will be super duper happy here.

Boy do I have reasons to be happy. But I am also in the swirling winds of stress. JB's been sick, I tore a ligament in my knee (too much weight; there, I admitted it). To afford this house we have to sell our condo (very stressful, no bites yet). Pressure. 

And my Mother.....Today I learned she will have to leave the rest home that has cared for her with such love and dignity. They cannot take care of her needs. She no longer walks but forgets so she tries to walk and falls. She is not always in reality now, sometimes looking for her deceased sisters and Mother. 

I worry for my Mother. I have tried for the last five years to be present for her and I've made decisions to stay nearby for that reason. But sometimes, more so now when so much is going on, I feel trapped. No trip to Alaska with JB. No staying in this new house for more than a few days at a time. No looking ahead to a daily life that is about writing and gardening and spending time with my grandchildren and fixing up this new house. Learning new thing. Having a small boat. Writing my books. 

My Mother can't live with us. I know that. Her needs are too great. I wouldn't sleep. I can't handle the personal care required. I look in her eyes and I know I will sacrifice so she is not alone and not afraid. But I feel bad for myself. There's not time to soak in the blessings. A confusing transition so far. That much I know.

Am I whining? No. Just putting words down here. Which is what I want to do. Even this blog may have to change. If it's not authentically about me and what I know and see and feel and hope for, it's not  worth the effort. That much I also know.


Monday, May 06, 2013


I've been vaguely unhappy with my blog. Not enough colors and words. Not enough poetry and not enough honest writing. So this will hopefully change. Here goes.


I stopped writing poems
When the light changed
that third time, in '08.
What first exalted became charcoal
and what came then
immobilized me,
banished to a room with no words.
Then in time, cast from a firmer grain,
I glimpsed the shine again,
a beam teasing me with future hope.

It's six decades before I admit
that one rock from destiny
can imprison.
I'll say it now: life is hard.
Too hard. Too much.
light brings warmth,
every sunrise proves that true.
But there's an important rub:
light from the past can only dim.
There is no forward
until you look ahead,
until you let the darkness