Saturday, May 23, 2009


Impressive post at 'the small art of words' ... well worth the time for the read.


No one can give away something that they don’t have… and there’s no fault in not having. The fault is in demanding anything of anyone else… especially when your heart knows that it just isn’t there. Life has dealt different hands to each of us… and we each start out with an inherent operating mode imbedded in our souls… which means that we all play the hands that we’re dealt differently. I don’t buy into the ‘blank slate/tabula rasa’ theory. But I DO believe that regardless of what our slate starts out embedded with… it CAN be ‘scraped clean’ ... which is actually the literal translation of the phrase ‘tabula rasa’. We can learn new modes of operation… new ways of thinking… new methods of processing life. But we can only do that for ourselves… we can’t force that on anyone else… and we can’t do it for anyone else.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Again Myself

The day of goodbyes - that's how I've come to think of it. That was the day I began to write – to really write – not just journals, but a story of a life. I needed to know who I was and why I was that particular, unique person. I needed to be reminded of the woman I had been ten years before on that day sunshine filled day I had said “I do.” I needed to know the steps that had brought me eventually to that goodbye. I needed to find myself.

I wiped the tears … eventually … and with quiet determination ventured into the dark, cluttered attic, digging through decades of diaries, journals, sketch pads, photographs and memories, adrift and seeking some anchor for my soul. Sitting there surrounded by dancing dust motes and whispers from the past, I began to find my present and see glimpses of a bright future. I spent hours sitting on the back porch with my grandmother – sipping iced tea, sweet and cold – listening to the stories of the child I had once been and the adventures I had embarked upon. I heard of the fearlessness of a young girl full of determination and courage, tales accompanied by the backdrop of cricket song and cicadas humming in the summer evenings. I saw myself through the eyes of another – eyes wiser and richer than my own with memories and perspectives that had been lost to me. Hours were spent poring over photographs in the high school and college yearbooks, revisiting the years filled with teen angst and insecurity . . . remembering the dreams, the hopes, the possibilities and the magical sense of invincibility. Each story, each photograph, each memory brought not only recollection, but unexplored avenues – each full of opportunities to spread my wings and fly. I began to see not only the woman I was at my very core, but also the woman who could have been had any other forks in the road been chosen. I began to see the woman who could yet be.

Clare, the heroine of my first story, was born on the day of that goodbye those years ago. As she began to take shape in the words flowing from my pen, her story assumed a life of its own – gaining strength and volume and substance as my own journey progressed. Our paths intertwined and parted and met up again repeatedly. Then, in those days of discovery, the idea that others would read the words spilling out of my wanderings hadn’t yet formed. I was merely writing the path of a heart’s traveling. To be here today, knowing that those words are scattered across the globe, nestled here and there, is still almost surreal for me. Each and every step has been an amazement for me - that others would want to read the words – and that so many would so fully connect with Clare and her struggles to be authentic.

Clare is not me; we are not the same person, but we have travelled the same road, as have countless other women across the wide span of history. Looking deep within my own being, I recognized the spirit of women the world over living through the struggle for self and knowing - the same struggle I found myself embroiled in. In seeking to know who I was and to be authentically that person, I found a link of understanding woven through generations of mothers and daughters, wives and lovers – in a range of diverse cultures spanning the entire spectrum. Thoughts captured in written journals, spoken stories and uncovered memories were merely stepping stones to a broader, more generous sense of ‘What if?’ What if, as women, we fully grasped our potential and lived life fully determined to leave no stone unturned? Perhaps Clare is the woman I wish to be . . . perhaps she is the woman so many of us wish to be. Perhaps that is the heart of her appeal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The rich black of juice staining her fingers brought decades-old memories of the laughter they shared as they climbed the hill, hand in hand, seeking the fullest, most promising berry bramble with its treasure trove of plump berries, guarded by a militia of well-honed thorns. The race to fill baskets to the brim, the need to be the champion of the berry-pickers, the smell of the baking bread made from their harvest… these things all raced through her mind in a panorama of color, sound and feeling. The thoughts of him… her brother… came so clear and strong, carried on the scent of the berry. The moments shared that would have joined hearts in another time now caused a break so clear that its edge sliced the heart… the fruit’s nectar the color of blood.

His back as he walked away filled the picture in her mind.

All this joy, all this pain, carried innocently in the decadent taste of blackberry… the taste of what might have been.

(Originally published in 6S V2, available here.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

He Says

He says that she’s funny and smart and that she makes him believe in himself again.

I stare through tears at the photos thrown across the tabletop… private moments captured now lying exposed in the kitchen light.

He says he didn’t know he could feel so alive.

She is beautiful… with a body that would make angels sing and demons dance… a body that molds perfectly against his… a body that fits where I used to fit.

He says he loves her.

Poor girl.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Five small black letters on the screen before her – basic Arial font, 12 point, black on a white background; it was a word she exchanged a dozen times a day, often without any thought at all … with friends, business contacts, even strangers who crossed her path. But this time – this ‘Hello’ – had made her heart stop mid beat, made her need more air, caused the butterflies in her stomach to commence an elaborate dance.

He had carried her heart for decades, for the most part gently and the last words she had heard from his lips had been “I love you” as she walked away. Now in the midst of a typical end-of-day round of the day’s electronically accumulated bits and pieces, the five letters had appeared . . . innocuous glyphs standing quietly beneath the flashing bar on her computer monitor. And there beside those letters, in quiet array, was another string from the alphabet . . . this one spelling his name.

Tears filled her eyes as trembling fingers reached for the keyboard and erased the tiny box.

Originally published at Six Sentences

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Path

In his dream, the road was really simply a country lane, little more than a beaten path if the truth be told. It was lined here and there with the footprints and tears of those who had gone before, mile markers of life’s journey. A careless misstep or thoughtless detour could change the destination – the steps taken with fear leading one direction and those taken with determined courage leading another. Each reached marker filled the traveler with hope, bearing witness that others had passed this way, perhaps carrying similar burdens of regret and longing, but triumphantly reaching this place in which he now stood. As long as one foot landed in front of the other, as long as there was one more bend on the horizon, as long as the song whispered among the leaves, the traveler would continue on. The music in his heart blended with the melodies of those gone before, drawing the map that would bring rest at the end of the journey as he took one more step forward.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Canvas Heart

Because the words can never be spoken, I will write them silently from the canvas of my heart, unshed tears the ink that flows from my pen. Forever I will carry the scroll tucked tightly in the pocket of my being, in that space precisely the shape and warmth and scent of you. The weight of its presence there will at times be a stone … causing me to stumble … even to bring me to my knees, broken on the path. And yet, at other times, on other days, its buoyancy will lift me to the sun, allow me to touch the stars, power the journey to my dreams. Always carefully sheltered and gently carried, the words will color each of my moments, imparting a depth forever unseen, a void shadowed with longing.

Never will I speak these words … but always my heart will know them.