Ground or Glass (April, 2015) 

Broken is the word I guess. But I can't decide whether I'm broken like ground or like glass. Nothing can grow in broken glass. If I must break, I want to break like the ground. Like a river into the edge of a a fallen tree giving up her insides to strengthen new saplings.. Like the cycle of an unfiltered breath.. Like a high meadow opening after a cold mourning. Fingertips buried and busy in the ground. If it's up to me.

Today, the right turn of words could split me in two. Lord, have mercy. 


You fell like a tree
Took in the wild seeds 
And let them feed
Drink your stores of rain 
As you lay gazing up 
At a blurring place 

You were a seed before
Timid and born
Brushing off the dirt 
That surrounds you now 
To reach what glows
Sprung from a grandmother oak 
You'd not the thought 
To stoop down and thank

But she was gone I suppose
Gone as you are now
Like a river's surrender 
To the edge of the sea
She'd nowhere to be 
But beneath

Sometimes you are the river
Sometimes you are the sea
Today I hover here between 
A death and a tiny seed

The Waiting Room (March, 2015) 

There are a handful of places on this planet that seem to baptize my insides with a rich and raw sense of being alive. The two that come to mind at this moment are the graveyard, and the Oncology center. So there's that. I'll go into the latter of those since that is currently where I sit.

Before I go on and before you get sad or anything, I should probably tell you why I find myself in this oncology center every once in a while. Four years ago, doctors found and removed a wimpy cancer from my body. I'm here for routine follow-up. After five years they call you "cured" so I'm near the finish line. It's a fairly new type and it's quite rare. I hardly feel I deserve to be a part of this sacred club but here I am, blood drawn and plastic-wristed. 

I don't know why I can't sit in here without a veil of tears lifting up over my eyes. Not sad ones. Not at all. Maybe it's because people smile more than usual in here. Real smiles. Not unavoidably real, but chosen, like love, or old leather gloves. Like there isn't a whole much else to do but hope from the toes up. 

There is a 1000-piece puzzle half done on the table for patients or loved ones to occupy any mind that wanders in. All the easy pieces were already placed so I write this instead. I see and feel patients truly grateful to their nurses and doctors. Self-pity is so easy but I don't see it here. I see a grandmother-type knitting something pale lavender with a smile that looks like she's imagining whomever will receive the gift. And I'm shaken because I consume so much and this woman is creating still, out of her sickness, for someone else. Maybe it's for someone she loves out of habit, like a beautiful path broken down and worn steady in the forest. Or maybe she's made the choice to love, like laying tracks for tomorrow's train. 

But these days I remain, it seems, unhatched. Pecking at a weakening shell. Fragile and cramped in my own me-ness. Thirsty for a lick of air but folded in for now. But this swollen tide in my chest and the warm stream from my eyes gives me hope. Maybe there isn't a whole lot left to do. And maybe seeing is enough for now.

Mom Stuff, Help, Thank You (January, 2014) 

While Aaron is at work, I'm seated by his miniature look-a-like who is gnawing on brightly colored toys that would probably prefer a less slobbery form of play. 

Meanwhile I am scratching my head because apparently, if my sources (FB friends) are correct, a whole year just barreled by. If this rumor is true and if I had to summarize the year in a word, I would say that word was " help."

I'll start by saying I'm a kind of a lonely person. From first to fourth grade my parents would often ask me who I played with at recess that day. To which I would typically reply, "The play equipment! Hahahaha!" I was an odd kid and for the most part played contentedly by myself in the tall grass acreage beside our house. I was independent, which turns out is easy when not much is required of you. I did well in school and college. I was an exchange student and travelled a lot. I do our taxes. I backpack. I make CD's. I've been really sick and got better. I refinanced our house. Tie my own shoes. Whatevs. 

But last year, my self-reliance didn't cut it. Without going into detail, I'll just say that on June 1st, I simultaneously brought a big baby boy into this world...aaand broke my tailbone. Early parenthood has heavily suggested that my independence (rather, pride?) has a significantly unfortunate side. That is, I reeeeaaally don't like asking for help. Besides the tailbone lameness, our bundle of joy/spit-up isn't what you'd call a "sleeper." I remember a blurry-eyed moment a few months back when I swallowed my jagged pride and called my mom to see if she could entertain Oliver for a few hours while I slept. It made my shoulders slink as I shrank under the covers and gave up pretending, "I got this." 

I just don't, guys. 

And I never really did. I may have played out in the fields by myself, but my hair had been lovingly braided by a mother with carpal tunnel. I may have built fires in the wood stove but they were with scraps of wood my father brought home with hard-working, weathered hands. I've sang my insides out but you guys listened and supported me. I don't really have time to wrap all these thoughts in a bow but there they are anyway. Thank you- for everything.