Saturday, November 23, 2013


My father lies on white satin
body stiff and silent
eyes eternally closed
lips forever rouged.

Before that...
    his body became more transparent
    with every passing week.
    His words often rambling
    making sense only to him
    only adding to his confusion.

Before that...
 His eyes, sparkling with mischief,
 threatening to trip when he walked me down the aisle.
 And I, not  totally sure that he would not
 had one more thing to wonder about that day.

And before that...
 He stood at his work bench
 creating a pair of wooden stilts for
 his children to play with ~ happy to hoist our bodies
 to travel high above the ground.

And before that...
  His fathers only son,
 body tall and thin,
 a horse trainer in his own right
 riding the Missouri hills on a handsome black pony
 Ever dreaming of his future
 ... possibly even, of me.

<<< This piece is dedicated to my dear brother-in-law whose own father recently made his transition to the next journey. >>>>

Thursday, November 21, 2013


My world is totally f***ing bi-polar right now.                                                                                       I am hanging on to the bell at the bottom of my pendulum, swinging wildly from one extreme to another, back and forth, back and forth, never still, never totally comfortable.
Sometimes I can throw my head back and enjoy the air rushing through, messing up my hair, and laugh at the absurdity of it all,
Other times I cling tightly to the cold metal, eye lids pinched tightly, hanging on for dear (?) life.
The trick, I am reminded, is to seek inner balance. To "not be jolted by such impermanence."
I have tricks. Skills ??
"Step outdoors,”  I remind myself,
“seek the ragged edges of my mountain landscape, 
breathe deeply the sweet essence of a horse.”
Her sweet bulk soothes my nerves.  
Her steady heartbeat quiets mine.     
The kindness in her eye restores my faith.
Ragged might be beautiful.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The paisley scarf is wrapped tight around her head; a beautiful mix of blues and purples, but it is the shape that fascinates me. It makes the back of her head look like a giant light bulb. I am still looking for a fleecy little cap with horses on it; that is exactly what she told me she wants and I intend to find one. Light weight and warm to protect her newly balding head.
Cancer leaves people looking like alien beings, recently arrived from some place out of this world. Well, it is not the cancer; I know that. It is the chemotherapy poison that they inject into her body every two weeks.

With one sentence her entire life changed, and through friendship, so did mine.  Cancer has made her wonder who she will be next week. Where will she be next year? It is my (our) job to remind her that she will still be the woman we love. We will gather and celebrate next year with renewed verve. She is scared that she has no choices. It is my job to remind her that every moment is a choice. She can keep those things which are dear to her ~ and examine and discard those that no longer serve her. The choice is always hers. And choices can be transmuted, rejected, or revised any time she chooses.
Fighting, Dancing, Having cancer has become a full time occupation.  Everything looks and feels different to her and to me. Getting ready, receiving instead of giving, planning a new way of eating, a new wardrobe to wear, a new time of day to visit the grocer when the crowds are gone, arranging drivers to and from appointments ... it feels endless.

Every “thing” is simultaneously precious and unimportant.  It is alien.
A new view of every day life ... a new …. anew  … Anew !!