Tuesday, December 31, 2013

old year, new year, and every last thing

Old year out, new year in.

And eventually you come to understand that the essential things resolve and realize themselves in their own sweet time. Sometimes lickety-split catching us off guard, sometimes so long we lose hope, yet always right on time. Hardly ever - neatly, conveniently - between the parentheses of January 1st and December 31st.

No public resoluting this year

only amorphous ideas, things I see - faintly - but only if I squint

things written in sepia copperplate
on the soft yellowed paper of my heart

things illuminated by the light of my own lodestar.

but mostly this:
staying open, open to it all
every. last. thing.


"I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; 
and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end".
(Laurie in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women)

Happy New Year!


Inspiring me:

The End of This Year (a poem) by Jack Ridl
The Year in Review The Year Ahead (Heather King)
The Gift You Give Yourself (Sage Cohen)
Prison Break (Emma Tree)
Greetings from New York (Mary Fons)
Stay Open (Mrs. Mediocrity)
Dreaming of My Next Novel (Ann Hood)
Paul Klee (Lizzy House)

Friday, November 1, 2013

the day after

Walked out to my car this morning
and found a little plastic dagger abandoned on the driveway
no doubt belonging to the one trick-or-treater who came to the door before it was dark
before his parents could discern that no Kit Kats, no teeny Mr. Goodbars,
no Hershey's kisses wrapped in silver foil
would be found at this house,
the one with no pumpkins on the porch.

I like to think he dropped his little dagger in excitement to get to the next house.

I like to think we didn't disappoint him.

Monday, October 21, 2013

notice things closely, and remember

Walk the boardwalk, circle the turret, pass the weeping willow
and the ducks and swans to the bench just beyond.
North Bay Park, Ypsilanti, Michigan (2013)

"And remember in noticing such landmarks that you may want to use your knowledge of them some day for telling some one else how to find his way, so you must notice them pretty closely so as to be able to describe them unmistakably and in their proper order. You must notice and remember every by-road and footpath.

Remembrance of these things will help you find your way by night or in fog 
when other people are losing themselves.

In a word, "keep cool, make yourself comfortable, 
leave a record of your travels, 
and help your friends to find you.""

When Lost in the Woods section 
Scouting for Girls: The Official Handbook of the Girls Scouts (circa 1920)

Parking lot
North Bay Park, Ypsilanti, Michigan (2013)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

proceed to the root

Sixteen hundred miles 
from here to there and back again
through six states
over a web of interstates and highways
two turnpikes, and steel bridges in yellow,
and back roads too
the ones not in the original plan
but the yield there, oh how very precious,
the pieces of a mystery clicking in to place
and I think "what if we hadn't taken that turn"
what a loss that would've been.

All the way, and particularly the closer we got to home
the robotic voice of the GPS admonished us
"proceed to the route"
each time we took a different way
but it echoed in my head as
"proceed to the root"

proceed to the route:
continue forward after an interruption or detour

proceed to the root:
return back to the essence and source of a thing

both ways
are truth

both ways
saw me home

and both ways 
brought me