Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 41

Even on the worst of days,
you need only stand still in your garden,
with eyes closed,
bare feet in the soil,
your face raised to the sun,
breathing deeply of the earth
and your troubles will fly away on the back
of a robin's song.

Winter Writings: Day 40

In frigid winter, while the land is bound in muted tones of brown and gray and the seas in angry purple, life freezes still. But warm in a nest of rich dark soil, the seeds of spring gather strength. Soon the earth will burst open and sing in the bright colors of life reborn. Even the daffodils are readying to launch a thousand yellow suns to light the way to summer. But for now, it is enough to once again feel the heat of the sun on my face.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 39

I snuggle deep in the covers of my shape-shifting bed, far from the worries and expectations of the real world. Here, I can explore wishes, dreams and possiblities, without fear of the sharp criticism of the magpie crows, who sit in judgment of all that is not ordinary. I can drift down the Amazon or have frilly pink tea parties on the lawn. I can sleep in the tall grass while a butterfly rests on my nose. Too soon, I will need to rise and don the gray color of recession and reality...but for now, I will wrap myself tightly in a blanket of what-if's and happily-every-after's woven from my technicolor dreams.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 38

Up on the hill
the old house sits lonely
shyly peeking down on the road,
with the vacant stare of broken windows,
like a wallflower on the dance floor of life.
Memories of the past fill the air
with the laughter of children,
the love of a family,
the grief of passing on.
The old boards cradle their dreams,
and wait ...
The driveway gates stand open;
the "for sale" sign beckoning an invitation to passing cars
to break this lonely spell
and bring love and laughter through the door
to fill the air again with the sacred songs of life.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 37

Ah, my first born boy child
my mule stubborn kid
who hides his soft heart
and curious nature
under a studied mask of
You don't fool me
with your daredevil stunts
and far flung travels.
Who once wrote a poem
that still makes the
heron come alive in my heart.
Even now
when you rush
to embrace the world,
I know you will always possess
those 10 perfect toes
and sea blue eyes
that foreve captured my heart
on the day you entered the world.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 36

I was late leaving for work know the kind of morning I'm talking about, when the alarm malfunctions and the keys can't be found and the car windows are covered with dew or frost and have to be scraped clean before you can turn the ignition on. Today it was all a good measure of thick fog.

I knew I had the keys when I got home from the gym last night, took out the trash and laid down on the sofa to "rest my eyes" - of course when I woke up an hour later, and went to bed for real, I left the keys behind, cradled between seat cushions, and my son laid a blanket on top of them. So as I am leaving for work with moments to spare, the keys are no where to be found. Panic set in and it's old friend, frustration. I become reaquainted with a few words I would rather not have in my vocabulary as I search frantically for the keys...20 minutes later, there they a place I searched three times before, but just failed to turn over that last fold of blanket.

I run for the door, only to find the windows on my car to be opaque with dew. I hurriedly grab a washcloth and wipe them down, throw everything in the car and take pea soup fog. By this time I am seriously considering if this is a sign I should call in sick and spend the day in bed with the covers pulled solidly over my head so the day can't get in. I was frustrated, angry and disgruntled...

And then I reached the corner where I turn and stopped to clear traffic. I see a movement in the fog and wait to be sure I won't hit something or someone....but it's not a car at all. On this cold, foggy morning, a diminuitive pixie of a grandma came riding out of the haze on a vintage. sea green and white Schwinn bike, with a bike helmet and round, owl-like glasses...and she's smiling....beaming a beacon in the fog.

I stare at her for the longest time....and she stared at me with her serene face and beautiful smile that crinkled the corners of her eyes and without even realizing it, I am smiling back...a big, genuine smile...I am sure I resembled a lantern in the fog. The anger and frustration disappeared in a wink and I am excited to be alive. With only a smile on her face, she changed my day. As she finally rode away, I'm sure I saw a trail of fairy dust sparkling in her wake.

And in that moment, I was truly convinced that just maybe there really is a fairy godmother lookng out for me...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 35

Haiku #1
Winter's whispered breath
Leaves dreamy clouds in the wind
raining songs of spring.

Haiku #2
Red winged blackbird sings
of spring and blue sky mirrored
in cold winter rains

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 34

I am the daydream girl.
I watched life from my safe, airy perch
while others embraced it head on.
I wandered the woods alone
and buried my toes in squishy, creek mud
and caught niggly, slimy tadpoles in my hand
to feel the promise of metamorphosis.
I am the fidgety girl whose window world
meant more than the sage's words.
My soul flew with the birds,
breathing the lemon crisp air
and racing the turquoise clouds.
I am the solitary girl
who laid across the sun-warmed dock
and counted the stars in the sky
and made a wish on each and every one of them
to someday know what I want to be
when I grow up.
I am still hopeful
that wish will someday come true...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 33

Today is the day I wait for in every winter. Today I heard the bullfrogs sing, the first harbinger of spring. A warm, sunny day filled with sparkle and shine, for the rains have cleansed the earth and hung it out to dry. I walked along the lake and listened to a cacophony of bird song. Jays, chickadees, geese, bushtits and a lone hummingbird graced the air with a symphony of celebration to send winter back to it's dark den for another year. A few brave plants have already issued buds and the snow is gone from all but the mountains. Many others have joined me on the path; humans and dogs alike squint at the forgotten sun and the children run around in circles, excited to be outside without trying to run between raindrops to stay dry. And a lone retreiver jumps into the water to fetch a ball and make his way back to shore. Life begins again

Shy sun rays
peek out between
fat dumpling clouds
swimming in a bowl of blue sky.
Tendrils of light tickle my skin
as the heat warms the chill from my bones.
I laugh to be alive in this moment,
as I kick up my heels
to birds song music
in joyous celebration
Spring is coming at last.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 32

A deep calm fills my heart
the house is still save for
a ticking clock, keeping time
with raindrops falling
softly against the window.

Cradled in my cozy nest
I escape into the words
of the book I read
my heart lulled by the serenity
of this cold, wet night.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 31

There are a thousand black nights
in your glossy feathers;
your eyes are a galaxy of dark stars
Your haughty strut through the grass
reflects your royal bearing,
even when your feathers droop with rain.
You are legend to many tribes
and ride the shoulders of witches each Halloween
and are quoted often, "nevermore".
Yet now you sit humbly by my feeder
while songbirds eat their fill,
unaware they are in the presence of celebrity.
Your dark modesty belies your trickster zen,
my little Buddha raven.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 30

Topaz eyes view the world
through lazy slits
pretending indifference
holding secrets
and a certain avarice
for small creatures
who dart and fly beyond the glass
Disdaining affection
and wrapped in smug arrogance
king of the cats.

But late at night
when nothings stirs
and anonimity is guaranteed
and only then
a furry face will nudge my hand
and beg for love
shamelessly and with great insistence
knowing his secret
will be safe in the
dark moonless night

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 29

My journey begins this day;
this moment in time.
I can no longer look to the past;
No amount of regret or remorse can change it.
And no matter the careful plans you craft,
the future remains a maybe,
always just out of reach.
Instead of sorrow, I choose to meet the challenge
brought by unexpected change.
Instead of worry and dread, I choose
to focus on staying present in this moment.
Instead of anger,
I choose to walk in gratitude and hope,
So that I can say at the end of years,
I did not live, without living at all.

Winter Writings: Day 28

I sleep
and the full moon beckons me
to travel this night
along a carpet of stars
dressed in glitter and black satin
with pockets full of magic.

I look down
at dreamless sleepers
still slumbering, unaware,
that to believe in your dreams
gives you wings to fly
and magic to make wishes come true.

Come morning, I awaken
to my ordinary life,
still smiling with memories
of distant lands,
and murmured love
and dancing in the clouds.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 27

From the highway, you can see
a river so green, that if
you dipped a brush in it's waters,
you could paint summer leaves
on the winterbare trees.
But on this day,
frost has dressed the branches
in shimmering rainbow ice;
fit clothing for Sunday service
in nature's temple.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 26

A river of fog slithered into the valley;
a thick white blanket of chill damp air
that swallowed the moon
and silenced the sounds of the night.
The air is alive with magic.
Phantom fairies dance
in the street light's muted glow
dressed in gowns of crystal mist
and wings of cellophane.
Trees wear an old man's green beard
festooned with silver glitter
to mask their winter naked branches,
shelter to a dozen sleeping birds.
Asleep in my bed,
my dreams swim in the river mist,
remembering our long walks
on a fog-shrouded pier;
our voices wrapped in whisper laughter
and the shared secrets of love...
back before our hearts
lost their way in the world.
And the memory of your sunshine smile
lights a slow fire in my heart
and keeps me warm
on this cold gray night.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 25

Rain drums a 4 beat rhythm on the roof.
Soggy birds huddle in the bare branched trees
trying to stay dry by squeezing between raindrops
as they fall and gather in swollen pewter puddles.
The world wears a grey mantle of clouds
obscuring the colors of life.

But I am curled up by the fire
in the warm colors of my nest,
snug under a mountain of down,
reading a story of yellow sun
and ocean waves
and a scallop in the sand.

And for a moment,
I escape the winter gloom
and become a hot August day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 24

full moon rising...
wolf moon, they say
because they howl this time of year
an ancient call to the wild
under midnight skies
filled with a million stars

But in the city, stars fade
and the moon grows dim
disappeared by parking lot lights
and all night neon
promising amazing cures
to save your eternal soul.

Ah, but don't they know?
The only cure for a broken soul
is to remain eternally wild,
breathing the crisp cold air
of the January moon.

Winter Writings: Day 23

The lot sits vacant
filled with trash tossed
by uncaring minds.
"Will build to suit"
the sign proclaims.
Yet judging from the gnarled trees
that frame the ghosted square,
a foundation once anchored
memories here.
If you listen closely,
you can hear
the old house still sighs
in the wind, with the voices
that called this home.
The windmill whining in a stray breeze
The laundry flapping its silly dance
and from the frayed rope in the old tree,
comes the laughter of children,
shrill with excitement,
as they swing higher and higher
trying to reach the moon.
And old dogs lay in the long grass
and dream the twitching dreams
of puppies chasing their tails.
And just over there,
where roses once carefully tended,
grow with wild abandon,
the voices of the women sing
of home, and hopes and cherry pie
and by the fence, the men
worry the weather and the price of beef.
Can you not see?
This lot is full of memories.
There is no room for your building here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 22

Blue grey smoke
fills the air with the campfire smell
of dancing hearth fires.
The sky is wrapped in
a steely blanket of clouds
gathered to storm in force.
The bare twisted fingers of winter trees
reach skyward pleading
for the warm winds of spring.
An early blackbird calls plaintively
feathers ruffled against the cold
while a bullfrog croaks a grumpy reply.
From the mud flats of the lake,
the gravel crunches underfoot
as I hurry towards the warm comfort of home
having savored the last
of pale winter light.

Encausticamp!! Registration Opens!!

I was so excited to sign on to teach at Patricia Seggebruch's Encausticamp Retreat scheduled for this summer near Salem, Oregon!! Imagine three full days of intensive classes in all things encaustic...sounds like a dream to me, but it's all going to happen July 13 through 17, 2011 at the Mennonite School in Salem, Oregon. I am honored to be part of an all-star cast including Crystal Neubauer, Bridgett Guerzon-Mills, Judy Wise, Michelle Belto and, of course, Patricia, herself!! In addition to classes, there will be a vendor night and a BBQ complete with S'mores over a campfire! As for me, I will be teaching my encaustic doll class for the session showing how to put together a waxy belle out of found objects and wax. The Encausticamp site opens for registration today so hurry over and save your spot for this amazing event!

Winter Writings: Day 21

Fly wild and free!
Joyously celebrate your freefall
weightless dance in the clouds
while singing your trumpet songs.
I close my eyes and feel
your wind on my face and become
a feather on your wing,
taking my yearning heart
to a warmer land,
leaving behind my time worn body
to contend with the bitter cold
and dream of the daffodil sun.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 20

The wild, winter wind
tossed the tempestuous moon
from a black night sky
while seeking the warmth of the sun.
Dawn giggled in delight
and dressed the morning sky
in frilly petticoats of pink and yellow
tied with ribbon made of
the song of tiny birds.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 19

One day, I woke up and found,
my life is no longer a someday future
whose varied outcomes
are daydreams created
to pass the time on an endless day;
my life is now, in this moment of time
that will never pass again.
I need to make a
into this life I've imagined
and celebrate the opportunities
to make my dreams come true,
lest those opportunities
become the regrets forever trapped
in the lost moments of the past.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 18

A year ago today, my son's father died. Diagnosed with cancer in November, we had less than two months to say goodbye. We had shared 17 married years together and the last four years as good friends, emailing everyday to say hello in the morning. Although he was 425 miles away, he was always the one person I could email or call when the world turned upside down and he would patiently listen to my worries. We were closer apart than we were together. And somehow I thought he would always be there...I would always wake up to that email and the world would be okay. I took all it for granted.

Eight weeks was not really long enough to say goodbye. We talked about our time together and told our old stories and laughed and appreciated the road we traveled together. But we really didn't even scratch the surface. And then he was gone. And suddenly you realize the memories you shared are alone in your heart and no matter how you try to explain them to others, even my son, it's not the same. The nuances cannot be explained.

For a year now, I have started sentences with "Do you remember?" and heard only a lonely echo. I miss you, my friend, and hope you are in a place filled with peace.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 17

Ah, to be the wind
with freedom to travel to distant places
and make them yours
to wrap your arms around
the mighty Himalayas
and breath the incense of their snows
to sail solo through stormy oceans of waves
and create piled dunes of shifting sands
to ruffle the feathers of penguins
and drag your fingers through a lion's mane
to carve windows in rock
and turn the world lacy white with blowing snow
to erode mighty mountains into gentle hills
and turn the world dark with raging storms
Yet you do not stop
to admire your creativity
your itchy feet are always
on the path to new adventures
I want to be the wind when I grow up...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 16

A sudden breeze gathers the
brown parchment leaves
in scattered books
of winter prose
and binds them in
west facing corners
waiting for spring
when fickle birds
who do not read
will line their nest with pages
of already forgotten poems.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Soldered Charms

Just thought I'd post the soldered charms we'll be making in class at Collage on Alberta St. in Portland, OR on Saturday, January 8. For more info on the class and signup, you can go to their site.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Winter Writngs: Day 15

I love the silence of midnight
when I am alone in my thoughts
and the noise of the world
disappears beneath the covers
sandwiched between cats
and an old worn quilt.
I drift into Walter Mitty dreams
where all things are possible
and dreams can come true.
Soon the morning comes
and with it the reality of life.
But for now,
I am safe inside my heart.

Winter Writings: Day 14

The cars fly back and forth across the Sam Jackson bridge. The drivers faces drained and largely devoid of expression as they scurry to their destinations. They drive unaware of the river below them on its slow journey to the sea. What a tale they miss by not stopping to hear the water tell its story. From birth in a thunderstorm, high in the mountains where it joined a tumbling stream, growing faster and wider with each drop of rain; through its wild journey down the river of no return, tumbling through the frothy rapids and basking in the lazy backwater pools while eagles plucked lunch from the water; through the slow crazy oxbows of the Snake River; and on to the mighty Columbia. An epic journey that few humans have made. Instead, most choose to focus on our smaller lives and hurry on to engage in empty tasks. Never realizing that in doing so, we lost the opportunity to take a moment and learn how to be alive.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 13

I wake up in the night and peer out the window
between the delicate jeweled frost
that twinkles with starlight.
A dark cloak of solitude
embraces the trees
that by day are an explosion of crowded song
and the secret whispers of leaves.
The moon and stars travel
their endless night journey,
while the moths swirl and churn
around the porch light flame.
A freight train moans in the distance
singing to the rolling river
that captures moonlight
and carries it to the sea.
Beyond the river
is a hundred years ago,
when the night was filled with mystery
and the song of a hundred wild animals.
My soul fills with primitive longing
to belong to the dark night
and ride the cold wind
on the back of a red-tailed hawk
racing towards the dawn.

Winter Writings: Day 12

Nature whispers from a shaded path
beckoning with the promise of secrets
kept by shadows cloaked in black crow feathers
breathing their heavy dark sighs.
One hundred feet turns civilization
into a distant memory of ordered life;
a brief event in the lives of trees
who stood tall when humans were unknown.
The canopy is wrapped in warm sunlight...
tied loosely, allowing stray ribbons of gold
to drop through the leaves
and curl up to take a nap on the forest floor.
and the arms of the trees reach to embrace you and offer
a gift more precious than gold...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Winter Writings: Day 11

A brand new year, but for all the firecracker sparkle and big bang celebration at midnight, this day seems remarkably the same as the day before. The cats and dog seem nonplussed and the birds sing the same song as they did yesterday. Yet, as the clock chimed midnight, a neighbor went down the street telling everyone who would listen, "Happy New Year!! It's gonna be a great year!!"

I can feel that eternal hope in the air - I can taste the offer of better things to be. I see hope in each face I pass - that belief that against all odds, in spite of all that is wrong with the world and the horror stories sung by the scarecrow press - there is still, and always, hope. And hope can make all things possible.
Here's to a new year filled with hope. I, for one, would be content if the simple transition from one day to another could change my life for the better.

Happy New Year!!!