Friday, April 29, 2016

Ditch Day

 Because sometimes, 
even in the middle of the week,
you need to remember who you are 
away from work;
away from the drama of mean girls and oblivious bosses.

you need a mini road trip -
if only for a day.
 Yes, you've read about my friends farm before
but it's been years since I visited. 

Life threatening illnesses
and a sad, bitter divorce 
have happened in the meantime.
 It's powerful to see how both objects and relationships 
can go from charmingly shabby chic
to decaying
in what feels like the blink of an eye.
A day to remember that everyone is doing the best they can
under whatever circumstances they're given.

It was a gorgeous day;
it was a sad day.

Another day in all our lives.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Clearly I'm no saint

He whom we look down upon, 
whom we cannot bear to see, 
the very sight of whom causes us to vomit
is the same as we are, 
formed with us from the self-same clay, 
compacted of the same elements. 

St. Jerome
Ok, St Jerome, I'll try to remember that
but I'm not making any promises.

Although reminding me that he's made from clay 
might do a lot to explain his coloring!

Monday, April 25, 2016

In every garden

I love spending time in the garden  ...

the scents,
the sounds,
the sights.
So I let myself forget
that other creatures call it home as well;

until they startle me into remembering -
With their little SSSSSSSSy sounds and darting tongue.

Everyone reassured me that its a common garter snake
and I should be grateful to it 
because its helping with small rodent control.

Understood, but, if you don't mind,
 I'll be grateful from a distance.

I'd be even MORE grateful if my neighbors yard looked like a better option
for a permanent residence.

It will be days before I can go out into the garden to weed again!
 I think I'll just sit on the deck 
and smell the lilacs,
thank you very much.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


I want to share some other images  -
 to remove the one I planted of toilet related 'floaters';
all these helped me regain perspective this week.

This one was taken from the Space Station
of a shuttle launch from Florida.
and these two are from the Hubble telescope.
 How fabulous is this view of the earth?

It probably represents some hideous reality 
like the hole in the ozone layer
but I think seeing the world swathed in clouds
is lovely.

And this one ...
I don't even know what the hell this is -
and neither does anyone else.
That seems to be the point.

Scientists are referring to it as the Gates of Heaven -
and who can say they're wrong?

Human beings are such a small piece of creation.

All the things we ruminate about,
those things that keep us up at night,
our silly claims to "our space";
 they matter to us,
but, in the grand scheme of things,
 they don't really matter. 
How can you look at the galaxy 
and not feel insignificant;
not remember your place?

There are times I need reminders of that.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thanks, I needed that.

Things at work have been tense; 
not a “screw you, I’m outta here” tense … 
but close.

The clinic I came out of retirement to establish has exceeded expectations. 
We’ve seen over 500 kids; we’ve doubled our staff.

You'd think that would be a good thing
 but it's created a problem.

The footprint of our hospital is ‘landlocked’ and
with multiple new programs being added every year, 
you’d think someone would have pondered 
how we were all going to fit;
where we were all going to go. 

That doesn’t seem to be the way 
either the University or the Network operates however..

The solution, so far, has been for me to relinquish my desk to our latest employee, 

giving her someplace to work 
while I become a ‘floater’, 
going from available computer to available computer 
in whatever office is open and unoccupied. 
If there’s not a warm body sitting there, it’s fair game. 

I hear some people don’t like that arrangement.
They’re not alone. 
I don't like it either. 
We all like our own space.

I dislike being homeless;
worse, I have a mental image 
of another type of ‘floater’ – 
those pieces of sh*t that refuse to go down in the toilet, 
circling aimlessly above the drain with each flush
in endless repetition. 
It’s disturbing how accurate and vivid that imagery feels to my situation.

I love being rooted and centered. 
I have an almost Benedictine ‘commitment to place’ embedded in my DNA. 
Whatever this arrangement is 
it's the opposite of that.

This week, after one more disastrous solution was presented 
in a “take it or leave it” tone – 
I decided to leave it. 

Settling for less than I want has never worked for me – 
hence my long running reign as a singleton 
and born again virgin.

While trying to sell the ugly-space-located-three-floors-and-a-wing-away- from-clinic option, 
the powers-that-be tried to appease me 
by saying it was only temporary. 
I asked them for their definition of the term; 
they replied “not more than 5 years”.

At that moment, things shifted.

I won’t be here in 5 years. 
I’m not burrowing in for the long haul.
Been there, done that, don't need the T-shirt.
 It helped me though relinquish my claim on my former space.
I took my personal items off the shelf last night and carried them home. 

Today, I encouraged our newest hire to bring her mementos in, 
to make the space homey and reflective of her.

I’ll continue to fight for a larger, more permanent space for the program 

while I continue to float – 
but the truth is, 
I won’t be living in it for long.

I’m just passing through 
and I’m trying to travel light.
I'm just circling the drain.

All of a sudden,

it was oddly nice to realize that.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting lost in the crowd

just because there seem to be SO many of them,
it's easy to lose sight of the fact that
you're literally surrounded by thousand of miracles ...
 each with its own beauty
and fragility.
I'd make a remark about the lesson in that also being applicable to people ...
but I'll let you draw your own conclusions

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Turn, turn , turn ...

cue the music, 

"There is a season ....
 and a time for every purpose 
under heaven".
 I was in the crowd this weekend that turned out 
to party in the parking lot 
of a long shuttered mall.

All the equipment is there,
ready to start demo on Monday.
 Crestwood Mall -
home of some of my most Epic parenting fails!

My oldest son uttered his first 2 word sentence at the counter of Stix, Baer and Fuller...
"charge it"
and my youngest son spent hours one Saturday 
with his head lodged firmly between two wrought iron bars of the railing 
overlooking the Food Court. 

No amount of grease from the nearby fast food venues 
allowed his ears to ease back out through the bars;
THAT would take the Fire Department 
and a welder cutting a bar loose from its mooring.

I'm not sure what was more vivid -
his bilateral ear bruising or my mortification.

Funny how my shopping patterns changed after the mall closed.
I rarely go to a mall now,
just in and out of the Galleria to the Apple store - 
and to freestanding stores,
and then, only for what's needed. 
 All the memories made me sad, actually.

Not that I miss shopping as a recreational event;
my emphasis has shifted away 
from 'things' as a way of determining my worth. 

Maybe Amazon is easier,
maybe we have enough malls in this country
and ways of diverting our common attention away
 from more important concerns ...

the imminent destruction of the mall was just a stand in 
for so many other losses I've felt deeply this week.
I know change is the only constant in life;
that doesn't make it easy to accept.
even when you know that transience 
is part of what makes life,
in all its forms,
 so precious.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekend, wisdom and bluebells

 My weekend was filled with things that made me happy ...
 meaning I ignored those things that didn't...
 which means I didn't read the newspaper,
listen to the news 
or watch TV.
All creatures,
great and small,
were happy to go with the flow.

The movie I saw -
Eye in the Sky -
was provocative,
well done
and disturbing;
guaranteed to provide hours of dinner table conversation
about the ethics of war,
death and government;
all of which resonated the next day
in the quote a friend used in his sermon:

"Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts".
Wendell Berry

Good advice
 Of course,
there was this ...
which may have played a HUGE role
in why the weekend 
took on such a rosy glow!