Archive for February, 2015

Serenity on a mountaintop

I spent one month researching killers whales atop a cliff.

One month probably doesn’t sound like much, just four or five weeks in the scheme of decades, yet that month gave me a taste for serenity and solitude I’ve hardly felt since.

I figured those feelings would remain in memory, sweet but increasingly distant as days marched on between me and my month on the cliff.

Thus was I delighted to exit my car at Del Cerro Park today and immediately see this:


The landscape between me and the water was different, but the feeling every bit the same.

Read more…


Dear Eva


Dear Eva,

Yesterday I rejoiced
small but joyful changes
in your life, and the hope
of more to come

Today, you are gone
from the world of touch
that made you giggle

In other ways,
you remain

I never
had the chance
to touch you, but you touched me
through your mother’s loving,
earnest words

My heart is bigger
for knowing you,
and I will be moved
to acts of lovingkindness
remembering the light
in your sweet smile

Forever and always,
Eva, I will touch you in my heart,
and be grateful your mother
shared her love of you
with me


Your beautiful blood

My mom found my sister and me walking a block from our house.

I almost laughed as I climbed into her car. We’d walked nearly the whole way home from school already. What good was a single-block ride?

My mom spoke before I could laugh. Her words were so horrible, so incomprehensible, they stopped not only laughter but the whole world around me.
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Love forever ours

“I threw away his pants.”

You what?! my expression must have screamed, for she continued nervously.

“They were such a mess. I mean, they were ruined. Trust me. Poop. All. Over. So I threw them out.”

I thought of twenty different things I wanted to say to my baby son’s temporary care provider, but none would be useful. I opted instead for a simple, “Which pants were they?”

“Just some brown ones … ”

Ugh. Those “just some brown ones” were special to me. My blogging friend Peg had sent them to me for my baby son, Littler J, so that I smiled every time I saw them. “Just” a pair of pants, they reminded me how my “real,” day to day life has been brightened by the caring of people I’ve only met–so far–online.

little brown pants

As I collected my son, I felt saddened by change. My sadness was about more than a pair of pants. Read more…

Giving up on never giving up

Loopy with tiredness, my five-year-old son insisted he could and would finish his homework. His assignment: to write numbers 1-100.

He’d been stopped up at 79 for several minutes.

“Count out loud, sweetie,” I told him.

“78, 79, 90,” he replied. He meant it, too.

“Try again,” I encouraged him. “Remember it’s 7, 8, 9, not 7, 9, 10.”

“78, 79 … 49?” he asked, flopping around beside me.
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Laughing at myself

“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” a small, bespectacled girl asked me as I left the grocery store.

“No, thank you!” I said as I cruised past.

“Good job being brave!” I heard her mom encouraging her.

Her mom’s words bounced around my brain as I crossed the lot toward my car.

Brave? I guess it is, huh?

I turned around and returned to the girl’s table.

“Tell you what!” I said as I handed her five dollars. Read more…

Boo YOU, motherfucker.

Last week I wrote a post that’s left me feeling wrecked.

I’ve written about predators from my childhood before. But never, ever before have I written–or even thought–about them all together. Doing so was so devastating, even thinking about this blog has since left me trembling and queasy.

I think I might know the cure. It comes in the form of reposting an October 2011 post I accidentally deleted with hundreds of others.

I want it to have a place here again. I want it here as my reminder I am more than broken.

I am a force greater than fear.

Boo YOU, motherfucker.
Originally posted October 14, 2011

I felt confident and sure as I strode down the hallway in my new pantsuit.

I knew the case. I enjoyed pushing my comfort boundaries. Best of all, on the other side of the mock trial, I’d be closer to finishing my hated first year of law school.

All was well as I set foot in the classroom setting of my mock trial.

Then I was in the room, and I remembered. Read more…

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