"I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD.
They are plans for peace and not disaster,
plans to give you a future filled with hope."


The journey is long
and I've barely begun
but the time and place
is everything

From where I began
to where I will end
my destiny is
this path uphill

To hold dragon's fire
in the weight of injustice
shining as gold in the spring
of a warm and glowing earth

This road will not end
as I get to this place
of acceptance
discerning the pain

I'll live in these questions
knowing the stars
and their cards
hold answers unseen

And the end of it all
is unwritten as yet
but is held within
Fate's gentle hands



it's been so long now
since you've been here

hauling boxes
from dusty spaces
scratching heads
to match colors faded

This goes here...
or maybe there...
no, I think maybe
you were right before...

cookies crumble
as the tree takes shape
and we spread a sheet
in Linus hues
to hide the sorry state

sipping nog
we remember
giggling of the year before
of emergency trips
as we discover

things aren't the way
they were last year
something's missing
or maybe broken

shattered pieces
under things unused

perhaps this year
without you here
we'll dream in color
through the eyes of 6 and 2

but there's a part inside
that will always remember
and can't help wishing for blue



Pieces of history
merge to present
a larger image of now

As pictures condense
to expand our view
of identity now becoming

Surprising us now
with places and people
Long dead or just forgotten

Where are they now?
They've been missing so long
but remaining a part of ourselves

As the image refocuses
We smile and remember
and await the future reflection


Seasoned Soup for the Soul

It's gingerbread
cooling in warm lemon sauce
and frothy hot chocolate
fending off frost

It's cranberry relish
and pumpkin pie
and turkey stuffed
with seasons applied

It's the nutmeg in eggnog
with spirit suggested
and warm painted cookies
in sugared perfection

It's all that's good
and all that's right
Spilled like wine
deep into the night

In these sacred moments
all meant to be savored
we celebrate love
with these time-honored flavors


Insane Ramblings

"Keep the big door open,
everyone will come around.
Why are you different;
why you that way?
If you don't get in line
we'll lock you away..."

"Typical Situation" by DMB

I guess I'm sitting here today crazy and pondering. My "unhealthy" mind is whirling with ideas and questions ~ wondering just who defined sanity in the first place and how I became part of the "insanity."

There are so many things in life that we just blindly accept, like the fact that the sun is out at day and the moon comes out... well whenever she wants to, frankly. We take for granted that up is up, and down is down, and that people will always find something to disagree on ~ even stupid things ~ like which direction is the best. We teach our children that there is a big world out there and that it's important to "play nice" with others and we take for granted that they learn this. Unfortunately for us, a lot of our children are watching us, so they don't.

And this fact leads me to wonder what else we take for granted without even realizing it should be questioned. (Anyone who knows me has come to expect this sort of questioning from me ~ it's the rebel that I've learned to embrace within.) How do we know that society's (and that's any society in which you are a part: geographically, philosophically, chronologically, etc.) views on any given topic are the correct ones?

Now, I'm gonna let me finish here, but I just wanna say (thank you, Kanye) that before you all start spouting religious morality and scriptural references ~ or textbook answers based on psychological "research" ~ as to the validity of particular views or values, realize that your arguments no longer mean anything to me. That's the entire point I'm trying to make here. What human decided that their particular interpretation of the events and observations of the world around them (or of scripture for that matter) was the one that we all needed to use as the standard?

Being a creative person, I know a lot of creative people. We tend to find one another. We're drawn to one another. Why? Because, regardless of what anyone wants to say or believe, we've been cast out from society. Creative types see the world very differently than everyone else. We see the world as it could or should be, rather than what is. We're idealists, and visionaries. This is not to say we're the only ones; I know a lot of idealists and visionaries who don't think of themselves as artists. And that's okay, but I'm talking about artists for one reason: Show me one of them that isn't "depressed" or diagnosed (or struggling along undiagnosed) with another psychological "disorder."


Is this because there is something inherently wrong with our minds and how we think? Is there something in the creative mind that is just plain unhealthy? If so, are we created by God (or however you believe you came to be) this way? And why? I don't think that God (who is LOVE according to my beliefs based on, not only scripture, but observation and experience in my life) would sentence anyone to that type of broken existence ~ not when (S)He is the Ultimate Creator.

No, I honestly believe that the reason we're depressed, or however else you want to label us, has more to do with us struggling to fit into a society that wants to put everything in boxes. We're only accepted as "right" when we do that. But we artists don't like boxes ~ unless we're making something new and different out of them. So, when we step outside of them, we're labelled "crazy," or "psychotic," or "manic" even (particularly if we start really passionately following what we believe with conviction). Possibly even "ADD," or at the very least, "inconsistent," if our beliefs and our passions are ever~expanding, as creative types are prone to do. We're ever~seeking the next great thing. It's how we're wired. Is that wrong? And by whose standard is this determined?

We break, not because our minds are wrong, but because we try so hard to fit into the categories and regulations created by the world we live in. Because we aren't generally organized enough to make our thoughts known in a logical fashion. So we express our views with artistic words or images, and our thoughts and ideas are rarely understood by logical minds and often misinterpreted.

The tortured artist isn't just a stereotype; it's the world that I and most of my friends live in.

But then, what do I know? I'm crazy.


Tired of being stuck
in stupid flesh and bone box
needing a way to release

So many wounded hopes
for broken lives
with shattered dreams

all because of love

it's not love itself
that powerful force
that keeps us spinning in place

it's the attempts to contain
that which is freely given
and freely received

it's the desire to own
something far bigger
than mere mortal minds can

it's our shifting through time
in a linear manner
thinking all that exists is now

it's the thinking that one truth
renders others as lies
and there's no way to make them relate

it's feeling like it matters
to manufacture some order
to this wild and dangerous force

it's defining this thing
in one act or one face
this something we cannot explain

when we take off the chains
of this terrifying thing
will finally seek joy in Love freed?



What does one do when one's feelings lack worth
When one screams at silent moon blackened earth
When one falls quiet here in the forest's deep heart
When one's confidence lies underneath failing stars

What does one do when one just needs to be hidden
When one finds oneself stripping away the forbidden
When one understands nothing but sees every pain
When one's needs simply fade out under the strain

What does one cling to when one's faith walks away
When one cannot find Jesus in a hope that betrays
When one confuses the answer the cards have drawn
When one's religion and values are suddenly gone



i saw you today.
i looked into your heart.
i saw there was more than pain there.
i knew that you were gone.
i wanted just to hold you.
i wanted you to be okay.
i tried to take the blame myself.
i held the mirror to see.
i shattered inside.
i couldn't look away.
i thought about the accident.
i saw the place you landed.
i watched in horror unmoving.
i knew i didn't matter anymore.
i turned and walked away.

from A Writer's Book of Days: "Write of something done in a small moment."



Someday I'll learn.
I thought perhaps I had ~ only
maybe it isn't for me to know.

I'm frustrated beyond
words and I don't
understand why ~ it is how it is

anymore and it feels like
I should care, and maybe I
do, but today it just feels like I don't.

When will this haunting
stop chasing me down ~ below
the things I desire and think I own

only to find them lost to the night
floating as wraiths from my grasp
and taunting me under their spells?


Baring Arms

"To Write Love..." ~ The Sequel

It's lighter now
being closer to gone
this harsh darkness of reality faded

I wonder sometimes
if it was ever as bright
as my memory wants to believe that it was

It's so much like the scars
I guess that it's meant
to cover or somehow represent

But then everything changes
in the fresh light of day
and the things my arm holds go away

I don't want to forget
but this pain never stops
when it's something this intensely mine


To Write Love...

Today is TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms) Day.

The Mission of TWLOHA (taken directly from their website) is:
"To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."
You can read more about how this movement got started and how it's grown over the past few years from a small band of people wanting to help a friend into a national movement backed by many bands and organizations across the country. It's an amazing story, and it's all on their site, so check it out.

There are all kinds of sponsored events throughout the year, but today is the day that started it all: TWLOHA Day, where you write "LOVE" on your arm(s) to promote awareness for the devastating effects that depression, mood disorders, self-harm, and suicide can have on us individually and as a society.

For me, TWLOHA is something I relate to intimately, and it's more than just an exercise in raising social awareness:
  • It's about keeping the name of the people who matter to me (past, present, & future) on my arm as a reminder of their precious presence in my life.
  • It's for every conversation I've had late into the night, trying to remind someone whom I love deeply that there is life beyond what they hold in their hands at this moment.
  • It's for every person who's tired of feeling nothing and has decided to do something about it (positively or negatively).
  • It's for all the "drop~everything~now~and~forget~the~to~do~list~this~is~FAR~more~important" emergency runs, just to share something simple ~ like a cookie, or a hug, or a cup of coffee ~ just to remind someone that they're not alone.
  • It's for every person I met in therapy, who knows and understands the pain that each of us carries in our hearts.
  • It's for every broken dream, shattered relationship, and strained emotion.
  • It's for hope for tomorrow, the knowledge that life is beautiful, and the realization that this world is not enough for any of us, but it's where we are for now ~ so we make the most of it.
  • It's an attempt to understand my own worth as a beautiful and beloved woman, created in the image and likeness of God.
  • It's for the people I cannot live without ~ those who light my path, through the dark and scary world that my broken mind has created for me to live in.
Whether you are someone who struggles with these issues, you know someone who does (and I guarantee you do), or you qualify in both categories like I do, please write LOVE on your arm(s) today and help spread the word.

And... don't forget to let the people you love know that they matter to you, because that's what it's REALLY all about.


Standing in the Delta

What God has joined
in Her infinite wisdom
of the who and the what
we all need

Let no man think
he's smart enough
or arrogant enough
or capable enough
to try to pull apart.

As the drops of east
dilute with west
two rivers truly are one

As one body is made
of thousands of parts
this river is filled from streams.

Where this water joins
to become part of the whole
and flows to fill that which was
it becomes one with all
that have flowed here before
keeping some of what
others have lost

And here we will fail
if we try to remove it

For good or bad~
polluted or not~
this stream is now part
of our river

And all little streams
moving off on their own
become tributaries of that which was

For these new streams we've made
are nothing like the old ~
forever changed
into something new

They can never be
anything less
than the sum of it's parts
taking pieces of me
leaving pieces of you
to forever be drowned
in this place where we've joined

from A Writer's Book of Days: "Write about where rivers join."


Gazing in the Fire

Crackled logs sparkle shyly
as heated consumption follows
into the hearts of those who see

Misty wraith ascends to linger
unwrapping conscious thoughts
to awaken newer dreams

Nestled under darkened silence
amid rhythms swiftly beating
as stillness slowly falters



I could speak to you of longing,
but it's nothing I'd convey
in simplicity of language
or in feeble words confessed.

What is it that I long for?
What calls my soul to breathe?

The deepest, darkest moments
of my inner life's lament
become the truest lies untelling
of the useless time I've spent.

There are things beyond this moment ~
things seen with more than eyes

This comes from understanding
that there is more to me than this
and the things I find surround me
aren't intended to be missed

But they beg to be examined
for the proof of what's inside

But I'll wait confused and broken
hoping trust and faith resolve,
taking images of Eden
to make postcards of my home


Writing prompt from A Writer's Book of Days: "Write about yearning."



If you doubt yourself,
it shows.
If you doubt yourself,
why shouldn't everyone else?

If you love yourself,
others will notice
If you love yourself,
others have no choice but to fall
into that elegant magnetism.

It's not about how much time
you spend in front of the mirror;
it's about being comfortable
in your own skin.

That's confidence.

That's attraction.

That's the person
everyone wants to know
everyone wants to love
everyone wants to be.

When you're confident,
self~consciousness becomes overshadowed
by consciousness of others.

When you're confident,
focus shifts from inward to outward.

In the comfort of confidence
you can calm tension in others
as you reach beyond yourself
and infect others to love life as you do.
You see the world as a better place,
and you invite others to live with you there.
You see the "best" in life
and live as if it's already here,
regardless of anyone else's opinion.

It doesn't happen overnight.
It takes work to struggle with who you are
and finally come to terms with your true self,
your strengths and your weaknesses.
To know that this is who you are
and who you are supposed to be.

It brings openness and honesty,
It confronts you
with identity
with emotion
with desire.
And no one will have to guess
who or where you are
and what it is you want.

When you are confident about how you feel about yourself,
you can own about how you feel about others
and accept how they feel about you.

You can find solace in relationship
and live in comfort of the the knowing
how to be trusting and trust~worthy.

And it won't matter
if you've just rolled out of bed,
and your hair is a mess,
and you have dried drool on your chin,
and you're wearing the same pjs you've worn all week,
and you stink because you haven't showered yet...

None of that will matter...

if you love yourself,
you've learned what love is
you've accepted who you are
you've found freedom in yourself.

You will understand
that you are already worthy of that love.

You will understand
that you are beautiful ~
even in that state of disarray.

You will understand
There's not one pair of strappy heels,
not one curling iron,
not one perfect shade of lipstick,
not one cute little black dress
that will make you any more beautiful than you already are.
That all those things are fine,
but they're nothing more than tools to add
accent to your beauty
and a light to someone's eyes.
But you won't NEED them,
to be more than who you are
You'll be the one you love, regardless.

If you lack confidence,
ponytails will make you look like a silly child,
rather than a mature woman who adores life.

If you lack confidence,
flirting will be shallow and phony,
instead of a chance to hint
at mysterious depths unknown
and whimsical flights of adventure.

If you lack confidence,
the sexiest or most elegant dress
will never hang right
or make you look fat
or will always be completely out of place.

If you can't walk with your head held high,
you won't be able to balance in high heels,
so you'll feel tiny, or stupid,
or blend into the crowd.

And when you finally own this,
it's not to impress someone else
or make them happy,
but it's for yourself and your joy.
You won't need to try too hard.
You won't have to feel desperate for love
or starve for company.
The company of yourself will be enough.
You can adapt to what life throws your way
and love every minute
of the challenge and the journey.

You'll be noticed and loved of course,
but it won't matter that you are
(or aren't),
because your worth is not based on someone else's opinion.
All that will matter is how you feel about yourself,
how you walk, how you talk, who you are...
and how you present yourself boldly to the world.

It's about accepting both
compliments and criticism with grace,
learning from both,
and throwing out what doesn't apply or matter.

It's about learning to live with yourself,
and allowing others to live with you too.


"Beauty is being in harmony with what you are." ~Peter Nivio Zarlenga
(Thanks, Ami, for sharing this quote!)



for my best friends whom I trust with my life

It's knowing the truth waits
to hold you with its wisdom
even when it hurts the most

It's knowing you won't stay down
lying alone in the gutter
even when you know you're wrong

It's knowing that no separation
can ever be enough to triumph
even when it pulls you apart

It's knowing the reflection
of the inner secrets of your soul
even in the eyes of another

It's believing in the the future
and the possibilities that wait
even when all you see is pain