Sunday, August 24, 2014

Something Happened This Week...

...and I really am not sure how exactly.
I returned unwillingly from a wonderful vacation
...and having said goodbye to beloved colleagues.
My back gave out (literally a "pain in the ass")
nerves knives thrusting through—movement a penance.
...and my doctor's advice "so goes age".
It rained. Damp. Gray. Unseasonably chilly.
...and my pear tree transplanted from my father's house turned black, dropping its once luxurious green glossy leaves.
As the damn Japanese beetles killed yet another plum tree.
And the wild rabbits mowed my beet crop to the root.
Old traditions transfused with new. Students arriving
....each bringing bright dreams, untested talents, and enthusiasm of discovery.
I lay on the floor, stretching in the quiet of morning,
....rewarded with a cup of fresh, dark coffee, holding pain at bay.
Later walking anguished steps through beloved woods,
...encountering golden chanterelle awakens a jubilant soul.
Later still the rapture of youth. Energy unbounded,
...with wedding dates, house plans, and joy of the journey and...
Something happened this week.
The steady state of renewal.
The promise to re-fill a grieving heart...
...laying aside that which has passed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stop. Look. Do.

And there is this. Stop, look, do.

Labyrinths and Other Journeys

Occasionally, despite the bright glow and blue skies of summer, life ruptures and one loses the path. So I found myself this summer. Looking back upon this year, I will recall it as a triad: the most rewarding, the most difficult, and the saddest of my life.
The pressures of 2014 were beyond forecasting: planning, marketing, launching, negotiating, and defending a new Master's program in China - a world 180 degrees around the planet; renovating and re-envisoning a new EMC complete with Maker's space; a very short time line to fund, gather partners, plan, deliver, and assess BREAKAWAY in El Salvador; changing of leadership at Champlain—and then my staff; and most monumental of all caring for and then losing my parents.

The rewards—lovely new students and friends and a new perspective from half world away; a new "family" in El Salvador and discovering that love does not hold language as a boundary; finally verification that BREAKAWAY changes behavior; a new starting point and new vision for emergent media at Champlain; strength in partnerships at Champlain; and knowing that my siblings and myself alongside our spouses, and our children honored our parents and surrounded them with love in their final years.
And yet life winds about in and back on itself. I feel lost without the true foundation of my parents' presence. I keep turning back to find them but they are no longer here. I twist and fall like a top out of balance.
Today Coby Brownell shared a beautiful design piece he was working on inspired in part by the collections of paraphernalia on our desks at the EMC and in particular a folded paper Pegasus given to my by Brendan after completing BREAKAWAY. I was reminded of an email my father once sent responding to a 2010 post in this blog. Perhaps in this way he was answering my search.

Icarus and Pegasus
 Home from the hospital and opening your blog brought tears to my eyes.
Your paintings are fantastic.  The way you describe how and why you paint is pure poetry. Your art and poetry dazzle me. 
 In the story of the winged horse Pegasus, wings represent imagination.  If we lose our imagination we fail and fall. If we persevere we shine like the sun. You and your blog shines like the sun. 


Pegasus took his rider on flights unimaginable, so mentored I have been pursuing pathways and vistas beyond my day-to-day. Through Peace Village I have experienced the meditation of the labyrinth and with a new set of eyes I discovered, alongside my sister Theresa and sister-in-law Joanne, the Priory Retreat House with its wise woman, and the labyrinth embracing an old pine. A labyrinth allows us to symbolically and metaphorically follow life's path to a central point and then follow the path out again as in the Hero's Journey with wisdom to share.  Birth leads us to death leading us to rebirth. 

In less traveled places our paths can wind. Traveling upon them we can once again marvel at the beauty surrounding us and shine.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Final Impact

Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle. Photogravure by Edward S. Curtis

Time runs through my fingers like tears beneath a veil
Counting forward
the way my father predicted our future
sliding rule in hand precisely measured:
pool, bubble plastics, candles, obesity, saccharine, space travel, melting ice caps.

Here am I caught in day to day
Year end reports, performance reviews, annual goals
Weeks spent reporting to the past - - - -
while ice melts, fires burn, air poisons.

The future hurries forward forever 
as bored meetings
determine unfathomable horse races.

Where next?
Time counts forward in logrythmic functions. 
Pinocchio on the stage
Holding on to strings
nose grows, donkey ears sprouts, braying forward,

When does the path tear open the veil?
When will the timid stamp finality?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jet Lag and Water on Mars

Shanghai 2014
Jet lag.

Finally, as you predicted, they found water on Mars. And yes the planet is getting warmer. Water resources are indeed our salvation. May I add reducing population?

Crossing the time zone twice in 5 days. Half way around the world and back again. 360 degrees and I have forgotten what day I'm at. All my digital devices disagree and my body makes no sense. Or is it nonsense?

I am too old for this. Past half a century. I remember hitting a quarter of a century and all the world lay wide open. Like a spring day between the snow and the first crocus.

But here I am up pushing against 60. Not quite yet but close enough. I can hear the sirens' call and the giggle of the 10 year old. Run. Run faster. No perhaps slower.

In the past 20 years, Shanghai has gone from muck and mud to the largest, most electrifying city in the world and the girl from the swamps of Rochester finds herself there. Rochester. Borne of muck and mud herself, once the capital of the industrial-high tech world - now dis-eased.

Here I find myself. But where are you? The future called your mind - and through yours mine. You opened wide the vista and taught me how to predict. A divining rod for the planet. But then?

Into the stars I look for you, and into each spring bloom. Someday perhaps?

Rochester 1964

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There are days

and then there are days
some joyful
some full of stress
some just are
much like any other, caught up in the hum and the buzz and the busyness,

until that moment
I wish I could call
or simply
hold your hand.

And then I look at mine
and I see only yours.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I knew
a family named "Joy"
and I envied
their fortune to have
their outlook

But as things go
it did not last
life rearranged itself
as it always does

And now
I know

there for those
who climb through

the instance.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And then there is this.

Life continues
moving back forth over under up down in between like a weaver's loom
...& sometimes missing the loop

as it always
some with, some without, some not knowing and some knowing too much

and always
And there lies the questions. Whose will, what will, who will, and why?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Give yourself this

Give yourself this:
white on white on white
curve of the line and fragile edge
safe from frozen breath
black on white on white
fluffed and shivering
finds last summer's sun left for her.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Deeply Given

The photographer's light catches the little things,
the minute changes of a brow,
the uplifted smile,
the filtered light dancing behind the curtains.

But I am ungrounded
unable to dress
or brush my hair,
find the phone,
or walk in the light-filled autumn woods.

How suddenly my eyes tear up
though I am so relieved
the pain and weekly infusions finally over,
the only way out — the way of light and dust.

Madly searching through photos
for her smile, her warmth,
the time—
I find each of our lives reflected.

Realizing her profession
was us and all of ours
her success hard won
often unrewarding
yet truer than many others.

Nonjudging heart and hands
always working for those who needed
stitching together all those outside
despite moans of little girls
the other side of cool, folding all in like sweet batter.

Her choices magnified,
and scattered like light through a crystal
a million sparkling gems, each differing hues
spreading across time.

It's the little things,
like why did I get rid of that black dress?
when shall I leave?
open casket or closed?
and how now will I call,
the shimmering wisdom of her life-deeply given?