The house was quiet.

All I could hear was the sound of my own fingers, tap-tapping on the keyboard, the ceiling fan overhead, whirring and clicking, and the furnace fan pulling air up from the basement to blow through the house.  The rest was quiet, hushed, silent.

And it was beautiful.

The glow of the light on the coffee table nearby shone golden, illuminating only a portion of the room, while the rest lay in soft shadows.  Cool, dark, comforting. 

And I was tired.

Oh, so tired.   Weary muscles pulled and ached slightly, reminding me of the workout on the treadmill earlier tonight.  Hair still wet from my shower, afterward, I was refreshed, but worn out.  Pleasantly so.  It had gotten to the point where, if I didn’t walk, my muscles would cramp in my legs, seemingly begging to be used.  And I liked the feeling of freedom, the high of adrenaline that rushed through my veins at the end of a long walk, punctuated by fast music and the beating of my heart racing along.

Sitting now, in front of the computer, I was struck by the idea that I could describe this feeling of utter contentment, of relaxation, that weighed down my body, while it freed my soul to soar.  With the blackness of night waiting patiently at the edge of the door, pressing itself against the livingroom window, I knew that I’d soon be out on the front porch step, watching the stars, listening to the cars going by on the streets.  Winding myself down, settling my thoughts, quieting my heart. 


The letting go of pressure.  This was the moment that I waited for, the utter stillness of the soul.  The exhalation of the long, drawn-out breath, pulling knots out of muscles, too-long tense.  The feeling of sinking deep into the cushions of the couch, the sensation of falling through oneself, that comes with a bone-deep weariness and an exhausted mind. 

When you finally let the weight of the world fall from your shoulders, you feel lighter than the clouds.  And you can float off, in any direction you choose.  Freed from the burdens of life’s minutiae, a smile drifts across my face.  And I’m ready to face the dark.  Knowing, that what awaits me in the darkness, isn’t to be feared.  It’s meant to be embraced, fallen into, comforted by.  Perfect, comforting sleep.


Autumn Nights and Memory

I love sitting outside on the Autumn nights, now. 

Autumn has always been my favorite season, and nighttime is still my favorite time of day.

More so than dawn, when my brain struggles to fire up the engines; more than midday, when I’m rushing from place to place, distracted by everything that needs to get accomplished; more than evening, when I’m constantly moving from one thing to another, between the kids, the evening meal, the leftover tasks from the day.


Calm, cool, easy to be silent, and lost in the wanderings of my thoughts, I sit outside on my front step, the porch light my only companion.  And whether reading, or simply taking in the softness of the dark around me, I am peaceful.  Serene. 

Gone are all the things that filled my day.  Either done, or waiting for the next sunrise, I put them in my pocket, and forget them for a few, small hours, and just relax. 

Sitting there on my porch, I can feel the difference of the seasons, truly, with all my senses.  The edges of things seem softer, more frayed, as though they, too, are tired of the heat of summer, and are ready to lay down their burdens for a good long rest.  Late afternoon sunlight seems more golden, hazy, and comfortable.  And the air smells of the first tang of leaves just beginning to change their colors.  The sharp, almost musky smell is pulled into my lungs, and it reminds me of smoky fireplaces and warm comfort.  My ears hear the sounds of the cars that rush past, 1, 2 streets down, and farther away, the main road through my city is a faint shussh-shussh of vehicles moving from North to South, and back again.  Even my sense of touch is engaged, feeling the shift in the air pressure, lighter than summer, seemingly less dense, in a way, than just a few weeks ago. 

When I’m driving, I roll my van window down all the way, and let the air rush in through the opening, pulling my hair up and away, tangling around my ear, and tickling my neck and face.  I will even hold my arm out the window, resting it on the sill, to catch and cup the air as it is pulled past me, rolling the breeze up and over my hand like a wave of softness.  I find myself wishing that I was a kid again, riding in the bed of my dad’s pickup, standing at the back of the window, and raising my arms up over my head to feel as much of the wind as I could. 

And I’m reminded of the smell of freshly baled straw and hay, one crisp, dusty and golden, the other a softer, sweeter smell, that still retains the memory of green.  The sensory memories pull me back in time to younger days, living on our farm, with my horses, and my goat, Heidi.  Memories of laying in the hay bales, reading, or napping in the sunshine for hours, only to wake up with all of the kittens from the barn snuggled up close, purring loudly in joy.  Memories of jumping on my horse, Snooker, with only a bridle.  We’d leave the farm, and race as fast as he could move, through ditches, down gravel roads, and across empty, harvested fields. 

Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I can’t wait to see what memories I make this year out of my golden sunshine, cool evenings, and starry nights.

Sleep well, my friends.  Autumn’s blessing has arrived.


Rainy Days

I’m watching the rain pouring down outside my house as I eat lunch today.  Big, fat, ploppy drops.  Heavy water running in rivulets down the gutters of the streets, washing away dust, leaves that have been blown from the trees in the last few days from strong winds.  Tree seeds that have popped from the branches hanging over the boulevards are pushed down and away from my neighborhood, to be carried to a new location, in the hopes of propagating the trees somewhere else.

I hope that the oak trees in my beloved Oak Park will be alright.  It takes an oak tree 50 years to mature enough to produce acorns.  That’s a long time to wait for your chance at offspring. 

The trees in my backyard have recovered from their heavy pruning we did last summer, growing tall and leafy again.  It doesn’t take them long at all to replace what was lost a year ago.  They sprout up, unbidden, and get mowed down in the fall – to reappear the next spring. 

Everything has its own time, its own life span.  Some things take longer than others, and we have to learn patience for those things that take their time in appearing, growing.  It can be difficult to wait, but it’s most often worth it.

There are days when I love the rain.

Today is one of them.

Time to go back to work.

Philosophical Sunday

I’m feeling rather introspective today.

In the last few days, I’ve had occasion to take a long look at who I was, who I am, who I’m becoming.  I’ve thought a lot about what it was that I used to want, what I need to get where I want to go, and whether the “needs” and the “wants” really match up, or whether they’re incompatible.

And I wish I could tell you that I have any answers to the questions I’ve been posing to myself.

But *sigh* I don’t.

The questions are still all there, swirling around in my head, spinning me in a million different directions, and never letting me stand still long enough to grab a point of reference to hold onto.

But, funny thing?  Even with all the chaos inside my brain, all the questions and frustrations of the past few days – I’m oddly calm.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m ultimately happier when life is in a constant state of flux.  When changes happen one after another, I don’t have to sit and worry; I have to act – react – and adapt. 

Yeah, I like the quiet times too.  I love being able to sit, just in one moment and be.  I like the calm of a still afternoon, spent relaxing, listening to music, or my children’s laughter, or just the play of the wind through the trees. 

But, those moments aren’t meant to last.  Those perfect spaces of stillness and balance are transitory, finite.  It is their temporary nature that makes them so wonderful, because you know that they don’t last.  That forces you to stop, “smell the roses”, and enjoy it, because you know that it’s not permanent.  The winds die down, the flowers wilt, the sun sets, and the moment is over.

Things change.

Things stay the same.

Both statements are true.

I am in the middle of changing my life.  I’ve already made a few of the changes – and whether they’ll be positive ones or not, will remain to be seen.  There are more changes coming, I can see them working their way toward me from down the road.  Some decisions are going to be harder than others, and I don’t know yet how I’ll react to the situations.  Some of the decisions have me really frustrated, because of the variables that refuse to sit still and behave in predictable ways.  The logic circuits are not functioning at full charge all the time, which leaves me confused and exhausted.  And there are times when I think about just chucking those issues out the window, “turtling up” and hibernating while the storms pass overhead. 

But something keeps me moving forward. 

Maybe it’s the idea that there’s a better moment up ahead. 

Yes.  A better moment.  With wind in the trees overhead, flowers in bloom, the sun dancing through the leaves….. and a second of balance – before the next change.

I’ll be ready.  I’ll be waiting. 



Fair warning – this was written a LONG time ago, and most of the references are personal.  Dedicated to my friends, back in that little town.  You know who you are.

Jammin’ – One Hazy Summer

May the road rise up to meet you
May the sun be always at your back
May the wind be gentle breezes blowing you to your destiny
And may the songs always take you
High Enough.
The Beginning
Ever notice how sometimes, you can lose days, weeks, and sometimes, if you’re really lucky, whole months?
Well, call me lucky, cause I lost a whole summer once.  Not because of blacking out, or sleeping it away, but because everything blurred together, taking my friends and me from one space in time to the next.  We just never seemed to realize that time was passing; just that one minute the sun was going down, and the next, it was coming up – knocking on the windows and scaring us out of our shoes.  Sometimes scaring us into them.
But we survived.  We thrived, knowing that sunset was only miles away.
The Summer
Of days gone by
Summer fun
Beaches and sun
Sand in the backseat
Cooler in the trunk
Girls in the front seat
Happy and drunk
From too many summer songs
And to much summer sun
Cruisin’ in the late afternoon
Till long after the moon had run.
Roadtrippin’ to Martin
Racing the trains
Sitting on Main Street
Frying our brains
From too little sleep
And too much booze
Dancing under raingutters
How could we lose?
Rock-n-roll blurs
The days went by
Playing the summer
“Damn Yankees!” we’d cry
Under blankets we hid
Not ashamed; just sly
We-be laughin’ at life
Never thought to be shy.
Fireworks and rain
Our season combined
On top of a world on fire
Sunrise knocked- we’d answer, resigned.
So we’d tip out of bed
And head straight for the sand
To rest a weary head
And bring our feet back to land.
Everything thrown in together
We always had our share
Even though we never seemed to know
Just quite when we were where.
Rushing from moment to
Slipping from oops to
Loving every minute
We never saw wrong in it!
We danced in basements
To music unhearable
We kept our circle tight
Goodbye was unbearable
Tanning our days
We crowned our nights
No reason for cliques
No season for fights
Baseball caps
Guitar picks
Drum sticks
Pounding out our memories
Etching them in stone
We wrote ourselves some legends
For one wild summer, WE were the ones who shone.
The Ending
The road rose up and met us
The sum was always at our backs
The wind took us gently to our destiny
And the songs always took us
Still make us
And will always lift us
High Enough.
~November, 1990

The Poet Speaks

I’ve been pondering for a while on whether to post some of my poetry here.  I finally decided…. why not?

Some is old, some is more recent. 

To wait for a touch is foolish
To expect the love
Yet I die for a while
If you don’t smile
And I love you more and more.
To push the progress is
Not right.
To wait for the call
Yet when your eyes
Look deep into mine
I melt
And fall into your arms again.
Straight Down from the Beginning
I see anxiety
Wanton fear
Asking me for the
Next answer
The way
Out is
To me now;
Should I
It to
Climb the wall
Inside my head
Dropping to a new level
Excited to be
Running from
I see
The way to say
Liar’s Song
The frustration and the anger,
All piled up within
The hurting and the waiting
Still crying, let me in.
Lost inside the life I built
I falter and I fold
Afraid to move,
Afraid to stand
Left standing in the cold
I’ve done this dance
I’ve sung the song
I’ve written every line
But the screams go on
Within my head
I’m fine, I’mfine, I’M FINE.
To the One that Got Away
Lying in the darkness
And thinking of your face
The first time I said goodbye
That memory I can’t erase
My thoughts are fog
That tangled mess
I hurt us both back then
I confess
I ran in fear
I ran for years
But always looking back
I wish like hell
I could go there through time
But I never caught the knack
I’ve tried so hard to make it right
To the one that got away
And now I just look crazy
But then again, I was always
A little insane,
I’m kinda funny that way.

I’ve always thought that Poetry is where the music that lives inside our souls resides.

Sometimes it’s happy, and bounces along like a balloon, joyful and light.

Sometimes, it’s sad, and creeps along through the shadows, weighing heavily on all that have to live through it.

And sometimes, it’s angry, sharp and full of pointy bits… scraping open old wounds, exposing rawness of emotion to the light and air.

But no matter what, it’s always about emotion.  The emotion of the poet at the time of creation.  And so, it’s an honest, deep-from-within expression, even when it’s not well written.  It’s still, at least, a true, bone-deep gaze into the heart of the writer.

If you’d like to read more of my own personal poetry, I keep it on the Brea’s Spirit blog, more often than not – which you can find in my “Homepages” on the blogroll.

Note to Self

I’m usually pretty good at remembering stuff.

Especially when it’s useless stuff.

But lately, I’ve been writing a lot of notes to self, instead. 

Some of them, are very helpful, seeing as how I’m pretty much doin’ things on my own now.


* Make sure you write down the size of furnace filters we need.  You only have one left.  You’re gonna need more in about a month.  Don’t forget, or the furnace starts to whistle like a teapot.  Teapot whistling is bad.

* Plug in all the new phones…. and don’t forget to unplug them tomorrow.  Service is scheduled to start up on Tuesday.  Make sure you carry both phones on Tuesday.  You can’t be without a phone for a whole day, now that you’re basically a single parent.  Phoneless is bad.

And then… there’s the other stuff.  Stuff I remember, or that simply rattle around in my brain, until I get a logical answer to questions I’m asking myself…. and they’re not all easy questions, nor do I know if I’m going to find answers, rational or otherwise.  Because the questions are more about emotions, and that’s not logical, or rational, at all.

*  Why am I so bothered that “he” doesn’t show more emotion over the divorce?  He’s been pleasant, too much so, and it’s got me confused, and angry.  I know that I wanted the divorce to be amicable, and I don’t want to fight with him anymore, nor do I want to reconcile.  His coldness, and lack of affection, was one of the reasons why I decided I couldn’t stay in the marriage anymore, anyway.  Maybe, it’s the fact that it’s been 14 years of my life.  And now… it’s just…. poof.  Or maybe, I just want some sign of feeling, some regret.  Some sense that I meant something.

*  I’ve been having such vivid dreams, the last few nights.  It’s been a long time since they were this real and colorful.  And they’re not nightmares.  This means something.  This means…. that I’m starting to open up again.  I’m not all bound up inside, like I was, repressing everything.  Even though some of the dreams have been strange, like the “vampire slaying” dream… I was with old friends, working toward slaying demons.  Sounds like exactly what I’ve been working on, only with less pointy teeth, and more internal psychobabble.

*  Why have I fallen so far behind on reading others’ blogs?  Why have I stopped socializing?  I think, maybe, it’s because I don’t like putting my problems on others.  I keep telling people that “I’m fine”.  I’m not, but I’ve always hated asking for help, for any reason.  I need to work on that.  I also need to stay in contact with others, on purpose, until I get to the point where I don’t have to think about it, I just do it.  I’ve just been so tired, and when I’m exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally, I just can’t summon the will to work at it.  I’m going to work at it anyway.

*  Why have I stopped working on my crafts?  I have a tree I started, another wire tree, and I put it up and left it.  I know that I’ve been busy, but working on my craft projects makes me happy, and I put that away.  I have to stop putting away that which makes me happy.

Yeah, it’s time to start working on the book again, too.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot… storyline and plot, characters and focus.  Focus.  I need more of that.  Can I order that online??

Note to Self:  Start living your life again.  It’s time.

Dissecting the Wizard – Finish Him Off!

The second half of the tale of Dorothy leads off with the girl and her pals wandering off to find the Wicked Witch’s castle, searching for a way to get her broomstick… so the Wizard will feel safer, more powerful, and hopefully grant the wishes of each of them.  A brain, a heart, courage, and a way home.  Just what should be on everyone’s list when shopping for your friends.

The Wicked Witch of the West?  Well, she sees them coming from mile away. 

I mean, after all… when you’re the envy of the neighborhood, you better keep your eyes and ears open, hadn’t you?

Adorable, ain’t she?

Yes, she is.  And I want one of those flying monkeys of hers.

Just sayin’.


Dorothy gets snatched up by the winged primates, and hauled off to be confronted by the witch, who really – really wants her shoes.  And I don’t blame her.  Ruby slippers?  Are you kidding me?  How fantastic are those?

And the boys are left behind, cleaning up after themselves.  They immediately strike off to find their friend, and to get her and Toto’s ashes out of the fire.

Remarkably?  They get into the castle with very little trouble, and find Dorothy almost the moment they step inside.  Funny… the castle looks pretty big from the outside.  How’d they ever find her so fast?  Oh, of course, Toto… the tiniest member of this motley crew, finds the boys and leads them to her door.   Anyway, they bust Dorothy out of her room without rousing the whole castle (even with breaking down the door with an AXE, mind you)

Getting out of the castle, though?  They get stuck.  The Witch meets them at the door, and her guards pin them down at spear-point.  But, through someone’s quick thinking (ironically, the dude without a brain), they escape, only to get caught in a game of Tag, and end up in one of the towers on the edge of the castle.

And when the Witch takes her moment to tell them exactly what she’s going to do to them?  They douse her with a bucket of water, trying to put out the flames she’d laid on the Scarecrow.

(Really?  Who decided that they should use water?  All this told me as a kid – was that baths were bad for you, and would make you melt.)  Not really a message my parents wanted me to learn.

Well, they get the broom, and get it back to the Wizard.

Who tells them to get stuffed – he’s too busy for them.


So the dog turns him in as the fraud he is.  Good boy, Toto!  Who’s the Wizard now??

Hoist on his own – fraudulent stories – the Wizard comes clean, telling the troupe that he’s nothing but an old fraud, but that maybe he can help them out somehow, anyway.

Handing over some tokens, he shows each of the guys, that really?  They had what they were looking for, all along, they just needed to have someone else validate it for them.  Being seen through someone else’s eyes as a valuable, valued person, is something everyone strives for. 

And then, it’s Dorothy’s turn.

And the dud has nothing in his bag for her.  Well… except the balloon that dropped him in Oz in the first place!  Dude!  A ride!!

Of course, he doesn’t know how to drive, and ends up taking off without the girl by accident.  Of course it’s an accident – right?


And here’s where Glinda steps back into the picture.  Miss Obvious.

She explains her earlier silence by saying that Dorothy had to figure everything out for herself, or the magick of the shoes wouldn’t work.  Yeah.  Sure.  That’s why.

So, Dorothy clicks her shoes….. and wakes up.

Back at home, in  her own bed, with her family surrounding her.

Lessons learned?

Basically – You can’t run from your problems.  They’ll follow you, even over the rainbow.  Find your friends wherever they are, whoever they are, and hang onto them.  No matter how quirky, strange, or downright crazy they may seem.  They’ll help you keep on track toward your goals.

And don’t ever, ever forget – Home is in your heart, no where else.

Dissecting the Wizard – the Top Half

One of my all-time favorite movies, and something I have to watch every year, without fail, has always been —>

Ever since I was a little girl, this movie has caught my imagination, and my wonder.  And over the years, I’ve discovered that it has quite a lot to say to me.

There are a lot of funny, sarcastic moments in this movie for me, hidden behind the soft, “simpler age” cinematics.  And the music in the movie never gets tired.  At least not to my ears.

Many people are so rabid about their fan-dom, that they can’t take a joke about it.  I, on the other hand, love seeing things like this:

To me, this just proves my theory… namely, that the Wizard of Oz will resound with generations of children, and adults, far into the future.  Even if just to make them laugh.  But I think, really, that there’s a lot you can take away from this movie.  If you look closely, listen carefully, and really dissect the Wizard down to his socks.

At the beginning of the movie, we see Dorothy, living in a dull, drab landscape with her aunt and uncle.  She gets into mischief with her dog, Toto, because… well, there’s simply nothing else to do in her life.  And when the time comes to pay the price?  It’s excessive, yes, but she rebels, just like every normal teenager all over the planet.

By running away, fleeing from the consequences of her unthinking actions.

When she bumps up against an insurmountable problem, the “Twister” that threatens to tear up everything she loves, she’s knocked down, knocked out, and wakes up in a totally unfamiliar landscape, amongst strangers. 

The people are actually rather kind to her, after she does them an unforseen favor, that of ridding them of a bully – The Wicked Witch of the East- who’s been terrorizing them for a long time.

She also meets up with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.

Now, part of me has always wondered why Glinda didn’t do something about her counterpart to the East, but, when I was  a young girl, I did actually read the books, and discovered that the witches were all sisters.  So, I guess it’s an unspoken family rule… you aren’t allowed to kill your sister.  Good rule to have, I guess, but awkward for the munchkins.

Anyway, Dorothy gets the bad-girl shoes, which have powers (which of course, Glinda won’t tell her about, or doesn’t know about, since she’s a “good girl” and not a “bad girl”).

Now enters my personal favorite character of the whole movie – The Wicked Witch of the West!

I’ve talked about her before, here, simply because she is someone that has always fascinated me, and I always thought got rather a bum rap.

She tells Dorothy off for killing her sister, and tries to get her birthright… the magickal shoes, thus setting the whole journey in motion.  Without her?  This would have just been a long, quiet walk through some rather pretty countryside… no excitement – all sugar, no spice.  Boooooorrrrrring.  And?  Dorothy would have never learned her lessons in the first place!

Dorothy then heads off on her own, to try to find someone to help her get back to her life and family.  Through some accidents of her travels, and some divine intervention (of the “Glinda” variety), she meets up with just the right people (ironic, that) to help her find what she’s been looking for. 

The Scarecrow, who needs to get a clue… The Tin Man, who needs to get over being such an emo sap…. and The Lion, who needs to get some… uh, (PG rating deletes comment).

They go with her, trying to help out, and stumbling right along with Dorothy, until they reach the Emerald City, where they’re told that they’ve traveled all this way, only to be turned back. 

“Nobody gets in to see the Wizard, not nobody, not nohow!”

Well, of course, they end up getting in to see him, anyway, because they’re just that fabulous, and he sets them what seems to be an impossible task before he’ll grant their wishes.

Ain’t that always the way?


Laundry Day

As I was loading the washing machine last night, I got to thinking about how my brain has been set on “spin-dry” lately… and some dork stuck a pair of sneakers in there.

They’ve been thumping around, making noise, and generally bashing the heck out of the inside of my head.

There’s been so much going on, that I’m making lists… and promptly losing them.

They’re now littering my van, my desk, my Blackberry, and lining the pockets of my cardigans and pants that I wear to work. 

And I think I just threw this week’s grocery list in the wash, too.

My moodswings have been spinning rapidly, as well, with everything that’s been going on, and I’m beginning to think that maybe I need to get back to some serious breathing techniques. 

Basically, that means that I need to start breathing again.  I find myself holding my breath a lot, as though I’m headed under water, or like I’m in training to cross the English Channel.

There are so many, many things that need to get done, that need to be remembered, and that require my attention, that I end up wandering in circles, not really knowing which way I’m facing at any given moment.

No one hand me a stick, or I’ll think there’s a pinata hanging somewhere above my head, and start swinging.

Life has been moving pretty fast, which is a change for me, as it’s been slow as molasses for a long time.  And I’m not quite used to these many changes in this short of a time.  It’s a lot to adjust to.

But, as with the laundry, after the spin cycle, comes a period of rest, when everything falls down to the bottom of the tub again, and you get to retrieve all the socks and towels and throw them in the dryer.  There they get all fluffy and warm and comfy again.

Time to go switch things up.