Life Melted

The day ends deep into the dungeon of night and sleep is evading me like  a criminal running from the law. Time has been spent in the glare of a screen and there is the heaviness of fatigue and yet I’m wide awake. Lights and devices are shut off as I put the house to bed and I drag myself  down the stairs to the warmth of the place I love.

Tap opened to an icy flow like winter blustering outdoors. As it warms  a landslide of goosebumps roll from  my neck down to my ankles and a shudder of delighted anticipation breaks free. Slipping out of the restraints of clothing and under garments,  a private freedom is found. Impatient for the release, I plunge a foot in and inhale sharply from the nearly scalding heat which I ignore as I lower in to a new wave of goosebumps.

With eyes closed I lay back and exhale the breath that has been held as stress, unhappiness, anger and sleeplessness comes unknit . My muscles are liberated and emotions reduced to unimportant while the steam obscures the room and clarifies my mind.

Life melted, I’m happy and relaxed, and ready for sleep.


I’m linking up with Write on Edge. Here is this weeks prompt:

This week, as we enter one of the busiest times of year, I say we take a lesson from these second graders and write about a (real) place that makes us feel peaceful.

Where is your quiet place? What does it look like? What happens there?

Enchantment to Heartbreak

The words, like a knife, sliced through jagged and uneven. In it’s wake there was irreparable damage and the life I had know would never be the same. The memory of how I learned my cousin was dead is unclear but the word suicide stands out stark and bold. I wasn’t sure I would ever breath again as the wind was knocked out of me so cleanly and the pain began so quickly and sharply.

The memories, once fond, happy and full of life were rendered to a state of doubt and wondering “Did I miss something?” As time has passed I realized the innocence of our childhood was pure. We roamed our grandparents ranch in a pack of cousins bent on discovery and freedom that most kids could never imagine. We grew up together and apart; together so much during the summer at the ranch or at one another’s homes where our lives were “enchanted”; apart during the school year where we lived our “regular” lives.

As we became teenagers and the focus of our life lens changed and shifted to a different perspective. I still cherished our friendship, but after our grandparents died it lacked the enchantment that the ranch brought to us. Boys, friends, places and thrills beyond our age had us traveling down different paths.

Her path must have been so painful and unbearable and I had no idea. Great gaps of time would existed between the occasions we would see each other and then an extraordinary gap and then she was gone. I know I’m not unique in the belief that I could have made a difference, but I’ll never really know, at least not in this lifetime. I loved her and wish I had told her.

Almost thirty years later, the wound is easily opened and will bleed profusely when the surface is disturbed. It still hurts in a place so deep it’s beyond description. Things happen in my life and I wonder how her life would be if she had not chosen to leave. My kids grew and I watched them blossom and find their own lives. I became a grandmother and I get to watch them being kids and growing. I adore and revel in the uniqueness of my family but sometimes I wish  she was here so we could share this beautiful time of life.

If I could go back and change it, I would find a way to save her. Somehow she would want to live because the anguish and heartbreak I, we, have endured is so unending. The weight of it bears down like a wet blanket, heavy and impossible to throw off.

The brightness I always see without fail though is her glorious smile. I imagine after all this time she is surely free and happy now and looks after all of us, praying from her place. I have to believe she’s at peace because I could not bear to believed she wasn’t. Those luminous glimmers make me smile.


RemembeRED writing prompt:

“We all have them. Memories that we wish we could forget…things that we wish we could banish from our minds. Imagine that writing down your worst memory will free you of it.

What is it? – Why does it haunt you? – What could you have done differently?”

Turn Around

Hey! Turn around! You can’t keep looking back, because what’s back there is never going to change. It’s never going to be different and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. What you’re tripping and stumbling over is your life. It keeps happening. Small thing and big things move over, under and around and life moves forward not backward.

Quit looking so far back, trying to see over what’s just happened or pushing aside what IS happening. Oh, you see those things, but what you really want is to keep gazing and staring into a time that’s far, far out of reach. You’re missing out on the details of life and when you look back at what’s just happened you’re already forgetting the nuances, the beauty, the realness of life continuing on around you.

It’s gone! It’s done! Leave that ancient crap back there where it is; dead and buried. If it keeps getting dug up the stench just gets worse and worse. The decay is overwhelming, but you don’t perceive it anymore. You just keep looking at it and wondering why you can’t get rid of it.

Turn around, for the love of God! Just turn around and see what’s in front of you! If you keep looking behind all you get to see is what has already happened and you never get to savor and anticipate what is to come. Live in the moment! Such a worn out platitude but seriously, live in the moment for a change.

Tossing off that heavy carcass you keep dragging around will compel you to turn around. Once you see it lying there dead, lifeless, and not worthy of so much effort, so much grief, so much pain,  YOUR life can begin.

Lifting the Veil

Something is trying to escape. I haven’t quit found the voice yet, but it’s there trying to get out. As I race around my day, I’ll have a thought, “I need to write about that!”, but in the clamor and busyness of it all,  it’s hard to stop long enough to jot down that idea to flesh it out into something cohesive.

I’ve started a blog post here and there but can’t find what it is that’s creeping under the surface. I’ve saved draft after draft thinking I’ll come back to it and know what is missing. So far I haven’t found it.

Am I mad? Happy? Sad? Restless? Satisfied? Wandering? Focused? Driven? Lost? Confused? Determined?



It’s right there just out of reach. I grasp for the thread but it disappears in the shadows as if it never existed.

In the past couple of weeks, some very emotional events have skewed my focus and perhaps the emotions I hadn’t counted on dealing with have caused me to lose contact with what I want to say. Maybe I’m afraid of the words and what they will eventually reveal. Perhaps that fear is unfounded and the words are just a passing thought and when realized I’ll laugh at the silliness of it all.  It could be a necessity, a build up of everything and if I don’t relieve the pressure, it will all explode.

I attempt to rid myself of the sticky, tangled spider webs that cling to me as I swat and flinch each time a new strand touches me. It’s a possibility what I really need to do is stop, sit down, relax and be quiet long enough for a cohesive thought to formulate in my head. Perhaps a lack of sleep is causing all of the frustration. The fatigue weighs down my thoughts and my eyes, and lowers a heavy fog over me with an oppressive and uncomfortable feeling. If I stopped long enough it’s possible I might realize fog is just a cloud taking rest close to the ground and a puff of wind or a ray of brilliant sunshine will send  it away.

So through this struggled entry a message has materialize in front of me. Rest. With the blessed ease of sleep, the fog will dissipate and reveal the clarity I am straining so hard for. Then it will stand out in bold relief and be relief.


We need to use caution when we are looking for blame or a reason for this massive tragedy in Japan, or in Haiti before that, and before that here in the US with Hurricane Katrina. A word and a concept that is in woefully short supply for us right now is “balance”. We spend so much time talking about left and right but we forget the most important thing for us as humans to do is weigh out everything and keep the perspective in balance.  Stick with me here, I have several points to make and I’ll tie it all together.

For Christians, it becomes far too easy to play the “God” card and say He is sending a message, and that He determined time before in eternity that Japan would be ravaged by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami.  For those who want to use science alone as the reason, it can be taken too far in the other extreme by placing the event purely in the lap of geology and oceanography with no regard for a belief system or room for God in the equation (even if they are believers themselves).

As a Catholic Christian, I believe God did make this world, this planet and created us to inhabit it. I think it is reckless to believe that He knows every moment of our lives and how it will play out, that it’s our fate or destiny to end up where we are. If that is true, then why did He give us free will? There is no satisfaction in life if we don’t have any control over who we are and what we become. As Christians, we need to balance that journey with devotion and love for God and our fellow man. We also need to be responsible stewards of the gifts He has given us.

Humanity itself is reckless and selfish and we push the limit of our world by living where we shouldn’t, building where we shouldn’t and disregarding common sense. We can look at the coastline in any of our advanced countries and see houses built too close to the water and in fact moving out and creating “land” out in places where no inhabitable space existed before.

Looking at the tragedy in Japan, we have to temper our judgement and our soap box declarations with the knowledge that human lives were lost, entire cities have been erased, untold economic hardship faces the country and its inhabitants. God most certainly has given us free will and a conscience to determine what is good and necessary and what is wrong and harmful. We can see the decisions humans have made to occupy some places was not based on good judgement, but who could foresee a wave that would wash 3 miles inland? With science in our corner we can see the earth is an ever changing shifting place. There are many areas of instability and we KNOW what happens when the earth moves! There is a cause and effect and it is rational in that sense. We need to balance our needs with the ability our Earth has to provide for those needs.

Please, as you watch the events in Japan continue to unfold, use caution as you form your opinions. Remember these are our fellow humans! They deserve our compassion and love as they begin again. Balance, everyone, balance.

It’s the Little Things

A mishap or “crisis” can cause our field of vision to narrow and focus on that one big thing alone. In the big picture, it’s positive, little things in the day that far outweigh the big bad circumstances.

Going grocery shopping with my daughter. Watching a group of eight year old girls learn how to play basketball. Princess granddaughter endless declaration “I love you grandma!” Hubby fixing dinner. A phone call from Brian who is on his way home from the dentist. Buying coffee for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru. Four bags of Old Dutch Dill pickle chips that Captain my Captain and Blossom brought home from their trip to Rapid City yesterday. My granddaughter Warrior Girl toddling up to me and putting an arm around my leg and giving me a baby hug. Photos of family scattered around the house where I can see a smile or a wave from someone I love. Coming in from the cold to stand in front of the fireplace to warm up. Just a few things from my week. All small. All significant because they made me happy.

During the day it can be a challenge to find things to be thankful for. It seems I always need to work at enjoying those small moments in time. Who doesn’t? Once I get overwhelmed it’s work to take a step back and look over everything else and realize those warm, fuzzy snippets of my day add up to a lot of smiling and a lot of happiness.

Sitting here in the quiet, I’m enjoying ice cold water from my favorite water bottle and looking back at my week. It’s just what I needed. With a smile on my face, I’m taking the time to write it down to remind myself how important it is to take pleasure in the memories of the little things in life.