Sunday, September 13, 2009


Somewhat ironically, after I write a nice long post yesterday that glibly suggested suicide can be prevented with the ease of a creative mind or will, I discover that one of my sweet, artistic friends, Jan, has killed herself.

She was a wonderful, warm, and beautiful person, much loved and greatly missed. Goodbye Jan. You brightened the lives of all those who knew you. I hope you found a balm for your spirit.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Be a Vulture

I swiped this short play from Ada Limon's post on linebreak:

Owl & Deer Discuss Poetry: A Short Play

Deer: “Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from writing.”

Owl: “No.”

Deer: “Yeah, you’re right.”

Owl: “I know that I feel my best when I’m writing. It’s like, I think I want to just give up and then suddenly I’m writing a poem and it’s like, wow, life is awesome! Poets may be the only people in the world who could save themselves by writing their own suicide note.”

Deer: “It’s true, I love the new book I’m working on. I mean, it’s completely incomprehensible and unreadable, but I love it.”

It's adorable, yes, but when the owl said, "Poets may be the only people in the world who could save themselves by writing their own suicide note." I thought YES! That kind of eternal yes that reacts to more than what was said, but beyond it to reflection, experience, and hope. I know personally that when things get bad, and whoa they have been pretty bad, I always, inevitably think: there is a poem in this.

Even if you're not a poet, you still don't need to kill yourself. What I mean is, when you are desperate and life is pulling out your fingernails, there is still a jewel there. A story, a painting, anything... whatever floats your rubber ducky. It's a driving force toward expression and change.

I was reading The Secret Language of Birds by Adele Nozedar and discovered that the word "cathartic" comes from the Latin word for "Turkey Vulture", "Cathartes Aura." This is because of the vulture's habit of eating rotting flesh, and in the days of no sanitation or plumbing, this was truly a gift. The bird was often seen as a deity in many pre-Christian cultures including the Latins, Egyptians, and Aztecs. Nozedar writes,"The birds were seen as transformers of waste and decay, rendering everything clean and wholesome again. In addition, vultures only take what they are given; they do not kill in order to eat."

Be a vulture. If there is death, decay, waste, and gore in your life, then process it into something "clean and wholesome again." We can't avoid pain, but we can use that experience to broaden our understanding and practice of love.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"By Boat" in Chantarelle's Notebook

Yes, I was so busy reading The Secret Language of Birds by Adele Nozedar that I forgot to mention that my poem, "By Boat" came out in issue number 17 of Chantarelle's Notebook, which is an excellent online literary journal.

Please check it out!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Picture Time

I wrote a children's book a few years ago and never did anything with it outside of college. Today L and I are illustrating. He's a truly talented artist, it just so happens.

Then I will begin the publishing song and dance. But I think it will be fun. It's tentatively called, Swimming with Honu. It's about a Hawaiian girl who goes on a magical, environmentally conscious adventure.

And speaking of L., it's his birthday! Happy Birthday, handsome! I wrote him a poem, and that's all he wanted. He doesn't even want to go out. But, he's the birthday chickadee, so he calls the shots. It's so funny how different we are. For my birthday in July I had a list of demands:

1. A French Martini. They only make them at Soho
2. L must draw me a picture
3. Spend all day in Cork city frolicking (closest attraction...)
4. Another drink in my favourite pub, The Corner House
5. Sunshine
6. Adoration
7. Pictures of puppies, baby ducks, and chickadees
8. More adoration

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Full moon and sun

This cosmic inhalation is balanced by an exhalation. This culture values the solar energy of physical action. Work is done in the daylight hours. But without reflection and introspection, action is worth little. Times of darkness or not doing are often seen as frightening, but really the unknown is sacred. In that space we see the truth in reflection and the mystery becomes the gift of wisdom. In the dark we hold onto what we love. Give thanks at the full moon. Ask for something if you need it, and add 'and it harm none.' The darkness is divine, the moon a great goddess. Always speak with your beaming tongue.