So easily a soul becomes lost though nothing seemed to have changed externally to cause it. The mind can be a terrible place, full of things to sway one back to the past, not a good place for my mind to be or stay.

And the critic? The critic is so used to being the boss, she also hogs the stage beating at me until nothing is left of the person created who is liked and feels full with self-esteem.

Coming back to center takes a bit of work, but mostly time. Grass by the creek moves gently with the breeze relaxing me with birdsongs pacifying my spirit while remembrances of all the times Mother Nature held me when my real mother didn’t have the time or willingness.

Thinking of her, my real mother, gone now for 12 years. And why now? Perhaps it is that a friend from childhood has died, one of two friends who loved me so thoroughly that my own mother’s love paled in comparison.

To know a dear loved one is gone from this world leaves a hole. To look at origin family members to fill it is like drinking poison. Only because they are no longer on pedestals, but are real humans with as many foibles as me or more.

At least so many years of therapy helped with my sanity. Thinking that duty calls for me to help if possible, it is much more feasible that each of them seek their own therapy. It is not my responsibility, nor is it healthy. Keeping my own sanity when falling into the pit of depression is enough of a job.

And it does call, and too often. A movie, a dream, anything brings back the past and sometimes with a boom, whacking me down, a machete of memories that takes much will to pull out of. A thicket of the past too easily tangling me to become mired in.

Mucking out of that quicksand to the present, to the moment, to the beauty around me that yesterday looked so bleak. All in one’s mind, a tricky place that takes will to direct and adjust the direction as to how I want to live— in the present with gratitude, peace, and love.

Find ‘her’, the person you’ve worked so hard to build, give ‘her’ all the love, care, and gentleness you never were able to give ‘her’ before. It is OK to love you. Only then can you truly love others.

Live to Love?

Reading this on another site gave me pause as late at night in the dark when trying to sleep a great sorrow descends, and I feel like an empty cave. Years were lost between me and my little brother.

We had a disagreement that caused a rift, the sorrow reawakened as we begin to tentatively get to know each other again. The same sorrow felt when the rift first happened, a sorrow so deep it felt like an open bleeding wound.

“It hurts so bad,” I said to my therapist at the time.

“Don’t feel it,” he said.

I pay for this? His advice did not take away the pain. And that same pain revisits. It was easier when not trying to spend time with Stevie again, the door kept shut. But is that living? Not loving because it hurts too much?

And my harsh self kicks my butt over and over for allowing a rift in the first place. Maybe it’s time to let go of what could have been, and be here now with what is. Not to disavow a feeling, just not allow it to consume me.

That hollow sorrow remains for many reason, not all having to do with blaming myself. There was no way at that time to do better. Just living took everything in me, not much left for the nuances of close relationships.

And that is still true. Though effort is put forth to understand others, understanding my own feelings and actions takes time alone and is confusing enough. The sorrow running so deeply in me has to do with what was lost, gone forever.

Perhaps it is simply that we each must struggle on our paths alone, with help sometimes, but every road is singular, and figured out by the one walking it.


Unease builds as we approach what should be a joyous event at the capitol. But due to one with evil intent, the occasion is already marked with blood, desecration, and unbridled hatred towards America by Americans. Traitors, eviler than any other terrorists around the world, these white losers, these hate mongers, make me sick to my stomach.

Violence invades my dreams, tossing and turning throughout the night, concerned for courageous leaders I’ve grown to love and respect. The leaders of good and worth who will lead us out of this hell into the light. I pray for their safety as these pigs cause death and mayhem.

All that is good now threatened by white men who have not found a life of decency. So they find prominence by killing their fellow Americans. Pigs of destruction, that is your obituary.


photo by Patricia

There will come a time when looking back, what is happening now will be less traumatic. Living through it is traumatic. My escape is eating, eating so much nothing else can be thought of except that. Eating fear works but with a toll, self-loathing. 

It eats me up with no room for escape making everything worse and harder, even sleep. Waking, or not falling asleep, with an urgency close at hand, the emergency is internal adding to the external chaos.

What I do matters. If actions are used that are self-destructive such as over-eating, dread increases, even if unconsciously. My body knows it isn’t able to remain stable if fed incorrectly or too much. No wonder sleep evaded me. The threat to life was me.

Living through this is traumatic. While walking the meadow on a sunny morning, spring renewing herself with green adornments growing daily, my thoughts uncovered a truth. Even without the virus’s taunts of death and sickness looming every moment, my life has been much like that anyway.

Threats to life were everywhere, in every person, around every corner, my hyper-vigilance since the eight only compounding as each year passed. This additional threat topples me over the edge even while trying to act nonchalant about it.

Whether alcohol, shopping, food, or drugs, SOMETHING needs to take me away from the truth of so much suffering. Yet that isn’t the answer. Taking a stand does. Stand up in the middle of it. Do what can be done to be healthy.

A friend calls, the first in the last many weeks, and we spend time together on the phone as if we were together. My friendships are precarious due my issues of trust, or lack of it, compounded with the inability to speak up for myself causing great anger when taken advantage of.

Yet some friendships have endured and are so needed right now. They are fresh air compared to any interaction with the origin family whose own baggage interferes with any chance of closeness.

A failed zoom meeting will be tried again with our little group of five who have met consistently each month for many years. We are all less capable with these digital things than our grown children who are adept at computers and their workings.

Time was again spent in my studio after being absent from it for many months. Rolling out clay to be baked in the kiln, music playing gently in the background while the cat hunched on the shelf curiously looking down at me as incense burned… my hands worked with satisfaction.

All things nurturing are so precious right now…


photo by Patricia

My Mom died 11 years ago, May 9th. Years passed as the grief lessened, never grieving anyone as she was grieved. It was springtime, only weeks away from today, and thoughts of her have cropped up more lately than years passed even at the anniversary date.

“Samuel, my thoughts go to Mom frequently lately. I think it has to do with the similarity of feelings then and now. The beauty of spring bursting forth, at the same time unbearable feelings of loss as she became sicker. It is much like now, the glorious grandeur of spring and the horror of death with no end in sight,” I said thoughtfully, wondering at the complexity of feelings inside myself with no apparent names to define them. 

He nods and walks away. Samuel is not a talker unless it’s about how a motor works, or should work. And living with Samuel goes along fairly well during this imposed togetherness. We are together most of time anyway, but he seems almost clingy sometimes causing my need for space and separateness to intensify. 

Just because a person doesn’t talk about their feelings doesn’t mean they don’t have any. He must feel scared too, leaning on me in his own quiet way. 




photos by Patricia

This period in our lives is stunning, an event unimagined. These things happen to other eras, not mine. Then the start in of why now, why us?

Which does nothing to help with the fortitude necessary going forward, remembering the extreme, difficult periods of ancestors; polio, World Wars, the Spanish Flu, and if going farther back, plagues and other maladies wiping out populations en masse.

Each day the situation needs acceptance all over again. Waking, the first thought is the pandemic with imposed isolation which may need a new normal once a vaccine is found. My own situation ought not to depress me.

We aren’t in a city where the streets are off limits with parks closed or exposing one to danger if too busy. But the knowledge that there’s no escape is confining. There is nowhere to run. That is another life lesson accepted daily even before this began.

Nowhere to run. It is a time of continued introspection. While many find comfort in their religious faith by gathering on-line, my quest is an inner one, into my body opening my heart. We are together in spirit no matter what religion, faith, or belief- separate as one.





It couldn’t be true that fear lay in my belly. Cocooned in our little home, my belief is I’m above becoming terrified of an arriving virus. Yet why suddenly had eating without hunger become all consuming? There is usually a reason, especially after all was going so well.

The robotic state of constant numbness from overeating returns instantly when fear seeps in. You’re making excuses, the harsh voice whips. Am I? Could it be terror? Yes, terror. Never far away especially when feelings of victim-hood, helplessness, or powerlessness visit.

Eating it away doesn’t make it go away, only boxes it in wrapped with self-hate. I can do without the hate. Only with compassion can the terror be unearthed, real terror that feels shameful as if it is something to hide.

But on the news the influx of others seeking therapeutic assistance has increased greatly, even if virtually on-line for safety reasons. Those with anxiety or depression issues are hit especially hard. Duh.

It is with compassion that acceptance of real feelings and my whole self occurs. That’s missing when the eating machine emerges. Food was, and is, the bank vault locking in terror tightly so that daytime life can go on. Not good sustenance at all, just a habit since age 8, a survival tool that hinders my health and well-being.

As a child that was what mother insisted. Go on as if nothing happened Love your brothers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, monsters who look human. Nighttime terror locked in daily with food, the one thing she gave freely.

Identifying the terror is the first step. Then do all that you can to protect yourself, especially while out in public which is very little except picking up groceries and other items. Even that is being curbed as much as possible. My friends continue church services, and attendance in chorale and other groups. Which is why I am not going to attend our upcoming monthly gathering, or the next month’s.

As one not involved in group things, seeing them exposes me to their perspective groups of people. Each of their families, kids, and grand-kids, and all the separate churches because each belongs to a different church. So our little gathering of 5 exposes me to a much greater population.

At the risk of anyone saying I’m overdoing it, feeling safe needs focus and respect. I’m worthy of listening to my own rationale as an intelligent person, not going along with others because they know best, or because getting together doesn’t worry them.

It worries me. They don’t know what’s best for me, only I do. The hammerings of  negatives in my head are not coming from others, only me. Just say no, and know you are doing the right thing. 

Do what can be done to protect myself. Accept that terror is there which helps lessen it. Come back into myself, into each moment, feeling the new thick carpet under my bare feet in the bedroom. The sparkle from hanging gems sending prisms dancing on the wall as the sun sets, an orange orb that dazzles my eyes with brilliance

Come back to this precious moment. Each one comes never to come again. Be here now.  


photo by Patricia

Waking, the same dead dragging feelings wake too always present in my core needing work to banish and confront. Sipping coffee rocking by the fire, watching the cat pretend hunt on the porch through the sliding glass doors, the question presents itself— why?

Why always awaking with pessimism framed with rocks of depression? Why goes back to Chet, not the first attacker, but one who held me captive long after the attacks stopped. Captive in badness. Knowing it wasn’t my fault wasn’t known then.

Like weeds overtaking gardens with deeper, tenacious, stronger roots than flowers, thoughts and beliefs that developed in childhood grew thick and heavy, solidly intertwined, and muscled. Hack away at it, they grow back while sleeping waking as if all that happened was yesterday.

The feelings, the heaviness of blackness believing myself bad, abnormal, abhorrent really, not fit to be born, surely not fit to live, craving relief from the pain even if it meant thoughts of death for decades to come.

Why? Isn’t laughter, light and joy part of being alive too? Can’t these feelings dance? Why must the feelings upon waking be so forlorn? What else is there? As the delicious black brew is enjoyed, more of what’s hidden wakes too.

Wind blows through the tree limbs with a song as geese fly overhead, nature melodies comforting. Spring, a time to dance, play and laugh, as in any season if one tries, but spring is especially exciting. 


Younger Brother

One week later, a call to my brother as promised, but this time earlier in the day. Surprisingly he pulled over while driving in order to talk to me. In the past calls became unheard of, chatting non-existent, time on the phone or on-line? Nix. 

Exposing myself to his pain is so difficult. Falling asleep took two hours longer even though our conversation was way before bedtime. Coincidence? Not wanting a sleep aid, nor wanting to get up to watch the TV, my inner voice commanded gently, stay.

And sleep did come after my rat brain took a twirl into the past, merging with the present; thoughts painful, memories sad. His son, my nephew, put himself into the psych hospital for a 72 hour commitment.

That is the most he will do for himself. My sister-in-law flew out to release him sooner, give him another credit card because he lost the one they gave him, and will fly back after he is walking the streets where he lives again… until the next episode. The streets are his home, all news to me after my brother shared it just last week .

My brother did not talk about his daughter either, not knowing about her serious drug problem until the day she died 7 years ago. Too late to do anything, to listen at least, to do something to have possibly saved her not that I could have. She was thirty years old, he is 35.

My head whirls into the past when Danny was so spaced out near the end when his last attempt at suicide succeeded. If the person afflicted will take no help is there hope?

Medication, counseling, and a case manager to oversee his mental state week to week once stabilized is crucial. All these necessary interventions won’t occur if he won’t cooperate.

And he won’t, or just enough to keep himself barely going. They bought him a new phone after losing one, and track what he’s doing by the credit card. What else can they do?

Sleep took two hours to come . Checking in with my younger brother is a choice I cannot abandon even if painful and worrisome. 


Though feeling greatly improved by day two, it takes the body longer to fully heal after an intestinal bout. Walking one day was work without pleasure. Just do it because joints need oiling, and other systems like fresh oxygenated blood.

But yesterday, the sky azure like a robin’s egg, sun warming my shoulders, walking brought so much pleasure laps were doubled from 5 to ten, each one savored. Some days are like that, you just have to be out in them.

The yellow meadow has dried to softer hues, less interesting. But more hickory nuts crunch under my shoes as squirrels are busy eating and storing. It brings a chuckle in the winter to see them dive into snow looking for their treasures.

The quiet mornings with the loss of migrating songbirds brings a loneliness for what’s passed. My friend who died several years ago is missed more sharply, and my mother which was ten years ago.

Wistful for what was, enough time has passed that neither loss is still fresh with pain. Just a slight ache to once again interact with the rare few whose presence brought comfort and joy.

The beauty of fall seems to come with that longing, of things dying wishing they wouldn’t, wanting to hold on, learning to let go, and accepting what is.