photo by Patricia

There always seemed to be something to conquer, and everything felt like a battle…to keep my head above water, to swim against the tide, or walk against the wind, everything was a struggle. As my life moves into later years the battle whimpers into a peace of sorts, making peace with the past, accepting the peace that comes now, and stopping the war within.

Yes, you are OK, all parts of you. And this reminder is needed each day. You are OK, and you don’t have to conquer the world that continues to be disappointing and cruel. It is OK to enjoy an easy, quiet life because even this one is not easy; taming the thoughts, and adjusting to the body’s weaknesses which don’t match the age of my mind.

It took courage to keep going all those years, and it is a relief to be over with it, yet it takes courage to face each day now with new struggles. Be your best, and do your best, which includes first doing those things that support a healthy life; healthy thoughts, nutritious food, adequate exercise, and doing those things that bring peace, comfort and satisfaction, like the time in the studio when I’m present and at peace.

But also it includes striving to be a better wife, mother, grand-mother and friend. That is enough, more than enough.



photo by Patricia

Holding myself still trying to curb the anxiety that wells each morning as the day begins. It is not my forte to accept the underlying humanness that others hide so well too. But there it lies. How to live with it?

Call it jealousy, or envy, and envy might better describe the feeling because others are welcome to their gifts but not me. Not gifts from money, but the centeredness that seems to come for others that continues to be a struggle for me.

Women especially, who offer love and warmth easily and enjoy closeness including their bodies being close to other people. When that happens my space feels closed in, claustrophobic, and it is hard to breathe.

Confidence in self is fleeting and the old haunts of feeling less than and out of place re-visit too easily. Grounding myself is a daily task. Just remember, you don’t have to do anything, go anywhere, or be anything other than what you are. Just be. It’s OK.  


The Rush

photo by Patricia

The sun shone warm, the air invigorating, my spirit soared and too many chores were tackled leaving me drained and out of sorts. Too easily rushing, forgetting limitations, wanting to achieve so much with the roaring good weather accompanied by the lift in mood led me to overdo.

Beautiful flat rocks from the hedgerow for use in the studio were brought up in the wheelbarrow. A few trips uphill with the extra weight made my heart pump too hard and too fast. Did the floors really have to be mopped after that?

The afternoon was spent recovering and not feeling well.

Go at a pace you can handle, a good thing to remember as the days grow longer, and Spring hurdles me into the stratosphere…  You needn’t try to keep pace with others, but only your own. Respect that, it is enough. 


photo by Patricia

With the cat nestled in my lap by the fire while sipping freshly ground perked coffee, the thought arises that things couldn’t be much better; not always easy, but good. Our sons have achieved what any parent would want them to, college, finding a life partner, having kids… There’s no way to know what other challenges or heartbreak they might face, but they will do so with a wholeness I never had and a full arsenal of talents and abilities.

Holding Samuel’s hand as we sat by the creek in the Adirondack chairs I said, “We’ve done good, you and me. The things that needed doing we did. We worked hard and it shows. Not just the financial part but other things.”

He nods, not much of a talker. We sit a long while in the stillness listening to the songbirds and the rush of water over the falls farther down just watching the current flow.

As Spring makes her appearance in little things, like tiny green budding on the Honeysuckle bushes, and Snowdrops sprouting in patches, so does my happier self, emerging from Winter’s darkness.

Satisfaction comes with small achievements which are miracles to me, a full night of sleep, being in more moments fully rather that spiraling ahead to the next, working contentedly in the studio, and allowing this simple life to be enough without grinding myself down by requiring more.

The very top of the list of satisfying jobs well done is two healthy sons with lives of their own who want me in their lives and spend time with us almost daily by phone or skype.

A New Day


photo by Patricia

Cracking the door before Samuel wakes, fresh air drifts in with the trill of the red-winged black birds. A feeling of settledness stems from the core outward as other birds who’d left for warmer places add to the twittering chorus. After a still winter, silent as a tomb, the songs longed for fill my ears once again.

Animals do things that we term as bad, but they don’t dwell on their shortcomings or mistakes thinking themselves bad for what they’ve done. Maybe they tore apart the garbage to lick to scrapes. Then lick themselves clean with great satisfaction and a full belly.

You can be like an animal, free of nagging constant self-recriminations. No matter what you have done, you didn’t murder someone, you didn’t do a ‘bad’ thing. You acted in a way to meet your needs. Understand why, and reach out to her, don’t reject her with scathing repulsion. Maybe the action interfered with other needs. Today’s a new day. Don’t let yesterday cloud it.

When the Soul Speaks

photo by Patricia- our favorite Adirondack lake at sunset

Red-winged black birds are back, their trilling can heard down by the creek. Now the hunt is on for the first robin because they must also have returned. Unusual heat continued through morning so we pulled chairs onto the pool deck and sipped coffee with our bare arms exposed to the sun.

Soon the breezy wind caused the temperature to plummet twenty degrees and the windows were shut tight to the cold.  The studio beckoned me. A piece arose easily as if it were meant to be and I was just a conduit for its birth.

The PTSD beast sleeps. The lull in the usual upheavals sustains, the balance and repose nourishes. When the soul speaks it is not always about pain but what might take flight out of you if unburdened by it. 


The Soldier

photo by Patricia

Who was the girl who marched by day yet was terrorized by night. Why didn’t she break? What is she made of, this girl? Grit, and stamina, love and light. But how can that be? As she matured the night-time terrors awoke in the day bringing her down, wishing no life.

And as the years passed it became harder, not easier. She reaches out, grasps life-lines and accomplishes astounding miracles, but it takes it’s toll. Being out in the world where demons multiply wearied her soul; every live being if human could be deadly.

As she moves into the years when she knows she’s next in line to leave this world, the demons have submitted to her courage at confronting them…peace comes. Peace comes because she demands it, and the spirit she was born with stands defiant. 

She has learned to be soft and when to be hard. It is OK for both and essential. Instinct wells up, she listens and responds. She has herself back after a life away from her core.