“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


days go by

sunday morning: cleaning just enough to call it that, the television on: the rise & fall of the third reich, which gave me chills, and gladiator, which somewhat ditto, but at least there was russell crowe.

still no images, back to blogging only words.  it feels like less decoration, like more truth, like opening my soul but keeping my heart all to myself.  such yada yada yada, such overthinking, such an excuse for what is probably just laziness.  i just know what i know and pictures aren't part of what i know right now.

what i know:  there is a blue jay in the empty wisteria vines, circling, circling, fluttering through the open spaces, up and down and back and up.  there is a blue sky behind him, white clouds, the honking of a horn.  a warmish sunday after a coldish week.

monday morning:  the wind is up and sounds hard, speaks of gloves and a scarf.  blows leaves away from the front door, sends the cat scurrying to nestle next to me in bed.  i am too lazy to wash my hair, to even talk myself out from under these covers, but the house feels cold and i need to check the heater.  it is teetering on its last legs, and goes off several times each day.  sputtering its way to the end.

the small tree next to my bathroom window is coming down.  on purpose, because i once thought it was a flower and let it grow, but it turned out to be a tree with roots whose fingers are beginning to scrabble their way beneath the house, and so, it must go.  i'm sad to say goodbye - both maggie the cat and skye cat made much use of its shade, and i liked the coolness of its greens against the summertime window, but now the sunshine will have an easier way in.

thursday morning:  2 cold days and nights and though it will warm up today, i woke in a bad mood, could feel the badness in my dreams, dreams of running late and lost shoes and words i had to read aloud, rushing my way into the the realness of day.

i have been writing, but not showing anyone, just words for me for the rightnowness of things, and when i told that to the ever wonderful michael, he laughed and asked if that wasn't much the same as if a tree falls in a forest . . . ?, and i laughed right back, but he's wrong even if i love him.  those words aren't ready, still growing, and so . . . the dream.  that pushy thing.

these words are small, like the wren-sized sparrows on the road, or maybe they are wrens, i can't tell, but there are tons of them on the red bricks, apparently finding a plentiful breakfast.  closer to the house there are cardinals, breakfasting on the lawn, resting in the hackberry tree.  and now a mockingbird.  and now the sparrows moving closer, close enough i can see they are sparrows, swooping past the windows, waking the cat.

it's brown and dull out there, the sky is gray, almost white.  some dark pink blossoms on a bush behind a neighbor's house, but i have no idea what they are.


the truth about things is that i can't out loud write about the truth of things right now.  writing no longer heals me, at least, i don't know, maybe it does, but maybe like all medicines, i have to get the dosage right.  maybe those words i am writing are keeping my spirit alive.  just this.  i will tell you this.  my brother is sick.  very.  i am struggling to write about even the sparrows when my heart is hurting.  it's the kind of hurt that requires a paintbrush, i think, and that chair a friend found on the street, the one he brought me to paint.  nothing heals, for me, like a paintbrush when art is not the objective.

maybe this weekend.  maybe there will be pictures.  



a long list of short tweets

when or before i follow someone on twitter, i read their favorites.  those tweets they have saved for whatever reason.  the ones that made them laugh or touched their heart or made them nod their heads in agreement.  and sometimes, i go back to their favorites and find someone else to follow, after, of course, checking that  person's favorites.  the favorites list tells me more about the person than the tweets they themselves have tweeted.  i have less favorites than so many of my friends.  i'm on twitter less, follow (and am followed by) fewer people, and, in truth, i often forget about the favorite feature.  this morning i remembered and went back to read what i'd saved.

it looks long, but it reads fast, and it makes me smile.  and it's probably (no doubt) lazy blogging, but here it is, in chronological order.  You will see some familiar names.  Kindred souls.

 3 Oct 2011
Write your story so that I see my story through you.

if bookcases are tidy, no one is reading the books :)

When I whistle into the wind, I know my own sound though it blends into the air

I just love when the fat rabbit drops by in the afternoon to eat apple slices. She's a GrannySmith girl.

Obama to women: "Deficit? Don't fret your pretty little heads. Here, I brought flowers and a heart-shaped box of birth control."

A robin keeps chasing the catbird away from the apple slices on the hill, even though he doesn't want them himself. Make your own metaphor.

It was too hot to leave the windows open. I left them open anyway.

The viciousness seeps out of the air; a south carolina day becomes a south carolina night.

My grandfather built my grandmother a laundry chute when he built their house. That's how she knew he loved her.

Life keeps drawing all these lines, and I keep choosing to erase them.

In a cottage up the lane, a student practices Scott Joplin on an old upright; one cricket under the redbud fills in the missing notes.

The night's silence was absolute at 4.38am, at the first suggestion of light, the chorus began, 4.39am... love the sounds of the aussie bush

Everyday epic = oxymoron

Man, I hate it when Buddhists get all 'emptier than thou.'

What happens if you take an Instagram inside a hipster bar? Is that like dividing by zero or something?

A novel tells you a story. A poem helps you make up your own.

72° with a breeze. Feet propped up. Steaks on the grill.

No topo chicos? That makes Topo Gigio so sad; he say, "Debbieee, keees-a-me Goood Night."

Lookin' through the "housewar" section of the thrift store . . .

poetry was my first love, even before that boy.

Had I become a mathematician, I would know the cost of putting ten tiny houses on a hundred acres with an artist/writer/musician in each.

I have torn all the maps into shreds. Now, my journey begins.

It is a sad reflection upon gender-bias in 2013 America that amongst all of this debate surrounding the NSA, the WNSA barely gets a mention.

When your Italian neighbour leans over and hands you a bag of cherries freshly picked from his tree ♥

Facebook needs to add an "overshare" button.

I love it when the 4 o'clocks are open at 8:30. 😊

People coming to gig: 0. Replies from Anderson Cooper: 0. Coincidence?

It's August 2013 and I STILL haven't won the lottery. I'm tired of this racism.

scientific fact: food tastes better with your bra off.

omg omg omg omg omg I'm crying, this means so much to me, though no one would understand it!

Was blessed this morning with a small rain shower, followed by a full rainbow. The moon appeared under the rainbow. No camera. Didn't care.

I felt like I was close to settling in, and then we unpacked that box of perfection. It spilled out everywhere.

Got kicked out of a gun shop for open-carrying a Starbucks.

The baby woke up... Nobody move...

It took me an hour to turn back all my clocks; I have squandered my daylight savings.

So quiet where I am. Moon is 3/4 , stars are out...not blazing. To the east ,a falling star and paths unbeaten. Red wind scarred skin.

Hey, there's no law that can't be fixed by hot-gluing some more laws on top of it.

Just heard most epic station announcement: "Will the gentleman in the hall please extinguish his marijuana cigarette & put whiskey away."

You can't teach an illiterascist.

she gets her exercise opening the refrigerator and slapping me for saying so

Me: "Dad, it shouldn't take this long to choose bread." Dad: "Clearly, you know nothing."

The ending of Annie Hall gets me every time.

best reason to stop being a grammar nazi: the sound-sex of it...

Fine green beans are LIFE.

Snowing at Ballenger Creek 3pm. Shot by my lovely assistant JoJo

Fucking is not an adjective RT Photoshop is not a fucking verb

Ahh, that moment on Abbey Road where Golden Slumbers becomes Carry That Weight. Saturday morning Beatles. Awesome.

God perfected the eye roll.

RT : The flatboatmen make fast toward dusk near the cottonwood or pekantrees, || Such a sentence.


what about you?
what are your favorite tweets?
what do you have saved against those days when you need a laugh, or a bit of reassurance?
please share.



small stuff, unless you were the squirrel

sunday afternoon early and there were hawks in the catawba tree, with a squirrel for their lunch.  we watched for two hours, laughing at the greediness of the male hawk, laughing louder when the female had had enough and pushed him off the tree onto a nearby roof.  she moved from tree to tree, squirrel in hand, and settled in a sycamore behind our house.  he followed, setting up guard, soaking up sunlight.  us too.

the neighbor catty-cornered across the street was not interested.  he had inside things to do.  



saturday january, soft and bright

morning sun through a back window.  by midday i have to squint my eyes against its brightness and by late afternoon the room is blinded.  at 2 a.m., a neighbor's porch light throws shadows of the trees across the walls and refrigerator, and lights my way to the freezer for ice, while the moon, falling away from full, sits high in the opposite sky and whitewashes the back porch.

the truth about light.
it enchants us.
even the darkness is defined by the stars.

calendars track the length of days and follow the moon, and stories are better told around a campfire.  at night i read by the light of my kindle's cover, and my cat rubs against it, making her own lightning, sending it shimmering around the darkened bedroom, dark, sparkle, light, daaark, light.  i light candles for prayers and hopes and wishes, and let them burn too long, their wicks curling back into the hot wax.  winter is celebrated with fairy lights and summer with sparklers, and you can never have too many windows, at least not here in texas.  at day's end, not yet sunset, as the sun begins to disappear, i sit and i try to not think.  feet up, drink in my hand, cat nestled next to me.  i wait for the night and the stars and porch lights to show up and come on.  the soft time of day, full of whispers and exhales.

this evening, today's not yet night soft time of day, the trees seem all limbs and bones from the ground up, tiny leaves still tipping the ends of twigs, the weather coldish but the doors open and my feet bare.  the sky is the color of a pearl.



beginning ending

no one ever touches him, not on purpose anyway; there is no doubt the odd brushing of shoulders with this person or that as he buys groceries, and it must be as soul killing for a man in his 58th year as for an infant abandoned to a parent's coldness.  there are small hugs when he allows himself to attend small christmases with what's left of his family, but after that there are only those accidental touches, and the hands of nurses when he finds himself in the hospital once again.  there is a cat or two at his house, but they come and go as they please, usually only to be fed, and then out again into the wild.  i tell myself they brush against his ankles as he opens the food cans (surely, surely), hope they jump onto his lap now and then, but even so, even if, i know it isn't enough.  his loneliness is swallowing him, not whole, not in any way close to humane - a quick killing and he gone - but in small bits and pieces that stab and hurt and never ever heal.

he stops paying his bills.  first the electricity.  then the rent.  the phone is paid for by a friend, and his water comes from a well, so they stay.  gas has been turned off for years.  the car insurance is forgotten, but it makes no difference - his car never moves.  he stops all communication, and ignores the landlady when she calls and calls and calls again for rent.

he retreats.  secludes himself with alcohol, keeps his windows covered against the daylight, and changes his door locks lest in a weak forgotten moment he has given out a key.  his phone mailbox is always full, he listens only now and again, deleting just one or two of the hardest messages; he speaks to his family through the door, and then only sometimes, almost never. mostly he sits in the darkened house, the house with no heat or light, and pretends he doesn't hear.  stays silent.

he leaves his mail in the mailbox out on the road.  it happens suddenly fast, this downhill slide you knew would come.


in january, the landlady files a vacate notice, but he remains silent, except to tell you to slide his mail under the back door.  the door never opens.


i shiver
not from the cold

goosebumps down my back
my arms shake



macgyvering my life

time will heal, and just let go.
open your pretty fingers,  nails polished, cuticles perfect, and just let go.
let it drop let it fall and keep walking don't look back it will be all right.

the way i once thought.  before stuff happened.  when i saw letting go as a photograph: bare feet, dress in a spring breeze, an arm, a hand, fingers open, a slip of paper falling to the ground.  how beautiful letting go seemed.  how wonderful to be that empty hand, freed from the weight of carrying whatever-it-was around.  and though i still see the picture, that hand falling back into the natural rhythm of walking, the sigh of relief, the loosening of tight shoulders, it makes me laugh.

i started the year knowing dismantle was my word, knowing that if you want to rebuild, you have to tear some stuff down.  i tweeted those words, and a friend offered me the loan of a hammer, because that's what real friends do.  here,  they say, i have this extra hammer, and also some old nails i'll never use, and i'll look around for that stapler.   they also know to step back and let you do the work.

letting go is hard damn work.  letting go means walking around the thing-that-must-be-gone for a long time. looking at it from every possible angle, in every possible light.  it means sitting with your hurting heart and whispering apologies and explanations for how you got this way, and it means living with the not knowing how to fix it, but picking up a sledge hammer and knocking a hole in the wall anyway.  it means crying when you see that hole, but my god, it means you've begun and there's no going back, and it means you begin to smile.

dismantling requires tools you don't have, or tools you think you need but really don't, because most of what you need is probably shoved in the wayback of your junk drawer, old things you've forgotten about.  those things, and your hands full of broken fingernails, and a foot willing to kick out and over those things that need to be kicked.  when they fall to the ground and the dust settles, you'll need different tools to rebuild, and you probably think you don't have those either, but trust me, you do.  you don't need a new pink anything.  you can borrow from friends.

this is real life.  this is getting dirty and sweaty and swearing when a splinter finds you.  it's old cowboy boots that will need a new sole when you're done.


not such a pretty word.
but it's where i'll be this year.
dismantling words, ideas, notions, preconceptions, betrayal, heartbreak, grief,
summer days and late mornings.

tearing down the walls.
kicking out the jams.