Making good on the promise to live

I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing friends in life.  I’ve cherished every friendship (good and bad).  I believe we meet each other at the point in our lives when we need one another.  Even if the friendship doesn’t last, we come out having learned something about ourselves that we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the relationship. 

There are times when friendships leave you speechless.  When I just can’t find the words to encourage, console, chastize.  This poem came from one of those moments. 

p.s.  Thanks to Kara Helena for the most amazing photo.


Red. Flesh. Soul. Pride.

She stands in her own existence

            Wavering on a ledge

            Peering into a painful past

                        And she hears a whisper

            So loud that she’s taken aback

                        But pain muffles the words.

Her gaze darts heavenward

            Beyond the impending agony

Shiny, stunning blade

            Sleek, intricate silver

Slices air toward the destination

            …or destiny.

            And in a flash the

Silver blade of integrity slices her soul

            And she bleeds

She bleeds

            Hot streams of pride

            Icy shards of selfishness

            Burning streams of jealously

            Razor shards of anger

And the air rushes in as the

            Toxic poisons pool at her feet.

She reaches for the wound





Her soul

            Quietly cries songs of joy.

And again she hears the whisper


            Until the words are crisp and powerfully clear

“Breathe. Life. Into your Future.”



Seeking Serenity

This was written when I was in my 20’s.  I was not unlike a lot of single moms.  My saving grace was that I figured out that I didn’t have to feed the reality of the monster!    Enjoy.


My Serenity is repelled by my reality

I’m baffled

              When I actually have a moment to ponder

              Not sure how it can actually be true that

My ancestors lived their lives in harmony with


                Each other

                The world

                Serenity simply a daily companion

And here…I… am…

I fight, day in and day out

                Hoping to escape the jaws of a (not-so) imaginary monster that

                Threatens my own life if

                I don’t feed it

                                Paper green food or

                                Shiny silver snacks

But how?

How do I provide coveted little morsels to

                The greedy beast

                When I struggle to

                Feed my own?

Ah, yes…there it is

                The struggle

                That I share with the world

More and more these days, I find myself pondering

                The possibility of falling away

                Hiding out

                Running far, far away

                As we all do at some point

Slipping off behind the imaginary boundaries and into the solitude of Dine’tah

                Untouchable by the great white monster that

                Pushed us here in the first place

“Yes, sir!  I’ll go back to where I belong.  I’ll go back to where ‘my kind’ are.”

I’ll wait it out until

                The greedy beast stops growling and

                Slowly begins to wither with starvation and

                Eventually, dies


I’ll wait within the sanctity of Dine’tah

                Safe and protected

Live and learn to let my

Serenity find me.

A yeti named Nora.

I went to a rough elementary school in Albuquerque…imagine that?  If you recall, when you were in 3rd grade the 4th graders seemed like teenagers and the 5th graders seemed like adults.  You had to respect their seniority.   Well there was a near-college aged girl in 5th grade named NORA.  She was very respected…or feared.  In elementary school those two are synonymous.

The last day of school was a celebration when I was a 4th grader…summa time!   I remember this day vividly.  Before beginning my walk home (about three miles…up hill), I stopped to race a few kids on the monkey bars.  I did a few tummy turning spins on the tire swing.  I watched some kids gather for some kind of sports practice on the other side of the huge playground.  And then, after exerting all of my energy, I wiped the sweat from my brow and began the long migration home with all of the other kids who lived in my apartment complex…including NORA.

Nora and her gang were way ahead of me.  She walked ahead of her pack of friends.  She looked more like a chaperone than a peer…kinda yeti-ish (not to offend yeti lovers).   I kicked rocks and tried to waste time so that they could get far enough ahead of me…just in case of…you know…anything.

I was told by my Mom, over and over, “do not go off of the normal way home.  Don’t use the shortcuts.”  I didn’t understand why it mattered.  I was gonna get home no matter what….right?   (spoiler alert:  always listen to your mother!)

By this point, I had let NORA and her pack of wild hooligans get so far ahead of me that I didn’t see them anymore.  I thought for sure I was home-free.  I also realized that I very late.  So, I took the short-cut.  I was the only kid walking that way and it was kinda nice.  I had the street to myself.  I could dart back and forth across the empty street if I wanted…but, of course I didn’t.

I rounded the corner to an open field that sat below the street level of the busy road that I had to cross to get home.   As I rounded the corner, I heard the sounds of kids talking and laughing.  I didn’t want to look…but I did.   And yes, it was NORA and her mad posse.  They were hiding in the bushes and trees…boozing and smoking I assume.

“What are you looking at?”  She yelled.  I replied in silence.  I turned my head and sped up my pace.  If you recall, I used all of my energy earlier, so my “speed” wasn’t quite up to par.   Regardless, I think I only sped up in my mind, because they caught up to me in a split second.  Have you ever seen the movie Lost Boys?  You know the opening scene where the pack of hot vampires swoops down onto a car with two teenagers in it and rips off the roof and then devours them?  Yes, that’s what happened…except there was absolutely nothing appealing about this pack of blood-thirsty animals and I wasn’t old enough to drive a get-away car yet.

It was swift and quick.  I escaped with a few scrapes, a little bloody and pretty shaken.  Apparently, I must “looked” intimidating, since they kept saying that I need to watch how I looked at people.  But, I think it was a lie.  They were probably done with their pack of smokes and bored.

The cross-guard came running to help me up the path that led to the street.  She held me for a little bit before asking me where I lived.  I told her that I could see my apartment building from where we were standing.  Then I ran home….to my Mom.

I remember telling my Mom all about it through sobs and tears.  And she just stood, holding me and making sure that I wasn’t broken, externally, at least.

Fast forward to summa time.  Me and my Mom were going somewhere…but, first we had to stop and get something to drink at the 7 to 11 on the corner.  We pulled up right in front and then I saw her….NORA!  I slid down in the seat as far as I could.  I knew that she’d attack us both if she saw me!   I didn’t want to tell my mom…but, I think she had an inkling that something wasn’t quite right.  I finally managed to tell her from my near-fetal position on the floorboard that the woman/child in the 7 to 11 was, in fact, NORA.

“Which one…which one is she?”   she demanded.  I felt like saying, “the tall furry one with fangs!”  But, instead I reluctantly pointed her out with trembling hands.  She was in the store with her aunt…who, actually looked quite normal.

I kept low…like literally low…in the seat of the car while my mom marched in and had a few words with them.   She was in the store for what seemed like forever!  And then… it happened.  I heard a knock on the window.   My Mom and the aunt were standing behind a sobbing NORA!  I slooowly sat up and rolled the window down even sloooower.

“I’m sorry for what I did to you.”   She said.  I was speechless.  All I could manage was a nervous half-smile and a shrug.

But, what I was thinking was, “WHAAAA???  My Mom made NORA cry?!  YEEES!”

Actually, what my Mom did that day showed me how fierce, passionate, strong and gentle a Mother’s love can be all at once.  She’s always in my corner.  She’s always “got my back.”  She’s a source of my strength.  That is what I’ve learned from my Mom.  If I can only be a smidgen of the same to my daughters, then I’ve been successful as a parent.

To this day, if I tell her about how someone/something “did me wrong”…she’s the first to say, “tell me who it is and I’ll show them!”  And, I’m not kidding.  But, then we both chuckle at the thought of my little 4’11” Mom coming to “show them.”

I never did see Nora again.  I’m sure she’s grown now and has a pack of lovely children.  Oh and my Mom let me go to Rehoboth the next year when I was in 5th grade.  I eventually graduated from there with some wonderful memories.   Thanks, Nora!

And then there were two….

How did Erica get into my head (sans the Overlord refs)???  Interestingly, I stayed totally focused and understood every word of her post! 

Take a gander at her hilarity:  How Not to Stay Focused When Writing an Essay.

hhmm…IDEA!  Maybe if I could get Erica to blog about course prep for two 6-week summer classes, I might actually get that done too!

Olfactory recollection








I was sitting in traffic with my windows down on an unusually warm day in January when a passing fragrance gripped my memory.

                       I remembered that scent from my childhood. 

                       In an instant I left the confines of my car and traveled back in time.

I remembered the creak and hum of the tall cottonwoods that surrounded my grandparents farm.  We sat comfortably in their shade and played in the cool damp dirt that we found beneath the hard desert surface.

                      Little hands built hot wheel metropolises that we imagined existed beyond the front gate.

I remembered the sounds of talking and laughter as my mom, aunts and grandma tended to the handmade wire grill that rested atop a circle of river rocks a few feet from our front door.

The smell of the hot sizzling peices of meat trveled to our dirty little noses and hungry tummies as we waited impatiently for dinner.

I remembered the smell of the heavy rain drops that fell on the hot summer ground during monsoon season. 

The storms were slow to swell and quick to leave.  And almost always made me want to eat the dirt that smelled so clean and fresh.

I remembered the smell of my home.

Imaginary or not, it was a welcome respite from the life that I now live in a city hundreds of miles from an inherited existence that always finds ways of calling me back.

Hindsight blind

Anticipating, wanting, or call it “pining…”

Anyway you look at it, Meggie longed for a reunion.

She searched  – pecking at the keyboard – hopefully questioning others “left behind”

…but to no avail.

Her sister’s phone call one extra-ordinarily, ordinary night sent her into a relapse.

“An old friend of yours was here at the house last night.  Kevin…um…I’m not too sure what his last name was….”

Her adrenaline began rushing

                Her vision started to blur


                She gasps for air as she tries to complete her sister’s sentence

“Shuggs?” Meggie added.

“SHUGGS…that’s it!”

”Kevin Shuggs!   As if Meggie didn’t hear it the first time.

“Yea, he asked how you were doing.”

How was it possible that life could be so cruel?

Just days before that little hole in her heart was patched by a

Quiet, tall, dark and handsome dream….

He calmed her spirit and grounded her.

She has wished for this kind of love for so long…and how she was unsure.

Meggie gave up hope of every find that one –

                The one who slipped through the strings of her heart

To an eastern haven

To a place that so easily erased her memory from his soul.

And here he was…in the same town once again.

Days passed…and she didn’t hear any more about him.

Maybe it wasn’t her Shuggs.

Maybe he left just as quickly as he retuned

Maybe it was a different guy with the same name

Maybe…just maybe….she’d be ok.

She stepped out with some friends on Friday night

Across a dark, chatter filled room

Above the clank of barroom mugs and billards

They caught each other’s eye.

She silently screamed, “Is that really you?”

Her eyes straining to help her makes sense.

For a brief moment the adrenaline returned

Her heart skipped a beat and

Her soul jumped for joy in anticipation of finally re-connecting with Shuggs.

Then like a slow motion nightmare…they  approached

Meggie’s world turned a speckled grey and began closing in on her.

For a brief moment, they looked at one another

Then just as quickly he turned away

Out of force….out of self-preservation?

In a gesture of civility, he gave her a quick nod and said, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Calm and casual

A moment quick and fleeting

Just as calmly, he turned his eyes, not waiting for her answer

She watched Meggie and Kevin…for a sign…any sign

Anything that would signal the reality of a mutual past

A mutual past from so, so long ago

But…there was nothing.

And then that was it….

               They walked away.

The big bang that Meggie had waited years for… simply went

Pop and fizzle

Into oblivion

with nothing left to hope for

with nothing left to fear.

She was picked up later that night by her tall, dark handsome dream.

She hopped into his truck and slid right next to him

And nuzzled herself under his extended arm.

And when he asked her how her night was…she simply replied

“It was alright…but, it would’ve been better if you were there.”

He pecked her on the cheek

And his smile reassured her that he was all she needed.

ROF…minus the L, until now….

My kiddo and her friend were talking about fainting earlier this evening. They asked me if I had ever fainted. I said, “Yup, but only once.”

When I was 12 or so, we lived in the north valley in Albuquerque. It was an awesome little New Mexican style house with arched doorways, built-in bookshelves and no air conditioning! During the summer, me and my little sisters used to sleep in the living room with the front door open. We had a “retro” screen door that was half screen mesh and half tin…at least it sounded tin when we kicked it. It let the cool desert air in and the kept all the wild things contained, like me, my sisters and our cats.

One night, we were sleeping on the floor on a little pallet of blankets and sheets. In the middle of my blissful REM sleep, I heard the screams of our cat outside. Being the instinctual animal caretaker I am, I jumped out of my bed and in one swift move, began running to the door. But, as I ran the world began to spin sideways. I remember the sounds going away and grey speckles taking over my vision….and then….black.

I had fainted.

I had also fainted amidst full momentum towards the tin screen door. Meaning that my body continued to travel at the same “momentous” speed until I slammed into the door!

I awoke in a jumbled mess at the corner of the screen tin and our wooden front door. The horrid sound I made when I landed woke the whole house! My dad found me and kept asking if I was ok.

I had no idea what had happened. I wasn’t hurt. I couldn’t even explain what I was doing on the floor! What makes it even more hilarious is that I don’t even think my cat was outside.

A little dazed and confused, I simply crawled back to my bed and went back to sleep.

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