Category Archives: Life

A Young Empiricist


If thoughts were gold, this could buy the United States back from China.


Years ago two boys, ages 5 and 7, sat upon a rock ledge jutting out from the side of a gently sloping hill. The granite ledge was just high enough and wide enough to make a natural bench, providing an expansive view of the valley below. It was so many years ago that neither of the boys was old enough to know or understand the ‘facts of life’.

“We do too have a dad. Mom says all boys and girls have dads,” said Matthew, the younger of the two.

Tomas, two whole years older and thus oh so much more knowledgeable, replied, “Yeah, well mom also told us that Santa Claus was real. Remember that?”

“Other kids have them.”

“What Santa’s?”

“No, dummy, dads.”

“All of ’em? How do you know? What about Ron, huh? Where’s his dad? How come everybody *has* to have a dad? What if he doesn’t? Will he…

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So I’m Not Dying, It’s Decided, And Other Good News


Random token for the day: I quit smoking (!!!) a couple of weeks ago and finally stuck with it. Go me. 🙂

It was a long time coming. A pack and a half a day, of cigars. Cherry clove cigars, which are nowhere near as nasty or unattractive as they sound.

But I quit, so high five.

I’m still on these God-awful IV antibiotics (the side effects of which are a lot like Influenza on steroids), after a total of three surgeries for this flesh-eating nonsense (MRSA Cellulitis, and can you believe that that’s what it took for me to finally quit smoking?).

Three surgeries in two months. The kind of surgery where you go home with a ferocious open wound and have brutal daily home health visits to pack the wound –like a Thanksgiving turkey– with some sort of miracle gauze that costs as much as the boob job I never got. Almost.

I should be a tourist attraction, a guest star on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not or a featured act in Barnum and Bailey’s Side Show of Circus Freaks.

The whole thing sucks balls.

Totally off topic (sort of): have you heard about the mermaids? Actual mermaids. Barnum & Bailey’s claimed to have one in the 1920’s but the NYC warehouse in which it was stored burnt down in a terrific fire, three days prior to the mermaid’s grand debut– so no one believed it. There’s new scientific evidence (sound recordings and deep sea film footage too) suggesting that mermaids might well be an undocumented species. Honestly, look it up.

Anyway, I’m healing (which is wonderful) and finding encouragement in the most unexpected places. Prior to this infectious disease nonsense I planted fifty-eight random packages of flower seeds. You should see around my house now. A huge variety of flowers all standing at attention like some sort of triumphant reckoning with all the bad luck I’ve had. Hollyhocks and bright red sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias and peonies and nasturtum and hundreds of others all defiantly sprouting up like a pat on the back, as if to say “Hey mama, it’s all good.”

The honeysuckle too. It’s taken upon itself to spread out like a dog in heat across the perimeter of our property. The boys LOVE this.

You can’t imagine how wonderful it smells here, sitting on the front porch drinking sweet tea and not smoking for a change, resisting the awareness of what horrific pain I’m in and simply feeling grateful to be alive.

It really is the little things in life that become the big things.

Now go check out the mermaids for yourself. 😉

Dear World

Dear World

So, I’m in the hospital.

What started as a random ingrown hair quickly turned into a grapefruit-sized abscess (literally), and from there it progressed into a nasty case of MRSA Cellulitis.

After an immediate admission to the hospital and an extensive series of cultures, labwork, imaging tests, and consultations with infectious disease specialists and surgeons and many other doctors whose specialties I can’t recall — all of whom were dutifully dressed in their haz-mat suit-resembling ensemble — I was suddenly being wheeled into surgery.

The surgery was totally unexpected. It was invasive and cosmetically horrifying. Envision yourself coming out of anesthesia only to discover a massive, wide-open, gaping wound large enough to fit your entire fist inside — and deep enough to get halfway up your forearm. You think you’re grossed out?

Okay, I’ll spare you the rest of the details.

While in recovery from surgery, I developed another abscess. I’m currently on an infusion of various and ridiculously hard-core I.V. antibiotics– most of which have little to no effect whatsoever against the MRSA.

However, I’m also well-supplied with a nice variety of chill-out-and-feel-merry medications, which make it much easier to feel hopefully nonchalant about the whole ordeal.

Really, it’s just staph. 🙂

I’ve missed reading all of your wonderful posts and hearing all of your beautiful thoughts and hearing how your lives are going. I’ve received so many comments that I still haven’t responded to; just so you know, each one is invaluable to me. Your words hold weight and I promise to respond as soon as I can.

You know, once I get rid of this flesh-eating bacteria.

Your prayers and healing thoughts are appreciated, and I can’t wait to be healthy and home and reading your brilliant thoughts again. 🙂

When The Words Won’t Come (Say Them Anyway)


Recently my life turned itself inside out. It’s less unpleasant than I expected but the feeling of it all has me on my toes and rather dizzy.

I am busy, but I’m here. Thinking of the many incredible and diverse people I encounter on my blog. Reflecting on the countless ways every single one of you contribute to my heart, my spirit, and ultimately my life.

Despite this relentless wilderness I’m in, I find myself still yet contemplating how the world is unfolding its endless majesties for each of you.

Just so you know.

You matter to me, amidst the infinite other things. If you have a minute you can make my day. Whisper your goings and comings my way; I will welcome the news and the sounds of you.

Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.

Desmond Tutu

A child has gone…


Yesterday, here in the small town where I live, a very untimely tragedy rocked the soul of our community. In honor of Triston, in honor of his family, I urge you all to embrace the ones you love today. Take time to tell them that they matter. You never know when you might no longer have that chance.

Where are we to turn?

There’s a lot of talk on the scene about broken dreams and broken brains
Everybody has their own genius to say
Thing, somebody give me a break
Cut him some slack
From the noose of your chattering gossip attack

In looking back I suppose
There were always the signs
Posted along that troublesome path
The one known as Loser
(…did you call him that?)
Must’ve felt too encumbered
Too unlike the crowd
Dismissed and rejected
Who feels his pain now?

Hindsight is heavy
A weight that feels scary
Lightened by comparison
To the claustrophobic emptiness
We once imposed on him

Even if no one had much to say
Today, good grief
The burdensome silence
Would still get in the way
Whispers too soluble
Much too intolerable
…His honor refuses to carry
Everything we’re left with
Disillusion and blame
Time now to bury

Oh innocent hands,
Where did all the time go?
None of these everything-knowers can know
The weight of their world
As it rode on your shoulders
Hostility holster
In cannonball rooms
Where it’s always too soon
And too bad
For the rest
Left now to jigsaw your pieces
And put them to rest
Laying thee down,
Finding in sleep
The peace that we never did give to you

And on our knees,
Can not find understanding
Comprehension unfathomed
Or sense yet of these

Finality. My, how death does sting.
For us, has made
A crossroad
Bring yourself to heaven’s door
And learn to feel that Love

The reasons do not matter now
It all comes down to this

He has the gifts we did not give
While here among us dying
If anyone can learn anything
This was a built-up, slowly growing
Reflection of us all type thing
No sudden simple act
The need, we see now, in this wake
Has grown so very urgent

For in the light of tragedy
Our conscience fully shows
Nowhere to be hidden
On the grave
One single rose

Rest now, precious hurting soul
Rest your mind, rest your bones
And leave behind a
Wake Up Call
For we’re no longer sleeping
Awakening the rest of us
Illuminate the need we’re keeping
Show us how to love

A taken life
Can break us
Or can lead us to redemption
Prayers for peace
His family
Forgive us all,
Forgive us

All that remains…