Monday, August 26, 2013

Start Where You Are

A Monday thought:

Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.

- Arthur Ashe

Simple words to live by. Thanks, Arthur....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

No Beating Around The Bush

I was driving to pick Claire up from track practice and heard a voice. Write about it, no beating around the bush. 

Depression, anxiety, a feeling of being lost, stranger in a strange land have swept over me the past few weeks. It's like being thrown on the sand by a big wave. Face plant. Blind-sided.  Except the signs were all there. The tiredness, lack of appetite, feeling weird going to the supermarket, wanting to go back to sleep when I open my eyes in the morning, not wanting to write, laying low.

I've had a life-long relationship with sinking. At times the world feels so off-kilter I can't stand to be out in it, yet hiding out doesn't work so well either. 

I emailed a friend confessing to feelings of embarrassment and weakness because of the deep valley I've been wandering in lately. 

Who wants to hear my sad songs, anyway?

[my friend did.]

There are reasons for this sinking and as much as I love making lists, I'll spare you mine. We all have our lists of worries. Some of us dip lower than others. I know this. There's someone in your life who is afraid to tell you how low they are. Or maybe it's you who needs to tell? But please, this piece is not about feeling sorry for me or worried. I'm actually okay, even with depression. That was another voice I heard this morning. You're okay. This is just me telling the truth. Depressed and worried people feel really bad about feeling bad. We shut up and push on but that's the part that really sucks. We need each other.

Ever notice how telling someone

I feel lost.
I feel afraid.
I'm worried these days.

makes you feel better?

I found this poem tucked inside a small journal I carried with me in Ireland. Reading it felt like someone laying a comforting hand on my shoulder. Here's my hand on yours...


We give thanks for places of simplicity and peace
May we find such places in ourselves.

We give thanks for refuge and beauty.
May we find such places in ourselves.

We give thanks for places of acceptance and belonging.
May we find such places in ourselves.

May we begin to mend the outer world
According to the truth of our inner life

-Angeles Arrien

xo b

ps. running in rain storms helps.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I'm remembering last week when the sky opened up like a lid being unlatched, water pouring down into the yard, everything green. Claire was on the couch. I was in the windowseat.

"We should go out there," she said.

I did hesitate, holding onto my dry self, my half-awake self

I stripped my jeans off, standing in black underwear and t-shirt in front of my kid.

"Yes," I said,

dashing for the door and out into the giant bucket of water, running through the puddled yard, shouting and screaming, circling around the house, weaving through the trees.

I lost Claire in all the green, then spotted her on top of the big stump. I stood with arms up, face up, giving myself up like a tree

I so want to give myself up, the unbending parts 

Catching eyes with Claire we started running again, she leapt off the stump and out into the road in front of our house. It's a quiet street, off the beaten path. I met her there and stretched out beside her. Flat on our backs in the rain. 

palms up
faces soft
lips parted

pelting rain and ground beneath us.

"I just feel so alive," I said. 
"Same," Claire said.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Being The Inspiration

August 2. 2013

There are only two ways to live your life. 
One is as though nothing is a miracle. 
The other is as though everything is a miracle. 

- Albert Einstein

This is how my kid lives her life most days, even when she's sitting in the chair getting chemotherapy for the breast cancer that took her (and all of us) by complete surprise. But she's not allowing herself to be defined by this unexpected visitor. The morning of her last chemo she was at the track running two miles while

I was still in bed with my worry list.

When the sleepy receptionist at the Cancer Center asked, 

How are you today?

Jesse said, 

I'm great! How about yourself?

The receptionist flinched from the positivity. 
Her shoulders shimmied. 
I was watching. 

That's what I'm doing these days.

watching and listening.
watching and learning.

Everyone and everything is here to teach us something. 

Jesse's always been my teacher. we grew up together

These days she's offering a master class in

saying yes
saying no

buying the flowers

resting when you're tired
laughing until you cry
taking hikes on a summer day

~ being the inspiration

happy birthday, jess.

xo mom