Monday, June 17, 2019

Dad Liked To Say 🌀

June 17. 2019

Yesterday I woke lighthearted, even though it was Father's Day and I've been missing my Dad more poignantly lately. Seems the longer he's been gone, the more deep the loss feels. Still, I wasn't sad. Claire and Michael had gone off snorkeling on a Father's Day adventure and I was home alone with Chewy, the big-eared dog. It was a dog-walking, reading, call best friend, make a nice meal day.

This morning I woke to a low spirit, worry mind, some sadness. This isn't the most unusual thing but I've been feeling better lately, paying attention to the worry mice and mood dips that move in without invitation. Some days, they swoop in like the noisy, slightly aggressive, Northern Mockingbirds that have claimed our little yard. Lately, they've been sitting in the trees squawking and flicking their tail feathers, dive bombing squirrels and Chewy too.

My initial response to lowness is do something, get moving, get going, anything to shoo the squawkers out of the head, to feel happy, lighter, at least not so low. But I imagined my Dad was here, sitting in the green chair next to me, sipping a cup of tea with a fat dollop of honey - he had a sweet tooth, he'd say, This happens. Watch it all, like clouds. Laugh at yourself.

It doesn't matter how old I get, there's a deep longing to hear the loving advice of a parent. The miracle is, I can still conjure his voice, his ever warm kindness towards me. 

All the ways he lifted me up, comforted. 

Dad liked to say, gentle on the mental. 
Dad liked to say,  Go easy, hon. 
Dad liked to say, 

xo b

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mrs. Aiosa 🌀

June 10. 2019

From P. 6 of my little book on writing:

Begin a piece with "I'll start here."

I'll start here with my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Aiosa, and the way her glossy black hair curled over the tops of her shoulders. The way the snowy white flakes of dandruff stuck to her dark clothes. I want to write about her smile, the gap between her two front teeth, the way she taught us French, writing out long white sentences in elegant cursive on the blackboard. 

Mrs. Aiosa is one of the reasons I'm a many book reports, stories, poems, and projects I happily did in her classroom at PS. 98 in Douglaston, New York. Fourth grade. Those were the days. I'm no Mrs. Aiosa, but I have a way of helping the shyest writer come out to play, relax, write.

I'm coming east this summer, kicking off July with a mini-writing retreat. Come play in PA!

xo b

Scratching on Paper: A (Lovely) Writing Workshop
                    w/ Betsy Jackson

All you need is a desire to spend time with yourself + a notebook and pen.

Join Betsy Jackson, writing whisperer, beloved teacher for this creative, heart-opening mini-retreat: tranquil setting, wine, cheese, a sunset, other nice people. Together we will write, share (only if you want), and listen. Get curious about (+ free) the voice(s) inside you longing to be heard. Here’s the thing: Writing inspires, heals, relieves nuttiness, makes your chakras spin in the right direction – all that - so gift yourself (and a friend). Lighten your spirit. 🌀 No experience necessary. No kidding.

• When: Monday, July 1. 2019
• Time:  6:00 – 8:00 pm
• Place:  Delaware Water Gap, PA
• Cost:  $45 (pre-register by June 29. 2019)

For registration info + directions:
contact Betsy @

Find more about Betsy @

Monday, June 3, 2019

Like a Dump Truck 🌀

June 3. 2019

The tale goes like this: Seeking person is visiting a Wise One. The cups and teapot are brought out. Seeking person is talking, asking questions, while the Wise One pours tea from the pot. Seeking person watches as the beautiful golden tea flows into the cup. Seeking person feels good. They will have tea and find the answers. But the Wise One keeps pouring. Seeking person wonders what the heck is going on. The cup is full, overflowing onto the table, then the floor.

Seeking person says, Um, WTF, what are you doing, Wise One?

Wise One says, Your mind is overflowing, too full of ideas and worries. Empty yourself.

I'd written a whole other section here about clearing my head of self-help books and podcasts and even taking a break from therapy - how much can you talk about stuff, really? And how all that becomes even more stuff we've got in our heads, always seeking to figure out. It read okay but lacked clarity so I went to Ralph's, the local market. We needed lemons and pecans (and red wine). Clarity comes when you stop seeking it, grasshopper. I got my head emptied like a dump truck right there in the check-out line thanks to my cashier.

My cashier said, They call me Hostage, in an Indian accent maybe? Robert Hostage.
James, the bagger, asked, "What time is it?" and Hostage said, "It's a very good time, James."
Hostage looked at me and said, "Keep smiling, this is a beautiful world, keep smiling," which I hadn't considered after seeking a parking spot ten minutes before. Parking is like bumper cars at Ralph's. I think I have a worried look on my face a lot and don't realize it. 😳

All this to say, 

Wherever you are today, while I sit in my little house in Los Angeles - I'm wishing you well. I'm wishing you ease. Actually, I'm wishing you an ordinary day, without too much seeking and fixing, and spilling all over the place. Without sounding too self-helpy, cause I know I can be that way, I'm reminding you that it's a very good time, right now. 

xo b