Saturday, February 19, 2011


pirate plunder
I'd refuse it all
for one of your smiles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thank You

You make me feel
I haven't felt
that way
in such a very long time.

That you trust me
with your heart
and soul
makes me want to prove
that I am worthy.

Thank you
for always believing
in the me
that I was almost
too afraid to become.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Than Chocolate

I have finally found
the only thing on this earth
that I need
more than chocolate
and that's you.

My Rock

When all around is chaos
falling down around my ears
you alone make sense
and keep me steady
you are my rock.

When I am frantic
and frazzled
you alone
have the ability
to calm me completely.

No matter how stressful the day
how frantic the ratrace
one word from you
and it all

Watching Kelly dance
in a puddle
is all the proof I need
that heaven exists
and love conquers all.

I am only as eloquent
as my inspiration inspires
I think it is obvious
that I am loved
by amazing people.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Life lessons: What are you?

What are you?

Notice, I'm not asking 'who' you are but rather 'what' you are. We all have a name we call ourselves; usually given to us, sometimes chosen by us or our friends, usually two or three names strung together, but sometimes only one. While we 'know' each other by these names, rarely do they convey anything at all about us meaningful. So, we label ourselves. We package our identity in words and phrases designed to explain our various functions, jobs, talents, and desires to others. We then use those labels to make decisions about ourself and others.

The moment you were born, and with the medical technology now commonly available often long before your physical birth, you received your first in a long line of labels--son or daughter. Your sexual identity was proclaimed and tagged with the simple sentence, "It's a boy". Next came your introduction to your place in a pecking order; you were either the oldest, the second child, the youngest, or a combination of these things. Sometimes it took years to know if you would be the middle child, or the youngest or where your final place would be. Eventually, this was worked out and you were properly labeled.

Your physical circumstances became labels whether you embraced them or not. Some of us are thinner than others, some are fatter. Some have blue eyes, some brown. Your social circumstances play a part as well. Many get married and add labels of 'husband' or 'wife' to their growing resume of identifying descriptors. Some become parents. Some own pets. We move through school and into jobs. We identify ourself by those things as well.

Beyond these labels that have been applied to us in terms of our relative families, our physical attributes, our fields of study, or our job titles, there are the labels we apply to ourselves. These do not necessarily have anything to do with those that someone else would apply to you. You might consider yourself to be a 'musician'. Others hearing you sing or play might disagree with your assessment. 

It is those self-applied labels that I am wondering about today. What do you list? What don't you list? Why? And, would the people around you who know you best agree or disagree with them?

Some of the things I call myself, like photographer, are things I am relatively competent at but don't pursue as a profession. Others, like musician, are things from my past that are now dormant and not necessarily still parts of me but are labels I'm not yet ready to discard.

Yesterday, an essay by Scott Roche titled "Aspire?" got me to thinking about the label 'writer'. I have been wrestling with the labels 'writer', 'poet', and 'editor' for a while now. I've had a hard time claiming any of these as parts of me. I have hesitated to own them. In large part, because they are relatively new to me. There is also the idea of competency involved with being able to state that I am a particular something or other.

I do write. Almost every day. In one way or another. I am hard pressed to remember days where I didn't create either a blog post of some sort, a poem, or an article. I edit things for other people almost daily, from large novels down to bits and pieces of miscellaneous things. Even as I recognize that I do these things, I have still been reluctant to claim them as parts of myself. Why?

In part, I think it has to do with the fact that so many of my friends are writers or editors these days. Most of them grew up writing and knowing they were writers. They have been crafting words for years. This was most definitely not the case for me. I had a difficult time even learning to read and didn't become a voracious reader until I was ten when I was given the first six Nancy Drew mysteries by a friend of the family who had noticed me struggling to read. From then on, I read constantly. While I read everything I could get my hands on, and could tell someone what I liked or didn't, I couldn't tell them why. Nor could I get my own thoughts or ideas out in any kind of coherent fashion. I avoided writing all the way through school. I would wait till the last possible moment, get a random topic from a classmate that fit the particular type of paper I was required to write (compare and contrast for example), and on an adrenaline rush, crank out the minimum requirement. I usually got a B. But it was a torturous endeavor that left me in a cold sweat for the rest of the day. The only reason I think I was able to write even to a B level was the detachment involved with writing about something random that I had no emotional connection to in any way. When I tried to get my own thoughts out, I end up with a disjointed mess of randomness and not quite getting to the point. I'm hoping this essay doesn't become a case-in-point.

My editing is the same way. I know what sounds or looks right to me. But ask me why, and there is a good chance I'm either not going to be able to articulate it, or the answer will not be in terms you would learn in any English class. Having said that, I began to own the label 'editor' long before 'writer' in part because while I have a lot of insecurity over whether I am a 'good' editor or not, I know I am editing. But that is a question of qualifying my abilities as an editor and whether or not anyone else values my work as such. For now, I have decided to own it. It has become a part of who I am and something I enjoy immensely.

Calling myself a poet was also difficult for me. I've always thought of poetry as such a difficult craft, a rare and beautiful art form requiring painstaking delicate precision--ballet in word form. I hesitate to even say I write poems as more often than not, they write me. How can I take credit for something I didn't really do? They seem to be born in front of me. Often, I look back and read through them and don't even remember creating them. But whether I labor over them and rip them from myself, or they appear effortlessly, I am finally acknowledging them as my creations. And so, I am a poet.

While I have come to call myself a 'poet' and an 'editor' I still had a difficult time saying, "I am a writer". I have attempted to write fiction. Not very successfully. Somehow, I had the idea of 'writer' confused with 'writer of fiction'. I have been writing blog entries for almost five years now and recently started writing non-fiction articles on knitting. for whatever reason, it has taken me a very long time to be able to label myself as a writer.

Perhaps my reluctance with all of these is the desire to have qualifiers in front of them. I want to be good at these. And, without some form of acceptance, I wasn't willing to lay claim to them. I enjoy these things. I wouldn't be struggling to write this now if I didn't feel some sort of need to express myself in some way. That said, I don't want to do these things without some sort of validation.

One of the biggest changes I have been slowly going through is learning to give myself validation. Not just in these things, but in all things. And, in learning that lesson, I can now say that in addition to all the other things I am, I am also a poet, a writer, and an editor.

I would never have been able to learn this lesson (or so many others) without the love, support, friendship, and patient teaching of so many friends. I am inspired and instructed by so many people, their words spoken and written, in public and in private, each and every day. So, thank you, Scott, for sharing your thoughts yesterday and in doing so, helping me clarify mine.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Life Lessons: Opinions of Me

As I go through my days, there are moments, either through conversations with friends, personal observation, or perhaps even divine intervention, when I make realisations of who I am, how I function, or suddenly understand some great truth of myself and/or my world. I call these things life lessons. I can't know how valuable these thoughts will be to anyone besides myself. I do know that they are very meaningful to me.

Many seem so simple. That is often the beauty of these. Many are things I already knew subconsciously. Finally recognising them with my conscious self seems to be as beneficial as learning things that seem completely new and surprising.

From time to time I will share some of these life lessons in the hope that you might find them beneficial in some way.

Today's life lesson came about when a dear friend expressed an opinion about me that was very kind and at the same time completely contradictory to the opinion of someone else in my life.
And so, my life lesson concerning opinions of me...

Every opinion of me is valid. Each is a piece of the puzzle that is me. That some are in conflict speaks to the individual relationships I have formed. The whole of those opinions matters more to me than any individual one when considering my character and behavior. I have the power to change some people's opinion of me, but not all. That I can't change someone's opinion does not make it any less valid. It does not mean, however, that it defines me. Only I can define who I am for myself.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Nondescript sand falls
Into the heat of your flame
Transformed forever
That crystaline glass
Forged from the fire of your soul
Was once just old sand
No sharp edges there
She was worn down from friction
Scattered to the wind
Unable to stand
She was ground down by the tide
And then the tide turned
Left her lying on the shore
Empty and alone
She had potential
If she were made whole again
She'd sparkle and shine
The flames burned so hot
Melting all her little bits
Tiny shards of glass
Cleansed by this trial
She walked through the fires of Hell
And was whole again
I see in your eyes
The flame that burns inside you
The fire that heals me
In your warm embrace
My thoughts sharp and crystal clear
Your love has changed me

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Super Dessert for the Super Bowl

Here is a super quick recipe for a yummy dessert for your Super Bowl party (or for anything really). It takes less than 5 minutes to put together, has only 4 ingredients, and needs no measuring. 

Granny Annie's Cherry Stuff 
(make up a fancier name if you want but "Cherry Stuff" works for me)

1 large can (15 oz?) Crushed pineapple
1 can Cherry pie filling
1 box Yellow cake mix
1 stick of Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350* F
Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with Pam or similar vegetable cooking oil spray

Spread crushed pineapple evenly in bottom of pan
Spread cherry pie filling evenly on top of the pineapple
Pour cake mix evenly over fruit, leave lumpy, DO NOT smooth it out
Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix. 

Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes

Can be served warm or cool. Goes great with ice cream.