a happy ending

Snail slow and in ever decreasing increments, I come back to and move onto some completed changed old self.  Never walking into the same river twice, but stepping on the same stones, recognizing the direction of water flow. The books strewn around the house—some closed with bookmarks, some open, face down on the coffee table, on the desks, on the edge of the bed far from where I sleep—they were not there six month ago. I walked around the house this morning looking for the book that I’ve decided to start my mornings with. I almost cannot write, cannot think a single thought before I read the reading for today.

I am my own delicious throwback to days before Covid and quarantine and autism and moving and death and heart transplant and a wild child. Who was that me way back then? I have almost, but not completely, forgotten her.

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Last Sunday, I was asked to talk about resilience at church. This is what I said. 

I’d like to start with . . .  Jane Hirshfield’s poem, 


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs — all this resinous, unretractable earth.

I wanted to be a pillow, but if there is any lesson in the last 6 months, it is cultivating the tenacity of trees. 

Talking resilience in medias res, I had no idea where to begin and what to tell. 

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day 12

Opening my eyes at 5:10 and rising at 5:30 to get dressed to hit the grocery stores with a list at 6. Someone in a zoom group said last week, “Who the hell is going to buy lettuce at 6?”


The last time I was grocery shopping was Saturday, March 14. Ten days ago. We could go a few more days before we eat the last of the apples, carrots and celery. We are out of milk and bread and coffee and have been for a few days. And Julia’s favorite tea. Two apples, 3 oranges and two onions and a mostly full freezer. If I restock now, I could keep out of stores for two weeks. These last 10 days have made our dependence on fresh food so clear. Shop the outside aisles of a supermarket. My pride (okay, admittedly I don’t think about it much at all) at packing Julia healthy lunches and keeping us away from junk food has given way to ice cream in the freezer and two kinds of cookies in the cupboard. Julia longs for noodle lunches and chocolate chip cookies. Not hard to please our hungry souls. Continue reading

right here

A short note on grief: To anyone who has silently complained about a friend grieving too long, or who has wondered WHEN their own grieving would cease and themselves back to their old self, I have learned that grieving is a process without end.  You grow the rest of your life around it, it doesn’t disappear.  At some time, you will or you might do everything you would have done before losing your beloved.  You might do more than your pre-grieving life could have imagined but at any moment, the everyday round can side swipe you.

Today, a Mary Oliver poem popped in my inbox and I read:

“It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation.  And what does this have to do
with love, except


Nine years disappeared and I was right there wondering about the me who considered myself so independent through out all of my marriage and who found breathing almost impossible after David stopped breathing. 

And it is with so many feelings, including gratitude, that I find myself back there.  Or rather, right here.