“Who doesn’t like death metal?”

Student One asks student Two.  Student One wears a hoodie with the words, “the Profitt” applied to the back.  Student Two, a tall student wearing horned-rim glasses seeks out “the Profitt” for a quick high-five.

The teacher asks both, “Are you done with the assignment?”

They both say, “Yes.”

I have my doubts.  Might this prophet be false?

The questions they pose each other join all the questions I secretly carry.  I can’t get a hold of any of them long enough to find an answer.  Today, this pile of questions seems to be the only thing holding me up.  In the eye of a hurricane, I stand.  All the unanswered pieces of my life whirl around me.  They move too quickly.  I close my eyes to keep from getting dizzy.  With my eyes closed in the eye of the hurricane, I begin to see.

I jump up to help hand out math worksheets.  Sadly, there is often a lot of down time in my job.  Teachers have to wait for enough of the noise and chatter to stop to go on to the next thing.  Some students need more time.  Some never use the time to do the work.  Some times I write a sentence here or there in between the waiting.  I am trying to stay anchored and to keep my brain alive.

As I hand out papers, “the Profitt” changes seats.  With a wry smile, I ask “the Profitt, “Is that really YOUR seat Mr. Profitt?”

“Yes, it is. . . Mrs. . . Mrs. Helper Laaady,” he says.

Now I know “the Profitt” is false.  He is rather charming, though.  He continues to talk quietly in between working math problems to determine probability.  There is some sort of poetic justice here.   I KNOW it but I don’t know what IT is. Math is often shrouded in mystery to me.  Probability is a blank wall of unanswered questions that withstands very high winds, winds of hurricane force.

If I chose “X” than what is the probability of “Y” and/or “Z”?  This problem cuts too close to home.  This question merges with all the others.  They seem mutually exclusive repelling each other as magnets with opposite poles do.  Again, my thoughts leave me feeling dizzy.  I close my eyes and dream of false prophets to avoid facing what I already know.

“You’re the best of the worst.”

A voice says from across the room.  A new false prophet has arisen.  The room is quiet, listening for what this new voice will say.    I have heard the voices that have come and gone before.  They are whispers in the wind and can not last.  I turn my attention to other things.



Smile.  It hasn’t been easy lately.  I started hearing this song in my head.  Nat King Cole will always be one of my favorite singers.   The song is so haunting that it sounded too sad.  I looked for another artist that might have a more hopeful sound and I found one, Charlie Chaplin.

Physical humor isn’t my favorite but there is something hopeful in this Chaplin clip.  I discovered that the original melody was instrumental and was written for a 1936 Chaplin film called Modern Times.  Chaplin himself composed the music.  The lyrics weren’t added until 1954.

An impressive list of vocalist have sung this song but maybe it is enjoyed best without the words.  Smile

The List

Assignment: To create a gratitude list.

This is an especially important assignment today because what I’m feeling isn’t gratitude. Here’s my list:

My daughter’s smile
My son’s laugh
My husband’s arms holding me
Crawling in a cold bed at night and warming up the space around me with my own body heat.
The kindness of strangers
The kindness of friends
A frost that coats everything with a thin layer of ice that picks up the light like diamonds.
The sun on my face
The smell of summer
Wide open spaces
Road trips
Peanut Butter and chocolate
The whiskers on the chin of my dog
Bare feet
Warm peaches picked from the tree and eaten with the juice running down my chin
Skipping stones
Memories of my grandmother
John, Paul, George and Ringo
The smell of old-fashioned roses
Shabby chic
Pretty little foxes
The taste of freshly baked bread
Dag Hammarskjöld
Fleece bathrobes
Quilts made from scraps of old clothes
Crossword Puzzles
Strawberry jam
Picnics alongside the Lewis River in our favorite spot.
Riding a bicycle
Milk chocolate-covered cherries
Robert Redford
All the good teachers I’ve had both in school and out
Tuesdays and Fridays
Creating zany collages with my son
Long drinks of cold water
Warm Pear Pie
The moon on a clear winter’s night
The number seven
The letters “S” and “W” and “L”
My name

A plate full of chocolate chip cookies

Dogwood trees
A hot cup of tea with cream
Roller Derby
Blues and greens and purples
My husband’s arms holding me
My son’s laugh
My daughter’s smile

David or Goliath?

I want to be upbeat, positive.  I want to be David slaying Goliath but I’m not feeling it.

At the library yesterday,  a couple came in and sat almost in front of me.  My internal Internet connection wasn’t working.  I was trying to find ways around it.  Inside, I’m worrying that my limited Internet access has just disappeared.  When this couple starts to get amorous, it becomes more than distracting.

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On the Way to Manifest

Most of the time I live my life in the cracks between truth and fiction.  It feels safer there.  Truth is often too bright.  Its light burns.  Fiction feels soft and safe at first.  After a while it no longer fits.  I walk around with high-water ideas and a story line that pinches like a pairof shoes that are too tight.

And, so, I live in the spaces between these two. I avoid the larger truths that tower beside me and as much as I try to create a good story in which to live sooner or later the effort rubs against my integrity and I see the fiction for what it is.  Fiction: a way to alter or handle the truth.

I’m doing it now.

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I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
Dawna Markova
Today I read about writing a manifesto. Then I stumbled across a poem by Dawna Markovao.  I have no idea who Dawn is but I think I’d like her.   After these discoveries, I wanted to write a manifesto of my own.   No, not a manifesto like Marx or the Unibomber but a personal statement about what is important to me. 

What’s Inside


Something inside me is trying to escape.  My eye lid has been twitching for days now.  It’s uncomfortable especially when it happens while I’m talking to some one.  I’ve already got one “crazy eye” that doesn’t quite match the other.  I’d be distracted if I had to look at me.  I’m distracted just writing about it.

My eye doesn’t twitch often.  Thanks goodness.  This peculiar tic seems to come when I am feeling something I don’t want to name.  It often happens at funerals. I like to pretend that I’m holding up, that death is a natural part of life and that letting go is inevitable but the truth is letting go is hard and saying goodbye makes me feel very sad.  It’s not just the loss of a person that once played a prominent role in my life.  It’s also saying goodbye to the possibility of things to come, at least on this earth.  When laying someone to rest, I have to lay to rest a part of me.

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I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.


I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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