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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Confession Tuesday - Searching for Authenticity

Dear Reader:

It has been so long since I have indulged in a Confession Tuesday that I am not even going to count up the weeks, it would only inflame any anxiety that may be lurking about.

Here is what's been going on:


  • I have been trying my best to live in the present. Yoga is teaching me that now is more significant than yesterday. That tomorrow is no guarantee and the breathes we take now are where we live, the present!  This is not easy for me, because I believe history is significant to today and any future we have.  That planning is okay, even advisable. Still, our emphasis on life should be the present. That is where we are. I have been introduced to Dr. Brene' Brown who stresses living authentically - letting go of what people think of you. I will confess that I struggle with this at times.  She also is a strong believer in cultivating self-compassion. My instructors at yoga are reminding me that I tend to be hard on myself so I guess I am failing there. I've pretty much been this way about my writing over the years so I suppose this is pretty well ingrained in me by now. 
  • The things that I care about, family, friends, our pets (which are really family too), Things that sustain me and allow me to feel, to see, to touch the present - music, art, poetry  Here I seem to be on track with what Dr. Brown teaches. because she emphasizes laughter, song, dance, creativity & play. 
  • The scariest part of Dr. Brown's recommendation is embracing vulnerability.  If this is how we become authentically ourselves, then I confess it is frightening. I can handle it in small doses, but the larger the chance of feeling like I am making a fool of myself, the harder it is. 
  • Another writer friend of mine was asking me why with all the writing I have been doing, that I have no book. I've toyed with a manuscript - I've even entered one, maybe two manuscript contests. So I have gone back and looked at a lot of my poems - especially those that have been published. and I put them together struggling to see clearly a theme. Feeling that perhaps I am too close to this, I sent her a file with the collection I pulled together. We had spoken about this in advance and I already knew that she was willing to look at it. This was a big step - exposing the very vulnerabilities that have been holding me back. I confess that now, I am happy I did this. Going back over all these years of work reminded me, I got Poetry!. 
  • I have a stressor that I am struggling with that is coming to a head next week. Cataract surgery.  I confess that one of the reasons I am dreading this is the time that it will take away from me my yoga routine. Currently, it includes two formal weekly studio sessions, augmented by what I do at home.  I'm told I will need to be away from it for two to three weeks after surgery. We are doing one eye at a time so that will stretch it out. I imagine my writing will take a tole during part of this time as well. 
Today I am thinking about joy and the role it plays in the day to dryness of life.  Can I find joy in embracing my vulnerability?   Let me close by saying I am thankful for another poet who has encouraged me,  even over fear and so today  In the present, I am claiming joy!


Until next time, may you thrive daily in the present!



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Honoring the Light and Love in You


Monday, July 22, 2019

Assimilation of Yoga , Writing, and Life in General



I am trying to achieve some assimilation of yoga into my daily living, and into my writing. 

Yoga takes discipline for starters. This is something that would likely help across many areas of my life. 

The byproduct contributing to a calming or peaceful presence that allows for a more meditative state of being; where yesterday and tomorrow are pushed aside to make way for being in the present. That is where we can find ourselves, stripped down of the weighted anxieties that we tend to carry. 

I'm not able to say that I have my meditative practice perfect. Still, I believe that I am becoming more receptive that inner silence and where that might lead. It seems kind of like nibbling on a cracker when wine tasting. A way to clear the pallet for the next new taste.  In this way, I can be receptive to the experience of new ways of bringing fresh material to the page. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Confession Tuesday - Poem finds Home Edition

Dear Reader: 

It's Tuesday once again. A weekly occurrence and while my Confession should be weekly as well, I sometimes fail. Hey, I'm human!

On the way into the office this morning I was looking at the sky and reflected on the color variations and thought I should write something about this. But I didn't.  I'm not sure that I had anything remarkable to say about it, but I really didn't try and that is precisely what I want to talk about. 

In recent times I have thought about writing, mine at that of others. I've also thought about those who don't as a rule sit and commit ink to a page. I think sometime in the recent past (though I can't pinpoint exactly when or what caused me to think about this, it occurred to me that everyone has a story to tell. I've heard that said before but I never really thought it was meant for me. I always think when you are telling a story that you are making something up - something fictional or you are relating an actual event that you are sharing with others. I don't know why, but I never really accepted the fact that poets had stories to tell. 

I think of world travelers with unique experiences having stories to tell. Or, persons who have survived some illness or torture, or with some remarkable life discovery having a story to tell. I think it all boils down to is this a story worthy of being heard? Sometimes I think about memoirs that I have read that had very dysfunctional people in them. I think about what caused me to consider such a story worthy of being told, of being read.  I don't think we always can know what another will be interested in, but if we write, and write with a creative flair that makes what we say interesting.  Sylvia Plath used to say that everything was writable. 

What I wonder today, is what stories that are waiting to be told at our southern border? What stories need to be told? Who will step up and fill this need? I confess that I think about this and it troubles me.  [long pause for reflection here]

On another note, One of my orphan poems went out into the world this spring and has found a home. I pleased to share with you this poem that just came out yesterday in the Remington Revied - Summer Edition.  


Keep[ing It] Going

I throw another log on the fire.
I have one left that I am saving—

Alone; I keep practicing.
One day I may get it.

Tolstoy said The strongest of
all warriors are these two—
Time and Patience.

I know if you were here
you would applaud, well done!

And maybe I am better,
but you were kind
and always saw something
fly outside the picture frame.

You had the eyes—
they were plugged into your heart,
a strong heart. A sharing heart
that sometimes would pump
for both of us.

This log has been burning all night
now. It shows no sign of extinguishing

itself. My practice continues.


May you all have a safe and enjoyable week ahead. 


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Chinese PEN Center reprints Tiananmen Mother

The Independent Chinese PEN Center republished my poem Tiananmen Mother on its site. I feel honored.


A Little Slice of Confession Tuesday



Dear Reader: 

I know it's Thursday and I have missed the customary Tuesday Concession.  (hanging  head low)  I hope you will accept this late and tiny slice of my recent life.  It's been a week and 3 days since my last confession. 

It's also been one debate of 10 Democratic candidates for president last night  (another one with 10 more will be held tonight. It's been a Father's day since my last confession, and it has been a jumbling of many books that I am reading at the same time. (That's how everyone reads, right?) 

Summer is officially here and we have colorful plants blooming to show for it.  Cathy gets truly excited with plants in summer. I think she gets that from her grandmother - who was affectionately known as granny. When I leave in the morning or when I come home in the evening I am greeted by colorful unfolding nature before my eyes. I confess I love this. I love knowing that she loves gardening with flowers too.  By the way, we have tomatoes on our tomato plants (our one cash crop). 

I had a rejection of poems in a contest since my last confession.  I don't often dwell on rejections. I am sure this was a form one too. But it did happen to be the same place that  I once received a form rejection with a handwritten note that said,  "you were close."  But, I digress, the part of this rejection that caught my fancy was as follows... "We strongly believe that a poem's value is not determined by its publication, or by the selection or non-selection by a limited group of readers. The editors urge you to wholeheartedly reject this rejection, and send these poems out again and write some new poems, and sent them out too."  I confess this made me smile. 

Watching the Democratic candidates debate on the first night, left me feeling a little empty. Of what I saw I was most impressed with Senator Tulsi Gabbard, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker. Elizabeth Warren after a strong initial exchange sort of went to sleep. What she said was pretty much her normal stump speech I've heard countless times. The only negative was that she took a position on health care that would be unattainable as the way the laws are written now, hospitals would have to close their doors over authorized payment amounts. I suspect she would ultimately look for a fix for this but it did seem like a big gaff.  No one shined. I expect the bar will be higher tonight. 

Another confession, I am working on my annual Poet Crush list. (link to last year) It should be out this month, but I have read so much this past year, I am having to do a fair amount of weighing those being considered to keep it at 6. Hopefully sometime in July? Maybe, Hopefully. 

That's it for today~

Be safe and of much joy!