28 November 2008

songs of geese

Migrating geese fly low over my house, their noise a jumbled clamor that belies the orchestrated flight. After a flash of sunlight and warm rain last week, the cold season has settled in with morning fog and frost on the rooftops. Yesterday there was winter rain, a soaking mist that chills you straight through.

It took at least five winters here in the Pacific Northwest to acclimate from the dry bluster of the high mountain desert. As a result of a military father and my own unsettled youth, I grew up without a geographic identity and did not expect to stay when I first landed in Portland, the city lights out the window of the plane that night reflecting off so much water I thought was surely the sea.

More than thirteen years and change that has occurred for me at a deep and fundamental level has also given me roots. Even as I have been blessed with abiding friendships from around the world and recent opportunity to travel to the beautiful UK and distant reaches of the North American continent, it is the myriad of grays in the skies of Washington that I mean when I say home.

I continue to write with gratitude for the experiences that contribute to my vision so that those odd, endearing details that make us so very human might reveal the order to our own cacophonous song.

Awareness is a gift from the universe. To translate it to words is an ongoing challenge.


07 November 2008

falling away at the edges

Just in time for the holidays, my story Falling Away at the Edges is published in Duck & Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide Cold Weather edition. You can read it online or order your own copy of the Pocket Field Guide, complete with some warming recipes for the holiday season.

Some of my characters become particularly endeared to me by the time their story is complete. This is especially so with this story. It reaches back into my teenage years for time and setting, and while the family isn't exactly my own, it treads on the borders of the family chaos of growing up with 6 siblings.

The story itself was passed to me through the community grapevine of a most endearing group of real people with whom I cross paths regularly, if not daily - possibly the most irreverent and riotous group of people I have ever met. I owe much to those who have put out a hand to me in times of need, cried with me in times of pain, and in times of joy or sometimes just moments of hindsight, laughed with utmost abandon.

My life is richer for those people whose paths cross my own. Thanks.


02 November 2008


A cold rain knocks lingering autumn leaves to the ground, spatters up from the hard road, gathers on the windows. Kāhiko o ke akua - adornment of deity - in Hawaii. Bringer of life. Preserver of the land. Cleanser of evil spirits. World cultures dance, worship, revere and fear the rain.

More than 20 years ago, I lived in a metal-roofed single-wide trailer house in Layton, Utah, just outside the South Gate of Hill AFB immediately under the flight path of the southern runways and up against the rise of the Wasatch mountains. The years there were bittersweet, the joys and sorrows balanced in my memories, formative years of new awareness and self-discovery.

When I moved away to a suburban stretch west towards the Great Salt Lake, it took me awhile to identify what was missing among other things in the contained 2-story tract house with its double-paned windows, carpeted stairways and high trussed-roof: I could not hear the rain. It's deep patter, the audible measure of the storm, day or night, had become a comfort to me and a touchstone of peace.

Today I opened all the windows to listen to the rain, and a Red-shouldered hawk flew down from the roof to perch on top of the center bird-feeder and crow over the yard. Adorned with rain.

My very breath is my prayer of thanks and my awe.