Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt


November 26, 2014 | gratitude

for my atlas pup, my family, my friends;
for kindhearted strangers;
for snow-covered pines, wild apples, autumn leaves, wildflowers;
for a roof over my head and food on my plate;
for capsule wardrobes, plaid scarves & fedoras;
for lilacs, cranberry bogs, clover, daisies;
for lake superior;
for clotheslines and gardens;
for savannah, benjamin, lars, lily, andrew, brady & sam;
for lattes, ice cream cones & homemade pie;
for lavender + pale pink sunrises and heart-shaped rocks;
for my four niece-kitties;
for warm smiles via skype, long hugs & even longer conversations with old + new friends;
for postcards in the mail and real life shared;
for toes in the sand, snowshoe hikes & icy dips in the lake;
for bonfires on the beach and sunday afternoon games;
for the northern lights, the milky way & orion;
for owl feathers, shed antlers, baby foxes, dragonflies;
for farkle, fantasy books & candy crush;
for a blue jay named fred and a chainsaw bear named buddy;
for yin yoga, snow scoops, squats, hilly trails;
for unexpected moments of delight, wordless truths & finding yourself where you are;
for bravery, truth, trust, surrender;
for wisdom, inspiration, compassion, peace, beauty & wonder;
for love – in all its forms;
for you;
and for so much more.

i am thankful.

and a chill sets in across the land

November 24, 2014 |and a chill sets in across the land

“Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.”

~ Plutarch

the news from my little corner of the world

November 20, 2014 | autumn in the keweenaw peninsula

dear friend,

hello. how are you? is it winter where you are?

here, the world is white. it’s been snowing for two weeks and there is probably three and a half feet of snow on the ground already. it is somewhat unbelievable. yesterday, i shoveled a path to the shed and retrieved my snowshoes; i am really looking forward to using them. (i was trying to get to the garden to pick my last two bunches of kale. when i realized how deep the kale was buried, i turned away from the garden and toward the shed.)

these days, i am delighting in the unexpected. i read one of my poems at an open-mic poetry reading. (i felt brave. even though the poem made me cry.) then, atlas ran through the deep snow – over & over & over. (last year, he refused.) then, i was hired unexpectedly by a local cafe & am now training to become a barista. (it is seriously the most fun thing ever.) then, i gave my nephew lars a glimpse of my digital photo albums & he gave me the most enthusiastic praise ever. (BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

you know what i’ve been thinking about lately? truth and art and fiction. i like to find my truths, and sometimes i like to share them, but i’ve been wondering if the deepest truths are wordless – at least in a literal sense – and can only be expressed in feeling or image or metaphor or story. i started thinking about this when i gathered up a handful of my favorite story club stories to create a sampler. sharing it was one of the hardest things i’ve done thus far. upon reflection, i realized that it was because the stories give you a glimpse of me – the deeper me, the magical me, the me i don’t really know how to share at all. i didn’t realize this until i read them all together. the same is true of poetry; somehow it helps me convey the ineffable. i wonder if it’s because the deepest truths are qualities – a glimpse, a reminder of who we really really are.

i wish we could sit down together, perhaps with coffee and pie. i want to listen to your stories, and feel your truths, and convey just how wonder~full you are.


p.s. i know. this is not a photo of winter. i am remembering the glory of autumn, for just a little while.

the color fern

November 16, 2014 | the color fern | the color fern | the color fern

history teaches us that ferns are far older than even the dinosaurs. i can believe this; there is something about them that seems ancient and timeless.

welcome, winter

November 13, 2014 | welcome, winter

“Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.”

~ Terri Guillemets

p.s. 30 days of wonder will be open for registration through saturday, for any last-minute souls who are in need of a visual reminder to breathe. this was one participant’s response to the welcome email: “just as i thought. the very best kind of medicine.”

atlas says: help

November 12, 2014 | atlas says: help

a tiny moment of stillness + wonder

November 9, 2014 | a moment in the heart of wonder

will you join me for this adventure in wordlessness?

on november 15th, it begins.

Filed under

maybe worthy is not the right word at all

November 7, 2014 | maybe worthy is not the right word at all

i’ve been thinking about worth, and how so many of us have trouble believing that we’re worthy.

what if worthy isn’t the right word at all?

i looked up worthy in the dictionary.

there are definitions like these:

deserving, or having sufficient worth.
honorable or admirable.
having adequate merit, character, or value.

deserving and good are its synonyms. no-good, undeserving, valueless & worthless are its antonyms.

we assign measures of worth in our daily lives.

it’s not worth it.
it is worth it.
s/he’s a worthy candidate.
it’s a worthy cause.

all of this is based on judgment or comparison.

we might want to believe (or remember) that we are inherently worthy, but we keep reminding ourselves there is an opposite.

it’s no wonder my default is (still) (often) to focus on what i’m doing, instead of who i’m being. i want to prove that i do have worth, that i do have value, even if i don’t always believe there is a judge.

i want to use a new word.

why do i try to believe (or remember) that i am worthy, when there is no possibility of my being unworthy at all?

maybe this:

i am just right.

(i was created like this, so there must be a purpose to it & it must be right.)

or this:

i am valued.

(i value myself, and i can believe that source does too.)

or maybe there is just this:

i am.

wordlessness + wonder

November 4, 2014 | 30 days of wonder

lately, more so than ever, my speech is halting. i’ve always been able to express myself better in writing than in speech, but this is different. when i try to speak, either i don’t have the words, or i use the wrong words, or the words won’t come to the surface.

a wise friend suggested that i am learning to live from my heart, that this occurs because our hearts are wordless.

perhaps this is so. there are moments when i have a sense of just how large i really am. it’s as if my eyes are turned inward and i can see that the space inside me is immense + limitless.

it would make sense that i am wordless there. no vocabulary, however large it may be, can convey the richness of the infinite. it is a place beyond language.

this is partly why i created 30 days of wonder. we can’t always get to wordlessness through words, but maybe we can get there through images.

nature knows immense. nature knows vast. nature knows infinite. just look at blades of grass or autumn leaves or drops of rain or grains of sand.

this was my view on friday

November 2, 2014 | life in the keweenaw peninsula : the first snow | life in the keweenaw peninsula : the first snow | life in the keweenaw peninsula : the first snow

’tis true. we had snow. (i remember many a halloween that featured a snowsuit on top of my halloween costume. oh, the memories.)

well, we had snow. most of it melted already.

it was pretty! but i have decided it can wait to return until thanksgiving.

atlas agrees. whole-heartedly.