Tag: ptsd

New Year’s Poem

One year ago,
at nearly this very minute,
i was being rushed
to the hospital.

The bits of me
that were still working
knew i was dying,
and felt grateful
that my suffering
would finally end.

Only, it didn’t.

i survived.

For months,
i was an egg
without a shell,
needing comfort and protection,
crushed by the smallest things,
barely making it through
my obligations.

But my spirit healed.

i have felt more sublime peace
in these past few months
than in the decade before.

It has become the rule,
rather than the exception –
which is why this feels so miraculous.

Today, i have been
unable to focus
on fiction or poem,
on chores or art.
Instead, i have been full
of quiet, thankful prayer.

My bones,
my soul,
have rested
in these thanksgivings.

If i could move
with greater fluidity,
i would be dancing –
but slowly,
to the rhythm
of my heartbeat,
so this spell
of contentment
would not be shattered
by endless nattering thought.

This moment
is a blessing
i almost didn’t experience.

Tomorrow does not come
with any guarantees.

My entire life
gave me the gifts
that led me to this altar
with three candles lit:
one for Love,
one in gratitude,
and one looking forward,
with eager anticipation,
to the miracle
of another year.





Happy New Year,

asha fenn, 1 January 2018

on happiness…

angelkissesWhen i was very young, struggling with depression beyond my youthful comprehension, i can remember my mother fussing at me.  “You were such a happy baby!  So joyous! You could be fed last and still be happy as a clam.  You were always smiling!  What did you do to yourself?”

At the time, those were hard words to hear, they made me see my sorrow as a character flaw, but during the past few weeks, i have been remembering her admonition and wondering about it.

i have a job.  Soon, it will even start paying me. To sweeten the deal, i get to work with amazing, hilarious, brilliant people. Even though the financial hole i am in is deep and steep-sided, i can start bailing myself out by the middle of July.  Most important of all, i am feeling better. My endurance is better, my body feels stronger, this endless stream of work – which has become something of an unwitting summer ritual for me –  has not yet worn me down.  Most of all, i am being careful to treat myself with kindness and care – if i come home from work exhausted, everything but rest falls away.  i am transitioning from an intense night owl to waking up when i used to go to sleep, and that requires some soft adjustments.  However, there are glorious benefits.  i get to see the sun!  When i wake up without the crushing pain that had dogged me for so many years, i find myself in tears of gratitude.

Miraculously, with my burdens eased, i find myself content.  Peacefully happy.  Granted, there are moments when i panic; anxiety can still make me her plaything. Despair – particularly after reading the news or working on my bills – can attack me and pin me down.  However, i rediscover joy so much faster.  Deep within, this feels like i am returning to exactly that state my mother used to describe – the one who was smiling, entertaining herself, ebullient without reason.  My loud, rowdy laugh bursts out even more frequently than it did before.  And my art, when i can make it, makes that grin even broader.

All i can do is be thankful, and keep treating myself as i would my beloved: with kindness, forgiveness, understanding and gentleness.  My reward for such compassion, it appears, is a return to joy.


–written 26 June 2016–


Howling at the moon

Right now, i feel like Godzilla.  i am stomping through-out my house, absolutely graceless, quivering with agony.

The dog must have eaten something particularly appalling, because he has been sick all day, taking out every blanket, towel, sheet and quilt covering every soft surface in the building. He even nailed one of the cats. If he weren’t still begging for food and acting ridiculously cheerful for one so gastrically challenged, i would be more worried.

Thankfully, i think he will make it through this prodigious mess.  For the past two hours, he has been content to sleep on yoga blankets on the floor.

As i watched him suffer today, i realized, i don’t think i am doing much better.  Most of the time, i force myself into this state of magical denial. All is well, my body loves me, i can do anything – and then, on the odd night, all the illusions are stripped away. No matter the power of distractions, i start to feel it. pileoartMy mind starts to list all the things that i have to do, projects on which i have fallen behind, all the price paid for my current situation. Between the physical discomfort and the psychological torment, i am reduced. What remains is the most brutal fundamental: i am suffering and right now, there is no miraculous solution.  i am stuck with this pain, with this frustration, with the sheets being slowly cleaned of various disgusting things, so i can’t even lay down and take what comfort that could bring.

Thwarted, i did what i do – i made art.  Now that my brain is coming back to itself, realigning after stopping the antidepressants, two qualities have returned to me: the need to create and the hatred for being idle.  No slack is given for feeling this desperately bad, other than to shift what work i would do.  Since i could not throw as i had planned – i started working on pen and ink drawings.  The stack above includes most of the poems and drawings of the past three days.

dieoflonelinessPoem after poem poured out of me.  Drawing after drawing.  i lost myself in the world of art, and delighted in it as long as my focus lasted.  For the past hour – between one and two am – the pain finally reached the stage where i could do nothing. i howled at the moon, absolutely impotent against this misery. But in the silence between breaths, i kept staring the pile o’ art i had made.  Tears of rage streaming down my face, i looked over some of my favorite poems from today. i was comforted.  One soothing thing in the middle of the boiling cauldron has been this recognition: i have finally become a champion of my art.  i love these poems.  The images are smooth and i find them lovely.

Even on a night like tonight, when i am shouting at the laundry for taking too long, when i am wild with distress, when i ranted at the moon about the injustice of these ridiculous burdens, i have made some beautiful things.

And, i am grateful, even in this agony.

The energy of pain.

If you were sitting across the table from me right now, watching me fidget and listening to me laugh too loudly, i would tell you: this is the energy of pain.  For months i have been retreating as often as i could into mediation and stillness. The sensation of being inside this skin was so overwhelming that i hid inside the sanctuary of solitude and quiet. As a result, my ability to listen to my body is stronger than it has ever been. So, trust me when i say that as i write these words, the energy of pain sings in high relief within my awareness.

Before it gets incapacitating, pain can create a perverse surge of energy.  Perhaps this is actually the need for distraction, building up inside until it starts to burble out in images, in stories, and in attempts to work that feel more like spasms than anything useful. Limbs cause enough discomfort to keep me from standing for a long time. Twelve days out of surgery, i have to keep myself from lifting heavy things. My body needs me to be conscious of my limitations.

The miraculous shift in my flesh has made such self-restraint chafe.  i want to do and go and be! The pain is so much better! Optimism so fierce that it borders on delusion has returned to my soul! Quietly, slowly, my internal engines of inspiration, discipline and resiliency have started to churn once more.

Months ago, i made a resolution to be kind to myself. i renewed the vow at the beginning of lent (giving up my tendency to verbally abuse myself when i am in distress.) However, after so long down, after ten months watching my circumstances disintegrate while my body could not function well enough to fix the problem, i am welcoming any energy that comes to me – even that which carries this unpleasant hue.  i cannot repress the feeling that all will be well, simply because one simple surgery could change so much.

My uterus, the tumors that were trying to break out of it, and about half the load of pain i had been bearing were removed in a four hour long operation. (According to one of the surgeons a tumor that was peeking out of the organ had its own tumors, like little unwanted ears.  No wonder the process of removal took some time.) The first thing i said when i came out of anesthesia was “Oh, my God, the pain is so much better.”  And in the days following surgery it became even more apparent. Recuperating at a friend’s house, i felt like i was taking advantage of her kindness.  Despite the incisions, i felt stronger and more able than i had for at least a year.

i can tell my body is wounded and healing.  This has done nothing to fix my hips or my problems with my spine, not to mention fibromyalgia, diabetes and the other health issues with which i struggle, but this current level of pain does not incapacitate me.  Even with the buildup of energy that i am experiencing right now, i am coherent enough to write. i am aware enough to be filled with ideas and inspiration.  i could literally burst with hope, simply because i am no longer feeling completely impotent inside my skin.

Before surgery, i kept thinking about my journey. The part of me that tried to get pregnant for twelve years mourned. All the hopes and dreams that i had lost over the years passed through me like shades, giving me the opportunity to ask them to leave, to be carried out of me with my womb.  Once the hysterectomy was finished, i was filled with a sense of peaceful closure. i will always feel some grief over the family i never had, but the contentment is greater. Even more profound, i accepted something that i had said before but never quite let settle down into my cells: i am the end of my line, which means, damn it, i need to stand up and make this journey worth all the trouble and suffering.

So, if you see me over the next few days, and i am bouncing or drifting on my feet, talking too fast about random things, getting so excited about the thought of making art and crafting story again, please forgive me. i believe i am finally able to dig myself out of this hole, and i am marshaling whatever forces i can toward that goal. The energy of pain can be off-putting to the people around me, i know, but please understand, i am giving thanks every single moment for the fact that my body’s burdens have grown lighter.


right on the edge

For weeks, i have been having profound issues physically. Even my ability to produce art, beyond sporadically writing poetry and fiction, has completely stalled. i lost most of the week before last, taking four sick days. For a while, i rallied, although after three days of shuffling through my obligations, things took a troubling turn. i went to the emergency room on Tuesday evening and got home fairly late Wednesday, without any joy.  Everything between now and then has been a blur of misery.

i have been struggling in the most profound way. The smallest things cause tears to stream down my face.  The world keeps spinning on me.  Food has become the enemy, all of it digestible only with intense suffering and pain. Usually, i cope very well with pain – working around it – but this is different.  i am graceless, frustrated, constantly on the edge of cognitive overload.

poor Martin

i could not even let my cat, Martin, cuddle (he is always starved for love) – the physical contact made the pain one whisker more than i could bear.  Eventually, he figured it out and started sitting beside me, cautiously creeping closer and closer, until i was in a good enough place for him to curl up close and get pets and scritches.  Thankfully, Roxi and Darwin are more self-sufficient, content to sit nearby and rest.

The worst part of this has been how it debilitates me emotionally.  My issues with anxiety get augmented wildly by this level of exhaustion and pain.  Chronic illness can lead to feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, but this has been a much stronger reaction than usual. i keep getting jumped, every phone call, each time someone knocks at the door, each time the dog barks like he announces the apocalypse, i nearly come out of my skin. i freeze and shudder and cry. There are a few really unflattering anecdotes i could share about hiding until the unexpected passed – and i acknowledge the irrationality of it. The fear is useless and misplaced.  However, this knowledge doesn’t make any difference. Indeed, the feeling of anxiety was so overwhelming and acute that i unplugged the house line for three days, knowing that people could text or leave a message on my cell (the ringer was set to vibrate) if it was urgent. The boweddown_11x14mail piled up, because i could not get to the box, either physically or emotionally.

Today, i was treading water slightly better, and predictably life felt a little more possible, a little less terrifying.  However, no illusion dwells inside my heart.  As i write, i have expended what energy i have, dinner is at war with my gastrointestinal system, and i can feel the anxiety ratcheting up.  Useless worries crowd my mind.  i try so hard to redirect myself into gratitude – this is a whole meditation/prayer i use to get through, focusing on whatever i can find to be grateful for inside even the worst present – but for now, i am a mouse and my fears are a cat.

Still, i am surviving. i am working to make bloodyminded stubbornness a blessing. All i can do is focus on tiny bits of work before i completely lose myself to sleep and pain.  In tiny, baby steps, i am making progress.  As you can see my website and online store are back up and running, i have edited the books i’ve completed this past month, and i continue to write the one that has its hands wrapped around my heart.  And if i remind myself of these tiny steps forward, maybe the rest of the hulking mountain of problems and fears will seem less intimidating.

the tiny blessings

For days, I have hovered right at cognitive load, although it was only yesterday that I truly understood how close to the edge I was.  A young artist wanted a studio membership – showing up as I was walking to the studio with my breakfast at 9 am, wanting to start work without an appointment or a calling ahead – and I got snappish and had to apologize for it. It had been hard to start my day; getting out of bed had put me right up against my limits. The anticipation of the added work I would have to do for him – getting the waiver of liability signed, touring the studio, explaining the rules and getting him clay, tools and a shelf, the correct assumption that it would cost me a quiet breakfast – just shoved me over for a second. Thankfully he was not offended, he might not know me well enough to know that I was testy, but I knew.  Usually, I am able to keep such things inside.

I notice these deviations from my norm and they bother me.  I pride myself on my ability to hide how bad I am feeling.  I work very hard so I do not have to pester friends and neighbors for help.  I try to keep whatever confusion and slowness caused by pain from entering into my conversation.

However, for those in the know, there are several barometers for how well I’m doing physically that people can take one glance at and know for certain without my having to say a word or even seeing me at all. Am I blogging, or at least posting poems? What does the floor of the studio look like? Did the neighbors notice if my trash and recycling made it out last week? What does my kitchen look like? These are the baselines for me – especially now that I am without roommates who could give me the illusion that I might get help. If I am able to throw and do the other things that this studio demands to keep open from day to day, and keep the kitchen fairly clean (my standards are not high), the studio floors somewhat less than slovenly (again, my goals are modest) and write something every single day (haiku anyone?), then I am doing pretty well.  If not…  well, then, the cleaning starts to slip first. As hard as I have tried to tie my self esteem to a clean house, I remain able to live with dirty dishes. Next the bookkeeping, my ability to remember appointments and my mental to-do list go. Then the words stop their flow. Finally, the work that pay the bills starts to suffer significantly – today I have been unable to throw or carve the agateware I made earlier this week.  Sadly, getting my house ready for market has been thrown into last place, getting whatever dregs of energy I can mete out.  I wanted to have a yard-sale again today, but knew last night that I could not manage the physical effort of it without utterly undoing myself.

For the past two weeks I’ve been struggling more and more.  Part of this is the push of spring – getting things ready for galleries and the beginning of summer commissions. These are not things I can delegate, they have to come from my two hands – and my two hands can only do so much.  My mind and my body need me to take better care of them, but I am a sole proprietor and help is not something I can take for granted.  I keep trying to make trades – studio time or firings for help around the studio, pottery for labor – but so far, I am not able to get these deals to close.  I have made trades, but it’s usually art for art – and that is fine.  But staring at whatever lovely new piece I’ve acquired does not make the floors clean or finish painting the studio or inch the plaster bats I need to start reclaiming clay toward completion.  We are all pressed to our limits – every single person I know seems to be on the edge of cognitive load themselves.

Anyway, this is not what I wanted to write about. I want to talk about the gift hidden within today. Whenever I have a physical downturn this bad, it effects my emotional state.  Anxiety and spasms of despair begin to rule my mood.  Loneliness takes on a darker, more troubling quality when I realize how inadequate I am to the task at hand. Any words about how people cannot live in isolation (heard in recordings of Maya Angelou and Archbishop Desmond Tutu this week) leave me whimpering. PTSD symptoms that I thought I had long since vanquished begin to trouble me again.

All of these forces have been working within me for days and days. Today should have been really quite desperate for me – it has all the qualities needed for one of the worst days ever – I am short tempered and definitely still walking that fine line between function and overload.

Once more, it took everything I had to get out of bed today.  blue face smallAs I staggered to the bathroom, past the bottom of the stairs, I looked up and saw – like a videotape in my mind – the moment when my ex husband broke up with me, the moment that everything I held dear was stripped from me.  Too many mornings begin with his voice asserting that I’ve never been loved. I have yet to find an antitdote for it, but usually I have an arsenal of coping techniques to minimize the effect of that memory.  Today, I had nothing in me to struggle against it.  The words just washed over me. Getting dressed, feeding the animals, all took much more effort than they should have; every movement and bend made my solitude echo louder.  Breakfast defeated me. I did not eat until 3:30 pm, because I could not bring myself to fix food.  Yet despite it all, I have been miserable and grumpy, but I have not fallen into despondency.  This is a shift, and it is because of three tiny blessings.

As I started out to the studio around 10:30 this morning, three butterflies started flying around Darwin and I. I told them how lovely they were as they wove around us. For a second, I got lost in that dance. About an hour later, when I opened the garage door, a baby snake tried to break into the studio and I had to coax her out, placing her back into the bushes, explaining to her that Darwin the dog is terrified of snakes and would pee at the sight of her. Oh, but she was lovely. Utterly exhausted by putting up my flags and signs, I came upstairs in the studio, wanting to write, but quickly, realized I lacked the stamina and mental agility for the task.  So, instead, I surrendered and laid on the couch and just listened to the world for nearly an hour: traffic, birds, the snoring of the dog, the whir of the fans.  The stillness itself was magical.  For once I was feeling bad enough even my mind could not manage to torment me.  Thoughts tried to rise, but evaporated in the heat and weariness.  Afraid I would fall asleep, I kept setting a timer on my phone for 10 minutes, but it never went off – I stayed awake, aware, resetting it around 9:45 for another 10 minutes because I could not leave the glory of that stillness.  Abstractly I realized I am as alone as I have ever been – but in that quiet calm, I did not feel lonely anymore.

Even in the middle of wretchedness, when I fail at everything – being an artist, a decent housekeeper, a businesswoman even a writer – these tiny blessings can save me.  Today, I did nothing of value for anyone else but myself – and yet, I feel more optimistic and content than I have in days. (Although, still, I will be actively seeking quite tonight, too, for I know how close to overload I remain.)

It even seems like my good cheer has been rewarded: my words have come back too.

Veteran’s Day

It is important to place this piece in time.  i wrote this in 1998.  Vietnam had been a specter over my childhood; Desert Storm had already occurred but i had no hint of what was to come. These words came out of me long before 9/11.  Before Afghanistan and Iraq. Originally it had the line breaks of a traditional poem – and rereading it today, i think it still is a poem, but a prose poem. So, out went the line breaks.  Otherwise it is essentially as it was in 1998.


Veterans Day, 1998:
  Out of shame, i feel compelled to admit that this remembrance used to mean nothing to me. As a child, i groused about it, i didn’t even get a day off school – all they did was play taps at 11:11, along with some garbled message, muttered by our principle, over a worn and cracking PA system – and all for some vague reason i didn’t truly understand.

Sometimes, a teacher would tell us about W.W.I, that “War to end all Wars,” the phrase always caused laughter, given the wars that have happened since; but, still, there was an emptiness in my understanding.

Even then i knew that my father is a veteran; but still i couldn’t personalize the day
in part because my father has never been terribly personable to me.  The thought that his distance and meanness might have been caused by his time at war, indeed that in some ways his personal war might not have stopped, did not occur to me.

War, thankfully, was foreign to me: i was too young to remember Vietnam, born ten months after Daddy’s last tour of duty was done. All i had heard of was the hostility, the divisiveness within the country that the war had caused.

So the thanksgivings for all those who fought and suffered in long-gone wars remained distant.

But, since then, i’ve learned more, i talked to my father about Vietnam. As an adult i stood watching the news during Desert Storm, studying our country and ourselves imagining myself an historian of the present.

We had learned a lesson, i realized, a vital, important lesson, “i can’t support the war philosophically; politically, i don’t believe we’re justified,” i heard friends say it when the war came up, and these latter the words flowed from my own mouth: “but i support the soldiers there wholeheartedly, i know that they are not to blame…”

Maybe that was what we’d learned from Vietnam, and that is what i think of today.

As an adult, Veteran’s Day has become too real. People i knew, my peers, my friends, for the first time, had gone to serve. i’m in the position to intellectually understand, able to empathize with other people better; i can begin to understand that i do not know their burdens. Even that tentative comprehension makes me look at this commemoration differently.

Today, i spent my time remembering those soldiers, nurses, doctors and others who’ve died and who’ve been crippled, who’ve done things they never wanted to, who bear memories they cannot lose, whose scars will not fade any more. Looking around at our world today, at the serious risk of war on so many fronts, i bleed for all the acquaintances and loved ones who stand at risk of becoming the veterans of tomorrow.

And it was with those thoughts traveling through my mind, and feelings of gratitude, sorrow and worry welling in my opening heart: i cried listening to the national anthem for the first time in my life, and cried as i heard the voices of veterans remembering their lives, and cried as i thought of all those who would be silenced, if we have not gained wisdom from our experience.

Now, i can say with some conviction that Veteran’s Day means something to me.

paradigm shift

i have been wondering how personal this blog will get for a month or so.  It’s one thing to describe my creative process or show you how something is made or talk about a subject that fascinates my imagination.  As a poet, a lot of things people find shockingly intimate becomes fodder for my writing. i have been accused of being an emotional exhibitionist.  Now with that said, i hesitated to write this blog.  It is a little more revealing than even my comfort level, but even so, it feels important to share.

A few nights ago, i chatted for a long time with a good friend.  Both of us have struggled with PTSD and the way it has effected our lives.  Unfortunately for her, that night i was having a bit of trouble and she took up the spade to help dig me out.

What a gift friendship is.

However, she wound up causing a paradigm shift in my thinking.

i have always struggled with a sense of otherness.  Even among people i care for, i can feel achingly apart and alone. As lonely as i get, solitude can be a synonym for safety.  For most of my life, i had only believed one person when he said he loved me and when he took the word away, it broke me to bits. It seemed to prove the worst of me, that i was hopeless. Thankfully, i have made progress since then.  i recognize love more often, from more people, finally figuring out that because love might have limitations that doesn’t make it less real.

blue portraitStill, i am far from invulnerable to these dangerous spasms of lonely despair. They can imperil me.

Instead of seeing how i am like others, i wind up focusing on how i am different.  Instead of celebrating my differences, i see them as sinful, or stupid, or worthless.  Part of this comes from being a poet and an artist.  i could not fail to notice that i see the world differently from many.  My priorities  differ from those of most sane people.  All you have to do is look at the state of my kitchen. Making art takes precedence over pretty much everything – even the dishes.

And for my whole life, i have assumed that this otherness was hard wired within me. Many of the poems that lament the loneliness and isolation from which i suffer describe how inevitable it is given who i am.

As we talked, a different interpretation came to both of us.  She saw the loneliness, the acute vulnerability, the intense feeling that i can’t manage on my own as products of PTSD rather than something innate in my being.  Causing me to question this assumption struck me as deeply as making someone question their religion’s most tightly held dogma.  It rattled my foundations.  This had seemed an incontrovertible truth, a universal Truth applied to the specific oddity that i perceive as myself.  Yet, the case she made was very good.

Which got me thinking.  And thinking.  i was up most of the night, long after she and i stopped talking.  The epiphany has not traveled far from me in days.  If only i knew what to do with it.
What do we do when something so central to how we see ourselves becomes an assumption to be questioned?  All of the sudden, i saw myself so clearly as a young child, feeling alone and scared and betrayed and powerless. i remembered the first time that i realized the world “love” was being used as a lie, to mask cruelty. At the time, i couldn’t do anything about my situation – so those emotions turned inward.  They became Truths about my experience.  i was Alone.  i was Terrified.  i was someone who could not be loved, not truly, not in a way that didn’t require me to suffer. I was someone who could not be protected or protect herself.  Instead of fleeting moments, those definitions became descriptions of my essence.

As i  talked with my friend, as i pondered this in the hours since, i have wondered if the reason i always wound up so overthrown by the negative experiences in life that nearly everyone has experienced and transcended was because they acted as triggers, echoing and enhancing that primal reaction.

In which case, those emotions and moods and dangerous despair are not the Truth of me at all.  They need not effect my behavior or color how i see the world.  Loneliness and otherness become impositions, not definitions.

And this thought excites me.  It gives me hope.  And i have no idea what to do with it – if this new way of thinking will hold and change how i interact with the world – other than be grateful to my friend for her help.

While i continue to think this through, i’ll leave you with a few poems from the old paradigm.

born lacking:

alone again:


burning solitude:

Shifting seasons

gratitude doodle
gratitude doodle

click on the blue, underlined links to hear poems

This has been a season for change and gratitude.

i wrote about the theme of thankfulness earlier, but as i watch the sun peek out after days of rain, lighting the leaves on fire with a brilliant, intense greens, i feel this truth keenly.  This moment embodies sublime wonder.  As i write, i feel more whole and content than i can ever remember feeling before – even though my circumstances (as is the case with artists everywhere) remain perpetually unstable.

There is an indescribable, if not constant, joy in this life.  i am feeling wildly blessed today.  Much of my gratitude comes from a morning spent reading drafts of my prose and poems – my journey has confronted me.  My words made it clear: this is not a place i expected to be.  Depression, PTSD, rampant insecurity and self-loathing had plagued me for years, weighing me down to the point of death, certainly into a pit of immobility.  That i am no longer languishing fills me with thankfulness the depths of which i cannot begin to express.  It flows deeper than my marrow and bubbles out into the world.  Mostly, i delight in the realization that things did not have to get better externally for this internal shift to occur.

Today has been far from flawless.

My back woke me up with pain, but after some grimacing i coaxed myself up and out of bed.  Instead of pushing my body when i felt weak, i gave myself the gift of a few hours and plunged into prose and poetry.  Nothing centers me better than the written word.  Even going through my most recent poetry collection, looking for typos before releasing it into the wild, has filled me with delight.

asha throwing
asha throwing

All forms of creativity bring their own flavor to joy. Yesterday, i threw fourteen mugs.


The realization that someday soon they will be used by people, a form of utilitarian art, gave me great satisfaction as i worked.  Another fifty pounds of clay awaits me, hoping that by this afternoon my back will feel good enough to throw.  But, even if i cannot, all will be well.  My words, paint and other obligations will keep me company.

Lately, i have been thinking a lot about how throwing pottery has served as an analogy for my journey through this life.  Once, during one of my lowest spells, my pottery wheel tried to kill me.  As soon as i regained my senses, i wrote a poem about how the experience taught me how fiercely i will fight for my life even when otherwise imprisoned by despair.

that wheel’s a killer

Perhaps, my art has been further along on this journey than the rest of me.  Some of my poetry, especially that written during the darkest times of my life, has expressed profound gratitude and enthusiastic dreams.


taking wing

A seemingly endless to-do list lies before me and writing these few words has energized me enough that i feel ready to attack that mountain of chores with both hands and whittle it down to something more reasonable.  An amazing sense of empowerment has come over me with this contentment.  For big things, i still have to work myself into confidence, but i somehow move forward in the end.  i keep proving to myself that i am more capable than i ever imagined, although i am kept humble by my continued ability to be stunningly awkward and absent-minded.  It seems strange, but this one shift in my self-perception has altered nearly everything about how i write; all of the characters in my fiction suddenly became stronger, more at ease.  Two books are undergoing major rewrites due to this metamorphosis.

A new season has come upon me.  Caught between spring and summer, i find myself singing over the renewal of spirit.

fire woman
fire woman – to buy her click here