• My Poems,  Poetry

    Gilt Gift {a #poem}

    Sometimes I guilt myself right out of joy. Like the surprise of an iridescent butterfly from an unsightly cocoon, who would expect this shimmering show in morning sunlight? Eyes are trained on Northwest firs framed in blue, frosted feeders, feathered presents hidden among the trees. I’ve held my breath, wondering. Did my mother ever ponder stilling herself, take a moment with the birds in her California garden? Gaze restful at morning fog carried in on marine air? Was she ever at ease in her troubled life, as she parented us alone? I will never know. I cannot ring her up to ask, there is no email to send, no letter…

  • The Church Year

    How to Lent-Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us

    The city of New Orleans has a singular reputation for laissez les bon temps rouler (“let the good times roll”) no matter what time of year. During Mardi Gras, though, the celebrations take on an over-the-top frenzy that is hard to match. We lived in New Orleans in the 1970’s and saw this dress-up carnival cum Halloween celebration firsthand. Mardi Gras (literally ‘fat Tuesday’ in French) offers the citizens and umpty zillion of their best friends to dress up, dance and drink, throw candy and don beads. There are parades uptown, downtown, in the suburbs, everywhere. I still have some beads from one of those parades. I also have snapshots…

  • The Church Year

    Why I Didn’t Give up Anything for Lent

    My mother in law is 93 years old and lives downstairs in our finished basement apartment.  She’s still got a pretty agile mind (when she remembers her hearing aids and actually listens to what is being said) but her body has pretty much given out. We help her with meals during the week, bringing down extra casseroles and soups, salads and an occasional dessert.  She doesn’t mind being reminded to eat (that being a precursor to staying alive and all) but she is so over it when it comes to being bothered with meal preparation. “I’ve cooked so many dinners in my lifetime, I’m just tired of even thinking about…