Friday, April 26, 2024

Bucking & Mucking


Until my husband got me a battery-operated chainsaw, I only knew the word “bucking” in the context of “bucking a trend.” Apparently, one also bucks fallen tree limbs—as in, cuts them into chunks. Which is weirdly fun. The photo shows the first logs I bucked. 

Mucking, I knew. Before the chainsaw, I spent late winter mucking around in the gully that becomes our second, seasonal creek after heavy rains. This year, it ran with white water, turning the field into a floody-muddy mess, because previous owners had once laid weed barrier down there for some reason. The nasty plastic stuff had blocked clumps of earth from moving with the water. (Ironically, oodles of weeds had grown through the barrier, effectively anchoring it even more securely into the soil.) I forgot to take a photo of all the woven black goop I pulled from the earth. Probably just as well: I’m happy to forget it. 


Spring finds me with less poetry of words and more poetry of earth—of paying attention to wood grain and water flow. Yet always with a bit of etymology….


Bucking means to oppose or resist. It’s literally and metaphorically going against the grain. Mucking, as a transitive verb, basically means to move mud: mud is the object. But as an intransitive verb—with no object—it means to hang around, to engage in a useless activity. 


So, technically, my object-less title implies resistance and useless activity! Ah, but the creative life needs both. Paying attention to our resistance helps us know where to press in. And what can look a waste of time is often the necessary tilling of our spirit-fields. Maybe we’d be wise to do some bucking and mucking inside as well as out. Also, maybe we can let more “weeds” be. The dandelions of life are rich in vitamins…and rich in that most vital of life lessons: that we can’t control everything!


Here’s to knowing what to buck & muck, and what to leave be.


Happy Spring,





Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

The Bliss of Is

Last year, I finished up a Very Big Project that won’t get out into the world for a while, so I decided to create a little passion project for fun…. 

And now I am delighted to announce my first hardback book: The Bliss of Is.


Inside this book, you’ll find little poems and paintings. The poems mostly emerged over several years of writing daily for National Poetry Month. I selected thirty favorites and—in keeping with the quick-spirited writing—painted one watercolor a day for a month for each poem. All in celebration of the daily practice of presence. 


I invite you to that practice. Take a moment to meditate on a poem-painting each day for thirty days, or read them all in thirty minutes, or both! May you enjoy playing in the realm of art + word + spirit. 


Here’s one of the poems:


I spot a scrap of fallen paper,

& as I bend to pick it up, I see

it is not trash but a square of light.

I pick it up anyway. 


If you’d like to enjoy the full gathering of meditative poems & paintings, you can order yourself a copy here. Do note that this particular book has very long ship times; think of it as a surprise when it finally arrivesa gift to your future self in time for this year’s National Poetry Month!

If you'd like a copy sooner, I still have a few left of a limited run of signed books. More info in my newsletter. Contact me if interested.


May we know the bliss of is—of being right here, right now.





Monday, January 29, 2024

Of Green Fuses and Flowers


The force that through the green fuse drives the flower… 

               Dylan Thomas 

The first month of the year makes for great hibernation—for hunkering down into the soil of the creative work. For me, January is like the Monday of the year; it gets the “green fuse” going. This month, I sent out a big project into the world (here’s hoping!) and prepared to announce a little one (soon!). 


Big or small, all the work happens day by day until one day, what was the bud of an idea finally blossoms. Not unlike the amaryllis above. Though I took the second photo only two weeks after the first, this can be what a year looks like. Or a decade. Or a life. 

Oall the planting and tending that precede the beauty of bloom!


Blessings on all the things flowering in your life this year.




Thursday, December 28, 2023

Questions for Advent


Each day of Advent, I created a little bit of art + word + spirit and shared them in social media land. Here are a few for you. May your coming year be filled with good answers!

Can we see the lovingkindness in the darkness? 
Can we be the lovingkindness, lifting darkness?

What love within us 
lifts us from our losses? 
What name will we 
give this win?

Instead of being jaded
by the gravity of our world,
can we shift the ellipsis of our hearts?
Can we “be aware” from the anagram 
galaxy of “bare awe”?