30 September 2009

the laughing pen

when you push down on this little guy's flame colored head, he emits this belly laugh sound that resonates to the far corners of your desk and is guaranteed to make you at least smile. i wrangled this away from a salesman who was pitching his wares to kids - laughing pen included. when i asked him how i could get one because i really needed a good laugh, he handed it to me and told me to keep it - saying everyone needs a good laugh now and again. but i don't think he really understands how wonderful it is to laugh right now - even if it is over a silly little pen with hair.

29 September 2009

ode to a cigarette

my last pack of salem lights
which held my last cigarette
smoked ten years ago
finally, i can say with conviction
"i quit."

27 September 2009

for my amusement

time for a new toy. not sure what's inside this plastic ball but whateveritis glows and shimmers and reflects all manner of light source. i can't wait to bring it into school and put it on a windowsill and watch it shine all winter long. i just hope no little kid decides to lob it through a window.

26 September 2009

and the beat goes on

inspiration has been difficult to come by these weeks. but yesterday i noticed all around me that autumn was well under way. so this morning i ventured out with the camera once again. these are asters, native to new england this time of year. in all the reds, oranges, russets, and golds, i love the purple.

20 September 2009

in perspective

just when i am at my lowest point of the week, just when i am missing my mother so much it fairly hurts, just when i think this is what grief will be for a long time, i get a lovely message of condolence from an old student. now grown, he graciously tells me he knows how i am feeling since he and his wife have recently lost a daughter. a child, in the midst of her life. amazing how another's tragedy, far, far worse than any i can comprehend, can jar one back into some semblance of what is normal and accepted. incredible how brave some people must be.

13 September 2009

have a nice day

with the events of this past week, i have become keenly aware of the frequent use of this phrase or one similar - have a good day, have a nice night, have a good weekend... i was counting the continual utterances, anticipating them even, when i finally gave up early on at number thirteen: have a good afternoon from the clerk at the florist's. i want to nose right up to those greeters and quietly reply that my mother has just passed away and to have a good day seems an impossible request just now, thank you very much. maybe private grief is not such a good thing. perhaps those folks with the black armbands were onto something.

12 September 2009


the services are over, the family has dispersed, and now comes the business of returning to life-as-usual, even if things can never be the same again.

07 September 2009

deep peace

deep peace of the running wave to you
deep peace of the flowing air to you
deep peace of the quiet earth to you
deep peace of the shining stars to you
deep peace of the gentle night to you
moon and stars pour their healing light on you
deep peace of Christ, the light of the world to you
deep peace of Christ to you

for my family, for my mom

labor day

when i think back on this summer, the night of this board game will be the memory that i'll hold most dear. i was together with people i love. we laughed and had fun. it was a bittersweet time and i will always be glad of having it.

04 September 2009

good friday

the sun shines, the air is cool, the sky a brilliant blue. work is simple, strangers are kind, and the glass is clearly half full.

how can today be so painfully perfect when somewhere there are hearts dying?