What Would You Do?

If, at some point, your own government ceased to function, to protect you, to provide some sort of “unalienable rights,” putting you in a situation of compromise, maybe forcing you to take a journey you are physically and temporally unprepared to take, what would you do?

If, at some point, you pondered the blessed and happy state of your large house which gave heat and cool air on demand, and you thought about your stocked pantry and adequate bank account, and your chest wrenched because your country was founded upon these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and your chest perhaps heaved because of the abundant space you could give others if they could but get to your home, if your national and local leaders would allow them to come, and your tear ducts filled because you felt powerless to help, what would you do?

If your son came home from school, claiming he heard from a friend that the problems in our world, especially in Paris, were the fault of a religion–one to whom your good friends and neighbors and students belong–a religion of peace and of opening your home and sharing the blessings from the same Creator I believe in, and you knew you needed to say something because what he said wasn’t true but that you knew in other homes that the same philosophies of fear were being taught, down the street, and across the country, what would you do?

What will you do?


In the depths of this early morning, with moonlight streaming in through closed blinds, lights flickering on and off changing the angled shadows around my bedroom, recent turns and twists of experience played across my mind like an old movie theater projection. This blog, though often neglected as of late, was part of the ever-changing scenery. I recalled my last post, written in despair, as a cry of help in honesty, seeking understanding.

Late on Saturday night, I decided to fast. Fasting–to me–is abstaining from food or drink for a period of time (often two meals) as an act of faith to draw neared to God, to sacrifice something meaningful to me in pursuit of enlightenment or strength, and includes an offering to be given to those in need of what I would have spent on meals during that time (a “fast offering”). As I fasted through my Sabbath day (Sunday), I was given renewed courage and faith as I sought strength and healing. I was able to smile and laugh. Stories that others shared as I went through my day took on new meaning, as if those I loved shared them just for me. I felt known, loved, and joyful. My problems did not go away; however, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, revived, restored. I felt better than I was when I began fasting on Saturday evening.

It’s the Hard Knock Life

I always thought the song was called, “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Google it. I promise–it’s “the”–not “a.”

And, now, just so you can sing along with me:

On a more serious note, I have been in the midst of trauma and turmoil for the last couple of months. While I won’t go into details (we all have our sad, dark, difficult moments), I would like to share with you a small bit of wisdom I have learned.

Life is hard.

Sometimes it’s harder than hard. And sometimes it just plain sucks.

Wait–let me backtrack a bit. I was a teenager once. Were you? Did we know each other? Maybe you will remember as I do that I wasn’t the happiest person. My favorite shirt had Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh) on the front–you know, the character that is associated with lines like, “Tut, tut. Looks like rain”–that was me.

photo credit

I loved the rain. (Isn’t it romantic, and sad?) I loved nothing more than to turn on “Pictures of You” by The Cure or “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. and watch the rain fall.

Then, I grew up a little, got a little less teen angsty, and decided that life was better in the sunshine. I worked hours on retraining the default settings of my brain to reflect on positive aspects of life. I began to count blessings instead of troubles. And I chose happiness.

(That’s probably the hardest part right now. Happiness evades me daily. I want it back, and I’m trying each moment of each day to choose it–but I get tired of walking down the staircase and reliving my baby’s fall, my legs shaking so much on the ambulance drive with him, thinking of myself in the front seat pleading with the driver to tell me about himself as a distraction from my little guy lying on a backboard while three EMTs tended to him, the sleepless days and nights in ICU that followed, and the fear of coming home and seeing it all happen again.)

Trauma is real. And I pray, but it’s still there. I read and study, but the pain aches in my chest, my head, my heart. I smile, and every once in a while, the smile feels sincere.

And even though we’ve had so many gifts and blessings (and he is healing), I pull my knees to my chest and cry–more often than I did as a fifteen-year-old.

And I am grateful. And I am smiling, softly, not with my lips but with my eyes, thinking of each of you–your friendship, support, and love.

And someday, when I tell myself that “everything will be okay,” the phrase will stop feeling like a lie. And everything will be okay (even though life will still be hard).

At least I’m learning, right?


Once June hits around here, we have a birthday/anniversary/special occasion at least monthly for several months, which is pretty cool. :) My birthday is coming up next month, and I have been thinking about the emotional growth spurt that I experienced recently. One morning this week, before I got out of bed, I had a phrase from one of the birthday songs the children of our church sing to one another by Barbara McConochie: “one year older and wiser, too.”

Though wisdom might have evaded me as a child, I have considered moments from this summer which have brought me insight and strength. I have been taught in ways that I would not have imagined possible on subjects as diverse as faith or screenwriting, as connected as family is to friends. I have experienced moments of ease as well as moments of pain, moments of heartache and moments of triumph. Each day, I have been sustained by those around me and a power beyond my own.

What have I learned?

  • I am stronger, more capable, more powerful than I knew before this moment.
  • My family has the capacity to strengthen, bless, and uplift.
  • I have a voice to sing.
  • Life is filled with blessings, even as we struggle.
  • Struggling helps us (if we let it).
  • Life is good.
  • Gratitude each day is crucial.
  • I can be happy, no matter what goes on around me.
  • Prayer changes situations, hearts, minds.
  • As we work together to support each other, we’ve got this.

Till next time. xoxo

Here We Go Again

Just typing the title led to a song (have I mentioned that we speak in song around here?), which led to a Google search for a song by the same name, then on to Spotify (do you know how many songs have the title “Here We Go Again” on Spotify?…I don’t either, but the list is long), then back to Google because I could remember a decade. After eight minutes of searching, I found this gem of 90’s video-music-history:

You can thank me later. :)

As I have thought about catching up with the blog various times this summer, I chose instead to be engaged in life, in music, in moments. (In fact, the only real writing I’ve been doing for the past several months has been in my journal or on Facebook posts, and even those have been sparse.) I have been singing, though, so I’m going to give you my summer in a few minutes, filled with the songs that have reverberated in my vocal cords while sun has been shining on my face and life has been beautiful and challenging.

Sending all my love into the universe and praying some of it touches your heart and allows you ears to hear and a voice to sing. xoxo

Monday Music

Just trying to catch up on a few items (I’ve even been doing my dishes…), and the blog is one space I have been neglecting.

After some challenging weeks, and weeks, and more weeks, I am feeling the generous peace that I crave and enjoying some (much needed) sleep and a few quiet hours. (Bouncing back and forth between the demands of playing extrovert while craving the life of an introvert has been challenging.) Today I want to share a few songs that make me smile or strengthen me on those hard days (and since today is Monday…well, let’s get to the music).

This first song has been a long-time favorite. Since I was a child, my musically gifted mother exposed me to melodies more diverse than I could list on several blog posts. One of the constants during those years was the three-octave range of Barbara Streisand. This song is one of my favorites from her film Yentl, a story about a woman so devoted to learning that she is willing to sacrifice her womanhood to continue her quest for knowledge after her father’s death.

The next song has been my companion in seeking positivity during these last several weeks. I’ve been trying to count blessings instead of sheep (though this piece is Bernstein instead of Berlin).

This last song is just for fun–a love song that has become a tether to my amazing husband (who, often–almost always–has held me through my crazy-busy moments). I can’t say what I feel better than a couple of cute one-liners by Ed Sheeran in this song.

So, there you have some fun music for this glorious Monday. As always, sending love and light your way. <3

A Week of Years – prose poem or flash fiction?

Thanks for all the feedback and love from yesterday. Finishing April (National Poetry Month) with one more:

A Week of Years

I don’t care if I have any sweat left inside me. My body feels wet and dry, hot and cold, purple and pale.

I can’t do this.

After being up through the night with contractions, I’m repeating that phrase.

I can’t do this.

I want it to be over, but I don’t even know what “it” is.

A nurse dabs perspiration from my forehead with an already-moist washcloth, and I try again.


I can’t.

You can, the doctor says. But I don’t believe him. You can. Push.

The white ceiling tiles with little black specks resemble a reverse sky. If I could push though the floors above me, I could see real stars, celestial bodies to comfort my own trembling.

I tighten my core, encapsulating him into a cocoon-hug, but the baby I’m supposed to be delivering isn’t little and isn’t moving. Fatigue is taking over and I want to give in to sleep. To drift away into nothingness—a subconscious world of flying clocks and living in houses that are prettier than my own. But I am back in this room, this bed, feet pulled toward my chest and a baby crowning between my legs.

Push. Push. I don’t remember how to pull strength from somewhere. Bare walls, shined floor, a bright light replacing one ceiling tile all remind me that I’m still here.

Push. Push. Push.

I can’t hear him. He’s not crying. I can see his blue body in the doctor’s arms, and I feel like it’s over.

I want to rewind the last minutes, hours, days, to when he kicked under my ribs, when he pressed his foot against my stomach and I rubbed the heel through layers of skin, uterus, and amniotic fluid. When he was alive and we worked together. When we felt like one.

Then, his cry slices through the room, a sound sweeter than anything I’ve ever tasted.