31 May 2012

Home for a Quick Touchdown

The view above at Crossroads is from the gazebo where our clients start every day with meditation. It's also where a good-bye ceremony is held for each client who successfully completes the program. Although I had no ceremony, I nonetheless went to the gazebo and said good-bye once again to Crossroads as my six week contract ended. I love this spot in this special place of healing and was pleased to be able to help out these clients who want to turn their lives around and are willing to do the hard work to accomplish this. I treasure the opportunity to serve them in this endeavor. How could I not? Hard work so worth doing.

And now I'm home for a brief recharge, a great friend gathering and quick change of clothes before heading out again but this time for FUN! Fun on vacation with my Honey, our daughter and the grands. Fun for almost a month, fun in Disney World, fun at the beach and fun with my sister-in-law and friend and various nieces and great nieces/nephews as well!

A little more about the gathering of friends that my honey had arranged for last evening. Five friends were unavailable but fifteen friends came to share pizza, conversation and comraderie. It was a splendid night and so very wonderful to have all our good friends together meeting one another, some for the first time, and giving me the chance to talk with them all at one time when my time here is limited because of vacation. What a great time I had! How grateful I am for the friends we have made here. I love my life, in part, because of them. Grazie Mille i miei amici!

28 May 2012


Sinead O'Connor's song has a wonderful line in it where she gives thanks for what has broken her heart. I hear it as gratitude for that which breaks her heart, all our hearts wide open, which is a great reminder after my last post because that's exactly what happened to me after "that year". What makes the pain, sorrow, heartbreak bearable, even remarkable, is this simple fact that all the heart break of life breaks us out into out true selves in ways that can't happen otherwise. And links us up with others because we can have compassion on all other hearts broken wide open. She sings thank you for that. Me too.

24 May 2012

that was the year

that was the year when my brother got arrested and all of us were stunned in that kind of what? in the world? it's impossible! kind of stunned that stopped me fast yanked me down and took my breath away and made me whisper to my girlfriend that the only way that the word brother goes with the word jail is if he was visiting one to volunteer. shows how much I knew that year. the year that my daughter went away to college and all I could do was cry not sweet motherly tears but heaving sobs with my nose running and my eyes swollen red that embarrassed everyone around including me but I couldn't stop and carried on like that just like that for weeks even when I went to a couple's weekend with my husband to talk and I couldn't because all I could do was wail at the loss of my daughter. that year my mother died when there should never be a year when a mother dies six weeks after being diagnosed with something that had treatment protocols described by the doctor for me to tell her about so she could decide which one to choose and instead she died and I just wasn't ready to not have her in my life in my daughter's life and to figure out what to do with the hole in my heart which they had no treatment protocols for or even told me about so I could prepare for until there it was and it felt like it was the whole of me this hole where I used to have a whole heart and I stood there without my mother who always took care of things like that like family heart holes and I had to figure out what to do myself alone that year. that year I got fired from my profession can I get fired from my profession? which they think is just a job and I had never been fired before and where do they get those ridiculous euphemisms like downsizing and rightsizing when it's down alright I mean I was down but it's not right no matter what size they say it is without me and it wasn't a job it was my professed profession since I was three and I was so immobilized really unable to move that I had to go to a healer to get healed because I couldn't just couldn't move and I had a hole in my heart and it wasn't the kind of healing you have to chat about at a coffee klatch it was the kind that fills heart holes gets limbs moving and saves your life. that year that was the year.

This was posted in response to the prompt: Stream-of-Consciousness Writing by Victoria Slotto in Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft over at the dVerse Poets Pub.

May Sarton

In our program here at Crossroads we sometimes use poetry to best express a particular topic. My colleague, Greg, uses this poem of May Sarton's to challenge our clients to seize the opportunity given to them in treatment to do just as she describes- become themselves. First published in 1948, it's a favorite of mine and I was startled and pleased to see it on the clients' counter. Sarton was an amazingly prolific writer, please enjoy.

Now I Become Myself

Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before--"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

22 May 2012

Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard National Park is a cultural heritage site in English Harbour, Antigua. I was there a couple of days ago and enjoyed the combination of old buildings (built in the 1870's) and nature, including a lovely, twice- sheltered harbour. Such a pretty spot and largely deserted this time of year.  It recently hosted the Antigua Sailing Week, a bustling international event attracting boats from all over the world, but those folks are long gone. Some of the races coursed by Crossroads and awed our clients. There's something ancient and classic in crisp, white sails rounded with wind against the blue of sea and sky.

This is where the naval boats of another day came for repairs.

I could hear the echoes of workers' voices as they repaired and refinished the ships. I wonder if they have work songs to accompany them?

20 May 2012


His sudden death sheered
her mooring, blew her
to a wholly foreign place, clipped
from self, trimmed
from all she knew
to somehow cut
a new path in some
unwanted way.

Posted in response to Karin's: Poetics: Tools of the Trade (Verbs- all) over at dVerse Poets Pub. Check it out.

Beach Day

We've had a lot of rain lately but yesterday was sunny and warm so I hit the beach with my friend, Annee.

Coming around the western , Caribbean Sea side of the Island, we breathed deeper:

We swam, walked and lounged at Turner's Beach with its incredible turquoise water:

We plunked our lounge chairs in the dual shade of palm tree and wood umbrellas:

A house next to the beach with amazing views of  it all:

Sugar used to be king here before it could be made cheaper in another country. They still make rum from the sugar cane, though. We saw this restored sugar mill on our way home:

This is my last week at Crossroads so I'll grab all the Island opportunities I can.

16 May 2012

Grateful for Annee

 “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

I've had a chance to work again with my good friend, Annee, here at Crossroads. Our careers have criss crossed and thrown us together in three facilities (the other two in California) over the years, oh happy fate. I call her my wise friend because she is and she's generous in sharing her wisdom. I've been the recipient many times and one time she saved my life, you know, the way girl friends can do. I was immobilized with hurt and fear and didn't know what to do next. I called Annee. She said: just show up, pay attention, tell the truth, and let go of the outcome. I thought to myself, I can do that, and that thought gave me hope. I saw the way out and it was simple. I wrote those words down and put them on my refrigerator and read them every day, clung to them as to a life raft, did them as my only requirement. It changed everything of course. It's how friends can change each other's lives.

So, in between our work, we gab and float and luxuriate in time together. Makes my heart happy. And grateful.

14 May 2012

Two Doves

Two doves, mottled brown on the red metal roof next door, sang me awake this morning. Not the furious chorus of birds that greet the dawn. But throaty coos, one magnifying the other, until it reached me and led me out of sleep to their morning song.

"And anon there came in a dove at a window, and in her mouth there seemed a little censer of gold, and therewithal there was such a savour as all the spicery of the world had been there."
(Sir Thomas Mallory)

13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I walked out of dinner two nights ago and this was our sunset. 
Happy Mother's Day to all who bravely gave birth to the next generation. Well done!

10 May 2012

techno logical love

watch my grandson  it's pure
in him  the love of it all
cars buses trains planes computers especially
computers ipads cell phones pop up
games that capture him  his heart
at one with  in love with
techno logy  playing in it  lost in it  in it
i mean watch him play  talk to him  have him tell you every
detail like a lover who doesn't miss a thing  touches it all in awe who
takes it all in sifted through his mind  fingers  fast fingers  heart
it's his it's obvious it's his world from his dawn on
in ways i can't ever know because that's the thing about
love  techno logical love  it's logical for him
and for a moment for me when he comes with that love
spilling out of his eyes as he looks at me and wants to play
with me and shows me how and we play and i catch
that techno logical love  my heart beats a him
rhythm for a minute my eyes fill with his sights glimpse his world
a nano second of standing under which helps me
understand his techno logical
love and i have to say
yes to his yes of course his pure yes love

This came in response to the prompt: Machine Dreams by Chazinator in Meeting the Bar over at dVerse Poets Bar on this day of my grandson's great grandmother's birthday. She would have been so proud of him. As am I.

AA in Antigua

This is where I attended an AA meeting with our clients. Honest.

06 May 2012

Paul's Sax

Music flows from me, speaks

soul to souls who hear.

Lips fit, sends brother's breath

ushered through metal chambers,

air shaped to sound, bounced

against ears, language

shared, notes

to receive.

Your notes use letters

strung to words,

widen gulfs.

Mine are kind, know

no bounds,

sing to all,

draw all

into a circle of sound.

(My music awareness started as my older brother played his alto sax. He got good as I turned to writing to 'spress myself. He opened my ears, though, to the powerful pull of music which kicked off my teenage years. It was the early 60's and the times they were a changin.)

This was sparked by the prompt "OUR Music" by Stuart McPherson over at dVerse Poets. Check it out.

02 May 2012

From My Little Corner of the World

We had rain galore last night and various shades of gray skies today interspersed with showers. The clouds scudding around were the fast moving kind that arrange and rearrange themselves dramatically on their way to dump their rain here or there as they see fit. It is quite a show. 

It forms the back drop as I stay present to the difficult stories of those with whom I work.