Waiting For The Muse


I was talking to a fellow blogger at a party the other night.

“I just don’t want to be one of those people who blogs about how they have nothing to blog about,” she said. We sipped our Merlot, then caught each other’s guilty glances over our wine glasses and dissolved into laughter because we had both recently done exactly that.

I blame winter. It was long and it was dreadful and it was cold and it was dark. How can one be expected to write under those circumstances? My creativity has been buried under two feet of snow, and the pipes to my well of inspiration froze solid months ago.

Sometimes when I feel at a loss, I pull out excerpts from my journal and — for reasons not clear to me — my readers seem to enjoy that. I may have to resort to journal snippets later this week, although my journal entries have mostly been complaints about the weather.

I’ve had a little fun with stream-of-consciousness word games, just rambling blogs about fun words like ignominious and ratiocination. I thought about doing one on the word perfidiousness, but decided that perfidiousness was too unpleasant to write about, and besides, someone could sue me for defamation of character if I got too specific about their “deceit, deliberate faithlessness, and treachery.”

The days are getting longer, and the robins are singing their spring songs. It was in the sixties yesterday. And — I know you’ve been waiting for an update  — I finally took down my Christmas tree last week. For Lent. So things are looking up, I think. I may actually produce something worth reading sometime soon. For now, I just wanted to say, “Hi, I’m still here; I still think about you guys.”

Welcome to my newest followers, and I’m sorry if this is the first post you’re receiving. I’m not usually like this. Usually.

Last week

Last week




This week!

This week!





Musing on Dead Leaves and a Dead Cat


I spread a pocketful of cheerful autumn leaves across the dark mahogany tabletop, smoothing the curling edges flat, admiring the precise indentations of the maples, and examining the green stripes and purply spots on the rust-colored beech. I’ve brought in a leathery brown oak leaf, too, and I place it in the middle of the reds and oranges and yellows.

I’m thinking about burying the cat. First I think, at least it’s not the dead of winter, so I won’t have too much trouble digging a deep hole. Then I think of all the critters here in the woods of New Hampshire, and how they might dig her up. I think how unfair: that I would be burdened with another loss so soon after my brother’s passing. Of all the cats I’ve had, this one’s my favorite.



Then she comes downstairs.

She’s not dead, I just thought she might be because she didn’t appear as soon as I came in from my walk. So my mind wandered into worry and then decided to embark on a full expedition. This is how my mind works since my brother died. There’s a low-level anxiety lurking amongst the dendrites and ganglia in my brain, keeping me ever vigilant and ready for the next crisis or tragedy.

Sometimes the bump on my nose must be cancer. Sometimes I know someone is angry with me, but I don’t know who or why; I just know I’m in trouble. Sometimes, my familiar to-do list will bring on a near panic. Sometimes my cat is dead.

Thing is, the worst has happened. And it happened almost ten months ago. But I’ve only just stopped keeping the cell phone by my bed, finally realizing there will be no more nighttime emergencies. I will not be called into action. I no longer have primary responsible for any person’s health or well-being except my own. My mother is dead; my brother is dead.

Given those parameters, everything is fine. I am still alive. My cats are still alive. I’m doing pretty well, really.

I guess it will take time for my tired reptilian brain to come back to center, to stop anticipating disaster. In the meantime, I go for walks in the woods and collect pretty leaves. And I write.

A Soul Being Filled


Nine hours of interstate and my car sloshes into the two muddy ruts that pass for a driveway. I step out into the rain expecting the usual scent of pine, but am instead blessed by a breeze saturated with lilac and lily of the valley.

I am early this year — I’ve never seen the lilacs bloom; never seen the lily fronds petaled with fallen apple and quince blossoms.

Lilacs by the Coach House

Lilacs by the Coach House

It must have been raining for days. The bushes and trees hang heavily, and the ground is soggy beneath my bare feet as I traipse back and forth, back and forth through the wet grass, blue jeans rolled to my knees, carrying my cats, my books, my cooler, my clothes.

Unpacked, I return to the car and head to the spring in the glistening dusk. I drive slowly, windows open, and breathe.

And breathe.

Every small hollow is full of water and bursting with song. I’ve never heard the spring peepers here, either, and I swerve drunkenly to miss the scores of sex-crazed frogs leaping wildly across the road.

Across from the spring, bits of mist drift down the dark mountain and promise a heavy morning fog. Below, the Ashuelot River dances giddily along its banks dressed in decorative white foam, as if rushing to a rendezvous downstream.

I fill my bottles with fresh water and nature fills my soul with springtime scents and songs.

I am here.

Apple Blossom Art

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Apple Blossom Art

Apple Blossom Art

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