Tag Archives: life

Measuring in Decades


The older I get

The more time me stretches out behind me

Once I measured my life in weeks

Now I measure in decades.

That milestone, ten years ago

This one fifteen.

I once lived a whole lifetime in fifteen years.

Now I’ve lived two.

Time is a funny thing

It starts out slow

And if you’re not careful

It picks up speed

Like a freight train

Before you know it

You run out of track

So put on the brakes.



And measure

This living moment

In seconds.














You take my hand in yours


You take my hand in yours

But I’m too cold to feel it.

When I was younger

You were what I always wanted

This moment

The culmination of my childhood dreams.

But life takes bites

With every swim past.

This hand, that eye, this leg

This heart

All lost

All replaced

With perfectly functioning


Now I have you.

You who were once so precious to me

But I can’t

For all that I am

Remember why.













Your hand


your hand


replete with vitality

laced with veins and arteries

padded with springy muscle

elegant bones the support trusses

you own this hand

it will fold whichever way you dream

each digit an extension of your unconscious

this hand can beckon, halt, support, negate

lose balance and it steadies you

cry and it wipes your tears away


All you artists,

let your hands give something form

and watch them express

what you never knew was in you.

All you workers,

allow the tasks to fall into place

marvel at what

your hands have wrought.

All you parents

brush hair, wash faces

prepare dinner

caress the infant

whose first unconscious expression of love

is the grasping of your fingers

in his warm little hand.


We are alive

how wondrous we are

with such capacities.

we wreck, we pet.

We let our hands lead us

these finite tools

a hand’s breadth

a finger’s length

flushed with redness, with vigor

Are we really

made of such things?

Are we really made by them?














A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a little girl noticed a blue glow under the stairs leading up to her bedroom. She peeked behind the things there and found a confused blue fairy.

“What is wrong, little fairy?” the girl said.

“I was abandoned,” the fairy replied.

“Well, you can live under my stairs if you like. But I’d rather you stay in my room with me.”

The fairy followed the girl upstairs to her room.  She gasped. “What a beautiful room!”

The room was full of fun things. Christmas lights, glow in the dark stars, hand-drawn pictures of fantastic animals, a pink four poster bed.

“Come and play with me,” the girl said.

And so the fairy lived with the girl for a long time. The girl would bring her pieces of cake and cookies and thimbles of cream from the kitchen. She gave her drawings and told her stories. It doesn’t take much to keep a fairy.

As the girl grew up, she spent less time in her room, less time with the fairy, more time with friends and boys. She took down many of her old drawings.

“Oh, not that one,” the fairy would say.

“But it’s terribly drawn, that nose is ridiculous,” the girl would respond, and remove it anyway.

One day the girl came home and said, “I got accepted into college!”

“Ah,” said the fairy. “I’m going to have to find a new place to stay.”

But the girl didn’t hear her. She often didn’t hear her these days.

The girl went off to college. She learned a great many things. She fought with her boyfriend, she got drunk every weekend, she examined all the things that were wrong with the world, she cried over her exams, gained weight, lost weight. Sometimes when she was homesick she thought of her little fairy friend, but soon was distracted by all the strange new things she was seeing and learning.

When she next came home to visit her family, she stayed in her old room. She took down all the childish things and cleaned up. She never even noticed the fairy was missing.

The girl, a woman now, graduated, got a job, lived her life. She married and had a daughter. She struggled to teach her right from wrong, while still succeeding in her job and saving enough money for the future.

The grandmother grew feeble and came to live with them. The old woman moved slowly. Sometimes she would make cookies. Sometimes she would sit on the porch and watch the sun set. When the woman worried too much, the grandmother always told her, “time will take care of things, my child.”

The grandmother adored her grandchild. She would sit quietly with her and watch her play.

One day the woman listened outside her daughter’s room, curious what her daughter and the grandmother talked about.

“That’s a wonderful animal you drew. Shall we hang it up?”

“Grandmother, I met a fairy today.”

“A fairy? Really? Can I see her?”

“She says you might, if she shines real hard.”

“Ah,” the old woman said. “What a lovely blue light. Your mother had a fairy once, when she was a girl.”

Hearing them talk, the woman remembered what it felt like to have a fairy. She stepped into the room and looked around, but there was nothing.

“Don’t worry,” the grandmother said to her. “If you really want to, you’ll be able to see them again. Time will take care of it, my child. Time always takes care of it.”











Who We Respect

Who is your hero? Who do you really respect? Family, friends, historical figures, celebrities, bloggers… me…

What quality is it about that person that you love? I guess most people I admire, is for their kindness and compassion.

When I think of people I respect, I imagine their qualities as miles beyond my own capacity.  There is no way I can match Audrey’s kindness, or dad’s generosity, or Jessica’s ability to draw someone out.

But this is the thing that I’ve noticed. Our heroes are who we are. The things that we love most about our heroes and try to emulate, are the things that we already are.

I feel very small when I try to imagine myself as extra generous, or kind, or approachable. I may not feel that I have achieved their level, but to an outsider it must be clear.

How can I back this up? Get this: people will compliment others on the things they want to be (and probably don’t realize that they already are). When they genuinely compliment someone, they probably already have that quality in spades. That is how they are able to recognize it in another.

For example, my sister Audrey will mention, with some despair, that she wishes she could be as kind and considerate to everyone as I am. But she always thinks to do the dishes and sweep the floor so our parents don’t have to, she is always the first to notice if someone says something cruel, she is the one that animals love. And she says she admires MY kindness, what a laugh, right?

Jessica has complimented me as being a self-assured, eye-catching woman who doesn’t give a shit. Of course, she is this very thing. She turns heads, she has no problem telling people off if they need it, and she is more empowered by her gender than restricted by it.

Dad always seems impressed at my communication skills, how I can spot a flaw in an argument. He thought I would make a good lawyer. Guess who I’ve never won an argument with.

Of course, there are moments when Audrey gets snippy, or Jessica has a crisis in confidence, or words fail Dad. I also have chinks in what I suppose to be my strengths. Nobody is perfect.

I think, when it comes to our personal values, we have higher standards for our own behavior. I am always trying to watch my tongue, because I have hurt people’s feelings before with unthinking, rough remarks. But maybe I am actually very good at not hurting people’s feelings. Maybe I just have such high standards for myself that when I mess up, I am devastated and feel I should redouble my efforts.

Just food for thought. You might not be as inadequate as you feel.

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