It is never enough, is it?

Why do I carry some nebulous shame for things I have or have not done in my life? I wish I could have a ‘no apologies’ attitude and continue brushing off the backhanded compliments or outright snubs. I am glad in who I am and enjoy the life I have created with my family. I am growing as an artist and believe in my work. I am moving forward in the process of discovery that writing offers—that life offers.  But recently something was said to me that made me waver oh so slightly in those beliefs. I am writing this entry to clarify my perspective for myself and to make a statement to those others who judge me.

I am in recovery. I am recovering from abuse, breakdowns and raw grief. I have been open about my history. I have engaged in this recovery with all of my being for the sake of my children and loved ones. I know I am cherished. I cherish myself. I cherish this time I have which almost slipped from me due to illness, misdiagnosis of that illness, and the devastation of self that was the result of both.

I wondered for years about the life I could have lived if I did not have bipolar disease–if I had not fallen apart those so many times.  I do not allow myself to wonder what my life would have been like without Adam. I do remind myself that at the time others were pressuring me to not have a child at such a young age. His life was a grace in mine.  I learned more about love, compassion and humility through Adam’s life than I ever could have if he had not been.

I embrace the life I am living.  I realize I am where I need to be to do what I desire—which is to raise my daughter to the best of my ability, do meaningful work in the world and honor the loving relationships in my life.

Since I have lived in relative stability for several years, I have come to be able to pursue the writing which brings me great joy. I took the first steps on this path in 2004 after Adam died.  In dealing with my grief, writing offered a path out.  Through the writing process, the creative process, I am accessing life and myself in deeper ways. I am looking within and without and creating art through myself. That activity is essential to my recovery and my peace. That I have achieved some success is uplifting beyond words, but I will try:

Each success, no matter how small, in the practice of what I love is a lightning strike against the dark.  

I believed what was believed about me for too long rather than believing myself.  But I won’t hold those negative beliefs any longer, not even a shred. My ambition is true and I am on fire with it. I set myself on the path and I do not allow much to divert me from it—even gross insults and arrogant snubs.

No, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder but I do recognize when I am being belittled and it will not go unanswered.


It’s been a hectic summer. We have just a couple of weeks left before school starts again. My daughter is going to be a high school freshman! There will be so many changes for her. We are excited but also wish summer would last a little longer. In the meantime I am seeking quietude.

Because of busy days and the fact that I am sleeping well at night I haven’t been writing daily or even weekly.  I have been revising and submitting work, but I am just beginning to refocus my efforts to produce new writing. Now I’m challenging myself with exercises and so far have produced three new poems in the past few days.

Tonight I made curried lentil and spinach soup.  It was super delicious!  I absolutely love and crave soup daily—which is why I will soon begin a blog called One Hundred Days of Soup.  I’ll keep you posted.

An Excerpt

Here is a very brief excerpt from my creative nonfiction piece, Nacona, about my horse by that name, which was a gift to me from my parents when I was a teenager.  I revised the piece tonight and submitted it to a magazine that has previously published my poetry.  I’m hoping they will take this piece as well.



…The drainage ditch is wide with water.  Nacona heaves over it because I ask her to. We slide three feet in the mud.  Nacona’s back legs give out and she rolls me off. My feet dangle out of the stirrups and I rise unbroken but soaking with mud.  A. is riding the Thoroughbred gelding, Lucky, and she turns back to laugh at me.  I burn with humiliation. I scoop a patty of mud with both hands and hurl it at her. Lucky half-rears and breaks into a sideways gallop. A. stops Lucky and hops off his back.  She trudges through the field wildly threatening me. I cup another whopping pound of mud and throw it smack dab in her face.  Her mouth is open blurting a curse and now she’s choking out black mud.  Her choking turns to laughter and she fills her hands with a solid mud bomb.  It hits me in the right boob.  That’s it. Our mud fight’s a free-for-all… 

And there was.

I wrote a poem today. It is the first new poem I have written since May 17th. The summer has been one drama after another. I am pleased with the form this poem has taken. It was inspired by a photograph by Zeralda and might become part of our collaborative project of words and images.