wander wild

The landscape is tilted and angled differently now and I find that I’m becoming more comfortable in its distortions. I force myself to learn new navigational skills—rewired brain. I’ve said it before: There is no recovery, only alteration. So I become more and more mercurial—slip inside crevices and peer out, get a good look at the unbearable, watch it, see how it threatens and hovers, observe its tricks, become smarter, then walk again out in the open, able to mitigate volcanic terrain more easily. Continue reading wander wild


Stepped out of my apartment and these two baby ravens were just sitting there right next to my front door. One active in the forefront, the other calm, composed in the back. I stopped short, then looked up and saw a man dressed exactly as I was dressed standing on the corner watching the birds. We both stood there for about 20 minutes. At first I thought he wasn’t real, like an apparition in the rain. But then he came and told me that he was waiting for the birds to cross the street back to their nest. Didn’t want … Continue reading ravens

don’t be afraid

Listen. Feel it. See it in the light radiating across the sky. This note was made by my husband, Jay, who went into a coma on May 3, 2012 and died three days later. This is for all of us, not just for me. Love continues, never dies, never breaks. Across the ocean, across the country, across the threshold. Speak this language. It will serve you when you need it most. Stop intellectualizing. Listen to the dead. Don’t be afraid. Continue reading don’t be afraid

love love love love love love love love love love

Now what? How do I reconfigure my life alone? I was broken when I met Brad. It was a year after my former husband, Jay, had died. But I began to see myself as Brad saw me—vibrant, whole, strong—and this helped me to heal. He admired me for being artistic, loved to hear me sing, listened to my poems. It worked both ways. I loved the stories he told, the omelets he made, the way he held me tight when I cried. We saw ourselves in each other and he healed too from things in his life. We became intensely … Continue reading love love love love love love love love love love


“The moment you write, you don’t kill yourself.” Hélène Cixous French literary critic and feminist writer, Hélène Cixous, says that literature is nothing if it is not violent. By vigorously deconstructing and dismantling loyalty to this idea and that idea, we can learn to see truth buried within the opposite of our initial understandings. We long for neat solutions to the suffering of life, but tidy is precisely at the root of our problem. If initial understanding of truth is only possible by digging it out of its opposite, then maybe only the absurd can save a person. To find … Continue reading absurdity

what we can control

2002. I stood waiting in line at a bagel shop in Rhode Island. My kids were about 3 and 5 years old. The person who was preparing food behind the counter kept touching her nose, scrunching her hair and rubbing her eyes. She was not wearing gloves. Freaked out about germs, I couldn’t bring myself to place an order. I told the girls we’d get bagels at the grocery store and make them at home. They happily skipped to the car and climbed into their backseat booster seats. At a red light, I looked in my rearview mirror at my … Continue reading what we can control

Observing Love

I take note of what lives here: evergreen, burdock, grass, ramp, fox, fisher, mink, raspberry, woodchuck, black bear, maple tree, coyote, butterfly, bat, rabbit, deer, birch, chipmunk, red squirrel, grey squirrel, mouse, bobcat, dog, goldfinch, bluebird, robin, hawk, owl, jay, hummingbird, bee. My husband has lived on this land for twenty years. I’ve lived here for two. I notice the things he’s planted and cultivated: striking bee balm, reverent monkshood and the flowering crabapple tree, Weeping Louisa. Can your love for someone increase when you notice what he chooses to plant? Brilliant red, widespread span, broad and bare. My husband … Continue reading Observing Love


I work very hard at collapsing delusions when I write. This isn’t easy. The French philosopher, Catherine Malabou, talks about how a “cut in one’s biography” forces a person to alter his/her perceptions of self. I’ve written a lot about this in literary terms, but on a personal level, to face these cuts and alterations of self, takes a lot of honest self-reflection–in other words, time to feel pretty bad about oneself and one’s life. The current state of the world has brought some of my delusions crashing down. I always thought I was a responsible caretaker of the earth, … Continue reading Delusions


For Jay RossierApril 7, 1961-May 6, 2012 I’ve been trying to develop my personal sense of sovereignty during this shelter-in-place time as structures fall and people suffer. While addressing my own accountability each day, I’m also trying to keep a sense of humor (strictly for sanity’s sake). Brad and I have started transforming our space here in Vermont into one that enables us to be more self-reliant.  As you might know, Jay wrote the book, Living With Chickens, and was kind of “the chicken guy” around these parts. Brad and I have been engaged with the book, following Jay’s practical … Continue reading Sovereignty

Dreamtime in Iceland

The sun doesn’t rise up in the morning and set in the evening here. It moves sideways across the sky, hovering close to the horizon throughout the day. It keeps you teetering between wakefulness and sleep. Dreamtime. It’s how I feel in my body these days, half-awake, half-asleep, hovering like the sun, moving sideways instead of up and down like I did when I was younger. Steady. I’m trying to hike before more snow and ice come and the mountains will be off-limits. The light holds you in a gentleness, allowing for how you’ve slowed down, but the terrain pushes … Continue reading Dreamtime in Iceland