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

I love you, Brad Atwood

I’ve been at my friend’s this summer in Providence, working on a research grant. Working, working, working–and then this……. Yesterday morning, my friend, A., had a little stack of NY Times on the kitchen table with a pink heart made of construction paper she’d cut out and put on top. Coffee was brewing and lemon scones in the oven. It was the kitchen my children and her children had raced through since babydom, stopping for moments of tamari almonds and cheese quesadillas and there in the kitchen was the melding of past and present and so much love offered and … Continue reading I love you, Brad Atwood