Famous Last Words

“What is your favorite word?” Like a literary Rorschach test, this question, offered by a quiet and thoughtful member of my book club, stopped me mid-sentence a few years back. I sensed that this moment was a gift offered by a wiser soul in hopes of popping open a window that had been painted shut ...

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The Best of Everything

On an index card stuck to my studio wall is a Maori proverb. “Where there is artistic excellence, there is human dignity.” Next to it is a more Methodist take on the theme from the writer Norman Maclean. “All good things come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” ...

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Best Wishes

“A wishing star!” When my daughters were in preschool, each glowing fleck in a dusky night was a bright smile, a reason to exclaim, a Big Chance. “Another wishing star!” “Another one!” Every single star was the best and brightest they’d ever beheld. Openhearted optimism is a beautiful thing. We would make easy wishes, for ...

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Flower (and Tree, and Grass, and Sky) Power

Springtime. Time to take fashion tips from a redbud tree. Or wisteria vines overspilling with lavender confetti. Or a pecan grove speckling the sky with illimitable chartreuse polka dot buds. Or geraniums proclaiming that garrulous scarlet is always the new smile. Or any energetic kaleidoscopic unfolding of fresh and radiant and more more more. Minimalism ...

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Wabi-Sabi Slinky

My Slinky has a kink in it. You know how you can just never get a kink out of a Slinky? Still, I cannot and would not throw it away. Like a rosary or a prayer wheel, my Slinky moves between my hands singing zither-like arpeggios whenever I need a meditative grounding, which is often. ...

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Everywheres

“For fun, I should drop dead in my closet.” During a weekend seminar at the Omega Institute in upstate New York, we had all been assigned the task of writing a poem about where we would choose to die. I was sitting in a spare, nearly monastic boarding room, with three hours to prepare my ...

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