Anthurium’s bold leaves

stand tall against the light.


Winter Afternoon (Res Mirabile)

There is something I need to understand –

all day I have felt the weight of wanting

as I walked through the snow,

drank tea,

tried to rest –

seeking that larger truth

that hides within itself

smaller truths – .

Why do we live?

Why do we die?

why do cats like to hide in bags?

Why did the delivery man

leave my package on the steps?

My cat purrs,

the furnace hums in tune,

my crochet hook weaves questions

through and through.

/I have to trust that this space exists,

far from matters of bile and bowel,

where words gather themselves into thoughts,,

and fragments of mind music

rise to the vault of the skies.

there is no key –

entrance is granted

only by permission.

Visiting Tunnel Lake

Tunnel Lake is well-named –

you don’t enter by the main door,

behind which lurk would-be escapees –

you take the back road to get there,

and emerge, blinking,

into a different dimension.

You look for your loved one –

will he be asleep in the lounge,

or having what passes for conversation?

You bring coffee,

try to create a normal scene,

just the two of you

sitting over Sunday morning coffee,

chatting about this or that.l


In “Man’s Search For Meaning” Victor Frankl tells us that we can’t choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we react to them. Most of us never have to face the evils of a concentration camp as he did, but each of us will endure pain, grief, and eventually death.

We all know that life can be hard. We have sleepless nights, with pain that has no explanation (or a thousand explanations, none of them good). We lose the people we love, or watch them suffering. We want life to be good for our children, and hate to see them face difficulties. But each of us has to find our own way through.

We see life as good, or bad. We think that we can make these judgements, but we don’t have the proper context: when the hawk swoops down and carries away a mouse, life is very bad for the mouse, but good for the hawk. Sometimes we are the mouse, sometimes the hawk. Life’s pendulum swings back and forth.

“I am the lion-tamer locked in a cage

With lions leaping through hoops of flame,

I am the lion with bared teeth,

Breaking through the paper hoop.”

When we pass through the paper hoop we are moving from illusion to reality. We are in control of the narrative. We can choose to be constantly weighed down by pain and grief or we can choose to listen, to study, to breathe.