sticky octopus of depression

Graffiti of a silhouette of a person leaning into a wind, their hair and skirt blowing back, along with petals from a flower they're holdingGood morning, good morning.

Here in Southern Maine, it’s snowing like rain. Winter finally arrived for real, it seems, in February – we’ve had good cold temperatures and wind and capital-S Snow. I mean snow that’s not cute, not fluffy, falling gently like feathers; I mean snow that’s small, persistent, steadily blustered by the wind, and not at all fun or romantic to go for a walk in. Snow you’re happy to get back inside from. Right now, Sophie and I are debating about how long we’ll have to be out there for her morning ablutions. Our debate consists of us sitting on the couch, bundled in a blanket, looking out the window at the snow being blown in waves through the glow of the streetlamp. She does not seem in any especial hurry to get up and go.

It’s the last day of February, and on Friday, I’ll be turning 51. I don’t really want to write this post, and I keep feeling myself pulled away, pulled toward something I can just consume, passively watch or read, not have to engage with or create. I’m moving out of yet another heavy deep trough of depression, which very much seems tied to my hormonal cycle and my periods, and I’m wondering when these are going to start to change — I mean, wondering when my periods are finally going to start to change.

Continue reading

Silence or caesura?

spray painted graphic of a stylized bird resting on a rod, eyes closed

(graffiti from Lisbon)

Good morning, good morning. The ocean is loud out there this morning – but everything else is still quiet; it’s too early yet for sparrows or cardinals or jays. The moon is an Impressionist crescent hanging low to the south, and, at least from where I stand here in southern Maine, the stars have gone quiet, too. The trees, still unbudded, nestle their shoulders into the quiet early morning dark.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I’ve been quiet, too, like the cold and sleepy winter birds, though every day, what I want is to be like that ocean. She’s never completely quiet – somedays she’s a loud fist of noise, some days she’s a gentler song, but she’s always there. Her voice persists.

Continue reading

AWA facilitators – join me for a conversation about writing with trauma next weekend!

Hello hello and happy autumn to you!

I just wanted to hop in here (for the first time in awhile) to invite any certified AWA facilitators who are interested to join me next weekend, October 8, for a post-certificate training about writing with trauma: Continue reading

it’s ok to feel whole in our skin



Good morning, good morning. It’s 5am  and there are candles and it’s dark and snowing and I have the old loud heater at my feet and quiet music and hot tea. This morning I feel grateful even though the whole world feels like it’s falling apart.

Continue reading

What we were looking for

little brown dog looking at the viewer and white woman in pink coat and blue hat looking at the dog, with snow in the background “Someday we will find what we are looking for – or maybe we won’t. Maybe we will find something much greater than that.”

(No one seems to know who wrote that phrase — have you seen it attributed to anyone?)

Good morning, good morning. My alarm went off at 4am and now it’s quarter to 5 and I am just settling in. The candles are flickering and I have my tea and I’m pushing in. What I want is to just read for awhile and then go back to sleep. I haven’t looked at Twitter in more than a week now; maybe just a moment when Russia invaded Ukraine, to find the feed of an Iranian-Georgian woman I follow, just to see her thoughts, but she was focused closer to home.

Continue reading

a different kind of fed

white stenciled graffiti: "where is the love?"

Lisbon street art

(CN: Social media frustrations and description of a graphic image of violence near the end of the post)

Social media has colonized what was once a sacred space occupied by emptiness: the space reserved for thought and creativity.  – Mahershala Ali

Continue reading

can we have delight even when we’re so rightfully angry?

greybrown sandy beach and a brown dog in a red coat with her white paws pressed to a ball  - over the beach, a blue and pink sunrise sky

The puppy doesn’t care how pretty the sunrise is – she has her ball

CN: talk about rage and reasons to be enraged and also some not-rageful sex talk toward the end

Good morning, good morning. The puppy got me up, accidentally, at 2:30 or so, and I haven’t been able to fall back to sleep since — so we came out through the rain (the puppy walking close to me to stay under the umbrella) to the little house and have the candles lit and she is comfortable tucked in her chair under one of the blankets that I bought at Ikea when I was furnishing the office I had in Oakland for a little while and the tea kettle is on and the space heater is churning at my feet and we have an astonishingly perfect morning place. The ocean is so loud I could hear it from the bed, which is rare — it’s been warm the last couple of days, but windy, and there’s clearly a storm coming or influencing us from somewhere. 

Continue reading

small successes and the chance to keep going

Sticker graffiti of a woman with a blank face sitting cross-legged; part of one knee has been removedThere’s a way not to be broken that takes brokenness to find it. – Naomi Shihab Nye Good morning, good morning. It’s warm outside, warmer than it ought to be in February, but I can’t complain about it because the cold has been a struggle the last week or so. It’s true that February is always when the winter blues start to hover, or just the frustration, the weariness — do I really have to put all of these clothes on just to take the dog on a walk again today? But the moon is a full brightness behind the clouds and the light changed sometime earlier this month, so I’ve begun to imagine what spring might feel like, have begun to think about the garden, can start to let myself imagine what the yard will look like when it’s not just covered with snow and ice and mud.


In just a couple of weeks, I’m going to turn 50. This fact has been filling me with dread for a few years. But not for the reasons I, as a woman, am supposed to dread aging.

Continue reading

WriOursWhoMo – April Poems: Rae Armantrout’s “Scumble”

`photo of a black antique typewriterScumble
Rae Armantrout

What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words such as
“scumble,” “pinky,”

or “extrapolate?”

Continue reading

WriOursWhoMo – April Poems: “Girl” and “[asking]”

Two poems for this Monday:

by Eve Alexandra
Be careful if you take this flower into your house. The
peony has a thousand lips. It is pink and white like the lady’s
skirt and smells sharp and sweet as cinnamon. There are a
thousand ants living inside but you will only see one or two at
a time. I am like that down there–pink and busy inside. The
dark is a bolt of cloth, crushed and blue, and I unfurl against it.
If you lie down on the floor of the closet the hems of silk will
lick you. My own gown is thin as the skin of dried grass so I
can see the ants dancing down there. The night has big paws.
I imagine the wool of the bears, the cloth of monkeys. the night
smells like vetiver and cedar. His mouth is cool with mint and
warm with rum, and I am not afraid as he rubs his wool against

Continue reading