Dreams or Life Lessons?

While my daily life has taken a quiet turn, my dream life has intensified of late. I dream of my brothers with an overlay of long gone relatives, aunts and uncles, and a shimmer of my grandmother standing on the sidelines watching. My dreams are colorful, intense, and vivid enough to follow me through the day. 

Last night I dreamed of a boy. His name was Suluman. 

Suluman was a dark-haired, dark-skinned, dark-eyed little boy of about ten, small in body but with a vibrant radiance. Suluman was shy yet mischievous and seemed to be constantly in trouble at school. His teacher often kept Suluman after class where she felt it was her right and her duty to slap and hit him, to malign his behavior, his family, and his intelligence, all in an effort to make him better. Suluman suffered this treatment in silence. 

The teacher, who prided herself on her civic responsibility, was involved with a group of women who worked to rescue orphaned or compromised children. They had heard of a child who was in dire straits, a boy who was beaten and mistreated, starved and maligned, a child hunted and terrorized. The teacher would attack poor Suluman and then run breathless from the school to aid in the search for the boy. 

Suluman showed up at my house to play with my children. His face was swollen and bruised and although his demeanor was that of a happy little boy, I could see the pain in his eyes. “She hits me for no reason,” he said. “I don’t do anything wrong, I promise!”

I confronted his teacher (in that no time lapse way of dreams) and she admitted that she often had to correct the boy, punish him for this misdeed or that. “He’s lucky,” she said. “He thinks he has problems but you should hear about this other boy I’m trying to save. He’s beaten, starved, hunted and terrorized. We must save him!”

“Who is this child you’re searching for?” I asked.

“We don’t know where he is or how to find him, but his name is Suluman.”


I put my hand on Suluman’s thin shoulder. “This is Suluman,” I said. 

I woke up with Suluman’s little face in my mind, thinking about the teacher, the boy, and the search for someone to save. I’m not sure how to interpret my dream but it seems important to understand how we can look for salvation far beyond ourselves while ignoring what’s right under our noses. 

“Don’t ignore your dreams, in them your soul is awake and you are your true self.”       

           Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls of Eternity)


Holding tight to a secret: a late blooming sunflower from my back garden.

Winter is Here (Still)



Yesterday was a mish-mash of relaxed urgency for a Sunday, reading the paper and then running to Costco to remedy a billing debacle, and the excited hurry-up-and-wait drama of the return of Games of Thrones. By 9:00, I was ready to retreat to my cave and just watch all the reunion-y goodness and the requisite badness of GOT. Personally, I think it was worth the wait.

In keeping with the GOT winter theme in my little cave, it’s snowing here in Ohio this morning. After several days of temps in the 60s and 70s, the budding tulips and fragile spring flowers are getting one more soft white blanket. One can only hope that it won’t last long and is not a harbinger of still more winter to come–or the coming of the Knight’s King (according to GRRM) which would not surprise me in the least.

On to other things: Chapter 3 in the saga of George Fairweather. I hope you’ll let me know what you think.

Chapter 3

George was happy to discover that William would be spending the entire summer with her great-aunt Harriett over on Wilbersham Terrace, just a hop, skip, and a jump from George’s own front porch. It took no time at all for the girls to work out a routine of reading, laughing, and playing during their long warm days of summer. George’s mother soon grew accustomed to leaving a muffin and a cup of milk on the counter by the back door rather than scolding George for not eating a proper breakfast.

“No time!’ George would shout as she scooted out the back door. She would, however, take a moment to drink the milk and grab the muffin, more often than not stuffing it into her pocket to share with William which was better than nothing, her mother figured. She often didn’t see her daughter again until just before dark when George would come running through the back door, skidding across the linoleum to beat her curfew.

“The light on Maple just blinked on!” she’d announce breathless, having run all the way from William’s.

“Wash your hands…” Rita began,

“…and your face and tidy up,” George finished for her. “I know, I know. I’m a mess.”

Wash up finished, George would sit with her mother for an early supper, usually a light meal of tuna sandwiches or a casserole and peas.

“Anything interesting happening in the village?” her mother would always inquire.

“Not really,” was the standard answer, although George could be counted on to dish the details if anything at all was going on.

“Did you hear about Mrs. Crawford’s tumble down the stairs?” George asked. “She had a doctor’s appointment and was supposed to meet her sister Ruth at the curb for a ride. When she didn’t come out, Ruth went in and found poor Mrs. Crawford all in a jumble at the foot of the stairs, knocked out cold—or so she said.”

“Who said?” her mother asked, daintily picking at her food.

“Mrs. Crawford’s sister Ruth.” George stopped eating her sandwich and looked directly at her mother. “I’ve heard her yell at Mrs. Crawford in the grocery, telling her to hurry up, nudging her sharply. I wouldn’t be surprised if she batted her sister over the head and knocked her out just to make the story more interesting. I’ll bet Mrs. Crawford had simply fallen and was probably calling for help.”

Rita sighed loudly. “Now, sweetheart, there’s no need to elaborate on the facts. A tumble down the stairs at Mrs. Crawford’s age could very well have knocked her unconscious. I doubt very much if her sister would do something as mean as hitting her sister after such an event. Where do you get such outlandish ideas?”

George gazed off into the distance, thinking. “I don’t know,” she replied. “Maybe too much television.”

“Then I suppose we should put a limit on how much you watch. Or maybe just stick to uplifting programs.”

Rita doubted television made much of an impact on her daughter. As a family they rarely watched TV, all three, mother, father, and daughter, preferring books to television, especially her daughter who since she’d learned to read at the age of three, was determined to read into the wee hours of the morning. Turning out the bedroom light and going to sleep had long since been a battle Rita had rarely won. Her daughter preferred to go to school happily sleepy rather than go to sleep not knowing how a story ended. Rita understood and only very rarely enforced the midnight lights out rule. She herself could stay up reading until dawn and with only an occasional yawn or two, make it all the way through the day and into evening. Reading through to the end of a book was a happy thrill only superseded by the thrill of beginning a new one. So, Rita and her daughter were constantly in a state of happy satisfaction or even happier anticipation.

Unless, of course, the book they were reading was a real stinker which happened now and again. When that was the case, there was no happiness to be found in the Wilson household for everyone knew it from the grumbles and sighs and angry exhortations that bounced through the house at all hours.

“You really must enforce the lights out rule,” Howard often said to Rita. “I don’t know that I can stand night after night of this.” This being the groans and shouts coming from their daughter’s room. Rita empathized with her husband but unerringly knew that once the book was finished—and most likely buried in the back yard or burned in the trash heap—her daughter would find another to take its place and all would be right with the world again. Perhaps. Hopefully.

Summertime was a wonderful spate of solace in the Wilson household as Howard worked long hours, coming home long after dark, and Rita spent most of her day lounging in the back yard, contemplating weeding the flowers and/or planting a vegetable garden. Yard work was always on her to do list but somehow never managed to bubble to the top, languishing idly at the bottom waiting for Rita to feel inspired which she almost never did. She’d bought a houseplant once and set it on the front porch to catch the light and a little air. The spindly carcass of the plant was ultimately tossed out with the rubbish, pot and all, as Rita had forgotten about it once she’d set it outside. Forgetfulness seemed to be a Wilson family trait, although they were all meticulously punctual about returning library books. They might forget to eat or buy tea or turn the wash into the dryer, but they always always always returned their library books on time if not before they were due.

Mrs. Paschal, the head librarian at the main library, believed it was so they could call in library favors such as being the first on the list when an anxiously awaited book was due from the publishers. Or an extra five minutes to select a book right at closing time when everyone had been shooed out and poor Mrs. Paschal stood waiting to lock the doors. She always obliged mostly because the Wilsons were such nice friendly people but always with a mind to the knowledge that they had never in all the years she’d known them returned a book after its due date. Nor would they ever. “It would have to be a matter of life and death, I do believe,” Mrs Paschal said to Merry Beecham one afternoon when the Wilson child came scurrying in just before closing time to return a stack of books as tall as she.

“My mother’s, mine, and the one on the bottom is my father’s,” the child said brightly. “I’ll be quick,” she’d said as she lit off to the young adult section to make her selection. Merry Beecham had to agree. “I’m quite sure nothing could keep them away.”


Now here she stood, that same child now a grown woman, at the counter of the genealogical wing of the Windham Library in Sussex County asking for assistance in locating George Fairweather.

“I’ve traced the name to here,” George explained, “to the county seat. It seems Mr. Fairweather was a man of some prominence—or perhaps it was his family. I’m not sure. I only know that the records have led me here to Sussex County and I was wondering…”

“If we have any information, a book, microfiche perhaps, that will help you in your search.” The librarian on the other side of the counter gave George a whimsical look and then smiled. “That’s what we do here, Miss. Genealogy. We help people find their ancestors.”

George smiled shyly, her face turning pink. “Well, of course. That’s why I’m here,” she admitted.

“Now, what was the family name? Fairweather you said?” The librarian’s face seemed open and kind but her eyes were lasers of intensity. George felt exposed somehow, under the woman’s gaze.

“Yes, George Fairweather.”

“Let me check,” the librarian said turning away, her fingers fairly flying over the keyboard in front of her. “Well, it seems you’re in luck,” she announced almost instantly. “There are quite a few references for the name Fairweather as well as several for George Fairweather in particular. Give me just a moment and I’ll print them for you.”

Walking to the printer on the desk behind the counter, the librarian explained the information she was about to give George. “Each entry will have a reference number with title, page, and date published. Several of our volumes are under lock and key so it will be necessary for you to fill out a form requesting that the volumes be pulled for you to review. I can take care of that for you with a little more information.”

The librarian handed George the paper she’d torn from the printer which was quite a bit longer than George had expected.

“Looks like you have your work cut out for you,” the young woman said with a grin. “The volumes marked with an asterisk are in the private collection. I’ll give you a minute to peruse the list and then let me know if you’d like to make an appointment to review them.”

George stood with the list in hand, immediately struck by the smallness of the print and the number of entries cascading down the page. It might take weeks to get through each and every reference. Perhaps she had not allotted enough time for her research after all.

“You may find a seat in the alcove if you’d like,” the librarian suggested. “There are tables and chairs and a desk or two if you’d prefer.”

George stepped in that direction, just to the right of the reference counter and into the path of a dark haired young woman standing behind her waiting in line.

“I’m sorry,” George said as she relinquished her spot in front of the counter. Turning back to the librarian George offered a quick thank you.

“No problem,” the librarian said, focusing her intense gaze on her next customer.


George stepped up to the counter once more, laying out the printout with the references for the librarian to see.

“I’ve highlighted the volumes I’d like to review,” she said. “I’m not sure they’re all necessary but I want to at least look through them while I’m here.”

The librarian looked at the clock behind her. “We’ll be closing in twenty minutes. If you’d like to leave the list, perhaps I could pull the volumes and have them ready for you tomorrow. I can reserve a carol in your name or a private study if you’d like.”

George glanced at her own watch. “I thought the library closed at seven.”

“Except on Wednesdays,” the librarian said. “We close at four on Wednesdays.”

“Then I’d like to leave the list if you don’t mind. Or perhaps make a copy?”

The librarian picked up George’s list and walked to the copier that boasted a sign reading, “10 cents per copy.” George dug in her pocket for a dime but was waved away when the librarian returned. “This is for me,” the librarian said handing back George’s list. “No charge for you.”

George smiled. “Thanks. What time do you open tomorrow?”

“Nine on Thursdays. I get in about eight so I’ll pull the volumes you’ve selected and look around for anything else I think might be of help to you.”

“That’s very kind of you,” George said.

“No problem,” the librarian smiled. “Now, let me get your name so I can reserve a private study.”

George hesitated, suddenly—and for the first time—felt flustered about giving her name. “George,” she said tentatively. “George Fairweather.”

The librarian looked up sharply in surprise. “Really?”

“Really,” George replied.

“George F.,” the librarian wrote on her schedule, marking an “x” on study 301 on a seating chart. “I’ll see you tomorrow, George.”

“Yes, and thank you,” George said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

George turned to walk away but decided to ask one last question. “May I have your name?” she asked, “so I know who to ask for in the morning.”

“I’ll be the only one here in the morning,” the librarian demurred.

George nodded and turned away.

“But I’ll tell you my name anyway,” the librarian continued. “My name is Michael. Michael Everest.”

George smiled and kept on walking jauntily all the way back to the inn.

(to be continued)



It’s My Turn!

create space


I’ve been working on a new novel, The Tunnel, that I hope will be finalized and ready for publication within the next few weeks. But as most writers know, it’s often advantageous to step away from the book after it’s been sent off for editing and review, to refrain from tweaking and rewriting. (It’s also fun to play around with images for the book’s cover, hence the photo above, a shot of Coos Bay, OR.) So, in the spirit of respite from Cassandra Benniver and Fenrick Banta and their ensuing complications, I’ve been working on another story. Or, I should more truthfully say, a story has been working on me.

While in the throes of writing, it’s not unusual for a character to whisper in my ear. It’s also not unusual for a character to wake me from a sound sleep, shouting for me to, “Get up and write my story!” Such is the case of George Fairweather, a character who has become a frequent companion over the past few months.

In order to placate my own sense of wasting-away-with-nothing-to-do while I wait for reviews, and to silence this character’s pleas of, “It’s my turn!” I have decided to open the door of my comfy cave and introduce you to George Fairweather.

As of this morning, this story has no title. I don’t know if this is a short story, a novella, a full-blown novel, or just a ramble inside my head. In any case, I intend to release snippets of George’s story over the coming weeks.


Her name was Martha. Martha’s name was Martha only because her grandmother’s name was Martha. There was no standing beside the bassinet, her parents lovingly looking for clues as to the name of their sweetest darling daughter. There was no debate, no decision, really. No, it was decided that Martha’s name would be Martha long before her conception, long before her parents’ marriage, in fact, long before Howard had ever laid eyes on Rita.

Howard’s mother’s name was Martha, the perfect name, the most lovely of names, and Howard had decided that should God ever bless him with a baby girl, he would name her after his mother. So Martha was Martha, although she never felt her name fit her exactly. Long, flexible limbs and an agile personality were not the traits of a stodgy, old fashioned name like Martha in Martha’s mind. But there was no going back, no do-overs, no change-ups. Her name was Martha and that was that.

Until Martha became George, that is.

Out of respect, she’d waited for the death of both of her parents before deciding to legally change her name. And while she was at it, and just for kicks more than anything else, or so she told herself in unguarded moments, Martha Wilson became George Fairweather, for if Martha was anything at all she was the utter definition of a fair weather friend.

George Fairweather was born on August 28 at four fifteen in the afternoon. Or so says the blue clerk’s stamp beside the judge’s signature at the bottom of the document making it so. The original petition and the final order are forever married in a blue folder kept in the top right hand sock drawer of George’s bureau. Even now, after so many years, it’s still wedged in among wool knee highs and dress silks, white tubes and gray athletics, socks for any occasion George likes to think, although most are brand new and just for show. Just like the rows of dark suits and starched white shirts that crowd her closet. And the brown and black leather shoes lined up like soldiers ready for battle. Someday, they whisper. Someday, we’ll march out the door and down the street. Someday. (The socks know better, however. Never, they whisper back. And the suits agree.) But George was born long before the ink dried on vellum, long before the years of waiting finally came to a close, even before Howard and Rita made the exciting announcement to family and friends that they were, happily, having a baby girl. The spark of George existed. The how and when of it seemed inconsequential. The embodiment of George Fairweather was an undeniable fact and one that Martha relished.

“What if I’d been born in a small town?” George often asked herself, usually on Sunday afternoons as she sat on her patio and watched the seagulls fly in circles above the ocean. “What if everyone knew me, knew my parents, knew my likes and dislikes? What if I’d had to start over from scratch and everyone knew every detail of my business? Hell, oh hell, oh hell!” she lamented often. Although she’d never had to start over or hide from her neighbors or be afraid she’d run into someone who knew Martha or her mother or father. Her neighbors came and went with regularity, always a new face, a new name to remember. But George never remembered the face or the name. On the rare occasions that she met someone in the hallway, opening or closing a door, George merely sighed and hurried out, down the hallway, down the stairs, out the door, and gone. She scattered her visits to lunch counters and diners all around town, making a game of finding new and exciting places to eat where she didn’t recognize a single face. If a waitress fixed her with an eye of recognition, she was out the door like a shot, settling into the back booth of a new burger place a block or two or three away where she was sure that no one knew her name.

Martha’s life had been a piece of cake; George’s life was pie all the way.

Chapter 1

“So, let me get this straight,” the interviewer said again. That seemed to be her favorite phrase, let me get this straight, as though the words and thoughts expressed had somehow formed a crooked line that she couldn’t quite follow.

“Yes?” George said, waiting. “What is it you don’t quite understand?”

“You legally changed your name to George. From Martha to George, not with the Washingtons in mind, I suppose.”

George winced at the blonde giggle that followed.

“Not at all,” George replied.

“And you represent yourself in public as a woman.”

“I am a woman,” George confirmed.

“And you don’t consider yourself transgender. You don’t think of yourself as a man trapped in a woman’s body.” Another blonde giggle.

“No,” George replied with a sigh. Here we go again.

“Then why change your name? Why go to all the trouble and expense of petitioning the court to legally change your name? Why all the fuss and bother?”

George blinked. And blinked again. “I never thought of changing my name as fuss and bother. It was no trouble at all and the expense was actually quite minimal. Four hundred dollars, actually. I don’t consider that an exorbitant expense to legally change one’s name.”

“But why bother?” the interviewer asked. “If there is no medical or psychological reason to change your name, why not just remain Martha? Why did you feel the need to become George Fairweather?”

“Because that’s who I am,” George said. “I am George Fairweather. For as long as I can remember, from the point just prior to my conception and for eons before, I have known myself to be George Fairweather.”

“But how can you know that? How can you possibly know that you are who you think you are? Or better yet…”

That thought, whatever it was, ended mid-sentence.

The interviewer’s blank stare startled George.

“Are you okay?” she asked. Looking around, George waved to the director, to the camera man, to the people standing just off camera for help. “I believe she needs assistance,” George said quietly.

George had seen this reaction before, this catatonic stare, the dead eyes of people thrust into a moment of realization. Not quite an epiphany, not quite an awakening, more like a blunt whack on the head, when understanding descended there seemed to be a short in the circuitry, a moment of paralysis, and an irrevocable shift in perception.

“Oh,” the interviewer mumbled. “I think I understand.”

George stood up and removed the microphone from the neck of her sweater, looping the wire around her fingers before handing it to the set coordinator who’d come onstage.

“She’ll be fine,” George said to no one in particular. “A cup of tea and she’ll be good as new.”

George blanched at her own lie, fumbled with her purse, and moved through the burgeoning crowd to the exit at the back of the studio.

“Thank you,” George whispered to the man at the door, a young boy manning the exit, maintaining security during the interview. “I’ve had a lovely time.”


The interview would never make it to the six o’clock news. Or the eleven o’clock news for which it was intended. “It was a stretch anyway,” the news director decided. “So a woman changed her name? What’s the big deal?” which was precisely what George was thinking when she’d been contacted. “What’s the big deal?” she’d asked. “Women have been named traditional men’s names forever. Michael, David, Riley, Morgan, and I’m sure there’s a George in there somewhere. Yes, women use masculine pen names, alter egos, camouflage. And yes, this is different. I don’t have an agenda. There’s no rhyme or reason other than that I know for a fact that I am George, George Fairweather to be exact.”

Perhaps it was the knowing part that had intrigued the reporter. Perhaps it was the lurking hidden story that had seemed strange and unusual. For George, there was no part of her story that was strange or unusual or campy or funny or outside the realm of normal. George felt blessed to have been born with such a strong understanding of who she was. She’d never had a moment of floundering uncertainty about her identity, her name, her place in the world. Only respect for her parents had kept her from becoming George Fairweather much earlier in her life. Her parents, her rigidly religious, non-spiritual, closed-minded parents would have been appalled to hear that sweet little Martha longed to be called George. It would have broken their hearts and that is one thing George would not consider. For all their right-minded, wrong-headed intentions, George loved her parents deeply and unashamedly. She would no more inflict on them her own beliefs than burn their house to the ground. George was patient and kind and considerate of her parents, of everyone in general, and so she had waited until she felt the freedom from their watchful eyes.

George’s lawyer, a thoughtful and competent man in his sixties, filed two petitions following the death of George’s parents by misadventure. [Her father had never been a great driver but over the years, his reflexes had diminished to the point where George refused to ride with him even on short trips to the local grocery.]

“There’s no real need to wait,” Mr. Cumberson had explained to George. “The coroner’s preliminary report is in. Your father simply ran off the road albeit at a very unfortunate turn. At this point, we can begin the probate of your parents’ estate and file for your name change simultaneously, get all of the paperwork out of the way at once.”

Both would be simple processes with all the records in order. As sole beneficiary, everything in her parents’ estate came to George who promptly sold the house, the cars, the jewelry, the furniture, and donated everything else to charity. George discarded everything that held an attachment to Martha right down to the tiny baby socks her mother had knitted so long ago. The only item George kept was a quilt made by her great grandmother. This she spread on her own bed each night, sleeping under the comfort of her own personal piece of history.

(to be continued)

When a Pumpkin isn’t Just a Pumpkin





I’ve never seen a pumpkin like this one. Nestled in a wooden crate with a pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors, sat this guy, covered in roots, completely encased in a sarcophagus of its own making. 

I can understand this pumpkin on some strange and deep level, hiding, protecting itself.  This pumpkin can’t be carved like other Halloween pumpkins. It will never have a snarky grin or snaggly teeth; it won’t sit proudly with a candle shining in its belly, lighting the way for non-existent trick-or-treaters. This pumpkin is more than just a pumpkin, an orange symbol of the season. This pumpkin is a work of art, a masterpiece of Mother Nature’s design, as are we all. 

This pumpkin is different. Has it traveled a long way from farm to table? Has it had to overcome the prejudices of pumpkin selection? Has it bucked the norms to survive? I will never know how this pumpkin came to be or why but I do know that its difference, its novelty is important; it is special. It is gorgeous in its defiance in the face of pumpkin normalcy. This pumpkin is perfect and for me, it isn’t just a pumpkin but the beginning of acceptance of life as is. With all the divisiveness in our country, through all of the shooting madness and hateful rhetoric, life gives us little moments of surprise and hope. 

This is not the norm, but all is well regardless.

Find beauty in difference.

Find joy in other.

Find love and hope in unexpected places–even in a pumpkin patch. 

Letting Go



Thanks to alifesimplified for this image and inspiration. 

Tis the season for watching leaves turn red and gold, to watch them fall, to rake them up, and let them go.

It’s time to let go of all things that are no longer useful or fully present in our lives, to shake things up and out, to open the windows and sweep clean all the dust and cobwebs that have gathered in the nooks and crannies of our lives.

Pastels are out the window as green turns to brown and gray and shades of black. A feeling of deep and dark descends as opposed to light and airy. That is not to say that we should not be looking for light or stepping away from it but the light I seek is doused with gold and dazzled in a shimmer of sparkly red.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Instead of a good spring cleaning, I prefer an autumn sweep and a shedding of all the trappings of summer. Days are cool, nights are frosty and a warm wool sweater or a fuzzy blanket is a girl’s best friend.

Autumn is a time of letting go so here I stand with empty hands and open arms.

Change of Venue

Life moves fast! I didn’t really understand how fast until change struck like a thunderbolt from the sky and I found myself on the road–and homeless. Oh, I had places to go and people with whom I could stay, but it’s a ghastly feeling when reality hits and you realize that everything you own is in the back of the UHaul truck barreling down the highway in front of you and a tie that has kept you bound and whole is severed for good. Or for ill, as the case may be. It is possible to go from secure to floundering in less time than it takes to catch your breath. It’s one of those moments when “just breathe” is out of the question because there’s no more oxygen left in the room, or in your body; when anger and pain are the fuel that ignites motion and breath is simply gone.

I’ve been looking for the silver lining to that dark cloud of disappointment. There isn’t one, or at least not one that I can see. The heaviness of loss is slowly leaving my body but the buoyancy of lightness and happiness is still hovering. I can feel it out there, waiting for me to lighten up. And I will. For now, I am content to explore the limits of yet another venue, to change what I can change, to carve out another comfy cave from which to think and write and ponder the meaning of life. It’ll come. I just have to remember how to breathe.


Insanity Reigns (and we should be ashamed)

In a sane world—at just about any other time in modern history—if a crazy, blind man armed with a machine gun and a machete walked down the middle of Main Street America shouting masochistic, xenophobic, narcissistic bullshit, millions of Americans would be up in arms, running to protect their children, and desperate to find a way to stop the mad man. Not today. Today, Americans say, “Thank you,” “He’s new at this,” and “Let’s be patient and see what he does.”

A crazy man, fully armed and supported hacking away all semblance of American morals, decency, and democracy: this should be every American’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, this is our reality in American today. We should be ashamed. 


The End is Coming!



It’s been awhile since I wrote a post for Cavedweller. I’ve been huddled in my comfy cave writing, musing, settling in. I’m in a new cave now and loving it. [A quick note: Whoever said it doesn’t rain in Southern California is wrong! It rains. And rains. And rains, but boy do we need it!]

So, I decided to stick my head out to take the measure of this past year and all I can say is, “Yikes!”

The end is coming!

Well, it’s true! The end is coming: the end of the week, the end of December, the end of 2016, the end of a cycle of weird and strange happenings that, I believe, have left a lot of people a little jumpy and on edge. (If Facebook is any indication, 2016 has been one hell of a roller coaster ride for people all over the world.) Between Brexit in the UK and the elections here in the US, the political world feels more than a little topsy-turvy. I believe that regardless of which side of the aisle–or the pond–you’re on, this has been a political year like no other. But we’re not here to talk politics, are we? Nope. We’re here to talk about the end!

Saying Goodbye…

I offer a thank you and a prayer for the many wonderful, talented people we lost this year. My son lost a young cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend in a tragic car accident in Georgia; my daughter-in-law lost her mother in Alabama; I lost friends in my old hometown, unseen for years but never forgotten. And we lost people who felt like friends and loved ones, people who touched our lives with wit, music, and humor: Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Morley Safer, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds. I’m sure there are other losses, some very personal, whom we will remember forever. Life touches life as soul touches soul and we are blessed in that connection.

So, what does “the end” really mean?

As the year draws to a close, I’ve experienced my own sense of unease, of flux and fluctuation, of old issues coming back to haunt me. A friend pointed out that besides Mercury being in retrograde (okay…), 2016 is a year of closure. So I investigated.

According to the Astrology Club,

2016 is a 9 Universal Year (if you take the year and reduce it down to a single digit as such: 2+0+1+6=9). NINE is a finishing number, and represents the end of a cycle. It also is the number of the humanitarian. That means 2016 is a year of completion, rest and forgiveness. Phew! Everything in numerology goes in a 9 year cycle, so we’ve come full circle since the last 9 year, 2004. The Number 9 is about endings. But with endings come new beginnings. 2016 is a very karmic year. It is a time that we will receive the karma from the good or the bad we have done. You get a chance to end something this year once and for all. Something in your life will come to an end. Now this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Endings can be good.

I think this means that all of those feelings (and dreams) we’ve been having about past loves, past lives, past successes and mistakes are simply offering us closure.

And now for the good news:

From a numerological standpoint, 2017, when you add them up: 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10 and that is distilled down to: 1 + 0 = 1

So, in 2017 we’re in a 1 year!

 ONE is a number of beginning. 2017 bids us all to start something brand new, something that expresses our uniqueness, that uses our leadership abilities, that opens us to new perspectives. 2017 as a One year is a time to think and act independently. It’s also a year to put our leadership abilities and unique talents to use in the greater world, to practice cooperating without losing individuality.

The number 1 is the maestro, the director of activities and events. 1 is a number about beginnings and new initiatives of all kinds. At best, 1 symbolizes leadership and can get a lot done. At worst, number 1 energy of itself can be aggressive, cruel and even violent due to its pointed, narrow focus and approach. Understanding these basic vibration can help to manifest the positive attributes and recognize and overcome the negative.

So, maybe we’ll all get a chance to begin again. (Although we all know that “one is the loneliest number…”)

The coming year will be one of change and challenge. Personally, I still haven’t decided whether I’ll just barricade my cave entrance with rocks and come out again in four years or plant myself on the front porch with my journal and a camera and watch the changes sweep in. Right now, up feels like down and down feels like up and I’m not sure where this crazy world is taking me. Then again, maybe that’s because it’s raining in SoCal, it’s the last Friday of December 2016, and the winds of change are upon us. But that’s a good thing!

I wish you the best in the New Year. May the spirit of love, light, peace, and happiness hold you in its arms.

Sat Nam




Standing in the Light


At a crossroad, walking into the light.

You don’t have to agree with someone else’s life style.

You don’t have to agree with their politics.

You don’t have to agree with their personal beliefs.

You don’t have to agree with the way they raise their children.

Or groom their pets.

Or drive.

Or park their car.

You don’t have to agree with anything someone else does.

And you don’t have to like it–whatever it is.

You do have to let them be.

You do have to allow them to live as they choose.

You do have to respect everyone’s right to live/love/worship as they see fit.

All you need to do is step aside and focus on their humanity.

Focus on your heart.

Focus on who you are as an expansive being of light and let everything else go.

We are all standing in the same light whether we like it or not. And depending on where we stand, the light shines upon us in varying hues and shades of color. While we perceive the light that surrounds us with different senses of perspective and perception, the light stays the same. We cannot change the light.

We can argue that gold is better than white or blue is better than pink. However, the source of light is the same. The waves of light that give us life are exactly the same throughout the universe. The light will never change.

We are in this life together.

We are in this light forever.

We are One.

Moving Forward

Blue storm sky 02

The cycle has ended, that seven years of waiting, watching, and wondering, and I am free once again to move forward.

In my own mind’s eye, I see my progress as up and away rather than a steady forward motion, a releasing of my feet from the confines of the earth’s gravity to float just above the scrim of the earth. This time there will be no dragging of my veils along the mountain tops, no artificial and tenuous connection to keep me grounded. I am no longer in acceptance mode, taking whatever is blithely given, accepting what little is offered. I am taking my sickle out of hiding; I am reaping whatever remains of those spindly seeds planted long ago. I am ripping up the ground that has encased my feet in sucking quicksand. I am launching my soul into a new life of desire and plenty. I seek abundance and joy. I seek pleasure and company. I seek happiness and comfort. The mewling worm of simple platitudes is dead. The gypsy butterfly of glory is born. My life unfolds along mysterious ley lines as the future stretches out before me, an unfurling map of adventure. My home is a distant twinkling flame beckoning me, a tiny space of light and warmth and comfort.

In my heart, I know that I AM…

…moving forward.