Always with the first times.

April 26, 2016 § Leave a comment


I am scared of everything.

April 13, 2016 § 1 Comment

I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that I will be afraid every time. The fear is always there. It is not an omen, not a mark on the map telling me to go another way. It is just a faulty compass; the instruments, not the stars.

Things I fear:  Phone calls, grocery store check out lines, drop-off and pick-up, requiring assistance of any kind, hitting send, lunch, success, leaving the laundry in the washer too long, failure, burning down the house, observation, medicine, all the things my children will inevitably think and feel about their childhood, running out of gas, parties, invitations, knocking on my door, no one ever inviting me to anything or knocking on my door, vine borers, my husband’s untimely death, stuff stuck to the bottom of my feet, holidays, 4 o’clock, alcoholism, the word publish.



April 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

I read this out loud to myself today.


On a day you cannot move forward, you do not feel in love, you do not feel proud, you do not feel inspired, you do not want to find the energy, the effort to press, press, push.  On a day when the shores are too far gone and you have no choice but to float, to glide, to wait until one or the other becomes an option.  On a day that comes right in a string of days that lack reward, that do not fool you into believing you are doing it.  When you are not thriving, winning, moving with the current to carve the landscape.  On a day when you have not changed.

What do you do?

Do you draw circles on the page in your favorite ink just to feel your hand move on the page like a child rocking themselves to sleep?  Like a smoker chewing gum? …

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The things I do.

April 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

What if the disease that shuts me down is pride?

Not brain chemistry, but good old fashioned flesh, fallen.

What if all the things I blame on being sick are just being sinful?

Think about how much effort I put into hiding, into being absent so my lack will go unnoticed.

I don’t blame myself for having bipolar disorder.  I didn’t do that.  But I am responsible for the life I live with it. I am responsible for the things I do and the things I leave undone.


Action item.

March 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

All I have to do is open my computer and write these exact words, press a button, and I’ve done it.

I went upstairs

February 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

to my studio today. It was exactly as I left it last summer when my brain went dead and the sitter money dried up. I tried to keep my head down, shove the boxes in the corner, but I was pulled into the ghost town, the ghost herself. 



July 17, 2015 § 3 Comments

I haven’t had a clear thought since April. Tens of thousands of muddy ones tumbling in, but they all have the be washed and polished, sorted by size and weight. Takes forever. Poetry helps. You don’t have to know what you’re thinking to start writing it. Even when you’re done it’s often just a bunch of stones lined up in a mystery you hope someone else solves later and it’s not too embarrassing.

It has been five weeks since the last tiny sliver of Lexapro. I was spared the most terrifying withdrawal side effects. No brain zaps, waking up behind the wheel of the car in strange places with no idea how you got there. Just a very slow, anti-climactic re-entry into consciousness. I can officially spend more hours awake than asleep in a 24 hour period, and far fewer of them are spent crying in the kitchen. But I have awakened under the wet blanket of midsummer. Time is sticky and hot and slow and sounds like cicadas and children who have spilled paint.

I am here, I am well, I am raising children and inking pens and doing stupid things with my body that I really should not. There is plenty of writing being done, but none that wants to be seen when the lights come on. I am here, everything is right here just waiting for my head to clear, waiting for the year to tip toward fall so gravity can take over.

Until then, I am just here in the stands with my box of rocks, breathing chlorine, cheering, moving stuff around.