Point of View

Point of View
and if you wanted to drown you could, but you don’t...~David Whyte

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What Matters

I have a blog. It’s called “WHAT MATTERS”

I may start keeping that blog up. WHAT MATTERS.
Like this mind blowing gift my daughter (who is a science and math whiz but hates writing and still took the time to fill pages with her love and appreciation for me this past June 5, my 65th.)
This book is filled with love and frankly, is any parent’s deepest desire; that a child of theirs gets it, gets who you are as both a woman and a mother and reciprocates your love, respects your wisdom, and even emulates you.
Being seen like this is the GREATEST GIFT I have or ever will ever receive.
Yes, moms ARE supposed to see their kids and selflessly (but not so selflessly they’re a doormat and don’t model self-care) hold space for them
when you are successful at it?
THIS happens.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime. Sometimes it takes several.
I’m here for it. 🙏🏻

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Solo Writing Retreat: Travel Prep

I was obsessing about which books to take with me on my solo writing retreat when I realized I could just use my Kindle. Huge relief! I also realized there’s no reason to create stress and pressure for myself with this month-long solo expedition into my work-in-progress. The plan is to immerse myself in the drafts I have and go from there. I have no idea where I’ll end up but I do have a sense that I need to wrap this book project up.

I’m pairing the writing with meditation at the nearby Temple of the Universe, run by Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. And, to kick it all off, I am doing a three-day retreat on the Sadhana of Prana at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Silver Springs, Florida.

I’ll be staying at a cozycottage on twenty acres of farmland outside of Alachua, Florida which is about a twenty-minute drive from Gainesville and fifteen minutes from Michael Singer’s property. 

How did this all happen?

I had the intuitive thought to create a writing retreat for myself, travel somewhere for an entire month. In considering where I might go I thought of Santa Fe or Taos in nearby New Mexico, Ojai, California, where I’ve enjoyed attending workshops before, or, the next thought occurred to me, why not travel to the area near Singer’s meditation retreat and property, as described in his book, The Surrender Experiment. I shot The Temple of the Universe an email saying I was planning to be in the area to write and could they recommend a nearby place to stay? To my surprise, I received a friendly response the very next day with some suggestions and so I landed at a lovely cottage with an amazing hostess. Within days of having the intuition to create the trip, everything fell into place, including reserving my flights using the surplus of miles I had saved up.

In getting ready for this trip, I at first felt like I had to pack everything but the kitchen sink, but once I solved the book problem, I relaxed and now I’m simplifying it across the board. I’m taking capris and my softest most comfortable t-shirts, a swimsuit, a robe, underwear, a light jacket, my bike shorts and gloves, and that’s about it. Oh, and my laptop which I took into the Geek Squad to get the WiFi connection problem I’d been having fixed. Check. My hostess graciously agreed to provide a printer and I bought some ink. I have a few thumb drives with my work-in-progress on them, as well as a hard copy of the MS and notes from my mentors Lidia Yuknavitch and Emily Rapp Black. I’m taking a few meditation books, a journal, and two writing books:

Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative Paperback – April 2, 2019 by Jane Allison

The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life, Second Edition Paperback – September 15, 2018, by Priscilla Long

I will spend some reading time with Marguerite Duras, Alice Notley, Bernadette Mayer, Rainier Maria Rilke, and whomever else strikes my fancy that I can download on my Kindle, but mostly, I plan to write.

Saturday, August 29, 2015



I like to tell how she cried before she was born. Even before she emerged from the birth canal, she began wailing. And it is hard not to because she came second, after her sister, who was born silent. So it was the sound of her cry, like electricity, that connected us at the very first. As it was the sound of her sister’s silence that remains, even now, loudest, the way it lies just beneath the beating of my heart. There’s a thunder in that silence.

I was seventeen when the first girl came. Two days worth of labor. My water broke first and so they induced it. I was a tiny thing. Maybe one hundred twenty pounds eight plus months pregnant. They hooked me up to monitors, IVs, oxygen.

I was a child. “I’ve changed my mind,” I said, finally. “I’m not going to do this.” And I really thought I could just get up and leave. Someone wiped my face with a washcloth. Shushed me.

In the delivery room, the nurse who admonished me, “You wanted this baby. Now you have it!” was sent out of the room after I pulled her surgical cap off and broke the IV line in my arm, blood trickling behind it. I became an animal giving birth to a human.

A loss of consciousness, finally, and when I came to, a lone doctor in the room, perhaps an intern, pushing on my stomach.

“Where is my baby?” I asked, confused by the sudden emptiness.

“You had a girl.” He said. “Now push. We have to get out the afterbirth.”

I don’t know if it was days or hours before I saw her, my first girl.

She was born not breathing. While I lay unconscious, she was resuscitated, incubated, whisked away.

The second daughter was born in violence. Her father battering us the night before her birth. The only memory that dark room, my long hair, his fist in my stomach.

With the morning came my water and, because this had happened with the first one, I knew it was time to give birth. Again, I was induced. This time labor was fast. She was born within three hours after induction, screaming into the world. Born the same hour and minutes as the month and day. At ten twenty-seven on ten twenty-seven. She announced her arrival.

Daughters know how to break mothers. Or is it the other way around? We break each other. I was a child mother. My girls anchored me to the ground. Like twin soulmates they swirled around the satellite of me, their mother, and kept me from drifting into oblivion and space.

Daughters are not supposed to be the anchors. But mine were.

I don’t know how to say sorry for that. Because they still are.

I am the great grand-daughter of a witch, and so my daughters are her great-great- granddaughters. A lineage hard to come from, that of the designated witch. And that of child mothers.

One daughter has distanced herself from me of late. Both have broken my heart. My blond and brunette daughters, day and night, green eyes and brown. The loves of my life. Irretrievably, endlessly, broken.

When she was nine and I married their stepfather, the eldest said, “Now we won’t be the three musketeers anymore, Mom.” She looked steadily at me, her soul spilling from her eyes.

“We will always be the three musketeers.” I told her. Fiercely. But she wants nothing to do with me lately.

‘I am not your friend,” she recently said. She means she can’t take care of me. You see, she used to, child of a child mother. Neither of us are children now.

The second daughter calls to tell me her five year old girl’s latest antics. She is strong willed, like you were, I tell her. Like I was. We shake our heads a little, but secretly, we both take pride in her strength.

I can’t solve this mother daughter puzzle. My own mother is no longer close. I dream that, because my daughters each have a daughter, they will comprehend the way I love them someday. They will get it like a bomb going off in their chest. The stars will align and the universe will right itself anew. But there is no guarantee. There is really nothing but this river we come from, in which we swim, which swims in us, its tributaries of shame.

How I love them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



     With National Poetry Month in mind, as well as the start tomorrow to a poetry workshop, and an upcoming poem a day challenge, I pulled out some of my favorite poets.  This poem by Alice Ostriker struck me because it captures the fire that burns inside at the same time it shines a wide angle lens across a life halfway spent.  Writing is my vocation and called me when I was six.  Now I am sixty and have finally answered the call.  I try not to look back, but reading this, I saw the child, the teenager, the young adult and woman I have been. How small I was, in my own thin coat:


To play among the words like one of them,
Lit from within—others can see it,
Never oneself—

She slips like a cat through traffic,
A girl alone downtown
For the first time, subway fare in her purse,

Fear of losing it
Clamping her chest,
Wind whipping tears from her eyes,

Fried grease and gasoline in her nose, shoes and
Jewelry in shopwindows. a spike
Of freedom stitching her scalp—

Though she dreads the allergy shot at the clinic
She feels herself getting brave.
Now it begins to snow on Central Park South

And a flight of pigeons
Whim up from a small pile of junk in the gutter
Grey, violet, green, a predatory shimmer.

The marquee of the Paris Theater
Looks at the rapturous child
Through downcast lashes, condescendingly.

I watch her over a distance of fifty years.
I see how small she is in her thin coat.
I offer a necklace of tears, orgasms, words

                                                      ~ Alice Ostriker

- See more at: http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/summer-2010/poems/#sthash.rJUUllho.dpuf

Monday, February 2, 2015

And Here's What The Fuck I'm Gonna Do About It

Writing the Body Retreat with Jen Pastiloff and Lidia Yuknavitch in Ojai, California this past weekend, the title is a prompt given to us by Lidia. An amazing experience unlike any other. Believe it. #womanchurch #gratitude
     I will allow Source to carry me, to provide, to guide.  I will do what’s in front of me to do: the next step, and the next and the next AS THEY APPEAR before me.
     I will stand in this gorgeous light of my soul and nothing – including myself and my whiny ego – will get in the way.
     I will write this book.  And the next one. And the one after that.  And on – into infinity.
     I will drop the guilt that wants to suck me into the abyss. I will forgive all my sins – even the worst ones where I harmed another – to write about the way out for all of us, to show the great light that cracked me into this new life of passion, love, and ALL OF ME expressing.
    I will drop my hands, wash my face, and dance*, motherfuckers. If you do not see or recognize me, I will shake the dust from my feet and Let.You.Walk.

     I am here.  I have arrived. The big “I” of me, not the small and I am fucking tall. My heart is HUGE and it is big enough now, big enough for it ALL.

     I will not be small.  I am here to love everything. Don’t be afraid of me. I will release all fear like pebbles into the ocean.
     Look at that Big Water.  It has come for me and I’m going to ride the waves all the way to the tallest peak.  I will ride and go high and then descend as water droplets, as spray, foam on the very edges, god damn it. 

    I am every single piece of sand and I am the water licks at the edges. I am moving with the air and the rivers and the rain and I am Giving It Up.
    ALL of it.  I am not wasting a single fucking breath. Watch my fingers.  Moving on the page.

     *Bishop T.D. Jakes Let Them Walk

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Room Of Our Own

Passing It Forward:

I'm excited to highlight a fellow writer's work on KellyBlog. 
This piece by Jennifer Erickson made me howl.

An excerpt from:
Turning Shit into Gold (with apologies to Joseph Campbell)

Who can be a hero? Anybody. Yes, you heard me.

You don't have to be  perfect: you're human, after all. You can be old or young, rich or poor, and you don't need an education or prestigious job. You don't have to be charming or nice, although becoming a hero might require some painful introspection. Your life may have started out crappy, but that's actually an advantage, because being a hero is hard, and a miserable childhood can toughen you up.

A hero does not have to be male, by the way. Yes, in the movies women are mostly decorative, but in real life there's more to women than cleavage and painful shoes.

I'm going to warn you right now that becoming a hero will be the hardest thing you have ever done. It's not all ticker-tape parades and Oprah interviews. It's a long, difficult journey. The good news is that your  journey is already there, waiting for you, and you may have started that journey without knowing it. You just have to have the courage to finish.

The hero doesn't start out wanting to save the world. As a matter of fact, you can be a screw-up. One colossal mistake leads you in a completely unexpected (and unwanted) direction. It might be a drunk-driving conviction or a jumbo mortgage. Or there might be some sign from the hidden world that things are about to get weird, like your boss asks whether there's something else you'd rather be doing, or sewage comes up through the bathtub drain.

 Either way, you're not impressed, and not particularly keen to go gallivanting off on an adventure. You'd really rather watch American Idol and have a beer.

But after having decided to do nothing instead of adventuring, you start to see the emptiness, the meaninglessness of your life. You sink into depression. You're trying to figure out how to get out of your rut when something happens to remind you that adventure awaits. And this time you feel a little less afraid. After all, what do you have to lose? Your life sucks. Before you can chicken out, you leap into the adventure.

Immediately, you are submersed in a world of monsters and seduction and strange supernatural stuff. Often, an intimidating mentor helps you until you get the hang of it.

Eventually, you get a little cocky. What you don't realize is that this is just a warmup. Hero boot camp.

The real journey begins then, with terrors beyond any you had imagined, and even worse, your mentor isn't returning your calls. You're going to have to go deep, psychologically speaking, and it will be painful. Your old self will be annihilated, but when you come through it you will realize that you had nothing to fear all along.

You might think this is the end of the story, but really it's just the beginning. You must raise your level of consciousness to succeed in every new trial. You are growing up.

You start to see that all is one: you stop thinking of things in terms of opposites: you and I, good and evil, masculine and feminine, success and failure. You see the world in all its messy perfection. Everything is necessary to the whole, including this shitty journey you're on.

You master the world, but that's not where it stops. You realize that the whole world is in you as you are in the world.


Yeah, but that's not the end of it. There's trial after trial, and the hero in you just lets it happen. Desires and hostility dissolve. Your soul is stripped bare. You lose everything. You might think you have had enough, but alas, no.

You step into the void, the world beyond the world. Finally, you are at peace, and you don't want to go back to humanity and opposites and strife and people with their petty little egos. Who can blame you? You worked hard to get this point. Even if you're in a coma, you're content.

The problem is, you're a hero, and the sacred duty, the destiny of a hero is to bring back your wisdom to society. So with regret you tear away from the void, where all was perfection and peace, and dive back into ugly, petty humanity.

And when you arrive with your hard-won wisdom, you're talking a little bit above everybody else's understanding, so nobody cares. Yeah, they call you a weirdo, a loser. It's even in the newspaper: "So-and-so sucks.". Your spouse takes the kids and moves in with your mother and you're not invited to Thanksgiving dinner. And so the trials continue. I told you being a hero would suck.

Find Jennifer Erickson at:  http://jenniferericksonauthor.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 23, 2015


I got nothing.

No status update today.

Not even another selfie;

I’m tapped out.

I’ve been talking to you

Like you’re out there.

But you’re the 21st century

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

You’re the post post-modern

Religion; a prayer posting



This poem was entered in the Writer's Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge in April, 2014 and was selected as a Top Ten Finalist.