A time of costumes and masks-
Painted or paper: a disguise.
The question: Who will I be?
No thought of permanence.
Trick or treat: temporary sweet living-
reality/return is not far away.
Identity changes annually. Scripts.

I am a child…
a landscape of play,
lilac trees and connections
with friends and family.

Mask making happened early.
Family moves and expectations:
I am feeling powerless, but I can do it!
Masking my feelings and desires,
I calm the surface. Follow the rules.
Ceded control!Controlled my responses!
Maintained some distance from the world.
Somehow,I find work within that framework.

Mask wearing has been my way
of being in the world.
What can I do for you?
Work! Composing a life:
the paved road of good works,
filtered experiences, acceptance, limiting stories.
Confined creativity;the light of adventure beckons.
Scripts and guises prevail- there are rewards.
Where do I belong? Beyond veneers.

Masquerade: my biggest life role.
Kaleidoscopic personas
framed a self acceptable to all.
Along the spiraled patterned path:
adventure beckoned far from routine,
passive acceptance of circumstances,
relationships at a distance.
What is love?
Stoic in search of belonging,
masking emotions,I have lived my life
unseen for who I am- even by me.
Work is/was my fuel;short bursts of creativity
spoke loudly-
but the rules kept me safe, neutral.
Teflon coating, costumes, structures.

Retirement did not really burst the bubble
but provided space to explore…
my divided self.
Clean the closet: what costumes, roles to keep-
to let go of what no longer serves me.
What matters to me?
Unmasking is happening over time
as I discover the truth of who I am.
The conceal/reveal continuum adjusts-
inside and out.
Inner life matters;what has been waiting to be born?
Possibilities: creative energy-
writing, singing, dancing;music and words
are my keys.Play.Conversations with others-
creating anew, identity as we age, evolving lives.
Towards wholeness: being vulnerable,
Light and shadow colour my days.
Listening to messages from my interior-
my heart and soul have ideas,speak to me of self care.
My intuition thrives,
My life is unfolding; I am enough.

Others have said:

.when we are strong enough to know who we are-
we will remove the mask
.masks: a callous between my heart and the world.

My life as a chameleon continues!



The choir to which I have belonged for the last few years is disbanding.

I have torn a page/ written into the passage of time:
my Hummingbirds story- musical opportunities, making friendships, baking treats for monthly birthdays, gigs in care homes, Friday afternoons in company, stories and laughter, blending and birthing…experiencing the joy of singing
2nd row…second soprano

Closing the chapter…events pass into memory, cherished and not forgotten.

To feel alive…
In this lifetime
Is to immerse myself
In music.
My body sways to rhythms.
To hear my voice aloud-
sing out and sing along,
other tunes and my own,
alone or in groups,
Streaming through my being-
notes of comfort and creation.

Words are my treasures-
light my path.
Fuel my creative streak-
speaking and writing
sharing and leading
singing, styling…
stories and ideas abound
created and creating
conversations and observations
of the world, my world:
inside and out.

I am learning to leave constraint behind.
To belong.


Drifts of pink snow line the streets-
petals flake through the air- a rosy haze
blankets the city, perfumes the air:once again
flowering cherry trees herald Spring.
Photographed,planted and encouraged,lifting our spirits-
beckoning us outdoors to feel the warmth of the sun.

Not to be outdone,out of the soil:
flowers appear. Paintbox colors
dot landscapes. What has survived winter’s mantle?
Shades of green announce spring’s onset and promise
with these signatures of life’s renewal.

A new cycle begins;leafy characters announce themselves-
trees,all shapes and sizes,are greeted with joy-
even expectation of performance.Light and shade.
Getting in on the act,humans participate peripherally.
Preparing,planting- garden centers rub their hands in glee.
Lime green hands and those of brown live in hope
while trying yet again to direct, produce.
Gardeners aspire to greatness.Feeling warmth, anticipation.
Scenes are created; twenty years or two weeks:
they all have a place. Nature, nurture- humans and plants

Widening my gaze beyond urban vistas,
forests live and breathe-
covering the landscape with their stately presence.
Offering animal homes,health,beauty: a peaceful life.
Circle of life? Bucolic dances with clearcutting,harvest.
What are their goals? Can they be only lucrative?
Greed the growing factor? Trees: only fodder for success?
Regrowth, regeneration, research
all provide a second chance over time-
Desire to replant fluctuates.

Simultaneously,the gardener lunges eager hands
into the soil;sensuously,the soil responds.
Rewards for personal efforts are at hand;
no special equipment,
permits or steps required.
Where machinery may remove all
the gardener’s game: weed or flower? Stay or go?

At the end of the week-
foresters, paid for their efforts,
can become weekend gardeners-
to try their hand at this circle business.
Somehow these worlds meet,touch,and
play out the David and Goliath game.

We ponder:how is it that we trade tall and stately
for spindly and small? The view?
Making way for more growth in human terms?
Residential or commercial:acres of green
that help us to breathe, to survive
are bent to man’s use. A plan?

Of course, desire for wood creates options.
Building structures, furniture…useful,preferred.
Rings of life offer creative options: sculpture,
framing life and desire.Prized.Sought.
Paper. Let me count the ways.
How do we integrate all features of Plant world
into awareness and understanding? Balance?

The conversations with nature continue:
building relationships
giving and taking
conservation and culling
Stewardship:points of view

Welcoming Spring!


Across my landscape, inside and out, spring  unfolds. Memories’ blossoms transport me to childhood and the experiences of living on my grandfather’s farm. These days, blooms in yards and parks remind me of the timeless beauty of Nature and her invitations to surround myself with floral colour and shape, perfume and possibility.

fragance overides my need for control.
blossoms invite more, much more…
When I was a child,
Simple living was the norm.
Woven through stories,
I recall lilac blossoms’ deep purple
wafting their scent-
Colouring my world.
I was at home within its branches.
The poet says:
“When I get old I shall wear purple.”
For me, adorning is not enough.
Each spring, I must surround myself;
Experience once again
The fragrance, the sight, the memory:
The lilac years.

Inch by inch; row by row…

Taking a step-
How will I feel?
What will it look like?
Who will notice?
What if…
One step is not a pattern.

Taking another step-
Feeling nervous:
doing it anyway.
Familiar: beginning of un
Towards…and letting go of!
Desire and design hold hands.
I am holding my breath.

Beginning and becoming unfold,
Living through my senses:
I am new and renewed.
The music of my life flows
from Source. Heart and soul are
engaged in this enterprise that
reflects my experience,
changes my circumstances.
Feeling more confident.

Out there in the world
I am sharing my natural gifts
out loud.I am feeling some resistance.
Both successes and learning opportunities
are mine!I can make a difference.
I am learning!
I am feeling!
I am creating!
I am breathing!
I am expanding.
Conscious living invites deeper relationships
with myself…other.


Onwards and upwards; outwards and inwards
She travels.
Trusting, believing in, grateful for
Her pilgrim life.

Courage…making meaning

Why me?    Why this?    Why now?

These little birds call across my landscape – less familiar artifacts visible than ever, but I am here, contemplating: wondering what might be next.  I am exploring anew the possibilities I described in an earlier post.  As well, the constellation of quotes and excerpts about courage I published previously, creates a context for those considerations.  Like Goldilocks, I taste the porridge pots and compose a further life that is just right for me….not cast in stone.  Beckoning.

Courage: more badge than belief…not the cowardly lion, but choosing to live within a familiar framework. Always more comfortable across the world…the closer I moved towards understanding myself and my place in the world, I have tended to remain aloof-always something else to do. And, my relationships with self and others? Well, distance was my friend. Moving closer: knowing who I am in this lifetime- gifts and challenges. The given? My strength and possibility to integrate what I am learning as I create, allow and learn to feel the emotions of circumstances. I am realizing that courage is an inside job: negotiating my reality means having the courage to look at my life and how it brought me to this place. In letting go of what no longer serves me, I am offered a unique life of passion and purpose; in the context of forgiveness and gratitude, I listen to my heart and soul support me moving forward. Spunk was always there…waiting.

With courage, I accept the invitation:

  •  to pay attention: conscious living as I age and my life evolves. Grace.
  •  to live my own life: what touches my heart, permission and celebration
  • to accept myself: light and shadow. My different life is just fine. I am not defined by doing; being is also part of the song of my life…do- be-do- be-do…belonging
  • to trust life- that all will be well. Divine timing and finding the gifts of each experience reduces my anxiety and fear. Asking questions: staying in the fire
  • to make time for myself- in the yes and no of dailiness, solitude: with stillness as its habitat, to play: to share the gift of laughter, to see and be seen
  • to live in my body and to listen for the messages it has to tell me
  • towards wholeness: allowing myself to come alive and my gifts to express themselves, to reach out, to know love,

I will continue along my interior journey. With deepening awareness and willingness to be vulnerable, I live the rhythm of my own life, realizing that this liminal space allows me to appreciate what comes my way, to develop my spiritual practices within and beyond my local self, to recognize my kinship with all things. Daring to dream.

D. Whyte phrases: courage- to stay closely to the way we are made…to speak openly and feel deeply…who and what we love and what we can do to deepen that love.

I used to extinguish under the weight of living, but one day I reached into my chest, dusted off my courage and asked myself: where’s your fire?

D. Antoinette Foy

Weaving my STORY into the story of living and dying…source unknown



Earlier this year I attended an all day session with the poet, David Whyte. The subject of his talk: ‘half a shade braver’. He spoke of the  courage to live my life: willingness to be vulnerable, to inhabit my life rather than haunt it, to be hospitable to the stranger in me. Many questions accompany me as I continue:

  • What conversation am I prepared to let go?
  • What do I really want?
  • How do I find me?

A little later, I found a book by Brene Brown – Rising Strong.  This book, and others she has written, speak of a willingness to be vulnerable  as essential to living a full life: that courage, compassion and connection are first- being kind to myself as I contemplate changes in my life. If I am willing to lean into  some discomfort, I will inhabit my authentic self on my journey to wholeness.  Of course, there are many questions…all leading to living a larger life, listening to my heart, being truthful- no more pretense.

Since then, a murder mystery with a quote from CS Lewis:

I have come home at last! This is my real country. I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…come further up, come further in!

And, another book – the author uses this same invitation in connection with some intense action and its aftermath…and a song, a Ginette Reno lyric:

un peu plus haut – a little higher
un peu plus loin -a little further

Alan Seale speaks of breaking open, of creating the conditions to deepen my awareness and wonder about my learning curve as I contemplate:

  • What wants to happen?
  • Who’s that asking me to be?
  • What’s that asking me to do?

All of these authors offer both a challenge and an opportunity to explore conversations I have had with myself. My observations? In my next blog.


He said; she said…

from: Working Together
by David Whyte

We shape ourself
to fit the world

That phrase has been true in my world. It did not take very long before I became aware of a code of behaviors that would and did color my life. Following others’ agendas and conflict avoidance kept me safe; adventure offered options.  Now I can feel some compassion…then, a passive approach to living seemed to make sense.

following the guidelines,agendas
taking myself for granted
role play
work:how I know I’m alive

and by the world
are shaped again.

Expectations of the/my world:

what is and how long is childhood?
work will matter more than play
there are rules
life is serious
each chapter of life: guidelines, framework
relationships:for me,at a distance
acquiring, believing, belonging- not for me

The visible and
the invisible

The visible world, my visible world, constrained and allowed and favored the familiar rather than the unknown. Away from routine,travel encouraged connections to flourish and I learned about the world from another more inclusive vantage point. I began to know myself differently. Post retirement: a deepened awareness of:

my patterns of living and changing the energy
need for self- care and what that could look like
my story and its implications for myself and others
realizing play and pleasures, feelings and emotions
on my interior journey; its gifts and challenges-
celebration of accomplishments and connections
belonging…to myself first.

working together
in common cause

No one in my life really wished me harm… like the stripes of a beachball, each influence had an idea of safety, wellness, a story which impacted their lives, had their own agenda. Agree…or not…I responded and composed my life. Noticed but seldom confronted. Acknowledgement and forgiveness of myself, of others, will create space for ‘something new to begin’.

to produce
the miraculous.

I have gifts to share with the world
Music makes me feel alive: singing, creating, dancing
Words are my toys, my way to interact with the world
I am an individual- letting go of guilt for my desires
I can support others with my stories, create context for composing lives
Play or work: I do not have to choose- flow! freedom!Blend.
Authentic relationships: with myself, with others.
Warmth of emotions: laughter, love- towards wholeness
Stillness, meditation: connections with all that is in this world
and beyond. Wounds of this lifetime and previous ones can be healed.
Space and time are on a continuum..not linear.
I am enough! I make meaning from the world around me. Attitude!!



Their games color our world:
hide and seek.One controls?
They are interdependent

shines brightly-
warms the earth, the air,
our bodies.
Angles its way into our lives
S/he is an artist at play.

On an expanse of watery blue-
diamond sunspots dot the surface and
reflect,refract the light.
Beauty. Light dapples the pavement, all
surfaces with shapes- shadow joins hands
with sun. The natural world on display…
Art for all to appreciate.

Shadow shapes abound.
Shapeshifting with time of day
and conversation with clouds.
Light and shadow on the surface of a leaf.
Shade offers relief from sun’s intensity.
Shadows seize the opportunity
to quietly shape and reshape the landscape.

Light and shadow inhabit my life.
Gifts.Yin and yang…
Wonder and realized patterns-
Joy and sorrow; acquiring and letting go:
Emotions energize my experiences
Of circumstances. Point of view? Light and shadow!
Action and reaction on the same field.
I: benignly cast a shadow,have a vocal interior shadow self-
While the light of love and hope beckons
and fills me, my shadow self reminds:
anxiety has a role to play in the shapes of my life.
I listen…stories are imagined and created.
The art of the word…the play of light and shadow.

I acknowledge both selves;compassion allows me
to invite conversation and creation
into my life.With my light and shadow’s potential:
the art of living my life is savoring interaction…
My human nature has courageous space for us all.

Bread Thoughts

A bakery of books on shelves…
Each loaf offering ingredients
for a healthy life.
Self-help:recipes to heal,to support,
to discover ways of living life.
There are endless versions.
Each author/baker has reasons for choosing
this shape or that, these restrictions or desires-
Basic or decorative…
for every reason,there is a season-ing. Invitations.

My life has been lived
like slices of bread enclosed in a
somewhat decorative bag which opens easily to reveal-
– some pieces are artisanal: seeds and herbs throughout.
The texture and taste of experience and creation opens me to
enjoy, savor, remember:
sometimes a higher price is paid but so worth it.
– some slices are Wonderbread: there is a sameness.
Plain- with or without peanut butter; I do not pay
attention. What nutritional value? Routines and ruts:
the dailiness that sometimes feeds.
– pita, flatbread offer space for additions.
Fillings vary; bread consistency offers chewy deliberation
For me,for other- guises,emotions.

I have been/am a baker.
Selecting the flour- foundation of who I am.
Whole wheat,gluten free,all purpose:
I have been all purpose in my life!
Baking my further life- different flours,reasons.
Plunging my hands in the bag,measuring amounts for success.
The leavening of laughter and possibility,
The flavoring of experience and circumstance-
Kneading the dough; developing my gifts
Let it rise…punch down
Shape…let it rise
Why is life like that?
Bake-heat of emotion, desire, connection.
Size, shape, adorned or plain…my choice?
Spread with costume and performance
Enhanced with words and ideas
Consumed with relationship, awareness,courage.

My ingredients,heat of my oven- I feed my engaged self.
Less focus on machine cut rules,
Paying attention: to wholeness, to new beginnings-
the pleasures of indulging,tearing pieces,creating.
I can feed others with my creations…always there,
always possible, always available.
On a shelf,a rack or my kitchen.

Who said anything about carbohydrates?