March 28, 2012


I think
about burning
when it's all over
burning to ashes
dust and tiniest
bits of bone.

I think
of my body, a grey-white cloud
wafting away on a wind or
sifting into an ocean wave or
settling over a mountainside
or maybe just sitting
in a jar
on a shelf

I wonder:
Is this what I want?

I wonder: is the funereal fire
more holy than
the waters of the sea?

If I'd had their
fragile, broken bodies burned
to softest ash
would I
feel closer to them, or farther
if I'd seen them
wafting away on a wind or
settling over a mountainside
or maybe just sitting
in a jar
on a shelf
somewhere or if
I'd ever put my hand
into that jar, felt them
slipping through my fingers
again--oh, not again!
and wondered again if this
was a lock of hair, this
a delicate lung or this
a perfect toe.

I think
the bodies of my babies
are in the ocean (or they were)
mingled with the waters, washed away
along with my blood and my tears
but perhaps they are now
in Alaska's snow or
Chicago's rain or
riding the Ganges river, or perhaps
they are now
high, high up in the atmosphere
or maybe they are here, in my breath
gone cold and crystallized and dancing
before my eyes.

Look, mama.
Watch me twirl.


I learned that it is actually illegal to spread someone's ashes. Around here, anyway. You must put them in a container and bury the container in the ground, and really what is the point of that? You may as well be buried in a big box as fit in a small jar and buried all the same. I don't know. I thought I'd like to be put into the sea. But when I think of being ashes in the sea (my first and last intentionally illegal act), I think it is not quite the same as the way my babies are part of the sea, and it unnerves me somehow. Like we won't be together the way that I'd like. *sigh* I suppose it doesn't matter much. Or not yet. Presumably by the time I die there will be others who have an opinion on what should be done with my body anyway. Maybe a husband who'd like us to be buried side by side. Maybe children who'd like to make a memorial to me, rather than the other way around. There's a first.

Just something that came up at work the other day, and has been on my mind since. Any thoughts, dear readers? What are they going to do with you, when you've gone? Who do you want to be near, for forever?

March 26, 2012

Can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, can't
sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep, cantsleep, can'ts leep, can't... sleep, can't... sl

March 25, 2012

on the other side of silence

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

March 23, 2012

Ailis Evelyn

I wish I could hold you, precious girl, and tell you how sorry I am.
Sorry that I love you so much, but much too late. xo

Photo via, sentiment mine.

March 21, 2012

my heaven

For Cathy in Missouri. xoxo

They are there, all of them, my little loves. The ones that belong to me. And no matter how far they may wander, freely, over greening hills, amongst flowers and trees, or out in a little boat on a glittering sea, they are never in danger and they are never out of my sight or beyond my arm's reach, never, not ever. They come back to me, happily, smelling of blackberries and nectarine and jasmine and we lay pleased and reverent under the arc of the stars at night, and listen to the ocean kiss the shore, and only sleep for the joy of waking up.

Words are no longer necessary; not even the prettiest ones, like lily and sparkle and aurora borealis. All we have to do is look around and at one another and we know, we just know. It's in our eyes and the turn of our heads and the slope of our shoulders and the way our ankles cross just so--or don't cross, as the case may be. How high we jump and how fast we run and how slow we dance and how soft we sing. Communication perfected, no misunderstandings to be had.

There are lots and lots of people, but still there is plenty of room, and no one is ever irritated to see anyone else. We are either pleased or even more pleased. And it takes exactly however long you wanted it to take to get from here to anywhere else. And it is perfectly warm, except for when it is perfectly cool. Life and Love and Light are there, and we want for nothing.

Lily. Sparkle. Aurora Borealis.

Don't you think?

March 17, 2012


Maybe there's a reason she's so hateful. Maybe there's a reason she's so hard. Poison in her, all through her; maybe it hurts. Maybe the hissing keeps her up at night. Maybe there's no magic. Maybe it's your own discomfort that turns you stone-still when you look into her eyes, her brutal and self conscious pain that stops you in your tracks.

Or maybe not.

Maybe she's just mean. Deep down, bone chilling, irrational, hates-your-guts-without-even-knowing-you mean. With a venom glare and an icy heart and her hair, even her hair! Restless snakes alive with silky voices, hateful songs. She could cut off all of their heads in a matter of moments (blood, then silence). But she won't. She's grown accustomed to their whispers, torturous but familiar. She's accepted the myth that they are a part of her, and she won't be parted from them now, not for anything, not ever.


I have been struggling lately with my long held belief in giving people the benefit of the doubt. It would be so much easier if everybody was one thing or the other: bad or good. But we are, annoyingly, often both. Have you ever met Medusa? ARE you Medusa? What do you think?

March 7, 2012

right this second

I overheard somebody say once that however you feel right this second, there is at least one other person in the world who feels the EXACT same way. When you're sad, someone else is exactly the same amount of sad as you. When you feel super happy, someone else is just as happy as you. When you're confused, or frightened, or indignant, or surprised... You are never the only one.

I find this wonderful.

March 1, 2012

the blue bowl of the sky

My house is the red earth; it could be the center of the world. I've heard New York, Paris, or Tokyo called the center of the world, but I say it is magnificently humble. You could drive by it and miss it. Radio waves can obscure it. Words cannot construct it, for there are some sounds left to sacred wordless form. For instance, that fool crow, picking through trash near the corral, understands the center of the world as greasy scraps of fat. Just ask him. He doesn't have to say that the earth has turned scarlet through fierce belief, after centuries of heartbreak and laughter--he perches on the blue bowl of the sky, and laughs.

Joy Harjo