A person 's hand reaching up to the sun.

A Matter of Life and Death

Lately I find myself thinking about death a lot.  Not in a morbid sense, just reflecting on the reality of it.  The necessity of death for the rebirth of spring.  The triumph of spring over the desolation of A person sitting on the ground in front of water.winter.A person sitting on the ground in front of water.

I’m not afraid of death, exactly. I’m not eager for it, but it’s harder to “fit in” to the world around me now and I don’t want to outlive my expiration date.   I’m just not finished yet, there is still more to do, more to be.

This surprises me.  By now I expected to  be wise, surefooted and  content to sit placidly with a cat or two, awash in memories of a life well lived.A person sitting on the ground in front of water.

Guess not.  Maybe in a year or two.


Image by joangonzalez from Pixabay

New Year’s Hope



A person sitting on the ground in front of water.I’m done with New Year’s “Resolutions.”   I think the reason they seldom worked was because  they  targeted the wrong behavior.  For example, my resolution to “be on time”  never worked because the root cause is my stubborn obsession on the (any) task at hand and therefore no sense of time.  Is there a 12 step program for that?  Probably.  But I’m not resolving  to join it.

As for losing 10 pounds, well.  If  I had kept THAT New Year’s resolution, I would have disappeared completely by 1985.   Again, the problem wasn’t that I couldn’t stick to a diet,  but that I loved delicious food more than I loved to be thin.  And at my age, I’m not even going to TRY to fix that!A person sitting on the ground in front of water.

Instead, I’m going for New Years’ Hopes this year.  And only three. Another reason my New Years resolutions typically went awry – there were often so many that I needed a clip board to remember them.

First of all, I hope to spend more time with people, especially with the ones I love and that love me. I love solitude.  I love the time alone to write, quilt, play piano, or read. But these are not team sports and if the years have taught me anything,  it is is that all our lives are very very fragile.  I need to cherish the moments I have with the people in my life.

Secondly, I hope to live in the moment.  It’s really all I have.  In addition to being fragile, life is astonishingly unpredictable.  How many babies’ smiles, bees on blossoms, lightning bugs, puppies tumbling, lavender sunsets and full moons have I missed in my frantic rush to be…. somewhere.

Third, I hope I will be more attentive to the needs of other people.  Helping others greatly enriches my life and most of the time,  requires very little from me.  Sometimes all that’s needed is a smile for the harried cashier or a conversation with a lonely person.  I have time for that.  I always have had.  And while I’m at it, I hope to do a better job of accepting and loving others as they are.

So I’m not resolving to do anything this year.  But these are my hopes.   And who knows, those pounds might finally get lost in the process.


Why write?

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.As of 8:00 P.M. tonight, 48,173,673 books are available from Amazon.  Of those, over 3 million titles were in literature and fiction, over 1 million in spirituality and religion, over 500,000 in biography and memoir, and almost 2 million in money and business.  Of these, 2,535,376 were e-books,  103,023 were released in the past 30 days and 46,226 were self-published.  And that’s just Amazon.

What are all those books about?  Who wrote them?  Who READS them?  More to the point, who buys them, and which ones?  Food for thought if one aspires to writing as a career.  Even if writing is an avocation, it gives one pause.

So why write? Why indeed.  Aside from the discouraging statistics  above, there are many practical reasons  NOT to write.  Here are a few that come to mind:

1.  The world does not want and certainly does not need a book about “My Heroic Life,† no matter how interesting I think it has been.  Everyone thinks their life is the most interesting.

2.  Writing is hard work and extremely time-consuming.  It’s hard to find  time to get dressed and eat balanced meals, let alone sustain human relationships (although dogs are more forgiving).

3.  Writers must endure increasing levels of rejection.  First come the humiliating rejection letters from publishers.  Then once published, threats of lawsuits from outraged relatives alleging exposure of their disgusting secrets, and, if one is finally successful, hate mail from crazies.  Writers, overly sensitive by nature, are ill-prepared for such abuse and cannot afford the psychological care needed to overcome it.

4.  Writing is expensive.  First there is the laptop – a must-have.  One needs a well-stocked library of classics and writers in one’s genre as well as a respectable stash of writers’ self-help books, membership in writers guilds, attendance at workshops, and (highly recommended) a cabin in the wilderness without distractions of neighbors, family, and social media.

5.  Writing is not good for your health.  Working for long hours at a computer is linked to a myriad of health problems including back pain, headache, poor diet, and depression, to name a few.

I could name others; there are many  excellent reasons not to write.  To tell the truth,  I can’t really think of a good reason to write.  Can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, I write because – It’s just what I do.


On Retirement….

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.



Gone now
Meeting at 8
Deadline at noon
No time, no time
Faster, rush faster
They need what I do
They want what I do
They like what I do
I do what I do – well
I am well

But they are
Gone now
No meeting or
deadline at all
No need to rush
Time to think
(But I don’t want to)
They don’t want what I do
They don’t care what I do
I don’t do this well
I am not well

When there was no time
there was no muse
I did not want one
(Monsters there)
Concentrate, focus
That’s what it takes
And I’m good at it
Ennui, denial, and death
in my Muse
Call me. “Listen”
(But I’m not good at it)
I run, try to hide,
(And I’m good at it)
But my Muse is relentless
And she will be heard now
But I do not think
I will be good at it.