Saturday, October 24, 2015


i want to say
to all of you who read this blog
i apologize
for my sink into sadness
this autumn.
 my day job, 
teaching high school emotionally disturbed kids has become harder
 than ever before, 
and i've complained
about the 11 students, 
11 different schedules, 
7 with multiple mental illness diagnoses.
but this week two of them have gone to other programming
one with huge sadness,
and two disappeared off the radar
one returned.
this is how it is.
 i commute lately on very bumpy backroads.
they bring me closer to the comfort of earth mother
and sometimes i see things
like the wind harvesting milkweed seeds,
high hedges taking root,
brilliant sun splitting through clouds.
 what i am thinking about today is this stuff
i want to go out and harvest stalks and brew pulp.
and i may.
this week drew matott has volunteered to come to my school
to make pulp paintings with our kids
and i am so very grateful.
 as the october winds play with these seeds
i will try to be present to the beauty
of healing with pulp painting.
 i will try to remember that i have
a place in this landscape
and a purpose: to mother, to teach, to make art, to be a friend.
 i look at these miracles
milkweed and goldenrod
and yes, there is still a flower or two to be found,
and rose leaves i saw this morning,
and this changing, 
may i,
may you 
embrace it as right and good.
may we all find a still center
if only for a little while 


  1. all the hugs, strength, fortitude, whatever else you need to weather this part...

  2. lee, thank you. you are part of the really really good "stuff".

  3. I'm sorry you feel the need to apologize ... but it's what we do, isn't it? And I get that. I taught ED kids when I was an elementary school librarian, both as a class and as individuals mainstreamed into classes of age mates during Center times. No matter how well it went (and often it didn't), I always felt I could have, should have done more or better.

    So I am glad you know where to seek and find solace ... and for what it's worth, I think of you whenever I see milkweed, which is often.

  4. no need for apology! at least, that's how i feel. funny your milkweed seed pictures. i was about to post the same. i love being milkweed sisters with you.

  5. ah, liz, you were a librarian, sweet! i always find solace in plants, even though i don't know much about them. and milkweed, well, it's just so generous.
    aimee, so are we pod mates?! thank you. your love of milkweed means much

  6. It seems like a good Aikido move, to tumble with the dark autumn energy and do it with milkweed seeds. Your students are so lucky to have you.

  7. Bumpy commute.. I can relate, some of mine is. Grateful, though, only 2 days a week. Still some flowers here, too, goldenrod and petunias in the window boxes.

  8. {} big big hugs - never apologise for feeling the bad stuff. You do an amazing job ,and make amazing art, and are a good good person.

    Don't forget you have had other griefs as well - allow yourself to feel the reality of life's sadnesses.

  9. Hi V - some of the most valued jobs are also some of the hardest - so no need for apologies. Continue to see the beauty; and know friendship and a glass or two can be had on the mountain when next you visit this way. Go well and feel the love and vibes. B

  10. gwen, i don't know a thing about aikido, but what else can i do. there's no resistance, rather, embrace!
    valerie, i would love another day or two to myself each week
    felicity, thank you. AND you're making paper!!!
    barry, i hope we can make those glasses of wine happen in march.

  11. your photos of milkweed glow with your gentle generous and tenacious spirit!

  12. mo, thank you. the brilliant october sun makes the floss sparkle.

  13. your students are lucky to have you, I know you do everything that is possible for them, you can't expect more of yourself. It is healing to find solace in the land you love so much. Big hugs.

  14. jean, you're right, but you know exactly how much you can't (ever) do. and even if you could, you just can't fix what can't be fixed.

  15. Just taking in your energy and sending some love. xox

  16. It takes a brave and large heart to do the work you do. I hold you in my thoughts and prayers. May you know 'the peace that passes understanding' within you as you work, as you travel those roads, as you dwell within your house.

  17. You are doing all the right things...for now! Sending love, Velma.

  18. sadness is ok. it's the part of life that makes you aware of happiness.

  19. corrine and margaret, thanks so much
    roxanne, i hear you!
    neki, yep, i know, but oh, so tired of it!

  20. i hear you velma ... working with families and children just seems to get harder . no need to apologize . i keep thinking i am getting older and have less patience .i really do think it is the sign of the times .

  21. Velma, light and dark, they are the same in a way

    Thinking of you

    ( thanks for your great comment on my blog )

  22. kathyd, maybe it IS because i'm getting older and have less energy...
    yvette, yes, perhaps, and yu're welcome. some people are truly amazing, aren't they?

  23. sadnesses is a sign of heart. love to you and all of your kids.

  24. jude, i almost put that on the white board today: JUDE SAYS LOVE TO YOU ALL! wouldn't they have been shocked?!


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