Tuesday, December 24, 2013


you are beautiful

all of your flawed furious unstoppable selves
all of your self doubt and self loathing and fears are groundless

you are floating in a medium of unspeakable beauty
unfathomable consciousness

our connections to each other 
are no less than the gossamer threads of angels light
allowing us to be
and be loved 
as we are
we are loved and love
who we are now

all of our pain and sorrow
all of our aloneness and fear of failure
and all of our fury 

shed like a sad skin
peeled like an orange
to reveal our inner beauty

and all the while 
as you are revealing your inner layer 
you are leaving behind the scent of your beauty 
your fragrant inner life force

instantly recognizable
and you are home 
right where you are 
you belong
wherever you are

this is what makes us beautiful
this is it
not the outer shell that fools worship and discard
but the soft and shaky real you
you are all beautiful

Saturday, December 14, 2013

call to action

This year the months have been articulated in degrees of loss. There is no sweet way to say it. No words to use like sticky syrup to make it more palatable. And yet it is how I deal - With words on a page, as though the motions of laying it out in verse or paragraph or simple line will give me enough altitude to see the big picture. And for a moment or a slice of time it does and we cope and we reenter the daily dance with life.
And then we lose another one. 
It seems as though 
the wind shifts or stops
and there is another one, another child put down with a needle or pharmaceuticals or that seductive liar alcohol,
and we lose. 

We cannot win by not engaging
there is only one end to the story.
it is a war we are losing 
or have lost 
this one with drugs
the war that no one wants to look at because we are giving our children away feeding them to this monstrous maw of addiction and we don’t even begin to know how to deal with it because we refuse to look. 

I am looking at you monster. I am looking. 
Here is the thing:
people need to be loved and included and embraced and to belong.
they need to be fed and held and nurtured and told they are enough and treated with respect and 
supported when they cannot stand and told stories 
and offered hope and beauty.
This is what we are here for and we are failing as a culture, we are failing. We are failing to provide the spaces for this to happen in our communities. Once our children are out of school where do they go? 
There is a vacuum happening here and that is where we lose each other. 

I am not blaming parents. I am a parent and have many and multitudinous flaws.
I am also an addict who has lived drug and alcohol free for nearly thirty years. I have first and second and third hand experience with what we call addiction. We nearly lost one beloved daughter from drugs and watched helplessly as other children dabble with mind fucking chemicals. But not silently. Nope. Not gonna happen. Not going to be silent. Not gonna play nice.

I am blaming a culture of exclusion and competition which pits us against each other and a culture in which numbness is necessary in order to ‘function’. where anesthesia is a daily ritual whereby we create enough numbness so that the life we lead becomes endurable; a life wherein we are continuously unwittingly subjugated to corporate greed and indifference and we would rather become unconscious than muster the will to dis engage. we tell each other to “find our bliss” but make it damn near impossible to do so.

I am going to tell you that you do not need beer to be manly, That you do not need champagne to be sexy. You do not need valium to board a plane. You do not need diet pills to make you thin and pills to make you more awake to study. You do not need ecstasy for good sex, and you do not need heroin for anything at all. Please understand: I am not talking about drugs used for medicine. I am talking about casual and "recreational" use of drugs and drugs that hurt people every single time stealing our lives even as we breathe and blink. 

You do not have to clink glasses to celebrate anything. If you feel a need to numb yourselves to celebrate then what are you really celebrating? numbness? 
Use you brain and another way to celebrate. Try it out and you will find that there are so many other ways. For many people, quiet people, introverts and ambiverts and even extroverts, awareness and peace are the best ways to celebrate. Write a story, a poem, a line of code, a recipe, a song, a sermon, a list, a new name for a color or constellation. Take a walk, take a class, tell a friend, volunteer on a help line, join habitat for humanity, go to church or a meeting in a church basement- 
Feel it all, that is the best way to celebrate your humanity- in full awareness of your marvelous faculties. 

I am aware that this is the road less chosen. I am well aware. I am not talking about abstinence, for that is denial. I am talking about living your life in full sail. Fully sentient. 

After the last week I will not be silent. Our community lost two more boys to chemical murder in the last week alone. Two more decimated families. Two more lives brutally denied. siblings who will walk around like amputees and parents who will forever each day waken to the loss of a child: inconsolable. 

And other human beings profit from this. There is no doubt about it. Alcohol and drugs are big business. As big as banks and governments and guns. Think about it. This is the monster in our midst. The dealer on the corner is an expendable zombie foot soldier. The generals live in mansions and are driven around in armored cars.  

Think about it .. take a step back and think about it. It will be one of us, someday, who has an answer. Maybe we already have an answer and just need each one to take one action. 

I believe that the answers lie in building community. That safe community is what is saving people right now in meetings and rehabs and jails and parlors all over the world. It works and it can work for anyone who wants it. There are meetings for every kind of addict from food to sex to pot to heroin - and meetings for the people who love them. There are meetings for anyone who would avail themselves and the words and love and hope and stories that you hear there are what bind us to each other. and that is building community. 

This is my action. My call to arms. Do one thing today to be a sentient lucid responsible human being, and do it without your drug of choice. 

Rest in peace Rory. Rest in peace Michael. Rest in peace Jesse.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This month Mike had rotator cuff surgery and Luke had a virus. Mike and and Luke are enjoying a rest together and they recuperate.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Free hand pen and watercolor. Nothing profound.

Monday, September 02, 2013


    Today I will be slow sewing. I am working on a piece of cloth cut and stenciled and reverse appliqued: the corset, a kit by Alabama Chanin. I had the privilege of taking one of her in person, one day workshops, last year in Beacon NY, which included the kit.  And I have been slowly working on it, stitch by stitch. I suppose that if I had done it with any focus
    I could have finished it faster, but I have lingered, and it has taken me this long to bring it into focus. I have carried it to work with me upon occassion and stitched on it there, on the train, and stitched on it on my couch, at my table and on the road. It has been a labor of love. Like many of my projects it has spent alot of time languishing on the pile of forgotten new beginnings, only to resurface from time to time to be worked on and reloved.
    For I love to do hand work. I love to make anything that I can with my hands. I am not a technician or a scientist, I am a maker of things: a discoverer of pleasure of making things. It never dissapoints, that process, that labor. It brings me to a place that others get to by walking on the beach, or reading or meditating or connecting with their dieties. I am always trying to get there, to find the time and space and magical concoction of materials and imagination  and intention that bring me there. And attention. Yes, the bane of the aDD addled brain.
     Even if the object fails to meet my expectations, it is the process itself, that charms.
     Natalie Chanin runs a company that respects the process of hand made clothes down to the last detail. The products that she creates are art and she has, with her books ( I have all of them) and workshops and now craftsy.com given us the chance to create, borrowing her vision. And the cotton is grown by local farmers and spun and dyed in local mills in the U.S.A. She respects the labor right down to the planting of the seed and I want to commend her for this on Labor Day. And yes, they are not cheap. Nor are they cheapened by child labor and undignified labor conditions.
     So do  support unions and organised labor? You bet. But I also support companies where  they are not needed. Check out Alabama Chanin. And go make something.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

blue streak

    In seventh grade the girls had gym class in the gym with the boys. We played dodge ball and did some minor calisthenics- toe touching jumping jacks and some running. It was before title IX and females were were not invited into competitive sports. 
      In 1968 girls were still required to wear dresses to school and in order to preserve our modesty and insure that we we not too attractive, we wore gym shorts under our dresses. Mind you, the idea of gym shorts conjures up a whole different image in ones current frame of reference. In 7th grade they looked like bloomers.
from noble savage vintage dot com
They were constructed of a heavy cobalt blue twill and had elastic at the waist and elastic where they ended somewhere above the knees. Yes you read that right. And we had to wear them under our dresses, so our panties would not show when we lined up in the yard and touched our toes on Tuesdays. Gym Day.
     I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.
     There were also days when we were encouraged to run laps around the school yard. This would not have been all bad but we were in South Phili. Not exactly bucolic paradise. Basically it was the equivalent of being told to go play in traffic. In any case, this is when I began to find my legs and earned the nickname "the blue streak", for the short of time that I participated in this urban prehistoric version of gym.
    Seventh grade ended, and I took up smoking having been introduced to Tarrytons by Diana Gable during sometime earlier during our visit to her family home in Virginia. We stole cigs from her mom's pack and puffed away in the dark by the near by lake, feeling oh so sophisticated. Thus began a lifelong addiction: the seeds of chronic lung problems landing in the fertile soil of my young respiratory system. 
    I have long since given up smoking and over the years practiced running occasionally, usually with an inhaler involved, and as a way to try to stay in shape as I aged. (Round is a shape.) I still like to visit the tread mill when the bones allow.  Sometimes, as I walk or run on the treadmill, the noise of the gym fades into the background a and there is a faint sound of footsteps on pavement and I remember the girl who donned her blue bloomers on Tuesdays and ran for a while, at the front of the pack, trying to find her way home. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Knitting project bag.

Not much to report. This bag is made from ikea polkadot burlap and lined with fabric reclaimed from danish shopping bags. The lady in the store gave me some extra because I bought gifts and I saved them to reuse because I thought they were awesome! and I do love the lining. I love to use the stuff I save. I love to re purpose things although I guess it is not really repurposing a bag to make it into another bag? no matter. I like it. 
I write and post things and wonder if any one reads this blog. it has been ongoing for many years now and sometimes I think of retiring it, but I keep it going for old times sake. One day I will print it and fold it up and tuck it in a drawer.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

lost and found

I am entering the sewing room. cautiously. in ten minute intervals. there is something I want to find. 
Layers of projects line the walls and pile up on the floor. Visible table tops are a distant memory. Zippers of all sizes and colors wave their teeth at me. And zip lock bags leer from the corners, mouths agape, fibers spilling out of them-remenscent of projects past. An unsavory invitation to return to their passionate engagement and "finish" them. I am resolved to resist. but....

To make matters worse, this is where house hold items are deposited. No longer a sacred work space, it has become a repository for cartons of toilet paper and roll after roll of paper towels: empty boxes too good to be thrown away, wrapping paper that is sadly unraveled and out of season- In order to go in and claim my space I must first find a home for these bulky, awkward to store, needy residents.

And- I shudder as I write this to you- atop this pile is a slightly deflated exercise ball. A ball that has no home or claim, only an echo of the past. But I shall leave that for another story.  

Underneath the first layer I have found a plastic bag full of yarn scraps that I might someday need for future fair isle mittens, felted wool balls and wool scraps that I used to make Christmas wreathes last year, or was it the year before. I forget that last december we were still ensconced in hotel rooms in an almost swanky hotel in midtown. Temporary refugees from the damage of hurricane/super/storm/but not・ covered・ by・ flood・ insurance Sandy.

But that is a dangerous and possibly lengthy digression.

Thus far i have not found the one sewing project that I have been seeking. Soon I will leave this page and venture forth into the wilds of the sewing room once again with  hope in my breast  to emerge triumphant, with this particular project in hand. 

If you do not hear from me-------know that I have always thought of you fondly. 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Quilt for a boy

I have had these blocks in a box for a few years. They were from a swap that Leoni Davis hosted at least six years ago. I guess I was just waiting for the right boy to come along.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

two things...a quilt and a poem published in this book

I had a poem published in this anthology of Mostly Long Island Poets and Photographers. It is a huge and impressive collection and I am looking forward to spending time in it. 

Jane Austen Replica
made using Inklingo
pieced by me, bordered by Val
quilted by Catherine Timm

poem 6/29/2013

divining with a stick
it was hickory and forked. It was in a suitcase carried by a professional diviner and he said,
"you want to try it?"

i felt the tug of the earth
or was it water pulling me
into its deep current-
and there was water there
-later confirmed by more scientific calibrations-
but too deep to plant a well.

what does this all mean 
when you can feel the thrum of 
the bending river
hear it moving under the flat dry apparently solid ground
where you stand unsuspecting
ignorant of its power and duplicity

I am a writer 
i turn to face truths that cause others to quail -
and i know about how to escape - i spent years perfecting my distractibility.
further-it is my nature to want to parse and dig and understand the deep.

oh i get it. 
my nature: 
the pull of the invisible current 
the underground stream.
it calls me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

word of the day is tethered 

tethered to this raucous raging rioting ball of earth
screaming soundlessly through the universe
sound less in the larger sense of the word,
but sound is its own unique energy
even tho it cannot be heard 
in space

I read Adrienne Rich’s obit today in the times
she was my hands down favorite poet 
who taught me how to love words
love poems
who taught me that poems do not have to be sparse and bloodless
ancient and sacred and soundless

my father is dying and I have not written of it
I consider how when one loses a parent 
at no other time is one more of a child
except than in childhood
but in childhood we are not self aware
we do not walk around thinking this is how a child feels
this is how a child perceives the world
when a parent dies, one is keenly aware of one’s core
howling in grief.
confused and vulnerable and alone. 
for there is no longer that parent with whom to dialog. 
I use the correct grammatical structure for 
my father, the professor, who would appreciate it. 
although he no longer hears me. 

how does one reconcile this loss
this new category of loss
is it a new loss 
another acceptance, another resignation ( the hebrew meaning of my name is resignation)
is it connected to all of the other less evitable losses.
can it  be reconciled with out ever reconciling those earlier
willful or indifferent losses

must they all be categorized and counted and itemized and pondered and spoken and witnessed and forgiven and forgiven and forgiven
or do they simply become part of the fabric that we wrap ourselves in
part smoke and desire, part addiction and more or less the scar tissue of 
unspoken woundings, the warp and weft of collusion and collision
and some accidents are beautiful 
and some are too painful to navigate alone

or can we build our own new boats and travel across soundless space
to gain a new understanding, 
where words are remembered as the rustle  of leaves
and prayers are faithful  ambassadors pulling on the oars

these things I consider as I pull into traffic to drive my child to school, as I try to remember how to operate the new coffee pot,
as I think about the sequence of events that must occur to get me out of the house and to work, dress, train ticket , wallet, book, phone, sneakers, food, money, time;
all  mundane earthly needs, that I add to the equation

as I plot the course of my escape 
from this planet of toil and cacophony 
to which I am still inexplicably tethered.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

just a sliver

some wear life like a sleeve or 

a slice of fashion 
with an eye for the elegant and a nod to artifice.
not all svelte 
billow and flow
like cabbage roses on a summer trellis just waiting for a passer by to 
caress and qvell and murmur approval and drop some petals 
just a few
right there at your feet
you pause 

where am i going with this 
to some moral 
some story 
a sermon or parable
perhaps just  a moment, a
homily or fable 
or tale of karma
or fickle swipe of fate 
some stainless random futile existential self annihilation 

just an observation
some fill out a suit
play the cards they are dealt 
try to remain humble
tell a story
reverse engineer
retell it 
until it is a new garment
a jaunty foulard cravat or
a beaded belgian lace sleeve,
an audacious aubergine dyed ostrich plumed chapeau - not for the weak of heart, mind you,
none of this is easily digested

others wait for traffic to slow to a trickle and
leave no trace not a shrug nor a whisper,
a gray ash the faint smell of smoke and whiskey 
the need to be alone and away from the clamor and claim.

the shrieking squealing sound of air brakes announce an end to the journey
and endings are so hard to endure. 
and what is an echo but a audio scent
you leave 
your own heartbeat thrumming in your ears

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

not so much

last May
Last year at this time we were preparing for the Jen and Jay's baby shower. Our yard was at its most spectacular in May. Ivy rose up over the fence and draped down into the flowers.  Lilacs and clematis and roses and poppies and all kinds of bulbs bloomed in profusion.  And herbs-thyme and lavender and chives came back every year. May burst into the calendar with color and fragrance and lush green growth everywhere. 
Not so much this year. 
Although we were in a hotel until December, although we had to replace all of the utilities in our house-mostly out of our own pocket- and although the community we live in still sports boarded up businesses and many, many families are still 'outsourced' due to Hurricane Sandy, I still expected spring to come and make everything look brighter. 
Not so much this year. 

And although this is mainly cosmetic, and I fear that you will think me trite, I am one of those people who believes that gardens make the world a better place. And it saddens me that the space we put so much work and love into is the place that bears the visible scars of Sandy. It took years and years of work and resources to make our space a sanctuary for us in the summer. May and June particularly sparkled.
And here we are at the beginning again and our little house, befreft of her springtime jewels looks like the pauper that she is.


There are some blooms and some bulbs pushing their way up into the sunlight. The lilac bush has a sparse showing and the peonies look like they may come back, so there is hope. More and more people are moving back into their homes, although some will never return.

 For us, it will be a long way back.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

top down knitting

I have wanted to try a top down sweater ever since I watched Elizabeth Zimmerman's dvd, Knitting Workshop. I was won over by the simplicity and elegance of the execution. The fact that I have only ever made one sweater before (and not very well) ( I was very hard on myself) (1975) made it seem like the next logical project. I have since read books and bought patterns and accumulated a stash and finally have the skills ( I hope). The only thing I lack is time and like many other knitters, I love knitting because it is portable and can be done in small increments of time and attention. 

Seasons of Love, By Lyrical Knits

I started this on a pleasant spring evening, while chatting with friends after a lovely dinner out.  My first attempt was foiled my cats who stealth lifted the needles from my bag while I slept!
 Fortunatly for the cats, I have another needle. I have since restarted and secured the lovely and not cheep yarn in a feline proof Tom Bihn knitting sac. Woe to the cat who attemptes to breach the Tom Bihn sac. Woe indeed. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Box number one?

For Christmas, I told Alex he could have the unfinished quilt in box number one or a pocket of money. He chose the quilt and I think he is happy. After all, the money would be gone by now.
Fabric from Pinwheels and backing from aunt Suzy's stash. Machine quilting done by Catherine Timm. Model is Ann Marie McInerny.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Poem of the day

Writers write and bristlers bristle
Throwing off scads of thorny biting infinitesimally small projectiles.
Speakers speak and stealth whisperers whisper. 
Buzzing in your ears. Swish swishing in your business. Soft suggesting eyelashes lowering. 
plant the seed. 
Inject the fertilizer. Regard the heaving bosom. 
Lower the boom. Boom. 
All the talk talk impressions of social media. Of news no news. Empty swishing. More media. Hopeful projectiles launched and whispered and swished in a cloud. 
 an enemy of the silent night. Listen for the silence between the swarm of words. 
Demand the silence.  
It is infinitely more meaningful. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

pre dawn deep

4 a.m.
it was one hundred o/clock
and the tide was low low low
the receding water laid bare and dry the 
artifacts of doubt and indecision
the cat snored and the radiators rattled

still in the night 
no meaning would be extracted

laying inconsolable in the shallow tidal pools
Gulliver like 
tied tightly by eleventy thousand bonds of reason 
all the while knowing beyond certainty that 
the tide would soon come in and re submerge the clues of 
self restriction  
where they would sway  and wave and shimmer in the phosphorescence
like lovers leaving forever on the conveyance of your choice here

Monday, March 11, 2013


Have you heard of Craftsy.com
    recently I started to read of bloggers who were either giving or taking some of the classes. It is a nifty platform and great if you want to take a class conveniently and most definitely less expensive than taking one in person. 
     My latest class is with Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin and it is swoon worthy-- Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric. I have ordered the fabric and stencil and look forward to many happy hours of hand sewing.  I already received the pattern (Donna Karan V1263) and while I wait for the fabric to arrive, I may use it with some  fabric I already have just to get started on something!
     !!!There are some free classes for you to try out if you want to give Craftsy a test run. There are classes at all levels of expertise in knitting and sewing, cooking, beading and more. A virtual plethora of classes- from nationally recognised artists and crafts people and none of the classes are more than 40 bucks. If you have ever paid for an actual in person workshop you will know this is a great price. I am not affiliated in any way but I am well pleased with my expereince there and thought I would share. I have taken the serger class and a class by Susan Anderson in how to knit a giraffe as well as some others that are in my queue:)
   I love the internet!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


This is the bag (or bin or bunch or bucket) of blocks that I have chosen to work on for the Linten challenge. There are 59 of them sewn into circles. The edges have to be closed and the round parts folded inward to make a square and then yet can be stitched together. That's the plan. It took me ten days to her them off the shelf. What are the odds of finishing by Easter?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

little nothings

The snow from the great blizzard of 2013 has been cleared and here in coastal New York, it is life as usual.

 In other areas the storm was much more ferocious and incapacitating. The Long Beach trains were not running but I made it to the Rockville Centre station and managed to get to work in the city. Fotunately Mike was able to come in and get me so I did not have to navigate the rail system to get home. 
Luke is officially seven months old and is very wonderful. He is of course very advanced and delightful in all ways and charms us endlessly. 

things I have been working on:
I have been writing every day as per my resolution. It is a small enough thing to do each day and it is acheivable. I am working slowly on the triangle quilt and small knitted objects. I bought a pattern for a sweater from the 2013 Brooklyn Tweed book that I plan to make for a certain someone. and that is all of the sweet nothings that I have in play on this Valentines Week. 
Do something sweet for someone you love and accept all such offerings with equal parts joy and gratitude. 
(words of wisdom are free)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Winter lines

Here we weren't affected 
By the storm 
By the rushing, blind water

Here where the steel rises gray and bleak and insentient -
Our minds are like that sometimes. Able to rise above.
Able to resist the surge

Like emotions, swelling,
changing entire landscapes. 
Altering them

And yet we think to resist. 
We think we can stem the tide. 
Divert the mighty ocean. 

It is the ocean,
I tell you. 
We do not even matter. 
Even after we return to her 
abject or ashes,
even then we do not matter. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baby sitting.

We baby sat last night. Someone did not want to go to sleep.