My words are thrown like stones hitting a wall. They penetrate nothing. They fall to the ground in a pile of rubble. Not even the dust is able to rise around them.

Why do I continue to reach for another stone? Why can I not be released back into the lake of complacency where I was first ensnared? Why must the words be pulled like a child being ripped from a mother's womb? They breathe life and then they must be nursed. They are imperfect. They are demanding. They will ultimately control me.

Have mercy on me. I live in the abyss of mediocrity. This I know. And this I cannot endure.

I reach for another lovely stone...

Friday, May 7, 2010


A beautiful word. There is softness in the breath when spoken.

Prettier than fragile, I think. You see, fragile is stamped on boxes thrown into those bins at the post office. It’s written in bold, black letters on small placards in front of thick, misshapen pottery at the flea market. Handle with care. You break it, you pay. That’s all. Just be a little careful or something may happen. Nothing usually does happen, so I disregard the warnings. Fragile is only the possibility of brokenness.

But fragility, well, fragility is inevitable brokenness. With fragility, you could peel back skin and see fissures winding their haphazard patterns along the hardened shell of what used to be a vibrant labyrinth of a supple and fluid life. It wasn’t enough. The constant thumping of blood across tissue just isn’t enough.

Fragility is like the glass cases that enclose and protect those delicate, glass-blown figurines. Tiny, see-through castles perched atop cliffs that aren’t large enough to hold them. Birds so beautiful that they can only be storybook creatures. Perfectly figured ballerinas with expression-less faces, but always a touch of pink on their lips. The prismatic reflections draw you in to see the wonderment, but you would never think of actually buying. You wonder who does the buying.

You lean close to the case because the beauty entraps you, but there is no touching, no tapping on the glass. There are no breaths. Breathing could begin the shattering. You feel the risk being too close. Too present. It is so frightening, this fragility. All that’s needed is an object, just heavy enough, to be thrown into the glass to start the process. To prove fragility.

It happened the day I realized I would never be first again. The thought had never occurred to me before the moment I heard the word on the other end of the phone line. “Halt.” A heavy word. I felt the force of a flat palm slam close to my face. So close to the glass. “We must halt.” I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean. But that’s what was said. And what I heard, was ‘You have no choice. You are not first, and you never will be. It’s too late for you.’ Halt. I picked myself up off the floor and walked into the bathroom to watch the crumbling begin.

It is what happens in a life like mine. A life of fragility. Anything… anything can become the brick.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I cannot move. I seem comfortable in my warm and sleek bed, the covers loosely thrown across the silken pajamas, white sheets framing the freshly brushed dark hair, the arm crooked awkwardly above my head as if I am protecting myself from unseen blows. But I cannot move.

I cannot open my eyes. Even if I could, I know I would see nothing in the dark room. I would see nothing if there was light. It would be the same either way. Because I am blind to what surrounds me. There is only what is inside. I can see that. I writhe and scream inside there, but it does not matter. The inside is what paralyzes.

I see my sin crawling through every vein, taunting and cajoling me. My sin terrifies me. Its evil laugh drowns out the small, desperate prayers that attempt an escape with each gasp of air. Its sharp claws slice through the packed matter and I begin to bleed. Again. Unhealed scars from long ago rip open slowly but methodically. The pain is almost unbearable.

I can still cry. There is always that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Do you still fly?

The question slammed back at me without mercy. Without emotion. Written innocently with my own hand, it was just a simple postscript of an email to an old friend. He was a pilot. Or a former pilot. I wasn’t sure.

I sat and stared at the words as if they had some bewitching power. I stared until I saw the eyes of the words glaring back at me. Until I saw the grin in the sarcasm of the question.

I pointed the arrow to the ’send’ command and retaliated with the press of the enter key. Take that, I said to the question. You can’t hurt me if you’re gone. But it was still there. Still. Do you still fly?

I pushed away from my desk and walked around to one of the narrow but tall windows in my upstairs office. The room with the light. The room with the view. The room that was screaming, Do you still fly?

I threw the window open and leaned over the sill out into the chilly air. I looked down across the barren field that adjoined my house searching for the usual sense of serenity. But now the tired, cold grass, pock-marked with rocks randomly scattered looked staged, like a movie set. The rocks mocked me as they called, Do you still fly?

And then I felt it. There was no need to pull it out from some hidden recess of brain matter. It was just there. I was there. Standing on the edge of my neighbor’s carport. That’s what we called them back then. Not a garage, really. Just an open place attached to the house, with a roof and large enough to park a car or two. This house was built into the wall of earth, as most of them were in that small country town hammered into nooks and crannies of the Blue Ridge mountains. A grassy hill sloped steeply away from the back of the house, an illusion of modern cliff-dwelling.

On the backside of that carport on the small precipice of brick, my grass-stained toes gripped the cold roughness as I fought to gain my balance. I looked across the rolling valley that melted into mountains, the summer air teasing the beads of sweat gathering in the soft wisps of hair that surrounded my face. Then I looked down on what had to have been only several feet, but felt like a lifetime of expectations. Down upon the faces of my childhood. Faces that taunted. Faces that teased. Faces with no compassion. And what I heard was, Can you fly? Do you fly?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I have finally realized why I need white. Why on a whim, I painted my office white the other day. Why I just bought that expensive white shirt that I do not need. Why I can’t break away from a white bedspread, sheets, pillows, everything that surrounds my skin.

I am trying to erase my life. A blank page. A blank canvas, beckoning me to start it all over.

Colors remind me. Red is the blood from a surgeon’s knife that left me feeling like a partial woman. No one told me that I would feel that way. Yellow is the field of flowers that I happened upon in my youth when my skin was soft and dreams were my reality. Blue is the ocean that pulls me into its current over and over again only to frighten me away each time with its turbulent hidden world beneath its surface. Green, the color of a lover’s eyes. The one that left me wounded.

On and on they go. Lovely yet dangerous, they caress across my every memory until they begin to overlap. Streaks of orange slashing through the pinks, purples overtaking the reds, silver and golds sparkling until they feel brown. Over and over they swirl, one color upon another, until they cannot help but to darken into black. The color of a void. The color of dying. I cannot risk any more colors.

White rescues me. There is nothing in white. It saves me from myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What we want to believe....

I found two pearls. Biting into raw oysters chased with dirty martinis. My young friend immediately saw some sort of good fortune and attempting to pass on the fleeting intrigue, she picked up her phone and projected her fascination into cyberland for all to share. I don’t see it that way. I like the taste of oysters and biting into the sliminess means you could end up with pearls.

These are not the first I have found. The first was with a friend, only a few months before this bounty. I didn’t believe him then when he told me the miniscule brown stone was a pearl. I couldn’t believe a rock rolling inside my mouth would be beautiful if it had more time. Of course, it was too small to be beautiful. I felt small when I was with him.

But this time, the smallness and the ugliness would not intimidate me. The pearls rolled nervously around the bread plate, where I placed them for security, trying to find a place to land. A sort of reverse psychology, the dull brown pearls against the shiny white porcelain. It does something to what we want to believe.

I grew up believing that pearls began as tiny grains of sand, trapped in the oyster’s shell. But the truth is that the pearl begins as an irritant, a parasite, trapped inside a foreign place and coated with layers and layers of shell material. Some parasites become perfect. Spherical, iridescent perfection. Others become small brown rocks rolling around a bread plate on a fake Cajun restaurant’s dirty bar in a strip mall. Either way, we are all just parasites.

Now I have to sort out what to do with my pearls that are nothing more than parasites disguised as rocks and labeled pearls only because of their birthright. How to keep them from falling into a crack somewhere and getting lost forever. My two new ones join the first in a cheap, felt-lined reading glass case, the glasses long ago broken, lost or wherever reading glasses end up.

I am holding three shell-hardened parasites in a reading glass case. Maybe my young friend is right. There must be some meaning in that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

'Fantasmic' should be a word...I want to use it...

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Isn't it strange how moonlight on snow creates a sense of loneliness, no matter how beautiful it may be....