Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cardiac Unrest

I wait alone
in a crowd of the worried and afraid
while they probe your hesitating heart
my own beating a fearful tattoo
willing the panicky taste to leave my mouth

closing my eyes I see you on the table
in my crazed mind an ethereal glow surrounds
a swarm of wizards in masks and tall hats
waving wands of mystery over your draped body
snaking a tiny battleship through your veins

I wait, feeling chilled, dreamlike
for the head wizard to emerge to pronounce
the exorcism successful, the war won,
and imagine you leaping from the table
in cape and tights,

your heart able to beat in my chest again.

It's Not About the Turkey

OK, I admit it. Most years Thanksgiving is all about the meal. It dominates my thoughts for weeks while I plan the menu, the table setting, compare market prices on "the bird" and schedule the kitchen routine. It's not that I am not thankful. It's more that the aspect of gratitude plays low in the background most years.

This year, the volume is definitely turned up. We have had what we laughingly call "a summer of fun" which included four hospital visits for Tom, almost constant monitoring for the mysterious dizziness and fainting that has plagued him for more than two years, and multiple weekly doctor visits to Tucson. The stress level got pretty high around here. At its peak, he had a seizure and we learned that his heart actually stopped for 8 seconds, which led to the implanting of a pacemaker in late August. Ahh, we thought, we fixed him! But no, some of the symptoms continued and our cardiologist (looks like Dan Akroyd...acts a little like him, too!) ordered more tests and determined that an angiogram was needed to check for blockages. The result was the cardiac catheterization on October 8 to implant 2 stents. After an overnight hospital stay, Tom was sent home, and so far he appears to be free of any heart-related symptoms. He is back to walking 5 miles several times a week and I'm getting my exercise by doing the happy dance!

All this to say that Thanksgiving this year is about much more than 'what's for dinner'. My heart is so full of gratitude for the many ways in which we are blessed this year. Our families and friends have been so supportive through the tough times and we have felt their love. Our home in Sonoita is a sheltering haven that continues to bring us joy and comfort. And I have found a new voice through my writing which has given me renewed energy and enthusiasm. So many have supported me in this and I am, well...thankful.

Now, where was that recipe for my favorite stuffing???

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surprising Myself

Summer is definitely history. This morning was shockingly cold as we let the dogs out, who then wanted right back in. The cool weather is always welcome but we know we will tire of it by March, under the category of "never satisfied for long."

Yesterday, it came to me quite suddenly that I have finally found my life's work. Well, it's about time! Next May I will be 70 years old, and at last I know what I want to be when I grow up. Writing has always been important to me, and I know that I have skills in that area, but the poetry has come as a huge surprise. I just know that I have fallen in love with the form and can't get enough reading and writing.

I'm not fond of giving advice, but my own experience has shown me that I may have something to say to others in my generation. Retirement is wonderful and I dearly enjoy the freedom to design my own days, but it would be a very unsatisfying time of life if I had not discovered a new way to create. I know several things about myself that inform this view: first of all, I have a passion for learning new things, second, my spirit requires creativity in order to breathe. It's always been music, for as long as I can remember. I'm a singer. But, let's face it, sopranos do not go on forever. Poetry lets me sing in a whole new way.

What will you do to surprise yourself? Trust me, it is likely to be something of which you never dreamed. How wonderful!

Monday, October 19, 2009


As though rising from the ground
it begins to spread its apricot blush
I feel the sacred hush
as all becomes

now a fiery orange the background
for the butterfly bush,
filigreed against the horizon
like intricate lace

where later a mass
of dusty-winged creatures
will gather, stained glass,
to flutter and tremble the leaves
with the weight
of nothing.

Watch for the occasional poem

Hello! I've decided I had better get with it and learn to blog. Come with me on a journey of discovery, while I share a few tidbits from my life and learn a bit more about yours.

Today I am holding the final draft of my first book! The impact of that sentence made me catch my breath for a moment. The creation of a book of my poetry has been a year-long adventure, one that has changed my life profoundly.

I will tell you more about how this came to be as we go along, but for now I will just introduce "Sip Wine, Drink Stars -- Poems from the Heart of Arizona Wine Country," available around November 1. More details to follow.

Hey look, this blogging isn't that hard! My very best to you all.