Jun 17, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

“There is no freedom until we dance the ghosts from the chambers of our wounds, until we pile our wounds like stones at the mouth of our own quarries.” – Mark Nepo


I was out at the Dallas Solo Festival over these past two weekends; eight writer/performers presenting their own one man/woman pieces. Now I knew that each one of them would be distinct from the other, that there would a great diversity, and yet it still surprised me how differently we reveal our own stories, what voice is let out to say the things we otherwise would tell no one.
As each person came into us, there was this feeling of someone in a field of memory, navigating a path on top of an ocean in order to share some of the most intimate moments of their lives.
It really got me thinking about the words I’m writing down for my own piece and the fact that one day I’ll actually have to get up there, terrified out of my skull, and say things that I’d normally sweep so far under the carpet that the wood swallows them up to make room for more.

The purity of each performance that I saw was the sharing of what we have all felt, what we can’t imagine someone having experienced, the depths that we allow ourselves to go to, and the courage for survival in the releasing of it all to begin again. These are the stones of our own quarries, mind and blasted out to rest inside the story, the listener, and outside of the telling of it.

The significance and value of storytelling it seems to me is in the sharing of it – We share what we all walk through, saying, I have done what you have done, I have felt as you have felt and it is possible to release from all that excess heart cramping and empower a new openness. This choppy water that we talk our way onto, sinks us down to a place along the bed that is calmer, and as storyteller, or listener, we now have the chance to walk towards understanding. That’s where we meet in these stories that have no end.

Picture: ‘Spalding Gray Peaking Through my Bedroom Shutters.’
Sara Lovett

Jun 10, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Choosing Love


If somebody were to cut me into a thousand pieces, every piece of me would say that it loves…

– Chris Lubbe

There is so much bravery in this statement – that no matter how many pieces you tear me down to, even shattered, each splintered shard will instinctively choose to love.

Don’t become the wound, become the love that heals it.

picture source: unknown


Jun 2, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Seeing Me


I can no longer have
this conversation
not with an apparition
who forgets to bring
whispering weeds
to a celebration
of my favorite color.
It’s a wasted itch
my arms aren’t long enough to scratch.
Funny, though, how
they’ve always managed to reach before.

picture source: unknown

May 26, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Holding a truth


Having lost someone recently whose voice made an impact on the direction of my life, I’ve been thinking about his, and those other voices that have been so important in showing me a clarity of direction. It seems all too often that he who pulls the strings on this puppet show down here likes to cut the chords first on those who speak to us the most profoundly.
That is my experience of late.
Another mentor of mine, Jay Hobbs, came to mind today. Jay, when he got up to the pulpit to give the sermon every Sunday, inside the walls of a small Episcopal parish, seemed to be specifically speaking to me. No matter what the subject, he would always address what was pressing on my mind, and give me a thought at the end of the lesson, a question, something I should hold dear for the week to come, that would elevate what I felt in order to release it.
The last week I heard him speak, he said,
“Take a pebble from the fountain out by the columbarium, put it in your pocket; feel its weight, give it the name of one of your worries, and carry it with you every day. Feel its roughness, how heavy it lies with you, and think on its name; and next Sunday, lay it back in the fountain, and release it’s name into the water, and walk away without it.”
Every week would be the same kind of revelation talking to me. Then the Sunday before my confirmation, I returned from Glendale, from my niece’s christening, sat in my usual pew, and looking at the order of service read its, ‘in memoriam’, to the Reverend Jay. An un-named stand in got up to deliver the homily; I heard nothing. I didn’t know what to do. It’s an awful way to discover someone’s passing; someone whose voice was helping to define my own; so suddenly, at age of fifty-four.
After the service, before my confirmation class, I locked myself inside of the bathroom and cried out loud, as silently as I could, and then walked into the leaning, as he would have wanted me to.
The man who communicated faith to me was gone. He was the reason that I came to this church, had decided on confirmation; it was his voice that brought me in, that brought me steadily closer to asking those un-ask-able questions of myself. When his voice was taken, all of that disappeared.
For a while after, I kept going back to that church, but that voice, and what I needed to hear had already spoken. It reminded me of, Field of Dreams, when Kevin Costner goes to the baseball game with James Earl Jones, and he sees the writing appear up on the scoreboard, and he looks at him and says, ‘if you’re ready to leave, we can go now.’ The lesson is, take what is given and move on now. At that time, I wasn’t sure what I was leaving with though, all I could see was that I needed more of this absent expression.
Their voices are liquid mercury – blue –these people that speak to what we need, however briefly the strings are dangled, flowing freely at constant volume, and each one of their sounds has improved my eyesight.
There will be many more voices that will ask questions of me, those blue vibrations, strong in guidance, that I will have to cultivate as my own. These vacant voices start the fire, and I have to be willing and brave enough not only to step inside of it, but to trust in the confidence of my own voice now.

picture: Jean Delville

May 20, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

You Have to See with Better Eyes Than That


I’m thinking back to a friend today, a former professor of mine whose eyes told me to listen to what I was seeing, and to be brave enough to raise the honesty of it inside of myself.
When he’d give me feedback on any performance that I had given – whether a small class scene, or main stage role, he always looked at me with a question in his eyes. This was the question I should have been asking myself, and as I sat there in his office, facing my own question in his eyes, he was giving me the opportunity to offer up the answer first, before he had to ask it, and force me to confront it – as an actor.

Two years ago, twenty-four years after graduation, I met him for breakfast, and that look was still there, hovering in his eyes as we separated out of our hug, and sat across the table from one another; it was still there, evaluating me – looking over the years that had passed between us.

He had his camera with him – I got the impression he’d got it for Christmas, ‘It’s new,’ he said. He took a thousand pictures of me as we ate and talked; the lens closing in to capture the query running between blinks, as if he were trying to capture the moment the answer crossed my face; this answer to the unasked question that hung inside of all our conversations.

And my answer that morning was, ‘yes,’ because when he lowered the camera, and I could see the white yellow of his eyes, I saw the real question he’d been reaching for, ‘are you trying to find your way home?’
This is what you have been asking me all along.

Back then the journey wasn’t even in sight, it was like slipping down a twisting water slide; but today I see the rhyme and reason for each bump and curve. It is always the way home, from the moment I took my first breath, to all the friends that have crossed my path, the flaws and failures, joys and surges, love’s rejections, love’s embrace, to every bite of food, walk in the park, float in the swimming pool on my back with my ears under the water with life echoing somewhere else; to each meeting inside of his office where this kind reflection came back, asking me without words, ‘Are you aware that you are on your way home? Do it well, fall all over it, kick outside of it, but know the box you fight from; walk away, walk towards, don’t look behind, but do all of this from the strength of your heart that listens to that one thing which makes no sound.’

After our meal was over I watched him walk away before I raced to my car, pulled out my notebook, and wrote down every single word he’d spoken to me.
‘Storm and shelter are inside the accepting threshold…

May 12, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle


I’ve always had trouble with doors – opening them, closing them, getting through them…Freud would have a field day with me, i’m sure.
When you think about it though, we never really exit when we walk through a door, it’s always into somewhere else, automatically – we don’t have to even think about it, we just walk through it and into something else.
But there is always that one door we’re looking for, the one that opens into that space that promises us everything our heart desires. We hunt, we keep a look out, and the search goes on through all of our days.
But that’s just it, isn’t it – we are searching for it, not working to build it. It will never appear in front of us until we start construction: with a thought process that makes the structure, the action that leads to construction, and the preparedness that meets it’s frame.
I put it to you that opportunity will only knock at the door we build ourselves. It’s what is on the other side, once it’s opened, that your God has taken care of to provide. The grass that greets us, where belief meets hard work, dedication and action, is where the realization of dream’s and purpose lies.

Apr 29, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Live What You Know


In the end, it is not enough to think what we know. We must live it. For only by living it can Love show itself as the greatest principle.

-Mark Nepo

The legend of the cicadas reveals them to be the souls of poets who cannot keep silent because, when they were alive, they never wrote the poetry inside of them. In looking out into the world the last few weeks there seems to be a sort of mass brain emerging in front of us; so many people wandering around the world inside someone else’s story; and the song they are singing doesn’t come from a place of truth, forgiveness, love, tolerance or understanding; it’s a poem of the masses, that if split a few words between us all, signifies nothing.
Whatever story you have inside of your heart live it out in the open, and live it in words formed by your own breath, not by anyone else’s – even if your lyric doesn’t fit inside the limerick they are selling. Your poem must be lived out loud – in action – not just wrangling around inside of a thought pattern – because if it is only fed there, its ink will wash away to the depths of the sea, and the two words assigned to you from the world’s poem will take its place, and your space ever after will be the song of the cicada which, despite its scream for its own lost song, all sound the same.

Picture: Jan Van der Kooi


Apr 21, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments



Birthed off centre
on the footpath
along the trembling bridge
connecting fear to release
A floating eighteen wheeler
grinding its gears over my head
in an uneasy static
A sweating scent of hope bleeding blanks
A vacillating trial of trust
A misfired boomerang judging its return
An echo held up in mediation
A parched waiting room
with a door marked, ‘?’
in the nowhere, where everywhere,
in the balance,
tick tocks
Kidnapped nerve endings held hostage
by a whisper’s breath
A clear cardboard chain I locked myself –
Only the answer will stop the knot stomach tightening –
and the answer takes its time –
in the middle of the bridge –
as it tosses from one hand to the next in Pan’s shadow.

picture credit: Jean Delville

Apr 15, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Risk Resurrection


‘If you can’t cross over alive,
how can you cross when you’re dead?
– Kabir

I love this – if you don’t trust in yourself to cross over into who you really are when you are alive, how on earth do you think you’ll be welcomed to transition up to heaven having chosen to live incompletely? I suppose if you believe in the many lives theory of existences it might give you a sort of, ‘get out of jail free,’ card – ‘next time, yeah, I’ll step outside into a few minutes of something special, but I just can’t face it now.’ It’ll be a hell of a price though – I mean, if you get there and the shimmering light in the doorway that looks like Laurence Olivier says, ‘Sorry pal, I’m afraid that’s your lot,’ then points to the left, instead of to the glowing happy people with their free gift bags of swag, turning to the right. It’ll be just like going through customs at the airport – when you know left means you’ll have to unpack your over stuffed suitcase and explain the contents of your life to a stranger. No one wants to go left – and I certainly don’t like the idea of being told to walk into a permanent left.

I think death will feel like your body is inside one of those plastic containers in the drive through bank lane, the ones where you push the button and it zips up the chute at the speed of light onto who knows where. I think the moment of death is going to go something like that, and if I don’t give it half a chance down here and choose to be open, honest, and to work with what I have by listening, trusting and taking action, there is a possibility I’ll be pushed right back down that chute again like some sort of cosmic reject forcing me into facing risk again. On the other hand, assuming that the light is going to come and tell me this is the only shot I have, I should really consider facing my potential head on now.

Now, I don’t like failure any more than the next guy; I don’t relish scraping around knee deep in the shit I thought would turn to gold, and I’ve certainly clawed my way through that more than once. There did come a point where I made the choice not to risk again though. I gave up. After I some how managed to stand up and pretend everyone else had forgotten about it all, I gave up on what I could be, and tried to convince myself that I had done all I could to fulfill my potential.

There’s a snag with doing this though, that one thing that convinced me that there was possibility in my question, that it could be woven into gold, that rustled up risk inside of me in the first place, never give up on me; it kept on whispering, and once I’d acknowledged that I could hear it – it only got louder. I could hear it hissing out of the shadows of past up chances that I hadn’t faced. It was those retreats that turned into a haunting, pushing my head back down to admit that a mere heart beat of panic, barely allowing my palms to begin sweating, hadn’t been enough. Its demand to be over ruled was not seductive or enticing – it just became necessary, as essential as breath.

I still hear the voices of doubt from those outside of the arena chit chatter chattering behind my back; they follow me inside my head. But today I choose to bear the potential for failure and self-humiliation, to let love reject or sweep me up, to believe that eventually what floats will forage, and to get to it all again, to take a risk and keep walking into them. Because what is a life of not trying, of not attempting, of not allowing for the possibility for failure? All that leaves me with is the trinity of who I could be lying in a skeletal pile of melted might have beens.

Looking through the debris to see what didn’t fit is the only path to knowing what will, and the only way that will open up to me is by making the choice to risk; not thinking about it, not considering it, not weighing it, but opening the gate, putting one foot down in potential quick sand, and actually stepping into the arena knowing I will root.

Picture credit: Boldini