Tag Archives: courage

what is in my hold


I put in my hands
what my hands can hold
and then grip tight
and hold with might.

I put in my mind
what my mind can hold
and let my sleep
tend to the deep.

But I put in my heart
more than it can hold
knowing time and grace
will create more space.





April shorts – 14

chance and circumstance adds up to reality

she could live in town, closer to her job at Walmart
but the rent is higher

she finally got her driver’s license
because even though she saved on gas and insurance
the bus only ran 3 times a day to this part of the county

she was in school once, training to be a medical assistant –
seems like years ago
and then she got pregnant with a man almost twice her age
she just had her 24th birthday

well now he is gone, 7 months ago
he went back to abusing drugs, and she had to get a restraining order in place
her sons don’t understand
and keep asking about daddy

when he left her brother moved up and into the household
he helps care for her two boys during the day
while she sleeps because she works the night shift

after a year, she’s finally working a 40 hour week
she’s thinking about a day shift –
it would be better for the kids,
but her pay would be a dollar an hour less
always there are trade offs….

yes, she’s lucky she has her brother to help
and he’s pretty good with the kids
she knows the tv is on more than it should be
he gives them marshmallows for treats
and the dishes stack up while she sleeps

but he wants to get a job too, he is an artist, draws cartoons
take a look at her 4 year old sitting at the table
drawing with his uncle and signing his pictures with a “J”

if they can just hang on
maybe they’ll make it
taking one step and one day at a time


imageI’m amazed to hear about various kickstarter campaigns that have been started – some of them goofy like the goal to make the largest potato salad, some of them tear-jerkingly commendable like raising money for a special treatment needed by a Seattle police officer.

And now with social media, we have the opportunity to hear about these commitments to help others made by regular people like you and me all the time. If we choose, we could be inundated with information about good stuff happening in the world – this world, right now every minute of the day. Imagine!!

At the same time it is just as easy to access the bad stuff – crazy rhetoric and horrible images of hateful acts against humanity.   I am not advocating that we put our heads in the sand or become Pollyannas but I am asking for more assertiveness in lifting up and shining lights on the positive rather than the negative.

Ghandi said: “The enemy is fear.  We think it is hate, but it is fear.” I believe there is amazing power in positive thinking and action and the fact that so many kickstarter campaigns get funded is proof that people really only need the teensiest nudges to do good in the world.

It’s all in the power of the narrative – so get out there and tell good stories folks – and spread some good around.

Here’s a video to get your positive juices going – 22 random acts of kindness.







Out on the ocean

Last weekend I wrote these words:

“Some mornings I wake up and despite not being quite fully rested and knowing I have a complicated day ahead, I still manage to feel …..not just happy, not just optimistic, not just content, but full of grace.”

This weekend I am adrift on the ocean having just been released by a 4 year old pirate patrolling the seas of my creativity and successfully absconding with every last notion of grace and poetic thought left in my pockets!!

But – avast ye mateys – do not despair for me!   It’s the weekend – and I am safe from pirates on the high seas for a little while.  I’ll retreat to the holds of my own ship and restock my pockets.

proclaiming myself


She described herself as sturdy in the radio interview.

I’d like to claim that word for myself;
I am sturdy.

Sturdy is a sapling,
the kitchen stool,
the coiled clay pot my daughter made in grade school.

I am rooted but bendy,
able to support children and grown men,
a handy container for steel wool,
or single earrings, tea bags,
favorite finds.

thinking about courage

the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery
strength in the face of pain or grief
from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart’

I have a friend who is especially interested in supporting courage in youth.  Reading her blog has me thinking about when I have witnessed courage in others and wondering about whether I am courageous.

Reading the definition above I understand why many of us are able to name courage in others but not in ourselves. We are afraid of the encounters, the hurdles, the pains, the circumstances, but those we name as courageous seem to act without regard to fear.  We may sense their trepidation but not fear.  My friends often tell me I’ve been raising my disabled son in a courageous way. I feel like I’ve just been doing what I’m supposed to do.

Maybe that is another aspect of being courageous; being so in tune with ones personal values that the acts and words called forth in those tenuous moments come naturally.   That isn’t to say they come easily, just that they flow from an inner strength of spirit that was there even before courage called it out.

If I am courageous it is only because so many have nurtured my inner spirit, made it feel so safe and self-assured that when it has been called upon to take a leap of faith, it has walked, run, flown… without hesitation.

Slice of Life sponsored by Two Writing Teachers