Nature, Nurture

   Nature doesn’t take more than it needs.  When it rains, the drops are welcomed for what they are. Used up quietly.  Sunshine is thanked in the way leaves warm to green and birds chime at daybreak.  Nature waits and blooms and fades, pushing into or pulling against a river’s current or sandy soil.  Nature finds a … More Nature, Nurture

Grief is a Ninja

Dear C, Grief is a ninja.  Did you know this?  I think you probably did, after your dad died.  I think behind your teary smiles, then, eventually,  your bigger smiles, your trip-taking, dinner-party planning, that the grief ninja was hovering, kicking you in the knees now and then.  We knew you were sad, we saw … More Grief is a Ninja

W.S. Merwin On Poetry: “The completeness of life.”

Do you read The Paris Review Interviews? Beautiful bits of writerly wisdom and insight. A recent link in my Twitter feed pointed me to the 1986 interview of W.S. Merwin, one of the first poets I read in my second stint of university, a time when I was feeling so very connected to the art of words.  Of the many ways to understand and define … More W.S. Merwin On Poetry: “The completeness of life.”

Not Walter

There is a man who lives in his truck behind the church near our house. He’s been there since springtime. It didn’t take us long to give the dark-haired man a name: “Walter.”  We felt unsettled that he was around, stuck, with seemingly no where to go.  This is our neighborhood, our space. We walk the dog in the late evenings, and … More Not Walter

My Inner Heisenberg

Walter White.  If you know this name, you know Heisenberg.  It’s been weeks since the series finale of “Breaking Bad.”  In this house, we are veiled in lethargic mourning.  Evening television is flat, faulty, unsatisfying now that we have finished a month-long Netflix marathon of watching the life of Walter White evolve and dissolve. I miss … More My Inner Heisenberg

“I think maybe I was successful in doing this because I didn’t have any other talents,”

said Alice Munro.  Then she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What a beautiful accomplishment for a woman who described herself this way: “I’m not really an intellectual,” […] “I was an okay housewife but I wasn’t that great.” Be inspired to do two things today: 1) Visit your library and take home a book … More “I think maybe I was successful in doing this because I didn’t have any other talents,”

Hot Dogs

“How long have the hot dogs been in there?” asks a man with a faded black backpack and four-day scruff on his face. The ferry has just shoved off and the sun has hit the place in the sky that puts a flat gold patina on the water, the color of candlesticks in an attic. … More Hot Dogs

Notes from Chuckanut: Inspiration and Hard Truths

In late June, I took a Friday off from work and drove 90 miles north from Seattle to the Chuckanut Writers Conference, a two-day event led by some of the Pacific Northwest’s most gifted and influential writers. The days were divided into class sessions, with keynote lectures by faculty in the morning, at noon, and … More Notes from Chuckanut: Inspiration and Hard Truths