Archive | August, 2015

If You Have A Minute To Think. . . . .


One cannot legislate the future one way or another.  It is happening at the precise minute you think about it.  It cannot go away and no amount of fretting will change it one iota.

Your acts upon your days have already sent the future into a direction which will reveal itself.

Supposing man gave headroom to the idea that his daily thoughts form his future or the world he will find himself, would he care enough to change his thinking, his thoughts to build a better world of choice?

Our so called love of people serves to hide our very limited, if at all, love of persons.  If we cannot love persons, what good to say we love people?

If we have difficulty with the ones who share our hearth and homes, what good to say we love the world?

Sometimes what you catch in an aging face is cosmic and intensely personal.   It often means that the God Within has been called into conference.   Not something one freely discusses with the common man.

When something passes over our understanding, it can mean it hasn’t  been born to the senses yet; for instance, as born to see or born to hear.   Once our understanding is broadened, learned and integrated, little will pass our notice.

When little passes our notice, our hearts may be broken.  We might then be able to do something about peace on Earth and good will toward all mankind.  And save our planet.



(I will be posting wall quilts from time to time.  If you are interested Contact Me at  They are for sale.)


The Morning’s Bliss


Mornings have always been special. The sounds blended on the street as Princess (our then German Shepherd) and I walked. The lights in the homes spoke of early risers, the occasional car with lights on. The dog down the street spoke his urgency to get matters started. There still is a benevolence to the morning which I would awaken everyone to feel. It is a palpable part of the day. My body revels in the gentleness, which seems absent during the day but rouses memories and vitality to meet its essence. Times are different now but still such that find me alive and in dialogue with the divine within. We put the blessing on the day.

The Morning’s Bliss

The morning hours stretch before me
and I am the richest woman.
There is a privacy in all aspects.
The morning harbors life rising,
a world awakening
that defies description.
The birds who have survived the night,
the sun which did not get lost,
the flowers and plants that
have drunk of the night’s dew
and I , who also has
survived the night.

We are rich, we who
participate in the morning.
It is we who find it intoxicating.
Grasses which speak to each other,
blade by blade;  flowers that open
their faces to the morning light;
trees whose leaves unfold
to the morning air;
all these greet the good morning.

It is a drunk that I am
as I walk the dog who sniffs
the morning with as much
exhilaration as I do.
I can hardly bear the goodness.

There is a sweet washed feeling
about the streets that hardly
resembles the daytime concrete.
It is a softness about me that I feel,
touch with every cell and taste
with my morning coffee.

It is what I remember
from a somewhere, touch
with a body that has been bathed
in this particular light and move in the air
that has buoyed me for centuries.
Grasp it I want to.
Love it I do.
It is the morning and it is mine.
I paid for it with the night’s labors
in the vineyards.

It is mine.


Kiss The Morning Into Being

Kiss the Morning


I think I will have it as my epithet.   It means a word or phrase that describes an attribute of characteristic quality.   I like it.  Kiss the Morning Into Being For It Has Long Won The Battle Over Night.  My need to know what I needed to know was my long night.  It has been a journey of a lifetime but I would not take a million or billion dollars for it and I would not give a nickel to repeat it.  Now that the pearl of great price has been bestowed,  I breathe easy.  I did not know when I could not refrain from what I was doing that it was something I had to pursue until I found what was lost.  It has not been easy but the moments of joy were indisputably brilliant.  Can one live a normal life and still pursue the pearl of great price?  One can.  It will be an uncommon life to be sure.

Only trusted loves know all sides of us.  To some of my readers the serious side is evident.  There was a time at midlife,  in my fifties where some of you are, when I shopped with an idea of who I was in mind.  I came across this poem while looking at previous work and thought, I will post this.  Your mother will identify with this poem or your grandmother.  Times were different.  It brought back the time with a smile.  The wall quilt is one of my favorites.  I love the young woman’s strut.  I hope you enjoy the post.


I am an average American woman;
five feet five inches with
solid poundage to fit a size 12;
with white hair framing
a midlife face that has loved,
laughed and cried a lot.
But alive still.

I’ve searched the mark down racks
for you to see me in
Calvin Klein jackets,
Evan Picone and real leather suits
that rustle when I walk,
all shrouded in a mist
of Bill Blass.

Did you know I see me
with ruffles at my collar,
rose buds on flannel nightgowns,
after a dusting
of Johnson’s Baby Powder?
Drinking from a cup patterned
with violets and being sophisticated
when soaping with

Yardley’s English Lavender?


From Whence Cometh My Strength


20150814_142330    20150823_145311








Much comes to mind when I read Jon Katz’ s blog which is a favorite. His problems I can relate to because my most formative years were on The Farm.   When I write my memory is always sitting in some farmplace.   His blog by guest writer Carol Gulley on My Farmer and Me took me back again with her words about how it really is with farmers.

How it was before we really knew how to farm and what it was like rising every morning in a freezing house and getting dressed around the stove pipe which went up through a corner of my sister’s and my bedroom before going into the chimney. How it was before the bathroom was put in because other matters in the barns where our living was made before we could think about improvements in the house. The animals, the cows needed to be milked twice a day and the horses needed tending and the chickens needed to be fed and the pigs needed their nourishment.   My brothers and my sister and I were new to farming, but our mother made the decision to get us out of the city so that we could breathe fresh air.   My father had lung problems from working in the chemical plants and he knew he could make a living on a farm.   But he over estimated his abilities. His inability to understand nutritional needs of plants and animals made for arguments every day.   His memories of farming in the old country were not what our farm demanded.   What we demanded of our land to sustain our large family was not what the quality of soil originally could do. That it did in the long run was due to the perseverance of my mother (who I often said would have been able to run the auto companies without having to go to the government for bail out monies) and my brothers.   They learned what the land needed to produce and what the vegetables and fruit trees and the cows needed for optimum production.   It was not an easy way to live and many times the argument came up to go back to the city.

Yet my best learning years were on The Farm, where I learned to love the land and my Earth planet was like wearing her as a second skin.   Memory told me of other times and places where I was able to flourish with a sensitive heart but also with an awakened mind.   Old city friends visited in their new clothes and polished cars.   And my mother gave them baskets of strawberries and crisp apples to take home.   I do not remember money being exchanged. My mother’s way was to pay it forward. My sister went to market with mother with fruit, vegetables and eggs and those years brought real money home.   It is not a way to live for the fainthearted. Much to my chagrin, I also learned to love heavy cream as a staple yet and missed it sorely during the years of marriage when budgeting to the penny was crucial.

Carol speaks true. Her words bring to mind many memories that were difficult for the teenager I was to live through. But living through those times helped me to grow in ways I could not imagine. Throughout my life I yearned for horizons where sky met my earth with no obstruction.   My eyes hungered for the places from ‘whence cometh my strength.’

(The Red works I have made is a deeply satisfying thing now for me to do.   I missed it completely during the years of parenting when it peaked. They are for sale. Contact me if you are interested. I use old wood patterns for my block designs.)


An Ever Fixed Mark


An Ever Fixed Mark

What can be written
that has not been written before?
What are the new voices saying
to old hearts turning mellow?

Not much one hears
is different except
the ever fixed mark
which shrouds a piece of truth
and shows its consistency.

It is exactly that. . .
an ever fixed mark as the old salt said.
We guide our actions
and think our thoughts
in its direction.

Heaven fixed the mark.
Upon this tablet it is written
that one must learn
to love oneself primarily,  else
the same imperfect thoughts and actions
drive a wedge clearly through us. . . . .
But first adhere;  the mark does not fail when

it is etched in cursive splendor upon the heart.

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey


Argument With Crossed Signals


Another Argument with Crossed Signals

There was a maxim often repeated when I was growing up that one never ‘tempts the gods.’ My ‘sense of’ justice and unfairness peaked early for me for which I was punished. When I was a child, I was puzzled  that the big people did not take issue with this unfairness. Later I questioned, why a positive statement could not be made without the old fear following, ‘if the gods allow?’ Or when humanity graduated to one god, the dictum became, ‘if god wills.’ It is a dastardly thing to do to people, this division of desires and penalty. The world criticizes the negative attitude and says you must be positive. And churches on the other hand teach free will and then hangs it all with providing it is ‘god’s will.’

 The Teacher Speaks. . . .Is it much of a free choice when one desires the good and then must have it tagged with if god allows? Again we must look at beginning and see where the churches fail, if they do. Our anthropomorphic god must be dusted off periodically if we are not to destroy ourselves. In the beginning there was much power thrust onto the priests and this was with people’s choice and desire. Who wanted full responsibility for his actions? Who wanted the knowledge that would free man and allow him to assume the course of his life? Look at it fairly. The church simply took upon itself to give man what he wanted. He wanted a father god to look out for him. The chain of command grew and soon there was no differentiation between the nearest priest and the almighty god. The priest was father in fact as well as fancy. He absolved the sins, he raised the Eucharist and played the part as the connection between man and his god. What behooved man to be a conscientious objector to the lusts and materialistic desires which satisfied the flesh when he knew that by donning a mantle of humility and reading off the list of his sins, which were legion, that he would be absolved of his indiscretions and made new again?  

What composed the list of sins? That which man decided separated him from his god. Were they sins? Or were they just actions, albeit infantile of a people not grown to adulthood? The line is a slim one. Man knows and knew always what he was capable of. We have a case of wanting the cake and eating it too.   Can you see why this particular planet is unique in its ability to teach the striving soul of its responsibility?

Ideas manifest in the quickest possible way. You dream of a desire and within its context it materializes. With little obstruction. And with this manifestation, man soon realizes or not so soon that this does not satisfy what was a hunger. He learns that he requires more and more or less and less. Within that there is much gained. What man realized was that the initial satisfaction was not long standing, so he prods himself to work harder and harder to afford more and more. Not consciously does he know this. He keeps the carrot on the stick and keeps moving it himself.

In many ways man gives meaning and an objective to life which would not have meaning otherwise. The otherwise would demand of him an objective look at himself and a life which would need examination. Man steers clear of the inner path because he thinks it is fraught with dangers. The church has pointed this out in many ways.   Stray thoughts do pepper the mental landscape and requires courage to examine them. Easier to say the devil did it and never have to analyze their concept of either the devil or their god.

The church continues to serve man until it finds it serves no one. When man takes upon himself the responsibility of his choices he will know he cannot blame anyone for his inabilities concerning his life. Then and only then will he gain the plaudits saying his is a job well done. Man has taken blame when things fail and in humility when things work out gives credit to a greater power than himself.  Unfair.   The good of one man in its highest sense will be the good for all men. How can something which benefits truly one man not benefit in its largest sense, all men?


The Reclused


The Reclused

We do not violate
the solitude cherished
as a milch cow
on a painted pasture.

We usurp with kindness
any benevolence dispensed
on us as gratitude.
What are we for

you might well ask,
since in previous times
we reclused to the woods,
garnering ourselves

to buffet so many affairs
as insults to our intelligence.
It is not our distaste
for people

but games played
and displayed
to compete and outsmart
what the Great God

dispensed as common sense.

Photo by John Hallissey


Not A Whim Of The Potter


It is a wonderful play on words when we are given a phrase and then run like the wind with it.  I was reading about a ‘sense of snow’ and the history of it.  How someone with this sense can tell you many things when seeing a footprint in the snow and who made it,  which direction he came from and where he was going.  It is a wondrous sense.

 We have also a sense of time.   With this comes our feel for history,  where someone or something comes from and the circumstances surrounding the event. Jane has this valuable sense. In her feel for the civil war fabrics, she reveals what the times were for women, how they functioned in the mud and rain, with their lack of wares; how hard the winter was on everyone, what they had to do to care for the sick and wounded.  Women gathered together to make blankets from materials at hand.   All this background when added to the traditional home arts which spoke of the sense of time, sense of Spirit when handling fabric of that time.

There is also a sense of place, a sense of self, a sense of who we are and what we bring to the moment.  It sums up what we do in gathering ourselves, however many parts of our self and bring to the present moment the substance of us.  It is a rich substance we are to give our present meaning.  We will take the fullness of today into tomorrow, into our future to give meaning to whatever world we find our tomorrow in.

When we see our place in the larger scheme of things, when we enlarge our premises and push out boundaries, we see how we contribute to universal evolution.   It is our purpose in life in this dimension to contribute to all of life.  It takes elastic thinking to think in these terms, but we are not an incident or accident of life with no meaning.  What we do for one we do for all we have been told.  We are familiar with the widow’s mite; she gave all she had, but contributed.  We can apply this ‘sense of’ whatever talent we possess.  When we contribute to ongoing life we enhance evolution.

As the wise Ethel Waters said,  ‘I am somebody.  God don’t make no junk.’  We are not a whim of the Potter.



Take A Minute Here. . . .


Life without illusions is still worth living simply because it is sweet and beautiful enough as is.  In any dimension.

It is a psychic affront when the need to rest in front of the fire finds one has to build it first.  But no fire warms as well as the fire one builds with one’s own effort and has to fan.

To heal from within is the only true healing.

The right to truth is mine to uncover.  The right to conceal belongs to the Other.

Conscience is installed to monitor one’s life for one’s survival.  Conscience is memory of acts done to one with memory of pain.

We are our belief system.  As we stand, so it is we teach.

There are worlds being spun out of glossy webs that bespeak of spun sugars.

You cannot fool the nature of souls because souls have a way of propounding the innocent and the complex.  In the midst of all that is done, the soul will fathom the doer and know beyond doubt what the motive and process has been.

You cannot chain a wild horse.  You also cannot chain a Spirit that requires larger premises.

You cannot erase lessons learned unless understood is the reason for those lessons.

The dipping into the River of Forgetfulness does not always wipe out those pieces that rise time and again demanding that we do something about them.

Life is everlasting and everlasting.
When I finally understood this,
I became very tired.
The vineyards await.  Salut!


Stop it! Don’t Hurt Him! He’s My Brother!


When much is given, much also is required. At what price, at what value is understanding?

The Teacher

As I look back upon the growth areas of my life, I still see the influence of the child within me. My family alternated between deep affection for me and a perplexity they could not reconcile. Mother often blurted out that she did not know where I came from nor where I got my ideas. She certainly did not teach me!

The clapboard house we lived in had a wondrous mystery about it. As an ethnic family, we lived in the cellar. The upstairs was kept for ‘good.’It was whitewashed with a large furnace in the center. Every one of us had our corners in what I see as a huge area. Things were done in a certain way and values kept. Within the nooks of the cellar my sister and I had a huge double doll bed our father built. Our mother made the doll bedding. Against the wall of the fruit cellar my brother closest to my age had his space. A long table braced against the wall held all his balsam models. They hung from the ceiling with wires and smelled wonderfully of wood and glue. One’s head became quite light and one had to come up for air periodically. This brother spent hours over his models with the sensitivity of a surgeon.

The balsam was my undoing and his. I would sneak a piece now and again and happily munch on the coveted pieces of wood. I can still feel my teeth gently smashing into them for the sheer pleasure. I would be on the lookout for these rare strips on the floor. But one day in a fit of craving I walked off with a section marked for major work. Possibly a wing or side panel. When my brother found out what I had done his anger was monumental bringing tears and loud voices from everyone. He was in hot pursuit for revenge.

Suddenly my father appeared with the cat o’ nine tails. My father held it and tried to hold onto my brother. I saw what was happening and screamed the scream that rang through the house and the door and into the ethers and no doubt rings there still.

‘Stop it! Stop it! Don’t hurt him! I love him. He is my brother! He is my brother!

And my father did not know how suddenly he turned into the bad guy trying to keep his daughter from being killed by her brother. I don’t remember that the cat o’ nine tails ever came down on my brother’s psyche but it did on mine. I swallow slights and injustices and they lay like iron allies in the pit of my stomach. My behavior was that of a thoughtless sibling but the fear and horror of my brother’s punishment was that of a god witnessing the violation of another god. I could not articulate it of course, but I knew intuitively.

My words? Torn from deep within, perhaps screamed lifetime after lifetime but elevating that portion of us in flesh.

Stop it! Stop it! Don’t hurt him! He is my brother! He is my brother!

The Teacher said that out of the heart’s abundance the mouth will utter its words. Innocently out of sheer frustration, out of love, out of hatred will come the heart’s abundance. What we grant to ourselves, we must grant to others and sometimes in spades.

(Excerpt from The Last Bird Sings
for $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping)


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