Sunday, March 23, 2008


A walk through a forest warmed by the sun.

Sole. I like this Italian word, for isn't the sun a 'soul' of sorts, and the 'sole' thing we yearn for through winter's never-ending bleakness?

An excerpt from my four-stanza haiku Sole to celebrate the advent of Spring.

puny shoots of hope
valorous, thrust and strive through
frozen ash, clay, rock

My soul found some peace today... hope yours did as well. Linda

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Idus Martiae

I think of the Ides of March not so much a metaphor for impending doom, but more a time of uncertainty, of shifting tectonic plates. Of blood coursing through veins too fast, too hot.

I watch the earth in our garden crack, the soil heaving upward; I like to think of the repressed plants rebelling against the last of the cold and thrusting upward to the sun. That’s how my heart feels this time of year: yearning, striving, desiring something more, something greater. It’s my time of restlessness, of pacing behind my psychic boundaries like a caged cougar.

Big day for me, the Ides of March. Some 15 years ago, I defended my doctoral dissertaton, a watershed of sorts. Today, when I woke early to write, I wished Ben, the protagonist of Brighter than Bright and Pure, a happy 28th birthday. Then a couple of hours later, my son woke with a fever and a sore, swollen throat that compelled us to rush to the on-call pediatrician, who diagnosed strep (again!). And then, as if our family life is not complex enough, we adopted a four-year old Sheltie mix, a cute red-head named Georgie. It’s been a full day. A wonderful day, despite the unease of change thrumming through me.

Big writing week:
Icarus Arisen. A poem that’s teased me for over two months. I’m quite happy with it, but threw it in a red manila folder anyway and will revisit it before shopping it around.
Finding Out. A short non-fiction piece about the conception of my son after years of infertility. A personal milestone for me (both my son and the writing of this piece). Also marinating in the manila folder.
The damn synopsis. I spent at least 30 hours on this over the last two weeks. But I managed to eke out a half-decent draft for my WritersOnline class and Nudge-Nudge Collective to review.
Brighter than Bright. Committed to a reading at our Unitarian Universalist church in two weeks. Gulp.
The Muse and the Marketplace. Booked my flight and hotel for this Boston Grub Street sponsored writing conference in late April and signed up for an agent review of my novel. Great writers: Jonathan Franzen, Anita Shreve, Karl Iagnemma – among others. Pumped is an understatement.

Keep writing… Peace, Linda

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Parity - One Step Closer

We'll pay for liver transplants for alcoholics, expensive inhalers for ex-smokers with emphysema, but we don't pay for the treatment of addiction and mental health. THANK YOU House of Representatives for getting us one step closer to providing equal treatment and reimbursement for these conditions. And THANK YOU Paul Wellstone - today, you are my hero... Peace, Linda

Translated: If the Senate and House can compromise, then insurers will HAVE to pay for mental health and addictions treatment. Just like they do the 'real' stuff like diabetes, heart disease, hip fractures, and all that jazz...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wabi Sabi

Impermanence and imperfection.

I first became familiar with wabi sabi as a potter and sculptor. Clay is a temperamental, mercurial medium, subject to extremes of temperature, application of caustic minerals and elements, the whims of carving instruments and the desires of artisans to literally beat mud into shape. Indeed, a goal of potters working in porcelain is to pull the clay surface so thin it achieves a sublime and ethereal translucence.

Even after many, many years of working in clay, most of my pots and sculptures suffer imperfections: huge, rending cracks, asymmetrical centers, glazes that crawl beyond desired borders. Sometimes, I got lucky - the mistakes turned out beautiful, like the glaze on a recent raku tile that emerged from smoldering ashes a greenish gold rather than a purple metallic. But usually, the mistakes are irreversibly ugly; after all, there is not much you can do to correct a huge crack.

Or is there? Japanese potters celebrate their imperfect pots by stuffing the cracks with gold leaf.

When I read the latest version of BRIGHTER THAN BRIGHT, I still see flaws. Not huge gaping holes - these have been fixed, if not with gilt and glue then at least heavy hack-sawing and prose propping. But I'm finding as I rewrite, I fix the blemishes and then, on yet another reread, revert them back to their original imperfect form.

You see, there is beauty in these mistakes.

Wabi sabi - nothng is perfect, nothing lasts, and nothing is finished.

What a relief...

Peace, Linda