I keep intending to come ’round here and put up:

“watch this space, exciting things coming!” 

where blog posts might be just so that you’d know I was not giving you all the cold shoulder but have thought the better of it (until now, apparently.) This move to Chicago is happening in less than a week so things have been, shall we say, stressful?

I dreamt the other night that I kept almost falling over the railings of balconies. It happened over and over again. I’d walk out to a balcony and look over, nearly fall, count my lucky stars and back away from the edge. I’d be in a parking garage and nearly fall over the cement barrier. Even walking up a flight of stairs I’d see myself teetering toward the handrail. At one point in the dream I remember thinking, “it’s only one flight, I can make it.”

I’m pretty sure this emotional vertigo is presenting in dreams what I’m feeling in the daytime as we get set to move. Last night I laid in bed, wide eyed, thinking, “this might be a terrible mistake, this moving idea.”

Dave’s getting in on the angst. He dreamt that as we drove to Chicago Miles decided to play a joke and climbed up on the roof of the car. We didn’t notice til we got there and found him wild eyed, sun burned and wind blown clinging to the top of the car. Even the picture of this sends me into a panic and it wasn’t even my dream.

Nevertheless, it’s my fear too, that the kids will be lost in the shuffle (or on the roof of the car) not just in the short term but in the bigger picture as well. We hope that our move will be a good idea, that they’ll relearn the rhythm of the city, that they’ll not miss the green green grass of Nashville TOO much when we’re surrounded by brick and concrete. We hope we’ll all be able to keep connection with our sweet friends here in TN while adding new connections with our sweet friends in Chicago. It’s not a gamble really but a process of faith, a labor of life and limb and love. Transition is hard- but it’s the shortest part of labor…I know this and yet if one was offered to me I’d gladly take the emotional epidural.




One thing (of many things) I have always loved about Emily Dickinson is her brevity. Longish poems can be wonderful but there is something about being able to convey something so stunning in such a small space, something miraculous. What Dickinson spared in each individual poem she made up for in the sheer volume of her work. Over the course of her life she wrote around 1800 poems, each one a universe unto itself. While searching for a poem today I ran across this one and thought it might speak into us all today- enjoy!


Water, is taught by thirst.
Land—by the Oceans passed.
Transport—by throe—
Peace—by its battles told—
Love, by Memorial Mold—
Birds, by the Snow.

search engine answers: develop your own metaphor

I like to imagine that those who use this search string I came across this week (and I get this one quite a bit) are students working on homework assignments. Usually the search strings are “metaphor for building” or “metaphor for being alone.” Things like that.

The one I got today was “develop your own metaphor” which I think is funny because by doing a google search on this subject you’re not actually developing your own metaphor, are you? The posts this brought to light most likely from my blog are the “make your own metaphor” posts.  This was a short series in which I challenged my readers to try their hand at the craft. I’m hoping that the searcher was able to find an answer to their query in those posts but just in case, I’ll see what I can do.

Since the searcher was not asking “what IS metaphor” I’m going to assume that he or she has that bit down. As far as developing a metaphor goes, well that’s another story.

In my opinion a well made metaphor doesn’t require a whole lot of “development.” I like metaphor that is visual, honest and cuts across a crowded room in a direct path to greet me.  I believe well drawn metaphors speak volumes without  my having to write volumes. That’s open to debate of course. One can effectively write chapters and chapters of metaphor without it being cumbersome. I’m not sure I have those skillz…

As for “developing” a metaphor I suppose what the searcher in this case was looking toward was more along the lines of adding flesh to the bones of a metaphor. I mean, I can say, “that guy is a train wreck” and that’s fairly clear. Depending upon your audience the image which comes to mind is understandable and instant. The phrase is familiar and the expression is common place. To pile on and explain more isn’t really necessary but we can flesh it out- I can talk about the cars in that train, talk about the terrain around the tracks, talk about the faulty braking system or the conductor error which may have led to this wreck.  Now if I begin to talk of wind conditions and the role of aviation in this here train wreck we inch slowly into “mixed” metaphor which can be fun…or confusing…or both…depends on where you want to take it.

At any rate, that’s my long answer to your short query, google search string friend.

I hope it earned you an A+

moving forward

My brain is overfull. Today Dave asked me if I could call someone to straighten out a bill that was due and I had to sit down on the floor, head in hands and breathe slow. The reality of moving house in less than 2 weeks is beginning to sink in. Having had a wonderful  breakfast with a few close friends yesterday morning I found myself crying as I drove away. It’s strange, to be packing boxes and unpacking grief all at the same time.

For this poetry tuesday I thought I’d do a search to see what the poets say about moving. I found a few but I stopped when I reached Rilke because he spoke further into the depth of this whole thing than I had intended. This is a deep well, this is…Rilke lowered a bucket and drew me some water…I am thankful.

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can’t reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

Rainer Maria Rilke

blades of grass…

This is a cross post from my Orthodoxy blog…metaphorical, nonetheless…


This is what comes to me today as I scatter what I like to call “wishful thinking” and “hope” on our poor damaged lawn. Again. It comes in a plastic, resealable bag, boasts the ability to grow in most any soil or weather condition and most people know it as grass seed.

When we killed all the weeds in the back yard lawn we killed pretty much anything green in the back yard lawn…which it turns out was less “lawn” and more “weed” than we had thought.

For the last few weeks I’ve been tossing down grass seed and pulling out the puny sprinkler, hoping for the best or maybe it’s hoping just a little better than the least, which is what we have back there now. I didn’t prep the soil, I don’t rake it in after I scatter it. I’m lucky to remember to water and when I do water it I’m likely to do it in the heat of the day because that’s when I’m home and when I remember to do it.

I just fetch up my big bag o’ wishful thinking and toss it out into the sea of brown-ness. The thing about this approach is that it is so classically me. I get an idea, I have a vision and then I just start implementing it, hang the prep work or the planning. “I’m doing this” I think. The other important bit here is that I’m also a cheapskate so I do it but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. If I was really so eager for the green green grass of home and if I had the means I guess I could just hire someone to truck it in for me but I don’t.

At this point I could say that it’s all about that daily act, being faithful, committing long term…and I might compare it to prayer or practice or something. I guess it can be compared to that.

Where I’m at right now is less having confidence in the system I gots going and more feeling some small consolation in remembering the person I know myself to be. I know I am someone who does things slowly even as she flails in impulsivity. I know I am someone who commits and acts, even as she shies away from responsibility. I know I am someone who feels and thinks deeply, even as she hides from the very thoughts and feelings that come along.

I am not confident in how the process will unfold or how I will react each step of the way. I only know it will unfold and that I react. I only know I ought to hope for good things, I ought to expect more weeds to come up.

I’m going to keep scattering this hope and the grass will grow, it will grow eventually. It will be patchy and much will fall on the sidewalk and the flower bed. It will die out a little when I forget that this kind of approach means watering every day. It will come back, slow and sure. It will eventually be strong, lush, green with the rains of the spring.

In the long run it will come out they way I hope…yeah and then we’ll move.

hope’s the thing with feathers…

You remember a few months ago when I sang the praises of  my friend, Miss Julie Lee? Well, she’s done this beautiful piece of music based upon a poem by Emily Dickinson and on this here poetry tuesday I’m sharing it with you.


If you ever get the chance to hear her play live, take it. Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate…just take it. In the meantime, enjoy this and if you love it (and you will) GO AND DOWNLOAD IT…please and thank you.


missive: here,now

Dear one

Live here, now.

It’s easy to get caught up in what has happened or what might yet happen. It’s easy to escape the now by ducking into the dark spaces of the past, places where safety comes because you’ve been there, done that. Safety comes in those dark spaces because they are enclosed, understood, remembered.

It’s easy to escape the now by reaching forward into the fuzzy ether of the future. Safety comes in those abstract places because anything can happen, because we can imagine ourselves handling new events with superhuman strength and wisdom. The future talk feels like planning ahead, being prepared.

The truth is that the present is all we really can wrap our arms around. The present is here, now. It is messy and hard to discern. It is chaotic, frenetic, continuous. Every moment you can embrace, truly, is here and now.

It’s not a terribly comforting thought when the present moment is filled with storms and swords, I know. What I want most today to tell you is that even in the storm there is a moment to reach out your hands, intertwine arms and greet the good. In the midst of the stress, the change, the fear, the doubt there is always, always, always one moment you may drink in because you are thirsty and because you are in need.

Look for it.

It may be making eye contact for just a second with someone you love, it may be a quiet breath, it may be a color you notice for the first time in a wall of gray, it may be the sweet kiss of a child- fast and fleeting. When you see that chance, that drink of water, take it…feel it….let it in and you’ll find it fills you up for this present moment.

don’t forget-

Mrs M.

fueling the search engine…angst metaphor

Our next search engine answer comes in response to this short coupla key words:

angst metaphor

I’m both flattered and disturbed that these words hit me up. Am I really that angst-ish? Don’t answer that, rhetorical question.

In answer to this I’m offering up to you a lovely angst metaphor. Now to begin I feel it’s important we unpack “angst” a little.

To define Angst:


1. A feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

2. A feeling of persistent worry about something trivial.

The invisible third number there reads

3. Mrs Metaphor

That is, when you use your secret decoder ring to see it.

Your metaphor, dear search engine user follows thusly-

My angst is pollution, air I can see hanging there in my face. I breathe it in, willingly, because I am certain it belongs to me, because I am certain I need this pollution in order to live…but I am wrong, just then. I need only the clean air of truth, of letting go, the stuff I can’t see and can only trust exists.