"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Madeleine L'Engle

“It was a dark and stormy night...”

With one common phrase, I was pulled into A Wrinkle in Time with Meg, Charles Wallace and all the others. Madeleine L’Engle opened my 3rd grade eyes to the possibilities of more. Of realities that were not my own. She brought me deeper into my dreams; allowed for my imagination to soar under her gentle leading. She painted the stars for me, drew me into the cosmos held on the back of my hand.

source: wikpedia

20 years later, as I formed within myself the first inklings of “I want to write. Now what?” followed closely by, “Who the hell do I think I am?” I felt at odds with myself, my former realist self was trying desperately to keep tabs on my creative spirit. I was a wife after all, a mother, with a 40-hour-a-week job. What could I offer an already saturated world with my words? ....

 Join me HERE for the rest of my story at my friend Kimberly's place Sperk* 
where every Wednesday she spotlights woman with the fantastic requirements of: "Courage, honesty, authenticity, and humility--any characteristic that speaks to the power of what can happen when we are in touch with our own humanity. She can be famous or unknown. She can be working wonders at home or on a global scale. A Wednesday's Woman inspires."  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rest On The Journey ~ Find Time For Tea

We boarded a plane.

8 hours later we landed in Paris.


When we got to our room, responsibility and worry slipped with our bags from our shoulders as we unpacked more than just our luggage that first night.

Over the course of the next few days we took in the sights, but more than that, we allowed ourselves to remain present instead of two steps ahead. Planning only a few hours at a time, when a majority of our life is spent mapping out years, of charting our course.

We are driven, my husband and I. We believe in the power of hard work, of dedication, and direction. And now – we are learning the art of rest.

Of watching sun thrown shadows move across statues.

Of tossing a thousand wishes into a fountain....

For the Rest of the story, follow me HERE to my friend Kimberly's space Find Time For Tea? 

Kimberly was one of the first places I landed when I ventured into this virtual world a year ago and she gives you a chance to do just as her tagline suggests: Rest. Reflect. Refill.  Join us on her great 31 day series on the Journey. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


I read the daily updates of the teams of bloggers going to Guatemala and to Haiti, my lungs burning as I forgot to breath.

My arms seemed so empty without the weight of carrying those babies, without holding the whole world up to my breast.  I yearned to be with them. To be hands of love to the weary.

I rocked to-and-fro in my chair virtually consoling the victims of poverty while questioning myself if in fact I had fallen victim to the poverty of spirit.  What am I doing that is of help?  My belly burned for more.


A week later I joined a circle of children around a small table, my knees pressed hard against the edge of the table as we mapped out timelines of their six years of life.

They include the birthday parties, the big trips, and first days of school.

And yet, the stories they had to tell bore more gravity for the construction paper background that their truth was laid plain on.

Notching their timeline was a depth of grief that I've never held beneath my skin.

Epitaphs bled out in Crayola marker -
"The day Mama died" -
and a six-year-olds depiction of her mama in her coffin.

The way this girl looked up at me seeking, smiling, asking if I liked her picture.
What more could I do but force my lips upwards to match hers?
Surely if she was brave enough to face this grief, I was brave enough to let her see her own beauty.

When I asked her to add to her timeline a favorite memory, a favorite trip...
something special just the two of them did that she could add to her timeline,

she paused.
Lifting one hand to her hair, she twirled it as she spoke;

"I loved the way my Mama would brush my hair."

That night a new notch was added to my timeline too, written down
as the night my eyes were unbound to missions I didn't always remember to see.
My true impact and outreach.

Returning home, I combed my fingers through my sleeping daughter's hair;

Wondering if I were gone, would she miss it too?

Would she miss the way I called her little bird each morning, holding her warm just plucked from slumber body close to me?

Would she miss our dance parties that happen whenever a song made us itch to be set free?

Would my son miss our laying out, watching his electronic solar system turn, as we told tall-tales in the dark?

Would he miss the nuzzle of his earlobes? Would anyone else remember to tell him they are the softest place on earth?

Would he miss my presence sitting beside him as he processed life and heart lessons?

Perhaps this season on my timeline doesn't have my reach far and wide.
Perhaps, for tonight my timeline includes loving two children instead of a mountain side.
Perhaps the time will come for far flung arms, but for tonight I will keep them tight around those I've been given keep.

While my mission may be in the mundane, so often love is too.

I will mark this season down as,

{sharing with JenHeather, emily}

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Peace of Quiet Activism

video my brother Cory Chisel and friend John Christian Adams
made covering the unrest of Wisconsin.

I live in a small Wisconsin town, built on the backs of teachers and mill workers. So when the political climate of Wisconsin became unsettled, our town rose to protest. Teachers, students - the town at large showed up to lend their voice to justice and their bodies to the strength of the movement. The vibrations of this unrest made its way under the door of my house where I was tethered to my young family inside.

With each day that my Facebook feed filled by my peers taking Madison, the local news staying hot on the story, I began to feel irrelevant – like I didn’t fit in with this time. Not only had I traded in my low-rises for more suitable mom jeans, I was afraid I had traded in my mid-twenties passion and activism for Dora the Explorer and potty training. I wanted desperately to keep my finger on the vein of my generation. I was afraid that I was losing the pulse.....

Join me at my poet-sister Suzannah's for the rest of the story?  She's taking 31 days to talk about peace {awesome right?}.  Click HERE

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Road To My Writing Roots

I could just see the sharp creases on my daddy’s dress pants flash from behind the pulpit, being barely old enough to see over the pew.  I was lulled by the sound of his cadence, the rise and fall of his voice.  In the hushed pause when he shut his bible, the sound of the tiny upright piano filled the room and voices rose; so different from one another, but for that small moment in time, united.  

Within 3 stanzas, a grown man somewhere beside me broke down.  Sobbing, he came to the alter and fell to his knees.  It was then that I learned the power of the written word.  How groups of people came together around ancient text.  How a five-versed hymn could break open your soul.  

Once you have seen the power of words, I don’t know that it ever leaves you.

I'm so happy to have been asked over to my lovely friend Erin's {Erin L. Margolin} today, exploring my Writer's Roots.  Join me HERE ?