Monthly Archives: January 2015

Through the Pinhole – a Poem

It is the smallest of windows

Wholly created, voluntarily accepted

Without a moment’s thought

Without a soul’s reflection

It is a single portrait viewing

The colors never fade, never change

Never adjust to the light

Still life in a perpetual state of fix

It is a changeless visage

Allows for only redundant interpretation

How oft can the brush stroke be dissected?

Countless opinions fight to death.

It is merely a pinhole picture

A finite vision carved from infinity

Chosen for its narrow path

Endorsed with eternal fear

It is a singular lens

Projected at grain of reality

Produces warped lines

Cages light in a prison

It is the smallest of windows

Wholly created, voluntarily accepted

Without a moment’s thought

Without a soul’s reflection

Chaos and Creating…..

One of my favorite professors EVER used to have us rearrange desks in  a classroom from straight lined columns to a mish mash of seating all over.  While we moved, she was heard yelling over the squeaking and clanging:  “Learning is messy and chaotic.”

I’ve come to understand that creating….anything…is messy and chaotic…from a small fiction short story to a web site designed for education…we creators live in a world of chaos….

I think my professor would be proud of my writing desk……

messy desk

Here’s to the chaos of writing and creating….Have a great week kids!


Obsessed with Life, But not with Living

Have you heard about Cassandra?  She is a seventeen year old girl with lymphoma who is currently being forced against her will to 1)  stay in a hospital 2) receive chemotherapy treatments that can cause life long damage and infertility.

There’s a huge debate between her rights as a person who should be able to choose her own destiny and the medical necessity of extending her life because……, well……, life.

But the issue brings up a deeper point for me that I believe we need to consider as a society.

In this day and age, thank god, we don’t have to worry about dying from a simple little thing like a tooth infection or strep throat.  AIDS is very close to being lassoed and corralled and robots are helping with surgeries now.  Our medical technology is wonderful and as a wearer of digital hearing aids I am grateful for its advances.

Yet in our effort to maximize our lifespans, I am concerned that in the end we lessen the overall value and meaning of life.  You see, if just any life, as long as it is breathing is considered sacred then it seems we’ve crossed a line between what is beneficial and what is obsessive.

Is it life when a person is faced with nothing but doctors appointments and blood tests, day in and day out, sick to their stomach, pumping themselves full of pills to counteract the disadvantages to chemotherapy? Is it life when a young girl is left infertile and faced with decades of other biological consequences from the poison they are forcing her to take now?  Is it life when a soul is trapped inside a body that has no function and is completely dependent on others for its care?

I contend that there is a big difference between simply living in the most base sense of word as we are redefining it, which seems to be merely breathing, and in being effective, being able to appreciate each breath, and being able to control our own destinies.

If we allow our definition of life to include increasingly poor quality in the interest of longevity, then we lose respect for what it means to really live and what it means to be alive and living. Our time is too short as it is, do we want to water down its meaning as well?

My thoughts are with Cassandra and her family.  May they navigate this difficult time with grace and may they have strength to LIVE according their own terms.

Peace kids, and make it a good day to be alive.


A Writer’s Family

I’m a big fan of the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.”  If you haven’t seen it, it is based on the true events of Walt Disney and ‘Mary Poppins’ ‘ creator P.L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson, who is brilliant in the role).  The movie focuses on the story of Mr. Disney and Mrs. Travers as they work through the creative process of making the movie, her passion as an author and his passion as a movie maker conflict throughout the entire film until Mrs. Travers finally signs over the rights of her book.

There’s a scene in the movie that includes a short conversation between Mr. Disney and one of the Sherman brothers.  Mr. Disney reflects that he understands Mrs. Travers’ dilemma; he too was in the same situation with Mickey Mouse as a young man without even a penny in his pocket. Someone wanted the Mouse, he recalls, but he couldn’t give it up.  “That Mouse is family.” he says with conviction.

As I lovingly toil through the transcript of the fiction narrative I am currently working on, I have discovered that I understand Mr. Disney’s perspective.  We put immense amounts of energy into the creation of a thing as writers.  Our characters, the people that fill our pages become our ‘family’ in that they become part of us.  We worry about them as writer’s don’t we? We wonder about how they perceive the world.  We obsessively concern ourselves with what they’ll do next and WHY they will do it and then we worry about their reaction.   We shape their character as lovingly as a potter shapes a vase and are intimate with every detail of their lives. It is no wonder that they become family to us.

Here’s to the creative process.  Here’s to the beautiful characters we pluck out of the ether and breath life into.  Here’s to writing kids…….



Of all the cartoons and comments, this one struck me deepest.   May we never forget, as writers and creators, the power of the pen.  And may we be challenged by the life and tenacity of those who sleep now.  Peace kids….



blood pencil