Waxing Moon

My mind is a jumbled mess. I tripped and fell, on a flat surface, after carousing jagged rocks along the Atlantic shoreline. Now I am without my camera lens. Fortunately, the camera is working. Me, not so much. There is an inner arousal that is not easily calmed.

all my breath
saved in each embrace

I wrote it, so I must have felt it. I desire such peace. And grabbing a few pillows, a quilt and a favored book should do the trick. Replay the waves as they swish through my presence. Recall the gull and heavy-handed wind, carry the landscape home.

Waxing or waning moon?
Should I not spend
two drops of sun oil
on a loyal friend?

img_1495In the brisk
warmth of summer’s kiss
I shouted
towards the hovering freeze.

Self-doubt relationships 

Summer Sky 2017

Disappointed by a desire to evaporate, pray give me strength to stand against a false self forced on by others.

“Who do you see?” she who exists in a pool of rippling waves, sensing her life over.  “I see failure,” the mirror retorts.  She dips her finger to find an icy portrait bound by time.

“Still try dear friend,” a small voice quivers. “Find a piece of you to push through the depressed madness, the canned identity.” 

Self-doubt relationships play in reality and fantasy.  Ego stands disappointed by self-defeat, a desire to evaporate. Is anyone alive? 


Roots (a million dust particles)

Collage  Have you made yours?  Written your book of life?  It will serve you well.


Childhood school 3rd-5th grade.  It is now for sale. 

Memories are stepping stones to future endeavors and concurrently sticking points to moving on.  I would go out on a limb and say most of us have recollections somewhere tucked away, perhaps yours in the back of the mind.  Memories are the collage of  life and when painted, varied and unique.  Mine would be a mixture of social responsibility and natural endeavors.

“For myself, the only way I know how to make a book is to construct it like a collage: a bit of dialogue here, a scrap of narrative, an isolated description of a common object, an elaborate running metaphor which threads between the sequences and holds different narrative lines together.”  Hilary Mantel

I am a country and city girl and one without the other would be unacceptable.  One scenery fulfills the needs the other could never replicate.  My father was a farm boy, the middle child and the first to do many endeavors.  He was the first child in his family to be bused to school, was a terrific student but with a will to be independent he took off to explore.   He worked odd jobs to buy his first piece of cool transportation.  That car triggered his solo flight to somewhere, anywhere, leaving his mother to mourn his departure.  My mother was a city girl who touted education as a way to success.  Their individual outlooks on life seem to clash but it worked for them.  They eventually sharpened the other to be respectively educated and likewise garner a love of the natural world.

The foundation of life was set long ago, centuries to be exact.  The million dust particles are but the sand dunes we are destined to crawl through.  I believe it is education and a love of reading, inquiring philosophically, psychologically and spiritually, regarding man’s destiny, that serves us well.  And when we need a break we can rely on the beach waves to take us far, far away.

“Suppose within each book there is another book, and within every letter on every page another volume constantly unfolding; but these volumes take no space on the desk. Suppose knowledge could be reduced to a quintessence, held within a picture, a sign, held within a place which is no place. Suppose the human skull were to become capacious, spaces opening inside it, humming chambers like beehives.”  Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

Click here should you like to hear Hilary Mantel’s five Reith Lectures, Resurrection: The Art and Craft.




I am saddened on this day of freedom.  Why?  For my sake?  Oh, in the least.  I have fond memories of days spent with my children, free in the meadow, looking underneath milkweed leaves to find the eggs of monarch caterpillars.  The egg being no larger than a period it took a dedicated mind to search.

“Did you notice that dot?” the gaiety of footsteps and boundless laughter ensued. “Oh, there is another one!”

listen the silence
child hear the story told
wrapped in sparkling gold

Yes we found many eggs.  They lived beyond the gestation period.  With each new morning they grew, having spent the previous day munching away.  Each caterpillar consumed at least one leaf, possibly more.  I could not keep track of their calories but soon they cocooned in a spring green blanket sewn with gold thread and slept while I tended to weeds, admired the blossoms, daydreamed to nature’s melody.

I wondered if they too heard the bird song, a lullaby of sorts until the crow cawed, signalling it time to wake from mere fantasy of flying, to dry their teary wings and soar.

Soar.  I find it hard to say that word.  I have not found a monarch egg for years.  I struggle with the thought of a vanishing monarch that once was queen of the meadows.  Is this her last period?  The end of her story?  It was a joyful time when my children and I raised monarchs in our backyard.  Not so much anymore.

I wrap you swiftly
my golden thread weaved through time
pray you rise today

Dear child of mine, should you read this and only shed tears I wish you sweet dreams all your years.  There was a time we soared, not so much anymore.  Peace.  J


Grandma Pauline (Matthes) Maxwell

Nothing is
as it seems in grandma’s face.
She grew to be 99
bumped along, across the plains
rode a fringed buggy
reached the “Promised Land”
of Joseph Smith and Utah
circling back,
daddy asks his sleepy child

 “smell the driftless land,
the laughing hills of Viroqua?”

Time has a way of changing
her smile, the door handle, the wheels worn.
The warmth of winter, beneath
Grandma’s sewing hands
and summer breezes winking, lying
beneath the towering pines
I smell
and return to another time.

God bless this bounty I have known and to generations yet to dine. Happy Fourth of July!

Who we are and why it matters.

Memoirs are an interesting genre.  I really love reading (auto)biographies and so memoirs intrigue as well.  We may think, who is really interested in our ordinary lives but I believe we all live an extraordinary existence in that our perspectives can and do impact those around us.

There is a story in our family that goes something like this (it can often change a bit but the general plot stays the same).  A great, great-grandmother befriended Black Hawk during the Black Hawk War.  He was wandering the area where she lived in a one-room dwelling, single as her husband had passed, taking care of her children.  She invited him in, starving and exhausted.  The complete story is written in her diary.

The exciting aspect of my family is the number of members who kept an account of their daily lives and the diligence to pass them along from generation to generation.  My lineage extends to the beginning of America during the American Revolution and then beyond to the shores of England, Ireland and Finland.  Perhaps more!

So you see, we are connected by a thin line of hopes and dreams and heart.

Happy writing, J 🙂

Journal April 2, 2013

“Never move faster than the wind.” 4/2/2013

Sage advice to myself or just random thoughts scribbled down with no real meaning.  Today I think I could use a gush of wind to get me moving from this chair, typing away, thinking all the way back to March 1, 2008 and even beyond that to a great, great, great grandfather buried in Russiaville, IN, after dying in the War of 1812.  Did his actions make me who I am today?  And what about his father and the fathers before him? (Gregg and his wife, Frances, are buried in Russiaville Cemetery and I plan to get there soon to take pictures.  His wife’s stone only remains but his name is inscribed on it.)

Our family history is interwoven in the fabric of America, but even before that our family origins span England, Ireland, Finland and who knows where else.  People are travelers and most of us have a bit of differing culture dwelling in our genes.  What impact does any of this have on me? Us?

I have a great, great grandmother who befriended Black Hawk (aka Black Hawk War), in the Kickapoo Valley of Wisconsin.  The story goes that Black Hawk was roaming in the woods and in need of food and shelter for the night.  My great, great grandmother invited him in for dinner and a restful sleep.  She was a widow with children but took it upon herself, practicing her Christian beliefs, to help the unfortunate.  I take pride in this story.  She did what little she could do to provide sacrificially.  She was a strong woman surviving in the wilderness.

These stories give me a sense of humanity at the best and the worst.  War is inevitable but so is compassion.  I wonder where I would be had America never become who she is today? Family from Finland might never have reached the shores.  I just might never have existed.



Its over. Its finally over. 

I can only pray its over.
It rushes back in time.

I appreciate everyone who stops and reads my blog. You have a special place in my heart. I created this “wordy” space to share my thoughts and heal my wounds. 

It has been a remarkable time. I plan on staying until my tears dry and the words run out. 

I am amazed i keep spilling and refilling. But i know, someday this will end…

Family Story (yours and mine)

Everyone contains a history; hidden and unread.

My story means something to me and I write it for me, knowing most of what I have to say means nothing to you. The story is mine but it also belongs to the world (in a very small way). As yours…

A found diary
hidden for years
resurfaced, breaking through
piles of days
rising to form -a mountain called me (and you).

I stand at this crossroad, where once I crouched, sunk often to a corpse, crawling in search of water.  This moment contains burnt words, fire a destroyer, put out by flowing tears. The flames and smoke rose to God, a sacrifice, while the ash returned to lay a blanket over the earth.

I have been given another chance to be, more than once, and each aimless attempt lies dormant. A depressed state does not keep the world from moving forward, it keeps the person on the sideline, looking in, in apprehension, the thought to return stings.

Thoughts of being, being a memory to someone.

From the ash, I purposely construct a year of days. Hope holds on, to speed through the sky, come back to earth. This year is a challenge for me. If you deal with depression and anxiety you may understand my story may mimic your story.

All of life is inspiration to change the rubble into grace. Perhaps you may see yourself on this same path, looking at the same sun and wondering about leaves of the past. I acknowledge not everything is truth but it resembles it just the same.  Here and here are sample blog posts, of what I explore, while looking for answers. This place is where the roads converge, while living on a borderline, trying to cross.  2.4.2017


Spring calf, March 2011*

New life
a gift -cherish
the Spring’s laugh,
who awakens the dead
long past.

*Second quilt block “Momma and baby Scottish Highland: Silver and Red”. The baby was born quite a cheerful lad.

My Aunt Phyllis, the only girl of seven siblings, bought my grandparents farm. She renovated the house and rented the pastures to local farmers. The milkman did not visit anymore, to collect the milk and cream. The corn cribs lay bare and the chicken coop long vanished. Then her son bought land nearby and a herd of cattle. A Scottish Highland calf was born on a wintry Spring morning, that was not so cold for long.