Posted in God

A Canoe, a Rowboat and a Helicopter


Once there was a man who’d been stranded on the roof of his house after a flood. As the flood waters rose, he knelt to pray to God for rescue.

After a time a boy in a canoe came passing by. “Yo dude! Want a ride?” he yelled to the man.

The man shook his head, “God will rescue me,” and continued praying.


An hour later a woman came in a rowboat, “Hey there! Can I take you to shore?” she called.

“No thank, you.” The man on the roof replied, ” I have faith in God, he will rescue me.”

So the rowboat went on and the man resumed his prayers.


Two more hours passed, when the man heard the  chaka, chaka, chaka  of an approaching  helicopter. It came near and an officer leaned out of the side and threw down a rope ladder.  “Climb aboard, ” he shouted to the man.

But the stubborn man, he refused. “I am waiting for the Lord to save me.” After a bit the officer shrugged and the helicopter flew off.


The man continued praying, but after three more hours passed, his faith wavered. He got angrier and angrier until at last he burst out.”Lord why have you abandoned me?”

Suddenly a great voice burst from the heavens, ” I sent a canoe, a rowboat and a helicopter what more do you want?”

Posted in writing

Why Paint?


Fly with me to a prehistoric time

not in the fertile crescent

but to the northern clime

Where survival hangs by a single thread

to make it throuth the winter long

to survive the lonely months



People need more than meat and fire

through the coldest times,

hope is essential

one must nourish the mind with memory and dream

thus shaman storytellers, ancestors of bards

became the essential thing

With words, rhythm and movement too

they would paint the world in spring


ice melted, flowing into rainbows of wildflowers

In the dead of winter they took their clan

to distant shores, a far green country

that knew eternal summer

and was ever brimming with the sweetest fruits

and fragrantly intoxicating blossoms



Then from each morsel of dried up food

they would extrude the fulfilling memory

of that last harvest, when nuts and grains

were so bountiful they danced with flames

for joy under the full moon

into a starlit night

hearts bursting with love and gratitude

for Mother Earth’s many gifts


Even then the tales were not ended by far.

For then ’twas time to speak of monsters and heros

of survival against seemingly invincible foes

with wit and wisdom, strength and perseverence,

faith and charity, love and longing

made narratives to stir the heart

a hundred days and more, this way could pass

in a twinkle of the mind


so that when spring at long last erupts,

the clan emerges their winter’s den,

maybe a little weak,

mayhaps a bit weary,

But stronger by far in will

and in harmony for sharing the journey

in such adventures of the mind together


Posted in writing

Goodbye Mom


The swollen fingers were cool and lifeless, gently as I could I slipped my hand in an gave a little squeeze. Earlier in the morning I had gotten three or four good squeezes back, as I talked her through the ultrasound of her heart, now as massaged them their was only a softness without response. My nephew held her other hand. I can’t say what made me look up. There must have been a sound, but it seemed distant, perhaps in the hall. I only know I looked and there was the flat green line and the number zero.

I tried to shout but my mouth was suddenly too dry. I turned to the others, I knew I was supposed to yell “code” or “code blue” that was what I was trained to do, but this was my family. So instead I said “heart rate zero.”

My shout came out little louder than a whisper, they looked at me confused. I repeated it louder, but then the nurse was there. The nurse’s face, can I describe it? Serious as a heart attack and mournful as if . . . as if it was her own mother in that bed. We moved away from the bed to give them room but that was not enough. “Get out,” she shouted.

We obeyed and made our way out the door. There I paused, turned and looking directly at the pale face on the pillow, said “Good-bye Mom.”

Not too stubborn to forgive . . .

As “code blue” came over the intercom and a line of doctors and nurse rushed in, the tears started, and I allowed myself to cry. I hugged my nephew and was surprised to feel him hug back. I can’t be stubborn anymore. I know she wanted all of us to make peace with each other. That would have been her last wish had she regained consciousness. I know it. I have to try again to find that middle place between protecting my children (and myself) and renewing relations with my siblings and their families. Wish me luck!

I had been taking time off from my blog to type up my mother’s memoirs (and garden.) At best I am only a third of the way through the former. She died on the first of August and left me the guardian of a few journals, some old letters, boxes of photos and piles of desk calenders. My mother hated to throw such thing away and would hate to have me toss them without a glance now. All my instincts tell me, this is my path, to finish what I started, to share her story, the best way I can. How will I live, pay the bills and take care of my family? I don’t know. Wish me luck, again!

 . . . just too stubborn to quit.