Poetic DNA


If words could become part of our DNA (they can), then these must be part of my genetic code by now. Words I’ve read so many times they’ve no doubt been translated into corresponding base pairs and amino acids, ones that have become rungs in the ladder of my double-helices. Maybe that is why sometimes they are the only thing I can find sense in, as if my very cells recognize their song from memory. These are words that always feel like home…

Continue reading “Poetic DNA”

Living In the Shimmer

IMG_7482“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Henry David Thoreau

When we first moved to the valley, watching the lights from the summit of our new home was unsettling to me. Mesmerized by the orange urban glow, I was left with an uneasiness watching the shimmer of the lights although I couldn’t place why. When anyone visits for the first time, they nearly always go to the windows and comment on the view- it is truly stunning. But the lights that I had expected to be still, were in fact, Continue reading “Living In the Shimmer”

Shades of Blue


“The silent epidemic of depression affects millions of people and takes dozens of lives everyday, while our culture grapples with a stigma against open discussion of mental health issues.

Editor Amy Ferris has collected these stories to illuminate the truth behind that stigma and offer compassion, solidarity, and hope for all those who have struggled with depression.

Shades of Blue brings the conversation around depression and sadness into the open with real, first-hand accounts of depression and mental health issues, offering empathy to all those who have been affected by these issues. It’s time to scream out loud against this silent annihilator: We are not alone.

Shades of Blue,  edited by Amy Ferris, now available from Seal Press Order it here

It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done- telling the world my secret. But in preparation for the release of Shades of Blue, Amy Ferris asked us to think about why we began writing about our depression in the first place. She wanted us to share what it feels like to share our deepest darkest secrets with the world.

I had been working on this piece for over a year, this essay that would somehow miraculously work its way into Shades of Blue. I had stumbled upon Jen Pastiloff on Facebook and her writing blew me away. Her honesty and authenticity awakened something in me that said, “Hey, You! Yeah, you…..You know you don’t have to hide anymore, right?”=

She inspired me in a way that made me think I could do anything and so I started writing in attempt to bring myself up to snuff with “becoming a writer”– but mostly it involved, “becoming human” as Jen calls it. She held my hand as I ventured out into uncharted waters with a pencil as my oar. She showed me the meaning of the word sister. She showed me the meaning of the word “tribe.” Continue reading “Shades of Blue”

The Season Before Winter


The world was in a state of unrest when fall came.

In my home state of Missouri, people in Ferguson were rioting and burning shit to the ground. The only thing I was burning were hours of sleep and some old notions about the way things should be. Watching the world in complete disarray already had me fighting back vomit as two pink lines appeared on the stick I had just peed on.

Forty had descended on me like a wrecking ball that summer. I was surprised to find myself embracing this milestone, but had long considered a third child out of the question. I had always joked that I wanted three. But that was before 40, before three back surgeries and endometriosis.

Before. It was before my body was breaking.  A baby was not on my radar and it showed up like a UFO.

I had been exceedingly careful with my birth control after once getting pregnant with an IUD- what are the chances? I looked it up: 0.8% in the first year of use whatever the hell that means. Continue reading “The Season Before Winter”

The Math of Gestation- Calculating Loss

IMG_122112- the number of weeks gestation according to an 8 week ultrasound and my last menstrual period.

9 weeks, 2 days- approximate development of the fetus with no heartbeat inside me.

2 weeks, 5 days- approximate time lapse since fetal heartbeat stopped and development ceased, approximate time she’s been dead inside of me.

They say that time seems to stop during significant and critical times in our lives. I have found that is true but this isn’t all. It then replays again and again on infinite repeat.

0 seconds since my eyes searched desperately for that small pulsing we witnessed just a few short weeks ago on a grainy black and white screen.

0 seconds since the tech said, “It happens.”

0 seconds since it happened to me.

They call it a missed miscarriage. Some sites I came across used the term “silent”. Silence is an apt description of what comes right before the pause in your wail, in between the breathless pulse in your ear. It’s the noise you hear cry out from your womb when there is no heartbeat – when you find out the baby you’ve been carrying inside you is dead. Continue reading “The Math of Gestation- Calculating Loss”

What Happens When Justin Timberlake & 25,000 Fans Sing Happy Birthday To a Boy With Autism?



It was the great Leonard Bernstein who said,

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable,”

Which might explain why I haven’t been able to put into words what happened last night when my husband and I took our son, Julian, to see Justin Timberlake and The Tennessee Kids for his 8th birthday.

Having anticipated this event all summer, Julian put on his hat and tie- (because he didn’t have a suit.)

Then, true to his lyrics, Justin Timberlake proceeded to show us a few things. Namely, about love.

It was my son’s only gift request this year. Well, that and Benny Spaceship Spaceship from the Lego Movie. And while everyone knows I love Legos above all toys, Justin Timberlake was decidedly more appealing.

Frankly though, it would have been easier to get him Legos. Having just celebrated turning 40 a couple weeks ago, and having just recovered from the back pain brought on by my inability to sit still at the Arcade Fire concert we went to for my birthday, it would have been easier. And I’m sure a good percentage of my Facebook feed probably thought he was too young or that it might be inappropriate to bring such a young child to mostly grown-up event. Especially a child with autism. One that potentially might disrupt the concert-goers around him and make his mama worry the way mamas always do. Continue reading “What Happens When Justin Timberlake & 25,000 Fans Sing Happy Birthday To a Boy With Autism?”