There in the asylum, he forgot

For my dad.

Chipping Sparrow

There, in the asylum of dementia, he forgot.

The meaning of suffering.

The toll his life had taken on him.

And on everyone he once professed

To love.

And hate.

He lived for this moment.


Not by choice.

By chance.

That’s all he had left.

The disease had swept clean the cupboard.

Of minutes, hours he had saved and savored.

Over months, years.

Now there was only this one beautiful second.

This whiff of lilac; gone.

This light spreading golden across the Oriental rug; lost.

This chirping sparrow’s trill; fluttered away.

What came before and after; extinct.

The Grail Castle (reprise)

[Note: Originally posted in a stuck-in-the-mud blog on August 28, 2011. I love the photo and the sentiment.]

The thought that came to me in meditation today: Lead with your spiritual life. Something has to be first.

Retreat into your spiritual home: the Grail Castle as Joseph Campbell described it. There nurture your spirit, the power within. Then act, create, out of that still place.

~ Rod MacIver/Heron Dance


Heron Luminescence Sketch – Early Painting 20 / Rod MacIver []

Ok, so here goes (reprise)

[Note: I wrote this post on another blog I started … on July 23, 2011! I posted once more a month later, then nothing. Interesting timing, considering I am about to begin a weeklong pop up challenge to “Get Back to Creating” with Jennifer Louden. I’m carrying this over here both to condense and to remind myself I can always begin again.]

white butterfly small

A Pale Beauty Moth, photographed at the former Leaven Center in Lyons, Michigan

First blog, first post. Eliminating that blank white page that sometimes scares a writer to death.

I read this on Jennifer Louden’s blog today. There is more to it, but here is what grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me til my teeth chattered. (Chattered? Is that the right word? World English Dictionary: ( intr ) (of the teeth) to click together rapidly through cold or fear. Italics mine. Yes, that would be the right word.)

Says Jen:

Fantasy robs you of this life that is being lived here right now which is far better than any fantasy ever could be; it robs you of the ability to trust yourself and develop your natural gifts which then robs the world of you and your badly needed service.

We need desire + reality to change our world. We won’t create that change if we, the creative leaders of the world, keep waiting for what we are meant to do to arrive, preferably on a silver platter, stuffed with cash and accolades and 150% money back guarantee.


Yup, I needed to read this today. That’s me, trying to figure it out while waiting for my grand purpose to be made clear to me. Really, it’s just another excuse for not trusting myself, my gifts, and my truth.

Time to wade in.

I procrastinate. Or, rather, I used to.

Larch, 2017

I noticed this new growth on the larch tree in the front yard this spring.*

I launched this site in April 2014. Yes. Three years ago. Three. Since then, nothing.

My fellow procrastinators may resonate with this. I thought I had a great idea, but then I wasn’t sure exactly how to proceed. What to write about in these posts. How often. Whether what I wrote would be mundane. Whether anyone would care. I caved to self-doubt, the “what-ifs,” as I am prone to do.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog. I’ve been in the company of fellow writers in our weekly writing group at the local coffee shop, and at two others at one of the nearby state prisons – writers who are creating daily, who are publishing. Writers who are writing, following their bliss, doing the hard work, because writing is hard.

Then there’s me. Sure, I’ve been writing. But not following my bliss, not pushing through, not doing what is hard and scary. Not like they are.

I’m not jealous. I’m inspired.

This morning I reread the initial “About Me” post here, and reminded myself what I envisioned for YSM | ink in the first place. I wanted it to be a place where I could claim my voice, help others claim theirs, be a witness, tell stories. And yes. This still is my passion.

In the three years since I began this blog, I have made my mantra: “Progress, not perfection.” It is key to recovering from procrastination brought on by suffocating perfectionism, but it’s a journey. In the last few months, I’ve also been working on noticing. Paying attention. Approaching everything I encounter with curiosity, rather than fear and judgment.

I wonder what I will discover as I write here.

Can’t wait to find out.

*”Often, in Eurasian shamanism, the “world tree” is depicted as specifically a larch tree.” [Wikipedia]  Who knew?