piles of notes and napkins.
ideas, dreams, hopes
tucked safely for future review.
written in another land, another reality.
the brightness stings from here.
here, where He placed me
surrounded by soul decay and broken hearts.
receipts filled with scribbling
reminding me to lift my eyes.
to hunt for the Source of Light
much has shifted. details rendered irrelevant.
His calling unrevised.
living in pursuit of Mystery
eyes to see Grace. hands to offer the same.

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A Few Signs I’m in my Adopted Home

A Few Signs I'm in my Adopted Home

Car seats are a rarity

Fresh fish is once again a regular part of my diet

Asking a spa manager if it’s safe to walk home gets one a free ride

people guess that i’m 24

my neighbors include bars entitled: Waiting Lady, HeartBreak, Pretty Lady, and Happy Man Bar

People reach for and carry my children eagerly

My business is local news and everyone’s right to know

Smiles abound, as does laughter

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Artist’s Wife

Artist's Wife

When we began, I did not know I was an artist’s wife. The passions were elsewhere expressed. I considered his mother’s framing of his high school works a show of her deep love. I posed for countless shots as he explored photography. It was his excuse for a private date and I thought it quite creative. We bought me a camera for my adventure abroad. Photography lessons peppered our flirting conversations, but never our dreams of what life together would look like.

I noticed on our honeymoon the camera felt like a third party and I named her Olympia in my frustration and hurt. Months became years. Many years. Work pushed and pulled and molded. Dusty cameras on the mantle reminded us of dates together. I treasured the prints we made. Frames of our favorites filled our small homes with reminders of our loves…of people, of places, …and of capturing them with our own lenses.

And then as plans crashed one after another, his artist heart beat stronger. The need to create grew. The need to contribute to the conversation called and drew him. Surrounded by galleries and exhibits done poorly or not so poorly, both lowered the bar and raised the value of the work.

People can be moved by art. Many see and talk and think about the works displayed. He wanted in. He needed his voice back. No longer the reporter, voice could come from more than a narrative or a column. Voice could come from his love of art.

Some days I flash to the Exhibit in Chicago called “An Artist’s Wife.” It was powerful and moving. Not one of the relationships shown was something to emulate. In one gripping photo she is snarling at her toddler. They are inches apart. It’s a remarkable shot. Poignant and Raw. She is at her end. Loving deeply can exhaust. Her husband was two feet away…behind a lens. The last shot is an open window. It’s curtain blowing through the unglassed opening, a memoir of her suicide.

When we began, I did not know I was an artist’s wife. But, I did know I married a man of character. And, I do know Who I serve. And, I trust He is not surprised at this bend in the road.

This journey of life has surprising twists and turns. Sometimes I reach a hilltop opening that is facing my history and discover what I knew. It’s not dense to miss it. The subtle hints could have dissipated with other life circumstances.

But, to live, to fully live, I will embrace the present. Accept what I am given, and …eventually dream again.

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can inspire

can pressure

can bring up the unfinished

can burn off the unimportant


a reality

a temptation to disengage from the present

a release valve reminding ‘this too, will pass.’

a priority arranger

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New neighbors had jolted me back to reality.

I do not own the stairwell. It’s not an expansion of my apartment.

Squatter’s rights do not apply in this situation even though my plants live there.

My tiny garden is solace in this concrete space where we make my sons’ childhood memories.

It’s reminded me that we share this world.

It’s reminded me this is not our home.

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these days i bore easily.
tired brains tend to disengage earlier.
will i care again?
could i be aging? that sad rigid way
that so many complain of but persists to be so common?

a first brother hug unprompted
halts my self evaluation.
awestruck amidst my dreary routine.

a twinkle in his eye as he awakes to see me.
a new sound only my ear recognizes.
development brings daily surprises.

no, this is not a hardening.
there is a yielding, a sacrifice of sorts.
and, molding their days is reshaping me.

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Three Mommies

Three Mommies

When I first heard him call her, “Mommy,” my heart felt a stab of pain. But, looking at his joy at her arrival, I couldn’t fault him. Many days in the pregnancy, my little boy has settled for a tired and slow companion in me. She breathes fresh energy into our home with her food, her smile, and her eagerness to play little boy games. I had moments I was counting the minutes until she arrived to relieve me, so how could I blame him for doing the same?

And, then, our dear friend warmly welcomed him to the alley on our afternoon visit from the sterile third floor apartment and I heard it again. “Mommy.” The word carries so many connotations. It is pregnant with meanings of love, of security, of comfort, of emotional home. Mommy is the woman you love more than anything. Mommy is the one you run to when you hurt, or when you discover something new, or when you want a snack.

When I can overlook the sting, I am so thankful that my boy has three mommies. We live as foreigners in a land that values sameness. We live far, far from home and Grammas, and blood relatives. The raw truth is that I am not enough mommy for him in my pregnant state. I am in need. And, we are blessed by community that fills our lives with more care and covers over my gaps. Little boys don’t delicately hide the truth. He calls it like it is….for now.

I know I will still be here when these days are distant memories. I know my blood is in his veins, and that at the end of the day I will be the one singing blessings over him and tucking him in under my roof. So, for now, I will swallow my catty jealousy. I will savor the happy faces of my boy, and the women he has wooed into our lives. They are deeply connected to us because of my weaknesses, because of our need. The Creator knows, and He has planted us here in this distant land for deeper work than teaching my son how to address whom.

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Beautiful feet?

Beautiful feet?

Oft quoted, “how beautiful are the feet… ” has new meaning as I round my (cumulative) fourth year here.

My feet exist in daily dirt. In these surroundings, the dirt seeps in until my skin grows around it.

My feet, my heart, are more worn. Daily cleaning, and a bit of exfoliation help. But, beautiful they are not. At least, not yet.

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miniroof2 copy

my baby’s fingers are longer. . .stronger.
my toddler’s ideas are clearer.. .louder.

this city has less dirt roads.. .less wooden homes.
this city has less trees. . less dengue fever.
this city has less traditions. . has more freedom.

children and cities develop..this is bittersweet.

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The ‘brand new one’

The 'brand new one'

Recently, we arrived at a friend’s house with baby in tow, and their little one asked eagerly as she peeked into my sling, “Is this the brand new one?”

Yes, this is he.
And, yes, we are also delighted he has joined us.

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