Fluffing My Aura

aura, yogaJune is a happy month for my family. But it’s also a month that I need to fluff my aura a lot.


Until a few months ago, I never knew about the joy of fluffing. Sure, I’m a yoga-believer. I try to meditate once in a while, and during my long walks, I definitely find myself in a “different mind-space” at times.


But normally, I’m as stressed as the last (and first) person. Life, you know? It springs surprises and quirks, leaps and jerks, every day. Sometimes, I just want to hide under a good book and escape – but most times I’m unable to get away from the hustle/bustle of daily irritations, situations, and difficult deliberations.yoga, warrior pose, aura Continue reading

The End

the end, endings, poem

The end could be the beginning, or,

it could really damn well be the END.

A famous quote is needed here –like “to be or not to be.”

No Shakespeare am I, but I wonder if

“The end of never is the beginning of always”?

Books finish with The End. But is the story over?

Do the characters live on, at least in the reader’s mind?

In that case, the end is never-ending – infinite,

at least until the last reader is gone.


A week before my dad died, he declared, 

“I’ve realized that when I die, it’s over.

Nothing is left but cold old bones.

I go nowhere, and nowhere is the end.”

I ignored him, hoping for some hope but

held his hand when he took his last breath.

Joyfully we both realized at the same time

That he was wrong.


end, beginning, life, books

 In honor of National Poetry Month, and in the words of Rumi:




Never Give Up Chocolate

chocolate, writing exercise, wish I'd known

Pondering the things I wish I’d known.

What do you wish you’d known in your past, now that you’ve reached some type of maturity and can look back?

When I encourage my writing class students to write their list of “Things I Wish I’d Known,” I write along with them, thinking it’s an easy exercise.But I’m surprised by my first esoteric response:

“Never, ever give up chocolate.”

(Photo from http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/01/just-a-nibble-of-chocolate-is-enough-to-satiate-cravings/)

Embarrassed, but intent on following my own instructions of just writing out the first things that come to mind, I continue my list:

“Give to others, but be sure to also give to yourself.”  

chocolate, giving, lesson, writing exercise

My grandson already knows some of the things I wish I’d known.

The following one surprises me:

“Don’t worry so much about hurting someone else’s feelings.”

Wait a minute. I catch a glimmer of something.

The next insightful “wish I’d known” advises:

“Those you love, love more; those you don’t like – avoid more.”

Ah, I’m connecting all the dots, or all the “wish I’d knowns,” to be more exact.

Never ever give up chocolate expresses all of the above platitudes, only better.

Never give up what I am, what I need, what is right for me.


I’ve learned that yes, it’s important to keep others happy, to take care of them, to be a “good” mother,wife,daughter,friend,colleague,sister,aunt,grandmother,mom-in-law,sis-in-law,cousin.

But, I shouldn’t have to give up ME to be a good anything.

Not that I’d give up my mistakes and misdirections and missions lost. I needed each and every one of those experiences to get here – to a chocolate-loaded life of love, wonder, worry, pleasure, sadness, but mostly joy.

Particularly if I have a piece of saved (and hidden) dark chocolate buttercream nearby.

(Photo from http://www.geekosystem.com/fruit-juice-chocolate/)

What’s on YOUR list of “things you wish you’d known”…?

P.S. I also wish I’d known that poetry can be fun, instructive, soul-searching, and beautiful. If you feel the same way about poems, my blogging friend Karen Elliott is featuring a Poetry Week February 18-23 – check it out at http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/ (one of my poems will be featured on Friday, 2/22).


mystic, mystical, spiritual
Life is mystical – if we allow it to be.
Close your eyes and take away what you see, or what you think you see.

Hawaii, Kauai, sun, mystical, palm trees
Allow the mist to cover the noise and the squalor of untruths.
Untruth – we have control over nature or people or our fate.
Fate – is that not an issue of the supernatural, of what is meant to be?
What are YOU meant to be?
Close your eyes and let go.

mystial, palm trees, shadow
Let the mystic in you see the unseen.
No clarity, no right or left
No wrong or bad
No mine or yours

rainbow, Hawaii, Kauai, palm trees, spiritual


Then the light  shines through

       the mist.

And you see

        what is.

mystical, sun, light, Hawaii, spiritual

A Plant Well Loved

baby ficus, plant, mournIs it strange to mourn a plant?

Benji had been a mere babe when we brought him to our California home back in the ‘80s, a vibrant lush green Ficus, about 2 feet high and 1 foot wide. Then, for 16 years he savored his spot in the sunny corner of our dining room.

Until suddenly, we needed to move to the other coast, and Benji wasn’t invited. No moving company would guarantee the safety of a now almost 5 foot by 5 foot splendid plant.

“I won’t go without Benji,” I declared.

So we packed him in a wardrobe box for the move, and as we unfurled the plant two weeks later in the sunny spot made just for him in our new, New England home, I heard him sigh, long and happy.


He breathed in the oxygen and gave it out, growing in his big corner. The piano sat on one end, solid and staid, while Benji stretched and grew on his end, filling up the large ‘Great Room’ as the Yankees call it.

Great Room, Ficus, sunnny room, loveWhen guests walked into the spacious room with high ceilings, tall windows, a masculine brick fireplace highlighted by built-in bookcases, all they noticed at first was Benji. Not the wood floors or Oriental rug or ivory couches or glass-topped tables.

Just Benji.

For 10 more years Benji thrived, and at 6 foot tall, he owned the room like a king on his throne.

Until it was time for us to move again, and this time, the law dictated that no plant could be transported to the west coast.

No friends or relatives or even strangers would take Benji – he was too big. But the new residents of our New England home agreed to keep him.

I left instructions: water once a week, not too much and not too little. Let him soak in the light. Talk to him. Enjoy him.

Half a year later, I returned to our past, to the house in New England, and to Benji. I peeked into the Great Room, and saw the wood floors and the bookcases and the fireplace, but no Benji.

Ah, there he was, just a ghost of himself, down to 4 feet by 2, wispy, yellow.


And I cried for our beloved plant,

Who no longer owned the room.

Like a child not well loved, or a pet kept outdoors, or a spouse ignored, Benji gave up. I felt silly, feeling so sad about this dying plant, but really…

Wouldn’t you?


[Ficus benjamina, commonly known as the Weeping Fig, Benjamin’s Fig, or the Ficus Tree and often sold in stores as just a “Ficus”, is a species of fig tree, native to south and southeast Asia and Australia.]