No one starts from nothing.

We are all shaped and conditioned,

We are seeds,

brilliant, shimmering sprouts,

Weeds and cultivars.

We are everything,

And nothing.

We are love and rage,

Kindness and cruelty.

However crushed we feel,

With the burdens we are given,

Each breath is a new beginning.

Each heartbeat an opportunity,

To raise our wilted petals skyward,

Extend our injured branches,

And feel the sun.

Weathering the seasons of darkness and light,

Of scarcity and abundance,

The invitation is always there,

To surrender,

To dance,

On the currents of wind,

That buffet the sweet and sensitive tendrils,

Of our unfurling lives.


Sometimes, in dreams,

You reach for things,

Only to find they are not really there.

And you wake, and hold your pillow,

Your dog, your partner,

Just to remind yourself,

You are not alone in this world.

You go for a walk,

And hug a tree,

Or wave to a neighbor,

Who doesn’t wave back.

And you wonder,

Did our yard sign conflict with yours,

And create distance between us?

What do yard signs and banners really do?

We think they broadcast,

Our deeply held values.

But if they create further division,

From our connection to one another,

What purpose, really, has been served?

I reach for love,

Without barriers, to knit us all together,

To find joy and understanding,

Even with those with whom we disagree.

For we are all children,

We are all reaching for the next hand,

Or paw,

To hold.


Dan’s shrine

Warm with memories,

Peace comes over and through me.

Mind at rest,

Heart open, receptive.

Guarding and defense fall away.

Space opens within and without me.

Tension melts away.

Bathed in love, in memories and reveries,

Of you, dear child, teacher, benefactor,

Who blessed my days,

And wait for me,

When those days are over,

And a new life begins.


Blessed by the sunrise,

Even through clouds.

Blessed by the wind,

Though it blows me over.

Blessed by grief and doubt,

Though at times they consume me.

Blessed by laughter and joy,

That tickle my soul to bursting.

Blessed by challenge and pain,

By ease and comfort.

Blessed to endure, to witness,

To open and close.

Blessed by my breath,

Which comes and goes,

Rises and recedes

And ceaselessly changes.

Blessed as the world spins on,

And stars are born and die,

To be here,

An almost invisible pinprick,

In the fabric of the universe.


From your first day with us,

It was you and me, together.

You, who were the last tie to our boy,

You, who were always home with Daniel,

With me.

My running partner,

Who explored the wild and untamed,

Who sat with me through laughter,

And so many tears.

Never leaving me,

Always present with your silent understanding,

And comfort.

I am pretending.

That life goes on,

That another sweet dog can help,

To fill the enormous gap you left.

But I miss you my darling boy.

My darling boys.

And I refuse to be reproached,

For mourning you and missing you both,

And wanting for both of you,


To come back.

Even for just a moment,

To come back.

Closed Eyes

(Dedicated with gratitude to Sam Harris and The Waking up app team)

There is so much to witness,

Behind closed eyes.

I never knew to look,

But now I perceive,

The changing images,

And shifts of light and darkness.

A world I never knew,

Rich in mystery,

Never realized.

I used it,

as a shield to not be,

Not feel,

To escape.

Now, the veil vanished,

I appreciate,

A richness that leaves me in awe,

Of all I did not see.



Is so sweet and tender.

A deep connection to those we have lost.

an intense separation.

How terrible and marvelous,

That we can feel this deeply,

This cellular inter-habituation,

With beings we love.

Grief may be the highest form of such love,

For it urges us on,

To reach again,

Knowing the terrible cost of loss,

Yet so precious we cannot ignore it’s calling,

Without a precarious divorce from our selves,

From our hearts,

Which hopefully never stop welcoming,

The seasons of relationship,

That invite us,

Over and over, to be better,

To love more,

To grow in grace and wisdom,

And in knowing the immeasurable gifts,

Of being born human and flawed,

And still capable,

Beyond death, of more.

We leave the light on

We leave the light on,

To guide you home,

To circle, plop and sigh.

Taking up most of the bed,

With your long, lithe frame,

Silver-gray in the moonlight,

Even in complete darkness,


Lighting our nights with love,

Softly stroking your velvet ears,

Gazing at the gentle glow of your half-lidded eyes,

At home, in bed, with your family.

Those you loved and trusted,

Who loved you so deeply in return,

And gladly shared our bed,

Of safety and protection,

Of affection and connection.

So empty, this bed, without you.

But we have left the light on,

To guide you home, to guide you back

Anytime, in anyway, that this sacred separation,


For Odie

Goodbye, our dear companion,

Who ran every trail with us,

Slept beside us and our children.

You rescued us,

Left tied to the door of an ASPCA shelter,

Alone in the cold night.

Fostered in a condo too small,

For your great spirit.

You appeared in our lives at the perfect moment.

You created a love for each other,

That transformed us,

Never to be the same.

You never stopped learning,

So intelligent,

So full of empathy for your humans,

As we stumbled to learn with you.

You brought us light,

In times of darkness,

Joy in times of sorrow,

Peace in times of turbulence.

A best friend,

Who listened without judgement,

A balm to wounds that were so deep.

How can we possibly say goodbye?

We can’t.

Only farewell, for now, our dear one.

We know you will wait for us,

To rescue us once again,

From fear, from our innate refusal,

To embrace the fragility of life.

We will dream of you,

Running the miles of road and woods,

Navigating the unknown.

You lead us on the path before us,

And we will never be without you.

Your perfect love that made us whole,

By chance or some divine intervention.

We let you go,

Only to give you the peace,

You gave us.

Here or gone,

It is you who have owned us,

Never the other way around.

Goodbye and goodnight our sweet love,

And safe travels to that place,

Where Dan and Drake and Winston,

Are waiting to greet you,

And where we will join you,

Some joyous day.

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