Life Changes

I have often said the loss of my first child changed my whole life—

how I look at the world, how I look at comforters, how I look at God.

My husband’s motorcycle accident and my youngest son’s car accident changed my whole life—

changed the way I hear telephone rings and wait for late arrivals.

The loss of a treasured friend changed my whole life—

changed the way I open myself up and how soon I trust.

Having an emergency appendectomy at 11 changed my whole life, as did

getting glasses and

being schooled in a one-room school by a sometimes tyrant.

But come to think of it, marriage changed my whole life, as did

my beautiful boys and my wonderful grandchildren,

my research on the Internet,

my teaching,

my art,

my photography.

My publishing and recording career changed everything.

Baking whole wheat bread and learning to juice changed my whole life, as did

beach trips and mountain winding roads and migraines and conversations over coffee and journaling and

pet dogs and planting tomatoes and bike treks and menopause and swimming laps and sunrises in the morning, sunsets in the evening, and

computers and orchids and organic vegetables and Trader Joes and Youtube

and . . .

I think I’ve come to the brilliant conclusion

that life

has changed my whole life.

For Solomon Days: I Am Broken

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I am broken, but don’t try to fix me.

I am crying, but don’t say, “There, there; it will be all right”;

just sit down and weep with me.

The piles have piled and piled some more,

and the only way they order themselves again is with these floods.

I am angry, and I don’t really need one reason. I just am.

Sometimes, my nonconfrontation bumps headlong into my frustration,

and the only way my confused self orders itself is to send this magma out the top.

I am floundering, but I still believe. So don’t hit me kamikaze style

with all the perfect Scripture and counsel that I know better than you.

I am broken, but don’t try to fix me; I just need you to walk alongside.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.