Martha’s Vineyard Atlantic Ocean(photo by Deb Hart)


My friend, Debbie Hart, lives on Martha’s Vineyard. We have started a new collaboration of  her photos and my writing.


A roar
then a hush
the wild Atlantic
the shore
with the abandon
of a tiger or a bear
charging across
a field
or a whale
breaking a wall of water.
This is what happens
in the Winter, in the cold Spring
before and after
tourists land on Martha’s Vineyard
from their city cages
their narrow gated lives.
to be home again
we all cry with joy
like seagulls.

After Publishing #2

I should have expected this, but it surprised me. My ego, my “self” that always needs approval is not satisfied that I found a publisher and actually had the book published. Ego is never satisfied.  Do more! It insists. Get more approval! If it could, it would force everyone it sees to buy the book. And like it, dammit! I know my ego well, having journeyed with it for many years now. I used to think it was me. I used to think it was a grown-up self, but it is just a child–after all, it acted like it knew everything and was just annoyed how others did not see that. I was following the lead of a deprived, confused child. Egos don’t grow up. Even if they have jobs and dive cars.

Addictions of all kinds and distorted perceptions keep us child-like. My ego is still grasping for approval; it’s painful to see that, but clear sight heals.  Shame is the ego embarrassed to be seen. I heard a wise teacher say we must be vigilant gate-keepers at the door of the mind and I see how easily the ego-child slips in without my noticing. A true grown-up  can discern what is true and false, is a protector of his or her own mind. A true grown-up might write a book, but doesn’t expect applause or results or recognition. The work is done. May it serve someone.



Thoughts after publishing…


1.1298427075.nice-views-from-the-busIt’s been interesting to watch my mind and ego handle having my book published. I find myself recalling the past more often than usual. This bothered me. Maybe writing about the past, even as I was facing it to let it go, was a bad idea. Maybe having done so is stirring up the old stories in a way that is not healthy. I’d started dreaming about my father who has not shown up in any of my remembered dreams in as long as I can remember (he died when I was 19). I told him, in the dream, that I had written a book and his reply was not the supportive congratulations I had imagined, but instead he dismissed me by saying he’s written something too. Ah, the fear of not being enough no matter what I do has surfaced.

I spoke to a friend about this and she helped me recognize that this process of the past  “intruding” on my present was not necessarily a bad thing. I am in a stronger place emotionally than I ever have been and am ready to continue facing the dragons of the past.. I’ve never claimed my enlightenment experiment resulted in actual enlightenment, yet I was blaming myself for not being more enlightened because the past was disturbing me again. However, as my friend pointed out, it’s likely that even people like Jack Kornfield, after facing his “demons” of the past, faced them again and again as he wrote and after he wrote. This is the process, not the problem I thought it was. Once again, and probably the rest of my life, I will come face to face with old traumas like recalling hiding under the stairs from my mother’s wraith. But each time, I will learn more about compassion for her, for myself and for others.