Love and Alchemy

 With so many of us taking the ALS challenge, my mind kept wandering to Ed Bartosik, a blogger on Open Salon who chronicled his life with ALS, from the day the diagnosis was confirmed up until two days before his death. I only found Ed's blog in the last few weeks ofRead full post »

As I watch the details on this latest Malaysian Air tragedy I recall the lessons on regional destabilization 101 I learned from apartheid and southern African history: arm insurgents enough to cause damage and incite terror, but don't arm or train them so well that they could turn against you nextRead full post »

AUGUST 5, 2013 10:46PM

My Backyard is a Crime Scene


*** Could not get pictures to load. For an illustrated version, check  here


It seems that whenever there is some national dragnet for a criminal or pair of criminals on some murderous spree,  Ohio makes the news. They are either from Ohio or passing through Ohio. And for some… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2013 2:52PM

Eating with Dogs


I don’t know what was in my lunch today, but all of a sudden, I found myself in the heads of my dogs who were keeping sacred vigil over my victuals.

That’s Lola, the brindle one on the right. I’ve had her since she was eight weeks old.Read full post »

JULY 29, 2013 10:48PM

Mental Illness is Hilarious

Although this is loosely based on true events, details were changed to protect the identity of individuals involved.



            My brother Bruno used to love to sit in the front yard of our house, action hero in hand, watchingRead full post »

JULY 25, 2013 3:52PM

Dancing with the Devil

When I was a little girl, I would lay awake in bed at night and look at the bad man in the shadows. He menaced me, stared at me from the corner of the ceiling opposite my window. He was not afraid of moonlight. I knew he was after the magicalRead full post »

JULY 19, 2013 9:18PM

You do not do....

You do not do you do not do***
anymore that's true.
The cave where I hid like a trap
still remains in my mind
No air to breathe or even Achoo.

You do not do, you do not do
anymore that's true.
So why do I still blame you
Alberto was already in the hands of a very angry lynch mob when my friend Boia and his colleagues  intervened. They were driving through a rural area and as Mozambican psychologists working with war-affected communities, they felt compelled to stop when they saw what looked to be an unhappy… Read full post »
JULY 16, 2013 7:13AM

Writing Blind

I have been reading Julia Camerons The Artists Way and one of the assignments she suggests are Morning Pages which are 750 words first thing in the morning of whatever pops into your head, So while writing my 750 words this morning I made a startlling discovery . I can type… Read full post »

JULY 5, 2013 10:07PM


I spent the mot incredible week at the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop this past June, studying literary non-fiction with Rebecca McClanahan and our Kenyon Fellow Annette Gendler. I was with an amazing group of writers; since we're all spilling our guts out, the non-fiction folks bonded very quickly.Read full post »

Twenty years ago today, my mother passed away. Miss you, mom. 


In Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’ book,  One Hundred Years of Solitude, the family patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia loses his mind and spends the rest of his days tied to a tree. The family comes out to feed him, but Jo… Read full post »

This is my second experiment in my assignment to write a self portrait in preparation for a writer's workshop I will be attending in a few weeks. Actually, I wrote this before the self portrait I posted last week called Heart Yoga. Didn't like it, but played with it some moreRead full post »

MAY 31, 2013 9:29PM

Self-Portrait #1: Heart Yoga

In a few weeks, I will be attending a writer's workshop for literary non-fiction. Our first pre-conference assignment is to write a self-portait. So I am experimenting with different formats. I eliminated my first go at the assignment as too flat and gimmicky. This is my second variaton. Our assignmeRead full post »

MAY 12, 2013 6:08PM

Mother's Day Memories

My mom would have been 79 years old May 9th and this June 11th will be the 20th anniversary of her passing. I still miss her every day but after twenty years that bittersweet longing is mostly just sweet. She would have hated growing old anyway.

 My mom raised two children… Read full post »


"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger"


 Lately, there has been lots of speculation and discussions about forgiveness and prosecution of perpetrators who commit terrible deeds. One headline I saw today even read, "Stop forgiving t… Read full post »

APRIL 21, 2013 9:35AM

Redemption Song

Good morning.

  Read full post »


I have had the honor to be the one to have to make the decision regarding when to institute DNR (do not resuscitate) protocols twice-- with my mother and again when my brother passed away. I have shared parts of  those experiences in this post here. I don't mean to speak… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2013 9:58PM

Identity Crisis

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love --and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


Some sport bandanas. Others wear cowboy hats or tutus. So… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2013 8:54PM

Healing, Power and Medicine, Part 2

And so, Dona Rosa closed her eyes; her young son began drumming and her daughter shaking a gourd. They began to sing. Dona Rosa’s head dropped to her chest and then a few moments later lifted up. She was no longer Dona Rosa, but—her children told me, my grandmother. Dona Rosa… Read full post »

Hello dear OSers, I miss you all dearly and have just moved to the other Salon but will continue to post here as long as I am able. I am also at I am starting a book on Mozambique and hope to publish some of the stories behind the stories… Read full post »

Hello friends, I have been away for many reasons but not because I don;t miss all of you kind people. I will return when things simmer down at my work. In the meantime, I wanted to share this wonderful documentary.  People with developmental disabilities were asked one question: "If you could… Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2011 9:50AM

For All the Mothers Who Father Us*

In Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’ book,  One Hundred Years of Solitude, the family patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia loses his mind and spends the rest of his days tied to a tree. The family comes out to feed him, but Jose Arcadio Buendia loses the ability to really be present in the family.… Read full post »


I am noticing too many buff legislators out there. Why do these people have so much spare time to work out while people are losing their jobs and getting thrown out into the streets? I want my lawmakers to be fat with bags under their eyes because they’re eatingRead full post »

MAY 6, 2011 11:56AM

No One is Disabled in God's House

I recently found an article by Kelly Heyboar on the Huffington Post regarding the growing acceptance of the developmentally disabled in church.  I understand that to have people in a congregation who do not follow accepted norms of conduct can be experienced as disruptive. I appreciate that… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2011 11:09AM

Remember What Teachers Make

The attack on teachers has been escalating for years. They are humiliated, vilified and punished for not being able to solve all the world's problems in their classrooms and for fighting for a living wage.

 My mother was a teacher. She taught from 3 year olds to adults. She was equally… Read full post »