Words for your Valentine


No clue what to write your Valentine this year? Take hint from some of the most romantic words of all time.

Love much. Earth has enough bitter in it. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. -Leo Tolstoy

If you only have one smile in you, give it the people you love. -Maya Angelou

Even when love isn't enough...somehow it is. -Stephen King



Throw Your Dream into Space Like a Kite


Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country. Anais Nin

When you wake up you gotta show the love in your heart. Carol King.

It’s the start of a New Year. We need to be awake to all the world has to offer us as artists. The Anais Nin quote came to me as I tilled the field of New Year’s Resolutions. The Carole King line floated across the TV screen. I learn once again that each moment offers a fruit ripe for the picking. 

One of King’s backup musicians, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar – acoustic guitar, conga, electric guitar, vocals reminds us that we are here “to serve the song.” Writers have to serve the story. Hence those long hours over a paragraph. What does this piece want to say? And, as one of the musicians says, “We are here to get people to feel.” How do we best do that, we ask, as we agonize over the appropriate word for the blue of our protagonist’s eyes. Are they azure, beryl, or blue-gray. Blue-green or cerulean, cobalt, or indigo? 

As the year turns, I bow in the direction of my spiritual antecedents. I recite Mary Oliver and W.S. Merwin and the Pslams to ground myself in the world that surrounds me. I love this moment in Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese:

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

By our words, we help ourselves and our readers to find our place in the family of things.



Hunkering Down for the Winter


Friends in New York City (not to mention those in LA) look at me like I’m crazy when I say I love being in Maine at this time of year. “But it gets dark at 4 PM and it’s freezing cold.”  Yes, I agree, that’s true, but I kind of like that.  My friends shake their heads and walk away thinking I’ve gone round the bend.  But, no, I’m in my right mind.  I do like this turning in. I like the shutting down.  It feels to me as if the Earth is encircling itself with its own arms and settling down for a long winter’s nap.  Well deserved I might add.  After all, the Earth has been going full tilt for six months.

Maybe it’s my Celtic blood that attracts me to this time of year.  In the Celtic year, the months between Samhain (Halloween/All Soul’s Day/The Day of the Dead) to Beltane (May first) are considered the dark months. The Celts believe that, in the turning of the seasons, death always precedes rebirth.  The Celtic day begins at sundown, and the Celtic year begins at the year’s death or Samhain.

Here in Maine, we gather by the fire, or the wood stove, lift a glass and tell stories.  We craft, whether it be stories or curtains or sweaters or wooden loons, or pots, or beer. We sink into the mysteries.

Do we seek visions in the firelight, in the smoke, or in a bowl of water – visions of our true love, visions that inspire hope, or visions that help us to identify our path in life more clearly?

Let’s align ourselves with the Creative Mysteries of life, death and rebirth.  Let’s invoke the Gods for help in our creative projects.  Let’s perform the Sacred Rituals and sing life into being.  Let’s plant the seeds for our rebirth, focus our minds, and reconnect.

If you are interested in reading more about our Celtic ancestors, here’s a link: