Category Archives: Free Writings

Ramblings on time and Boston and what if and what have you and spring so slow in coming does not violence diminish and so forth

Time feels ultimately the most precious today.  Saturday and too soon it passes.  Maybe because of death and change and spring so slow in coming.  Maybe because I want it to slow down.  To reverse.  Vacation.  Announcement.  Dismemberment. A moment.  A step to the right or to the left.  So much depends on instinct. Survival or consequence. To treasure the moments of no obligation and pansies in clay pots in a yard where the wind blows and no rain falls.  Only tears.  I want to relax in a bath, to fade into the mystery of nothing and everything.  Lavender.  Gelato.  Of thought and feeling and sob.  I want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be innocent.  I want to trust our government.   Implications of suicide but a boat riddled with bullet holes where he lay bloodied.  An exchange of gunfire. . . ?  Maybe.  Everything.  He lifts his shirt in surrender.  We live in a violent time.  I want to believe in America.  Tic tac toe.  Hopscotch.  Chalk and circumstance.  Circumcision.  Tequila and ginger ale and fertilizer.  Viagra does not a man make.  Though he prevails beyond the expiration date of do over and do again and let it be.  Does not ask to put cream on a vagina. Good night.  Go well. Good-bye.

Another woman is raped in India.  A drone kills a family sitting down to dinner in Iraq.  Syria sends their regards.  Condolence.  Compassion.   Newlyweds and brothers and others have lost their limbs at the Boston Marathon bombing.  One minute they were whole and now they are broken. Healing. An earthquake, an explosion and words hurled across the internet like anomaly.  Shards that penetrate.  Bury and burn and stain.  In America we shut down a metropolitan area of millions to hunt for one man who lies bleeding in a boat, under a tarp, and I want to know more –tell me what did you see when you climbed that ladder?  Information comes slowly like spring. The possibility of the death penalty like the bud of a tulip red or yellow or withering in the sun. Some anticipate with longing and joy.  Others cannot comprehend.  Carefully (or not so) treading media hiccup remorse not so much but sometimes to what end? –many times already the FBI inquired and followed this man in the black hat.  Dead.  But what do I know? Why am I so upset? Consumed? Silenced?  We wait as instructed under the bed for the bogey man to go away.  To trust.   Peter Pan out the window.  Mary Poppins with her umbrella. . .fly away

. . .The sad assumption carried in these reports is that Americans lack the intellectual equipment and moral imagination to tell the difference between an individual and a group. It’s an assumption that has, in the past, occasionally proven valid. Twitter quote.


My Aunt Rody died this week.  They greeted the family from 2 – 4pm today EST.  I am the absentee family member.  Always.  Is it only money for airfare or something else?  I miss them all.  The dead and the living.  Birthday and kitchen conversation and new recipes.  And now there are only three (out of 12 siblings).  I trim the juniper outside my window with a scissors because it is all I have.  Butcher the root of cactus with an old rusty shovel.  Red scabs on the top of my palms like needle points. It is manic energy. After my eyes glaze over at my limited value added options at Go Wireless.  The energy of sales.  I am still conflicted about upgrading to a smartphone. Today anyway.  Turn down the offer of friends.

Struggle with independence. I am an alien. Not autistic yet not dissimilar the lack of articulation easily understood by others.  Cannot explain.  Still I am grateful for thinking deeply.  That all my limbs are attached.  For the capacity of quietude and patience.  The moon rising in the east.  A free yellow table at the side of the road.  Street furniture. An art opening.  Scallops with pasta and conversation.  A friend connects the bombings to poetry to hold onto hope and understanding. Eloquently. To gentle the human.  But cereal is $6/box and I don’t even have children.  No milk in the house.

I’ve been completely absorbed by the  marathon bombings/man hunt all week and now filled with questions because the character of suspect #2 (white hat) is of such a sweet intelligent well-liked young man, and isn’t that bizarre (white hat/black hat) –the fact that he became a natuarilized US citizen on September 11th one year ago.  Do people still believe in coincidence?  FBI.  Dogs sniff the finish line.  Only the bones blown to smithereens –and after the fact.

I call a friend but leave no message.  Will that be evidence later?  Used against me in the court of relationships?  Drown in my wine.  The wind a continuous companion in the high desert does nothing to dilute the dysfunction of day job.  No compatibility though I did two loads of laundry.  No one responds to hello. Blatant abandon.  The sweet dog growls.  This is life. Day to day.  Guns are the new normal.  On patio cafés.  There is no substitute for compassion.  For critical thinking.  CNN in the airport. Our choice is surrender.  How much do they pay for that privilege?  Bombard with opinion and jump to conclusion give the dog a bone who’s on first?  Guns and gratitude and enemy combatant.  Terrorist.  On line streaming asks my preference on commercials:  Walgreens, US Bank or US Army.  Really?  Houston we have a problem.  But I am silenced.  No one talking or listening. Don’t forget your helmet.  Falling.  Fear.  Fallen.  Fell.  Fetch.  Fuck.  Future.  Fodder.  Folly.  Feelings. Feet. Font. Fiddle. Fault.  Miranda.


Brenda is an occasional poet and visual artist currently living in Santa Fe, NM.  For information on upcoming exhibitions please visit her website

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The Complexity of Dreaming and Artful Details



bike garden

I’m not here this beautiful Saturday morning in Santa Fe to babble off the complexity of my own dreaming though it is vivid.  Always.  The way of the unconscious telling stories, striking a chord, a leaky ceiling revealing the past.  Ladders and tidal wave, a boat or bicycle.  Often I am not driving or lose my purse. . .a crocodile beside a canoe in flat water where a tripod sunk deep in this river takes photos, the camera placed just above the brown water.  On occasion I fly.  Those are the best.  But recently I have a brother at the periphery.  To the left of the dream frame.  Someone I have not dreamed of before.  We are not close.  Not estranged but grew up in other houses most of our lives.  He 7 years my elder.  And a man I loved once and those I call my friends all 7 years my elder.  Is there a connection?  Maybe not.  I look up the symbols: bricks falling, a toilet, a broom, old photos worn and faded but this morning I wake confused and sluggish.  What to blog about that is artful?


I bought a pair of sunglasses yesterday.  Prescription of course.  My old ones still working and intact after 10 years.  I love them but wanted something bigger. To have a back-up.  Blue eyes.  Even at 50% off I spend $235 and decline the warranty.  Now I fret about indulgence.  And when I walk in the arroyo after to test the vision I feel as if I am walking uphill.  The distance is good.  Clear.  But the depth perception to the ground is odd.  How come nothing is simple?  Though it is of course.  Not then or last night.  I cannot function.  This is not uncommon.  I handle it.  Last night by falling into bed too early.  I scratch my head.  I want an avalanche to crush my chest.  To quiet this unquiet.  I cannot function to read or write so I talk softly to myself.  It’s okay.  I cry.  Lullaby my voice.  Nurture.  Like to a child.  I crawl under the covers and do not return the phone call of a friend.  I question my job.  My choices.  The visa balance.  How to make a change.  How to sell my art.  Does it matter?

I contemplate why travel feeds me so –that rush of chocolate melt in your mouth with its warmth.  Color.  Anticipation.  A change of climate.  Water. Texture and possibility.  Perspective.  Is it only escapism?  Or something else?  Where to go from here.  Or simply stay.  Friends and family.  Or.  What do I have of value? To sell.  Do I return the glasses?   — not about the present. Red dust on the windowsill.  Desert winds blow. It is always about the past but triggered by the present.  Hmmm.

A good friend is moving.  Is here already.  Healing in the sunshine.  He finds organic wine for drinking.  Friendships renewed.  An apartment changes hands.  One friend (of a friend) to another.  Spring on the way.  Crocus poking up from the earth.  Sunset conversation over years that feel like yesterday.  Life can be like that.  As if no time has passed.  Yet we are so much wiser.  Despite confusion and emotional paralysis.  It is good to feel deeply.  To ponder.

 And so I share these images –a few details of my work.  Creative moments. I love details better than the whole I think.  Often.  I want to paint bigger because of this.  To see how scale will affect my composition.  My heart. Trust in elements of change.  A trigger to something more.  Of truth when it finds me. (For) better or worse.  Different.   A small piece of the puzzle magnified.  A crack in the wall.  A comfort in the world at large.  A safe place to mourn.



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Company, Christmas & Connections

sayulitawallI don’t want to write about the weather but that is where I begin then delete.  Weather.  Really?  A horoscope recently said to talk about something besides the weather and the weekend.  Our superficial social skills so limited.  Yes.  And this week I receive an email from a friend of long ago who asks “do you remember hitchhiking to my wedding. . .?”  I do.  I slept with a boy without protection.  No visible consequence.  Young and foolish and midwest wholesome  in my 20 something joy of  ecstatically alive– and/or equally lost.  Either way it makes me happy to be in touch again. 

That summer in Estes Park (1977) the first time my world cracked open.  Fry me an egg.  Dancing at the 3.2 bar, hiking until I could finally breathe, up to the very top of Longs Peak just to exhale.  But I didn’t know then, and we never do. . .  The 2nd time my world cracked open came much later (1998) and the greater the pain.  The grander the enlightenment.  And so that struggle continues and I am waiting for the 3rd.  Three’s a charm and all that. 

And from one connection comes another and it is this whose words punch the day with arrogance and honesty –political and comical– a drift in the universe.  Hi Tom.  Writer.  Somehow I thought something had happened to you.  Suicide? — so even more thrilling to find you alive, writing by a big fireplace with a small fire.  Sipping port.  

I want to be THAT smart.  To articulate. Words. To make fiction and fact and not matter the difference if it gets the point across.  The mood.  The moment. Encapsulates.  And maybe I am in some secret place in my heart.  Where I can discern the past imperfect and give an example, and quote poetry from poets that matter (and all poets matter), and belt out a song and play the guitar and dance in red boots.  Really — because nobody cares anyway.  Everyone is either self-absorbed head down texting their neighbor or playing a video game.  We live in the age of communication but all I hear is chatter.  Or nothing at all.   The nothing at all really pisses me off.  C’mon.  Be nice didn’t your mother teach you anything?

I am suddenly warm all over instead of invisible here on the hamster wheel going round and round in the same day job with the same dynamic as one year ago, as two years ago and why is it still so hard to STOP.   To simply stop going round, get off, open the door, walk out, say my good-bye, cash the check, believe another door will open.  Immediately.  Already waiting. Patiently.  Thank you.  Soon.  The universe is shifting. 

A year ago I met my biological father for the first time (well the first time in the context of his being my father).  Long story.  Joyful heart and all that.  A good thing.  And with this comes 9 siblings.  Two already gone.  I make art about it.  Write about it.  And this week I write to them.  Hello and Merry Christmas and hope our paths will cross.  How does one begin these relationships? –much like when born I suppose.  With baby steps and one word at a time.  With childlike discovery and trial and error and risk. On this note I give thanks for family and the unlocking of family secrets and the joyful spirit of Christmas and those mantras we manifest every December:  Peace on Earth and Happy New Year which in some sad way is no different than talking about the weather and the weekend.  Sorry, feeling a wee bit cynical but only a temporary state of mind.

peacechristmasSo if anything has been said in this rambling it is to get off that goddam wheel and push open the door to the rest of your life.  My life. To walk outside and catch the closest star and celebrate the voice that is yours. Out loud.  Be naked —oh that scares me.  Exposure.  So much safer in the realm of invisible. Be grateful for company and connections and Christmas.  Especially those friendships that founded you and were there when your world cracked open the very first time.  And the second. And so forth.  As far as Peace on Earth. . .never give up. 


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