• Events & news,  Poems to inspire,  the challenges of being original

    “Wild Geese”

    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.” — Mary Oliver Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese” touches a tender place in my soul, and I often share it with students in my writing workshops. As a child in Sunday school, I was terrified of disappointing the punitive, restrictive God portrayed in our leather-covered bibles. No matter how “good” I was, or how closely I followed the rules, I still felt judged and unworthy. Today, I follow my moral compass, but I don’t allow fear to constrict my life. As Mary Oliver reminds me, we were all created to shine our own light; to find our purpose in…

  • Aging well,  Personal growth,  Poetry,  the challenges of being original

    Following your inner compass: “The Journey”

    “And there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own.” — Mary Oliver As we age, many of us — especially women — face the prospect of caregiving after our kids are grown. We might have to nurse an injured spouse or elderly parents; sometimes all at the same time. As an only child, I had full responsibility for the care of my parents, and learned to answer calls for help at an early age. After my widowed mother became ill with heart disease and vascular dementia, I spent nearly 10 years focusing on her physical health and emotional wellbeing — while neglecting my own. I don’t…

  • Motivation,  Photo stories

    The right tools?

    “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” ~George Herbert Procrastination is so easy to justify. We convince ourselves that we can’t begin (or finish) a project until we’ve acquired the right workspace, a totally clear calendar, or a special set of tools or equipment … Or until the stars align perfectly in our personal universe. That’s when the tools we need the most are motivation, a can-do attitude, and the sheer will to start or finish the project. What have you been…

  • Motivation,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    Take a risk

    “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~John Assaraf Talk about taking a risk … This scrappy little pansy found its way between two brick pavers on our patio and managed to bloom on a chilly spring morning. As soon as I spotted it, I got the message: When we push past our so-called limitations, we can accomplish anything. Photo by Cindy La Ferle

  • approval seeking,  David Whyte,  Poetry

    “Sweet Darkness”

    “You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in.” — David Whyte Sometimes the right poem can work life-changing magic. And sometimes it all depends on what you’re going through when you read it. David Whyte’s “Sweet Darkness” is one such poem for me. Revisiting it today, I am struck this time by the sheer power of its last three lines. This heart-stopping poem is an invitation to stop wasting our time on futile distractions — and a clarion call to discover the real work that we were meant to do…. SWEET DARKNESSBy David Whyte When your eyes are tiredthe world is tired also. When your vision has…