My Compass Is Moral

How Would You be Categorized if Lost? According to experts in search and rescue, it is a myth that we panic when lost. Instead, most of us experience shock, disbelief, and embarrassment. Why is so hard to ask for help? It turns out, it isn’t just men who don’t ask for direction. Many people experience an irrational belief that no one is looking for them. When that happens, they don’t call out. Some even ignore a helicopter flying overhead. When we are feeling lost, we have overwhelming senses of isolation and loneliness, don’t we? Hunters become lost because they are focused on the game rather than navigation or time of day. If caught after dark, the typical hunter will build a shelter and then proudly walk out of the woods, unassisted, at daybreak. I think in terms of the modern working mom, or single mom I relate this idea most to the feeling that I’m losing ground in one area of my life while putting energy into another. Especially when serving several masters, time with my family, taking care of myself, working, and maintaining relationships that make the work worth it. Despondent people typically don’t travel very far. If suicidal, they hide from search teams. Despondent people are often found at the interface between two types of terrain, such as a cliff edge, or along a shoreline. I felt that. Really, I have felt that. Lost adults will usually stay on a trail, however, they may climb a hill to get a view of the area. They rarely travel in a straight line, and rarely reverse direction. When we are lost we think we can fix it ourselves. We get higher ground, maybe we get high, or maybe we chase our tails running in circles and jump to some false conclusions. We aren’t clear yet, but we seek clarity. Daniel Boon said, “I was never lost in the woods in my whole life, though once I was confused for three days. “Well, Dan, my man… I feel that… I have spent a lifetime in confusion. Experts suggest you should do the following when lost: Look to see if there are any travel aids in the area. A travel aid is anything that would give a lost person an indication of civilization, such as an abandoned railroad, or a power line right of way.In this way, we are seeking a connection to something outside. Put another way, people need people. Rescuers DO tend to find you more easily if you stay put. One statistic I found said that 83% of those rescued had not moved for more than twenty-four hours. I don’t think it is much of a surprise that those lost remain feeling stuck in a pattern of self-abandonment. So you will find yourself right where you left yourself- in a bad situation, in a job you hate, in a relationship that doesn’t serve you. And you are probably afraid. I know I get scared when I am stuck. Experts say they hope you’ll set a fire. Fires are a great distress signal. And if you are lost for a while and move on, the extinguished fire circles you leave behind provide excellent clues for searchers. Do you have loved ones out there setting fires lately? Trying to ask for help and simultaneously not asking for the help they need? Not ready to unstick themselves from their own patterns of self-abandonment? We can be awfully messy fire-starting fools when in distress. The main objective of someone who is lost is to be found. The best way to be found is to stay in one place. I’ve been well and truly lost, I have hoped to be so lost I could not find myself again. And what I can tell you is in my lost days is that the lost cannot remain in one place, you must go out, venture into the woods to gather food and supplies to survive. I’ve been a lost woman, lost in the woods of pain, relationships, parenting, career, familial expectations, and cultural ones from a religion that feels closer to a cult than it would be to Christ. A lost person must remain in the same place and also not remain in the same place. I got lost a few weeks ago because I was not paying attention, took a turn I thought looked familiar, and then I had absolutely no idea where I was going, and I was running out of gas. Actually, literally was close to empty, this comes from the practice of emptying out the tank and refilling it every time. I don’t even know anything about cars, but someone, somewhere told me that if you want to get the best out of your car always make sure you don’t let old gas rest in your tank. It came as the opposite advice from someone who was mean to me who told me never to drive on the bottom half of the tank, always refuel at the half-gallon mark, and so as I often am, on the bottom half of my tank, I drove on, hoping to find a gas station. I did. I was okay, but I spent longer driving than I really needed to. An accidental detour. This felt familiar though, there was a metaphor in there for me. A lesson I am still not quite getting. I always have felt on the brink of learning, never having mastered the art of knowing. And still, somehow in all my desperate doubting…I know this feeling, running nowhere on empty. Looking for myself outside of myself. I have done this for years. I did this for approval, I have done it for work, for the sake of other peoples’ needs and not my own. I have done it out of shame. Now when I feel lost I know I have to return to where I last felt most myself. I have to return to every girl I have been, every face I have loved, every love I have lost, every place I have been, every conversation I have had, and every book I have ever read. Everything, everything- crumbling and mixing and planted underneath, my entire past there, holding me up and feeding me now. Nothing is wasted. I have everything I need, beneath me, above and inside me. My own navigation skills.

Have you ever felt truly lost in your life? How did you get through it? Share in the comments.

All of this is for meant for you

the dawn


Patty Cakes, wild flowers in your hair,, ginger colored dancing, fingers always reaching, eyes searching, hearts beating, fresh clean sheets, clear watery eyes, seaching, spots for sobbing, feet that cant stop running…

The sun as it rises and day unplanned filled with little surprises, train rides, high fives, raindrops, gum drops, bus stops, Plane rides, bike rides, bold and confident strides.

Hello, jello listening to that girl play the perfect cello…

Why cant you come to this place? Lover, why cant you come to this place?

Open your mind and fill this empty space.

A Long Time Coming

Winter gives way to warm, makes room for more and it is this delicate time of renewal I reach farthest in my mind, my hand outstretched hoping to discover two paper planes still in flight.

We promised to bend air and reality for as long as ever- maybe we meant forever, maybe you really meant never. il_340x270.774669620_p94p



Mother’s Helping Hand

When you’ve cashed in all your do-overs and all the I’m sorry I am late’s and the dog is too full to eat your homework…


You can come to me. I will know what to do, I have been here before. I can help.


When you’ve spent your bottom dollar on a bet, when the sun came out before you got to bed, when your very favorite pair of jeans are wet.


You can come to me. I have a solution. I can help.


I have done all these things before, okay, okay I admit I have done all this and a helluva lot more.


I don’t really learn from my mistakes, I just get better at dancing when the world has raised its stakes.


I’ll bring the vodka and ice cream when your heart breaks.




Follow my lead, I’ll teach you my two step.


I’ve got your bail money, honey. I’m your rainy day parade, that’s why I promise to come to your aid.chocolate frame pic 16 edited.jpg

Honor Bound by Body

I unfold in front of you slowly and suddenly and then all at once as if there were a portal in the magical middle of you

I am bound to the place you pin me. Make no sudden moves, I can’t stop the crest fallen swoon of the eager sparrow- hips locked with your rhythmic grooves

Your words drop like silver star stuff from your crescent lips.

Your crest emblazoned in flames on a near perfect chest…

Writhing like a wicked little witch nary wearing a stitch

Distracted, lusting feels so entirely protracted…

How much time has passed? I could burst in equal parts flame and flower. Let me soft petal soften you where you’re heart has hardened- let me in my Knight.

I, the swallowing sparrow am bound to see this through,

Knight in near perfect body armor- it comes down to you. honor boundhonor bound.2.jpg


Washed Away

Something happened to my heart

I can’t follow where it strays

Something took hold of me,

My wild beating heart has left me

It Betrays.

Give me back my common sense,

Im so sick and tired of the nonsense.

It twists my form, and leaves me feeling a kind of dirty that cant be cleaned.

I will rise- filled with a pathetic, if even an honorable compromise.

I strip away all that I am. I will shed this skin I am in.

Give me a new pair of boots, I will dig myself out, and take with me, these earthly roots.

A storm swells inside, this is not a new wave to ride. When the eye finally drops, everything that we have been ..simply- stops.


washed away




Consumate Kindred

It has been 1,460 days since you showed me your mark. 2,102,400 minutes since my blood pumped to this heart that belongs to you.

Isn’t it funny how if you break time into smaller bits and stretch it out over the skin of this body how much of that vast space between the last place you touched my skin and the stolen sin you left me with and all the thousands of ways my mind drifts back to the sin again and again.

We lock, tie, and lace because nature cannot exist in the airless space where lovers’ gentle lips hold secrets & eyes hide pain betrayed by the common passersby

Time laid out before you covering the cool creamy skin of this breast leaves a thinly beating breaking heart rattling inside this chest…

Our garden is freshly tended, our ancient wounds bound, cured & mended.

I bare witness as the last of us standing, I bare myself as the only one who can stand me.

Kindred call for me, for our time is  nearly wasted. consumate kindred






A Little Left (of center)

To the other mother sitting across from me, hugging your purse to your body, as you sit scared and cold and alone.

You’re not having a good day. Your hair is neatly tucked behind your ears, and your clothes look a little too big. Have you lost your appetite? Are you sick inside and terrified?

Did you look around, and ask yourself, “How did we get here?” Do you see parents you wouldn’t allow within 10 feet of your kid, sitting around you, brashly complaining and smelling of smoke? This feels like a good mothers’ cruel joke.

I know you’re thinking of all the ways you have been derelict in your motherly duty. That we teach women today mom’s must be ALL things, ALL the time. Don’t skip dress rehearsals, join the PTA, keep your home spotless, and drive all the kids to soccer and ballet. A meal should be warmly waiting, and the job you have must allow you to attend the monthly mommy & muffins, and camp outs, dance parties, play time, homework, and endless perfect patience, and unconditional love.

You’re only Human Warrior Mamma.

I remember my first parent visiting hour in a place like this one, and I sat tightly across from women and I remember thinking, as only a mother can, ” where Angels Fear to Tread” . If an Angel had been beside me, I would have heard a chorus of other Angel Mothers, saying to me, singing a prayer like a choir.

It’s going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.

Your child, like mine, is in a safe place. Maybe you don’t realize how lucky you are, today you can breathe a little easier than yesterday. Admit to yourself, Warrior Mamma, you don’t remember the last time you knew your child was safe from themselves. For me it was 2003, she was 4 and I still held her hand before she exited any door.

Stop with the harmful shame. Mom, we are in this together for the next few minutes, stop looking for the thing to blame. Accept that this will pass. Yes, its going to be bumpy, this mom stuff may even kick your ass.

Say it with me slowly, your child is unwell. Your child can be well again. She is still your baby. She is hurting, perhaps, pretty badly. She needs to see you be authentic, but this is a visit. This is not the time or place to parent. Just be with your child, hold their hands and smile. Remind your child what it felt like to hold you. This isn’t the place for therapy, this is a place for play. Kiss your baby, make it last, it may be all they have to hold on to for a few more weeks, months, or just til the next day.

If you dared to make eye contact my eyes would plead to you warmly, it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do enough of. What matters now is, you can both move forward.

I think you can tell I’ve been here before, watched my beautiful, fragile daughter from beyond the window, on her “unit” behind a locked door.

I haven’t slept much lately, and I cant concentrate on conversations, and when people ask me how she is, I stare blankly sometimes, too. I wish I could tell them I knew.

But, mom, how are you? How is the book you aren’t reading? The quilt you’ve stopped sewing, the husband you can’t kiss? How much have you lost while letting your heart drop into  your child’s abyss?

It’s okay Warrior Momma, put one foot in front of the other, you can do this.