Wednesday, March 25, 2020


The story you could share right now
If you took time to write it down,
What have these days been like for you
What is causing you to frown?

Name it in words, paint or song
Just give birth to it loudly
what is strumming from the inside out
You could create it all quite proudly

It doesn't need fanciness,
proper spelling or any "rightness"
The world needs *your* unique gift
Dark times insist upon lightness

Perhaps if you tell out your truth
It will come out with a rhyme
As you lay everything out to explore
What's more worthy of your time?

Maybe it will end up becoming
A graphic novel or animated cartoon
A continuous sort of picture tale
Of the sun always chasing the moon?

Or consider a "dear diary" capture
Things you are going to do
Sadness, thoughts and worries
And the way life has become new

Ultimately what matters most to me
Is how we will look back-
Did we spend all our time complaining?
Always searching for a snack?

The things I am hearing at this point
so far are mostly inspiring--
People using time with intention
Helps us with our rewiring

Our brains and our hearts have work to do
We are undoing some pretty tight knots
And in loosening up and digging in
We'll plant seeds in brand new pots

Things that are transformative
You might look back and say:
I made art! We baked bread!
And I wrote a brand new play!

I know we've had more family dinners
Than we ever have had before
Others sewed masks for doctors
And it didn't even feel like a chore

New perspective gained through simplicity
Walking through your town each day
Happy hours and board games on zoom sessions
Amazing, how there's always a way

Maybe you're due to graduate,
senior year keeps slipping away,
Yet, your friend-created "minecraft world"
Brings laughter, connection each day

Your maternity leave that felt too short
Is suddenly back again
More moments to snuggle your baby
An invitation to retreat in your den

Working from home is an adjustment
Helping kids learn can be hard too
Be gentle with your kids and yourself
You WILL see how much you grew

Take deep breaths, slow it down,
build lasting new habits of mind
Try basic yoga, meditate, and pray
Look inside of yourself to find

New strength, new hope: it's happening
And for how long, no one can know
Is that terrifying or liberating?
What you water is what will grow

Enjoy your coffee hot each day
Take deadlines in stride if you can
Bike ride, do puzzles, maybe take a bath
Consider this all part of a plan

A worldwide reset to change us all
For better or worse it will be
Let's not overlook our chances
Look deep within and wake up culturally

These words just keep on coming
They seem to originate from my core
It's hard not to feel what's at stake here
Which is why I must implore

Try to be present and mindful
Go outside, then come back in
And know that your best is good enough
Seek your inner grin

The thing that lights us up is calling,
Awareness is essential to activate
It may be your point of pride one day
(And not that extra snack you ate)

Writing these words feels personal
Getting it out feels good and needed
Moving through it, not around it
My thought garden, fully weeded

Whatever your thing is *matters*
Go find it, do it, and believe
Rising up is happening everywhere
So what could you conceive?

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Things go sideways sometimes

The oceans calls with her fingers
Stretching out long and curling back
like an evil storybook character
luring me toward danger,
disguised and dressed up pretty

I seek the shoreline
and ultimately I am struck
by her patient status

Unsure of anyone's
these days

I wait alone
I walk alone
I think alone

Scouring for treasures
in the form of

I collect
And notice
I feel
And form

Inside I become aware
of a deep drive
that originates
within and belongs
only to me:
to urge to create

I feel compelled to make art
with her offerings,
and feel sure of this,
that indeed will be
my next best thing to do

And as I step
closer toward her
wake, I am caught
off balance by the
deep grooves
awaiting her return

Running counter
to my direction-
spongy and soft,
they hold an equally
noticeable and enduring
strength beneath the weight of my feet
a tender ability, unpronounced

Suddenly, I heed
the invitation before me:
to follow wonder and walk sideways
along these gullies and remember

Hearing the messages
of her recession,
low tide's reset is calling
for a different route

Forward directionality
is not the only way
to get where we want
to be

To be...

Who do we want to be?

How do we get to her?

Walking sideways,
I will stay open and
brave, paying close attention
to the off track paths
as they gift us new rewards

Outside the box solutions
Online art lessons and read alouds
Bike rides without time frames
Yard work without hassle
Back deck sunsets consumed wholly
Writing that streams endlessly
Naps that restore and revive
Projects new and old
Neighborly gestures
Thoughtfulness shared daily
Silver linings treasured
Educational ingenuity
Beach combing slowly
Baking with adventure
Organizing deeply
Cleaning without rushing
Drawing boundaries
Communicating needs
Taking breaks
Retreating and then
reemerging to keep going

Letting go

Previous problems are past
Future fears are unknown

So we get back to the
Business of now
pushing away the
Busy-ness of being busy

We are not busy

Not while the waves
are still out there
receding and flexing
also not rushing to
return, or so it seems

But like all systems
the curve will flatten

And she will be back
and so we will we

But how will we be?

Can we absorb
this pace and
resist hopping
back into the race?

Her voice could not
be more clear:
there is no final destination
the journey is back to ourselves

And there is no
malice in this
no poison apple
being offered

Because this chatter
is born inside of ourselves
It can be heard in your
own voice

This is the antidote
This is the truth
Your words are
your center
And they shall
set you free

Be curious,
listen long,
and go find

Monday, March 16, 2020

Pandemic and Possibility: Documented Through Haikus

Day #1 (3/16/2020)

Perhaps the schedule
To be kept right now is not
One followed before

Strange times and new plans
Open opportunity
Follow your own path

You are now in charge
Everything optional
Living demands truth

Put out your longing
The universe can hold it
Beauty will emerge

Day #2 (3/17/2020)

Reframing feels hard
Boxed in with rumors and dread
Sometimes sleep is best

Day #3 (3/18/2020)

Sitting here I watch
Sun setting over new world
More will be revealed

Day #4 (3/19/2020)

Issue for parents
Working hard from home daily
Cannot also teach

Day #5 (3/20/2020)

Social distancing
Means different things to each
Connections abound

Day #6 (3/20/2020)

Energized by truth
The unknowing feels sticky
Perhaps that's the point

Day #7 (3/21/2020)

I'm not expecting
To grow flowers in desert
I can just do this

Day #8 (3/22/2020)

If I cannot say
That I want to walk alone
More will be stated

Day #9 (3/23/2020)

Let us not forget
Beautiful landscapes exist
Inside dark spaces

Shadow Wisdom

Shadow Wisdom
(Amanda C Symmes, LICSW)

We are all the hazy shadows
laying essence on the ground
The tree is not the trunk and limbs
That your eyes think they have found

Channeling the energy fields
our inner source and truth
The buzzing, ringing and connections
Are offerings of deeper proof

The consciousness of people
has surfaced and will swell
our collective bigger purpose
has arrived in time to tell

The messages that we take in
And that we choose to limit
Means we are finding new power
And the ability to stand within it

Perhaps this all sounds heady
or a little hard to grasp
So allow me to simplify
As we redesign the clasp

The world has continued spinning
Speed slowing, increasing light
So that we may seek our own answers
And regain our internal sight

Who am I and who are you?
And who are we together?
We are spirit and energy and truth and love
The space in between, the treasure

Deep breath in, longer breath out
the days will unfold slowly
Stay true to your path and your tribe
What is needed has now become holy

What's yours is mine and mine is yours
This energy that feels electric
Can charge us up and make us strong
We can plan an all new metric

Our systems may alter but will not fail
The time for change has come
Hold hands, laugh loud, create and move
Center back to where we are from

Existence is not in crisis
And crisis is not ever-lasting
How we respond to what meets us now
Is the shadow the present is casting

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Look to the Sky

Hey you, looking at your screen,
reading articles about healthcare
toilet paper and school closings
You've drummed up quite a scare

Can you stop for moment
Please just do it quickly,
and glance out a window
I know you're not sickly

Slowly breathe in and then let it all out
Tell your brain to rest and to settle its doubt.

Now you might find that the sky,
is just sky-ish and blue
If you look a little closer
It's more than that too

You may find it breathtaking
In quite a "good" way
And breathing in slowly
and deeply you'll say,

"It's like pink candy-ribbons
that ripple beneath clouds,
that while full, black and dark
takes my mind off of crowds"

Or perhaps you'll see slivers
Fading sunlight tucked behind
Guess what? It is there for us,
There... to remind.


Our mindset is skewed
A wild toy top out of
BUT, we can pull through this
together and survive the

When you feel
it's all too much
breathe deeply
and hold-
pause one more
exhale long
and behold!

The birds are still chirping
and we are still feeling.
The world that's around us
won't always be reeling.

Tune in what you need to,
turn off what you can.
And look inside to remind you
There is always a plan.

The deep polarization
of this big painful time,
is begging us, pleading
to locate our rhythm,
to use our rhyme.

are all
here together
each weighed down
by dense cloaks

Disrobing feels uncomfortable
shedding fear cracks us open
But this is the place
we can build from...
I'm hoping?

It is no longer
them they or their
Also not I me or you
There is only US left
We all know this is true

TOGETHER is where
we have all ended up now
The place where we were
all meant to be anyhow

So into communities
and homes we must
But, hurray
Permission to just
Let it all go!

Try to adjust
to this new normal
And take in a moment
to examine a face

Freedom to notice,
to really SEE your son.
The lines on his face,
or how he can run.

Let judgment slip fast
like a silky
hair ribbon
and feel the weight
of your blankets
and the blessings
we're given

We aren't provided
much time to live
and be loud
Why not dance
and be silly,
Be awkward and

Just BE in your
body, your
healthy strong
and if you fall
ill then rest,
take time just
to nestle

We can reset
or refuse
or infuse

Create love or disdain
Garner wisdom or pain

Chances and choices
Lessons and voices

Take it one step
at time,
One moment, then the next
Feel into your feelings
when you have urges
to text




We can undo the
numbing and
the natural reactions
and counter with
bigger more adaptive

Listen to music
eat dinner with
Draw pictures
with family...
create an invention

A chance to grow
what we go through,
now that's a rare gift
Time to look through
old photos
Through memories,
just sift.

Or sleep and dream
And talk and play
Whatever you do
don't squander the

Fear wants us
captured and bound
with regret
The what ifs and
questions, and
mounting up debt.

Stay grounded
and whole,
it will all work out
in the end-
Finish a project,
Call up a friend,

Let's be brave and
stay calm
Be careful and
use smarts
And together
we will all walk
each other
back to our hearts.