We rounded the corners of your double digit life
while the house was on fire.

My heart muscles were minced with the knowledge
that you would forever have a hole in yours.

Your cries
your elation
your every gear
fixed you swerving
into teenage switchbacks
fathering yourself
as we settled into the spaces we carved out
from within the ashes
by our grief

a simplicity
too scant
but it will do while you finish cooking.

As you forge within
we negotiate our alternating needs
waiting for the alignment of our intentions
and dreams
with the tectonic plates of reality.

My heart is repaired from pushing through the mountain
clutching my baby for all of time
palm pressed out at the end of my outstretched arm
head bent for added strength
willing us to reach the most expansive tract of space and time that I can imagine
beyond the grasp of ancestral wounds and the past.

Will it be different
with the complexity of you and me
woven together by apron strings
some double-stitched by me
or even backstitched by you
some unresolved
others preserved in milestones
to scaffold the rest of your life
long after I’ve faded?

Will you fortify your heart, inflammable
for the ebb and the flow
to swing from loose apron strings into realms I’ll never see
to accept that dreaming and trying are enough
and that you are enough
even alone?

What will you teach me
about myself
as you pull me off center on a moving sidewalk
informing my fingertips to become flexible
with the art
of letting go?

MBennett 9/15/2022


Quilting on a Quantum Level: A Tribute in Memory of a Mama Bear.

There are so many beautiful things in this world. Yesterday PawPaw was clearing out vines that had taken over some small trees down beside the driveway. I was ‘supervising’ from the Gator. As he got further back into the woods, he discovered a small bush called a ‘Strawberry Basket’ or ‘Hearts-a-Bustin.’ The little baskets of red berries are so pretty. We carefully marked it with a yellow tie and cleared all of the vines out of it. We had those little bushes at the cabin in NC and I remember them from when I was a child. I was so excited to see one down here. ~LWMetcalf, September 16, 2020, Facebook.

It isn’t difficult to find an analogy for the life of my dear friend, Lynn Warcup Metcalf. She wove a tapestry of connections by being true to herself within, devoted to her loved ones, and attached intimately to her passions all while negotiating artfully the seams with people she might have favored less. Nothing was left to chance. I imagine this is how she went about her quilting process, no doubt negotiating carefully the difficult pieces and parts of the process. She was prone to pointing out that her gifts contained imperfections, which struck me more as fastidious than absurd. I myself am a perfectionist when viewed from many angles.

Where I find it difficult to negotiate the practice of giving because my gifts never feel good enough, Lynn gave as if her generosity kept her very individual breaths flowing. She gave beautiful details, intricate information, and practiced methodical maneuvers from the moment ideas filled her brain until you received a loving card or package in the mail.

She was an ardent defender and supporter of those she loved. She didn’t have enough time to finish everything in her infinite desire to create, appreciate, and describe. She could never have had enough time to express all that she was capable of translating into seams, fabric squares, or as specimens of flora and fauna in written or photographic records of her walks and hikes with Art and Molly. Molly is the dog that found them to promise comfort and company to Art when Lynn’s terminal cancer won the game of solitaire that she had to fight with both hands nearly tied behind her back.

Indeed, Lynn had dreams about Mollie before she ever appeared into the reality of their lives. I wish I could have asked her about her dreams in the last few weeks.

I’ve never really thanked her appropriately for all she did to support me and my ‘Cubbie Bear’ in hard times. I never even managed a thank you note for the last quilt she sent to me as a housewarming gift in what seems like a week ago, but in reality, was maybe more than a month ago. I gushed on Facebook, but I never sent the photos of my new place that I promised. I never felt settled enough to allow myself to write, to express my appreciation, or to describe how amazing her gestures always were – gestures she maintained even as she was battling the depths of a cancer that didn’t provide much insight into how or when she would exit to the greater fabric of space and time.

She relied on her traditions and her faith. She put her whole heart into loving her family to whom she gave unconditional acceptance so that they could be the individuals they needed to be. She held great care for the animals who loved her lap while she paid special attention to her piecing work.

When I met Lynn some odd 27 years ago, I was the baby in a professional team of three people. We were dubbed the three bears, or so we dubbed ourselves, who can remember? Regardless, I became Miss Margaret to her, and she Mama Bear to me. We signed our messages MM and MB over the years. Our dear friend who rounded out our little work family passed away also too soon late last year during an asthma attack while we were all fearing a pandemic. Like Lynn, he left behind a loving family and grand kids. Back in the day, we would sometimes break for coffee and rum cake at a little Greek place across from our offices. Now I suppose those two might enjoy rum cake together in another realm of consciousness, hopefully still watching over me.

As I take in the information that death is inconvenient when lives are cut too short, I realize that I will never not see my dear friend and MB in the details of life, in the quilts and cards she gifted me, and in the generosity of her spirit. Her expressions of generosity connect more than her own being to the greater field of richness, beauty, and the authentic value of all things, no matter how small. She became as a quantum thread, piecing together the entirety of all that touched her life with love and care.

She is in every stitch, every wood-ear, and every tiny mushroom…the sunsets she took time for, appreciative pets, hurting family members, old time recipes and remedies, carefully chosen fabrics, and the deep organization and patterns of nature. She took joy meeting up with, describing, and providing updates about a random but curious yellow cat or lazy cows in pastures along her walking routes. Her photographic journals she posted on Facebook are reminders of this greater field of richness – including the serenity of snow, or the humor in capturing one’s own awkward shadow.

You paid attention to everything, MB. You were like a walking index of information and you knew exactly where to catalogue the next item. You loved babies and nurturing, and you believed women and mothers deserved the greatest care and respect. You cherished. You greeted the sun. You were like a mother Duck ushering your children along, not minding their wandering about but ever keeping them close in your heart and worry no matter how old they got. I don’t think you would have chosen to leave all that is so earthly and intricate, but you seemed brave, realistic about where you were going.

Were you afraid? I pray your bravery kept you clear as you passed through the veil of worlds. It is comforting to know that you have gone there, finally, but only because selfishly, I know that you know me and that you are part of the family of souls who will guide me no matter the level of quantum transformation I encounter in life or death. I imagine everyone by your side has been subconsciously holding their breaths. But I know you would not have chosen this. Your worry, your love for your kids and Art, and your grands and greats was too enormous to let go willingly. This wasn’t fair to you or to them. But here it is.

You painted beautifully in this life in love, creativity, and generosity. Love you MB. Always, MM.

The following are some photos of Lynn’s handiwork, photos of things she loved, and some of the pictures she took of the nature she encountered and her surrounding world. My sincere sympathies to you, Art Metcalf, and to Charlie and Karen and your families.

Photo Credit for final picture: Art Metcalf/Tanya Niles (Facebook post)

Valiant Child


A mother feels between her breaths
where time stops between heart beats
and memory works like muscle

Here at the edge of intention
where childhood ends
and memory of the final nursing is lost
though she swore she’d never forget

He artfully negotiates the room like John Wick

She amuses herself with thoughts of what could have been had she married Keanu.

Nestled there against her skin
he entangled all that her childhood needed,

but missed…

because Good Housekeeping.

Swollen with nourishment
for his cells and soul
she gave
and she gives
and now

The tears as she types
in the moments she has allowed for self-care
this month
this year

The tears are the biological evidence
imprinting upon the air
her sorrow
her pride
her grief
her longing
her knowing
her accepting
her dreaming
her perfection
expressed as ancestral intentions

It is of unknown source carried like a ruck sack
slung over the back carelessly by her offspring
as he moves into a light
transcribed from within his own lenses.

He was five
when his blue eyes transitioned
to the hue of verdant oceanic dreams

She was old enough to be his grandmother then
just as she was kissing the strange light on the day her own mother’s breath closed

The air around her trembled
signaling her fate
the pace quickened
the portal of her vision narrowed

Then, he was twelve.

In the span of only seven years he blossomed from innocent sponge to
martial artist
comedic actor

It has been some time since she
as me
his mother
now single
on welfare
that children come first,
and a paradigm of compassion, empathy, and respect can forge

a valiant child.

~MBennett (c) first published 6-15-2020 @ The Higher Process. All rights reserved.

How Will They Learn? ~Education in Transformation (E.D.I.T.)

E.D.I.T. presents a video featuring unschoolers of all ages discussing how they learn without school, in Unschooling Myths, Episode 1.

My son participated and conveys his perspectives on being a lifelong unschooler and going down rabbit holes of self-directed discovery.

Self-Examine, then Let Go to Level Up

silhouette photo of person standing in neon lit hallway
Photo by Naveen Annam on Pexels.com

We are in unparalleled times, connected globally as never before.

In The Common Denominator Is You, Michael Schreiner discusses a tendency to repeat life and relationship patterns that are symptomatic of giving away the power we have over our lives. I am reminded of my own efforts to take responsibility for having allowed my former self to live continuously within trauma and abuse.

Schreiner references Carl Jung’s philosophy that has become a pop psyche tenet:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Along my journey, I chose to accept a term that conveys the illusion of security in childhood, codependency. The stigma associated with the powerlessness and victimization inherent in such terms is humbling to the ego.

  • It requires a journey through pain, emotional upheaval, grief, and layers of healing.

  • It requires trusting the space through which we cannot see.

  • It requires remembering to float on our backs when we are accustomed to reacting to life in fear.

When I realized this aspect of Self, I was awakened to a process whereby I was able to  start shedding the impact of complex domestic violence and sexual trauma. This happened layer by layer – digging through more than five decades of trying to see. I’m a bit of a late bloomer.

With intention, I reached levels of lightness that contrasted with where I used to be. That contrast provides enough definition to light the rest of my way.

Many people attribute such a process to trusting in their system of belief. It is very similar, so I won’t bother splitting hairs. Light, Wholeness, Faith, Trust, Hope, Compassion, Forgiveness, Healing, Centering – all of the ingredients are present.

It felt like a gut-wrenching spiritual process of death followed by rebirth.

I integrated trauma that was grounded as emotional memory into what I perceive as Eckhart Tolle’s pain body. Integrating in this sense means that I took what I was made of, put it through the grinder, and recreated my very being. I thought the process was scary. What I know now is that the process isn’t singular. It is like peeling an onion. It is like sewing a quilt.

At one point in my early 20s, I slept on cardboard on the floor of an open graduate studio for days and semi-showered in the building’s restroom. I found myself secretly stuffing cellophane-wrapped giant cookies into my apron during my opening shift at Stefano’s Pizza where I earned below minimum wage – just so that I could eat something that day. My parents were married for 60 years before the first one died. I went to parochial school and private college. I won scholarships. So, this trajectory made no sense without examining deeper aspects of my life experiences.

I was too ashamed to ask for help. I also feared asking for help. My self-esteem characterized me as easy for the plucking. Indeed, I was targeted nefariously by a university professor twice my age. That is a minor sampling of my early adulthood as a deflated young woman. When I look back, I am grateful to be in my present skin. But even in this skin I journey continuously towards elusive wholeness. This wholeness seems so unattainable and absolute that it is often hard to keep focus with an anxious world pulsating freely. Increasingly, I return to center to reposition.

We seek to control our spaces when a free-form nature defines our existence.

I find myself having to practice yielding to the flow of circumstances as opposed to reacting from a source of complex stress-responsiveness. This is one simple aspect of how choosing to raise my son in connection converges with the healing of my own inner child.

I could not deny my role in the process of allowing abuse. It is very difficult and extremely uncomfortable to live any way but authentically after that realization. It is an humbling passport that becomes etched into being and soul.

Taking this responsibility does not equate absolving perpetrators of their insidious and hideous actions and intentions. Instead, it removes me from the circumstances of the crime so that I may regain what I’ve lost. It brings me back to center.

Truly, when enmeshed within trauma and abuse patterns, this process of stepping outside of the abuse feels literally like pulling apart the very threads of one’s own being.

Imagine that an afterimage of Self is left behind, an imprint of sorts that enables the healing person to glance back at where she’s been. This becomes a source of information for understanding parts of herself she’s released in order to escape – in order to grow.

She has the choice to fall back into the dysfunctional normal, or to fall forward in trust without foresight of who she is about to become. I must admit, when I got to this point, I felt I’d leveled up and could afford to breathe.

There is a space for wandering where fear is integrated as we search for light within an unlit tunnel. The afterimage of the fractured former self gives reference to reassure us that we are indeed walking away from hurt. In this process, I was carrying myself for perhaps the first time.

My child was witness to this process, a model for drafting inner strength from deeply within. As he stresses about what he perceives as the narcissistic behavior of a friend, I draw upon my tool box and remind him not to give away his power. Connections are everything, but we have to know how, why, and when to sever nodes in the grid. The kill switch might just begin with us. Reaction must be tempered before it can be mastered.

I found it precarious to wear my identity on social media during my period of transformation. So much of who I am now is not who I was before. But I’m still me. That part is reassuring. I feared I’d lost my essence, expended during prolonged epochs of fight or flight, or misplaced during bouts of intermittent depression.

Even as I shift and resume sharing opinions and beliefs, I try to take responsibility for how my thoughts differ from others’ instead of carrying the expectation that they see what I want them to see. I had to practice this when I desired to speak out against declarations that offended my own moral sensibilities. Next, I found myself wishing others would likewise calm the fuck down. Still a slight edge. I’m still me. I still want to express hard-earned opinions, but strive to use objectivity instead of passion to establish narratives.

So much of what I see argued seems sourced from fear – and fear is a liar. Fear projection is inherently a refusal of faith, another lesson I’ve learned raising a child in connection.

Some people have the wisdom of ages, but still deny their fear. Others have integrated extreme pain, loss, and misfortune, yet sometimes glitch in fear projection when the idea of letting go challenges the very foundation of their beliefs. Fear is first gear on the stick shift. None of us is wholly exempt. I have to continuously operate the clutch. This blog provides me a space to spit myself out for self-examination. That alone can be nerve-wracking.

Fear projection is inherently a refusal of faith.

Sometimes I feel like I still don’t have all the necessary tools needed to stand against the grain. But I cannot control anyone’s hate. Authenticity requires that we accept before we judge. This also ensures that hate does not become a mirror.

This is where I was when I bailed in large part from social media in late 2016.

I felt pessimistic. I didn’t vote. It felt futile. I refused complicity. I had enough going on beneath my own skin. The story played out. Society experienced great upheaval. And now, society is collectively focused on seeking remedy for Covid19. For better or worse, we are in this together.

As this story unfolds, I feel like there might be something worth voting for.

But it isn’t solely about babies being born or the threat of boostrap mentality. It isn’t just about rainbow flags. Netflix and Amazon already evidenced in chummy comic exchange that society is indeed in favor of the individual. Society has already accepted the predictions in 1984, but the latest Apple commercial makes it seem more bent towards discovery and creation. There is always a flip side to the coin. We might all end up together in one big diversified space-cruise-ship (like the one in The Fifth Element). It is more than universal income or health care or guns. It is greater than coal or renewable energy or climate. More complex than taxes or benefits. It isn’t just about religious belief. It isn’t simply about white-haired old men. None of us should be surprised by our societal makeup. Even Mulder and Scully predicted this pandemic (X Files, Season 11, Episode 5).

This time, it comes down to collective movement that promises to extract a spectrum of inclusivity and connection. My motivation comes from seeing humans self-illuminate as we practice social isolation and conduct grids in support of one another across the entire world. We are leveling up as a species. So, let us honor our differences with respect for the higher process as we continue tunneling through the Twilight Zone of 2020. This is an election year, after all. On social media, we’ve never needed an election to divide us.

For example, when we use terms like anti-vaxer or pro-vaxer, we are mistaken and limit the scope of the conversation we can have. If we blame all of religious belief for one thing or another, we are demonstrating inflexible natures and a refusal to accept that the space between opposite poles contains anything of value. The more I listen, the more I learn. If we throw the baby out with the bathwater and overgeneralize, we miss the entire point of everything. We must re-frame our narratives if we truly desire connection. That is not to say that religious belief does not or cannot harm. My story is evidence of that nuanced trickery, and for others – the outright social injustice we allow by not thinking for ourselves.

If all we are after is to shame people into our perspectives, we need to go all the way back up to the journey in the dark tunnel and dwell there awhile longer (do not pass Go, do not collect $200).

Until we live the life of another, we really cannot know. If we push our personal and moral agendas in judgment without retaining objective narrative, we flip the kill switch for any chance of connection that promotes understanding. I love Sy-Fy and shows like The X-Files and Dr. Who not because the conspiracies seem so relevant to our world, but because the passionate and imaginatively positive energies come together for the greater good, every single time.

Perhaps such fantasy is my certain level of privilege because I am moving away from pain, but pain is still right where we leave it. This is what those who do not embrace fundamental campaigns for equality fail to perceive. Pain is like a virus, able to replicate itself into new dimensions and generations of hurt. Which is why I love The Doctor – he/she always sets things right while showing as much compassion to the villain as the villain’s own self recognizance will allow. If the villain refuses to self-examine, then The Doctor’s conscience can only go so far before turning back to shoulder humanity. This is how the villain bears responsibility for their self-demise; they force The Doctor to side with his/her absolute values. The arc is always poetic.

I went away from and came back to social media to dust off some of the us vs. them mentality and for personal healing. I couldn’t do them both at the same time. I don’t sweat the occasional rant – in fact – I deliciously indulge certain content of that nature when it aligns to my beliefs – or better – makes me laugh. Meme culture exists outside of most rules.

Taking responsibility for the common denominator means self-regulating back to center. Individuals who have survived and even thrived outside of the myriad forms of abuse and trauma learn that it doesn’t matter what you believe. It only matters where you show up and what you do when you get there – or how much objectivity you maintain when you argue. Courage comes from traversing the parts of your soul you can’t discern and the parts of the tunnel you can’t see through.

Maybe we should start sharing our judgements as the fears they really are.

A friend on social media posted a ‘prayer’ for these exponential times to assuage anxiety that stated, “Do the next thing.”

Let it be, just keep swimming, go with the flow, let go or be dragged. Listen more. Ask questions. Authenticity rules. Let’s be mindful of our impact and the nature, strength, and purpose of the nodes of connection we create and what they mean for others.

Level up in connection. Hold on for the rest of 2020 because the shift isn’t over yet. Imprint this into the DNA of your offspring. This part of the journey is worth keeping.

Faeries and Flowers – by Lynn W. Metcalf (guest post)

Screenshot (45)

Guest Post by Lynn Warcup Metcalf

I always put numbing cream on my port site about 30 minutes before going up to Oncology because inserting the infusion needle is painful. Today I had a new tube of numbing cream with a “safety” top and couldn’t get it open. I was in the downstairs ladies room and there was no one else around. I can’t come out and get Art because I am somewhat uncovered by then. I tried and tried to open it. Finally gave up and used the tiny amount left in an old tube. It works better if you “blob” it on but I’m not sure what was left qualified as a “blob”. Used it anyway. We haven’t been out shopping so I didn’t have a small tag-a-derm to hold the “blob” in place and used my one large one instead. Things are not starting off well. We head up to Oncology on the fifth floor.

We are ushered in, I am poked, stuck, prodded, and weighed. Hmm, down nine pounds today. I haven’t eaten a lot. Food doesn’t taste good anymore. No problem, I could stand to lose a few more pounds. I head for a chair with the infusion machine on the right since my port is on my right upper chest. The Infusion Center is a large area with half-walls. It’s a beige room…beige walls, beige floors, beige chairs, nothing but beige. There are large windows on one side but we are five floors up and I can’t see much from where I sit, except sky and billboards. At least the sky is sometimes blue. Someone must have thought beige would be calming. Actually it’s a little depressing. I’m pleased to see my nurse has on pretty purple scrubs with flowers in the front. I have worn bright red. A red button front silky shirt and my favorite pair of red earrings. The earrings are like bell-shaped flowers with little black beads hanging from the center. I think of them as faerie flowers and, in fact, I purchased them from a website dedicated to faeries. They make me smile. I need them today.

By the time my blood tests came back, the numbing cream is wearing off. My nurse peels the tag-a-derm off and pokes the needle in, apologizing for hurting me. She starts the steroid first and then the infusions. It takes about an hour each and I have two after the steroid. As soon as one of the infusions starts I get a headache. It also makes me feel weak and dizzy. Some of it is worse than others. The nurse wears a mask and gloves and occasionally an over-gown while handling the infusions. Once some spilled out onto the floor. A man in a hazmat suit came to clean it up…that’s what is going inside my body. Surely the cancer doesn’t stand a chance, lol.

There are about eight people in my nurse’s two sections and she efficiently moves around taking care of each of us. Art is a trooper. He comes and sits with me. He reads or plays with his tablet or brings me a cookie, water, or a warm blanket. I so appreciate him being there. I could do it without him but I feel so vulnerable alone, it comforts me to have him near. When I’m done, my nurse says, “See you in three weeks.” I smile and we leave, carefully peeling off the little green stickers that we received to show we were “safe” as we came in.

Lynn Warcup Metcalf is a decades-deep connection and dear friend living with cancer. She is a prolific quilter with a gift for descriptive prose. She is an early riser, keeper of valuable ancestral knowledge, and gives appreciation to the details of life. I requested permission to share this post. It gives me rare understanding about the vulnerable, moment-to-moment experience of her journey. 

Update: Rest in Peace MB. You remain connected in my heart, always. April 24, 2021.

Interdependent Shifting

Birds Murmuring – the entire flock appears to move as one, but actually individual birds are responding to the movement of the birds immediately around them. In this way, they connect as in an organic whole, a sort of flowing grid bound by  an interdependent system.


It seems a common, global concern enables us to mirror our best conscientious selves to one another. As a society bound to social media, we are generally fighting about which side of us and them we align to and in the process, forgetting our best human attributes.

I imagine it is vastly different when schools close and events are cancelled in a small, isolated town like ours in comparison to metro areas. Here, everyone connects online, offering each other help. Tired of Fortnite, my child’s schooled and unschooled friends find other games to play together from their own homes.

What a weird exponential twist all of this is as we shift the dynamic of society and economics across the world. Not quite like a disaster, we have power and Wi-Fi. 12 is probably about the best age to be through all of this.

I am grateful for the social isolation and that so many people see the value in flattening the curve. Maybe we are all sheep blindly falling in line. But, as far as the flow goes, this seems like the best wave to ride in the current situation.

Change is inevitable. Shifting together  seems like a sound plan. I read recently in Quanta about how systems level up until the dynamic becomes so centralized and sizable that the leveling up creates a shift into a new paradigm. Analogies were drawn with power grids as well as viruses and other cellular systems.

In some cases, it is prudent to control the shape of what develops by dismantling individual grids or smaller segments of the operational system to keep the larger system from overpowering the paradigm too soon – like controlling the boil in a soup stock. But it can also be advantageous to allow the collapse of lower level systems, allowing them to be replaced by entirely different and newer operational organisms. It can be both complex and simple at either scale.

We are a social system, and we are individual humans leveling up. None of us wants to be compromised in any way, but if we are (for any reason), let us hope it is for the sake of a greater good.

Comparatively, immigration controls like ICE exemplify antiquated, malfunctioning, overzealous components of rogue systemic activity gone unchecked to the point of existing not for the greater good. It has spiraled into an ideological dysfunction. US penal systems are another example of corroded segments allowed to grow to the point of being grossly unprepared for pandemic effects (not to mention how inhumane and unjust they have become).

That we as a society can mostly experience consensus about social isolation during a pandemic proves that we have the capacity to use intention and to create change that helps us level up as we accept certain impacts alongside the emergent paradigm. If we survive such transformation and shift into the action of better being, surely the process was meaningful and the new landscape freer for the benefit of the greater good. What falls away from the old paradigm no longer serves the whole of who we are.

A Cage and a Legacy of Light



That was some cage.

I crawled through the dark spaces of my soul and followed a light someone had left for me along a path.

All it took was that single flame. It became exponential.

As I awoke, suddenly I experienced literal starlight, with women I knew showing up as light beings at every turn.

These women connected me to a greater source for understanding that I always held the key to unlocking my captivity.

These women lit the circuitry of my motherboard, because light begets Light. And the more of their light that I received with intention, the more women I met who expanded the dimensions of my freedom.

My body has not yet mastered how to process this knowledge without the constantly high levels of cortisol pulsating throughout my cells, electrifying the crises tapes in my subconscious programming.

When I first constructed my cage, I had scarcely had more than three decades under my belt. We imagine our 30s and 40s and all we will do and be and accomplish in our lives, barely able to comprehend 50 and beyond.

I had been empowered, emptied out of my twenties into my third decade.

I managed a respectable pace with my strong foothold.

Nonetheless, I was slipping. I was losing pieces of me here and there, I was trading them in for an extrinsic sense of security that the child within thought that she needed. Snapshots of her wanderings alone in the woods before puberty filled my head as if I might forget. And I did forget.

Those two short decades in my self-constructed cage focused a life time, one that encircled responsibility and liability for impacting the spirits of a little girl and her older sister from another Mother, my step daughters. None of us knew that their baby brother would become the profound central theme of my existence.

My son. The soul contract that whispered to me that I am alive, and I matter. Their baby brother’s very blood informed his sisters that they would forever be bound together with me. None of us knew that our souls had been riding the same waves for lifetimes before we met in this one. My son lit the star that synchronized many paths into one. That’s a lot to put upon a child, but we are all connected. You, and me, reflections of each other.

The love I bestow upon my son is the measure of love that I desire for myself.

Divorce is a lot like parochial school, I’ve decided. The structure of the courts and the measures of performance wound up by opposing forces whose behavior determines the language that determines the fate of a child sure puts me back in a wooden pew, or in a desk chained in place by a stern taskmaster in a habit.

It has left me weary.

And shedding old skin has been painful.

And frailty threatens my skeleton, while fear fights for property rights in my soul.

Who looks back in the mirror is someone new that I see but do not recognize, yet.

How complex is a story that enslaves a woman to the point where she is unrecognizable to herself, yet at the same time gifts to her the essence of who she truly is within 39 weeks wrapped in eight-ounces-shy of nine pounds?

How is it that the child who instantly fed my soul became the source of every motivation for every deciding factor over every choice I would make, ever again?

How did every choice before he took root in my womb add up and combine to where I stand right now?

I’m holding his hand, observing the world at the cage door, flung aside with no one standing in our way, telling us how to fly. Yet here I am, unsure just how to spread my wings, or if they will even keep me aloft…much more, him.

And here he is, not letting go like his father thinks he should because that parent never had a human savior, not like this child, not like my child. This child knows that he can hold my hand until he is ready to let go. This child isn’t tethered by proverbial apron strings. He gets to choose who, and when he IS, as long as no one rushes him from my side before he feels ready.

His world has been turned around every which way imaginable, with little to predict for him the story that time will tell of his life. His final years as a preadolescent were a roller coaster ride that took my big boy and threw him onto the ledge of his prepubescence.

He’s managed to negotiate certain terms of visitation with his father, as compromise in divorce is a negotiated parlay that isn’t necessarily over when the ink is dry as far as the child is concerned.

The child gives. The child loses. My fingers fall from his, pulled apart not by choice but by the patriarchy of the courts.

The child is called resilient, but is he really? The DNA engrave a record.

And the days are exponential and fleeting in the time that turns childhood into a teenager.

Faith. Trust. Respect.

I cannot deny. This child belonged to me, to my body, to my breath.

He suckled my bosom, he clung to my sweet song and asked me a million questions with his eyes, which I answered.

When he sought connection with his other parent, the conflict seemed always enormous, overwhelming, and he clung to the soothing voice that accompanied the milk. The arms that went with that voice vowed to protect him to no ends known by earth.


That was some cage.

The arrows along the path point two directions. One points to sorrow, but I’m voluntarily looking to the one that points to Light. Irritated, I shake off complex post-trauma triggers like uninvited guests accosting me with obsessive agendas and return my search to positive energies.

Ultimately, I learned that I came here without the need to question my mission. I came here to expand the Light. I don’t have to choose this knowledge. I am filled with it, but only after making room for it by examining attachment to deeply rooted trauma.

All the agnosticism of my 20s and 30s that led me to the atheism I embraced by my 40s defined a journey of truth-seeking. But, no matter how much truth I found and exclaimed in that decade, the veil concealed the greatest truth of all.

Lifting this veil is a simple but profound act that no one can define for any other. But, once done, one becomes connected to all. Ego does not survive. That is too scary for some people to imagine.

And so, we return time and again to look behind the veil once more, decade after decade, life after life.

Love and Light are not bound to any history, human or otherwise. These absolutes have no latitude and longitude, no measure of beginning or ending.

I came here because my soul is a warrior of Light, willing to endure great pain and growth to achieve transformation over darkness for the sake of a greater good.

Divorce is humbling.

Energies are positive or negative.

Early in this journey, I learned that my very cells are impacted by every thought I have.

Before that, I’d phoned one of my sisters a few times over a year or more, including in some wee hours of the morning, bound up in emotional pain and potential peril from domestic violence.

I learned that Divine love exists as connection, and I expand it by receiving it.

Friends gave, encouraged, and otherwise guided me to know my inner strength, to fight for my rights, and to steady my course. Soon, literal human angels started appearing when I needed their help, their gifts, both tangible and non tangible. Some were lifelong friends and family. Others were long time fans of who I am, inherently. They gave me encouragement. They let me know that I was not alone, that I was not crazy. By this point, I was beyond fighting my reality, I was fighting for a new me. Human angels came to my side, saw my needs, and injected their imperfect light to help me flow forward.

The stories that I could tell of the years spent hurdling through the pain of being discarded by my partner in marriage could fill pages.

But, in that journey, I came face to face with the shame that shrouds  a woman who has allowed her life to be mired in abuse, with the many forms it takes.

Denial and persistence in the face of abusive control are dangerous qualities.

Bodies suffer and decay without inner light. Light is at the core of every cellular function, relationship, and energy.

Greater are the stories of those who restored my faith, my desire for community, and my understanding of the richness of gratitude.

Greater than shame is the strength it takes to open one’s heart to one’s self, without apology.

As we evolve in this way, we start to intuit higher consciousness messages that reveal the negative auras we should repel with our light. I began to shed harmful, toxic relationships and opened myself to nurturing.

This was the path to my freedom. With each painful step, other women from my past and new women I met as I reached out, they came. They accumulated. They gave, they encouraged. The more I embraced my own healing, the more frequently they appeared right when I needed them.

Freedom is a mind free from construct, seeking joy and abundance, forgiving anxiety, and projecting gratitude.

And so it is that I stand at the entrance of the cage, door flung wide open, unsure how I will take flight but knowing that this child of my womb came here to provide definition to my own path of redemption and renewal. Perhaps the light he bears within is the key to a never-ending thread of positive energy that I fostered forward. Perhaps in another life or dimension he and I agreed to live this path for the sake of the greater good.

Maybe my job is to stand here, with the door open, watching him take his first fledgling flights out of childhood, a tad too early, but hearts quantum connected.

Maybe I am the light that he will find later in his heart to remind him of who he is, gifting me a legacy as profound as any I can fathom for myself or my ever-spiraling soul.

Embracing the Mundane to Facilitate Whole Life Evolution

Fun with a Giant Sharpie

As the parent of an unschooler, my priority is to facilitate the intrinsically driven passions of my child in connection and partnership. The rabbit holes he explores are often nothing like I would expect a typical child in school to experience. Perhaps that is because children are not typical, only standardization tries to coerce them to be so. Facilitating my child on his individual journey involves trusting that his expression is authentic and necessary, whatever form it takes.

Today, he expressed an interest in babysitting. I think his motivation is to earn money, but he is also maturing to the point that he already negotiates friendships with less mature kids his age (some are even friends who go to school), so I guess he feels like he can set aside the cumbersome aspects for the greater picture. I know he’d be good at it – he’s conscientious, self-aware, empathetic, and responsible. But, he’s only just turned 10.

Still, he spent nearly two hours asking me questions, saying he wants advice and tips. He came up with every scenario imaginable. Age is arbitrary when interest is intrinsic. We laughed at how when he was three or four, I played a game with him called family,’ that he wanted to play over and over again – one that I really did dread playing. But, I knew the game was helpful to him. It met a need – one where he was able to act out thoughts, feelings, or even fears to reconcile a perspective that didn’t yet have the stability of a fully formed long-term memory.

Now that he is older, he can appreciate how mundane that game was for me to play, and how in my premenopausal stupor I often didn’t feel up to it, but I played anyhow. I fondly remember how Finn McMissile’s spy plane, Siddeley would fly the Precious Family doll house babies high in the air while they cried out, “Mommy! Save us! Save us!” Lightning McQueen would always save the babies, or they would inevitably fall out and McQueen would race over to save them, nonetheless. This repetitive game is burned into my mom brain, and I was a bit wistful when he decided to sell Finn and Siddeley.

As much as I don’t want to investigate the world of babysitting, I’m impressed with his interest in generating income. While we’ve practiced entrepreneurial pursuits, he’s never been coerced to do chores to earn money. He enjoys spending his money, but I guess he’s tired of waiting on birthdays and Christmas or selling toys to get a little extra cash. We’ve never done allowances, because we spend as a family unit, one where if we have the funds to satisfy a desire, we simply make it a Yes. If we don’t, we work towards the goal one way or another until we can finance it. We work from one pot, but if he gets his own money, he has total autonomy over it.

Another example, a really simple one with obvious dividends involves me letting go of my intentions for an oversized Sharpie that I’d purchased for making garage sale signs.

As soon as he saw the pen with its angled tip, he excitedly asked if he could open the package. I told him what I’d bought it for, but he was excited for the angled tip because he watches various YouTubers who draw in their videos, many working in animation. There was no way I was going to stifle that excitement. I’d buy myself another pen, later, wondering how many parents might restrict the child from taking over the pen for arbitrary reasons.

What proceeded was remarkable. I’ve written before about his penchant for drawing crazy faces with tiny stick bodies, and this is what he set out to do. For several days, he sat at his computer off and on, listening to YouTube while drawing on every Post-it-sized piece of paper he could find. I am now making my own to-do lists on the backs of envelopes from bills and junk mail.

As he got frustrated, I asked what was wrong. He was needing something to keep the Sharpie from going through to the table (which is thankfully, granite). Earlier, he had torn off the side of an amazon box after asking if it was Ok (because like in the linked article from above, he still likes to tear and smash). Perfect solution. The interruption to his creativity was quickly resolved.

For several years now, these faces have been his thing. Sometimes funny, other times wacky or morbid – it is no different from working out his feelings with the family game. This process of drawing faces for days on end is preparation for some aspect of who he is or needs to be. I save each and every one. I also found a set of colored giant sharpies with the angled tips on Amazon for under $6 to put up for use as one of his holiday count-down gifts. I should probably buy stock in Post-it notes, too.

Below are some of the faces he drew with the Sharpie that was not destined for crafting garage sale signs. Once again, I am grateful that I can ebb and flow with him day in and day out to the degree that I am able to take note of such otherwise insignificant opportunities to facilitate his individualized development and learning. While seemingly mundane, these moments add up to knowing him fully and being able to anticipate his needs.


Why CHILDREN Must Come First In Marriage


I came across an article, Dear Young Husband: Please Give Your Wife a Break  about how a late-season husband sees clearly all the care he receives from his empty nester wife in retrospect of raising their kids.

I appreciate his 20-20 hindsight, but, I will take the unpopular stance that NO, she should not be a wife, FIRST. Not when they were raising the kids, not in their twilight years, not ever. Marriage needs to exist within a structure of interdependence, not dependence on spousal identities.

Can we all just wake up and realize that our spousal partners are adults?!

If you parent a child, you are no longer what matters most. Women literally transform themselves as mothers. Why don’t their partners embrace the transformation since they helped create the child? EGO and parenthood are not congruent. Mothers have long known this, at least the nurturing ones who  accept responsibility to a child that had no earthly say in the matter.

The task for a woman to meet her own needs can be very difficult in motherhood due to the challenges of balance, yet patriarchal society doesn’t embrace one absolute:

Motherhood trumps marriage.

Do you really think we were meant to have babies and put them SECOND?

Thank patriarchy for the construct pressing that we must honor our husbands before our children.

How many people struggle with teens and young adult children? The reason for this is because the teens and young adults were put second as children. They grew up with unmet needs.

Partners need to make sure they help the mothers or primary caretakers of their children with intention for the greater good of breaking the cycle of dysfunction.

Yes, even if the mom stays home and the dad/partner works, the working partner is not off the hook. And yes, I realize there are complete role reversals in some families, but generally, it is the woman who struggles to find time for herself.

Mothers nurture 24/7 – I feel it is my responsibility to put my offspring first, just as it is my responsibility to be mindful of the air I breathe.

Ideally, partners share the load. Realistically, far too many don’t do so.

The secret to a happy marriage comes from within oneself, not from the other person. Some couples get it right, some don’t. Often, it is ancestral dysfunction that leads to impossible marriages. And it is often this ancestral dysfunction that keeps couples in marriages modeling and reinforcing the dysfunction for generation after generation until entire families mistakenly believe that elderly couples modeled good marriages simply because they didn’t divorce.

Never mind in this scenario that grand children whose own parents divorced are themselves asked to glorify the fact that their grandparents are still together after milestone decades. How does that compute?

How do you define a good marriage? How can anyone quantify the unique relationship between individuals? Our ideas about marriage are all wrong. Add Biblical notions to the mix and you’ve got belief. Belief can certainly limit perspective if we are not mindful.

Faith, love, compassion, trust, empathy, respect, and morality are all possible without belief.

My parents were married until the first one died after 60 years. Certainly, I celebrate their individual lives, but I was present for a portion of their marriage and I say the reality is that both settled elements of their happiness. Certainly, they depended on each other in the end in familiarity and compounded personal investment, and perhaps the consolation prize for whatever they gave up exists in the framework of their legacy. I also saw, however, the emotional inheritance from their matrimony play out in dysfunctional ways decade after decade, with divorce after divorce among their progeny.

The ultimate commitment is to the offspring we bring into being, not to the marital contract. Marriage is an agreement. But we don’t go into it along those lines, do we? We don’t marry thinking, I will sign a contract with this person. No. We go into it with romantic notions of fairy tale promises and we divorce at rates that suggest the contract is antiquated.

Ego is a factor. Our parents raise us up, teaching us that we come second, in hierarchical order. But we fight to be first. We fight to have our needs met as children. If we don’t succeed, we fight in our marriages for the same. The systems our parents raise us in also mold us until most of us accept the paradigm ourselves and embrace the hierarchy that perpetuates the dysfunction.

A child that is not denied responsiveness and authentic connection grows up with discernment and all of the positive attributes modeled to them during the years before full prefrontal cortex development. This is biological science. Their needs are met. They are mature. They do not need egocentric focus to survive.

If my life is going to mean anything at all, it will mean this: I looked within and found that my child is the most important and precious part of me that exists in the universe.

We are all fractal beings. In order to ebb and flow in life with continuous purpose and positive contribution, we must be given the chance to become ourselves from within the very origins of our birth so that we do not spend three to four decades back peddling against our passions and desires, trying to heal from our childhoods.

To change the world for the better, we must put our children first. Spouses should be able to step back from their egos long enough to raise their children. Like the author of the linked article, they can make up for it in their empty nest years, which will be all the richer if they’ve mutually supported each other in putting their children first.

As I wrote this post, I googled a few things that made it clear how unpopular this position is, but I found a voice that could have been my very own in another article, Why I’ll always put my children before my husband… even though it’s already destroyed one relationship. The author, Lucy Cavendish makes the case thoroughly, authentically, and bluntly. Please click the link and have a read.

When a partner demands that a mother put her spouse before her children, the notion is misguided and unfortunately may be rooted in misogyny, selfish egoism, and narcissism. No marriage can be threatened by putting children first without one of those three conditions being present, and really, all three are linked. In the presence of such demands, or even fear wrought by the belief that putting children first threatens marriage, the partner may be infantile and the marriage already under self-sabotage by either the partner or the system of belief that the partner or both parents embrace.