Monday, June 27, 2016


He looked up
at the moon,
golden threads
spilling through
black branches
of a tree.

Only he
had this view,
this beauty
spun in his soul
of his

Bridget Harwell

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My Beef With the Dalai Lama

Ok, it's not really the Dalai Lama. He is such a powerful force for peace and kindness and plain ole goodness. It's really the notion of happiness I stumble over and happiness seems to be one of his key concepts. I fear that for most of us, we imagine that there is a place called happiness; a place we can work hard to get to and, maybe with some luck, settle in. Happiness as a destination. But, like any other emotion, happiness is mutable. I know that I have never been able to lasso happiness and lock it in to place. It comes and goes, just like sadness and anger and fear. Plus happiness is almost always derived from external sources i.e. the woman you like agreed to go out with you; you got a promotion; you won an award. How about the word JOY instead? Joy is not contingent on anything else happening. For want of a better word, it's a spiritual state that resides within. In fact, I can be feeling sad and at the same time experience the joy of a blazing sunrise. Maybe it seems like semantic nit-picking, I don't know. It's worth thinking about, though. We all have the capacity to cultivate joy any time, under almost any circumstance.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Death in the House

As I sat reading
late into the evening
shadows gathered
round the single lamp.
One, darker than the rest
crept across the floor
exited down the hall
and disappeared.

At three
the hour of random thoughts
I woke
pictured the chipmunk hiding
somewhere in the house
longing for his place
his burrow deep beneath the ground.

Was his mate waiting there?
Would I find him
weeks from now
behind a chair
or in the basement
his errands run
his smart striped coat
a pile of dust.

Bridget Harwell

* Chipmunks mate for life.