Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Searching For My Father's Voice

My dad in his office, mid 1980's
Daddy? I ask the tape player,
Is that you?
It is Tom Clark. Not Dad.
The jovial
joking commentator on
takes me right back
to my mother's bedside
listening to Chapter a Day
falling into nap.

This man is not my father,
nor the next, a guest on Jean Feraca's show.
I look out the window at the crocuses
just now popping up in my late-blooming
yard. Twenty-four years ago
these bloomed in my mother's shade
mid-March, the day Daddy died.
Now it is late April,
two hours south
and I am still searching for his voice.

I put in another cassette. These are
promising - Maxell from the mid-80's
and the shows are ones I know
they listened to together.
I listen to silence, silence, silence
90 minutes of it on each side. 
I am rapt with anticipation,
dread. The last time I heard Dad's voice
I was in my teens and accidentally found
him yelling at the end
of a radio recording.

Here I am hoping I will find his voice.
Hoping I won't.

Monday, April 14, 2014


This writing is by a student named C. V. Clark. She is relatively new to the practice, but empowered instantly, as is often the case. Call it "beginner's mind," but her direct hit on wilderness (the prompt from a few weeks ago) was insightful, vivid and real. Her insights reflect many of those that arose all week - questions about whether humans are wild or nature is, about solitary/solitude/loneliness and nature, and about the edges of danger meeting beauty.

In particular, the closing line really struck at the paradox of the prompt:
"The wilderness of humanity is not always so welcoming and reaffirming."

Please read for yourself...


Wild. Wilder. Wilderness.

Instantaneous pictures: Painted Desert. Great Plains. Badlands. Congaree Swamp. Ice caves

and frozen-over Great Lakes.

Awesome and inviting in their sheer lonely, empty, overwhelming beauty. Nothing distracts

me. That is what I first recall.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


I struggle, as so many do, with prioritizing self-care. I also struggle with scheduling/not scheduling, especially on a day off after many days in a row of working.

Yesterday, this struggle looked like this:
Energized by the strong winds and 60 degree weather, I ran bunches of errands until, part way through, my inner child voice said, "Um, can we go home now?" I responded, "Is it ok if we just run two more? Then we can be done." The completist voice, which always wins because it is so logical. Inner child shrugged, looked away. Aha. I see, the question I was actually asking was an order: "We will do these last two, I'd like it if you were ok with that." Even seeing that, I persisted, and by the time I got home, I felt all befuddled. I had time to do both these things: go out into nature, and also snuggle with cats, but I was frozen. Acute anxiety/depression kicked in, and I got locked down.