Posts in Personal Essay
How do you know she is a witch?

Now I have this new word: witch. For me, “witch” conjures an image of a woman with creative powers, a woman who exercises those powers even at personal risk. Though she is so different from my image of “writer,” I feel drawn to her as well, and the sensation is not a drawing outward, but a drawing inward, a rooting. 

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Man on a Boat

What would I say and what would I do if I could go back to those moments and speak boldly from my own human heart rather than reacting from a place of fear where I believed I would fail unless I was “doing as well as the boys” or “being one of the guys.”

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Diving Heart First

Six months ago, I quit my job. I didn’t know what I was doing, but an inner force animated my lips to form the words “I’m leaving,” as I sat in my boss’ office one day.

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Heart Stories

More than a dozen artists are coming together for one evening to share personal stories from the heart through spoken word, music and song, dance, mime and visual art. Some adult language and subject matter. Suggested $10 donation at door goes directly to paying the performing artists, event free and open to the public, sponsored by the Port Townsend Arts Commission. Port Townsend’s BluJay Kombucha will be there selling its delicious brew.

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Born with darkness

I have darkness. I was born with it. It was a cause of concern for my mother and some elementary school teachers. I learned to hide it, to hate it, to be sorry and ashamed of it.

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A very Maple Christmas

With our cat, things are different. She’s stuck with me almost every day of the year except for Christmas.

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Love Train

I wondered how things would be now if I had loved the trains, instead of just the conductor.

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Hello Christmas, it's me again

Christmas, I can’t quit you. I feel like I’m a wild animal that you raised. When I was still a pup, you tossed me outside and yelled, “Go’on, git!”

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It's not about Goldilocks

Yesterday, I told the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears 20 times—to adults. Each time I told the story, I sat facing a single person. Their knees almost touched mine, their eyes locked with my own.

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What I learned by posing like Amy Schumer

As I began to mimic your pose, a sensation of strength and power arose in my body. It’s like how shaping your mouth into a smile releases endorphins even if you’re sad. I realized, to get the right effect, my foot couldn’t just rest on the stack of wood, it had to stomp directly on top of it. The position of the coffee cup had to look as though I had just taken a sip, because it had to appear as if I was so confident in my skivvies I was relaxed enough to enjoy a latte.

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Big 'Duck Hunter

Helen and I descended a slope where everything grew but houses. That land was destined to be part of the sea as it curled onto the beach, rolling like a player piano scroll upon which each cottonwood, thimbleberry and foxglove might trigger a single note when it hit the sand and washed away.

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She Tells Sea Tales: A Survivor's Story

It was hard going. In Mexico, the family shipwrecked in a williwaw while anchored close to land. The boys surfed cushions to shore, where textbooks and toys, covered in diesel, washed up on the beach.

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