Write to Heal

Chopping out a Shared Space

After nearly three years of living with postpartum depression and anxiety and four months less treatment, my mind and heart began to yearn for processing through the written word – as it always has. I should have known I was coming back into myself if I began to get that itch, to set pen to paper and excise those thoughts, soothe those frayed nerves.

I even got the urge to share these thoughts online. Still, the stigma – that keeps many mothers from seeking help at all – gave me pause. Did I want to air my dirty tattered laundry for all the world to see – and judge? The fact that all my secrets would be laid bare became the determining factor. If I was to write my story, I was to own it and post it for all mothers to see that they were not alone in their struggle.

Motherhood – be it ‘typical’ or out-of-the-ordinary, adoptive, biological, or step, mentally fit or ill, of littles, teens, or empty-nested, sought-after or surprised, happy or hard – is a challenging road. As I’ve risen out of the deep depths of environmental, mental, emotional, and hormonal morass, I’ve talked. I’ve sat around tables in the dappled sunlight of backyards, holding cups of coffee long since gone cold or empty, on sidewalks, at kitchen counters, in the unearthly glow of the computer screen late at night, in the darkness of a lone streetlamp that just closed its pool of light. And the more I talked, the more I learned that I wasn’t alone. The more I shared, the more it opened the floodgates of similar experiences and struggles.

There is community in common experiences. There is solace in shared realities. There is strength in vulnerability.

If you’ve read a blog post and thought, yes, that’s exactly how I feel, I’m honored that I’ve given a struggle a voice.

If you’ve joined in a discussion at a workshop and felt, yes, I see a way forward, I am humbled that a question sparked an answer.

If you’ve been yearning for a way to hold space for yourself and fortify or expand that space’s edges, I hope you’ll join our journey with its weekly promptings.

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chopping potatoes
Perspective, Poetry

The Word


comes to mind

from the white light

spilling down

onto my bed.

A canonical,


shaft from above.

From its singular point of origin,

w i d e n i n g

to envelope me in its illumination.

Just sit


Be still.

Breathe in the light.

Living, Poetry

Profound Simplicity

Coming home to porch lights beaming like a beacon,
a sign that someone inside loves me,
anticipates my return.

Blossoming across the porch,
filling that space,
highlighting the grain of empty adirondack chairs,
the shadow in the space between the slats.
Spilling over and through the tic tac toes of the windows,
imbuing the living room with a soft warm glow akin to Christmas candles.

The lines of the room the only thing standing out:
straight across the back of the sofa,
the vertical rungs of the rocking chair,
the vaulted grid over the glass of the wood stove

In this dim light,
this stark relief,
is the bones,
the foundation of what matters.

The lines of life in this place,
this home I fell in love with.

In the light of day, distraction drowns them out
But here, in the quiet of night, profound simplicity reigns.

Survival, Writing

2018, 500, 1

In years past, WordPress has provided a neat little summary of the past year’s writing accomplishments on my blog.  I didn’t receive one this year.  Whether that’s because it’s no longer their practice or because my level of writing activity dipped below their radar remains to be seen.  I did, however, receive this neat little notification the other day.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 9.03.49 AM

500 posts.  That’s a lot of writing.  In my six years (wo)manning this blog, I have written many posts.  My aunt recently asked me which post or posts were my favorite(s).  A few came to mind instantaneously, of course, but once I started digging through, I realized just how many there are –

which helps provide balance to the writer’s remorse that I haven’t done more lately.

Once upon a time, Tuesday and Thursday were sacred posting days, with Fridays as an occasional musing on craft (my weekend write-off).  I’m still unpacking the irony that my writing on mental health paused or ceased when things got really crazy last spring and by the end of the summer/fall when I’d ceased my medication.  It didn’t help that I had another small human pulling at my pant leg.  I’ve also tried to reignite a dedicated writing regimen for my young adult fiction and personal memoir.  Something’s gotta give, I suppose, in my anxiety-ridden, mom-of-four, only-24-hours-in-a-day world.

Still, when I didn’t receive the adorable fireworks animation comparing my readership to the size of small countries, the writer’s remorse kicked in big time.  What were my dedicated readers doing whilst I whiled time away with laundry and survival?  How were my fellow bloggers doing since I’d checked in last?  While the schedule of blogging can be daunting, especially in the midst of daily overwhelm, the process of crafting and posting and interacting is therapeutic for my writing and mental muscles.  I miss the community – and the potential that the blog has.

I have chopped lots of potatoes over the years.  I’m going to keep chopping.  Some days may produce uniform little cubes; others hackneyed hunks.  But it’s good to be back – even in a smashed capacity.

anxiety, Identity, Mental Health, motherhood, parenting, Survival

Without Wee, Within

I am very much inside myself lately.

Thinking about what needs to get done,
Worrying about pain and exhaustion,
Waiting for my next chance to lie down

I weigh this alone time
for its relaxation
opportunity to accomplish,
both sans wee ones

Motherhood has brought me to this state
and yet, it’s all in my head.

I struggle and strive to survive
for them
yet yearn for me




Faith, Identity, Living, Spirituality

The Music of the Morning

The distant beep beep beep of a backing-up garbage truck
Residual rivulets of rain on the roof
Ringing in my ears

A Benedictine monk was told to repeat a Psalm over and over in his head
When it was all he could hear, he asked his superior what then.
Repeat it until you become it.

Without the outside distractions of beeping and running water,
the ringing becomes all consuming.
How can I turn down the dissonance and resonate with the truth?




The Simple Things ARE the Things

A toasty bagel oozing cream cheese

A crinkly wrapper compressed solidly in your fist

Sun light streaming

Fears, panic, stress receding

From a simple soul baring followed by an authentic affirmation

Jennifer Butler Basile

Jennifer Butler Basile

The joy and light of crisp fall leaves all around me

Radiance enters my soul and sings