” A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” — St. Francis of Assisi

I am bipolar. Have anxiety disorder and PTSD.

It is my shadow self, the black hole I fall into, sudden and fierce.

My winged arms fail me, my grip cannot hold, and in solitary silence I swirl. Grasp jagged rocks with bloodied hands, resist with powerful will and fortitude until the swirling gravitational pull wins, has its way with me, like a woman raped.

I bruise, my pink flash torn, ripped open. Wounded like a soldier carrying her dead sister.

It is a death. The interior Be-ing is pierced on the spiraled flight into the Eye, the very Eye of the storm.

The Black Hole is unimaginable suffering.

And yet..and yet.. orange light is discovered. Glowing and warm.

Fire bellows up in my lungs and I am now golden, as the dross is burned.

I breathe in Light like Aristotle in his cave. My own Nickajack where Johnny Cash went to die-but lived!!

I believe each of us has a shadow self. It is part of being human.

The dark side of la lune we fall into like a shocking chasm in the desert. The deep and rugged, ebony gorge.

None of us is alone in our pain.

But like a truncated poplar leaf at the end of the branch, our pilgrimage is ultimately solitary.

As we fall into our Black Holes–our shadow selves–may we hold onto our precious Faith in the Orange Fire, the interior glow which purges.

We emerge like amber embers while others glimpse the Holy Light.





Eye Has Not Seen

March 12, 2019

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
–I Corinthians 2.9

She sat across from me in the Credit Union, the banker.

In delicate patience, she splayed the tiny lavender petals I brought her into the pages of a book. Tucked the book into her top drawer. Smiled with her eyes. “They’ll make beautiful earrings.”

She was right. She was right about so much, as she ministered to me–a sister Christian.

Back and forth. We listened and learned. Our hunger for new direction, strong, bold, and sure.

Behind her in the windowsill, Rose of Sharon seeds sprouted. They grew like metaphor in plain brown dirt.

She lifted a framed quote and read it to me.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

It is true. We both know it.

I wept. It was okay. She did too.

We enter New Seasons. It is scary, risky, bold.

We are the Chambered Nautilus. With God’s direction, we create a new room.

So that day..the first one of retirement…I felt empowered and filled with Joy.

I will be the Patty I’ve always been.

Thanks be to God, who fulfills all our dreams.




Still, Still, Still

December 18, 2017


Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come. 

   –traditional Austrian Christmas Carol

I can feel your heart beat through my shirt

This was all I wanted, all I want

  — Snow Patrol,  Just Say Yes

Yesterday, we cut a Christmas tree.

We had planned to dig it up but the space where it is going is too small for a root ball. It…

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Warm foamy chocolate with tiny marshmallows we tried to sink
Served in milk blue china cups to fit our young size and miniature table

You washed our hair in the kitchen sink
rolled it on rags
polished our shoes for church
Laid out our Sunday dresses with Belgian lace

I see you sweeping the brick linoleum each night after supper
Under the marbled gray Formica table with stainless steel legs

We ate three bites of everything–and to this day
there is nothing we don’t like

You pushed us out the back door

we ran in the woods

played all day outside

You guided  small fingers over the keys on the Steinway piano

You played us to sleep

Now you age but one would never know it
Your lovely smile lights up a youthful face

If Daddy was a Rock,
You are Pure Joy!

My Mother
My Amma
My sister
My friend


May 8, 2017

plural noun: vigils
a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, especially to keep watch or pray.

I’m a vigilante if it means keeping vigils.

I have risen at four for over a decade.

I watch. I pray.

This morning, I pray for my seeds to sprout, for two friends who are in the midst of tragedy, for my mother who grieves, for my children and granddaughter. I pray for those who ‘cover’ me and those whom I cover.

I preached a funeral on Saturday for a mother of three. I talked about Jesus as the Mother Hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. I spoke of how primal mothers are.

Jesus covers us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

We are to do this for one another.

Ocean Resonance

May 7, 2017

The oceans sing like the whales
In deep vibrations
They are bass

Waves, moon, tidal pulls affect them
but they have a sound of their own

Like each of us
They resonate with voice


May 6, 2017

Zinnia seeds lie in my wrinkled palm like eye lashes
My life line cradles them as  they cluster in the present:
Age 62
Planting zinnias in my backyard

The gypsy forgot to mention this miracle
As she sat across from me, holding my hand
She mentioned men, money, not seeds, not germination

I sit close
My arm around the patient
Sing hymns in her ear
Hug her thin shoulders

“That’s tops” she says
After “The Church’s One Foundation”
Like its a radio hit

She tries so hard
Strains to listen to her past
Intermingles word salad with clarity

But she makes perfect sense

My grocery list is funny
Here’s its extent:
Two kinds of mustard
That’s it

I am single
I eat peanut butter
And found two jars for sale
I sometimes shop at Dollar General
I watch my budget
I am cheap

No olives
Fancy cheese
Or pot roast

The mustard is a splurge

My Mother Grieves

May 2, 2017

My mother–who once displayed a bumper sticker on her Cadillac–‘Joy Happens’
Sits across the table from me at Applebee’s
We eat our Asian salads complete with endame
“Like a butter bean” mother relays
She weeps

My mother–who feels things to her bones– wipes the tears from her eyes
And shows me a dress in a catalogue
“Get it”, Daddy would always say

She can’t play the piano
Her fingers instead turn the pages of a book
One murder mystery a night
She feels guilty for sitting
I tell her grief is work