Poem: The Sailmaker


The Sailmaker

He works in a dark room using implements
from another century,
cutting the canvas and cloth
in broad swaths before sewing
the edges, the details that give bare fabric

The work is slow, hard and tedious.
There is no room for errors,
for a weak sail that unfurls or rips
leaves the sailor floundering and in danger,
perhaps lost in the deep blue waters.

These sails are not for sport.
They are or the horizon seekers,
those who capture the wind and make it their own,
who travel less for pleasure than from a compulsion
to see the world, and change it.

He labors, each stitch, each knot just so.
He never leaves this dark room
with its bales of canvas, wax, and threads.
He will never see the other side of the horizon
that he makes possible,
but he lives in each new land

About this poem

Written today as I thought about my work as a life coach and business/leadership consultant, and how I quietly work in the background, helping my clients fly and grow into the worlds they want for themselves, capturing the wind and becoming something beyond their horizons.

It is a joyful work.


Poem: Welcome to my Morning


Welcome to my Morning

The days



There is a resistance. A power
almost greater than your own,
a wall too tall to climb,

mocking you.
a liar
who knows you are weak

as long as you are alone.

But you are not alone.
As empty as the landscape seems,
there is God in you.

waiting for the call
to fill you with the power
to break your chains
and rise.

Texture and Time – an exhibition.


Equinox Villiage Gallery in Manchester, Vermont will be showing a collection of my Photographs titled “Texture and Time” from October 20th through November 14th. On the evening of the 20th (this Thursday) there will be a reception beginning at 5:30. Everyone in the area is invited!


Thoughts: Strange Time


It’s a strange time. I am not sure what to do with it.

I have lived most of the last fifteen years in a place of struggle. I have struggled with depression, with a failed marriage, struggling to re-find my footing spiritually, in my work, creatively. I have floundered without purpose. Even the simplest of tasks, day to day stuff, was hard. I had to fight myself to call people and deal with everyday issues. Every day was a battle. Some days a pitched battle.

I got through. I did some good work. I did some good things. I failed sometimes. But always, the struggle. The struggle to understand, to know how to fight through it. to make sure it affected the people around me as little of possible. To be strong for those who needed me strong, like my kids, like my clients, like… It was a struggle to know how much to share. Fighting through depression and its symptoms should be seen as heroic, but I am a realist – many see it as weak, or self-indulgent, or exaggerated. How much to share to be honest and yet not make myself unpalatable to those around me or potential clients? How to be honest about the battle without making myself look, falsely, as if I was unable to function fully and serve well?

A struggle each morning, to get up. To shift my strategies as my depression, so adaptable and ever changing in its own tactics, changed day to day. A struggle to feel loved. A struggle to be productive. A struggle. Always a struggle. Some days relatively easy. Some days unbearably hard. A struggle to keep at it, to accept that it is a chronic thing. This is my lot. This is the chemistry in my head and it’s byproducts and that’s just that.

Only, the last couple of weeks, there has been no struggle.

It’s not that life has been any different or suddenly easier. I have challenges – two cars that seem to be taking turns breaking down for the last month or so, challenges at work pushing me to grow, challenges as a pastor. The challenges of a son preparing to go to college, all the normal stuff of life that we all have.

That’s what is different. The normalness of it. I don’t feel beat up over it. When that ordinary stuff happens, I don’t have to push back the feeling that I’m going down the tubes, that it’s too much, that I don;t know if I can handle it.

This, I tell myself, is what normal people feel like.

It’s kind of nice. But I don’t know what to do with it. Do I trust it? Do I let myself believe it is my new normal, my new status quo? Or do I become more vigilant, wondering where the next attack will come from, where my mind will betray me next?

Actually, it’s really nice. And with it comes a benefit I never expected. Colors are brighter, richer. I know, weird, but true. The fall is beyond dazzling this year, way brighter than last year. Only, people tell me, it’s not. It’s about the same as last year. Houses, Cars, People’s clothes. The woman I love’s green eyes. Signs. The patina on antiques. All brighter, more vivid. Like God suddenly upped the saturation of the whole world for my benefit.

What’s that about?

You have no idea how I hope it’s my new norm. Particularly the color thing. It’s magical.

But I don’t know what to do with it. Do I trust it? Do I fear it? So far, I am enjoying the heck out of it. But I am not to the place where I feel I can trust it. It might be a lull before the next onslaught. OR it might be something else, the life I remember before my depression.

When I first came to understand what was wrong with me, my therapist worked hard to help me learn to live day to day, moment to moment. It was a long journey for me to get there, but get there I did, and it’s governed my life ever since. I live in the moment. I don’t dwell too much on the past. I don’t get all worked out about the future. I live here. Now. If the moment is good, I savor it as I never was able to do before. When it’s bad, I don’t dwell or make it more than what it is, a bad moment that will pass.

Now. That is how I have gotten through the past decade and half. Sure I could survive the now because it would pass. Sure I could keep up the battle now. And if I didn’t, I would pick up to fight again, if I could just survive the moment.

And that is what I am trying to just now. Not to second guess it, one way or another. Just to savor it. The color. The feeling, for the first time in many many years, of being enough. The strange place of having no real battles to fight, of simply being able to deal with life. If this ends today, it’s been nice. If it goes on, well you may have to pardon me for my bad dancing. But sometimes it leaks out.

My writing is floundering a bit. I have written mostly to sort things out in my head. Right now, I don’t have much to sort. So I find myself writing from memory, or from others around me and their struggles. I keep up the habit because it’s healthy for me. It’s a spiritual discipline. I’ve learned what happens to me when I don’t and it’s not a pretty picture. But right now, it’s an odd thing, a new thing.

I’ll figure it out.

Those of you who don’t fight depression or anxiety? Take some time this morning to celebrate. You have a good gig. It’s worth being grateful for. Whether or not this place in life lingers or not, I’m grateful for the reprieve, and the reminder that life is as glorious as I remember.

And those who have struggled with me these many years? Hang in there. We never know when the clouds will lift, or for how long, But when they do?

It’s glorious.

Be well. Travel wisely,


Poem: Breaking into the Theatre


Breaking into the Theatre

For a moment we are both singers and audience,
alone in the theatre with its red drapes
and stage lights, free
to break into song, to laugh
or to intimately sit, thigh to thigh
with no one to critique
or tell us how inappropriate we are,
or too loud or off key
and we are free to be ourselves
on stage
or off.

Poem: False Temples


False Temples

Today the bricks are coming loose,
and even from a distance you can see
the rot taking hold.

It is too far gone, this temple
you have worshiped at
with its fear and its promise,
this place, once so seductive with its promises
and aura of eternity.

You have watched it from inside,
brick by slow brick, the mortar that held it
proving false as the first dawn.
You have seen what neglect leaves behind:

broken things,
things stripped of their beauty and used,
cut to size and shapes that are unnatural,
left to live in the dark,
just another sacrifice,
left with little more than illusionĀ and scars,
what, if anything,
was real.

They will try and hold you, these temple-keepers,
for without their hate, without their control,
they are nothing.

They will promise your ending, the day you leave
the fetid worshiping grounds behind,
and they believe it.
Their lies about your weakness told so often,
so well, with such passion
that even they believe it,
never understanding that flowers do not bloom
in dungeons. No.

They need light.
They need water and fertile ground,
honest seasons and an allowing
of the God in them
a place to rise.

About this poem

Too many people are held back in this word. Far, far too many.


PS: Despite the dark tone of the poem, the picture was taken at Disney. Really.