under the tuscan sun

Ancient olive tree at Sant Antimo monastery

The ancient olive rises
slow on its thickened base
rooting into soil of centuries
of virgin flavors

paired with vineyards
and traditional terracotta
filings of tile and statue, stone soil
signifying senses utterly unique.

No way to transplant or grow
beyond this circle of towns
where Etruscan lives left their legacy
in shards of living, cultured

long before we knew the names
of those who defended their right
to peace on lush land
against neighbor towns who tried

and failed to grow the layered depth
of flavor, life, that flourishes
unbound from these Orcian hills
under the Tuscan sun.


integrating the feminine


My mentor, Mary Pierce Brosmer – author, fearless feminist, wise leader, founder of Women Writing for (a) Change, and long-time friend – is embarking on her own conscious feminine experiment. I offer here a link describing in part a new course she will be teaching in Cincinnati: ‘ a Co-ED apprenticeship in the integration of the feminine into organizational life.’  Perhaps these ‘what-if’s’ will spark discussion here as well, online or in our own writing circles.

What if I said “leader” and it evoked an image of someone who always kept sight of: What’s in the middle? What are we gathered here to give life to? 
What if she told her own stories and made space for yours? and asked, “What can we make of this?” rather than “Whose fault is it?” 
What if she didn’t privilege some stories over others for the sake of political correctness or the need to appear cool or in the know? 
What if she had the courage to ask, “What’s going on in the room right now? What isn’t being said? What am I feeling? What are others feeling?” 
What if she spent time and energy creating spaces for people to generate meaning, to learn to take risks, to tell the truth, to make commitments? 
What if she were courageous enough to integrate life-giving and soulful tools into his practice – circles, silence, flowers, poetry, stories, knowing that it might expose him to ridicule, knowing that it would expose her to ridicule (if the leader is a woman)? 

What if she had enough integrity and imagination to connect measurement with meaning, innovation with tradition, growth with periods of rest (knowing, all the while, that the culture reveres and rewards disconnection, “pure genius” “scholarship”)?