coming home

sunset w mistA piece just up at MomEggReview, ‘Coming Home’ shares my love of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It is also the basis for my husband and I moving our young family there some 23 years back. Not to the NE Kingdom, but to VT. Which is another story… How Chittenden County – which houses Burlington where we ended up the last 8 years, but also Jericho, our first 14 – is said to have the advantage of being near VT. The ‘real’ VT being God’s country, the afore-mentioned NE Kingdom.

While life ‘near’ VT – on the other side of Mt. Mansfield and in its shadow – saw our younger three children through high school and into the colleges of their choices, the early years of vacationing at “The Verm”* established a foundation for a deep sense of place, a shared vocabulary of experience and meaning for us as a family.

During this time of social distancing and staying put, it is oddly comforting that MomEggReview has released this wonderful collection of non-fiction essays called “Here at Home.” What better time to reflect on what home really means, especially as we might be temped to feel trapped or triggered by small things that begin to feel huge. For my part, I stand by this writing. While my soul home has shifted from the mountains of VT to the shore of MA, I still get the familiar anticipatory shiver up my spine as I drive that final five miles; still look for Clarence and Clarissa; still enjoy lingering sunsets. Still bask in the peace and invigoration of communion with earth, air, stars.

* My dad coined the term ‘microverm’ to describe my parents’ dream spot – a little piece of Vermont – during the decades they searched for it. The name stuck, shortened, once they found this corner of heaven some 50 years ago.

 

intense

Today’s Daily Post Challenge: Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

See previous post!

Add to it: around midnight Monday, November 4, 2013 our publisher emailed Marybeth and myself: CHECK AMAZON.COM. NOW. At that time HEAR ME, SEE ME was ranked in the 6000’s for all books; and #1 in Political/Social Science – Women’s Studies – Women Writers. [Also #17 in Social Science – Criminology and #47 in Social Science – Gender Studies.]

Now THAT is intense. We are a mighty small operation – two of us. Running a weekly writing group that in four years has impacted over 200 women. Sixty of whose writings appear in the book. Most of that time as volunteers. Lately funded enough to cover expenses and a bit of our time. In Vermont. For women prisoners.

What did I expect? That family and friends would be supportive and excited. What did we get? National exposure. Strangers moved to donate to the program. Folks across the world sharing their awe at the courage of these women. And hopefully still more positive ‘customer reviews’ on Amazon (hint, hint!!) and reviews . . .

This. Is. Intense.

my poems in minerva rising!

Status

light off branchesThe December issue of Minerva Rising is out! Within its winter-themed pages lie three poems of mine: ‘Agendas of Winter,’ ‘February View,’ and ‘March Snow.’ For those unfamiliar with Vermont winters – or at least, how they used to be – these present a range of experiences and connections. Quoted below, part III of March Snow:

III.
Late sun slanting into copper
casts an embered net about
treetops glistening through cloud,

each bare branch and twig adorned
in a surge of glint and glimmer;
sparks of spirited radiance

blaze, flicker and flare
magic spelled hope, divine
opening from the dark

portent of gentler light
rising ahead.

swb

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and PEACEFUL BEGINNINGS for 2013

new book review!

Aside

Check out the 4/25/12 book review of Women on Poetry by Story Circle Book Reviews.  It names my chapter!

“Women Writing for (a) Change: History, Philosophy, Programs” is a fascinating essay by Sarah W. Bartlett who is an owner of one of the affiliates of this empowering program in Vermont.”