tiny life in cocoa beach at nautilus teachings

tiny life in cocoa beach at nautilus teachings


the cloudy skies hover
above us.
the trees are brown
and look like death.
my yard is missing a
tall silver palm
which posed a threat
to either the power lines
or my roof.
across the street
the huge tree
with it’s roots
which crawled across the grass
is gone too…
and for the first time
in 12 years
i step onto my front porch
and actually see
i close my eyes
and imagine
the beautiful sunsets
we now get to enjoy
all thanks to Irma…
rain keeps filling my pool
the canals are too full
the grass saturated,
and turning yellow
from to much moisture
yet it still grows
the water still flows
tiny fish are in the
which now exist
as the water
as creeped up my boat ramp
confirming in me
the knowledge
i am not in control…
we are all
images of texas
pop into my head
so i pause
and pray for them…
next is the keys
and ever person
who lost all their belongings
another for the islands
who’s devastation is nearly
last is for the whole world
that the weather may calm
and peace may reign…
da boys are sad
as they sit upon their beds
i kiss them
rub their bellies
and sit between
the two of them
knowing they have been
a huge part of keeping me sane
no matter how hard it is
to have animals and

i make a list for them,
food, treats and more meds,
in case…
i call my water delivery service
as i cannot find a place
to fill or replace my 5 gallon jugs
and they respond with,
“we can get you a delivery in october
but no sooner.
we have changed our delivery policy…”
i hang up on them
find a new company
and look forward to getting my
two new coolers
and 7 gallons of water
this thursday…
i am trying to keep
my exposure to
social media to minimum
as people are already posting
about the doom of maria…
social media has really gone crazy
since the election last year
i already do not watch the news
listen to the radio
or read any articles on aol or google…
this hurricane
almost had me leaving fb…
i think back to cocoa beach in 2004-
the year i purchased my home here
and had to wait
due to the inability to write
insurance on the house
until it was safe
due to –
Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Frances
Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Jeanne…
my thoughts turn to my
Cape Royal building
once more
where d and i
own two double spaces-
home to his 50 + weekly patients,
my underwater sanctuary
filled with paint
giggles and tons of memories…
i love going up twice a day
greeting all workers
smiling with them
being a cheerleader
to everyone who needs it-
it’s what we do,
as humans
we pick each other up
even if we are down
works together to
achieve harmony
peace and togetherness…

our tiny beach town needs
a ton of clean up.
there are businesses
that are open that need
extra customers to help them
recoup what they lost,
there are neighbors who need
a helping hand
and there are family and friends
for us to cry, laugh, share
and heal with…
i take a deep breath
and gaze around my
little beach shack.
i am flooded with memories
as i drop to my knees in prayer
expressing gratitude and thanks
for my life
my home
it was by the grace of God
once more
our tiny island was saved
from destruction…
we are all alive
we all survived
the no electricity and no water
we climbed on roofs
cleaning gutters
cut down limbs
piled up debris
drove 30 miles to find
water food produce gas
but we lived…
for the most part
the churning of acid
in my stomach
has subsided
i am sleeping well
and i get up each day
thinking what can i do
to move past this
and forward
into my future?
how can i help
i have no answer
it’s time to throw some paint~
first clean my studio
moving everything
then lift the lids off the
cans of paint
and begin
the process of soul healing
how most artists do…
as i crank up my dixie chicks
dip my fingers in the cool wetness
pull my arm back
and splat splat splat
colors upon the wall
with every release of energy
will come ten times more tears
until at last
my tiny bali studios
comes back to life
as the trees begin to blossom
the flowers open up
the sky turns blue
the kids laugh
and people once more
begin making plans
getting back into routine
breathing calmly
and smiling…
then maybe
just maybe
the world
will begin
to let a car
pull in front of them
without cursing
to hold open a door
to take cookies to
an elderly neighbor
to have a needed conversation
or see a person they love
who has been absent
from their lives…
one person
at a time
they go
will be the hot topic
on social media
and the news…
as Ram Dass says,
“we are all just walking each other home…”


Read More tiny life in cocoa beach at nautilus teachings

our cape royal building at nautilus teachings

our cape royal building at nautilus teachings



the first climb
up the dark
wet steps
allowed tears
from my eyes
to streak down my
my love was
stepping close
behind me.
i knew he was
full of stress and worry
about what
we would find…
before we began
our ascent
to the fifth floor-
which held
his professional life
and my sanctuary
of colors
i was gifted to share
with women and children-
we stood outside
looking up
at the broken windows
in our building…
earlier this day,
the first morning after
irma’s assault
on our tiny beach town
as we began hauling branches
an e.m.t. truck pulled up
greeting us with a smile
and began filling us in on
their first surveillance of
the roads, buildings, homes
we all loved so much…
what stopped us in our tracks
was his last sentence,
‘we are headed to the
cape royal building now.
evidently windows were blown out
flooding some of the floors …’
we thanked them.
they drove off.
we went back to work
on our yard
and within 15 minutes
we were in our fj
making the short drive
to find out
if our suites
were among the flooded…
we opened the door
to our landing
d’s door,
stepping upon a soaked carpet
quickly he entered his
beautiful office
to see panels of the
dropped ceiling had
been soaked,
broken into
a million tiny pieces
and landed upon his desk
coffee table
and his cross
cut from the twin towers
by his fireman friend
big john…
another soaked carpet
lie beneath it all…
i grab my key
and stomp through
a flooded hallway
open my door
to reveal
my tiny bali studios
held a half flooded floor
which appeared to come from the
suite across from me
more water filled up the
next section of hallway
and a peak inside my neighbors door
she too had some sitting water…

we worked
cleaning up our spaces
for a while.
soon, i joined him
leaving behind a whole sink
full of every towel i had in studio
with rain
thank God she’s gone Irma…
upon finishing
we descended
again through darkness
only to emerge
the entire board of directors
the outside
and murmuring,
‘i expected this to be worse…’
every day our stomach churns
almost as bad as it did
with the approaching
days of Irma
every day we climb to
our fifth floor
put out damp rid containers
and leave room deodorizers
plugged in,
as there is power in the outlets…
each day we drag a little more
of his work
down the steps
load it in our car
and begin the realization
his temporary office
in the sun trust bank
may become his new home
bali studios?
i have no answer for
no destination
no vision even
all my colors
are now muddled
you all know
yesterday, help began arriving
to our beautiful
53 year old building.
this morning
dozens of machines
and professional workers
were outside
ready to begin…
we will wait patiently
until mid afternoon
then drove up
and hoped for
just a tiny bit
of fresh air news like….
‘it’s not as bad as we thought…’
‘it’s just going to take more time…’
until then i get to play
with our grandson
and prentend
life has not changed…
this i know to be true…

our journey up today
was ok…
tons of big blue fans
were being carried to
every floor
to dry out the building
run by ginormous generators
and the best part was,
we found out
our building’s electricity
was fine…
it was FPL
who still needed to
start us up-
a big yeah
between us
and we ventured home
so i could make d
some temporary signs
for his temporary office!!!
how many drives
will it take
until we see light
in our tiny spaces?
how many workers
will work countless hours
to get us power
a clean building
and the first step
at normalcy back?
we popped over
after an extremely
fun and much needed
night out with friends
against the
black sky…
she may not have been
all back
but baby

Read More our cape royal building at nautilus teachings

our tiny lives at nautilus teachings

our tiny lives at nautilus teachings





i sit

in the ac

in a clean house


my neighbors 

across the canal





i think about the battle zone

the inside of my home looked like

just this morning

with 5 extension cords

multiple fans

a cordless ac unit

generator and 35 gallons of gas


not to mention

50 gallons of water…

the mess of branches

strewn everywhere

that we raked up

cut down

and silently pulled

from the gutters of our

tiny beach home-

a place we love,

have made into 

a home

our mini resort

shielding us

from the chaos of every day life…

while going through this

almost 3 week long battle

of news hype


and then

Irma’s attack

we had the conversation

like so many people

of how hard this is

on our aging bodies

should we stay here

do we need to buy

any more big supplies

in case another one hits…

how do you prepare

to possibly lose it all?

we went 11 years

without a hurricane here-

i take a deep breath in

and think about this,

but it does not calm me.

the debris this year 

is unlike that of matthew’s

everything here now 

is ugly brown

and looks like death…

the branches we hauled

last  year were green

and when stacked

appeared as if  we had just

done a yearly trim…

but this year

bleak sadness

covers our

tiny beach town

with muted shades

of gray and brown…

i look like a battlefield

bloody scabs on my 

shins, knuckles and arms

bruises everywhere 

reminding me

we just went through

2 long weeks of 



and hell

and now almost another 

week of cleaning up

trying to get our lives

back to some sort of  normal…

Irma was supposed 

to be “a tropical storm

over us” while we slept

were the last words 

we heard




power went off

and the two of us,

flashlight in hand

strolled out

and started 

the generator


that was the beginning

and we needed to

be ready…

every lull in the storm 

as a big powerful band passed

leaving our pool deck under water

we would run out

broom in hand

and sweep the water away

praying it would 

never be deep enough

to enter



we then walked out front

and our entire road

was under water

almost up to my knee

and half way up our


the current was flowing

so fast

it looked like a rolling ocean…

i began to break

and freak out

as doc gently assured me

it will be ok…

the smile of our grandson

flashes across my mind

and i smile…

i think about my friends,


local businesses 




for them…

hoping we are saved.


Irma taught us 

so many things…



are old!!!




too much stuff!





and to live

in the knowing

i will never 

have to do this again!

but this is the one price we pay

for living in paradise

so if i accept this fact

and stay in my tiny beach town

in our little turquoise

turtle filled home

i must make a list of what

would make me feel safe

and secure

should this happen again…

i have two 55lb dogs

who go crazy 

if needed to be moved

so like most pet parents

i don’t want to go anywhere 

but i will not sacrifice my life

for any storm…

we have wonderful friends who

graciously open their home up

to all of us

and for this i am eternally grateful…

my husband has an established practice here

which he cannot just leave

nor retire from

he loves what he does

and he cares to much about his patients

to just leave them hanging…

so we need to have a plan

he and i

does he stay

do i go

taking my dogs

what shall we do?

for right now 



try not to have too much 

time together

because after all,

this is not a vacation

and is very stressful for


we continue to have faith

to pray

and accept 

our truth

this is home…

it’s now 2am

the ac is blaring

but i can still hear the generators

from across the canal

i look around the mosaic 

bathroom i completed last year

for my surfer dude hubby 

and pause

in gratitude

for my life…

as i wander back to bed

i stoop to pet the dogs

give them each a kiss

and then i fold myself 

back into the soft

clean sheets

pulling my hubby close.

he is my rock.

even when we disagree




together we can weather

any storm

as long as we remember

if we lose everything

we can start over

but not

if we do not have

each other…


goodbye Irma

hello cocoa beach

and the tiny little 

beautiful life

we love…

cocoa beach 1973
Read More our tiny lives at nautilus teachings

9/11 and Irma at nautilus teachings

9/11 and Irma at nautilus teachings

16 years ago today-
• 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building
• 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.
• 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
• 10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
• 10:28 am – The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.
do you remember where you were
on this day?
i do.
i was painting plywood scenes
for a local school in the OBX
watching good morning america
while the men below hammered away
putting an addition on my beautiful home
which graced the shores of
the Albemarle Sound.
i remember gathering with these men
all of us speechless
and sitting in silence
as we watched over and over
the image
of a plane,
hitting NYC’s beloved twin towers…
i remember picking up my kids
from school
closing my bookstore
and sitting for hours
with my kids
holding them tight
wondering what was going on…
i called everyone i knew
and told them i loved them
and as a small beach town community
we came together to mourn…
we prayed in churches
we held hands in silent vigils
and we searched for a meaning
to this attack against our America…

as i write this we are less than 12 hours
from Irma making landfall on
our florida-
the sunshine state…
we are a long narrow state
many people were born and raised here
it’s a state many people retire in
and visit every year…
our sandy beaches
heal their souls
warm their bones
and for some,
entertain the
as they visit all the
attractions in orlando…
key west is a place
anyone fits in
home to the most beautiful shells
i have ever seen
and at the bottom
is gorgeous international insanity…
the highways have been packed
gasoline sold out
water hard to find
we still gather
we still hope
we still pray
God will save us
our island home
and we will all make it through
this storm…

no one wants to leave home
knowing there may be nothing
to come back to.
no one wants to hunker down
run a generator
eat out of cans
flush their toilets with water
from their tub
ration their water intake
or even imagine
starting over…
Irma’s outer bands are now reaching us
tornados are touching down
harming people all over the state
my phone is buzzing with
concerned family
who loves me,
do to the media hype-
brevard is under water…
i take pics and send them
to each person
so they can see
it’s all nerve-wracking
and at times
in a weird way…
i feel safe.
and i have never felt safe
in my life
until recently…
this growing up
not feeling small
has completely changed me
in the best of ways…
but let’s get back to Irma
the woman no one will
EVER name her child after
in the state of florida…
she has been throwing buckets of water
down upon our town
the winds are not to bad
down the street
the young adults are having
a huge hurricane party
doc and i sit on our front porch
with the boys
and watch
the kids
the wind
the rain
and we pray…

it’s now 3 hours later
we sit out back and
watch as the trees bend and sway
the water whips at us
coating us with a wet, silky madness
we hate…
we wonder,
can we or will we
be able to sleep tonight?
the boys are nervous
‘wtf, mom?’
by 11pm our Bali Road
was under water up to my knees
and half way up the drive
the water in the back was rising
an extra large titos later
i sleep soundly
and we wake up to
no water, no power, no phone
tree limbs everywhere
the water in the street is gone
the river did not rise any more
our house and car are safe
we took on no water
the yard looks a mess
like everyone else’s
our son, daughter and grandson
are safe
as is their home
and belongings…
and we can work hard
to get our lives back on track…
sept. 11, 2017
the day IRMA
spanked us…
i am grateful our tiny
beach town survived
another tough blow
we all know it could have been
much worse,
and just like matthew last year
turning at the last moment
before destroying us
this midwestern chick
is on her knees
thanking God
as i do every day
while my cousin
Steve’s words echo
in my head,
“elgin doesn’t look so bad after all, huh?”
or my cousin Sandy’s
“Sher, i’ll take snowstorms over hurricanes
any day…”
then i look at the man i love
begin to cry and say,
“i want to go home…”

Read More 9/11 and Irma at nautilus teachings

IRMA and faith at nautilus teachings

IRMA and faith at nautilus teachings



prayer has always been
a very intricate part of my life.
when i was little it was always,
“God, please make me a fish
so i can swim far far away…”
no matter where i was
or what i was doing
i was just talkin’ to God.
and will always be
even today
i find myself talking to HIM
about silly things
“thank you for letting me
hit the light green…”
“thank you for my cold water
AC and my tiny home…”
“thank you for….”
the list goes on and on
each day of my life.
part of this comes
from being
extremely introverted
but mostly
it comes from
will never let me down…
i know i will have trials
i will go through hard times
i will hurt
but i also know
through it all
i will grow in strength
in confidence
but mostly i will
grow my faith…
as my roots get deeper
and deeper
i am buoyant
because of my faith.
life tests us
it challenges us
to be better
and when we goof up
we may have consequences
but we always learn a lesson…
has been a thorn in all our lives
for almost two weeks now.
Harvey taught us all
to love the ones we are with
that materialistic things
just don’t matter
and that we must listen
and heed warnings given
even if it means
leaving it all in the hands of God.
i know there are naysayers out there
but for me i know
whatever mountain
God has placed before me
there is a lesson to be learned.
what is my lesson?
this i know….

on my recent trip home
visiting where it all began
the place i built my box of shame
the hurt i held onto
the loss of my mom
i finally,
(thank you God)
i am no longer small…
so when i am faced with Irma,
just like you are,
i pack up
board up
and prepare to exit
i may be leaving behind
all those painted canvases
tables, chairs, dressers
i spent so much time creating.
i may be saying goodbye to
thousands of dollars of electronics
i rely upon…
to clothes i love
to furniture i enjoy sitting upon
and a home i built
but i also know
through him
and insurance
i can rebuild
a new life…
family and friends
have been calling and texting me
i love this…
i love hearing their voices
listening to their giggles
i love
as we face the next few days ahead
as a community
a family
a state
a town
as friends,
let us all remember
to be kind
to be grateful
to love one another
to not bash
or belittle
or judge…
i for one
love my community
i love all my friends
i love my life…
if God chooses to
place before me a mountain
to challenge me,
i for one will
wake up,
thank HIM for saving me
and then begin again
knowing this time
i will build a stronger
filled with much less stuff
and work harder to give back
to help
to teach
to live a life
i will one day leave
i could
and everyone i loved
and lost
is waiting to welcome
hurricane Irma
i do not wish to meet you
but if i do
you cannot destroy me
who i am
or what i believe in
and that i will get back up
and rise
through my faith
family and friends
and begin again
and again
and again….
to everyone reading me
be safe
be smart
have faith
and pray…


Read More IRMA and faith at nautilus teachings

irma at nautilus teachings

irma at nautilus teachings





for the past few days
i have been waking up
at 4:30 in the morning
with what feels
like acid
rolling around in
my stomach…
nothing is normal
right now.
i never wake early
i am a super sound sleeper
but now my brain turns on
and i cannot stop
the tick tick ticking
of worst case scenarios
in my head,
but who out there can?
we have
all watched as Texas
was drown by Harvey
people losing
every possible
tangible possessions
people dying,
all the brave rescues
and now,
it will take years
for them  to get their
lives back…
so of course
who may be a cat 4 or 5
flashes the exact same
outcome across my
brain as soon as my
eyes open…
i restlessly lay there
and try to tell myself
i am crazy,
i pray a hundred prayers
i stumble to the computer
let the dogs out
and return
coffee in hand
to see
exactly what
may have changed
in the last 12 hrs…
we have all seen the forecasted paths
there are so many
it’s frustrating
and which one
is the best?
Magic Seaweed
Weather channel???
i just want one to show
Irma taking the path
back out toward sea
not harming
our tiny beach town
and the 21,002,678 of people
who live in this sunshine state…
there is nothing
about this
that is good…

in the old days
it was a call to hunker down
and throw parties
in fact
when i lived in the OBX
for 6 years
we had at least 7 hurricanes.
i left for the first one
because it was
after that i never left.
being without power was no big deal
cell phones?
i did not have one
for the first few years
so it did not matter…
we all gathered together
grilled all our food
drank for days
helped one another
and eventually
got back
our lives…
there is placed before us
a powerful fear
that this is storm
could completely
destroy our lives…
it’s on every station
and all across social media
so much so,
it makes one dizzy
gives us panic attacks
and opens up the truth
we are not in control
and for those of us
OCD control freaks
people are posting
photos of empty shelves
some gas stations
have sold all their supply
schools are now closed
a state of emergency
has been declared
people are freaking
and we still have
no orders
to evacuate…
i have seen only
a handful of houses with
their shutters up
and when i talk to
my neighbors
and people at publix…
they all say the same thing…
‘waiting till friday or saturday
to put them up
and leave if necessary…’

no one wants to leave
their home
their life
their routine…
and thanks to the media
we all think
we may have
nothing to come home too….
i myself pray nonstop
24/7 while awake
and i hope that even if
people don’t believe in God
that they at least believe
in something or someone
to pray to
talk to
ask a favor of
throw positive karma towards…
it all works.
then 9am rolls around
mr giggles arrives
as my life returns to normal.
just holding our grandson
calms the churning
in my tummy
helps me forget about
and puts me in a state
of such happiness
and gratitude
that for short few hours
i put on meditation music
while he sleeps
and paint long, lazy strokes
of color across canvases
that for me,
will never be sold
or revealed
because they hold scripture
that calms my soul…
later in the day
as i slowly drive him home
and place him in the arms
of our son and his wife,
as i climb back in to my suv,
to cry,
and the acid
it’s churning,
reminding me
life is about to suck…
it does not help
that we have this grey calm
hugging every inch of
our tiny beach town,
that i have to begin
giving our dogs
calming medicine
to help them make it through
the next few days,
or that i go through
each room
stacking everything above
three feet,
just in case…
i hate this shit.
who doesn’t ?
tomorrow the sun will rise
and every day after that
it will too…
we will rise up
and face
what God has placed
before us,
whether a mountain
or a stream
it does not matter…
we have the power to leave
to start over again
and again and again…
we also have the power to pray
and for this
midwestern, artsy, fartsy chick
who landed in
our very much loved
tiny beach town,
i say face it
face your fear
protect the ones you love
and your home
be smart.
i love you all…

Read More irma at nautilus teachings

finding home at nautilus teachings



The table is white linen canvas
As a babies bottom
As I extend my palm upon my table
Minuscule bumps
Tickle my consciousness
Ebbing me
To an earlier stage
Of awareness
When heart
And soul
Were unrestricted
Brushes, paints, journals are unburdened
Agreeable to
Of it’s limitless
Be encompassed

A little girl sits in a dotted swiss carnation pink tutu
Her face is sweeping
With wonder
Her smile innocent
Her song luminous
Her hair is braided Indian style
She has tiny ribbons at the base of each braid
Her feet swing back and forth
Her eyes dance
Beyond the canvas table
She chooses a brush
Dips it in cobalt blue paint
In one animated stroke
Splatters the cool gloss
Encircling a generous section
She belly giggles
And says,
“It’s time to play”
A peaceful young woman saunters in drawing up a bench
Each segment of her seat
Is painted in an individual hue
An unrelated pattern
She is dallying with a strand of her golden hair
Her eyes inquisitive
Her gestures flowing
She contemplates
The elements of the table
An untouched journal
Delicately picks up a tube of
Cerulean blue
Squeezes it upon her palm and
Tenderly strokes the empty pages
Which will house her life story
Eyes cast upward, humming,
draped in soft white cotton
with a ring of daisies upon her head like a crown
She quietly sits
In a memory held
Rocking chair
Swaying back and forth
In melodic sweeps
She glances
At the other two spirits
Sharing her space
Begins to sing
“As the light is dancing
Upon the shadowed wall
It is into life
That I choose to fall
Upon my empty canvas
I sing my stories true
Paint every emotion
In a different shade of blue”
Soon all three
Are flowing in rhythm
Hands trembling,
eyes entrenched,
silent she lands upon a wooden resting perch
Words begin to gush
Spreading her essence
Wanting to shift
The assault
To her soul
She crinkles up the paper
She wrote upon
Begins to draw a lazy river
Lined with lily of the valley
And yellow daffodils
She knows she cannot stay here long
For now
Her words
Have carried her
To a scene
When sketched
The rawness
Craving to be
Strolling ever closer a small aged woman,
hands held out,
holds within each,
a memory
Wrapped in a silken blanket
A child stirs
The woman’s hand
Wraps the infant in shelter
Breathes into her deep faith
And circles her
In everlasting love

Held within the other hand
Is strength
He dances to her song
He listens to her stories
He laughs at her silliness
He loves her
To the core
Sun kissed, confident, adorned in paint splattered clothing, she gracefully stands at the white, linen canvased table
All eyes upon her
She unfurls her scarred wings
Extends her arms outward
And embraces
Each puzzle piece
Of her
Living soul
She is a
Patchwork quilt
Of assorted colors
She draws her hands
Towards her heart
She is complete
She’s unbroken
The authentication




Read More finding home at nautilus teachings

being pliable at nautilus teachings

being pliable at nautilus teachings



we all have the ability to be pliable-

easily bent; flexible

when we are born
screaming into this
crazy life
we are 100%
the challenge
is to stay that way
with each passing year
especially as we age…
for some
they just cannot obtain this.
they need their regimented life
they stick to routine
and appear unreceptive
to new ways in thinking
or even living
while others embrace
every new and exciting thing…
they can
continually learn
and grow,
they are like sponges
able to soak up every
pattern of thought
and mantra
willing to not just
baby step it but
jump off the cliff
ready to begin again
as someone
from the last version-
kinda like getting a new update
every few years or so…

the goal is to have a firm base.

what roots you to life?
for me
has been
for as long as my memory runs
there is not a reel in the ole’ brain
and heart
that does not
was always there.
when i was young
i learned to be
when to smile
when-if ever- to talk
but more important
when to
as i grew into a teenager
i found the easiest way
to peace in our home
was to comply
shut up
follow directions
and do what was expected of me…
as college approached
again i had no choice but
to accommodate my fathers wishes-
go to the school he wished
pretend to major in business
and take ever art and writing
class i could…
needless to say
i became
pretty inflexible..
i had to set boundaries
to stay within myself
and hold sacred
that which centered me-
my faith…
being married twice,
having kids,
it all floated around me
in this big
of who am i?
i obeyed my husbands
during both stints
at trying to be married
and i hated it.
i was miserable
the only saving grace
besides God
was my three children
and my church family…
i felt very much
manipulated by #2
taken advantage of
not to mention
being his target
day after day
and eventually some nights
his slave…
why did i do this?
i was stupid.
my faith sustained me
but i did not know how
to change
my life,
let alone
my kids lives…
if the winds are strong enough
and unceasing
will the tree will break?
well,  that

i wanted to be like silly putty
able to try on new things
and start over if i did not like it.
i wanted the choice
to be just mine
no-one else’s.
i set about unlearning my life
and trying many footpaths
until at last
i was now buoyant
with my faith supporting me
i began releasing
i learned to stop
to breath
to be grateful
to understand
i was no longer
that is how i felt
my whole life
i was not looking
to be rich or famous
i was wishing
to be loved
for exactly who i was-
this crazy
who paints everything
who does not shut up
who writes all her truths
and who will not
ever be told
ever again
what to think
i know
i need no one
except God.
i know
my children
and friends
are all gifts
which i hold close
i cherish
and i love…
am i pliable?
i love that about me
but i am also
love routine
embrace my alone time
love family get -togethers
love teaching art
and live in the knowing
all of this is only possible
because i trusted my center
my nautilus
my faith
i give it all every day
to God
because i trust HIM.
along this journey
i learned to trust myself
learned to love
with my whole heart
was given a voice
and embraced for being
so now,
i am silly putty
but the best part
is i get to be that.
i choose that.
knowing the glue
that holds everything
else together
is my faith.

Read More being pliable at nautilus teachings

fallible at nautilus teachings

fallible at nautilus teachings



we are all fallible-

capable of making mistakes or being erroneous

we don’t wake up in the morning
and think,
‘today, i am going to fail’
i’m going to blow my presentation’
‘i will be careless with my words
and ignorant to the pain and suffering
around me’…

we just don’t

plenty of us fear failure
so we strive harder
to be a perfectionist
we may try controlling
everyone we come in contact with
or live sheltered lives
because of this fear…
some take failure as part of life-
totally is-
not just our loved ones
our children
and thats
we are human.
expecting perfection
from anyone incites failure…
when my mother was
diagnosed with Leukemia
and given 6 months to live
the doctor did not sugar coat it
he sat with her
answered her questions
held her
and before he left i remember
him looking her square in
her big brown
all welled up with tears eyes
and saying,
‘dory, if anyone can beat this
you can…don’t give up…’

was he lying?
he knew how strong my mom was
he knew she would fight…
and fight she did-
she did not breathe her last breath
until 3.5 years later…
she still lost her battle
but her team of doctors
and nurses
never talked about dying
or failure
they talked about
positive, happy things
going on in their lives
to encourage my mom
to live for those…
and live she did,
to see me get pregnant
give birth to her grandson
and teach me the foundation
of being a good mom.
that in itself was my gift
from God.
let’s take a look at all the
amazing teachers out there
who are dealt this mixed up batch
of kids
from different cultures, beliefs, income levels
every day they welcome every child-
with a smile and kindness.
they chose this job to make a difference
no matter how hard some adults
lack of parenting can make it
failure is not an option.
what is it you choose to do with your life?
is failure a word you use?
if so i urge you to
change your thinking
i believe every time we are imperfect
we learn
we grow
we become
a better person
because in not-succeeding the way
we envisioned it
is God’s way of showing us
we are not in control
and we cannot ever know it all-
because guess what
no one cares where you went to school
what your GPA was
how many trophies you have
and how many certificates hang
upon your wall…
what they want to know
is how can you help them
make themselves stronger
understand life…

what we want is for every person
no matter their occupation
not to lie,
to be open and honest up front
like my moms doctor.
he could have easily said,
‘well, dory, i would get your affairs in order,
pick out your casket
pay for the cemetery
plan your funeral…’
but he didn’t
he had compassion and empathy
for my mother.
he is a true healer of souls
even if he could never
actually save her life…
and that teacher
who is daily dealing with
multiple disciplinary issues-
they handle it.
they find a way to reach
each child in some way
by positively pointing out
their strengths
and letting them know
within the walls of their school
they are safe
cared for
and will be taught
how to navigate life
even if it’s only one
baby step at at time…
as adults in this crazy
mixed up changing world
we have the ability
to love
yet there is this
cracked collection
of individuals
who choose to
through social media
fear, suffering and pain
by demeaning
verbally assaulting
and accusing people
they dislike
or have failed them…
what are they getting
from this?
life is hard enough
without being
every time you sign
onto any account…
just click on any headline,
scroll your newsfeed
and there is not a
positive kind uplifting
mix in the bunch
everyone is pointing fingers
tomorrow morning
as you flip open your
and greet a new day,
i encourage you
to begin with a smile
say hello to a stranger
buy someone coffee
slow to let a car
enter the road
look at this one life
for exactly as it is-
a gift-
and no-one
has the right
to take that away from you…
they only have that power
if you give it to them.
delete them
unfollow them
let their bs fill up someone
else’s day
and if you cannot find
anything funny to watch on television
then turn it off,
go outside
and say hello
to this one
beautiful life-
live it, baby…
live it to the fullest



Read More fallible at nautilus teachings

living forward at nautilus teachings

living forward at nautilus teachings


There is memory
In the stroke of
A paintbrush
I can taste the cool
Crisp cobalt and cerulean blues
As I pull from them
A sense of safety
And the knowledge
That they are my soul colors
Reaching for the tattered plaid fabric
With which to wipe my bristles upon
A story bobs up from the center of my being
The scent which once belonged upon this shirt
Now gone
Tickles my nose
In a rush of encompassing life songs
Being thrown ever backward into my life
I find myself searching for keys
Knowing love cannot uncage me
Nor bandage my scarred heart
I fitfully sleep knowing
To live with artistic abandon
I must accept that
I am The only one
who can break free
from my tethered chains
I was folded into a world
Of mismatched puzzle pieces
As if God whispered,
“This is what ya got, now make it work…”
My shadowed chocolate eyes catch
The movement of my hands
I clasp them together
And think of
My memory of first embrace
All floats back to my mother…
Small fingers
Placing color to paper
I can hear the silent movement
As it freely coats the surface
In shiny stroked images of my life
Hues and shadows
Echo across my mind
Where is my safe harbor
Who is my home
How many times had I been asked to “trust”
Only to fall short of this and betray myself.
My life has been patterned,
Copied over and over
By the lack of faith in my own being
To grow
To blossom
To belong

The mom in me loved the woven images
Of repetitive life
Holiday celebrations, family vacations
And all the mundane chores
Which made up my day
I noticed from the time I was small
Keys hanging
Always out of reach
Beckoning me to take that leap of faith
That God made me to give back
All the brilliant colors I carried inside
I let Him down
I let myself down
I became a robotic system
A database
How to be a good girl
Following direction
Carrying a shield
Made of hurt and anger
To say I was disappointed in myself
Is an understatement
As I stand looking through the mirror
Illustrations flash quickly
Like the lens of a camera
My three grown children
Are strong, focused and loving
They have each fought their way into a world
Of their choosing knowing clearly
they are not going to drown
Or succumb to the rigid expectations of this life
I love their spirits
The soul they put into their school and jobs
I watch their hands echo mine
As they embrace all the colors
Given them
And never settle
To be just blue, green or red
But strive to be
Cerulean blue, kiwi green or cranberry red
They have expectations
Dreams, goals
And they don’t give up
They fight
If one key does not fit they just get a new one
I love it…
I find myself at waters edge now
The crisp coolness of the first wave upon my toes
Cleanses me
Inspires me
Beckons me to continue my journey
To new shores
Lush coves
To keep writing
And painting
Success is not measured in
Worldwide acceptance
Or monetary gain
But in the true
Shedding of my outer shell
To reveal my
Songs which make my heart sing
To speak my soul stories
Which gave me wings to unfurl
to brush upon canvas
The stories which created me
To grasp the next key which comes my way
And to sail upon open waters
Allowing the gentle to breeze to kiss my imagination
And fill my entire being up
With the warmth and knowledge
I may not get a second chance at life
So I better start living it now…


Read More living forward at nautilus teachings