I couldn’t sleep tonight, and somehow or other I came across this poem I wrote three Decembers ago. It is funny how sometimes my own words can be an important reminder to me—I was appreciating the perspective of the poem anyway. In the moment, it’s a truth I am finding hard to swallow.   Little […]


      Perhaps you find joy in the way you find sunshine through branches of trees, softly, little bits at a time. And though you are a flower growing, constant light will burn your skin. So, you settle in rhythms of night and day, sun and shade. You thank the sky at dusk and […]

And so you find the point in the mundane. The aimless wanderings find roots, wrap around each other in unseen places. You can’t dig through the dirt for evidence without the risk of cutting through the tendrils. You move on trust, shake hands, smile at strangers, sip coffee with people you didn’t think would say […]

Hi, my name is Elyse, and I am an alcoholic. Today I have five years sober, and my drinking days are starting to feel further and further away. Almost surreal in a way. Was there really a time when I drank secretly at night until I passed out? That seems like an entirely different person. […]

Joy is confusing. What is the difference between joy and happiness? How do we “find” joy in situations? Is joy akin to love, in that it is often less an experience and more of a choice? I have contemplated and discussed this many times over the years. In fact, this morning at 5am, after dropping […]

I say thank you a lot. I also say “I’m sorry” a lot, but I do that compulsively. I say “thank you” when I mean it. Sometimes though there are those things you don’t think to thank someone for in the moment, or it’s years later that you see the whole impact of that action […]

What if being “healthy” looks nothing like I thought it should? I have always operated under the assumption that being healthy means participating in a certain way in certain things, means engaging in life in a specific way, means being “normal” as other people define it. Only, my “normal” has been a miserable and unhealthy […]

We all see the panhandlers on street-corners and freeway off-ramps, at bus and train stations, outside the grocery store. They are so common, you might not even notice them anymore. But they are there. And, if nothing else, the most important thing you can do is simply notice them. Smile. Wave. Say hi. Recognize their […]

I’ve been thinking about panhandlers today. About how we interact with them. Next week I am planning on sharing my “Informal Guide for Giving to Homeless Individuals.” In the meantime, I want to share one of my most favorite, favorite stories from my work with homeless folks. One sunny afternoon, my client (we’ll call him […]

I think I might find the whole of life a lot more tolerable if it included personalized soundtracks for everybody. How awesome would that be? Your happy moments would be accentuated, and the melancholy moments would seem a little poetic. Though I have not yet figured out how to magic music into the regular unfolding […]