Creative Arts and Healing
Almost Summer Solstice 
Dear friends - Time has slipped by, for our Tallahassee summer is well underway. My tomato forest is once again bearing dozens of ripe fruit, perfect for bruschetta on a crusty olive baguette, or halved into sandwiches, or gracing a green salad, or just popped into my mouth for a juicy treat. My hydrangea flowers are especially prolific this year -- we had a blue bush of them in the courtyard of my childhood home in San Francisco -- evoking tender memories - and in my yard they come in a variety of hues: the deep blue, light purple, dark purple, green-ish white, and pure white. I celebrate 26 years of living - and gardening - at this homestead, and everywhere my eye looks is a reminder of the work gone into establishing the beauty that greets my eyes daily, sometimes prompting an Out The Window poem, written from my study as I gaze outward.

The good news is that Prison Wisdom is in the hands of my publisher, Jeff, of EWH Press,who is currently going over the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, soon to be passed on to my graphic designer to upgrade and highlight the artwork and other graphic elements, to finalize the more than 330 pages that make up the volume. My dream is to send copies to Oprah and Obama, to help grow the numbers of individuals who will finally hold Prison Wisdom in their hands, and be moved by its eloquent and poignant message. A message that says we all long for liberation, we can all hear the voice of the muse when we take pen in hand to tell our unique story -- whether of pain or pleasure, sadness or joy, hope or discouragement. As one of my early readers of one sample anthology put it, "When you read this you won't say there but for the grace of God go I, but rather there I am."

With a world full of violence and polarization, we long for antidotes, we long for a healing balm to offset the mind-numbing atrocities that fill our media and our neighborhoods. What will this healing balm be? How can we unify in the face of suffering rather than add to it? Oh, these eternal and existential questions, tormenting in their frequency. If I had the answer, I would weave it into every poem, essay, and story, I would plant it with every seed, and watch it grow, and flourish. If I had the answer I could be "Queen for a Day," or the Goddess of Rebirth. How trite, how sentimental, to think one can counter misery with love, with bouquets of flowers, with baskets of red tomatoes, with friends dancing freely celebrating their right to exist.

Let me then be sentimental, let me add my voice to the peace-makers of the world,
let me bless newborn babies with a homeopathic vaccine against fear, let me rejoice
when sanity, justice, and a life's purpose for each human, finally exists, as the unbroken promise, guaranteed each one of us, through the long arc of our journey on earth.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."


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