Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reap and harvest

photo by grassrootsmsw

“By choosing your thoughts,
and by selecting which emotional currents you will release
and which you will reinforce,
you determine the quality of your Light.
You determine the effects that you will have upon others,
and the nature of the
experiences of your life.”

Gary Zukav

Own this...breathe it in...
honor the internal stirrings and hold this integrity
to your best and truest ability...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Intent and Labor

photo by grassrootsmsw

“It is possible I am pushing

through solid rock,

like the vein of ore

encased, alone.

I am such a long way in

I can see no way through and no space.

Everything is close to my face

and everything close to my face is stone.

I don't have much knowledge yet in grief,

so this darkness makes me feel small.

You, be the Master;

Make yourself fierce; break in.

And then your great transforming will happen to me

And my great grief cry will happen to you.”

Ranier Maria Rilke

Monday, December 17, 2007

Traversing bridges and paths...

photo by grassrootsmsw
Rome, GA

“We deny that we're tired, we deny that we're scared, we deny how badly we want to succeed. And most importantly, we deny that we're in denial. We only see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe, and it works. We lie to ourselves so much that after a while the lies start to seem like the truth. We deny so much that we can't recognize the truth right in front of our faces.

At the end of the day, there are some things you just can't help but talk about. Some things we just don't want to hear, and some things we say because we can't be silent any longer. Some things are more than what you say, they're what you do. Some things you say ‘cause there's no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself. And not too often, but every now and then, some things simply speak for themselves.

Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn't change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world… Head on, guns blazing. De Nile. It's not just a river in Egypt, it's a freakin' ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?”

Grey’s Anatomy

Monday, December 10, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“And everything I know just fades away…
And where the wildflower grows it picks its space…
And that's the way it is when nature plays its lovely hand.”

Sheryl Crow

Having to trust where the seeds have fallen...
waiting for them to take root...
a tender, fragile, and vulnerable time.

Time to be brave,
and recognize that clenched fists won't help
or allow a process to unfold.

Time for letting go
and trusting
that the seeds will produce
strong and enduring roots.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Principles and Duties

photo by grassrootsmsw

“Ethics cannot be based upon our obligations toward [people], but they are complete and natural only when we feel this Reverence for Life and the desire to have compassion for and to help all creatures insofar as it is in our power. I think that this ethic will become more and more recognized because of its great naturalness and because it is the foundation of a true humanism toward which we must strive if our culture is to become truly ethical.”

Albert Schweitzer

Monday, December 03, 2007

Play it out...

photo by A. Krynen

“You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative is so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounds like this:

Look. Listen. Choose. Act.

Barbara Hall

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holding Fragility with Strength

photo by grassrootsmsw
Central Park, NYC

“It's not a day on the calendar. Not a birthday, not a new year. It's an event, big or small, something that changes us. Ideally, it gives us hope. A new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories . . . What's important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning. But it's also important to remember that amid all the crap . . . there are a few things worth holding on to.”

Grey’s Anatomy

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Choosing Ambiguity...

photo by E. Fabery de Jonge
Kauai, HI

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”

Gilda Radner

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pet Bereavement

Image by Seltzer LLC
"Pet door"

For M and M:

Thinking of you both and believing Henry has found his door and is ruling his new kingdom...

Madison probably has a slightly larger door, but will be more than pleased to let Henry rule him upon entering!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Boys...

November 8th

Happy Appletinis my dear ones!
Imagining you both toasting together...
with, Roxie, of coarse...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In Honor of "Mad Man" 2/12/95-11/7/07

Madison's first snow
NYC 1995

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true,
to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

For the last 12 and a half years I have lived in many places without established roots, but there was always a sense of “home” because my dear Madison was with me…it was his love and devotion which defined “home” wherever we were together.

There is an indescribable bond that was gifted to both of us from the moment we first met. It was and is untainted, pure, and unconditional.

As a young pup he looked to me for permission to frolic with his canine buddies, and usually ran back between my legs for protection when it was more than he could handle. It was his joyous innocent exuberance, upon experiencing his first snow fall, which stays with me…He rolled back and forth and dipped his nose into the deep delicious 4 inches of white powder, and begged me with his eyes to join him. It was with ease and pleasure that I joined in his wonderment and fun.

Without words, just a look, we know what the other needs. Mostly, we have just looked to one another for companionship and a warm body to lean against. Being a golden retriever, Madison would always be blatantly open in showing me his desire for dog treats…which was most of his waking hours.

While I knew that one day I would have to say good bye to him, I never imagined how that would look and it was easy to push that dreaded thought away. Last night, after a painful and lengthy seizure, Madison looked at me and I saw what I didn’t want to see, but what I knew I had to honor and acknowledge.

He has been my silent protector and guardian for 12 and half years, and now it is my turn to be his.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moral Solidarity

photo by grassrootsmsw

"There is no profit in curing the body,

if in the process,

we destroy the soul."

City of Hope
Duarte, CA

There are so many fine lines for health care professionals...
We make the commitment to cure and heal, while also making an oath to honor patient self determination and choice.

Above all else, it is our responsibility to remember that we are face to face with human beings who have stories and histories, that define them...long before we have arrived. Every line and mark on their face holds who they are and where they have been. We have a RESPONSIBILITY to recognize and acknowledge this...this is their story, not ours...despite all the knowledge, beliefs, or skills we have to offer. This is about honoring and placing patient and family experiences at the core of our work.

Ann Hartman, LCSW, and Dean of Smith School of Social Work, insightfully stated:

"Because many of our patients and families are powerless and oppressed, their knowledge has been subjugated, and their insights have been excluded from the discourse by those who are empowered to define the 'truth.' We must bring forth their wisdom, their lived experience, and their visions of the world."

THEIR truth...not ours.

Here is a moral obligation, and in a powerful yet soothing way, it is an opening for a creation of human solidarity.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Hidden edges...

photo by grassrootsmsw

“Honor uncertainty. It's the seed from which all-knowingness comes…

Give it time.”

Mike Dooley

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Walk of Pandemonium

photo by grassrootsmsw
Stanford University

“I have a great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.”

Septima Poinsette Clark

The process of change
in the midst of death and life...
balancing and maneuvering
through sharp twists and turns;
not knowing how or when
the process will end or unfold.

and stamina
keep us moving forwards.

The determination
to stay true to the course
and make a positive difference
rumbles and stirs within us.

Despite a bureaucracy,
which often alienates
and removes itself
from the original 'human factor'
in it's goals and purposes.

We have not yet integrated
the old way of thinking with the new...
This is a significant juncture,
asking for our creativity and strength.

Let's allow the rumbles inside
to be silent "roars" of purpose...
keeping us steady and strong
on our path to change.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Celebrating October 1st

B.M. Cahn

"It well may be
that we will never meet again
in this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part, so much of me
is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me,
like a handprint on my heart,
and now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have re-written mine...
by being my friend.
Because I knew you,
I have been changed for good."


Dearest Baaazer...

Holding you close and celebrating you today and many, many, days throughout the year.

So many miss you...each and every memory reminding us that the honor and privilege was ours...

Sending love and laughter to you... always.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“There is a kind of quilt called a friendship quilt, but I imagine all of mine, no matter what their pattern, are emblems of female friendship, that essential thread that has so often kept the pieces of my own life together, and from time to time kept me from falling apart.”

-Author unknown-

Thank you S.G., E.F.S., and A.K. for being all that you are and honoring and toasting my rites of passage. I look forward to adding more to the quilt...

With love and gratitude...

Monday, September 24, 2007

At the bedside...

photo by grassrootsmsw

"If we're not willing to explore our own suffering, then we will only be guessing as we try to understand our patients. It is the exploration of our own suffering that allows us to serve others. This is what allows us to touch another person's pain with compassion instead of fear and pity. And we have to be willing to listen, not only to the patient but to ourselves."

Frank Ostaseski
Founder of Zen Hospice, S.F.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Owning delicious ambiguity...

photo by grassrootmsw

“Everything changed the day they
figured out there was exactly enough
time for the important things in their lives.”

Brian Andreas

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Open to the elements

photo by A. Krynen

"The value of our harshest difficulties is how honestly they cause us to question, how they intensify our courage and bring alive our deepest inner purpose, how they reawaken our soul's task on earth. The painful breaking apart of our world is often the precious opportunity our heart has needed to learn to be true to itself."

Jack Kornfield

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finding the map...

photo by grassrootsmsw
Seattle, WA

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.

It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul."

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sharing the 13th

photo by Peter Cunningham

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The Velveteen Rabbit

I was understood and tended to by a dear friend today...

D-Day could have brought a mix and multitude of emotions.

Instead, it brought gratitude and moments of laughter and insight.


Thank you S.G. for your nurturing friendship
and presence. Forwards we go, with even greater depth.
Cheers to life and all the unknown adventures waiting.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

D-Day on the 13th

photo by J.A.S.

"In my end is my beginning."
T.S. Eliot

Beauty, wonder and mystery awaits...
May the unfolding begin.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions."

Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, August 26, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw
Seattle, WA

"You're writing the story of your life one moment at a time."

Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Monday, August 20, 2007

Breaking it open...

photo by grassrootsmsw
Alabama Country Market

“The thing people forget is how good it can feel when you finally set secrets free. Whether good or bad, at least they're out in the open. And once your secrets are out in the open, you don't have to hide behind them anymore. The problem with secrets is even when you think you're in control, you're not.”

Grey’s Anatomy

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chance and possibility...

Cancun, MX

“When you live your life with an
appreciation of coincidences
and their meanings,
you connect with the underlying field of
infinite possibilities.”

Deepak Chopra

Saturday, August 18, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”

Grey’s Anatomy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Untamed and True

photo by grassrootsmsw

“The only ones for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

Jack Kerouac

Sunday, August 12, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw
Alabama Country Market

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.”

Georgia O'Keeffe

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Best Within

photo by grassrootsmsw
Rome, GA

" In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved this title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible,
it's YOURS."
Ayn Rand

Monday, July 30, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”

Jack Kerouac

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Divergent Contexts

photo by grassrootsmsw

"I had a compass…"

“To steer by,” he said.

But later it came to me that we navigated differently.

Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the earth was made round

so that we would not see too far down the road."

'Out of Africa'

Friday, July 27, 2007

PCT Code of Understanding...

photo by J.A.S.
Spanish Harlem, NYC

“It's a human relationship,

not a relationship between an expert and a problem.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches…

letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”

Pauline R. Kezer

Sunday, July 22, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, July 21, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

"What is a weed?
A plant, whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 19, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are."


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Limitless liberation...

photo by grassrootsmsw

"The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own unique life form--which cannot be used by any other."

Carl Jung

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“What if deepening of awareness takes place in the margins, in the nooks and crannies of contemporary life, like a weed flowing out of the thinnest sidewalk crack? Could it be, as the somnolent masses and the professional classes press forward in the old direction, seeking the same old rewards, that the new thing self-organizes out of chaos and noise, asserts itself in fragility and silence, then takes root and vitalizes until it suddenly manifests as established truth? If something like this was the case, we would be surprised at first-- even shocked--but then it might occur to us: Perhaps it has always happened this way.”

Daniel Pinchbeck

Monday, July 16, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw
Seattle, WA

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

Henri Bergson

Monday, July 09, 2007

"Once in a Lifetime"

Knapp's Castle

“Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!...what have I done?

Letting the days go by…let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by…water flowing underground
Into the blue again…in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones…there is water underground.

Letting the days go by…let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by…water flowing underground
Into the blue again…after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime…water flowing underground.”

Talking Heads

For all those in existential change and growth...the constant and unchanging truth is the passage of time...the flowing. Every moment only happens once...unique and waiting for ownership...


Friday, July 06, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

“A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."

"The Wise Woman's Stone"

Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


J. FdJ
China, 2007

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect
for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Jack Kerouac

I remain grateful for the non-conformist and free spirited core of my family. Their outlook on life and how they practice living life fully, allows for greater depth, intimacy, and complexity.

They each strive to be in the moment, wherever, and with whomever they are with. Their eccentricities are based in believing in the necessity of individualism...not only for themselves, but for all those they encounter.

Sharing and learning at this authentic level has deep and lasting ripple effects...changing and cultivating perspectives, understanding and insight. One moment and one experience at a time. Let the ripples launch, commence, and transform...


Monday, July 02, 2007


photo by grassrootsmsw

"All good things are wild, and free."

Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A perfect day

photo by T. Osterloh
July 1, 2007

"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."
Richard Bach

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Celebrating J.T.

photo bygrassrootsmsw
June 29, 2007

"The hero, in living her own life, in being true to herself; radiates a light by which others may see their own way. "
Laurence G. Boldt

She is the celebrated protagonist of a story.
An exceptional, unique, and humbling story...
a story filled with
pioneering causes and beliefs;
compassionate giving and care;
and immeasurable commitment and devotion.

Those who have had the honor
to even play a small part in her story,
recognize the life gift in that.

Selfless guide,
and Believer.

With gentility, warmth and grace
she is a humanitarian
for all humanity.
The varied characters in her story,
swirl around her,
hoping that her energy
is slightly contagious
or somehow permeable.

While her story continues
in new directions,
the legacy she has created
continues to shine brightly,
with permanence and distinction.

Our beloved protagonist
is now on Volume II of her story...
the characters are all still there,
just waiting to toast her,
and share in lots of unadulterated joy and fun!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tacit protectors

photo by grassrootsmsw

Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a being.”
Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Impossible contradictions...

photo by grassrootsmsw

“The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires - and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”

James Allen