Friday, February 15, 2013


Gun Control. I have handled and even loved guns for most of my life.  I also am sick and tired of the mayhem created in our country by those who think they must own assault weapons in order to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear weapons, or in case a militia is needed to overthrow the government.

The Second Amendment is as open to interpretation as the Bible, and as apt to create a heated argument. Assault weapons are to the Second Amendment what Porn is to the First Amendment. You are entitled to possess both, but does that mean you must? Porn demeans women, and men, for that matter, and assault weapons kill large numbers of innocent people, many of them children because they are always the easiest prey. Ask any predator, and he will tell you that.

I am inviting the wrath of my dear Montana nephews and probably a lot of other people. Please reply with something more helpful to this discussion than F... You. We are polarized by fear on this topic and I do not want to be a part of this. I also have some good gun stories, but will save them for another blog unless the response to this one is too depressing.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Endless Possibilities

I have not written here for many months. Each day is a gift whether it be marked by pain or joy or lack of direction. It is my life. Now. It is what I make it. It always has been, and I did not always make good choices. When a choice turned out to be bad, I followed it through, found my way back to where I needed to be to be productive, to be loving, to be alive in the present.

I have come to the realization that for me there will be no afterlife; that I cannot accept the tenants of any organized religion. It is scary. I feel alone, but  honest in no longer adhering to manmade doctrines that take me no where.

Meanwhile I reach out to those I love, and who love me although they are not always there at the moment. It is ok. We all have our distractions. Meanwhile I awake to the windblown curves of the two pinones visible through my glass doors, to the sun shining on patches of snow, and the cold wind that will cleanse my mind of cobwebs when I walk later with the dogs. My feet will feel rocks that have broken free with the hard freeze, and I can remove them from my path, and move on to see the first green of a weed that is not a weed, a plant with no name until it grows and lets itself be known to me. I remember the V's of wild geese flying as we drove home from Mesa yesterday, and I look for them only to find raven wheeling and playing, and I sprinkle bread crumbs over the fence for him.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Creativity...from where does it come?

A friend of many years asked me recently about the source of my creativity. I had never thought of it in quite that way. I am from a creative family. My grandfathers, father and brother are Irish storytellers, my father a carver in bone, my brother Jerry a self-taught artist along with my mother. My brother, Pat is incredibly poetic, even though his dyslexia is a haunting factor. If he had patented all of his metal fabrications, he would be famous for them.

I loved the beauty of words on a page,  even before I could read. Coming from a creative family is a factor. Living in the beauty of the Western United States for most of my life is another.learned early to look for the first crocus of spring, to listen for the first cricket, and to be outdoors at the time of sunrise and sunset. I developed an artist's eye, to see beyond a stand of buffalo grass to what lay beneath, and what over eyes had observed similar grasses.

I have always encouraged students to honor their own creativity. We don't have to be artists, or dancers, or writers to be express our creativity. It can be in the way we dress, the way we decorate a room, or plant a garden. We all know people who live creatively, who are different from the norm.

Dare to be different. If colors are drab according to fashion, wear brights because they suit you better. You don't need to be stylish if you don't like what style is. Be you, but first you have to discern who you are, or who you want to be.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Poet Laureate, Silver City; Grant County, NM

I have been selected as the inaugural poet laureate for southwestern New Mexico. I cannot tell you how humbled I am by this two-year appointment. I feel as though I am back in my Montana one-room school, and just received a gold star for the week. I am especially pleased to be able to use the post of poet laureate to enhance the awareness of the literary arts in our area.

I anticipate encouraging other writers, particularly those who were as insecure as I was about showing my poetry to anyone. The idea of reading it aloud terrified me. I hope that beginning poets will contact me, and that I can meet with them individually, or plan workshops that will leave them feeling more confident. Needless to say, my own poetry will be richer for the experience.

I am looking forward to meeting the other poet laureates in our state. There are now four. Only a short time ago, there one in Santa Fe. A poet laureate was selected in Albuquerque this week. Unfortunately, the poet laureate of Las Cruces died recently.

I will be writing more often on my blog, and poetry will be a frequent topic along with a few comparisons of poetry revision and pruning in the garden.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who Would Read Them?

Today I burned the syllabi for the last graduate courses I taught. It was hard to see them go. I will not be teaching counseling or education courses again, even if I am asked. The time it would take from my present undertakings would be difficult. It means I will never sit in a seminar room again with a group of students I am intent on awakening to the subject at hand. The fun of seeing them involved in their own learning, their own core beliefs, their own reasons for wanting to be teachers or counselors. I wanted to teach until the day I knew I should not, but it doesn't work that way. Other factors got in the way of continuing to keep alive the part of my career that I loved most.

Syllabi were my opportunity to exercise a bit of creativity within the academic mold. Some of them were for courses I developed. It is interesting to contrast what was happening in 1971 with my new doctoral degree in hand, and an opportunity to broaden the thinking of Western New Mexico University students. I put on my ERA bracelet and wrote a rationale for a new course, Psychology of Women. It was  met with the expected firestorm of university committee thought. Why a course for women if an equal one did not exist for men? I explained that all psychology of the time was psychology of men. And so the course was finally approved, and I was overrun with interested students. The first course, upper division and graduate level had sixty students sign up for it. Even divided in half, it would have been too large for the discussion groups which were at its heart. Students were organized into smaller groups of ten, and so began the discussion of how it is that men who are capable of great love for women are not capable of an equal amount of respect.

Today, more than forty years later, I hear Rick Santorum, candidate for president, speak about why women should be in the home, chained by that devil birth control.He just won in two Southern states! In my blog tomorrow, I will go on to pursue another course I developed, Psychology of the Chicano, and a discussion of minority status including that of women. Maybe I do need to save those syllabi from the fire!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I have had many students ask if I plan to write about our shared experiences at Western New Mexico University, Teacher Education Center, formerly Elementary Laboratory School, and the present Child Development Center Just this past week, I wrote about the connection among the above entities. This was written to celebrate the retirement of Terry Salars Anderson, School Director. It was removed from the program by an administrator.

 It is important to remember the history of institutions and what worked and what didn't, and creating ideal environments for learning was one that Western has always done well.

Students remember the good teachers and the nurturing learning environments. They also remember the bad ones. For those of you who are trusted with the education of others, take that responsibility very seriously, and know that what you say and do will be remembered for years to come. I will be writing more on the subject of teacher and student. I will share thoughts as a counselor and mediator.

Reach out to a child who needs an extra hug. Remember to look for the child within.