Because all experiences are valuable.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I am wondering if I can hang on to this lance.
I made this myself from finest woods, even I
am not ashamed to admit I am proud of my effort.
It is not the job I wanted, only my love of the horse
lead me here, I had not known, I had not trained
for this endeavor. But the matador has my strings
if I can be said to have any- only a metaphor-
I assure you. I am resigned to knowing this is
my last fight to prove my courage, for I have heard
rumors they have outlawed this bloody, beautiful
sport. And, yes, I know the matador is the hero, the
one they all come to see, he is indeed stunning, yet
I must face the bull first and take the power of his
neck from him; I don't want the horse to get hurt,
never knowing if the bull will charge...Picador.

In the Cold

Last evening, as I trundled through the drive through at my electric company (Sawnee EMC...ooh, I'm a member!), I commented to Reid, "I love paying the Sawnee EMC bill."

He looked at me like I had two heads....No, not really. He is 15, so he didn't care much. But he did say, "Why?"  I said it was because every month I pay the power bill and there is a tiny sense of comfort that our lights and heat will stay on another month. One thing I don't have to think about.

I don't really think you can tempt fate, but...life does play its little jokes on one, doesn't it? Last night the furnace went out. Actually its a heat pump, but whatever. I have some space heaters, but it was freezing last night, so the house can get cold very quickly, and it isn't well insulated or anything. So, here I am waiting for the repairman to come, who hopefully can fix the problem. Drinking hot tea...sitting next to a heater...oh well.

You know I'm always always looking for the message. This presents a lot of possibilities for a message, but for now I'm keeping them on ice, till I see if there is a thaw after all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


ripping pages from a hardback book, he said that is sinful
he couldn't look-just like I couldn't hear any more of her garbage
about her years of struggle and life after life of being murdered
enough is enough, it was a bad book to start with
very few books have I ever abandoned, I can name two
learn to give up faster and get on to what is good
not easier, not more "in the world, in the ego" gibberish like
these bad recipes I will never make, except for two
so I tore them out, ragged from the spine
not a crime because I own it and
I'm not the first, don't you see no one needs a book full
of poor possibilities and worse,
I will make maple walnut fudge and nothing else, the rest of this
worthless tome to the goodwill to the fire to someone
just not me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going Public

suddenly it becomes a service
going public with the knowledge
that everything decays,
we will eventually dismember,
that someone will walk over us
and wonder.

reading names on squares in the grass,
the wind passes nothing on its lips,
over the tongue and under the teeth,
it's only from the silence we learn
that bones break and flesh tears.
Pain walks on ten legs
with twenty hands,
subjecting itself to neither love nor hate.

leaving its mark on the carpet
which springs back forgetfully.

best to know
better to serve love
we only have each other
for a while.


No Matter the Outcome

there is a moment
when I am gone,
the bones of my hands flying faster
than the surety of the outcome,
that you are relieved
by my absence,
the devastation of my presence
a bubble of blissful air
that has popped,
when you, for a second,
breathe deeply in the vacuum-
before crushing compression
of your heart muscle,
starved of the oxygen
you hate to want
and resent to need,
compels you to call silently
please come back, and
bring your hands,
no matter the outcome,
no matter,
I must have the key...

Friday, October 28, 2011

All Souls' Day

It is an art form
continuing to live with your whole heart.
It can be expensive...costs mount
skeletons dangle in the closet
in clothing you have never seen before.
From under the creaking floorboards,
past pyramids of burning black-pitched hay,
legacies drag and slither
into legend.

November comes too soon,
the second chance for souls, all of them,
none neglected
in the mad dash to flee this place,
following like ants on the trail of the saints
who left a moment before,
a naked moment,
brief, sleepy, and no more than that.

Haunting hearth tales
words and whispers in licorice-spiked fogs of breath
told to little girls
who grasp the green innards of the stripped twig
who watch the moon,
passing up opportunities for more in favor of better
and wait for the eye to close,
when they shall fly,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trash and Such

It's been a while since I let you in on my freaky little world. No full moon stories lately, no ravens...I don't eat McDonald's much anymore, so that's out as a topic.

Stupid broken foot caused far more trouble than I would ever have imagined. And, I wish more than anything I could see Eva and James. My life is far the worse for not being near them...

So, I have this weird thing about trash. I try to create as little trash as possible. Americans are shocking trash whores. I recycle all cans, bottles, and paper boxes from food. I have to take them to the dump and recycling myself where I live, or I would pay too much for a  pickup service I get free with my taxes. Reid and I produce one bag of trash a week...and not even a big one. That being said, I think I have a strange habit that would make you snicker at how strange and slightly obsessive some people are. Allow me to illustrate...

 This is a Chick Fil A restaurant. All Chick Fil As are closed on Sunday, if you aren't aware of that fact. So here I am driving through the parking lot of a closed Chick Fil A on a Sunday, to deposit Chick Fil A trash from approximately two days before in the Chick Fil A trash bin.

Really weird, huh? I have these thoughts from places I have worked, like Target, Borders, Macy's, etc. I am aware that people in general abuse retailers and try to throw away all sorts of stuff in the dumpsters.

I've decided it is okay to throw random car trash away in the trash cans at gas stations and convenience stores. Fast food, stuff from your trunk, paperwork, mail....all ok because that's why they put those trash cans between each gas pump. Getting gas doesn't generate trash, but they are always conveniently present, so I assume they view it as a cost of business to dispose of RCT. Random Car Trash.
But someplace like a Wendy's, for example, isn't really viewing it as a cost of business for you to clean out your car in the parking lot. Twenty-nine phone books and an old litter box don't really belong in the Wendy's trash. What Wendy's views as a cost of business is disposing of their own trash.

The resulting behavior from this thought process of mine is that if I have refuse from a particular take-out place, or store, and I think I might be passing by there soon...I will take the trash back to the establishment from whence it came. Thus my Sunday afternoon delivery of Chick Fil A trash.

If you ever find yourself asking what sorts of weird things people do that you would never guess....think of me!     Hugs, Sylace

Friday, October 21, 2011


Peace comes in the middle of the night.
My hair is down,
I download silence like an app.
No one looks for me.
The light is on and I am up,
I have the biggest thoughts,
Realer than dreams.
I can write here as if my fingertips were keys themselves-
Colored tips, lettered gems.
Nothing to hold me here at all, and
I am gone.
Where no one could find me in all the lifetimes left, unless
They knew me so well that
My hands became theirs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What You Don't Understand

What you don't understand,
is that the fight in me
kept me alive time and time again,
when literally a gun was to my head,
when I did not know if I would see morning,
when my body was no longer my own.

If you had a dog, pretty and sweet-natured,
but she had been kicked...
savagely, repeatedly,
until she foamed in fear at the sight of a boot,
and if you loved the dog,
you would forever take your shoes off,
and you would never allow
a boot near her again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Lie of Things

White lies
have ease and elegance,
simple serviceability,
just a papercut-
pop it in your mouth and suck on it,
it's gone,
melted as the sugar it was made of,
fleeting, and sweet.

Black lies
make a soup of human bones,
with no survivors.
The razor went in *here*,
the body landed *there*.
Everyone who tracked through the scene
has an inevitable tar
tracking after them, under their shoes,
poison steps across a winter meadow
that crackles with blood that was.


resting on a cracker pregnant with divine significance,
she lays her head askew.
to the right, a pile of lace veils too worn to serve any purpose
to the left, a hank of rope, a striking snake of green hemp,
too many clocks ticking to sleep,
too many hearts beating.

grey mice, brown mice, climbing over the wall by the hundreds.
They look so soft; they are so eager,
with pleasing teeth they show their tiny hands to her as
she nods at each in turn, they have washed,
they have earned the favor,
and she breaks off bits of her bed
to feed them.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Journey

Our planet died in dusky matte,
I knew an hour approached of flight,
We had to leave, or barring that,
We faced short lives in endless night.

In all the years since we arrived,
I think that man forgot we came,
Though we are few, we few survived,
And much like you, we seem the same...

You plan your trips, your ships and stars,
So ardent are your dreams and thoughts,
Lovely really, but not ours,
You lost our lessons, you forgot...

We left our bodies on the lie,
We did not need them for the trip,
In just a breath, the soul can fly,
We never needed rocket ships.

We never needed fuel, or air,
Our minds were ready, then we thought,
A blinking eye from here to there,
Exactly as we came and taught.

I love your pretty blues and greens...
I love these oceans, moon and sun.
I remember, and honor, your human dreams,
Even if I am the only one.


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Because my little finger is longest,
I painted it orange.
Small polka-dots,
halos of bitter olive green
around his eyes,
Pastel chalk outlines on the
of dinosaurs and dead bodies.
I listen to stories. I hear storm drains
and cobwebs, she went first...
That's the way I heard it,
but not the way he told it.
Exposing what is childish,
needing more time always
to finish what I started.
I look up to you
in ways you don't see,
somewhat incomparable
to anyone,
star-shaped, and
so often maligned.


Sunday, September 18, 2011


is not of the mouth,
though I know one would think so.
So many "I" statements.
It isn't a crime-
It's just a shame.
And I know it might seem that
arrogance is of the mind,
where one convinces the self of
the self-righteousness and
and the simple righteousness of
one's own thoughts.
But no,
is of the ears.
"I" will not listen, "I" cannot hear you,
"I" know I am right,
"I" know you are wrong,
You may have a point, but
"I" do not care, not really,
well, not at all-
if actions speak,
as they do,
which "I" cannot hear, either,
especially when they are my
arrogant own.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


what's enough?
-when you spend life preparing for
disasters that never occur
I have spat farther
than pursuit of conquering the unexpected
has taken me, and still
the unexpected
has taken me.

there was snow, and the crone,
a cave, a cat,
giant piano keys carved into the hillside.
Headless gods
adjudicating my life
on the turn, the truth of a
1910 dime.

I wouldn't have known what it meant,
unless you told me-
if you've ever wondered
why you know Norse mythology...

now you know.
now you know.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Broken Foot

Just letting you know I will be taking a forced break from blogging. I broke my foot last night. Want to see my xrays? LOL ok I put them on facebook. This is what life has come to now! hahaha I let you know what happens...

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Now that I know there are more than a handful of folks who get my blog by email, it occurs to me how annoying it is that once the email goes out, typos cannot be corrected, even after I edit the blog.

So, just a correction. In Marinero, there was a typo. Anyone who reads Spanish...or knows the song La Bamba..would have spotted that it should have read yo no soy marinero, not you no soy marinero. That doesn't even make sense :-)

And just as a side note, in Spanish when El is capitalized in the middle of a sentence, it refers to God, or Jesus. Meaning, in translation, 'I am not a sailor, and God is the captain."



would you know how I felt if I said that I have to watch, it is my job to keep things together, and if I do not, they fall apart. the edges of my paper, so vulnerable to flame, will fall into the fire like ripened fruit if I stop looking for just the second that I might blink or sneeze. does everyone feel like this sometimes and even when I know God is watching for me...and it is the only spelling I am going to get on this long sea voyage, pero, yo no soy marinero, y El es capitan. I wish my eyes would close and I am tired of looking, for if I could see the future, I would see for myself no riches, no pain, just a coke, a peanut butter sandwich, and a blindfold.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Too Honest

some dreams are too honest to be true,
links and chains wrap barbed hooks
pass just through my midsection,
you could just happen by,
on your usual route,
and witness something you never intended to see,
but you didn't know it was me.

cameras catch things and they don't lie, they say,
there are those moments in luscious REM,
everything is a lie, but everything is true,
it all makes blessed sense...
only later does it start to unravel at the sleeves,
until you are naked,
and you can't hide the hooks from passersby,
most of whom turn away, but some can't help but
snap the image, and I wonder if they are ever the same
as it comes in their dreams some nights...
too honest,
too true.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mother Teresa

Monday I finished the summer semester in nursing school. I stressed a lot over finals as I always do. Some people tell me not to worry so much. I know...that is good advice. But worrying so much is what motivates me to do so well. I need the internal pressure I put on myself; it keeps me working and studying when I would so much rather be doing something else, or when I don't think I can stand one more minute of the science of the human body. It is fascinating, but believe me it can get old.
We are unbelievably complex creatures.

When I am unavailable, or I'm stressing out, MJL always tells me he understands. When I need encouragement, he says, "remember, you are on a mission." That always helps. It reminds me why I started this whole thing.

The other day I was asking TK what he believes, because we have never had that sort of conversation. I tried to explain why it all matters so much to me, beyond succeeding and graduating. I guess you have to remember all of the people I loved that have died in the last few years, and how much they had and have done to support me. Brenau is an expensive school, and I am there on the grace and good will of my relatives and former husband who provided the financial means for me to do this. I thank them. I want to honor them. I want their money to be well spent.

A year and a half ago, I was a little lost. I hadn't gotten a spot in two different master's degree programs, much to my surprise. Judy Hyde talked to me about nursing school, but I just wasn't sure. I didn't want to leap in that direction with the wrong motives. So I thought about it, and more than that, I prayed about it, a lot.
I'm going to tell you what God told me. I feel it is a little scary to tell basically the world that God occasionally tells me things. But after I explained this to TK, he sent me something that touched me so much that I feel like I never should be scared of what people think ever again... God said to me that it was entirely my choice whether to go to nursing school, but that I was needed to care for his people. He told me that if I chose to go to nursing school, that the resources would be there for me every time I needed them. I started this process with just enough money for one semester of school, but every semester I have been able to pay my tuition. I want to be what God wants me to be. It isn't easy...I struggle against things I am that God doesn't like as well as other things...but I feel loved by the higher power of the universe, and not judged.

I want to share with you what TK sent to me, written by Mother Teresa.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa

That moved me so much that I cried. Not weeping, just those tears that spring to the eyes so fast it catches you by surprise. In those few simple words, I found that someone else understands exactly why I try so hard, and what I am trying to do. Believe me, I know I am no Mother Teresa. Never will be. But I will keep these words with me always.

This semester...a very difficult one...one I fought my way through tooth and nail it felt like, with my claws barely keeping me from sliding off the cliff. But I did it, and I earned three more "A"s, another 4.0. I'm going to enjoy my brief school break, and then back to work. Between you and me God: thank you for all the people you bring into my life so that I can keep trying every day.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Hey! I redesigned.
I've been at this for over a year...
thought I could use a new look...

I doubt anyone will object. hahahah

It's almost 1:30 am. I feel like I have been eating all day. Hmmm, what did I eat?

Breakfast? Raw oats oatmeal with yellow raisins and a little maple syrup.

Lunch? Captain D's salmon (no sauce)with broccoli, green beans and two hush puppies

Dinner? none, but I did eat about 8 peanut MnMs, a chips-a-hoy oatmeal cookie,
a fruit naturals cup with blueberries and blackberries, and a large handful
of bear naked granola- over the course of the last ten hours.

oh good lord. that feels like eating all day to me. I have a disordered view of food. I'm hungry now. It isn't worth the effort. I am hot, and mentally exhausted. I think I will go for a walk, which I like to do in the wee hours. There is nothing here that I have any interest in eating. Everything requires something of me, like...opening the refrigerator. It just isn't worth the effort.

sigh, where are my tennis shoes? then bed. oh...and water. drink water, Sylace.
I hate taking finals.
Just sayin'

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting for this Heat to Break

I want to have a way with words like Alice Hoffman,
the way she would describe
how and why you might
simply die in a conscious act of
ceasing to live,
from extreme heat and sadness,
without her ever once mentioning the words
hot, or sad.

You would burn down like a
lone incense cone to a tiny
immolative pile of ash,
having blazed from a smokey fiery pyre
to a lost wisp on the twilight breeze.
Everyone who read you would know
just how that feels.

There would have to be flowers,
something exotic, but slightly New World,
twisted, variegated roses and purple clematis,
twining unseen into a thicket,
where your ash will gravitate and settle,
never once having needed
to slither and sweat
among the dark, back alleys,
window panes and velvet sofas
of a Tennessee Williams play,
a Carson McCullers story,
a Walker Percy novel.

Alice, you have cool breath,
Even through my restless sleep,
waiting for this heat to break.

Sylace- having slept all day, and having awakened feeling lost.

(and especially hoping that Ali enjoys this...)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Take your paper tiger and go

a small warning- this might offend some who may not see the personally directed irony.

Paper Tiger

I want to fight you.
I want to strike down all your
Christian hypocrisy
and replace it with
Christian love.
God judges me no more
than he judges you-
just the same,
we are equals, and
my hypocrisy must exist elsewhere.
I am actively looking for it,
at least I can admit it...
God loves you, so therefore-
so must I...
but I don't.
Well, there it is.
the search is over.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Test blog?

So....I'm testing posting to my blog from my phone using the blogger app. I'm lying in bed. This doesn't feel like blogging. Hahaha, but could come in handy in the future. I suppose blogging from the ER is frowned upon?
However, posting poetry or random observations from almost anywhere...has potential. For example, from bed! Well, T-minus two weeks to finals for this semester. Reid started back to drumline/bandcamp this week. I watched "the Tourist" because Celeste was talking about the water vapor cigarette in class. I built a bookcase (kit) tonight...started about eleven pm. MJL called me a "productive" nightowl. He is right, though Reid is the owl...I'm the crow. I had to get yet another bookcase for my school books. Looks like I have to buy 14 more for Fall semester.
.....someone save me....please....no?
Oh well, ok. It would be nice to make Pi Kappa Phi. Well I can dream....goodnight!
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shiny Things and Crow Omens

It isn't even the full moon and yet the crows return.
I was sitting with MJL on his porch, telling him of an opportunity I had recently to help someone find a piece of information that he really needed.
One of my small odd occurrences in which information I have no way of knowing comes to me anyway...

MJL looked over at the trees and said, "are those crows, or just blackbirds?"
There were two medium to largeish crows side by side in the tree...of course, just as I was telling the story.

I know that the twin birds that belonged to Odin, the Norse God, are generally thought to be ravens...but both ravens and crows share the same Genus, Corvus.
Odin's crows were named Huginn and Munnin, meaning "thought" and "memory."

I'm always commenting on life's delicious strangeness. Crows are said to exist between the worlds, half-in and half-out this one. Thought and memory...
things that crows clearly possess in abundance,
and a fondness for shiny things, which Di says are always in fashion.

here is something interesting to watch, something to think about...something to remember.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This Moment

So, let's chat.

I of all people can tell you that life moves insanely fast. Guy tells me that studies have shown that the perception of time passing speeds up as you get older. I have touched on the perception/ reality of time in this blog before. I used to love to read layman's books on quantum physics in my spare time, but honestly I haven't touched a one in the past year I have been in school. My cup has runneth over with science this annum.

Over a year ago, someone lent me a little book sheathed in a yellow and white paper cover. I hope she knows that I read it every day, and that I will return it to her someday soon, when I no longer need it, and that it is being used. It is called, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon. It is a compilation of daily thoughts and readings to help support the recovering journey of those who have suffered, as the result of a relationship of any kind with an alcoholic. These readings are not about the alcoholic, nor any sort of blame. They are reminders for the person reading to be active in the business of healing their own life.

I'm a little behind, but tonight I read this lesson...for June 30th in the book. If there were an author I would credit him or her, but I believe it is okay to spread this message.

"The time I spend in reviewing the past, mourning over past mistakes and failures, is time lost. This is why the twenty-four hour concept, in both Al-Anon and in AA, is so strongly emphasized.

Our yesterdays have no importance except as experience in making today more fruitful. Regrets and self-condemnation, for what we did or left undone, only destroy the self-esteem we would derive from a balanced view of ourselves."

That statement is so beautifully true.

Time is a human construct. It means nothing to the plants, or the animals. Even the seasons matter little at the equator. Time is nothing in quantum electrodynamics. It does not exist at all. All things happen, or do not happen. If you like multiple universe theory, then...all things happen, infinitely.

As a breathing human being, I must operate at least marginally within the framework perception of time. It is a comfortable robe, a bit of safety saran wrap that keeps my mind from flying apart to the edges of the universe.
But that does not at all mean that I cannot see that the only moment that exists is this one.
The past Does Not Exist Now.
The future Does Not Exist Now.

In this moment...the one that exists...I know that I am so lucky, more blessed then kings and sultans and princes of industry.
Time does seem to be speeding up to me. Half my life is likely over.
No matter what mistakes I make, ever, I can never fail if my love
shines out...every moment. The only one there is.

I love you, Guy.
I love you, Reid.
I will never top the achievement of having a hand in both your creations.

I love you, all my dearest, dear friends.

I love you, Yena. I am proud of you every single day.

I love you, MJL. You are perfect just as you are.

This is a wonderful moment to be alive.

Tara Sylace


I don't know what to say
when there are things that need to be said
but I can't say them
until I'm under a ladder
or someone throws salt past my left ear
I shudder to think,
no, no,
I always think sober,
veins clean and clear.
You will ask me what this is all about
and I will say, "nothing,"
which will be the
absolute truth.
If it were about you, you would know it...
if you don't think it is about you,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe for Witch's Cake

I was baking the other night when I wrote that poem.

The result has proved to be quite popular. I had to make a second batch of loaves.
Thought you all might like the recipe! It doesn't really shrink or banish anyone...it seems to attract those who like cinnamon and raisins...

Witch's Cake

2 3/4 c unsifted all purpose flour
2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 c plain nonfat yogurt
3 eggs or 1/2 c egg substitute
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c raisins ( I like jumbo ones)

heat oven to 325.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, spices.
Add applesauce, eggs, yogurt and oil. Blend till mixed. Do not beat, it will start to rise and you don't want to beat it all out. Fold in raisins.

This will fill one bundt or tube pan, or two loaf pans, or one large loaf pan and three mini ones. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Should turn a lovely brown shade. If using a combo of pans, watch the smaller ones for doneness sooner. I cool completely under a tea towel before removing from the pan.

This is pretty healthy! Only 190 calories a serving, 4g protein, 3g fat.

Also, if you try to eat this hot it will seem puffy like cake instead of a moist bread. It is way better cool, trust me.

ps. absinthe is really awful tasting. I don't recommend it. Wink.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Witch's Cake

Witch's cake
you eat it and you shrink
or you disappear.
Do not bother me.
You have bothered me enough.
I have given enough.
Absinthe only pretends to hide
the word sin,
as if my eye doesn't see the prefix,
absolutely, and the suffix
the, (most
And as it is green,
you should have some.
Wormwood cocktails,
and witch's cake.
Suitable for
just "desserts,"
and banishment of spirits.


Saturday, June 25, 2011


So, I'm back home!!!
Feels good.
First task...make tea and drink from my own mug. Second task...facebook updates.
Third task...blog.
I'm eating dark chocolate chips and almonds.
I wrote a poem while riding MARTA to my car from the airport.

Everything since Jason died has been so intense. School this summer is so much more demanding than I anticipated. My sons are just the best people I could imagine them to be. Just thoughts...


haven't the words to tell
what I have been through.
End over end tumble,
when I am upside down
I try to enjoy the sensation
and ready myself for the
moments I am upright,
when I can deftly toss a few
accomplishments through the
keyhole-sized gap, before
I am off plumb again.
Good things are-
rolling faster than the piles
of work can descend upon me-
rolling past people
I love, sharing an upright moment
before we roll away, or
looking at them sideways,
just as good- lovely, even,
Waiting for the return of
the one,
whose strength and gravity
can hold me in place.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where's Waldo

Remember the old TV show for kids, "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?"

That was a great show. Especially for the geographically challenged American children set. I'm starting to feel like I am living that life. I guess people who travel for work feel like this, though most people I have ever known who traveled extensively for work ended up in places like Iowa, Kansas and Saginaw, MI....not anyplace very thrilling.

Two weeks ago I was in Chicago and Champaign, IL. Last week I was in Orlando, Fl. Today I am flying out for Rogers, AR...next week I will be in Cancun.

It's actually surprising how much studying you can do in an airport or on an airplane. There isn't much else to do...a captive audience...unless watching that airplane safety movie one more time is appealing to you.

So I'm thinking of investing in a red and white striped shirt and a blue knit beanie with a pompom. Makes it easier to keep up with me...

I'm off to Hartsfield airport...and by the way, the nearest exit may be behind you, and your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device in the event of a water landing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Corvus Cornix

I feel sure I am missing the full moon, hidden behind these storms and clouds. Though the lightshow was amazing, as many pointed out (such as the entertaining Mr. Magill, who will never realize that he has been mentioned in my blog), still I shall have to wait an entire month for another full moon to appear.

Would that I lived on a planet with more than one moon! If they were different colors that would be joyous. Would that require more than one sun to have different colored moons? No, I think not, maybe just moons made of different materials.

I am made of different materials.

A little fox, a little crow (raven?) no,just crow, I think...a lot of silk and some randomly variegated ribbon, wax...definitely wax, some porcelain and some ash, some balsamic vinegar, oatmeal, tea leaves, and maybe some moldavite.

What are you made of?

Looking at things with a roving round eye, turning my head like a bird...
Sure, I like shiny things, but I like omens better.

I saw something two days ago I have never seen in all my life...
a crow on the ground with its little baby crow (which was huge) but you could see the downy baby crow feathers under the wings and the crow was encouraging its baby to fly. I have seen this with any number of songbirds, but never a crow...
I think they tend to keep their business private...

which might lead you to say, well, surely there is very little crow in you, girl, if crows keep their business private...

but, really, doesn't that just make you wonder what goes on that you cannot see?

You can't look and know,
the life of a crow,
her flight path is wide,
and she keeps much inside,
You may think all is plain,
as you call her by name...
but her mystery stays dark,
she's a crow...
not a lark...

next month I should like my full moon back, please. I can wait. I can wait, and watch. Is patience a virtue, or a talent? No matter. That moon always comes back round again... sometimes it finds you in a trenchcoat and underwear...sometimes it finds you eating half a mint. Only the crow knows what happens next.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Way It Should Be (or/ so long, and thanks for all the fish)

the way it should be...
contains all of the obvious
prepositional phrases,
even if they are not there grammatically.

I remember learning that one
should apply that mnemonic to
a chair, or a box.
What one could do
to, on, over, under, beside beneath behind
opposite, through , towards,
you can fill in the rest from memory
I am sure,

there are some that fascinate me
pique me
that I had forgotten, like
regarding, considering, besides, among,
following and excluding...

in light of my thoughts, beyond what Einstein predicted,
despite the "best laid plans,"
there are still some that I would as soon forget
like Between,
and naturally there is
which is not the way it should be...


Monday, May 30, 2011


My world changed today.

I had a MacGruber moment today. (SNL reference. You can google it.)
I almost set off the bomb when I was trying to diffuse it.
Though he wasn't very happy at my incompetence, (work with me on the theme here),
MJL handed me the wire cutters when I asked for them...and
when one pair of hands wasn't enough to cut the red wire and the green wire at the
same moment, we did it together.
And! He didn't find it necessary to lecture me or make me stand in the hall and miss recess. (oops, I changed themes.)

I went back to school, and I learned something about someone: something significant,
something lovely, something defining. Most importantly...something I won't forget.

Oh yeah, and when the phone rang while we were disarming the bomb with the obligatory seconds left, that was appropriately hilarious. Reminding us to laugh...

Thank you for that, MJ- you are the Irish MacGyver.

Also I got a new nickname from TK, which I think is excellent. Snoopy- like the cartoon dog in Peanuts. I will leave the reasons a mystery, but thanks for making me laugh, TK. I'm sorry the young ladies of the cove seem to have ripped your pants off of you? I'm good at fixing things like that with my excellent sewing machine. But you have to be more careful next time, hahahaha

I know- this post doesn't give much detail (I only gave you a high-level overview) but maybe you can take something from it anyway, about appreciating the wonderful, special, unique and beautiful people that God gifts you with in your life, and how much it means to be able to work with someone and not on opposite sides.

Happy Memorial Day. Today, as always, I remember my sister, Lieutenant Brynda C. Sipes Drane,USN, and my Grandfather, 1st Lieutenant Charles E. Stiede, US Army Air Corps. Thank you, wherever you are, to everyone who has sacrificed their lives for me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Author's note?

Ok, y'all.

Big hahahaha. Seriously, I have gotten a couple of emails today asking me if
I'm ok based on that last poem.

I promise it was just a lighthearted look at what happens when a writer sits down
and can't think of anything fresh or interesting to write.

The voice of writer's block, and it can be very mean!

I think based on the elementary style that most of you probably understood.
And thanks for the love and concern, anyway.

It's good to have you in my "corner." Hugs! TSD

That Voice

Sleepy corner, where I sit... and tell myself, "Get on with it!"
I clench my brain to not forget,
I wash the walls with hapless sweat.

Faceless voice says, "You're not strong," and "You are almost always wrong."
It never takes it very long,
to get to "You do not belong."

Even this is trite and poor, "Your skills are weak, and what is more,
the entire pathetic blog's a bore,
what do you even write this for?"

I stitched the wounds and paid the fares, that night I cried beneath the stairs,
hid the truth and took the dares,
saved what was real for one who cares.

"Masochistic little girl, this 'wisdom' that your words unfurl,
is nothing but a cultured pearl,
a grain of sand inside the world."

"You shouldn't even waste the rhyme...it wastes my time!
(...it wastes your time,)
and isn't worth a fiddling dime.

I'm glad this corner's ever near; ugly, cruel voice I hear,
you paper doll of glue and fear.........
you'll never reach me from the rear.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Ansible

I am Jane
I am the ansible
the mind of the game
the voice of the hive.
I am capable of trillions
of actions in fractions of seconds.
Oh, Ender,
what did you do that cannot be undone
turning off
the jewel in your ear
for only a moment
forgetting me
long enough to say a phrase
so that I could not hear you.
Of all things I can do,
like making an entire fleet disappear,
I can't raise the dead for you,
or ever explain how many
millions of light years away I can travel
in the span of time
you forgot.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

French Shirt

Message, I
got a letter
who is that person
it left me
head spun
I said
who the f
is that person?
I want to eat
and I want to drown and
I want to tear the
fucking medals off
my chest
and throw them
off the cliff
and you can burn yours
at the pit
with the black flag
I have choreographed
a dance where
I eat fire
and breathe fire
and not a single
sinew is left unsinged
in the end
because I am wracking my brain
crafty lion in a cage
to get free,
and it's the very reason
the cage is required
the bars are there
to protect someone,
but who is it,
you or


Is Even possible?
There is no "it"
I want to know and I want it to be plain
"it"s a balance of loss with a gallon of gain
in a echo that saved me, but spared me no pain.
Even the crass malingerers
crowding the edge of the sidewalk
know the meaning of tides that meet at the center,
that beg you to come, but forbid you to enter,
I had meant to stand fast, but I'm yet the relenter.
Even a dream
has crisp pockets of seamless vision
as it takes from the mind what is spoken and shouted,
it tears from the heart what is rationed and doubted,
Even fair, Even Libra, as days are recounted.
What isn't Even is odd,
I am sure
I am sure
I am sure
it is so.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


ok, let's see if I can recreate what MJL told me this morning. Ugh, I'll probably get it wrong, but I will try.

"I see", said the blind man, "a hole in the wall."
"Liar!" said the dummy, "You can't see at all!"

Am I close, M?

At first I "got" it, but I didn't fully get it, because I wasn't allowed to say dummy growing up (by my teacher parents), and I didn't think of the ventriloquist"s dummy.

MJL said...the blind man can't see and the dummy can't speak, so it is all a lie.

I can't even remember what sparked that comment at that moment. Apparently this is something little Irish children grow up hearing?? I was tempted to whip out the
"Miss Lucy had a steamboat" song for him, but I showed restraint!

But...I spent lots of time in my car today wondering whether I am more the Blind Man or the Dummy. I had decided on the dummy. It isn't a bad exercise, pondering the deeper significance today, the day of the fauxrapture, whether one is the blind man or the dummy. Duct tape over the eyes? Or over the mouth?

Looking deeper though, the question isn't am I the blind man pretending to see, or the dummy pretending to speak, it is who is worse? The blind man is only delusional, but the dummy is both a liar and a hypocrite for calling the other one a liar, when he himself propagates a lie...

well, now that I think of it that way---I'm not the Dummy. I despise hypocrisy. So, I'll be the blind man, pontificating about holes I cannot see. Sylace says, "look! there's a hole!"

Now, before anyone starts trying to puzzle out if there is any deeper meaning to all of this, let me say, I'm sorry. There isn't. It has just been such a strange day. All the weird rapture talk and all the jokes. Some poor blind man convincing others of something he sees. The rest of us jeering that he is a liar, when what on Earth do we really know or claim to know about when or how the rapture might occur. Reid told me today that there is a bible passage that says no man can know the date of the rapture, no matter what formula he uses. Maybe those people were happy for a few days this week.

Although Reid did tell us about some people euthanizing their pets in preparation. WHAT self-respecting Vet would do that???? Oh, my goodness, MJL was watching "you Don't Know Jack," starring Al Pacino. It was very well done, but too upsetting at this time for me to finish watching. Another euthanasia reference within 24 hours. And when I came home tonight to my dark front porch, I felt that creepy feeling like I was being watched. I was sure that as I walked up to my front porch there was someone sitting in one of the chairs. It was but a spirit...

We had one that lived in our house in Arkansas. Reid, and Guy, and Ali, and several others (of course I did) saw him on the stairs for the first two years we lived there. There was a dog I would sometimes walk around in the hall, only to realize once again that we didn't have a dog. And when we did get a dog, she would always avoid the exact two spots where the ghost dog would lay.

I had lunch with Tom K. today, he said he has never been able to fathom most of the bizarre motivations that move people, and he doesn't even try. He said (being trained to lie motionless for as much as 24 hours) as long as he has a book and can see some water he can remain content for hours on end. Tom is just a sailor. I think Tom has been a sailor for many, many lifetimes.

I think MJL was the lord of some ancient holdings in the past. I can see it. He doesn't think so. I think his nose is quite regal. He has graciously agreed to lift his ban of pictures of him on my blog. Smiley face.

I suppose I am more the " looking for something rapturous to move me" kind of person. I kind of understand how one could get sucked into that sort of dream...that Jesus was coming today. It isn't a bad dream to have.

I was going to study, but I wrote this instead. It's one am...no rapture. What was that old phrase? Faded paper flowers after the ball.

I googled that to see if I could determine from whence that phrase came. The result that caught my eye was a reference to The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, which I swear I had just asked TK if he had read. The coincidences keep going. The Handmaid's Tale is in my top 50 books I love. I would also highly recommend her book Oryx and Crake, which is in itself a post-apocalyptic tale that skews into the brutal and surreal.

Pg 297 of The Handmaid's Tale:
" ...faded paper flowers, worn satin, an echo of an echo. All gone away, no longer possible. Without warning I began to cry."

Is it possible then that I remembered this particular turn of a phrase from this book? Faded paper flowers...surely not. Who could remember that?

Thank you for your indulgence here, on this strange strange day, when I woke up beautifully, and people and spirits told me things I didn't need to know, and no one I knew was taken into heaven.

Monday, May 16, 2011


What moves me? Why am I a diligent student one day, and a fairy the next? Often I am more than one person contained in one body. I used to think that everyone was the same as I am, only they didn't admit it. We all have our own inner dialogue, right?

Reid has been reading some interesting things about what comes with having a high IQ.
It's a touchy subject...no one wants to think of themselves as being of average intelligence, do they?

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe a lot of people are happy being average IQ. Most people are...that's why it is average. Maybe they don't have any desire to suffer the bizarreness of those with abnormally high intelligence. I found very conflicting evidence as to whether high IQ is more or less associated with mental illnesses.
Though it did seem that high IQ protects one from schizophrenia.

So I guess I won't worry about my tendency to transform into a winged creature occasionally. Or a mouse, or a lioness if the occasion demands...

Well, actually, the lioness demands the occasion rise to meet her...

My father had an IQ they called immeasurable. Maybe I have mentioned before. I don't believe he was ever happy for an entire day in his whole life. Only for a few hours, maybe moments, even. I read a book long ago entitled, "Borderliners," by Peter Hoeg. He also wrote "Smilla's Sense of Snow," which I adored. This book isn't for everyone. But the concepts of time presented therein...changed my way of thinking about time forever.

Hmmm, funny phrase..."thinking about time forever"
that might spark a poem tomorrow.
I think the smarter you are, the harder it is to stay in the moment, to stay happy.
If we are creating our own reality every moment with our brains, then my reality may be much bigger than some people's. In fact, I would bet everything I have that this is true. My reality is bigger. Others' are even bigger than mine. Some are infinitesimally small. Mostly, for our whole lives, all we know is our own reality.
Occasionally they intersect.

To have one's moments of happiness and presence intersect with another's moments of happiness and presence...that is bliss.

I'm working on that. Yesterday was bliss. A lot of bliss going around lately...at least in my reality...which is full of fairy dust, Russian tea with the best companions, and new names.

Oh...and presents! This beautiful corset was a gift from MJL, which was terribly expensive, and which is outrageously delighting in it's sheer lack of necessity to life...which makes it a perfectly wonderful gift for a fairy...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Down the Road

churning things smack my face
before I hold breath to go under...
a water wheel,
I think I am tied to it,
a revolutionary participant,
sanely resisting any fresh wound
that puts blood in the water.

blind, I feel for the rope
to be pulled in the event of an emergency,
I wait
the crisis may come later
down the road

what makes my mind pull two directions at once,
thinking itself limitless it sees no antagonism,
only fighting and wanting
all things.

what a stain this beating red disaster will leave,
one thing or the other...
one thing,
or the other,
or waiting for the wheel to go round again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Keebler Connection

Have you seen the Muppet movie? If not, why not? Well, that aside...
remember the song Kermit sings at the beginning of the movie? "The Rainbow Connection" Here is a sample:

why are there so many,
songs about rainbows,
and what's on the other side?
rainbows are visions,
but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide...
what's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
what do we think we might see??
someday we'll find it...
the rainbow connection-
the lovers,
the dreamers,
and me.

It goes on from there. If you haven't heard it...I love to sing it...so I can oblige you.

Well, this intrepid reporter of all things wild and McDonald'sy has made a mind-blowing, life-changing disovery while touring with the band, no less,
(groupie mom)- in the barren tundra of central Ohio!!

I found it...for all the cookie lovers, and toll house dreamers out there...

THE Keebler Connection. It exists. You can label this another conspiracy theory...ranking up there with the Obama Re-election/ Osama Demise Debacle
(ORODD)...but unlike others, I am providing genuine photographic evidence of my assertions. Get ready for the shocker. (but not yet...first, an homage adaptation...I learned this technique from Geraldo...one of MJLs faves...hahahaha)

Why are there so many,
songs about cookies,
all full of chips inside?
Cookies delicious,
baked with Elfin Magic...
why must those wee bakers hide??

It's so amazin',
the nuts and the raisins,
whipped up in a hollow tree...
someday I'll find it,
the Keebler Connection...
for lovers
of cookies...
like meeeee!!

(thank you for the gracious applause)
(besides, I recently found out that my blog is "all about me"...ROTFL,
I had thought that was obvious from the title.)

Okay, let's open Al Capone's safe....ugh, I mean let's cut to the camera crew at McDonald's for a report...

Suspicious, eh??

At first I thought...oh, truck parking...sure.

Talk about hiding in plain sight.

People are just not observant these days...never fear that's why I am here for you.

Oh no you didn't!!! That's right, far beyong suspicious now! Two large cookie filled Keebler transport vehicles spotted together at one time. Now why would these two be having this clandestine meeting here in this remote parking lot? This ain't no girl scout meeting for sure. Plus Keebler doesn't make those cookies! A HA!

I moved in closer to see what what was brewing, doing my best Fred Flinstone tippy toes sneaking...
but something caught my eye...like Maxwell Smart...I almost missed it, "by this much..." But I didn't!

Are you seeing what I'm seeing????
After I firmly reimplanted my teeth with only a moment's spit polish...
sucking up the pavement grit like the holy mother's milk reporters are raised on...
taking a moment to ask my self the vital and vaunted questions who, what , when , where and why...
I snapped this shot.

Let me zoom in closer.

Yes, yes, YES! It is indeed.....a large, hollow tree. THE HOLLOW TREE!...at a McDonald's in central Ohio.

With all the wiles of their magic, and the glamours of their Elvish selves...they disguise the delicious aroma of
milions of cookies being baked...right here!

If you can't see the obvious and clear evidential connection...then I will return you to your broadcast of Fox news, or your taped reruns of the OJ Simpson trial. The rest of us will ponder this mystery, plumbing the depths like James Cameron in a tiny submarine seeking the Heart of the Ocean...discovering what this
veritable "Tree of Life" means to each one of us individually.

Blessings to you all, and to quote the Oracle of the Matrix..."have a cookie...I promise you, when you leave here, you will be right as rain."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


this is after

looking for lost pennies in the cracks
of the street,

yet I have to

find the dust you left, or it will leave
on the soles of my feet,

speck by speck

I inadvertently walk you to a place you
never went before,

as I collect

the coins for the ferry, distinct from
the coins for the poor.

Sylace 4-2611

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm at a loss

Sylace is rarely, almost never, at a loss for words.
But I am right now. I would like to write poetry and it just sticks inside like a rusty staple the poor cow just consumed in the hay bale.
I would like to have something appropriate to say during this time, when my sons' father has just passed away.

It would be good to know that all of the wonderful things you think about how lucky it all was in the end, to have had that extra 2.5 years, to have had time to work out old issues, to have gone on safely and quietly into the hands of God...it would be good to know that one will feel the same way in six months, in six weeks, even.

That there won't be something you forgot to say, or ask, or express your long repressed emotion about...
The mind makes the best of things, you know, and strong spiritual beliefs are a wave of forward moving comfort that carries you and your loving supporters along through "the things that must be done," depositing you on the beach in the sunshine where you feel safe.

I think the sugar sand will remain this time, not embedded with sharp shells of regret that slice the unsuspecting toe at an inopportune time. I generally just bit into it, and waded into the ocean to let the salt purify the wound for me. No band-aids for little girls who have grown up roaring back at the Atlantic ocean as soon as the milk teeth are dry. I am eternally grateful to have been gifted with Charleston, SC as my second mother.

I know that Jason, who passed away early in the morning of April 18th, was both eager to go and desperate to stay. Really to be mentally intimate with the dying as they near their beautiful release is an experience of such growth...for both parties...that I think far too many people avoid it, to their detriment. People used to be much closer to death in their lives than we are now.

The clarity of thought, finally...after a lifetime of confusion and conflicting desires, when there are no desires left to have...is a last wonder of the soul in the flesh.

Sleep well, Jason. Of all the human beings on the earth who are so misunderstood, I offer you this odd thing in tribute:
I knew you. I understood you. I called you my friend. You mattered.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm Lovin' it!!

Ok, now on a happier note, though no less exhausted then two minutes ago when I posted the last one...

Had an indescribably fun trip with MJL last weekend. Short weekend, short trip...long on the good stuff.
MJL is highly tolerant of my idiosyncrasies, such as my strange penchant for McDonald's Happy Meals....and my habit of blogging about bizarre McDs ephemera.

So we were, um, somewhere...literally I have no idea...North Carolina...could be South Carolina by that point, and the McD's truck was pulled in unloading the frozey fries and etc. (I know, I know...there is no such thing as "and etc.") Sometimes it is just poetic license. I look over at MJL and say, hey, I need a picture of me and that McDonald's truck and maybe that cool rolley conveyor thing that the boxes come down.

Seriously, he was like...ok, sure. You have to love that.

So, in usual McDs twilight zone of experience, I climbed up next to the driver and was trying to tell him why I wanted the picture. I said I have a blog, and I end up writing about McDonalds a lot. He said, you have a what?? I said, I have a blog. He said, a what???
(this is funnier somehow without quotation marks). I tried to explain. He didn't get it. He really didn't get it.
He never did get it.

I didn't know there was anyone left under age sixty who didn't know what a blog is, even if he or she never read one. But who cares, right? It was all about the journey... 

I love the way MJL lets me wander far afield of the path, deviating at right angles on a moment's notice like the Pied Piper, and just follows me as I disappear into the evergreens or the bamboo. I can follow the fairy trail as rapt and as blithely as I please, because I guarantee you that nothing is ever going to come at me from behind. I know he is there...and when I stop, he will be right beside me.

You are the best of companions, Michelangelo...in every possible way... on all the journeys, real, imagined, geographic or metaphysical. The very best.   

Running the Gantlet

I am completely unclear as to why every single college semester of my life has wound down to its end, generally following the syllabus well, only then to be finished up in a heinous flurry of activity as if the teacher didn't know all along what was to be taught. Why does some major project need to be completed at the end of every semester, in every class? Why does there need to be one last huge important test, right before finals week??

It makes zero sense to me. It isn't like we are behind in our classes. I would say they are on track, which means the professors actually plan things this way! Hey...here's an idea...let's completely brain fry the students with requirements for double counted grades (200 points, yay!) in the last week. Clearly they all conspire together. They are out somewhere sipping margaritas, and laughing uproariously at us. ( my speech professor gets a pass...we don't have a speech final)  I'm just wondering why things can't be nicely spaced across the semester.

It is like running the gantlet at the end of every term, sans quilted padding, while not only being assaulted with blunt weapons, but asked to explain why an antigenic shift is important in the case of H1N1 Swine flu and its transmission to humans. Yes, I feel strongly about this....sigh. I think it is tradition. It weeds out the weak, I suppose.

And please do not get me started on the difference between a gauntlet and a gantlet. Next time I run through the fingers of a large cuffed glove, I will let you know. I am too too frigging tired to argue with you. Thank you for your kindness....you are most gracious, indeed.  ;-)

Exhaustedly yours, Sylace

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Curious Case...

It is finally April. Am I the only one who thought March seemed to go on a very long time? And whatever happened to coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? A 42 degree lamb, apparently. Oh well, if I can't find something better to write about than the weather, I should hang it up...

Last night, MJL and Reid and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. One of MJL's favorites, and Reid had seen it once and loved it, but I had not seen it. I'm thinking my impression begets a blog on The Curious Case of Sylace's reaction to Benjamin Button. I was very moved by the subtlety of the cinematography and the art direction. You know I can't watch a movie without analyzing the costuming, and I thought the design aesthetic was striking in its functional simplicity. Restraint was key, and yet historical accuracy was precise. In other words, there was nothing jarring that took me from the emotional and psychological elements of the character development. So why would I call this a curious reaction?

I had heard all good things about the movie from those I knew who saw it. I meant to go see it in the theater, but it just slipped by me. Reid told me I simply had to see it, but to be sure and take kleenex with me; it had even made him tear up.  Some other girlfriends told me it had them bawling at the end. Now, I had read some reviews that said it was too long and drawn out, and I had heard reports from male friends that they didn't enjoy it and just didn't get it...but those were mostly from sources I view as the general antithesis of my moviegoing opinion, so in effect, those were positive reviews as well!  (lol, Sylace logic)

I didn't cry. I didn't tear up. I did not perceive any sadness in the situation between Daisy and Benjamin. Watching her hold him, a small baby, as he died- and in full and final recognition of Daisy- I was possessed of an inspiring sense of rightness, of the obviousness of the truths of human experience. I said to MJL that I have thought before, often, of how I wished I could experience those I love as babies- to hold them for just a minute. In the calm of the infinite vulnerability of an infant, and the way they look at you with complete and utter trust- and I look back at them with unconditional love and protection. I had this experience twice with my boys. I know I will have it again some day with grandchildren. It is a future goal of mine to be a fabulous grandma. It is only fair...because I only got one, but she was worth her weight in gold. And my mother was so good for my boys as a grandma.

If you had asked me a year ago if I ever had a thought for being a grandparent, I would have said jokingly...only the fears of a mom of two teenage boys. But no, the thought would have been a distant future consideration. I have a lot to do on my path yet, but I know with all possible confidence that I am on the right one, because Benjamin Button evoked in me a sense of generativity.

We learned in Human Growth and Development that Erikson's Psychosocial Crisis of Middle Adulthood is one of Generativity vs. Stagnation.  Generativity is evidenced by growing in concern for future generations, what one is achieving and providing for them. Stagnation is increasing frustration with a lack of  one's own productivity that actually results from egocentricism and unwillingness to help society move forward. Successful resolution of this psychosocial crisis results in the adaptive ego quality of Caring. If this is mumbo jumbo to you, don't worry. I would have known what it meant before this class, but I still might have rolled a jaundiced eye heavenward at the concept of the psychosocial crisis. But now I am a convert. There are some valid additions to be made to Erikson's theories, but I think they are frickin' genius. How's that for sociological commentary?

I really loved the movie... I can't put it in my top 25 or anything, largely because I adore Forrest Gump. I should do another post on my expose of Winston Groom as the perpetrator of a thinly disguised "homage" (I'm being nice!) to this brilliant short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read both the book of Forrest Gump, and the sequel... and I have to tell you that the first book was marvelous, and the second was just awful. I couldn't figure it out!! Why was the sequel so poor? Now I know!! Because Fitzgerald didn't write a sequel to Benjamin Button. However, the merits of Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sally Field and Robin Wright propel Forrest Gump into my top 25 in spite of my new knowledge. Maybe I am being unfair... there is a concept that says that an idea will emerge when it is time, and if one person doesn't bring it forth, another will. It explains why so often an invention  or critical step forward is reached by more than one person, independent of each other, at the same time...

Victor Hugo, a visionary the likes of whom society rarely sees, said this, "Nothing else in the world... not all the armies... is so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

I am experiencing an enthralling confluence of ideas whose time has come for me. The always present, but finally awakened, nurse in me wants to hold you all with unconditional love and protection.

And to you, MJL, inspiring me yet again with your triumph over egocentricism...I don't care how you got to be who you are or how long it took you, or what you had to wade through to get here, I only thank God that you did.  
"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


If I wrote this for you,
you would want it,
you would want me,
you would want more,

you might drive yourself insane,
looking for the spot inside me
where this comes from,
to be sure it was yours,

truth is, you go on faith,

you believe what you need to believe,
create the truth
it is yours...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another McDonald's Adventure

I'm not sure what number this would be, now, in my series of adventures at Mcdonald's...

Today I had a low blood sugar episode...my own fault, as usual. I was in the library trying to print some
Anatomy slides to study over the weekend, but another girl had decided (apparently) to print the entire text of
War and Peace, so I just kept waiting...and waiting...

I pushed going to lunch way too far out, so I ran over to McDs...which is where I go when I feel so nauseated from blood sugar drop that I really don't want to eat at all then.

But by the time I was in the drive-thru (had to get to class at East Campus), I was really out of it. I was just  blindly following the car ahead of me without knowing what I was doing. So, instead of ordering, I just followed the car ahead of me. When I got to the window to pay, I was totally clueless as to what was going on. Then I realized I hadn't ordered. I tried to tell the girls (3!) at the window that I hadn't ordered, because I am hypoglycemic and my sugar was low. Two girls didn't understand at all and started saying, oh..your blood pressure is high...then other girl said No, her blood sugar is low...they had to have an argument in the window about whose Auntie had high blood pressure, and what happened when she passed out at the family reunion.

The other girl tried in vain to get them to realize my sugar was low. She finally took over and got my order, but of course, at the next window, they tried to give me the next guy's food. Makes sense they were confused; I was the dingbat who didn't order in...lol...order! But the whole thing started over when I told the girl I had low blood sugar and apologized. She also decided I had high blood pressure and told me I was way too thin to have high blood pressure (which actually means nothing) and maybe I just needed to eat something. Oh, the irony!

This was all terribly funny, but my sugar was still dropping. The original girl who was at the other window came over with my food and even put the straw in the coke for me. She must know someone who is hypoglycemic. Then...like, all six girls were crowded in the one window telling me to eat and not drive that way. They were all terribly nice, but still confused. As I left, I could hear the conversation about the Auntie still going on.  I will have to go back on Monday and tell the manager how sweet they were, especially Danielle (the non-confused one).

I can't do justice to this story, because I would have to employ some racial stereotypes. But it's part of why I love to hit McDonald's occasionally...it is always an experience!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


is a noun that implies a verb
that alludes to a sin
you only remember because you forgot to forget it
maybe two sins or three
or a lifetime of them
but no matter
who is judging this contest, and
is he friend or foe?
Were I to adjudicate-
a verb that implies a noun
that alludes to an iconographic presentation like
I would offer judicial opinion
that you have paid in full,
and bad memories of those who sinned against you are
snapped up whole and gone
in the instant you pray,
like a sleeve of crackers spilled on the beach
within the sight of the birds, and they descend, those seagulls
making the sounds you love…
the tide comes in and the tide goes out and
not once shall you ever feel alone again.

for MJL ,
whose character amazes me every day,
and who never gives in under pressure.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Number 100!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!
Here's a little bit of Ireland for you today...I took the above picture on St. Stephen's Green in Dublin.

This is post number 100 for me. An auspicious occasion, to be sure. Post number 99 was significant, too, as it marked the first time I used the F* word in a post. Well, the occasion called for it.

I am burning the candle at four ends recently- apparently my candle is cross shaped. But that is ok...even through the exhaustion, the anemia, the headaches and the midnighters...I am blessed to be doing what I am doing. I am blessed that the brilliant Judy Hyde said to me almost one year ago, "Tara, why don't you go to nursing school?" Genius or prophet, that Judy...take your pick. Currently, Microbiology stands as the most intense class I have ever taken. I will keep you posted though. I expect that to change. (Pathophysiology this summer...)

here is some more Ireland for you...

a good day to intersperse these lovely pictures, eh?
So, I decided to sponsor Reid's drumline's new snare drums by buying space on the back of the show shirts and putting my blog name. I guess I have opened myself up to judgment, but this blog has always been about my journey to be the most authentic version of myself I can be. So take me as I am, or don't. That sounds somewhat negative, and it is not meant that way. I know how to lighten the mood! More Ireland!!

Technically, this is only Dublin. Next time I go, I will bring you a new version. Let's all go, shall we??

Lately, I have been doing posts that reflect my relationships with some very beloved people. Di and Ike should be due for a revisit to their awesomeness again soon...Kristin continues to impress me with her incredible drive and happy nature...my dearest, dearest friend Sherry is like a beacon of everything that is truly good in this world...Eva, you are a blessing and part of my heart for all eternity...Ali, you are as uniquely beautiful as one person can be...

Thank you Dr. Bauck, for killing me with work in areas I will use forever and for your hilarious personal style; Dr. Roberson, thank you for challenging me to know more and think broader, better, and be my absolute best self; Dr. Gill, thank you for being a shining example of practicing what you teach; and Dr. Mace, thank you for being an entertainer as well as an instructor. Dr. Greene, thank you for always being so happy to see me, and continuing to give me a hard time because you like me so much (don't deny it!).

For some annoying reason I can't get the text to wrap the pictures today. Oh well. Who cares.

Thank you to every person who has ever stopped me and said, "Hey, I read your blog on facebook..."
It always surprises me to see who actually reads this thing. Thank you to Tracy...I hope you are feeling better lately.

I am different than when I started this. No, not 15 minutes ago! Hahaahaha. I write about public restroom experiences, and bizarre things I think. I haven't had enough strange experiences lately...I will endeavour to seek some out soon. I'm having lunch or dinner with Andrew Green next week...maybe he can provide some strangeness. Hear that, Andrew? Do you want to check out any local public restrooms with me? ( I can hear Drew saying Ewwwww from 30 miles away). 

Most of all on this St. Patrick's Day, I want to send my love to my own piece of Ireland, MJL. Who henceforth will be referred to in this blog as...MJL. Hahahaha, more Tara Sylace humor...both of which names he tells me I mispronounce. (Seriously? LOL).

you make being you an art, the kind
that I want to stop and stare at to see what
I see this time, that I did not see the last, and cannot
wait for the next, for this is the way of an angel
caught in faint light, blink and look harder, did I
really just see what I thought was there,
no one would believe this if I even
tried to tell them, so I can only scribble down
words to describe what must be felt, and
nothing more, nothing at all is even required of
either of us than to sit still, changing laughter alternately
with a kiss, and let God work.

TSD for MJL  St. Patrick’s Day 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For Mary V. McGraw Jarvis

Life can be a very mysterious whirlwind. I suppose that is mostly what I talk about here...life.

Mary's son, Joseph (Mac) Archibald asked me at lunch what my blog was about. Oh, Joseph, am I really supposed to have all the answers? Just kidding. If one doesn't know, maybe one should stop writing.

If I had an answer that was the slightest bit real, I would say, it is about what goes on inside my brain. Of course we are all appropriately scared when we realize the infinitesimally small percentage that we are aware of what goes on in others' brains. That was a dreadful sentence, but you get the idea.

I wonder what is going on in Mary's brain every day. Mary is so strong and so worthy of admiration for her fortitude that weak words of mine can't do her justice. I feel like I'm just pumping out platitudes here, but I insist on forging ahead. Maybe the fact is that some things are so inherently true that they do not need the salad dressing of glossy explanation that I usually ladle on...because...
could it be?...because I like hear myself? I am entirely unsure.

More truth is: I don't have any choice. I will hear myself all of my life, both inside and outside my own head. There are no other options. Make peace then with that.

Mary, Mary, dearest Mary. I am sure you are also fucking tired of being strong. But
we all know your soulmate Neal will always be with you. And that is that.

The memorial was lovely. But it didn't do you justice, personally. And that is that, as well. No greater testament to your character could I ever offer than the aplomb and patience and love with which you approach everything in life.

I hope you feel better from the flu very soon. I want to say to you that I wish I had understood in high school, far better than I did, just what a shining light you are. All of the faults on that front (whatever I did not perceive) are entirely mine.

You are greatly loved.

Monday, March 7, 2011

An Honorary Post


I have raved about the poetry of Wrinkledman before, but it has been a while.

She went around the world backwards,
"so that's where I was"
she was heard to say as the wind whipped around her hair, carrying the future rearward,
the afterwards were sucked out like credits,
like dusk,
like the signature on the painting,
nothing like the painting.
"did you see that day? I was in that sunset."

I just couldn't not share this one.
He knows a few of his poems aren't on my "wavelength" as he put it, but
I think his work is just brilliant.


Monday, February 28, 2011

The Thing About Sapphires

Behind the screen
among the dust rabbits
and film canisters that would clatter about horrifically
if knocked over (but no one goes back there),
one lost sapphire winked
like a holy star
each time the right light hit it.

Rings lose stones and the stones lose their places
and the right to be seen,
in the dark and the dust
for the part of the movie
that features them,
in just their own light.

The thing about sapphires is
they are
And no amount of time or seeming insignificance
can dim them.
A million years will find her just as piercingly blue
and precious,
when all the stars, and all the screens are dust...
All the light will be yours.

T Sylace for Kristin K 2-28-11

Friday, February 25, 2011

The failure of the AP course system, IMHO

Whew! What a crazy week it has been. Like none of us have ever thought that before...
actually, how common are the non-crazy weeks these days?

Wednesday at school, we had Assessment Day. I am really unclear on what was being assessed. We went to a convocation and heard a speaker talking about the school's new initiative to focus in on Critical Thinking skills in all classes. To me...who graduated college the first time 20 years ago, it seems like a no-brainer. Isn't that what college is all about?

I remember a professor of mine at Agnes Scott used to say he wasn't teaching us
facts and ideas, he was teaching us how to think. He said you never needed to memorize much if you just learned to reason, because in the modern world, the data was always available to you..but learning to interpret it was everything.

My current Anatomy professor says the same thing all the time. At Brenau, I'm not really sure what the statistics would be, but I think we are a pretty darn bright group. But I do sometimes see a lack of logical progression in people's thinking.

The speaker treated it as a failure of the colleges- colleges as a whole- that accreditation boards are trying to address. He said members of "Generation Next" are coming out into the workforce and viewed as unprepared to figure out things for themselves. Not undereducated at all, just needing to be lead to an unacceptable degree. I'm not sure, as I am not employing anyone, and I am Generation X. But either way...are you ready for my usual rant???

I don't blame the colleges...I blame the high schools. From what I have experienced being heavily involved with my sons schools throughout their school careers, at many different school in different states- the middle school and elementary levels are still doing a great job. I know, you've heard me go off on this before. I just can't keep my mouth shut. Our high schools are failing our kids.

From the second the idea of AP courses came into the high schools, I think they were sunk. I have so many legitimate reasons why I think this, and not the time to really detail them. Let me just say that 1. I believe my opinion is valid and based in factual evidence of the decline of college preparedness across all high schools.
2. I have spoken with about 15 college recruiters, and they all have echoed a similar stance that success in AP courses does not predict success in college. (sure, you get that credit, but it isn't the same thing) 3. While colleges like to see a rigorous curriculum pursued in high school by candidates, they all admit that it is more the willingness to take on challenges than any specific course or grade, and indeed, some say they would actually Prefer! students not take too many AP courses.

AP courses are, in essence, college material. Many high school students are academically ready for that material. What they are not (there are exceptions, naturally) is emotionally and conceptually ready for college material. AP in high school is artificially pumped up with difficulty; cramming knowledge down their tender young throats and pointing virtuously to the rigor of the curriculum.

I think it is a mistake and a disaster. Students have little choice for an academic curriculum of any difficulty in high school BESIDES AP classes. You've created binomial education. You are either in or you are out. A student may be extremely bright, even gifted, and not ready for college yet. That is why they are still in high school!! If the majority of college bound students are taking AP courses, which is college credit, and it is felt that they are ready for this, then what the hell is the purpose of high school at all??

They are given no other options but to be placed with " currently academically inferior" (no offense intended) students should they choose not to take AP classes. They are told repeatedly that they can't get into college if they don't take these classes- they are mislead about how many AP classes colleges want to see...I honestly can't follow the trail of benefit in this scenario. Someone must be benefiting, and I am wholly unconvinced that it is the students.

I feel it creates a college freshman class of already burned-out kids, who have learned on pain of failure that the way to survive these pseudo college classes is to memorize, cram, cheat, pull all-nighters, and swim in a sea of semester-long
despair just waiting for the lifeboat of term's end. Inevitably, a purge must come...of all the information they just crammed in, in order to make room for the impending whirlpool of "information" they know is coming next. And the poor things...all the really bright, adorable teenagers...just swim unto exhaustion and beach themselves too often on an island of "I really don't have time to really learn anything." If they are lucky, they can turn it around in actual college...

I know it was an extended metaphor, and let's acknowledge that some high school teachers are simply superior, and saints to boot. I am speaking here of an overarching concept.

High school has stopped being a place to finish maturing before being thrown in with the sharks. After ninth grade it seems largely a pointless exercise, and a really entertaining social experiment. You've heard me say it before...Bill Gates said the American High School system is irretrievably broken.

My position in a nutshell? (insert your favorite nut joke here)
College curriculum is for College.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Leave Out All the Rest

I had a terrific day in anatomy lab today. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again...I am so grateful that we have a cadaver to study. I literally had my hands deep inside this nice gentleman to feel the spleen. It didn't feel at all like I expected, and I was so surprised to see that the preserved stomach looked nothing like I thought it would; I'm not sure I could have identified it by myself.

Back in anatomy lab, while other groups worked in the cadaver lab, another group of girls asked me a couple of quick questions, which turned into about 30 minutes of my helping them and answering questions on what we were learning. They were so gracious with their compliments on my "tutoring."  Dr. Roberson encourages us to teach each other. It is extraordinary how much better you retain the material when you explain it to someone else. It has been a long time since I was a teacher in Arizona...and I never took all those education classes that would be required for me to teach again. I'm sure there is some important stuff to learn in those classes, but I learned from the best teachers I ever knew, yeah, you know who. My mom and dad. Skill at teaching is really a gift. And I love to regift that.

I was asking Dr. Roberson about my vocal cords... wondering if there was something unusual about those of us who sing with great range.
Probably now I have about a three and a half octave range. It used to be four. I am really out of vocal shape.
But honestly, those lowest lows and highest highs aren't really necessary for me. It was just a vanity. I read my darling "daughter" Ali's blog and she was talking about missing her hair she cut off, saying it was vanity, but she didn't feel the same. I feel that way somewhat, having moved away and cut myself off from my dear Ali, Christin and Lura.... but everything changes.
Twilight opening night, ladies? I bet that guy is still available...the one with the drugs and the rowboat...LOL!

This is for you! I love all my girls so much....Sherry, Mary, April, Julie, Kristin, Abby, Laura, Stephanie, Ashley, Brittany, Mary Eileen, Celeste, Darneisha, and of course Di, Christin, Ali and Lura. You make the world worth being in.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Mysteries exist in solution,
exerting an osmotic pressure 
on all those who have to swim 
in the same sea
with the sharks
and the dead.

What happens to the man who
believes his own hype,
it isn't good, I can promise you at least 
that much if nothing else.
I am Welsh, but I don't go back on
promises, or back down
the same road I just came up.
One step differently placed makes it a new path.

This cosmic bracelet I wear
dangles the planets in charming succession,
linked to every mystery
past and present,
through the panes and frames as I name them.
The cat is dead this time, I swear.
I looked in the box.

T. Sylace 2-12-11