Photo by Todd Trapani on

The gray, the gray, the gray.

I don’t mind the snow.

I do the gray skies that appears,

right before

and with the flakes.

Those gray clouds fill my headspace,

with cottonballs.

Said cottonballs absorb my bodily and

psychic energy slowing me,

and like a car engine with no oil,

shutting down.

The snow itself doesn’t bother me.

The gray clouds use the snow,

to eradicate the bad, the moisture,

the negative energy.

After the snow is on the ground,

I welcome the blue, blue sky typically,

so, so clear that

I feel a jolt of energy.

The pristine whiteness mirrors,

the blueness shining,

right into my inner core,

recharging me.

Written 2/1/2021, Snow day, Boston, MA

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Christmas Day Defiled

Facing myself

I can usually accept the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic. Working at PIH helps me feel that I am doing something positive during these bleak times.

Yet, I have experienced post traumatic stress and the end of year holidays are a huge trigger for me.

The Christmas of 2020 swept in overwhelming my mind and deactivating my body. Despite having the much needed and precious time to get things done around the house, home projects and even cooking, my body was metaphorically superglued to my couch watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.

The superglue was very strong! So much so that my poor now three year old dog named Sugar somehow was covered with it too. She could not leave my side on the couch either. Of course the effectiveness of the superglue had some help by the howling winds, torrential downpours and dark gloominess of day and night. My pup does not DO rain. Gleefully, she also did not poop or pee in the house either. She just was. I think she sensed my abandon to woes, sad memories and the grief from the loss of loved ones during this twelfth month of 2020 anno domini.

What I noticed when I would move were the self-depricating words and thoughts that I expressed. I was like a bird in a windstorm taking on the rain and wind with my hair blowing back away from me, my face flattening to the gales. Self-disgust was on full display flagrantly filling the sound of the room when I paused Meredith’s life on the flat screen. The words were not nice or kind. At that moment, I didn’t care.

The next day, the weather became mild, and I had to work at PIH, Work calms my inner and outer self. I also realized how much harm my diatribe causes me. Currently, I am my only me, myself. To hear such verbal violence comes from a child hood in a home where these tirades were like a recording that’s on constant repeat. I made MY home into THAT home on Christmas Day. Truly that is sacrilege.

Therefore, I will make every effort not to allow this destructive state to occur ever again. To start with, I aim for 2021 to be free of verbal self-harm. No more self-hate talk!!! Such rancor may have been the constant soundtrack to my life many times. I declare those times to be OVER and plan to be somewhere doing something fun on the days that typically difficult in the new year.

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“Unbreakable” by Jeanine Tesori

I know how everyone else’s life

Is supposed to fly by

Then someone turns and says

What about you?

And I stand here

Mouth open

Mind blank

This should have all work itself out by now

The map of my life should be clear and precise

With little red dashes and circles so nice

Showing roadblocks

And landmines

Oh, I am not unbreakable

I am breaking right now

Maybe everyone can’t have the dream

Maybe everyone can’t kiss the frog

Maybe it’ll be me and a dog

And the little stuff dolphins on the floor

And a little dog door

Oh, I am not unbreakable

I am breaking right now

I need to be unbreakable

Somehow, it’s never

Or now

Lorelai from GILMORE GIRLS the has been faced with a number of changes: Michel wants to leave the Dragonfly Inn for the W Hotel, Rory argues with her about to writing a book about their relationship, Emily starts dating Richard’s friend Jack, and Luke argues with her about the state of their partnership. At one point during the performance, the spotlight focuses on Violet and Lorelai, so it’s like Violet is singing directly to Lorelai, who is tearing up and visibly affected by the song. And, it’s these touching words that inspire Lorelai to take some action and do some soul-searching of her own.

I binged Gilmore Girls recently. This song touched me for a few reasons: Currently, I am with little dog and do have a doggie door for her; I’ve been feeling lost in life as of late; Due to brittle bone condition, it’s not uncommon for me to feel as though “I am breaking right now.”

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Justice, Justice, Justice

Today is April 20, 2021, the day that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd. There were three counts and the verdicts were GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY.

I want to show solidarity': how artists have reacted to George Floyd's  killing | Art | The Guardian

Ode to George Floyd

Most animals are born with a throat.

a tube that enables all creatures a means of breathing and digesting.

Each fragile being begins life struggling to take a first breath or cry or gasp.

A murder occurs when a lasso, hands, a foot smashes a throat.

Death results.

Life is in itself encompasses beginnings – so natural.

Death – the end – is not natural.

Causing involuntary death is evil – true sin.

The sin that resulted in George Floyd’s death will never be wiped away.

Yet, justice is necessary to bring about hope despite such a loss.

Hope and the sharing of hope to protect the fragility of all throats,

of all lynchings, of all beings.

Let hope beget hope in honor of George Floyd.

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resolution # 1,003 :: june jordan

I will love who loves me
I will love as much as I am loved
I will hate who hates me
I will feel nothing for everyone oblivious to me
I will stay indifferent to indifference
I will live hostile to hostility
I will make myself a passionate and eager lover
    in response to passionate and eager love

I will be nobody’s fool

from Haruko/Love Poems

Resolution – Time of Insurgence Reflections 2021

I do love the world.
I do find love and joy around the shadowy corners and even the brightest sun-drenched places where only bugs and cacti dwell
I do not believe in keeping hate in my heart. 
I feel ill like Superman to kryptonite.
Those who feel such have no place in my life.
Those who pay me no mind or forget me may someday find their way back,
be they old friends and family.
My arms await.
Those who are indifferent to me hold no place in my constellation.
Those who want to hurt me, I will shoo away like an annoying fly so that my energy is not wasted on them.
I am a lover of the earth, nature, the goodness in animals and children, music, dance, my God. I love eagerly and with much passion. 
Please note that humans currently come in last.
I have met humans who devalue me. 
To them I say, deal with yourself first and then my love awaits.
If not go off into your own spiral of being.
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I feel shame at my nemetic habit, procrastination.

I remember the underpinnings. I would see my step-father using his headaches as a reason to avoid paying bills, organizing his paperwork or even through unneeded items out.

Prior to moving to live with him far, far away from from my neighborhood of Jackson Heights, NYC, I had watched my Mom keep important papers in organized folders and her reminder lists in small notebooks. Her manner of keeping on top of these important issues were commonplace and not a big deal. All was manageable.

When we moved to the wilds of pony riding New Jersey, where there was not a Spanish-speaking family for miles, Pepe’s frustration over the clutter that he self-generated would spill onto how he would treat his new wife, my Mother, and me. (Pepe is the nickname my Mom gave my stepfather.)

It’s difficult for me to express the toxic relationship that Pepe created in the household. I don’t like talking about the abuse both my Mom and I endured. I get overwhelmed from these memories.

Prior to moving to Bernardsville, NJ from Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC, I had been a pretty motivated girl and student. I had tons of support from the Human Resources School where I had attended school for the disabled from 1st to 7th grade,

Both the overt classism, racism and hate towards me was apparent from day one by students and even teachers and guidance counselors.

However, the instability at home, which had always been my safe space with Mamá, had turned into a dormant volcano that erupted into full-fledged explosion since my Pepe had no idea how to express himself otherwise.

His clutter was apparent all over the home. He always complained about it to us causing his dis-ease to become my Mom and my Mom’s problem.

Fast forward to today. I have been working so hard to minimize the clutter in my home. I have been successful in the past. With this past year of distress and being alone since my husband who no longer resides with me, I have felt lost, unmotivated as well as lost in past traumatic events.

One day at a time.

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Nature in the Winter

Winter in Michigan likely to be wetter, but colder? That's a 'toss up'
Where’s Sugar? Probably lost in the trees.

Every author and poet since the beginning of time has written about the cycle of life. For people who endure the four seasons:

Winter = Clearing snow out of parking spots

Spring = Flowers bloom, usually the Boston Marathon is held and baseball begins

Summer = Get me to a beach or lake please!

Fall = Time for the school year to begin, leaves fall from the trees and dentist’s rejoice at all the candle filled children at the end of October.

For me, WINTER is a time of both inwardness and the exploration of the great outdoors as it hibernates. I can handle everything except ice which is my nemesis! I don’t have the best of balance so the slippery mirage (I typically see it after I’m on my ass) literally undermines me.

I’m fortunate despite being a city girl in Boston to have the Arnold Arboretum, the Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park and Blue Hills surrounding me. When I head out to walk in these environs, I notice the buds on trees that are pussy willows with their soft heads protecting their inner glory. I see the trees that lose limbs to the winds or the heaviness of snow and ice causing them to resemble the strange limbs on a scare crow.

I notice the animals – this year many sweet bunny rabbits freeze as I pass with my dog and always the amazing birds that even visit me at my home when I remember to put food out. Red cardinals, Blue Jays and so many grey or brown sparrows who love to domineer the bird feeder. Then there are the squirrels who scavenge their food from any source like left over bird seeds, acorns that they’ve saved for now and sometimes trash and who dog loves to chase away.

I love to walk and notice nature all around me. I feel with every step I take that this is my harmony to nature’s winter melody that is somber and inward. The Four Season’s Winter by Vivaldi comes to mind as a slow, deep lullaby to the world that sleeps and prepares for the explosion of Spring.

I am including this lovely poem by Mary Oliver. Enjoy!

In Blackwater Woods

by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its name is, is
nameless now.

Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:

To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems

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¡Feliz año nuevo! Welcome 2021!

I really like this meme!!! It’s inclusive and pays homage to Coronavirus, people of color and the disabled. I found it under the Facebook gifs.

By Wednesday of every week, I am very tired. My work week as a Spanish speaking case investigator begins on Saturdays and ends on Wednesdays, during December I’ve taken on 12 hour shifts on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday, I am done. My schedule will be changing for the new year, and that is very good.

Getting organized for me is a constant struggle. Despite my best efforts over years and years of dealing with procrastination, it’s one of my worst traits. I recently read that procrastination is variously described as harmful, innocuous, or even beneficial.

Two longitudinal studies examined procrastination among students. Procrastinators reported lower stress and less illness than non-procrastinators early on, but they reported higher stress and more illness late in the term, and overall they were sicker. Procrastinators also received lower grades on all assignments.

Procrastination thus appears to be a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs.

(Taken from abstract located at

Therefore, 2021 will be a time when I face my fears including the many projects that have been languishing in different piles around my house. I’m going to try not to think of myself procrastinating. Instead, I will pay respect to each pile and project. The time spent will be a mini-adventure where I am the conqueror of the desire to PUT IF OFF.

I hope this works for me.

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Truly Living During a Blizzard and COVID19

In January and February of 2020, the Arredondo Family Foundation, the non-profit Carlos Arredondo and I started in 2015, was looking rosy. Work we had done since 2005 became an actual corporation and non-profit. The Foundation had money in the bank, there were training requests for both suicide prevention and mental health first aid. All looked well!

Until the rumbling started..The ground shaking and quickly turning to quick sand under my feet.

The news began talking about a flu killing people in the Wuhan province of China. Another news China stated it was already killing people in Washington state. Then there was word that a Chinese student in Boston had it (please note that this virus could have started anywhere and anyone can get it.) Right before St. Patrick’s Day, this virus now named Coronavirus shut down whole states and countries across Europe. I immediately applied to work with Partners in Health to work on this pandemic but was not called.

In August of this year, I finally was called and was hired and trained in early September. Though in the beginning learning Salesforce proved to be a challenge, by October I was in the swim of things. I only take inbound Spanish speaking calls. The pandemic is huge among Spanish speakers. I often have to have a gut check when it comes to how ignorant many are on understanding how to protect themselves from COVID. I have a background in public health and realize that there simply are not enough prevention and education efforts occurring for non English speakers in Massachusetts and to date, have been able to do anything about it.

12/19/2020 The holidays are tough.

I try to retain my God-spirit by noticing the joy I have had and continue to experience in life. Despite my Mother and stepson both dying during the holiday seasons, when I think of them both I smile. My Mother brought me up to see humor in the toughest situations. She had a spontaneous laugh that I also have. Those qualities help on a daily basis.

My stepson Brian had a beautiful smile that as the years went on came out less and less. When I witnessed the smile, it was one of those unexpected moments like catching an amazing sunrise. Both are forever my darlings who I speak with often during this time of year.

I have lost nine people due to COVID to my knowledge. This work is very personal to me. Remembering my adopted Jewish Mom Phyllis who died early in the pandemic and was a kindred spirit when it came to laughing and humor lifts my spirit and sparkles in my memory.

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Hello world! ¡Hola! ¿Como va?

20151113_151648-1So much to say and never enough time to actually sit and write all of the thoughts that float about my head…

Who am I? The easy answer is a 50-year-old Costa Rican-Nicaraguan-Native-American citizen of the United States of America. That definition cover age, the Mom’s country of origin, my Dad’s country of origin, then my DNA description of being 40% Meso Native-American (that means from Central America) and then the country of birth.

And, as I said earlier, that’s the easy part.  I’m a bit more complicated than that as we all are.20150726_144342

Today I want to say “Hola amigos” to you all. My husband Carlos and I have founded a non-profit that aids military families who have had a loss due to suicide, military siblings and empowers military families to do something about suicide.  Foundation work has been in my head over 40+ hours this week. Meetings, planning, working with the treasurer of the foundation, board members, agencies we collaborate with and learning more day by day. It’s very exciting.

I am also a survivor in more ways than one. Most recently and notably, I bore witness to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. I knew almost immediately that the bombing impacted my brain. I felt that I could no longer concentrate and, I would have (and still do) have flashbacks of the events that occurred that day. I get fearful in crowded places and PLEASE, no firecrackers or pyrotechnics near me since I may void my bladder!

Since 2013, I have sought aid with professionals. However, I would have to say that the time away from a 9 to 5 job for additional sleep, exercise, eating well and spending time at home with my husband and my dogs (now dog since I lost my Chica) have provided much needed support.20151022_153435

I love to garden, though in my opinion, I don’t dedicate enough time. I love the flowers and the feeder that attracts the neighborhood birds every day, watering the plants and the nice weather as we all do. These are my meditative moments. Dog walking with my wonderful canine Buddy and the late Chica have aided in my grounding myself.

I have struggled with depression my whole life. With the help of daily exercise and since recuperating from the bombing, I have a great deal of energy. The foundation is a great outlet for my mental strength and activity.

My husband also struggles with post traumatic stress.  He helped out the victims of the bombing, many of whom were horribly injured.  He also suffers from pretty bad hearing loss as a result as well.

20151023_171054I do believe in God and am a member of the Catholic church. My true religion is peace, justice and activism which is in many ways an extension of Jesus’s message.  Don’t just pray! Do Christian works or in my words help out the lesser fortunate and love thy neighbor.  The word Christian could be changed for Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Buddhist, etc. You get the point.  I think the way to let one’s life pass by that is most truly depressing is to live a life not helping others directly.

Yesterday, I was at a meeting with many people who had experienced the suicide of their loved ones.  There was one man who is a refugee.  Those from his country suffered in refugee camps for 20 years.  So many are now almost permanently depressed and attempting suicide.  Many have died.  I was near tears as this man told his and the story of his people.20151124_164826_001

To not have the opportunity to live some sort of freedom within one’s life is a terrible sadness.  I am unable to go regular zoos or see animals in cages.  After a long period of time, these beautiful animal beings become sick mentally because of their confinement.  That is what my long years of depression and grief have been life.  Currently, I am in a respite period enjoying, prospering emotionally and loving the tiny joy of a sparrow eating seeds in my front yard.  When I am unable to see the birds, that’s when I know I’m in a bad state.

Have a lovely evening!  There is a harvest moon tonight. I must go see it now.

BTW, I love taking pictures…These are all mine, the good and the not so much…

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