When I Live in the Night

Life has turned again, which it does when living with a mother whose mind says one thing and body says another. So 3 a.m. comes again and again.

I can go months without reading poetry, but suddenly the words return. This one from Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer





Into the Dark Again

by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Dark and getting darker—

nothing to do but to make of the body

a home for darkness,

to open every secret drawer

where we hide our private darknesses.

Who knows what might happen then?

How immeasurable we are. It is only

terrifying until it becomes freedom.

Grace comes in the strangest costumes.

Did you really think you didn’t need help?

This night, stay awake.

Some things we can see no other way.

Age, Art, and Learning

The other day I was dreaming about ways to letterpress print on a textured surface. I am getting tired of plain white backgrounds.

Then, I watched a few videos, took some notes, updated photos in the Etsy shop, and answered emails about our upcoming Write-On letter writing workshop at Kickshaws.

But wait. I will be 66 soon. Why am I still trying to run a business? Why am I still trying to build community? Shouldn’t I be relaxing in retirement?

Actually, I do relax. With my mom in town, life has changed. But I find myself drawn back to connections.

Somewhere around 1988 or 90, I bought my first computer and hooked it to the internet as soon as I could figure out how to do that. Suddenly I could learn anywhere, and I could share what I was learning with others.

I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurship. But more than that, fascinated by what makes people connect.  I am inspired by  Seth Godin, or books by Simon Sinek or Jason Fried

The Heath brothers  and Daniel Pink challenged my way of thinking about ideas, Clayton M. Christensen on disruption… well, you see where I’m going. I love to learn (and to think about how we learn).

Brene Brown came into my life about ten years ago, and recently as I’ve thought about storytelling, Bernadette Jiwa.

It is never too late to learn. To create. To do anything.

Why stop now? I can’t imagine a better retirement. How lucky I am.


Poetry and Nature

The world is too much with us, said William Wordsworth. Some days this poem resonates clearly, as depressing as it is.

But recognizing this, I can soon muddle around in the emotions and come out the other side. I don’t need to stay there. And, as Wordsworth found, getting outside in nature helps. The sun on my face, the crisp air.

Focus on this day, this moment. It gets better.


The Older I Get

…the less I sleep

…the more I worry

…and the more aches appear

But I haven’t stopped loving to learn.

The thing about letterpress printing is each time I ink up the press, I have something I need to figure out. Maybe it’s the paper. Is the ink too cold? What about the packing? Is that metal letter chipped? Why is it printing more on one side than the other?

At first, I feel frustration rising. And then I remind myself: you got this. I take some time and figure out what the problem is, and then…. Ta da! I love the feeling of success, too! I wish I’d discovered this early in my life. But I’m going to enjoy the time I have left with it.

Before the arthritis kicks in too much. #gettingoldhurts


Once I year (I can say that now because I’ve done this twice), I attend a camp in Asheville, NC. It’s called Life is a Verb, directed by author/speaker Patti Digh.

We make art, write, connect with friends, share quiet moments by the pond, and laugh at the raucous talent show. It’s an amazing experience, and I come away inspired to create and share my work.

So, for now, I am holding on to what is good. I am not going to let world events (and specifically our frustrating US political situation) get me down.