The Take-Away

I’m living the inverted check mark. The downward, sloping short end on the other side of the peak in the classic, narrative arc graph.

You know the one? It exemplifies the narrative structure of any good story.


It starts with a set up. Introduction to characters, setting. Then there is that inciting incident. The moment that changes everything. Developments ensue. Challenges, complications. All leading to that pivotal dramatic high point of the story. The apex of the check mark. That climactic moment that the tale has been telling towards. It peaks with thrills, turmoil, excitement…and then…resolution.

The little downward stroke of the inverted check mark, this is the resolve. Revelation on how everything has fallen into place, post-drama. The “take-away”.

That’s me. Resting here in the take-away. The lull between sets on an ocean of activity, that perhaps, began with the set up on that fateful day I met the Bohemian back in 2011. The plot leading up that nice sloping narrative trail to the high point of our wedding day on 11-29-12.

It was a year ago that a loyal Archive follower said to me “everyone loves a good love story.” He was referencing my thread of posts detailing the vulnerable and exhilarating love that was blossoming between the Bohemian and I. At the time he spoke those words to me, I couldn’t even dare to hope I’d see the Bohemian again. That’s how fearfully I treaded through my heart opening. How cautiously I allowed Love into my life.

Now in the resolution phase of our storyline (at least this portion of it), I’m left with a mix of emotions of which I’ve been trying to find words for over a month. Not much has been written here of the fairytale ending to the unlikely love story. Why?

If one were caught swimming at sea in a series of enormous, crashing waves – a booming set, one right after the next, pummeling and frothing in all of their powerful might – how would it feel, to then find oneself in a pause? Waters calming. Waves just gentle. You, simply bobbing and catching your breath.

Everyone loves a good love story. And people just adore a happy ending. Somehow, quite surprisingly, I ended up with both. Maybe I’m just stunned.

What’s the take-away for happily ever after? I got everything I wished for and more.

At this resolution point of the inverted check mark, this narrator can’t tell you how everything falls into place. After living the dramatic high point, I’m still rushing from the adrenalin of experiencing something greater than myself.

Yes, I’m still breathing. No, words are not yet formulated.

And maybe. Maybe the take-away has an arc all of its own. Maybe I’m charting my own graph. Maybe, in due time, I’ll find a way to express it here to you.


* special thanks to author Hope Edelman for gifting me a simple breakdown of the narrative arc.  A basic guide for a lifetime of stories.


It’s true, I’m officially published. Not by clicking my own button here at WordPress, but through an anthology put out by the Pacific Writer’s Connection, called Ho’olaule’a (roughly translated as “celebration”).

courtesy of

Not only am I honored to have shared numerous weekend workshops with many of the writer’s highlighted in this compilation, I feel fortunate to be included in this work. But I’ll be honest, it’s not exactly what I expected.

Ok, I’ll admit, when it came time to submit work for consideration for this publication, I was in the chaotic throes of motherhood and work life. I was in a burgeoning romance with the Bohemian. My attention was scattered in a smatter. So I squeaked in by the deadline with a few written pieces I was proud of, though they were perhaps, not my best work. For good measure, I uploaded a few photos to go with my submission, as PWC was also soliciting images for review.

Well, none of my writing made the cut, but I have four photographs included in this beautiful book.

Someone commented recently that these things can often shift our focus and change our course of direction. Am I a photographer, not a writer?

I’m smiling, because I know I’ll never stop writing. And I think that any of the writers in Ho’olaule’a could appreciate my candid questioning, here. Perhaps every artist will occasionally pause to ponder something like this.

For now, I am simply grateful for the Pacific Writer’s Connection for making yearly writing retreats possible here on my little island. I’ve been under the tutelage of Kim Stafford, Kathleen Dean Moore and Hope Edelman, who have honed my writing skills with incredible insight. I have shared rough drafts and polished pieces with the many writers who come to this annual event, year after year.  Their work is now highlighted in this enriching book.

The anthology is soon to be available for purchase, and I have a sense editions may be limited. Check out the experiences, conveyed with exquisite detail and open heart, from writers here in the Pacific.

Here’s to celebrating!

The Possibilities

I was going to let myself off the hook this morning.

After a two-day intensive writing workshop, I knew I hadn’t been slacking on my craft. With a holiday (in honor of one of my heroes, by the way. Bless you Dr. King!) and no work today, I announced to Jeb and the Bohemian that I would be officially sleeping in.

Yet, at 5:45 this morning, I could stay in bed no more. The keyboard called me.

This past weekend’s workshop, “Writing About the Extraordinary”, was led by the amazing Hope Edelman, author of several books, including one called “The Possibility of Everything.” We were invited to come with 750 words describing some remarkable event from our life. Despite the multitude of phenomenal encounters I have experienced in my 38 years, I was at a loss as to which one to choose.

In very uncharacteristic fashion, I showed up to the workshop, essentially empty-handed and (almost) late. Yet, over the course of two days, Hope’s practical teachings framed a foundation from which I could ground my extraordinary experience(s) into something that had meaning.

There were three very distinct events that called to be written. And what I discovered about them was that despite the phenomenal quality I experienced, first-hand with each, there was a gap. A gap between my logical mind that wanted to make sense of it and my feeling self that knew.

Between the realms of intuitive and intellectual knowing was a rift that was hard to navigate.  Without the security of a bridge to the logical mind, doubt would inevitably creep in. It would whisper dissuading arguments. If I couldn’t understand it, maybe it wasn’t true.

Instead of degrading myself for being a Doubter, I realized that perhaps a strong thread in my extraordinary experiences was the doubt itself. The human inclination to question even the most vivid, when we cannot make sense of it.

With this revelation, my piece began to be written.

Dedicated as I am to chronicling here in the Archives, I’m including an excerpt from what came out of this weekend’s workshop. I sense that the experience I describe is framed by two more events, yet to be detailed in writing.

For now, I’m grateful for an amazing weekend, inspired by the possibilities.

~ Excerpt from a work in progress…”Writing About the Extraordinary” assignment, January 2012.

Standing at a stream crossing, naked but for my butterfly sarong, banana trees bowing beneath the weight of a fresh rain, I look at him and know I have a choice.  I can say yes and surrender into loving him.  Or say no and choose a different trail.

I choose yes and let myself fall deeply into love, though our next three years together are filled with a full spectrum:  passionate pledges of abiding devotion and a series of dramatic break-ups punctuated by slamming doors. 

We lived in this push and pull, housed in an old school bus up on blocks, our bed by the swinging exit door in the back.  I was in my late twenties and feeling nesty, dreaming of a family.  He was in his early thirties still hoping to make it big with one great song or simply resign to a life meditating in a cave.  His photographs of saints, propped up on guitar amps, collected dust where the bus driver’s seat had once been, staring at us in faded wisdom, amidst ashes of burnt incense.

Uncertain of our fate and all my family yearnings, the Musician boarded a plane for four months travel through India.  In his absence, I made a garden.  Uprooted buffalo grass with a pick axe.  Planted marigolds and basil in the front yard.  Hung prayer flags at the screen door.  Carefully journaled my dreams.

I signed up for a women’s workshop.  A two day course designed to connect women with their wombs and sacred sexuality.  Having lost an ovary when I was eighteen and undergone a second surgery on my remaining one, I was fearful that my dream of being a mother may never be realized.  I attended the workshop with the intention of opening to fertility and signaling to the universe that I was  ready for a family.  My not-sure-if-he’s-still-my-boyfriend-but-maybe was still in India and I was clear that if he wasn’t the one for me, I wanted to make way for the one that was.

 I sat in the circle with 11 women.  We had done some stretching, breathing deeply.  We followed the invitation of our instructor to allow tonal sounds to move through our throats.  A cacophony of pitches wove through the circle, my ears ringing, my body vibrating.  I was toning, too, with closed eyes, listening to the layers of sound when suddenly I tuned to the song of a bird at the window.

The call was like none I had ever heard before.  Its delivery alien, not earthly, as though coming from some other planet.  And as I listened to the bird my being was washed in a resounding truth.  A transmission imparted that surpassed words.  It was not language, simply an understanding.  Cellular, clear and plain.  I would, undoubtedly, have a child.