I sit here at East is East

almost alone (the baby is sleeping on my lap)

but feeling the opposite of lonely

a perfectly satisfied fulness

an openness to everything:

the heat of the spices in my mouth,

the cool kiss of my iced Turkish Chill,

the spring breeze in the elegant drapes,

the warm orange glow of the lamps.

The vibrant aquamarine wall behind the stage

is filled with memories of musicians

from date nights past…

when that skinny little girl

with her starry-eyed dreams

met that philosopher boy:

tall, brown-bearded, bespectacled.

They met and fell in love

talking their heads off

over so many meals

from all over the world:

Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Irish, Mongolian and more…

car-less dates

walking the town

in search of truth, meaning,

and cheesecake.

They married and filled the restaurants

with tiny people who like spicy Thai food

loud, gorgeous, long-lashed children–

seven here

and one gone ahead to the heavenly banquet.

And now instead of that teenaged aching emptiness

–that lonely longing–

there is hustle and bustle,

a thunderstorm of pitter patters

and never a moment alone.

Today that skinny girl

still red-headed and freckled,

but a little more wobbly around the middle,

has escaped for a moment alone with her dreams

in the same café where,

sitting with her bosom buddies

she discovered the presence

of her latest warm bundle–

a blue-eyed moon baby

whose smile bursts her chubby face open

to glow.

And the girl

now a mom of 8

(how did that happen??)

is learning to dig deeper

underneath the choas

into the quiet space inside

where her spirit resides

and speaks poetry in whispers

(if you’re quiet you can hear…).

The Spirit speaks to her

in dappled sunshine through tender new leaves

and the scent of lilacs.

She buries her face in them

and is transported back to highschool–

to the village where nature spoke to her so clearly

and she filled her notebooks with passionate scribbles,

longings for the fulness she now has

in abundance.

Birthday Soup


This is my handsome husband. It’s his birthday today, but here are some pictures from when he recently took me out for mine. He’s grinning rather mischievously because he has taken me out to a Malaysian restaurant and has ordered among many yummy things, clam soup. Like in-the-shell-steaming-bucket-of-beach-water-and-assorted-refuse clam soup. For wimpy, picky me.


Of course the romantic has to share everything, so no escape for me. “Drink the broth out of the shell,” says my gourmand, “It’s delicious that way.”


He gives me a demonstration and beams. I wrinkle my nose, screw up my courage and slurp. Salty….


It’s actually not that bad. Except in my head. But then my mouth is in my head, so hard to tell the difference sometimes. The little clams taste like button mushrooms, instead of squishy aliens, so that’s good. Daddy and baby are proud of me.


My sweet other half just likes to make sure life stays a bit of an adventure, like on our first big date, when we went for Ethiopian food and ate with our hands.

So have any siblings?

Slurp. Lick. Lick.

A sister, and yourself?

Stuffing spongy injera bread sopping with curries in his mouth.

Three brothers, actually.

Dip. Stuff. Lick.

You get the idea. Delicious, though. Who knew?

Anyway, I love how he likes to try new things, how he gets excited and passionate about stuff, how he has 50 rants I know by heart, how he likes to share everything (except maybe his Starbucks drink), how he’s totally honest but also affectionate and sweet. He’s helped me grow so much, and at the same time, to remain young at heart.

Here’s a little selfie of us from Christmas:


So to my husband, a very happy birthday, and to all of you,
I wish you all as much joy and fun in your marriages as I have in mine!