remembering outside


I get my best ideas in a thunderstorm. I have the power and majesty of nature on my side. -Ralph Steadman

“We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
― Andy Goldsworthy

The Horizon Leans
by Maya Angelou

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

There are some weeks where we bring in a prompt everyone writes to it. We say earth and write earth. We say school and write school. We say motherhood, parenthood, and write about kids and memories and caregiving. But there are other weeks when we offer prompts and writers can’t help but address their state of mind, that there is something serious they need to talk about and no prompt is going to reign that in.

In the space below, you will read the accounts of three writers remembering the time before their incarceration – relationship with others, with nature, and with themselves and all each are mutually transformed through contact with one another. These are the stories they needed to tell. Please hear them and the voices they came to the table with.


Forever changing.
Forever changing, we all flow
Day one to 12 thousand.
Never staying the same.
Starting small evolve and grow.
Everything is always changing
from where I stand.
The moon affects everything,
including my ever changing moods.
I lay down.
I’ve found thunderstorms are soothing –
An ancient lullaby we’d forgotten,
The rain splashing against the earth,
replenishing what’s been lost.
I stand there, in the thunder and rain
Everything comes with a cost
Please wash away this pain
When will the clouds open?
Why won’t this storm stop?
How long must this song go on?
What was once soothing?
Now has been overdone.
When will the sunshine come?
The water is getting deep.
I’m in over my head, I try to swim to shore.
I only slam to the floor,
fell off my bed.
Scared and alone, I’ve become impermeable.
I look out the window to reassure my fears,
the sunrise is beautiful.
No need for tears.



Into your brother’s face…

Some would say that looking into my brother’s face is the same as looking into my own. I think the reflection of us says more than what meets the eye…you see the same sets of eyes – the light shade of brown that seems to change like a mood ring. I see a couple of lost souls dancing in the pain deeper than the depths of hell. The tears that hide ebb and flow into the same ocean. You see the same smile, hear the same laugh…I see that we share the same pain, the same story told but only to the same ears when we’re in the same room. The same way you tried to push it away was the same way I did too. It’s starting to look like we shared the same fate. The same thing that got you–I tried to wash it away. May same hands snatched it back. Now I look into the past with the same regret, I’ll take it with me to the next life, I’m sure of that. A new day, a new way…a birth of someone that’s like me and like you. His face is the same as ours.



I get my best ideas in a thunderstorm

Like a thunderstorm when warmth and sun will shine from behind light grey-colored storm clouds and rain falling with a clash of thunder. I can’t decide what to think. Down on me, letting me fall into my own head or brighten me as the sun and rain warm me, yet chill my bones. How do I let myself feel? Crash the thunder and lightning break across the sky bringing me back to life. The storm is not over yet. I wait, I wait, still not over yet. Rather than watch the storm pass, stand in the middle of it, naked, letting it hit me, taking every shock because rather than fighting the storm, I learned to dance. It might be storming now but it can’t rain forever.


. . . and you?

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