Hi. I’m Maery, a writer in the Twin Cities. Although I no longer have the body for extreme adventures, I love to bicycle, go horse trail riding and take hikes with my dogs.  

One thing you should know before you join me on my quest -- I don’t have a map. And I’ve been known to wander off course and stop to listen to birds and look for agates. I also have a few issues with fear and anxiety. In other words, I’m not a good role model or adventure guide. But in this time of uncertainty and polarization, I'm not sure anyone has a reliable map. We'll just figure it out as we go.

horse eating hay

horse eating hay

(I don’t have any photos of reindeer, so pictures of Luke will have to do…)

As I sat getting my hair trimmed at the salon and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” boomed through the sound system, I thought of poor Rudolph and how no one let him join in any reindeer games. Until one foggy Christmas Day, Rudolph saved Christmas by lighting the way.

“Then all the reindeer loved him.”

Seriously!? What the heck!? So the only way anyone appreciates someone’s differences is if it suddenly becomes useful? Shouldn’t Rudoph’s nose have been seen as a unique, endearing feature of his being?

But then, that is the point of the story, isn’t it? Both Rudolph and the little elf who wanted to be a dentist instead of a toy maker, but who I think is actually selling Keebler cookies now, had to go on a journey and face great danger and difficulty, to discover for themselves their strength and worth.

horse eating hay

But even if Rudolph hadn’t saved the day, say he had a bright nose but couldn’t fly worth a darn, wouldn’t Christmas still have happened without Santa dropping off toys to all the boys and girls of the world? If we really believe in the spirit of Christmas and giving and waiting in darkness for light to arrive, and not just in black Friday and cyber Monday, then the presence or absence of Santa wouldn’t make any difference at all.

Magic is magic. Holy is holy. Whatever your beliefs.

Enjoy whatever time you have with friends and family rather than looking at it as a chore. (I’m saying this as much for for me as anyone else.)

And if your an extrovert, run off to the next party and have yourself a ball.

And if you are an introvert like me, end the day by relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a cup of cocoa (perhaps with a shot of Baileys) and listen to the silence of winter.

And whatever and wherever you are, I hope you carry thoughts of peace on earth, goodwill towards all.

Have a very, merry Christmas, Hanukkha, Winter Solstice, etc., etc., etc.

horse eating hay


swans on Mississippi River

swans on Mississippi River

What is it about swans?
They make me think of fairy tales
And magic
And the ugly duckling
who discovers he’s a swan

“But the others did all the could to harass the ugly duckling. They flew at him, bit, him pecked him, hissed and screeched at him… He hid, he dodged, he zigzagged left and right, but he could not escape. The duckling was as miserable as any creature could be.”

swans on Mississippi River

I saw myself as that ugly duckling
so often as a child
I learned to fight
I learned to push away
I learned to hide too
To never show I cared
about anything

“A flock of creatures flew overhead, the most beautiful he had ever seen… Hearing their sounds made his heart leap and break at the same time. He cried back in a sound he had never made before.”

swans on Mississippi River

One would think
I’d be over all that by now
Most of the time
I am
But not always
It doesn’t take much to bring out
that outcast exiled feeling
I just want to belong

“And for the first time, his own kind came near him and touched him gently and lovingly with their wing tips. They groomed him with their beaks and swam round and round him in greeting.”

swans on Mississippi River

As lovely as this finding your tribe
and being welcomed in is
it too may not last
There is always change
I’ve learned that the only one
who can give me what I desire
is me
I have to let myself take up space
and say, yes, it’s okay to be
an ugly duckling
a beautiful swan

To be a person who sees a river
that becomes a story
that hold so much more than swans
as beautiful as they are
There is darkness below them
Sometimes light above them
But right now there are only clouds
and snow mixed with rain
But doesn’t the dreariness
bring mystery and magic?

And saying yes to it all
In that lies possibility
No one lives happily every after
We’re all in this for the roller coaster ride
The expectation of going up,
pausing for the view at the top
Then the race down
our stomachs in our throats
screaming as we hit bottom
Then starting the slow climb up again

Quoted excerpts from “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen
dog on bed


“I go up to Heaven and down to Hell in an hour… I hardly ever sit still without being haunted by the “undone” and the “unsent.”” – May Sarton, Journal of Solitude

Working long hours has left me feeling scattered. I’ve been unable to get back on course with my old routine (I do believe I had one, but I might be wrong). I sit down to work on my writing and photography projects and find I cannot write or see.

Wandering from room to room, computer application to internet site, I’m unable to comprehend what I was doing or what it was I had intended to do.

Who am I?

dog on couch

I’ve taken to creating detailed lists of what I need to do today and the next day — from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, following it line by line lest I become lost in wandering and wondering.

Oh cold dark winter, ye slay me.

A new year is around the bend and that frightens me. 2014 has been a bust. Or has it? I have no perspective. I’m thinking a big part of the problem is that the New Year starts in January. If it started in, say, October, I’d be feeling more positive, having just come out of the glow of summer and autumn. I’m thinking of creating my own calendar with this in mind.

I have all next week off from work. Time to take walks with the dogs. To see what the outdoors look like during the day. And play with finding what feels lost but is probably just hiding under the covers resting.

dog on bed