Do you love ghost stories?

Photo by Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash

I love ghost stories.

Not horror stories, but ghost stories. Which can, at times, be pretty horrific. I’ve spent my share of dark and stormy nights unable to sleep, compelled to turn the page and find out how the main character escaped the icy clutches of a terrifying phantasm.

But they don’t have to be scary. Sometimes they’re just mysterious, a glimpse of another world, the possibility of something more out there.

Sometimes they’re tender: a final farewell, the desperately needed comfort after an unexpected loss. Humans, animals, or darker spirits that might once have been either, can be at…


The practice of scrapbooking life’s moments

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been collecting memories.

Something has shifted for me this past year. I can’t put my finger on exactly when all the pieces of my new paradigm slipped into place, but last night I saw it with startling clarity. Like moving to a new house, spending weeks unpacking boxes and moving the furniture around; then one day you walk into the living room, look around and know, finally, everything is in its right place. This is your new home.

I was talking to my father on the phone because it was his 82nd…


Midlife weight and fitness issues revisited

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

I may be having a catharsis, here.

It’s a rather protracted one that began a couple of years ago…but any catharsis is worth making note of — and passing along to others.

A while back I wrote this article about how my exercise requirements were changing as I approached the half-century mark. I had stumbled across the discovery that I did better in my workouts when I gave myself more rest days. Having been accustomed to vigorous and challenging workouts six or seven days a week, this was a real “ah-ha!” moment for me.

But I think I’ve discovered that…


If not, we all have to decide whether to stay or go.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Yesterday I read a story here by Roz Warren in which she shared that she’d been sent $500 and a love letter from the Medium creators.

https://medium.com/illumination-curated/medium-mad-money-the-500-bonus-3e2f508b159e

Huh.

I checked out her profile, read several of her other pieces. She’s a great writer, lots of variety in her work, a fun style, a clear voice. I decided to follow her, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

And let me be clear: this is not a sour grapes rant. I believe we writers need to hold each other up and celebrate successes, and I’m really glad that…


A poem

Photo by Hans Ripa on Unsplash

The car is slow to warm up.
These greening Spring mornings are still cold enough for sweaters and
to turn the heat on.
Stop signs, red lights, the other cars
drive on, they go —
pink fading from a delicate morning sky,
it is early and the world seems new
still — familiar
beloved and workaday.
I see everything in particular
because I am imagining taking
my leave from it all.
Farewell to mornings,
traffic — streets — trees — coffee
a blushing sky stretching into daylight.
An end to early commutes and I’m already exhausted
looking at the mountain of things to push through in the day ahead.
How do I leave a life
in the…


Grief in the Time of Covid

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

I can’t stop thinking about death.

And not for the obvious reason of the pandemic. Yes, I’ve known lots of people who got sick, some of them perilously so. Yes, I’ve lost people to Covid. Yes, it was terrible, and it still hurts.

But today, they’re not the reason for my preoccupation.

Today it’s because someone I’ve known my whole life, one of “the grownups” from my childhood, is dying.

His family is doing everything to make it a gentle, loving passing for him. …


A Poem

Photo by Jeff Isaak on Unsplash

A thousand years ago
Monks set off from the rocky western shores of the old world.
Alone
They took to the fathomless depths in simple, shallow tubs
crocheted of sticks and leather,
submitting without paddle or sail
to wind and tide.
They trusted their crafts
To carry them safely:
rough little coracles —
Nothing but sticks and twine, wattle and daub, covered in hides
Little round bodies tossed and blown
Taking them across, around,
over and through this world
to a greater purpose.

When they arrived on a new shore
they disembarked
and began to work for the glory…


A Poem

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Been gone a while now
I myself didn’t even notice
When I left
But looking back I can see
Time has spun out
And there are empty places gathering dust
Where my feet used to walk.
The road that was comfortable,
Rising to embrace each footfall
Mossy and green, friendly like spring rain
Is empty
Undarkened by my long shadow in the evenings,
The sky empty of my dreams.

I’ve been busy, though.
There’s work that needs doing
And on the side, in the far-off corners where you can barely make me out,
I’ve been hazarding guesses
Planting ideas
Polishing notions till they begin to…


What’s good for educators and their communities is good for the nation

Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

It was 5:58 pm on a Friday. I had been working since a little before 8:00 that morning, and I finally got to a point where I knew I could leave things until Monday.

Of course, I wouldn’t. There would be little flurries of work here and there, emails answered, plans tweaked, but for the most part, I’d managed to shoehorn grading, planning, paperwork, everything into my work week and I was ready for the weekend.

I closed my laptop and picked up my phone, flipping through notifications as I left the room, my thoughts already planning out the steps…

Lisa Wathen

Teacher, writer, musician, dedicated to story telling and connecting with people.

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