The end of the growing darkness

Pic of Kora (a dog I sit for) a few months ago, as she watched the night descend on her Autumn yard. I’m a “seasonal affective disorder” kind of gal so Autumn is always hard for me. The days get noticeably shorter and, here in Utah, things visibly prepare for a harsher reality. It’s all about to get very real. So on Winter Solstice, even in the middle of cold and snow, I celebrate, for the end of the growing darkness giving way to more light each day is like being wakened to a mesmerizingly-slow dawn, where you know the sun will be coming and that the things that you thought were dead will again rise up from the ground to meet you. And my moroseness during Autumn is an appropriate sacrifice in order to honor our beautiful planet. Because there is darkness and death but there will also be cleansing and Spring, for “the darkest day of the year”

read more The end of the growing darkness

The journey to “Amy Brook”

According to the birth certificate tucked inside my baby book, I was born October 1, 1968 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View California and my name was “Amy Brook Palleson”. I don’t remember any of the other fluff on it—height, weight, etc.—just that the paper was black with white printing and hard to read—which even seeing it at a young age had seemed odd—and that the book itself was a mess of white out and scratch outs and corrections. We can fast forward now, through memory lane, through years, through the solidification of who I was—via Rose and Martin Palleson (grandma and grandpa), Leeroyce and Deck Hogin (gammie and gampie); through aunts and uncles and cousins; through my brother Jeff born in early ‘71, my sister Alex in ‘75, and Clancy and Cindy, my father and mother—all the way to the couch in gammies living room where I lay quietly crying at 13 (or 12? I can’t even remember)

read more The journey to “Amy Brook”

“Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning for grief is just Love squaring up to its oldest enemy.” Press the link to watch Chaplain Kate Braestrup’s video from The Moth “House of Mourning”. I really got this video, and understood it from a deep place.  For there was a time–after my soiree in college studying Native American and world religions and post-my first daughters birth–when I couldn’t see another path in front of me that didn’t lead to me becoming a non-denominational pastor.   So to engage as Ms. Braestrup does with her world from the caring of a larger sphere of knowing is the most comfortable place of experience for me.  And often I feel like a foreign visitor to a new planet when people talk of vacations and cars and hedonistic-esque material things for those to me are

Come see me, Sophie

[I’m a pet sitter and the above picture is Sophie–a Siberian Husky I’ve cared for many times–who took a turn for the worse while I was sitting for her and, in dramatic fashion typical of this charismatic girl, her last day on earth was spent with her parents racing back from their honeymoon–driving all night–in order to get to her, after which just a few hours later–time they said was wonderful–she collapsed and died peacefully.   I knew they’d get back in about 2:30 a.m. so during my evening visit Tuesday night, I said goodbye to her, and told her that in whatever world she ended up in, to come see me, for I’ve known her in better times, and long for her to walk and eat and prance and do her barkbeg for treats, and maybe even keep stealing her sister Greta’s chewies and hoarding them in her bed, and walked away in tears, hoping she would come see

read more Come see me, Sophie


On my way to sit a few days ago, I was on the stretch of 700 East where it curves around and intersects with 900 East. It’s a wide road there–like 8 lanes I think–with a lot going on, stoplights, and turn lanes, cars barreling and others merging, and another stoplight up ahead synced up with the 9th East one, so that if the first light’s green, you don’t even have to think about stopping. You can just sit your ass in your lane and just “f*ck it” on through. And it was late evening, but even through my speed and the curves, I could see something up ahead moving across the road from right to left, and it took me only just a sec to realize it wasn’t just one something: it was three “somethings”, a mama duck and her two babies, crossing this road, with cars easily going 55 to 60, mama in front and babies in back,

read more Staying