Boat Across the River

Just another weblog

A New Place

I am moving on!


Long Time

I haven’t written anything in a long time!  It was a hard year last year professionally and ended up quitting teaching after ten years.  I loved my job for most of that time, but after having back surgery and not being in the classroom, I have never felt better.  I am definitely out of the habit of writing anything creatively, but did feel moved to do so a few days ago.


There are words I recite

in the morning

(sitting outside to not

miss the show):







…about which my children are asking

all the right questions like why


is it blue?


The hummingbird and the bee

vibrate their little circles

around each other

at the feeder.  And also I wonder

if today the hawk

will show herself to me.


These are opening words

in the book of today —

which is complete

within itself.


So focus in.

I leash my fears.

A student of mine once wrote:

“If you are being beaten,

do what you can

to survive and know

that God is watching.”


I know that God is watching.

I feel that God is acting

through the ones who will

look up or even

to the side.


Breathing in and coming back

to a line that’s in my center:


get the pieces of me

in a row

and headed in the same direction.


Like pelicans

somehow flying and motionless

at once, one behind the other,

inches above the sea.


Crossing Paths

That poem he wrote

about the past

made me piece this one together:


of the ocean.

of the mountains.

and is there any memory

more lovely than a sibling?


and the city of Saint Francis

who was one with all

the creatures.


My brother and I.

I and my brother:

mid-western kids

familiar with beauty

formed from subtleties,

used to detecting every

woodland shade of gray

or dripping silver branch:


standing on a cliff

above the water,

sea lions looking up —

this was another country;

we didn’t stand a chance!

On the spot, we dropped our packs

no tent, but this was camp.


In the watery depth of the night,

our eyes opened and we listened

to the grunting males of a herd

confused by two people

where before there were none.


That was as still as I have ever been.

That was as breathless.

We could see their white forms,

their foggy edges, like ancient spirits;

we could hear their nervous breathing

over us.  I’d never felt that kind of fear.


We were side by side in silence,

eyes wide.  Waiting.

Gripping flashlights

like their light could really

push back the night.


No stories from the past

could carry us no

guesses at tomorrow.

That’s where our paths crossed,

and then

was forced through

into the dazzling


With Thanks to the Field Sparrow, Whose Voice Is So Delicate and Humble — by Mary Oliver

I do not live happily or comfortably

with the cleverness of our times.

The talk is all about computers,

the news is all about bombs and blood.

This morning, in the fresh field,

I came upon a hidden nest.

It held four warm, speckled eggs.

I touched them.

Then went away softly,

having felt something more wonderful

than all the electricity of New York.

— by Mary Oliver

Kids and Computers

steve jobs-family

The post was originally published on

If you fall within the Gen-Y era like us, chances are you’ve given a bunch of thought as to how you would raise your own children in this day and age (assuming you don’t have children already). Especially with technology, so much has changed since our childhoods in the 90s. Here’s one question: Would you introduce the technological wonder/heroin that is the iPod and iPad to your kids?

Steve Jobs wouldn’t, and for good reason too.

In a Sunday article, New York Times reporter Nick Bilton said he once assumingly asked Jobs, “So your kids must love the iPad?”

Jobs responded:

“They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology. They even send their kids to non-tech schools like the Waldorf School in Los Altos, where computers aren’t found anywhere because they only focus on hands-on learning.

There is a quote that was highlighted in The Times by Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and a father of five. He explains what drives those who work in tech to keep it from their kids.

“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules…  That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

– See more at:

Don’t Worry: For My Son

Three little kids

were in my backseat

on the first day of school,


all of them in tears.

There was nothing I could say

to take away their fears


so I turned on a song:

“Don’t worry about a thing,

’cause every little thing is gonna’ be all right!”


Music is a force

that can make

small children listen!


Their faces grew golden

as the drums beat

back their thoughts.


The first two were delivered

and the little one

was left behind,


only three years old —

I had my own worries

and asked for a sign.


In front of his school

I parked the car,

unbuckled our belts; we looked out at the yard.


Perched on the fence

all in a row —

my son took note


and spoke these words:

Mommy look!

It’s three little birds!



For Mary: The Evidence

Two weeks ago I bought your book.

Last week I dreamed a trip to Mexico,

though I have never been.


Woke up and started Googling

houses to rent in Mexico,

even wrote a poem about a mountain there.


Today, I sat down,

opened your book,

read it front to back


and read these lines:

“I have come, for the first time, to Mexico.

And what has happened to that intense ambition


with which I always wake?

Soaked up

in the colors…it is said


that when you rent a house here

the owners are not responsible

for church bells, barking dogs…


I am feeling something,


like peace…”


Yes.  This is Evidence.

It’s evidence.

But of what

I don’t know yet.