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sea ranch, california (photo credit: cathy b glenn)

morning light reveals
it’s all erased,
like an etch-a-sketch.
the warm feelings,
the connection,
a growing new relationship
vanish overnight.

i’m a stranger again
no recognition; no smile; no welcome;
anger and agitation.
“I look forward to the day when I’m on my own.”
“I thought you’d be gone by now.”
“No one talked to me about this.”

plans for morning
swallowed up in the eternal silence
of a deep night’s sleep.
a blank slate, on its surface;
below, worlds of memories
swirl, untethered
to a former life’s infrastructure.
recursive, repeating, revisiting

unacknowledged pain;
repressed anger.
decades of social conditioning
keep the frayed edges pretty.
loss and grief only
just barely contained
in a fragile, diaphanous membrane
that splits wide open
when familiarity disappears.

in the evening light
we try again;
we remember together,
warmly re-creating worlds from
dance cards and straw wrappers;
best friends and boyfriends;
lost loves and found husbands.
collections of moments
frozen in black and white images.

we live awhile, she and i,
in a world we create from
a scrapbook on a kitchen counter.
we fashion sand mandalas
of a life well-lived,
complex and jeweled; privileged.

when the night wind blows
time’s sands away
the universe sings,
“nothing is permanent except change:
not pain, not anger, not grief;
not life, not beauty, not love;
nothing. let go.
breathe in
the morning light
and let these possibilities
— here and now —
lift you.”

Cathy B Glenn, PhD is an independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker whose areas of expertise are power, culture, and change.

Formerly Private Principal Investigator for The Center for U.S. Rural Cultures Studies, she is now Content Director and Developer for “The Relational Democracy Project” (under construction).

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A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (

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