We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

-Joseph Campbell






(just like) Starting Over

 A bleak morning.

Ground fog, again.

It never used to rain so much.

And then,


the mist bows to a casual cumulous,

and evening cadences fall from a cloud-mouth of stars.

The future catches in my throat,

musky and delicious,

sitting between us

like the last piece of candy in the box.


Toni 1/29/15 (and 1980)



#TBT Did someone say it’s Throwback Thursday? On ottomans and mothers and sweet Grandpas and a work ethic (and I’ve sworn to contribute to #TBT!!)

IMG_7472_2This is my mother, Miriam Billauer Raymond. My sister Ruthie was a baby and Mum was sick. Maybe this was when she developed a thyroid condition? Barbara may have been on the way? (Eventually there would be 7 children.) The reason I’ve been studying this particular picture is that during my entire life with my mother–this is for real, people–during my entire life, I NEVER EVER saw my mother put her feet up during the day when anyone could see her, let alone have a picture taken for such an event. My mother worked the way a fish moves, which is constantly; so, she must have been pretty sick to use an ottoman AND read the papers. I put this up here to also showcase the sweet letter from my Grandpa Henry, who may have been one of the dearest men. He was a watchmaker. He and my Grandma Alice had a jewelry store and it is from said store that the check he’s sending my mother came from. (I found this letter and the photo in my parent’s Governor Winthrop desk when we were breaking up the family home…All wrapped together, perhaps for one such as me to find?)



PS I have two ottomans. (I bought them right after my mother died–decades and 6 children later than the above picture–with “I don’t have time for this” her supposed last word as she fell to the floor with a massive stroke.) I’ve just moved one into position and put my feet up on it. Hey, if my mother could do it, I should be able to learn. After all, it was from Mum that I got my work ethic, why not my ottoman ethic?