Welcome 2015!

There is no time like the end of one year and the beginning of another to experience the reality of past, present, and future all becoming one.

We look back, reflect, count both our blessings and our sorrows.

We live in the moment, watching a ball drop in a cold and windy city where millions of people stand, even as we do also, jumping up, hugging and kissing one another, sipping champagne, welcoming the New Year.

We look ahead, daring to hope that maybe we can make the changes we see in our hearts a reality in the future. Those dreams, which before seemed only elusive, like a carrot dangled at a considerable distance in front of our noses, appear closer.

We can smell the carrot. We believe we can grab it… even for a few minutes.

That carrot, for me, has always been about following my heart.

So when my intuition leads me forward, I listen.

This blog has meant so many things to me. It has enabled me to get through a difficult period of transition in my life- weather a divorce, get a job, and most importantly… find my voice.

And although it may seem odd that once finding it, I am now choosing not to use it here, I suspect there are greater purposes for letting this go as I walk ahead in my creative journey, letting one open passage lead to another.

Thank you to my faithful followers. Without your support and encouragement I would not have made it through to this new and delightful place.

What I have shared here, and on my first blog, remains a testimony to my personal story, one that will continue to be an open passage for readers who happen here, either by chance or choice.

I have spoken in recent months about wings- the ones I now see I have, the ones I now intend to spread.

These wings, recently found in between some blankets in a bin in my basement, are my sign.

There are seasons when we tell stories and dream and write about living.

Then comes the season of doing just that- living with abandon the love we have discovered within ourselves.

That is the open passage I see ahead, a beautifully broad place with an incredible view.

Come with me. Believe. Savor the taste of the carrot.

Pull that rabbit out of a hat.


Happy, Happy New Year!
With love, Always,

Danese XOXO






Only One Way

I went into the kitchen at work to make some tea. A warm cup of spiced chai tea sounded good on a chilly November morning. To get to the kitchen I passed the basement steps.

Those steps leading down to the basement are wooden and narrow. As I glanced down I saw the sign, one I’d passed by many times and never noticed.

Funny how that happens.

It reminded me of a comment from a close friend a year ago.

“You only have one way to go- up!”

She was right. And since then I have learned I have wings, fledgling ones, that have grown stronger each time I try them out. Leaving the nest of my past was (is) hard and scary. I confess to being a tad bit afraid of heights.

But flight is not overrated.

Flight is amazing.

Dare to discover, right there in the darkness, that you have wings. When you are ready, use them to fly only one way-





No stars existed
not one pinhole of light
in the black
expanse of time and
space, a galaxy removed
from planets and people
feelings and truth
an unlikely cocoon
where a latent image
appeared, flimsy and
a haze on the
negative I dared to
hold up to the light

I reached for the
magnifying glass,
hoping to define it
and words spilled out-
breaking the silent
void of my womb
letters floating and
now captured
with each click of
my pen to paper
the image clear,
my own reflection
with wings

I flew up
and out.







A Red Balloon

a red balloon came to me in a dream

descending slowly from the sky

its red ribbon teasing me

the closer and closer it came

and I reached, standing on tiptoes

almost having it in my hand…

and suddenly

I woke up.


Today, wide awake, I caught the ribbon – I purchased a red balloon. For the next few days I will follow the red balloon… wherever it may lead.













Come Clean

Back and forth, back and forth

trying to come clean.

DSC_9019The secret, elusive but sweet.

A pinprick, a returning and rendering

of the simple truth.

No more lies,

watch the ruby red drops fall




onto the clean slate, surrounded by snow.

DSC_9028“If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white.” Isaiah 1:18 (The Message)

Come Clean.

Preparing For My Forty Day Photo Pilgrimage


On September 22nd, I had a remarkably intense dream. In it two girls led me to a little boy named Timmy. Rarely do I get up in the middle of the night to write anything down, but that night, at 3am, there I was at my desk jotting down very quickly what I remembered of the dream- what I remembered about Timmy.

“We are supposed to leave him after the girls have fed him. I ask all kinds of questions about how in the world he takes care of himself the rest of the day. They say they leave food out next to him and somehow he manages to eat what he can grab. I can see he is undernourished, maybe even a bit impaired because he has been left alone so much. I refuse to leave him. I decide to adopt him…I take him home. I will not put him down. He and I have an incredible bond, I feel it between our two hearts. I am not at all scared about taking on a baby at my age. It feels right- and exactly what I need.”

I know Timmy, have known him my whole life. Same with the girls who took me to him, their names are Katie and Amanda. They are parts of me, inner lost children. Children held in remote interior places, partly by the tragedy of sexual abuse. Kind of a multiple personality thing without the outward manifestations.

Fractured pieces of self, scattered by trauma, hidden away in the darkest recesses of my soul.

But they refused to remain hidden. Outward circumstances and inner pressure caused them, one by one, to emerge. I needed them in my life, desperately. But each one carried pieces of my pain, something I had separated myself from in order to survive. Or so I thought.

Listening to them, at first, was hard. For so long they were silenced, by me. I didn’t mean to neglect them and ignore them, I just didn’t know how to let them speak. They scared me.  Yet I knew I needed them back, to embrace them, in order to be whole.

So I finally took a risk. I didn’t just listen. I let them speak.

Katie spoke first. Her voice was part of a novel I wrote back in 2007-2008 titled “Little Girl Lost.” It was painful. I had to let go and move aside. She brought intense emotions that caused me to give up many times. Even after I finished the manuscript I chose to put it away in my basement. I still wasn’t ready to fully embrace what she meant for my life.

Writing became more important, and the novel kept drawing me back. I attended a couple writing retreats at Holy Cross Monastery, and for the first time I began to believe I was a “writer.” Katie gave that gift to me. How could I possibly thank her for waiting within me, ignored, all those years? And Katie then introduced me to Amanda, her twin.

Amanda’s voice started with a not so random meeting with a horse in Florida. I share a little of that story on my page listed above titled “A Horse.” I finished that short novel in April. She brought a poetic lilt to my writing style, and the idea of a different way to tell the story Katie had already started. I thought that was the story I was meant to tell, wanted it to be. I gave it to some close friends to read. But there was something missing.

The novel and the story now sit on my desk. The two, together.

What was missing was Timmy’s voice. I had seen him first in a dream 20 years ago. Of my three inner children, he was the one I kept locked away deepest. Maybe that is why his voice will go public as it erupts. Here. During this pilgrimage.

Except that Timmy doesn’t just represent words, writing. Since the dream it is my photography that is taking center stage. And with it the beginning of a possibility, one this photo pilgrimage will represent. I am listening. That is the start. I have my camera ready.

Right now I’m here, sitting on this bench, resting and contemplating where my pilgrimage will begin tomorrow. Will you join me? There’s definitely room on this bench for two. Or maybe more….