Colorado burning….

This week the Colorado wildfires came to Boulder. Not with the same devastating consequences as the fires to the north and to the south, no structures or lives lost here.  We are very, very fortunate.

But it was enough to cause some anxiety for many in this area and for me to have the car packed, ready to go from Tuesday for the rest of the week. They evacuated the other side of the road but not mine.

Fire cresting the ridge

What do you do in circumstances like this? How do you decide what to take? What do think you would take? What have you taken?

There is a well-known question:

‘What 3 things would you save from your house if you had to leave in a hurry?’ which in turn can make an interesting writing prompt:

Journal Prompt

Imagine that you had only minutes to grab 3 things from your home – what would you choose? Why?

Write about each object (animate? inanimate?) in turn – describe it, write about its history, its importance in your life, what it means to you.

What you do take in the crisis moment may well be different from what you think you might take. In 1990 we really were evacuated because of fire – the 3 things we took: passports, baby & computer. This week I was in the situation of having to make the decision for someone else as well and it’s not easy.

In Nadine Gordimer‘s most recent novel a family begins packing to emigrate:

What each of the four – Jabu, Steve, Sindi, Gary Elias – finds can’t be left behind is an insight into what they don’t know about each other.

No Time like the Present p379

There was nothing, nothing he wanted that it is possible to  transport.

 ibid p380

Grateful for the lake across the road.

I want to thank everybody who offered me a place to stay if I did have to leave, and all those who heard about the fire and asked after our safety and well-being. Your thoughts were appreciated. To see a time-lapse film of the fire in Boulder click here. For the moment all is well. Thank you.


You can't photograph wind....

In contrast with snow-silence now comes the wind-screams. All night the wind found some aperture which sounded like a banshee, a chain-saw, a dentist’s drill, the hound of the Baskervilles. All night….

Although Ted Hughes was talking about the Yorkshire moors in his poem Wind, it could be this Colorado mountain too when he says:

This house has been far out at sea all night,

(Click here to see the rest of the poem)

I had to cancel writing group this morning because of snow – not new snow, the last snow which the wind re-deposited in new drifts, new crevasses, new ramparts. As fast as we shovelled  or plowed so the wind undid our work. A Sisyphean task?

So here’s the opening prompt we would have used in group this morning:

What has the wind been like for you this time? What has your experience of such extreme wind been been like before? What is the wind saying to you? Where will it take you?

Tracks in the snow: bobcat, turkey, rabbit

I’d like to think that bobcat, turkey & rabbit walked up the drive together one morning….

2 Upcoming workshops in the Boulder/Denver area:

The first one, in March, hosted by the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute, is for therapists and healing professionals:

Boulder Psychotherapy Institute Presents:

Therapeutic Journal Writing and Existential Psychotherapy:

An Intimate Relationship

Saturday March 24 2012 – 10 am – 5:30 pm

for more details click here

The second, in April at locations in Boulder & Denver, is for everyone (including therapists!). Mary Reynolds Thompson joins me to present:







for more details click here