Welcoming the Wild: A Sister Story

In celebration of Sister's Day this August 6th, here are my thoughts.

To be able to work with my sister Lizanne has been one of the most meaningful journeys of my life, and (as you can imagine) so different than my other work relationships.  She is, after all, out of everyone whom I am fortunate enough to collaborate with, the one who intimately knows me. We are sisters and co-workers. But the b-story (a.k.a., perhaps the better story) is the remembrance of how we played as kids and of our magical moments - and our foibles - as sisters and friends through the years.

As sisters who collaborate, we play well in the sandbox with others.  Evolving through this amazing work that we love to do, we find ourselves constantly interjecting the notion that even though we are not who we once were, we still have that child inside of us.  We remember who we were, but we don’t bind each other to our past.  What an extraordinary gift (as the alternate would be so stifling)!  We are binary stars, made of the same material, brought up in the same house, but each on our own path… able to see each other grow and change, and playing that most important role as sister to each other.img_7582My sister knows that I almost impulsively wander to create… and that to do my job well, I need to return again and again to this place that might seem up there, out there, or over there. It may be a place I need to go by myself, but she knows that it is right where I need to be, and she creates space for this.  And in building this Poetic experience together with Lizanne, her binary position in my life continues to prop me up and keep me on course, in a magnetic connection, almost instinctively, as only a sister can do.

There is a poem by Mary Oliver, called “Green, Green is My Sister’s House” that I just love and thought appropriate to share with Lizanne, and you all on this day when we honor our sisters.  The metaphor of the tree being my sister is so potent for me… receiving that beckoning call, that “clap,” and that welcome to the place where my creativity, my curiosity is nurtured.  Heading out on that limb. Where I return to my wild self, my truth, my purpose.

So thank you Sis; thank you for naturally challenging me, leading me, and understanding that side of me that needs to go up the tree, up in the air, so I can return to myself.  I love you very much, and wish all of us who have sisters much love today (and to remind us, that if don’t have one, to look to the trees).

With Spirit and Love,  Pattiimg_7583

“Green, Green is My Sister’s House” by Mary Oliver

Don’t you dare climb that tree
or even try, they said, or you will be
sent way to the hospital of the
very foolish, if not the other one.
And I suppose, considering my age,
it was fair advice.

But the tree is a sister to me, she
lives alone in a green cottage
high in the air and I know what
would happen, she’d clap her green hands,
she’d shake her green hair, she’d
welcome me.  Truly.

I try to be good but sometimes
a person just has to break out and
act like the wild and springy thing
one used to be.  It’s impossible not
to remember wild and not want to go back.  So

if someday you can’t find me you might
look into that tree or—of course
it’s possible—under it.

– Mary Oliver, “Green, Green is My Sister’s House,” from A Thousand Mornings (Penguin Press, 2012) 




- August 01, 2017

Very well said…Anyone who has wonderful Sisters – like I do as well(one older and one younger) – can relate to this. We are all the same …but different. Surprisingly – we all get along – we all understand the people we are inside and also except us for the people we sometimes are not that we wish they could be. But a wonderful loving Sister relationship is just one of my favorite thoughts and thank goodness my own girls share in the same thoughts and feelings where they help each other grow through life.

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