To Katherine

20ish girl with brown shoulder-length hair in a green tank top and gray sweater
my goddaughter, Katherine

I marvel at all that you are,
all that you are becoming,
as you go thru heartbreak
with a kindness that shouldn’t be possible
and a refusal to give up on life
as tempting as it seems:

You see the world
with hope and fear
intermingled

Taking it on
thru pain and anxiety
interferring

You face your pain
with grace under pressure
despite all

Trudging onward
thru so much loss
despite her

Your huge heart
stitched together with hope
uncertain yet undeterred

purple copyright symbol 2016 Dorian Dorey

Katherine remained true to herself and has since found a someone who understands what love is, thereby understanding my Katherine. They seem marvelous and I look forward to meeting this singular proof that life not only goes on but improves.

A Shadow Soul

'A house is not a home without a pet.' alongside a tortoiseshell cat
They don’t care who you are.
They don’t care what you do.
They don’t care where you live.
Pets just care that you’re there.
❥ A pet becomes a home’s visible soul.

purple copyright symbol 2015 Dorian Dorey

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” — Jean Cocteau

All The Best

birthday cake decorated with artist implements
“Bon Anniversaire, Ma Mère”

An ability to see beyond the pale,
Recognizing hope in the shadows,
Trusting first and foremost in love;
Questioning allows for discovery –
An independent view of the world,
Finding wonder in unlikely nooks,
Taking refuge in discovered beauty;
Aesthetic purpose is proven worthy.

Not simply to be sought but created,
Via means personal and miraculous,
Through more than possible alone;
More than creation from only within –
Not just given but allowed in as well,
Born both of intention and request,
Granted as journey and destination;
Nothing but children can encompass.

The innate art in all that is organic,
Exists as fact as well as fulfillment,
Internal naïveté becomes a choice;
With childlike wonder thus achieved –
The need to be and have a child met,
So an inherent wisdom is imparted,
For beauty infuses all said and seen;
Thus self-doubt may stand idly by.

All hesitance is ever more in check,
Seeking truth rather than reasons,
Knowing order exists despite chaos;
Choosing inspiration over defeat –
All is perceived with a loving heart,
Becoming more complete every day,
Fostering creations formed and found;
Artistry that goes beyond the page.

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

She’s described me as her alter-ego and she’s my inner compass; we’ve never had it easy but we’ve always had each other. Her love is not only unconditional but unwavering, and her acceptance is as complete as it is encouraging. With bravery summoned in shared nooks, and hope conjured from their many books, it was the two of us “against the world” and we’re still at it – finding our truest selves together. Persistent artist; consistent friend; insistent creative; her inherent appreciation of artistry in all its forms keeps me inspired and forever young:

“It takes time to grow young.”
— Pablo Picasso

“She finds happiness in whatever happiness I meet, she understands what I understand and why I understand it, she prays for me even when I pray for no one but myself, she sees all the beauty I tell her I see and delights in it through my eyes. That is my mother. She would give me the whole world if she could gather it in her arms. That is why she will never have the whole world in her arms; that is why she will always have the whole of my love.” — Philippos Aristotelous


All The Best (alles gute) by Ari Baker on deviantART

The Dorey Constant

DoreySignThe sign outside my grandparents’ home

I was your little shadow

Before reaching equity with Momma
Or recognizing my soul in Grandma
There was you

What could’ve been treated as tagging along
Used instead as a chance for me to belong
There with you

Anything done had fun to be found within
Nothing was mundane, especially when
There were two

You were my first best friend

Tasks as games, errands became adventures
Logic as puzzles, bedtime stories offered cures
Walks as archaeology, flies were fishing lures

I was your little brown eyes

Leaving me no doubt I was exceptional
While ensuring everyone felt special
That was you

Peacemaker who took everything in stride
Supportive, and confident without pride
That is you

Finding hope with a quiet determination
Knowing letting go may be the solution
That’s me too

You were my universal constant

purple copyright symbol 2014 Dorian Dorey

Being able to say “me too” when it comes to my grandparents reassures me that I’m part and parcel of their living legacy. Those two simple words keep me connected to them, and specifically remind me that Granddad loved “me too.” That deceptively simple phrase was how he responded to “I love you” when one of his girls called him at work. Although he was clearly just keeping things professional, there was a sense that he felt too deeply to risk getting personal. He warned me any time I cried that, if I continued, he’d join me. Seeing me cry was enough to make him cry, and not saying “love” at the office hinted at the real possibility his voice might crack if he let himself say it. He laid the foundation for the most important lesson Grandma taught me, that our choices also affect those who love us. My Granddad was the first father I ever knew, and the best man I could ever hope to know. He exemplified what it was to be a good man yet not by being a man’s man – veteran, engineer, and mountaineer that he was – but by being unabashedly accepting, caring, and creative. Don Dorey proved that real strength comes from within.

As a tomboy and his namesake, my connection to Granddad was strong. When talking to himself (which the best people do), he called himself Dorey and my nickname was Dori so those private dialogs always seemed to include me. We’d take on challenges together and “Get it right, Dorey” or answer the tough questions like “What’re you doing, Dorey?” Grandma was concerned I’d take it personally when he was frustrated too but I’d seen him sign his name, “GD Dorey,” often enough that it was clear who he meant when he swore to himself: “Goddamn Dorey.” Rather than teach me conceptual lessons of right and wrong, Granddad shared more relatable truths; cussing is a privilege earned with age, lying is only for Liar’s Dice, gambling is reserved for Solitaire, drinking is intended for meals or Sock It To Me Time and, like most things, is more enjoyable in moderation. With him, I learned a deeper appreciation for those around me. While Momma inspired me and Grandma reflected me, Granddad gave me a sense of place. As a Dorey, his Dori, I not only belonged but could share that feeling through the ready acceptance of others he personified. Without him, I’m disconnected from a universe he gave meaning to.

In memory of G[eorge]D[onald] Dorey, my G[od]D[amn] Granddad:
Don Dorey, you are missed and we are better for knowing you.
October 1919 – July 2014

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

bird soaring through the forest

“Hold fast to your dreams for, without them,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
— Langston Hughes

From Pooh Corner to poetry
With courage and coffee
Thru Art for art’s sake
She inspirited me

From Upstart Crow to unity
With trust and tea parties
Thru Truth for my sake
She inscribed her love

From Camp Nelson to chaos
With freedom and fantasy
Thru Faith for our sake
She inspires me still

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

I’m the happy result of an unlikely event, a planned teenage pregnancy. Unhappy with her life, my mum made a bold change; she married at 16 and had me a year later. Momma hadn’t found a better life but she had realized her dream of becoming a mother and her brave pursuit of something more gave us each other, and San Francisco. From that nontraditional beginning, through impromptu poetry readings to her own artistic endeavors, she raised me first and foremost to be creative. That gift is as important to me as her unconditional love and unwavering belief in me. Creativity as an end, not just a means, has enabled me to see possibilities beyond my limitations as a spoonie. Momma not only taught me to dream but to dream creatively.

Our mums bring us into being, may guide us as we grow, support us if we’re lucky, and befriend us if we’re ridiculously lucky. I’ve been ludicrously lucky but, then again, I started life as a dream come true – what a legacy!? Momma wonderfully captures our creative journey in her response to this poem, “We’ve both been through all kinds of chaos since Camp Nelson (playing at the creek!), Winnie the Pooh curtains, & huggable Eeyores – not to mention coffee & books at the Upstart Crow – but what we found there has brought us through the tough times, lit up our memories of the good times, & added the magic!!” She’s described me as her alter-ego and she’s my inner compass; my mum and I are more than compatible, we’re complementary.


White Bird Flying is a painting by my mum, Phyllis Dorey-Thiessen

Farewell (for now)

G'ma and IGrandma & I; RIP, Peg Dorey

always too soon, even when right
time runs out despite our best denial
amidst feeling cheated, reason unable to reign
made incomplete by loss yet more complete for knowing her

purple copyright symbol 2009 Dorian Dorey

“We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.” — Phyllis Theroux

this poem, written as I dealt with the loss overnight, was used beautifully by my Hunny; “Blessed

A Gift of Family

wide shot of an orange sunset over the oceanSunset the Second, taken by Joel

Last Saturday was not only my youngest sib, Joel’s, birthday but Momma’s 33rd Anniversary thus this post is meant as a gift to her also. Upon going into labor during an anniversary lunch with her husband, Momma tried to give Joel his own day but, generous from the start, he clearly didn’t mind sharing and was born six minutes til midnight.

He’s still generous, sharing new perspectives through computer designs and photography – especially the latter, as expressed in this poem about him:

beauty found in all
whether captured or enhanced
then offered anew

nature always sought
by foot or via the lens
explored and exposed

his kindness of heart
touches those surrounding him
informs all he does

laughter ever near
his wicked sense of humor
readily brought out

once a kissing bug
always a loving spirit
now he’s a hugger

born as if a gift
anniversary surprise
still giving each day

Misty Moon: HDR Rendering of the view from the deck of my parents place in Cobb, CA.Misty Moon, taken by Joel

PS: Happy Anniversary, Momma & David!

mountain adventures;
hiking, camping, barbeque,
through moments of love

your thirty-three years
provided a family
brothers I’d not have

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey


📷 “Sunset the Second” by dygerati / “Misty Moon” by dygerati

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