Looking for


“I’ll just check my facebook.” Clicking and scrolling, not conscious of what I’m looking for, waiting for something to  grab me.  Wait a minute how many hours have gone by?  My to-do list is in a pile of  my other to-do lists.

Feels like the days of those teen cravings.  The fridge wide open, scrolling the shelves not conscious of what I’m looking for, waiting for something to grab me.

What am I really looking for?  I ask this question in meditation.  I inhale, breathing through the insulation of defensiveness is a seeping wound.


Matter of Feelings


The place that says, “My feelings matter.”   is confident, perceptive and generous.  The place that says, “I’m afraid my feelings don’t matter,” is  hostile, untempered and wreckless.

So when feeling ignored,  I have the emotional control of about a 4 year old. How embarrassing.

Anne Carlson




Christmas Moments


Throughout the day, my celebration has taken on a new perspective. Many traditions have been set aside and re-prioritized by  personal care-taking.   Instead of one big event,  I have discovered moments. These moments are full of delight and are unfolding into rich holiday cheer.

Nat King Cole, the music of my childhood, sings through the kitchen radio. My mother comes to mind, much younger than I am now, busily creating Christmas loveliness for 3 anxious little children. I feel loved all over again, this time, with weathered wisdom and mature appreciation.

Hey, I just found my Christmas socks the day before Christmas rather than the day after.  Yay for me, I got warm candy cane socks!   The phone rings, it’s a Christmas wish call from a friend.  I hobble out to the living room. There’s a bag of goodies on the couch dropped off last night with 4 huge pomegranates  for me.  Oh yeah!

I get a call from my 2 brothers in the autistic spectrum who are spending Christmas together on the other side of the country, 2000 miles away.

Bro:     “Hey, how do you cook a turkey?”

Me:      “Is it frozen?”

Bro:     “How can you tell?”

Me:      “Move the leg.

Bro:     “Where’s the leg?”

Me:        “That boney drumstick thing when you move it up and down, does it giggle, or does the whole thing move?”

Bro:     “It giggles.”

Me:      “Good (sigh of relief), that means its thawed.”

Bro:      “Hey, how do you get this thing out of the package?”

Me:       “Do you have any scissors?”

Bro:     “I kind of wish you could get one of these things already cooked.”

Me:      “You can do that, but you have to order them ahead.”

Bro:     “I did order this one ahead.”

Me:      “Oh?  Wait a minute.  It this a cooked turkey?”

Bro:   ” I don’t know. How can you tell?”

Me:      “Cut open the package.  If it’s white it’s raw, if it’s brown it’s cooked.”

Bro:     “What’s that fishnet thing for?  Is it okay to take it out of that fishnet thing?

Me:      “That’s to help you carry it.  just cut the whole fishnet thing off.”

Bro:     “Okay I cut it off.”

Me:      “Hold on, before you take the rest of the package off, read me what it says.”

Bro:     “Wow, there’s a lot of things for me to read here.”

Me:      “That’s okay, just read me whatever it says so we know how long to cook it.”

Long pause, sound of rustling.

Bro:     ”It says here, fully cooked 11 lb. turkey.”

Me:       “Fully cooked means you don’t have to cook it.  You’ll be fine, you don’t have to cook it.”

Looking forward to a call tomorrow from 2 gleeful brothers who will have prepared their first Christmas dinner.

Anne Carlson









Since when did our biggest Christian holiday become celebrated by a child’s want list fulfilled according to the credit limit of their parents?  We drench our children in media glorifying a belief.  Belief in a man flying with a herd of forest animals defies logic, science  and violates  any natural  intuition a child may have.

When teaching stranger-danger, children are taught to listen to the uh-oh feeling. The uh-oh feeling is when something doesn’t seem or feel right.  Grownups call this the gut feeling, intuition, or guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Do we really want to teach our babies to override their gut feelings, compromise their spiritual alignment and believe a lie?  At what point did it become normal to welcome a smiley magic man into our children’s bedrooms to watch them sleep?

In a year or two we will be introducing them to a concept that their willingness to believe will determine how they spend their life forever in heaven.   This time the believing we will call faith.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6-8 

12 But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12

36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  John 3:36

Santa, would you mind stepping aside while I celebrate the birth of the man  that made it possible for me to spend my eternity with God?

Anne Carlson


Angel Flight Reflections


Flying through the air,  I thought about my 5 year old self, lying in the grass, looking up into the sky, “What would be like to fly like a bird in the  clouds?” Our pilot, Paul Hicks said he used to do the same thing.  Peering down into the passing towns it was now I that was wondering,  “Was there a little child down there on the ground looking up at our plane today as it flew across the sky?”  I am in awe of it.  Flying feels like living in a miracle.

With stage 4 breast cancer now in the bones, I am faced with  very serious decisions,  I have come to the conclusion that it is truly irresponsible not to get a second opinion when facing a situation as serious as cancer. Angel flight has brought me to the specialists I would not have had access to.  Adding to my team by has improved my quality of care and quality of life. With multiple fractures I would not have been able to make the trip any other way.

As we stepped out of the crispy mountain wind into the foyer of the Huntsman Cancer Center,   I said to my daughter Brittany, it felt like family, “We have something in common with everyone here.”  A tree decorated with hand crocheted hats for patients to take what they need.  Carolers singing in the hallway.  There was an unspoken air of camaraderie. The trip to the cancer center not only brought me the expertise afforded to me by specialists that only work with cancer patients, but also emotional support I didn’t know to be possible.

Looking down over the  towns and cities on the flight home, I thought about how many people have been touched by the tragedy of cancer. I appreciate so deeply  the benefits I have gained by having access to a broadened medical  community.

Anne Carlson




It Does Exist


Photo by Anne Carlson

Monday morning Brittany and I will be flying on a private plane up to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City.  Thank you Angel Flight, pilots that volunteer paying all expenses themselves to transport cancer patients to treatment.

One of the things that this disease has given me, is an awareness of the depth of compassion, graciousness and kindness that is a part of our humanity that I never knew existed.

Anne Carlson



%d bloggers like this: