Of treasure and need….


This is for your hungry places,
where  the cold fingers of need creep up through your thin-worn soles,
and you feel small against the bluster of a wind that would slice right through.

For the places where you go mostly alone,
hunted down by fear that raises stiff the hairs on your neck,
the kind of fright that preys on perception
and sends you into scurry
like the monster beneath your childhood bed.

We all have those places where we feel found wanting,
towered over by a freakish sock puppet shadow
screaming bold and frantic lies.
“Not enough,”  it howls.
Not for you.
For you there’s shortage.
Of provision.  protection. wisdom.  solution.  love and comfort.  health.  belonging.
And whatever that something,  the circumstance lies,
it proves what you’ve always feared:
you’re a failure and alone.
A misfit.


I want to whisper something into that despairing hole of unmet need,
in that very place where you feel the smallest and weakest,
where hot tears puddle in a heart that feels betrayed
by the seeming plenty of those around you.

Things are not always as they seem.
There is enough for you
without cutting into anyone else’s goodness.

This isn’t how your story ends.
There is more,
and there are freshwater waves rushing toward your shores
to sweep away your thirst,
mercy soaking ground gone hard from disappointment
until it’s soft enough to let your dreams break through.

Don’t go bitter
from the spittle of yesterday’s hand-me-down beer.
Dive deep,  little pepper flake,  where the grateful waters flow:)
You’re gonna harvest pearls from these hard,  craggy shells
and find the treasure buried for you there.


“Where there is ruin,  there is hope for a treasure.” – Rumi

(I’ll be sending a copy of my last zine of the year to Susan Troccolo
of Life,  Change,  Compost.
I just read her freshly published book
of essays on friendship and breaking new ground.
Wonderful read!  The Beet Goes On.  Go see:))


  1. Elephant's Child on November 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you, as always, for the colourful, hopeful wisdom and kindness you give ut.
    I am really looking forward to reading Susan’s essays. When time is my friend. Or when I ignore the things which aren’t.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thanks for your kind generosity, Sue;
      I understand about time.
      So much.

  2. Julia on November 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Your words never miss the mark. They are truth that pierce through the mask to reveal the littleness hiding behind in all of us. I love your words of hope.
    Hugs, Jb

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:40 am

      littleness. that’s a good word.
      thanks for your friendship and farming, Julia:)

  3. Barbara on November 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Wonderful post full of encouragement. That little voice of doubt and ‘not-enough-ness’ is tough to keep away and requires continuous doses of positive, and you can be counted on to provide them!

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Thanks for that, Barbara; it’s good to hear that
      something has a positive effect:)
      Enjoy these last sips of November,

  4. Susan on November 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Let me tell you how it went. I came to the computer to finish one last bit of book business for the day. I felt tired and there was one tear. Paddy’s been sick with a lousy head cold for weeks and weeks and try as I might, I was just blue. I started to read and felt your kindness wash over me. Then I read “little pepper flake” and laughed out loud. Then I saw “Don’t lose heart” and I cried. Then I saw that I won your Zine this month! Jennifer, I feel very happy right now. Going to rest with happy…thanks to you.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:43 am

      I love the way you think in story
      and then share what you hear:)
      Thanks for these delicious words:)

  5. Lynn Wilkinson on November 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Jenn, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
    Soothing balm for a weary heart… your words spoke truth
    into my feelings of being a misfit and a mess. I haven’t felt
    as though I have belonged anywhere lately and you have reminded
    me that I BELONG exactly where I am doing exactly what I am doing.
    And the shame of others belongs them, their needs and feels of inadequacy
    will not be pushed onto me …

    You are such a pure blessing my dear friend… and I look forward to next years zine’s … let me know when you post the registration details… okay?

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving sweet friend.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:45 am

      I understand weary.
      I so appreciate your interest; going to do the zine differently next year.
      Not going to do a monthly issue like that
      and not selling subscriptions.
      It was a good experiment and I learned a whole heap
      about what to do and not to do in the future.
      Still, I appreciate your interest more than I can say:)
      much love,

  6. gotham girl on November 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Such raw wisdom…another treasure. Couldn’t agree more with Julia…you never miss the mark.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Thanks so much for the way you stretch my windows
      and send such cheer:)

  7. Kathryn on November 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I love the way you share positivity. Thank you…and happy Thanksgiving, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Thanks and enjoy these last sips of November,

  8. Wanda on November 25, 2015 at 5:16 am

    So appreciate reading these encouraging words today Jennifer. Far too often the whispers of lack and scarcity sound their voices. However, I love how you said there is some for us all without taking from the next person’s plenty. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:47 am

      It’s a mind game we have to wrestle with, isn’t it,
      the idea that there isn’t enough to go around.
      Plenty. I like that word.
      Enjoy much of it, Wanda,

  9. Kimber Britner on November 25, 2015 at 7:52 am

    So much hope and goodness in this tall glass of water.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for bellying up to the bar
      and drinking with me, friend;)

  10. Kathy on November 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Thank you. Your words are balm to my soul on this day that I needed them. Truly.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:48 am

      So glad, Kathy. So, so glad:)
      I appreciate you and your muchness,

  11. S. Etole on November 25, 2015 at 10:04 am

    This is just “the cat’s meow!” Thank you for the beauty and healing in your words and images.

  12. Susan on November 25, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Even for us little pepper flake misfits, who have no problem living up to this description, your words carry so much hope and deep wisdom.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Haha…..I love the vibe you give off
      all the way from your snowy mountains:)
      Thanks for giving such joy,

  13. jeanie on November 27, 2015 at 9:26 am

    This is so beautiful, Jennifer, and words we should all remember. I am lucky — I’ve never felt that scarcity. Even during periods when my health was bad or I felt grief, I always felt abundance, too — abundance of so many other things they carried away some of those feelings before they arrived and settled in. I will remember your words for days that may seem hard. They are well worth holding onto.

    • Jennifer Richardson on November 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful perspective, Jeanie;
      I so enjoy sharing the road with you:)

  14. Donna on November 30, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you for the treasure f your words my friend….always inspiring, uplifting. I know when I visit here my heart will sing a glad song.

    • jennifer on December 14, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      I hear that song from over here….it’s a beauty:)
      Keep singing,

  15. Bren on December 1, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I’m out of the loop! You’ve been writing up a storm of soul searching prose!

    • jennifer on December 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for coming by, Bren!
      Yeah, it’s been one of those stormy times.
      But a sweet sort of storm.
      Love and thanks,

  16. Susie on December 15, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Hearing your sweet kind whispers dear ♡Jennifer…….
    I always ‘harvest pearls’ and ‘find the treasure buried for you there’ when I read your soul-ful words……and I can read them over and over……
    Your beautiful murmurs remind me of ♡David Whyte’s reciting of dear ♡Mary Oliver’s words….
    “Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on…..”
    Much ♡LOVE and gratitude for your beautiful heart and wonder and for pouring it out, Susie♡

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