My life has been full of changes – new jobs with new colleagues, new places in new landscapes, and new friends bringing new relationships. I don’t regret making any of them, and find it useful to reflect on the challenges I’ve faced through these changes, and the growths I’ve made as a result.  

In the summer of 2013 I was living in Carbondale, Colorado, having recently sold my Glenwood Springs home and 3/4 of my belongings to move into a rented tiny home. Within a week of my move, I went in for my second shoulder surgery. A month after my surgery I visited family in Boulder, and took a stroll along the Pearl Street Mall. It was then that I met Bill Keyes, with his typewriter. Bill is the Poem Guy. He was sitting in a chair, his 1917 manual Corona typewriter in front of him, with a sign reading, “Poems While You Wait”. 

I was intrigued. The Pearl Street Mall is filled with a variety of artistic-types, exposing their skills and talents, for everyone’s benefit. Bill offered to write, and type, me a poem of my choosing. All I had to do is give him a few words of inspiration. Words that spoke of myself. He’d take those words and use his craft to write me a poem. 

Here are the words I gave him, “Peace, Love, Joy, Purpose”. I adopted them after reading a book, the title of which I currently can’t recall. 

Here is the poem Bill wrote for me, using those words. His poem captures my very essence, inside and out, in my work, play, travel and relationships.  


SIMPLE INGREDIENTS                                                                                                                                         FOR A GOURM  ET M  EAL

kids are naturally inclined toward buddha smiles

given the opportunity

most of them recognize happiness

most of em want to be loved

most of em just need to be reminded

th world inside them

is smarter then the one outside

peace and love

are natural

but in a world of conflict and confusion

they are so easily trampled

so sprouts don’t grow

pavement takes the garden

and it becomes a rebellious thing

to be yourself

at peace


strong in how it is you can provide

something of joy

and love

the ease of your very nature.

– Bill Keyes




About Mary Russell

I'm a "multipotentialite", turning my passions into careers. My main passions are learning, teaching, creativity, adventure, and compassion.
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