Meet Cynthia Trenshaw

My mother was a fourth grade teacher whose passion was spelling and grammar. My father was a journalist who, for twenty years, wrote a semi-weekly column of personal musings. It was expected that I would be a good writer!

But even if those were not the facts, still I could never NOT write. I journal; I correspond; I write on scraps of paper while waiting at stoplights, and on napkins while waiting for my coffee.

Putting words together in powerful, pleasing, and persuasive combinations is my great joy.

In an unexpected way, this joy is also a large part of my current profession: my reports as a Guardian ad Litem for the Superior Courts of four Washington counties, comprise the true stories of marginalized people who have been brought to the Court’s attention. For these “alleged incapacitated persons” and their circumstances to be fully and accurately seen and protected by the Superior Court judges, I go, over and over again, into our cultural margins: to nursing homes and private homes and group homes to meet elders who are fragile of mind or body, or who are vulnerable to abuse by family or neighbors or scammers; or to meet young disabled people who are reaching their majority yet still need someone to speak and make decisions on their behalf. The more accurately and fully I can describe these people to the Court, the more likely it is that wise rulings will come from the bench on their behalf.

When I am not writing legal documents for the Courts, I write poems and vignettes about the gifts and the pathos and the wisdom to be found in the margins that I frequent.

My most recent opus is Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People, in which I encourage the reader to explore the generosity, the joy, the pathos, and the reciprocity to be found in the very places that our culture teaches us to avoid.

Selections from Meeting in the Margins have been chosen for the collection Pain and Memory published by Editions Bibliotekos, Inc.

My portfolio of other published works includes teaching booklets for PeerSpirit, Inc. (see A Harvest of Years: A PeerSpirit Guide to Proactive Aging Circles),  magazine articles (Shiatsu Journal, The Way, Mothering Magazine, Itineraries – the Second Journey Ezine), poetry (Ruah Poetry Journal, Tessera, Soundings Review), technical writing (Network: A Profile of Older Adult Substance Abuse Services in Michigan), and final exams for continuing education schools (somebody has to write all those questions).


An encampment, situated on a San Francisco toxic waste dump,
where I was a massage practitioner for street people.
Photo © 1998, Cynthia Trenshaw