Monday, December 28, 2009

Endeavor With a Capital E

I wrote in January 2009 that I don't especially enjoy the idea of New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions are...resolute. Stiff. Reserved for the financial district and diet-affecting diseases.

In short, for my delicate psyche, resolutions are paralyzing. If I were to, say, resolve to exercise every morning at 6:30, my brain would tell my body to stay up until 3 am and then ignore the alarm and oversleep. And then I would have failed. The self loathing born out of that failure would likely staple me to the couch. In my pajamas. For exactly six days.
Or if I were to resolve to eat only fresh, uncooked vegetables for afternoon snacks from Here On Out, my brain would send a relentless onslaught of cravings for potato chips dipped in chocolate. I would resist them for at least an hour, before realizing that Here On Out is a very long time and my will is as thin as onion paper.

But I love the idea of The Clean Slate. I am quite fond of goals that sit on low shelves and can be picked up and examined every day. Goals that don't necessarily redefine my self worth, but improve my immediate world-view. I think that is how I have managed to train for and run triathlons because they are reachable goals with a beginning, middle and end. I like that my triathlons are comfortable on the bottom shelf with the Plen-T pack tube socks and 12-gallon jar of pickles.

It's all about attainability.

There have been a few marble-sized intentions rolling around in my head for a few weeks. I think it is time to pick them up and call them by name.
I am deeply inspired by Ali Edwards' One Word Concept. To give this coming year a word and to explore the height and depth and width and breadth of that one word for the next 12 months. To look for it in ordinary days. To recognize the shift of meaning, the broadening of definition. To allow myself to be inspired by it and move within it.
My word for 2010 is Endeavor.
This will be my guidepost as I consider photography projects and writing projects and personal-hygeine-for-the-soul projects.

A perenial favorite of my marble-sized intentions is to care for my health. To nourish my body, to take it for walks in the snow and runs in the park, to wear sensible shoes, to care for my skin and heart and bones. To rest. To think. To listen...To Take Good Care.
And in keeping with the previous two, I will Endeavor to Take Good Care of my artist's heart, to find the intersection on my inside map where domesticity and creativity meet. I will have a cup of tea with myself with some regularity and allow thoughts and ideas and complaints and tears and laughter to spill out of me without the complication of harsh self-judgement. I will draw lines in the carpet. On this side will be time for keeping up (with vacuuming and laundry and dusting...) and on the other side will be time for keeping. Only keeping. Moments, thoughts, paint brushes, the camera lens, leaves of my journal. I will allow myself these things.

And so begins the year...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001)

The snowflakes this morning have all the charm and endearment of Crill in the ocean. Infinitesimal individuals hurrying off to no where in particular, collecting on tree limbs and shoulders, in heaps and piles underfoot. And then I realized on my couch, I am the infinitesimal individual, outnumbered 700 trillion to one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

These two inches

I like to think the inside of my mind is filled with hallways and corridors and charming doorknobs on unmarked doors. I confess it isn’t altogether bright in there which may lead to conclusions being drawn about my intellect. Draw away.

There are doors I know to be concealing dangerous memories and so I try not to be seduced by their ornate moldings.

There are doors whose hinges squeak and the linoleum is worn at the threshold. These are the rooms I return to over and over in dreams, in thoughtful moments, in entries in my journal.
And down a particularly appealing hallway is a knot of doors with frosted windows that let the light spill through into the dimness.

I wandered into one of these rooms this morning. It holds the collected memories of Thanksgivings of my childhood, the Technicolor shadows of cousins and aunts and uncles and a lot of knees and elbows and plaid shirts. Cinnamon floating indiscriminately through the air. Children in piles on the carpet like the leaves on the lawn. Tangles of shoes waiting by the door. Homemade rolls and pie crusts that didn’t last the day. A behemoth television set entombed in a wooden frame showing football games in succession followed by It’s a Wonderful Life. Moments at the center of the universe where my tales of summer adventures and soccer games and piano recitals held adults’ rapt attention. This room holds the crisp chill of near-winter that is the garden for the blooms of gratitude, still green on the vine this time of year.


Moments that lasted just long enough to set markers down, place cards in the heart at a table where these events unfold with every visit, where I am nourished by the knowledge that I was once so embedded in the warmth of that family.
I sat there at the table this morning and laughed at the ideality of it all. Norman Rockwell might have shown up for dinner and swore he was in his own painting. My understanding stops short at the knees and elbows. If there were worries or burnt rolls or cuss words muttered into the turkey, I was blissfully unaware. I was preoccupied with the magnificence of the moment, the warmth in my chest at being surrounded by these people I loved and who loved me right back. And of course, the pie. I was irreversibly preoccupied with the pie.

Grandmother made no fewer than 15 varieties each year to suit everyone’s tastes. Chocolate Crème, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Pumpkin, Apple… Each one began its short life as ingredients in her kitchen, alongside the flour and yeast for her Butterhorn Rolls. I would give what little oxygen we have in these high mountains for Grandmother’s Butterhorn Rolls on the table at every meal. This year, I am told, I will make those rolls…and hopefully those knee-high and underfoot will not notice the inevitable cursing and last minute store runs for brown-n-serve dinner rolls.

Grandmother. She is omnipresent in this secret room of mine, smelling always of soap and butter and cinnamon and pies and yeast and rolls and never of the 85 pound turkey she’d been cooking since 2 am. I remember her always in the kitchen, as if she’d been planted there and grew from a seed. And every evening around dinner time, she’d steal away to sit next to Granddad for a quick prayer and high praise of her substantial, culinary talents. Thanksgiving was when Grandmother’s talents were polished to a spectacular shine and the high praise took several turns around the table, culminating in a couple dozen kisses on her cheek and her gracious, “Thank you, dear,” as if we had done her a favor by eating the meal she’d worked for a month to bring together.

**********
I don’t know why it is so easy to forget to be grateful. I don’t know why I find myself in a lump on the couch at day’s end, lamenting all of the things the universe owes me, but has yet to deliver on. I don’t know why gratitude, for me, behaves like a muscle that needs to be moved, exercised. But I need only to cross a few thresholds to remember.
There are a few small spaces that exist in me and pull me into this season of near-winter, this season of gratitude in bloom. I need to find myself in these small spaces more often.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The White House in Two Parts. Part 2

“I…have another cup of coffee with my mother. We get along very well, veterans of a guerrilla war we never understood.”

-Joan Didion (1934--)

Almost immediately after moving in to the White House, It became my nightly ritual to nearly set myself on fire.

The White House utilized a series of floor furnaces for heat. They were brown and tan metal things that stood two feet high with porcelain teeth that radiated the heat from the blue gas flame. I came to regard them affectionately like an elder lady relates to her favored poodles.

I loved heat even then and nearly to my detriment.
I would stand in front of the floor furnace in the living room, preheating the backside of my polyester nightgown. The challenge was always to race up the stairs and leap into bed with lightning speed in order to take full advantage of the singe of the gown on my skin before the heat dissipated. I learned the trick was to overheat the gown so that it would withstand the inevitable aerodynamics and hyper cooling that occurred when the air whipped around my body as I flew to my bed. More often than not, I pushed the gown beyond its melting point. Standing there, beads of sweat forming between my shoulder blades, certain of the glorious singe that awaited me at the top of the stairs if I could just hold out a minute more, smoke whisping in erratic spirals over my head... one of my parents, usually my mother, would “put me out” just after my gown melted to my skin but just before I burst into open flame.

I am still a lover of heat and find it oddly comforting that something like that, preference, has followed me through hallways and eras, that I am familiar with that little girl in the polyester night gown. Somewhere inside me, she is searching out the warm places and huddling greedily over them while thin rings of smoke wreath her head.

****************
Twice a week, my mother laid Seth down for a nap in the awkward chair room and began making arrangements to wash mine and my sister’s hair in the kitchen sink. As a mother, I think it seems like the hard way to go about things to separate hair-washing from bath time. But my mother has never been overly concerned with doing things the easy way. And if there is anything I have learned about motherhood, it is this: Sometimes we find our own way. Do what works for you and let others do what works for them. While I have not ever subscribed to it, washing her daughters’ hair in the kitchen sink was my mother’s own brand of parenting. It worked for her.

So, twice a week she laid a thick bath towel on the counter where I would lay up to my shoulders, my neck and head dangling in the sink like a really comfortable guillotine. She would pile potato chips on my belly and then search for the perfect level of warmth on the faucet settings like a pilot at the dials of a Victorian Airship. The water trickled down my scalp in perfect, warm streams. She massaged my head in deep long movements. My eyes would close; a faint, pleasant dream calling to me from a long way off. And then suddenly and without fail, she would curl her fingers under and dig her nails in as she grated the top layers of dirt and sweat and skin and cranial bones in rapid movements, as if she were pursuing swift and evasive fleas or black spot.

Tears streamed down my cheeks, though I wasn’t crying. Apparently, my brain disapproved of my decision not to cry and sent the tears anyway.

After the spiritual cleansing ritual, she would condition my hair starting with the same deep tissue massage. Usually by this time, my stores of potato chips were depleted and the nerves under my scalp were on high alert so I was more vocal in my protest as she began to run her fingers through my long tangled brown hair. She attacked those snarls with a righteous anger, a holy fury any good Baptist could tap in a heartbeat. She dragged a comb through my hair with the ferocity of a rake through brambles that had been set on fire due to an infestation of snakes.

By the end of it, she and I were both sweaty and out of sorts. I’d scurry off with one last sympathetic glance to my sister as my mom started the whole process again, a fresh pile of potato chips and a crazed look in her eye.

***************
The summer after first grade, we moved to Oklahoma, into a neighborhood with modern electrical wiring and sidewalks and a garden club. (And, incidently, into a house up the hill from my future husband. But that is another house, another story altogether...)

Someone has since moved into our White House and painted her pink. With green trim. They no doubt think this is ironic or witty, referring to her as a painted lady at dinner parties.

I just think it’s a little sad. Like a masterpiece in face paint. Like The Venus de Milo in stage make up. Slap some rouge and heavy eye liner on her and you might notice that her arms have fallen off.

Our White House was lovely in her own seductive, understated way. And so she stays in my memory. Perfect even in her imperfection.

The White House in two parts. Part 1

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right.

-Maya Angelou (1928--)

We lived in an old, white, Victorian style house in Pilot Point, Texas for a few years growing up. My brother, sister and I refer to it as, “The White House.” It sat on the corner of two old streets who apparently had no use for curbs or smooth sidewalks. She was one of a dozen stately homes who remember eras of this country that have been decidedly shellacked or bulldozed. Our house was likely known as the Village Tart with her leaded glass windows, voluptuous red, painted porch that wrapped itself around the front and down the side of the house, like lines on lady’s panty hose disappearing behind the hem of her skirt. The front staircase boasted a fine banister that stretched the full length of the staircase. Windows spilled light through the balusters into the two story foyer. She left plenty to the imagination, however, with her over-indulgence of doors and unexpected rooms here and there.

We moved in as a family of four and then Seth was born. I was five years old. I cried, HOWLED in the hospital waiting room when my dad informed us with a wide grin “It’s a boy!” I was utterly disappointed in my parents. I thought the sonogram pictures were a threat. I hadn’t taken them seriously. I insisted they send him back.

And then, probably against their better judgment, they let me hold Seth. He was sweet and small (He would probably still fit in all of my doll clothes…) I decided to forgive him for being male. So before we left the hospital, I ditched my Cabbage Patch doll and adopted my brother as my very own baby. My mother would race me to his cradle when he cried, for fear that I would a) suffocate him as I climbed in to comfort him, or b) drop him as I used his receiving blankets to pull him toward me and then tipped the cradle over to one side so that he rolled into my waiting arms.

The old, wooden cradle was in the room off of the kitchen. There was no clear definition of this room. I can only imagine the headaches it created for real estate agents showing the house. It boasted several windows (more than perhaps were entirely necessary if you didn’t fall into the screened-in porch category,) a back door, a back staircase, a wood burning stove, the cradle, and a few odd chairs milling about the room, like half a dozen introverts at a cocktail party mumbling contrived “How do you do’s,” unsure of what to do with themselves.

Those chairs came in handy one day when a mouse snuck in the house and holed up behind the stove. My mother, sister, and I leapt on top of them, held hostage by the 14 ounce rodent. We had an argument about whether or not mice knew how to climb trees and/or chair legs, as we watched my Dad chase the little sucker around the room with my mother’s broom. It took a while. Long enough that I had switched teams before the end of it. In the beginning, he was a fanged, furry intruder full of malcontent and scabies. But as he skittered around the room, I identified with him. He was afraid and small. He became a little fairytale mouse, confused and in need of a catchy tune and a teaspoon of understanding. I thought we should let him live. He wouldn’t eat much and I was sure my Dad could file down his fangs and give him all the necessary inoculations. I imagined him with a miniature rhinestone studded collar sporting a brass tag etched with his name, Hubert, and our phone number, lest he get lost… Whap! Whap, whap, whap! I’m not sure it ended quickly or painlessly for Hubert only that it ended. And my mother bought a new broom.

****************

I have been considering the idea of home, lately. The White House is the first one I remember well.

I remember the dream my mother woke me from on my first day of Kindergarten, the Weeping Willow in the front yard my sister and I anointed as the headquarters of our various secret societies, the swing set in the backyard… It’s also where I first felt the sting of loss when our cat, Annie, was killed by a neighbor’s cats. That house holds my first memories of being sexually assaulted by my grandpa. I was maybe four or five.

My grown up mind has a hard time reconciling the good and the bad, the duality of home for the little girl I once was.

I still think of home as a mother who sees me coming from far off, gathers her skirts and runs to meet me. She scoops me up and holds me close in a warmth that isn’t lost.
Or maybe this is what I hope for my own girls.

***************
stay tuned for part 2

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom but we hope it, we know it

-Johan Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
A favorite photo from my Mornings Project, August 09
This week, we enjoyed 50 straight hours of snow. These are evergreens. I promise.
The beginning of the storm, October 09
Photo walk, October 09
Vail, Colorado, July, 2008
This post is part of the Photo Challenge: Green at The Women's Colony

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn...Silence Listening to Silence

-Thomas Hood (1799-1845)*




This post is part of a photo challenge: Orange at The Women's Colony
*I believe this poem is attributed to this Thomas Hood. Mr. Hood had a son also named Thomas who became a well known playwright and editor. The younger Tom Hood b. 1835, d. 1874.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vehicle

Sitting in the long bench seat of my Dad’s truck, my head against the window, I balanced my mother’s green Tupperware mixing bowl precariously next to the 7-Up can in my lap, I was sick and had to stay home from fourth grade that day. Only, for reasons unknown to me, I wasn’t home. I was running calls with my father. I sat pallid, feverish, drinking in the intensifying heat inside the truck with my skin the same way tree frogs absorb moisture through their leathery backs, while my father bandaged, scoped, and generally laid hands on colicky colts bustling from barn to the hulking, refrigerated vet-box on the bed of his truck to retrieve gloves the length of his arm used to palpate mares.

I remember the conversation I had with myself, as my flesh pan-seared on the leather seats, “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up…” It was a short conversation. One I lost, convincingly, in the end. I didn’t make it in my mother’s mixing bowl, but in my can of 7-Up. Oh, how I dreaded telling my dad that I had puked in my 7-Up. I felt terribly guilty about that. In the grand scheme of physics and what not, there were undoubtedly puke bits in the truck, perhaps baking into the floor mats as I sat there, but I didn’t feel bad about the truck. I felt bad about defacing my father’s generosity by puking in the 7-Up he had gifted me.
My lack of remorse for the stench and liquid chunks lacing themselves into the floor mats of my father’s F350 likely stemmed from my familiarity with the truck itself, and the half a dozen blood samples rolling around the glove box on any given day. My Dad requires such huge trucks because he carries a working vet clinic in the back. That and he spends so much time in them. They act as mobile apartments. One can really spread out in there and kick back while barreling down the back roads of central Oklahoma.

If I ever wanted to spend quality time with my father, I’d have to go on calls with him. We spent afternoons at his veterinary clinic every week, but he was nearly always elbow deep in pustules or extracting something unfortunate from some creature’s intestines. I was left to my own devices, my own diversions. But in his truck, he was 2 to 6 feet away from me for 45 minute increments as we drove from one farm to the next with nothing better to do than talk to me about my soccer games or tell me stories about growing up. (My favorite being that he and his college roommate did not get along. One day, my Dad got so fed up with him he marched into their shared room and threw him out their second story window. His roommate collected himself and then marched back to their room and threw my Dad out the window. It was smooth sailing after that, apparently.)

My Dad’s trucks were the living room couches of our relationship. This is where life unfolded or it’s where we reflected on the folds. It was a comfortable agreement, he did all the driving and navigating, stopping every so often at hole-in-the-wall donut shops in forgotten towns to introduce me to the world of jelly filled pastries. And I slid from one end of the bench seat to the other as he swerved to avoid potholes the size of public pools or gunned the engine and launched the 2 ton truck down dirt roads like The General Lee. I never complained about his driving, and he never complained about having to schlep his scrawny kid around with him. Together, we reveled in the freedom of junk food and windows rolled all the way down.

When I was in the 8th grade, my Dad developed an unfortunate affinity for the El Camino. The convenience of a car, with the faculties of a truck. Not only was it smaller and a little cramped as he drove my sister and me to the private school we attended across town, it was also seriously lacking mojo. It was an exercise in humility every time we piled out of the brown spectacle and swung the wide door with a generous whine, creek, and slam. It was worse for my sister. She was in 10th grade and something like an El Camino in the family could definitely dampen your chances with the cool crowd in middle school. But her beauty and charm more than made up for any vehicular missteps. Until the day my Dad got a call from a neighbor.

We lived in a house completely ensconced in trees. We were removed from town, from society, from community…except that we had neighbors whose houses were also completely ensconced in the same trees, hidden from view. It was a planned community with a neighborhood watch sign, which was amusing to me, because we couldn’t see our neighbors, much less watch someone take their stuff.

Anyway, when you are a doctor or lawyer or car salesman, neighbors take note and tuck that information in their back pockets just in case they need a second opinion or a good deal on a Volvo.

My Dad was the neighborhood veterinarian. So, it was only natural when someone hit a deer with their truck and it lay dying in someone’s driveway, they called him to put it down. And dispose of it. Looking back, he could have handed them the number for Animal Control. But he didn’t. He slung the carcass over his shoulder and carried it to his El Camino. He positioned the deceased between his vet box and the back window. She stretched the length of the cabin, her feet sticking up grotesquely in the air, her head lolled to one side, tongue out, her dead, cold stare, watching us bedevil our father as he delivered us to school across town.

Our protests fell on deaf ears. He couldn’t understand what the big deal was. He’d drive us to school. We’d get out of the car. And go on about our day.

Kimberlyn was mutinous. I thought she might launch over me, open the driver’s side door and push my Dad out in a spectacular Charlie’s Angels move, dump the deer carcass and finish our commute on her own. I wasn’t entirely against that course of action. But before the plan could be fully developed we rolled up to school.

Us and the dead deer.

Kimberlyn refused to get out of the car. She refused to open the door, reasoning that if she kept the door closed on the reality wherein she arrived in front of hundreds of thousands of the cool people, chauffeuring an animal carcass, it couldn’t possibly be true.

I just wanted to get the hell out and pretend like nothing happened. A totally normal Tuesday. I think I did finally open the door and crawl over her.

My Dad owned another El Camino after the brown one topped a few hundred thousand miles, but eventually El Caminos became extinct and giant farm trucks fell back in his favor. Gradually, I stopped accepting invitations to go on calls with him, and gradually he stopped inviting me.

Time trundles on, doesn't it.

Next time my kids complain about...anything! I'm going to remind them, that not once, in their entire lives have I ever dropped them off at school with anything dead, expired, gooey, or disgustingly humiliating draped over the hood.

But there's still time. And I've got connections.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Awake

Upon finishing my Mornings Photography Project this past Friday, (I use capital letters, as if it has earned its title,) I breathed a sigh of relief, nodded to myself internally, “Well done, Emily. You did not entirely screw that up.” And then immediately felt bereft.

In the past 30 days I have: taken sunrise hikes on the Mesa, followed the steam from my mug of tea as it curled upward in spirals that reminded me of my sister’s hair, made eye contact with a crow, forbade my children to take a bite of their breakfast before I photographed it, leapt over furniture to get to my camera as a hot air balloon drifted over my house, and generally looked at things in a new light. A long, generous light. The light that had just pulled itself over the horizon with great effort and whispered in jewel tones on the earth.

I’m going to miss those mornings.

Of course, there are mornings waiting for me on the other side of this project. Mornings I am just as free to photograph as those I just waded through. But there was something about having set that task for myself that made it all official; breakfast, tea, sunrise. Everything was simultaneously brand new and ceremonially significant. It felt as though I was permitted to creep from the hallways of normality into antechambers of sanctity. Ok, antechambers of sanctity is a bit much. But there is definitely something about the world at sunrise that has been kept secret from me for the better part of 31 years.

On the morning I walked along the Mesa to capture the picture of The Flatirons at sunrise, I was a little early. So I snapped a few pictures of blades of grass and the hillside. And then a sense of wonder so intense it must have burst open inside my chest, washed through me and I thought I might vomit. Vomiting was the most poetic movement that occurred to me at the moment. The earth was shades of gray and pale blue in the crisp, delicious chill of morning. The day was not yet alive. I held my breath, feeling like I was invading a private moment, a birth.

The sun rose, dripping red and orange and pink onto the landscape and those colors ran like honey down the chin of the world and drove the pallid stillness from moments ago into the retreating night. The mountains ignited and the hills took a breath, even the grass seemed to flutter with a new pulse.

It was me that had been delivered. I passed into new thought, new expression, new purpose and understanding…

And then an elderly Yellow Lab trotted up and perched herself on the toe of my shoe. Right in the middle of my spiritual awakening.

Her owner trotted up behind her a minute or so later. They were lost. Putting my new found enlightenment to good to use, I pointed them in the right direction.

And then I scurried home, eager to see the divinity I had just encountered on the hill through my viewfinder, displayed in all its glory in full screen.

Forgive me, it was lack luster. By the time I got home, my family was awake and in full, morning-insanity mode. (That is what mornings have meant to me: harried people; loud, inarticulate, adolescent arguments; thrown elbows; thin skin…) I pulled the images from the camera and ticked through, erasing several hundred of the more blurry ones. I searched but I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find that moment I’d had on the hill wherein my heart beat in time with a bigger plan; that cosmic shift of thought and being.

None of it was anything that could be captured, held between fingertips or on a memory card. As much as I wanted to share the moment I’d had, it belonged to only me.

In my own heart, that sunrise is metallic. Bronze. Ruby. Gold. Banishing a dreadful chill inside when I allow that sun to crest the horizon of my discontent. When I choose to be awake.

On that morning and 29 others, I chose to be awake.

Mornings 30/30

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
-Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The End.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mornings 29/30

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

This fellow was 2 1/2 feet tall and just as interested in having his picture taken as I was in taking it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mornings 27/30

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
-Franklin P. Jones (1887-1929)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mornings 25/30

There's a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons--
That oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes--
-Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Well, clearly. I don't have a three-story pipe organ lurking in my living room like a great, toothy beast. We are traveling at the moment. This is the organ in the chapel at The Air Force Academy. It is beautiful in imposing and terrifying ways.
Also, it is not a winter afternoon. But it IS always the right moment for Emily Dickinson. And we have been festooning ourselves with scarves and sweaters and hats and rain gear. So, if you squint your eyes, you may be able to convince yourself that your breath is hanging in the air just beyond your nose. Bring on the hot chocolate.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mornings 24/30

He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.

-C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mornings 23/30

The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) Todays installment is very nearly late. But, I am certain it is morning somewhere on this globe.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mornings 22/30

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.
-EB White (1899-1985)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mornings 21/30

How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!
-Ralph Waldo Emmerson (1803-1882)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mornings 18/30

I have tried to keep memory alive...I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.
-Elie Wiesel (1928---)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Morning 16/30

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection.
-Mitchell Burgess

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mornings 15/30

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
-Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, (1832-1898)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mornings 12/30

Like liquid jewels, dripping from the vine in the morning sun. There is a certain optimism required to garden in the desert, the elements constantly reminding one of her place in the natural world; more Pestulance than Designer of History. But there is a daily renewal born with the sun and comfort in the quiet promises of a budding vine. And sometimes, on days like today, the renewal and comfort are a gentle salve when life stings a little.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mornings 11/30

The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.
-Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mornings 10/30

Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.
-William Blake (1757-1827)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mornings 9/30

It's never the wrong time to call on Toad. Early or late he's always the same fellow. Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go!
-The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)





Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mornings 8/30

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. -Anne Lamott
Look what floated right over my roof this morning, and right into my Mornings Project. Surprising in it's massiveness. I'm feeling buoyant and optimistic since it's unexpected detour through my stream of conciousness.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mornings 7/30

Indeed, we do not really live unless we have friends surrounding us like a firm wall against the winds of the world.
-Charles Hanson Towne (1889-1949)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009