Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the upside

when it’s only Tuesday and the week is already long and hard and I’m tired and feeling blah –
these are the things today that fill my cup a little more than half empty…

Brown fingernail polish
Tights with patterns
Homemade quiche with esparagus, broccoli, ham and cheddar
Cinnamon vanilla creamer in decaf coffee late at night
Fake tanner on pasty legs
Post it notes
Nivea chapstick applied obsessively on dry winter lips
Jersey sheets and space heaters

on winter

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
-Albert Camus

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

Every winter, when the great sun has turned his face away,
the earth goes down into a vale of grief, and fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
leaving her wedding-garlands to decay - then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.
-Charles Kingsley

One kind word can warm three winter months.
-Japanese proverb

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in
winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone
and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
-John Burroughs

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
-Victor Hugo

Winter lies too long in country towns;
hangs on until it is stale and shabby,
old and sullen.
-Willa Cather

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . I crown thee king of
intimate delights, fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, and all
the comforts that the lowly roof of undisturb'd retirement, and the
hours of long uninterrupted evening, know.
-William Cowper

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind,
As man's ingratitude.
-William Shakespeare

Thursday, January 22, 2009

birds of a feather
birds of a feather - by jess999 on Polyvore.com

thoughts from tuesday...

...but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things...

...for we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness....

...this is the source of our confidence- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny...

...know that your people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy...

...Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it...


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Praise Song for the Day

Each day
we go about our business,
walking past each other,
catching each other's eyes,
or not.
About to speak, or speaking.
All about us is noise.
All about us is noise and bramble,
thorn and din, each one of our ancestors
on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem,
darning a hole in a uniform.
patching a tire.
Repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom-box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, "Take out your pencils.

We encounter each other in words,
words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed.
Words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways
that mark the will of someone
and then others who said,
"I need to see what's on the other side.
I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe."
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: That many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks,
raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce,
built, brick by brick, the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle.
Praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Others by "First, do no harm,"
or "Take no more than you need."
What if the mightiest word
is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national.
Love that casts a widening pool of light.
Love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this
winter air, any thing can be made,
any sentence begun.
On the brink,
on the brim,
on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.

— Elizabeth Alexander

*Poem read at Obama's inauguration this afternoon.
I was moved. emotional. excited, while sitting at my desk streaming a choppy CNN on Facebook.
i had goosebumps. i am hopeful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

saturday snow day

For those that know me, you know how much I loathe the winter.
the way my house is never above a balmy 62 degrees,
the way the sheets are like ice when I crawl into bed,
the way the dog never does her business quickly because she loves to play in the snow first.
I hate winter.
I hate the weather,
The way it’s dark when I leave for work and dark on my drive home –
But Saturday might have changed all that…

We woke up Saturday to a foot of snow blanketing our neighborhood.
Curtis was in heaven as he snow-blowed our driveway, and came inside pink-cheeked and excited.
He wanted to go on a walk with me and the dog around the neighborhood before the plows and salt got to it –
Turning the white streets into brown sludge.
I resentfully agreed – only because I could see on his face how excited he was.
He let me borrow a pair of his snowpants, while I wrapped myself in scarves and hats and gloves and a down jacket that falls to my knees. I was a sight, but was determined that if I was to embark on this frigid adventure, I was going to stay dry and as warm as possible.

I decided to bring my camera, despite one hand freezing the whole time. But it was worth it. The streets were like an abandoned fairy tale on ice and everything was white. We stayed warm as we watched Mea jump in snow well over her little head over and over, coming out like one big furry snowflake.

The walk ended back on our street with me in our front yard making snow angels. By then I was already soggy and freezing, so I said, what the heck and fell backwards to live out my childhood all over again…becoming the biggest snow angel known to man…complete with a little snow demon as the cherry on top.

It was a good morning, and as we warmed up and defrosted inside with coffee and hot showers, I decided winter isn’t so bad after all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

another beginning

For last year's works belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice
And to make an end is to make a beginning
T.S. Eliot

There's something about a new year that I love.
Not entirely sure why.
I know what I don't love about it.
The cold
And snow
And darkness that comes early.
But I do love the possibility that comes with a new page on the calendar-
a blank slate -
New goals, new vision, new perspective.
Although much of my new year's to do's are carried over from last year's unfinished business.
And that's okay.
Because for me it's not about resolutions,
It's about setting up my life to be what I meant for it to be
What I want it to look like
Leaving room for god to work
And for me to change.
I think that's a good place to start a new year

Monday, January 5, 2009

a new post for a new year

It’s a new year and with a new year always comes new goals and a list of things I want to do and accomplish this year. This year I broke down my 2009 goals into six distinctive catergories - Life/ Spirituality, Creativity, Home/ Organization, Books to Read, Health & Random.

Like my friend, Kate, I do not use the word resolutions for a couple of reasons. Like she wrote on her blog, the term resolution goes hand-in-hand with the word failure – and although many of the goals on my list are things that I resolve to accomplish this year, there are many that are either ongoing from last year or I know are sure to carry over to next year. Whatever you call them…they are there, written down, ink on paper and I have already checked one thing off my list.

January began at the end of the week and I took it as an opportunity to start a new project, just in time for a long weekend.

I thought knitting my first hat would be daunting. Patterns, circular needles, markers, safety pins and four double-pointed needles. In minutes I was hooked and pretty much finished the hat in 24 hours.

It’s a sweet, thunderstorm grey, merino wool blend that’s soft and stretchy. Unlike other projects that I’ve done, I finished with a sigh, not wanting it to end – but pleased with the outcome. I then wore it for the rest of the night.

Since then, I have started hat #2 – a soft cream-colored wool, which I’m antsy to pick up tonight while the hub no doubt rocks out to more guitar hero.

Next on the list is a pair of socks. I have the yarn, the pattern, the needles and the phone number of my favorite knitting teacher – my mom - who I’ll no doubt be on the phone with often, asking for explanations, pattern clarification and stitch tutorials.

The creative juices are flowing and I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year.

Happy New Year!

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