Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Six word story 18

She loves to travel from home.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

Totally inspired by Karen's awesome sunflares, I decided to try to capture a couple of my own over the weekend.

Thanks for the inspiration, Karen and Lis!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

five (really) good things

Hope you're all enjoying a relaxing weekend! Here are some of the highlights from mine:

1. Eating Thanksgiving leftovers while watching the Godfather movies

2. Sleeping in until all hours, snuggled into warm flannel sheets

3. College Hunks Hauling Junk coming and cleaning out our basement - I've never seen it look this good!

4. The first toasty fires of the season

5. Enjoying time off with my sweetie - working on projects together and just hanging out

Wait! How did I forget this totally fun deleted scene from Pirate Radio? Make that six (really) good things!

How about you? Care to share a few of your (really) good things this weekend?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Enough, part three

You know how sometimes you just keep running into the same thing in a bunch of different places and you realize the universe is trying to tell you something? Well, imagine my surprise when I read Marianne Elliott's post this past week titled, "Enough for who?" Here's the part that I can't get out of my head:

"It didn’t matter that everything I am doing added up to a perfect alignment with my values in terms of outcome, what mattered was that the mix lacked my own particular recipe for being joyfully abundantly nourished.

"Even noticing this, my friends, was a revolution.

"If you haven’t known me very long then you may not yet realise that I have spent most of my 38 years throwing myself heart, body and soul into work that I hope will serve others. How many people I can serve? How much suffering I can ease? These have been my measure of enoughness.

"What nourishes me? What tops up my personal energy stores? Those were not questions I would have thought to even ask myself five years ago.

"Five years ago I thought that all that mattered was that I was doing good. If I was serving others, I was getting it right. Then somewhere along the line (somewhere near June 2007) I started to realise that taking care of myself was part of being of service in the world...

"So when I realised that my sense of not-enoughness was actually a sense that I was not getting enough of the nourishment and renewal I need it was with great joy that I embraced the opportunity to make some changes. So here are some of those changes:

"taking more walks on the beach
teaching more face-to-face workshops
booking more speaking gigs (they light me up like a fricken christmas tree, no lie)
giving myself more space to create
more working with others, more collaborations
more time to play with children (have i mentioned how much i love kids? l.o.v.e ‘em)
much more dancing
more slow travel (full immersion, no rushing, plenty of time to soak it all in)

In her post she talks about how she lived with the feeling of "not enough"-ness for a while to see what it would tell her. I've been doing that a bit in the past couple of days and will definitely continue to listen, but here are some things I'm hearing that I could use more of these days:

more time in my body, either through yoga or meditation
less time on the internet
more time with Sun magazine - I have TEN unread issues, people!
more evening tea
more quiet, more space, less speed
more presence in the work I do - slowing down and really being with it

It's interesting. Marianne talks about how her introvert needs are being fulfilled, but not her extravert needs. My list is exactly the opposite. Of course, part of me wonders if that's because she's experiencing spring in New Zealand and I'm here in autumnal North America... Still, it has been a revelation to watch Wayne Muller's talk and hear him say that we can only love so many people well. He writes about that in his book, too, and that's very helpful for me. In my usual workday I interact with probably an average of anywhere between fifty and a hundred people. That's a lot for this introvert. And I get a lot out of it, but not when I hold myself to an unrealistic standard of loving behavior and don't fill my well with quality time alone or with my sweetie.

So, how are you feeling these days? What is your soul calling out for more (or less) of?

Friday, November 26, 2010

five senses friday


Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy rooibos tea


delicious crock pot dressing and pumpkin pie cooking on a cloudy Thanksgiving


we can't get enough of the Larry Sanders Show these days


like I would benefit from some time with Jen Lee's amazing soul care manual


finally got my copy of Jonatha Brooke's The Works, truly the soundtrack of Squam (thanks Totoro family!). this is currently my favorite song off the album.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So grateful for my beautiful, abundant life and for your kind company here. Wishing you a lovely day of connection, nourishment, gratitude, and joy!

Also very grateful to Rodg for taking this picture of last year's dinner (tonight's will look pretty much the same - we know what we love) and his kindness in letting me post it here. I love you, sweetie!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enough, part two

Feeling much better this evening after having said, "Enough," and spent the day resting and watching some great movies on Netflix.

I also feel I got some great healing by watching a few powerful Wayne Muller videos, that for some mysterious reason I can't embed with sound. So if the quotation on Monday spoke to you, I really encourage you to check this short video out. And if, like me, you just can't stop, Mr. Muller has more inspiring things to say here.

Six word story 17

Gertrude Stein helped me a little with this one:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

On Friday morning, as I was pretending I wasn't coming down with this cold I took a moment before work to capture one of the last trees blazing with color:

And some lights that just looked very smooth and peaceful:

I'm really inspired these days by Wayne Muller's book a life of being, having, and doing enough. Here's a passage that just stopped me in my tracks:

"In art, as in psychology, we find the concepts of figure and ground. For example, we may ask our children to draw a house or tree that stands on some grassy field, garnished with blue sky and yellow sun. The background scene of grass and sky is the ground; the house, tree, or person is the figure. The relationship of figure to ground is a tool in understanding the human psyche. Just as our child draws what it believes is the ground of the picture, our psyche chooses as its ground certain firm, trustworthy principles: the way the world works, whether it is dangerous or safe, whether it is permanently fixed or can be changed, and so forth. It then populates this inner world with figures - family members, authority figures, lovers, abusers - who perform on this stage, this ground of the world.

"Our 'ordinary life' in the world is our ground. Stillness is ofen a neglected, fragile figure lurking somewhere in the background. But what if we were to flip this seemingly reasonable and familiar figure ground relationship of ours? What if, instead, stillness became our ground - and the world and what we do in it became a mere set of occasionally interesting figures that move in and out of our ground of stillness? Here, we would awake in stillness, and leave our home if and when we felt called to 'carve out' some time for the world, always returning again and again to the home ground of stillness.

"Can we even imagine such a thing?"

Wow! How radical is this? How much does this go against our current society's value system? And how much do I want to take him up on the challenge? Let's just say, as I struggle with my 3rd or 4th cold this year, a lot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A love story

OK, so the title is officially Wristcutters: A Love Story and it does indeed begin with a suicide and it takes place in a dreary, depressing place where everyone has committed suicide. But that shouldn't stop you from watching it! It has a great cast, is quite funny, and there's nothing pro-suicide about it.

Plus there's some great music:

And if you click here (and turn your volume up), you can watch my favorite scene with Tom Waits. Yes, Tom Waits!

And if you need any more convincing, it is now streaming on Netflix.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now.

~David Whyte

Friday, November 19, 2010

five senses friday


still totally addicted to spicy, delicious Mi-del ginger snaps!


these days I'm totally grooving on Aveda's Chakra 4 spray. Now I have 2-5 - someday I'll have collected them all!


really enjoying reading Brene Brown's amazing Gifts of Imperfection


my feet on the ground, connecting with the earth's solid energy


this John Coltrane song is totally appropriate this week, and my goodness, is there anything more beautiful?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Imperfection celebration

I don't know about you, but I'm really enjoying this imperfection thing. All week I've found myself a lot less worried about doing things perfectly, thinking that if I did something embarrassing it would be something funny to post here. And so it was a pretty uneventful week. I was sort of amused by my odd, informal way of interacting with the speaker and mayor at the Billy Collins event last weekend. I was in charge of the VIP door, which meant opening it when I felt someone pulling on it and not letting anyone from the auditorium in. Billy Collins got a jaunty, silent wave from me, and the city's mayor got a "Well, hello there!" Not exactly what they were expecting, I don't think, but not really that embarrassing. Even earlier this week, getting ready for the library's Board meeting, I thought "Well, maybe this will give me something to write about," but it went off without a hitch.

So I thought I'd share one of my favorite stories from a couple of years ago. I was working in the phone room, answering reference questions, and I got a call from a woman with a pretty strong accent. The title she was looking for sounded a little unusual, but I'm constantly surprised, so I told her "I'm sorry. I'm not seeing Where's the Ladies' Room? in our catalog." She started to laugh and corrected me. The book she was looking for was Where the Lilies Bloom. We both got a good laugh out of that one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Those fabulous Spring women keep coming up with great questions. Here's another good one: How are you generous to yourself?

These days I'm generous to myself in ways that might seem a little counter-intuitive:

-I'm generous by giving myself a V-8 in the afternoon instead of a piece of chocolate

-I'm generous by getting up at 4:30am to exercise instead of sleeping in an extra 45 minutes

-I'm generous by really letting myself feel uncomfortable emotions with a lot of compassion instead of immediately distracting myself

I'm learning that all of these things that seem sort of unkind actually are the nicest things I can do for myself. Taking good care of myself with diet, exercise, and being with myself have had such clear pay-off for me, that it makes it easier and easier for me to make these kinds of generous decisions.

How are you generous with yourself?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

Thanks to Lis for the idea to put this little film together! Your monsters will be on their way to you soon:)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Having a November birthday has sometimes felt like a bad joke. This is historically my worst time of year. I've hated the shorter days and I've hated the bare trees. I guess more than anything I've feared what I've seen as a sort of death. But in the past couple of years as I've settled more and more into things as they are, I'm starting to see the charm of this time of year. I've started getting into a season for turning in, hunkering down, and tending to the soul.

And I'm not the only one, I see. In the past few weeks I've been finding kindred souls out there, so I thought I'd share. Here's what that lovely Ivan Granger recently included in his email:

"And it is a time of the good darkness. This is the time of year (in the northern hemisphere) when the light of summer and the harvest season recedes, the days grow shorter, and the darkness of winter takes ascendance. This is the good darkness that balances the year. With darker, shorter, colder days, we are less active and turn inward. It is a time that reminds us to return to the dark cave of home and self. It is in this internal, inturning time that we gain insight and strength and, through endurance, find ourselves renewed and ready for the new light to come in springtime. This darkness is the time of spiritual practice that prepares us for the springtime of life and enlightenment. For only in darkness does new life gestate. Only in darkness do our eyes learn to see."

I've only recently discovered Pixie Campbell, but I sense she's a true kindred spirit:

"Allowing, ahem! ALLOWING the season to direct me and discovering again that at this time of year it's okay to hang up my hat of movement once in a while left me...cozy. I think of my grandmother, abuzz in her garden all summer, then winding down to make sausage quietly in the kitchen as the seasons changed. I can see her sitting down in her chair under a lamp and sewing on a piece of a quilt.

"It's as if the bright masculine sun retires for a while, and the darker feminine energies get a chance to come out and play. I enjoy the shift that plays out like this in so many different aspects of life. It felt almost ceremonious to cozy down like a Fox in my den with my tail around my nose, dreaming up the things that will itch to be manifested... next season."

And Lis gives herself (and us) some good advice here:

"To stay healthy (and believe me, working in a university setting, I am seeing everyone dropping like flies) means rest and good nutrition. We love soups and nothing is easier than throwing tons of veggies into a soup pot and letting it simmer into goodness. Fresh fruit is something I also will allow myself to splurge on. Nothing lifts the dark day doldrums like a juicy piece of fruit. Or fresh juice.

"In addition to nourishing my body, I intend to continue to nourish my soul in the coming weeks. Painting keeps me sane, keeps me in touch with the landscape of my inner life and reminds me to look beneath the surface to discover the magic in every moment. My art journals, my painting tribe, my stash of paints - these will be my arsenal for sanity. If a few gifts get made in the process, great, but my priority will be to create for myself. For this is the best way to stay mindful of the beauty of the holiday season. And my very best painting buddy is also my inspiration and muse as she reminds me curiosity is the greatest attribute of an explorer, inventor, artist and lover of life."

And if you're looking for a good soup recipe, my favorite soup for this time of year is Brene Brown's amazing lentil soup. Yum, yum, yum!! Yes, I believe we can embrace this season.

How do you feel about fall?

(Another big thank you to Rodg for the use of his photo!)

Update: Another great post about the challenge of fall on wonderful Nicola's Drama Queen's Guide to Changing the World, here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Billy Collins, mothers, and birthdays, oh my!

I wanted to write something lovely and profound here, but what I really need right now is a nap:) So, I will share with you a poem Billy Collins read in his talk today. I encourage you to watch the video, but just in case you can't (or won't), I'm including the text as well. Of all the poems he read, this was the one that touched me the most and it seems especially appropriate on this, my birthday weekend. It is truly humbling to realize how much we are given by our amazing mothers and how we often take it all for granted. I love how Mr. Collins lists those many gifts here. Thank you so much, my dear mom, for all the gifts you so lovingly gave and continue to give me!

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past —
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift — not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Friday, November 12, 2010

five senses friday

Thanks to Rodger for the use of another great photograph of his and thanks to Jeanine and Abby for this wonderful way to process a roller-coaster of a week...


Puckett's delicious chicken & dressing with green beans and corn cake - such good comfort food!


that classic "new car" smell in my new-to-me Honda Civic - yes, the end of an era...


some last beautiful golden leaves illuminated with lovely morning light


heartbroken over the loss of my sweet car-friend Georgie, excited about my new car-friend Joy


Mulatu Astatke over Joy's speakers and pretending that I'm Bill Murray in Broken Flowers

Goodness, thirteen years is a long time - we all look so young... Fare thee well, Georgie! You were a loyal, sweet friend. I will miss you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Perfectly imperfect

I'm playing around with having more sort of regular features here, since I enjoy them on other people's blogs and I'm realizing that I do well with a little structure. I thought it would be fun to have a regular bloopers feature, since I'm always doing embarrassing things. And it seemed like it could be a nice follow-up to the Perfect Protest.

So last week it was rainy and much darker in the morning than it's been and as I pulled from my street out onto the main highway in our town I realized I'd probably misgauged the distance and speed of a vehicle now coming behind me. As I guiltily gunned the engine and glanced in my rear-view mirror, suddenly I could see that they had flashing lights on and I thought "Uh-oh, busted. Better pull over." It was too late when I realized that the flashing lights were in fact orange and just sat there by the side of the road while the garbage truck passed me, suddenly very grateful for the darkness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Generosity and boundaries

This week there's another great Spring into Action question: when does generosity turn into being taken advantage of?

One group that I try to show a lot of generosity to is the local homeless community. Because of where I work I have more contact with this demographic than probably a lot of other people and this is an issue that's really close to my heart.

However, I've had to draw a lot of boundaries around my generosity here. I've learned that I can give of myself (a smile, a quick chat) more than I can monetarily, and I have to follow my gut when I start to feel taken advantage of even on that level. If someone appears to want to monopolize my time, I've gotten good at compassionately ending the interaction. I'm getting better at not feeling guilty or that I "should" be any different from what I feel comfortable with.

I've really learned to trust my gut on this one. As soon as I start to resent an interaction, that's a good sign that it isn't really good for either of us. And this goes for an interaction with anyone, not just my homeless friends. As someone who likes to please and be seen as a "good" person, I've taken on more than I can handle in many arenas. But I'm getting better at staying in touch with my body and really feeling when something becomes overwhelming and figuring out how to say no, or to find a solution where I'm still in control and making sure my voice is being heard. But this is an ongoing practice for me.

How about you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

I woke up on Saturday morning, gazing up at the few leaves left on one of our trees all lit up by the early light, and for the first time in a long time thought it might be fun to make a little painting of them. So I took a few photographs to help record the moment in case I ever do pick up some paints:

I've also been enjoying some of the lovely cloud formations and dramatic light lately and been remembering some work I saw about 13 years ago, by Marilyn Ruseckas. Who knows? Maybe when I pick up some paints, I might pick up some pastels, too. Here's a sample of Ms. Ruseckas's beautiful landscapes:

Thanks as always, Lis, for the Monday Inspiration! So nice to start the week celebrating creativity.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wild Things

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing about movies as much lately as I had been earlier this year. Me and my phases:) But these days I'm seeing it more as what my soul is hungry for, and right now I'm hungry for truth and probably not as much outright escapism as I've sought in the past.

So this may make you think I'd be watching a lot of documentaries and that the last movie I'd then be talking about would be Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. But this movie knocked me out yesterday with its artistic and emotional truth.

I should say at the outset that although the book came out in 1963, it was not part of my personal childhood canon, at least not in my memory. My parents might report otherwise. My stories were Make Way for Ducklings, all those Little Golden Books, Mary Poppins, Pippi Longstocking, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Where the Wild Things Are was much more my brother's book as I remember, so perhaps I'm a better audience for this movie.

And now I'm not even sure what I really want to say, except watch it:) For me it was such a kind of deep core experience. It so spoke to the truth of being a human being, complete with feeling out of control and scared by that, feeling sad and lonely, and feeling loved. Visually, there is something so appealing about seeing all those iconic images come to life in these beautiful natural settings with incredible light. And the music is great.

As Maurice Sendak himself, a huge champion of the project, says in the featurette:

"What I've seen him do - he's turned it into his without giving up mine, but embodying mine with Spike Jonze. And astonishing me at how it maintains its peculiarness as a work. What flows through the whole thing is such a strange feeling - I've never seen a movie that looked or felt like this. And it's his personal this. I mean he's not afraid of himself. He's a real artist that lets it come through the work. So he's touched me very much. He has touched me very much."

I'd have to say, me too!

Fun music video here:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mini fall retreat for you

This weekend is my friend Jon Bernie's fall retreat. Oh, those lovely, lucky participants! But for the rest of us, here's another great video:

Oh, hooray - they got a better picture this time! If you're enjoying these little snippets, you might be interested to know that you can listen to entire satsangs here.

And in keeping with the theme of "Whatever Works," which may or may not work for you, I'd love to mention the Poetry Chaikhana website that one of my dear loved ones turned me onto recently. Ivan Granger, creator of Poetry Chaikhana, has this to say about where the name came from:

"A chaikhana is a teahouse along the legendary Silk Road pilgrimage and trading route linking China to the Middle East and Europe. It is a place of rest along the journey, a place to shake off the dust of the road, to sip tea, and to gather together to sing songs of the Divine..."

And this to say about the focus of Poetry Chaikhana:

"The Poetry Chaikhana joyfully shares the sacred poetry of cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions from around the world.

"There is, however, a definite Middle Eastern theme to the Poetry Chaikhana. This is partly to honor of the centuries of vibrant, ecstatic, devotional, irreverant, and truly profound sacred poetry the region has given to the world. But another important reason for the Middle Eastern flavor of the site is in order to counter the miserably limited portrayal of Middle Eastern cultures and religion we are given in the West."

And this to say about what poetry means to him:

"Poetry has an immediate effect on the mind. The simple act of reading poetry alters thought patterns and the shuttle of the breath. Poetry induces trance. Its words are chant. Its rhythms are drum beats. Its images become the icons of the inner eye. Poetry is more than a description of the sacred experience; it carries the experience itself."

Pretty great stuff! You can subscribe to the email and he'll send you a beautiful poem with thoughtful commentary a couple of times a week, or you can visit or subscribe to the blog. Lots there to enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010


And now for a "review" of this stunningly gorgeous book, in which I pretty much just quote the author and then quote a section from the book. Enjoy!

Abigail Thomas on Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life:

"My editor turned it down. She wanted me to write a novel about that marriage, what went wrong, what went right, then friendship, illness and death. But life doesn’t arrange itself conveniently into chapters, not mine anyway. You can’t just slice it neatly into segments. And I didn’t want to write a novel. My life didn’t feel like a novel. It felt like a million moments. I didn’t want to make anything fit together. I didn’t want to make anything up. I didn’t want it to make sense the way I understand a novel to make a kind of sense. I didn’t want anywhere to hide. I didn’t want to be able to duck. I wanted the shock of truth. I wanted moments that felt like body blows. I wanted moments of pure hilarity, connected to nothing that came before or after. I wanted it to feel like the way I’ve lived my life. And I wanted to tell the truth. My truth doesn’t travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back. Most truths I have to learn over and over again.

"My sister and I drank a lot of coffee and I would show her what I was writing and when she thought there was more going on than I’d gotten at, she insisted I look harder. She was pitiless. She knew me, she knew about my life. She knew the people I was writing about, and she knew how to corner me. She taught me that too much self-criticism makes for a narrow mind. She could put me in context, seeing me as part of the times we’d lived through, a perspective I didn’t have. I used our conversations verbatim. They provide a running commentary on the process of writing. My sister is smart and very funny. She still makes me laugh my head off."

And "What We Want" from Safekeeping:

"Once in a while we have a misunderstanding, my sister and I. You are snapping at me, one of us might say. You never let me finish a sentence, the other replies. You are always criticizing me, both of us think. Recently, we hung up on each other. Then we called each other right back and found the lines busy. She's taken her phone off the hook, we both thought angrily, but anger wasn't where we wanted to wind up. Once upon a time anger was the final destination, but not now. Then my phone rang and it was my sister. Hello, we both said. I'm sorry, we both said. Then we talked about it a little. Do you still want to take a walk? she asked me. Yes, I said, and started to cry. We met at the entrance to Riverside Park at 108th, our faces blotchy and pink. This is kind of embarrassing, I said, and we both laughed. We took our walk and bought ice-cream cones and had a good time.

"Because we are older now, and we know what we want."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Music is God"

Many thanks to Christine Mason Miller for posting this phenomenal trailer for Alice Dancing Under the Gallows, another feast for your soul.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The path of generosity

Hooray! The wonderful women of Spring are continuing Spring into Action and this week's question is: what does generosity mean to you, and how are you generous?

I have to admit that this is something I work a lot with. Generosity is considered one of the six paramitas, or transcendent actions, in Buddhism, and so I find myself turning to see what that wonderful rascal and profound teacher Chögyam Trungpa had to say on this topic:

"The Bodhisattva Path starts with generosity and openness - giving and openness - the surrendering process. Openness is not a matter of giving something to someone else, but it means giving up your demand and the basic criteria of the demand. This is the dana paramita, the paramita of generosity. It is learning to trust in the fact that you do not need to secure your ground, learning to trust in your fundamental richness, that you can afford to be open."
~from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

I'm definitely not always there, but when I do find myself in this place of grounded openness I find that the barriers between me and other people come down and I want only the best for them. I sincerely wish for them to be safe, happy, healthy, and live with a sense of ease. And so I give them a sincere and friendly smile. I look them in the eye and really see them, see the fierce, shining beauty of them. And then who really is giving and who is receiving? In those moments I feel like the luckiest, richest person alive.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Auntie

Just back from visiting some of my favorite people on the planet, including these two little sweeties. Will be back with more high jinks tomorrow!

PS - Do Good for Indiana is still on, so feel free to join me and continue to vote through November!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

I just never know what I'll be called upon to do at my work. This past week it was to put together a display of broadsides of some of Billy Collins's poems in anticipation of his receiving the library's literary award this year. Here are some objects I made to support the imagery of the poems, such as a boat that turns into a book in "Voyage". The little creatures are meant to be sheep, made from reproductions of pages from the Gutenberg Bible, illustrating this poem that I actually heard Sylvia Boorstein read in a podcast years ago, and so it is her voice I hear in my head when I read these poignant words:


It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenburg Bible
required the skins of 300 sheep.

I can see them
squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed.

All of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike
it would be nearly impossible to count them.

And there is no telling which one of them
will carry the news
that the Lord is a Shepherd,
one of the few things
they already know.

~ Billy Collins