Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love is a Beautiful Thing




Looking back in a haze of nostalgia,
I suspect that love
is an extraordinary happening
clothed in the every day,
a wily thing that springs its tricks
and slaps its knee
in delight at coupled pratfalls.

I'd love to greet it,
"Ciao bella!"
the moment it turns the corner,
sticks out its foot
and trips me up,
making me exclaim with surprise
over the skinning of my knee,
the one that's puffed and swollen,
and the capture of my heart,
the heart so deeply buried that
I didn't know it could be found.

I'd love to serenade love
with a song
whose lyrics hum a pure note of truth
as Rumi did when he gathered
opposites in his hands and noted
he became fierce like a lion
and tender like the evening star
when love dribbled warm and moist
in the tender little cracks of his soul.
I know he was talking about God,
but love in its varied forms
is my god.

I'd sure as hell prefer to quote Rumi and say,
"I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing,"
rather than recall that once
I was alive and laughing,
until
in the blink of an eye,
the beat of a heart,
the assassin struck and I wept
as love lay bleeding.

Run -- quickly -- and find a love doctor
with a penchant for passion.
Bring her hither and command
that she, like the most gentle mother,
bind up love's oozing wounds
and bring it back to tender life.

I am yours and you are mine,
oh you who thinks my every thought
and brings bouquets of prayer
of wings of breath.

La dolce vita.
So unexpected on this close side of death.
Ciao bella.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Dwelling


There's painting going on at my house.
Not the kind I usually do.
In fact, I'm not the one painting.


There are professionals at work here,
or will be when the sun comes up,
painting the exterior of my house
in a nice, understated gray
with just a hint of brown for the body
and darker related colors for trim
and the front door.

It's funny when I think of it.

I've been told that my upcoming trip to Egypt
for a writing seminar and initiation into spiritual mysteries
will be transformative.

I will undergo metamorphosis.

And here I am,
transforming the place where my body dwells.
I'm getting ready to shed my outer skin.

In just over a year,
I've replaced all the carpet,
painted all the rooms with carpet,
gutted two bathrooms and rebuilt them from the ground up.

Not to mention gutting my savings account.

I've ordered cabinet knobs and pulls
for the kitchen and the two bathrooms
that don't have cabinet "jewelry."

The carriage lights I ordered have arrived,
just in time for the painters to replace the old ones
when they're finished painting.

Is this foreshadowing?

Will my interior life,
like my house,
be transformed?

Or will I come back
from my photography workshop
and my writing workshop
and the wander around Egypt
just my old familiar self?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon


Once in a while,

once in a

so to speak,

the stars align just perfectly
and Heaven smiles down upon you
with an ear to ear grin

and bestows upon you get the opportunity
you never thought you'd get.

There on those slender branches
reaching for the sky
outside the upper floor window
just beyond the monitor

right there on those rain-kissed branches
whose leaves hold onto droplets
that sparkle like diamonds,


you discover that your little friend has come to call.
And miracle of miracles,
he allows you to reach out and grab the camera
sitting next to you. . . .

not only that, he waits for you to focus
even though he's wondering why
you're such a fumble-fingers.

When you're ready


he shivers and his feathers fluff
just the tiniest bit,
so you can see all the glorious colors on his back.

Then he turns
and looks over his shoulder

as if to say,
"Are you watching?"

and flutters his wings
so fast the camera's focus can't keep up

just to show off his wingspeed.

Then he asks,

would you like another view?
I'll show you my beak in profile

and even turn around so you can see
my adorable face.

I'll lift my chin just a bit
so you can see my iridescent crimson markings.

What?
You can't see them very well?

Oh all right then,
here you go.


Then he blows you a kiss

gives you a wink,
and he's off.

So you give thanks

for miracles
that come when you least expect them
and get out your bucket list

and mark off

"Get a picture of a hummingbird
on the tree outside my little office."


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Self Portrait Wednesday


It's been a while since I posted a self-portrait
on Wednesday
in the tradition started by Misty Mawn.

Is anyone still playing along?

I hope so.

These "self-portrait" posts, difficult as they are at first
because you're exposing yourself to strangers,
are just marvelous.

I just love reading these posts
on other people's blogs.
They're so telling, so revealing.

The pictures show us one way of looking at you.
The words tell us who you think you are,
what you think about whatever it is you're thinking about,
what emotions bubble to the surface
when you're unguarded.

But I also think that in a very significant way,
all of my posts are self-portraits
because they give you a glimpse of
how the world looks through my eyes,
what seems worthy of mentioning,
where a stray thought leads me
as I meander in my mind.
Yours reveal yourself in the same way.

I hope my posts
also give you a hint of my humor
and show me
in all my glory.

But if not. . .

well,
here's a portrait of me (tee hee).

I saw in it in Mexico,
but don't remember posing for it.
And I have no clue who the artist was.

Strange. . .



A Damiana Margarita
may have overcome my inhibitions
and erased my memory.

Don't you love my blue shoes?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Impressions of Baja, Mexico


Some things captured my imagination
in our foray to the tip of the Baja peninsula.

Here's a visual essay
of photos that begged me to take them.

"Sun and Shadows"

"Reach for the Sky"

"Along the Highway"

"Something for Rebecca"

"The Sound of the Sea"

"A Riot of Color"

"Double Cross"

"Muertos"

"Super Saturated"

Everywhere I looked,
color called out to me.

Not at all shy.

Rarely subtle.

A fiesta of color
that oozes into your blood
and awakens the artist's soul.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Tequila Sunrise


As promised,
I'm going to fill you in on our great find
in Todos Santos.

It's an amazing little restaurant
right across the street from
The Hotel California.

We'd been tipped off by a shopkeeper
that it was "the" place to eat
butI have to say that when I saw
the sign on the wall
"Tequila Sunrise whit the exquisite
and authentic mexican cuisine flavor,"
I was a little skeptical.

Ooooh,
was I in for a surprise.

First of all, it's colorful.
Fun.
Casual,
warm and friendly.


As you can tell from the backlighting,
it's open to the street
but there are ceiling fans to keep
the air circulating.

There were flat screen tv's tuned that day
(09-09-09)
to the U.S. Open Men's match going on.

Every table was filled, I think.
Quite a statement to fill the tables
to capacity at lunch
in a sleepy little town.

There's a bar where the margaritas are mixed from scratch
prior to being whisked to tables

and of course the colorful sign
advertising Margarita options
hangs over the bar.

After getting recommendations
from our waiter and the owner,
a genial host,
we each went with one of the chef's specials.
For drinks, Sarah chose a mango Margarita
and Adrienne and I bravely chose the house specialty:
a Damiana Margarita.

For those of you who like me
hadn't ever heard of Damiana,
it's a liqueur that's supposed to unleash female sexual power.

After my dry spell,
pour me a couple!
Do they come with men on the side?

Once the drinks arrived,
the food started coming,
right after I discovered that my little travel camera
has a "Food" setting.

First chips and salsa. . .

and then a delicious simple salad made,
we were assured,
with fresh organic produce.

And for my main course

a scrumptious chicken breast stuffed with Mexican cheeses
in a savory sauce and topped with more cheese and pomegranate.
Did I mention the sauce is a reduction (but I can't remember
what was in it) ?

Isn't the presentation amazing?

Sarah and Adrienne had equally beautiful food,
but I didn't want to make them wait while I took photos
of their plates.

After flirting outrageously,
the owner presented us with a slice of flan to share,
an offering from the chef.
I think he liked it that we each chose a different special of the day.

Oh heaven on a fork!

I managed a bite or two,
even though I had the owner box up about 2/3 of my chicken
and save it for me until we were ready to leave Todos Santos.
Does heat and high humidity kill your appetite too?

(When they couldn't find it in the fridge a couple of hours later,
they insisted on cooking me a whole new entree to replace
my leftovers, even though I strenuously protested that
it wasn't necessary).

Before we left,
the owner
insisted that we get in the swing of things

and leave our autographs.

Adrienne chose the place
and made our mark.


Right on the sign
that hangs above the bar.

So if you ever venture
into Todos Santos,
find the "not-of-Eagles-song-fame"
Hotel California,
then head directly cross the street
for a gustatory delight.

Tequila Sunrise.

We were there.
Best food we had in Mexico,
hands down.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Todos Santos and Hotel California


After being disappointed
with Cabo San Lucas,
a place with unbelievably tacky tourist shops
and time share salesmen that were apparently
trained at Guantanamo,

we headed down to the marina
on Tuesday and got two car rental offices
engaged in a bidding war to rent us a mid-size car
so we could head up the coast to Todos Santos.

We'd been led to believe that Todos Santos was
a treasure trove of galleries
and home to the Hotel California
of Eagles song fame.

Well, not quite.

There were a couple of galleries in town
(one was even open)
and a bunch of shops, filled with folk art
and glassware, catering to tourists.


There were some pretty things
and even some pretty racy things
(like shot glasses that were X rated)
and a whole lot of ho-hum things.

It was clear that departed artist Frida Kahlo
is a heroine to the Mexican people

because we saw more of her
(and that rascal Diego to some extent)
than we did the Virgin Mary.

And there IS a Hotel California,
an establishment with a covered walkway
outside that Adrienne is pictured on below.


But alas,
it's not THE Hotel California.

That this little inn was the inspiration
for the Eagles song was a myth
started by an enterprising businessman
who thought it was a good way to put Todos Santos
on the map and attract tourists who love the Eagles.

Well hey,
it worked.

We drove through the desert for 90 minutes
each way
to see the Hotel California.

Such a lovely place.
But more about that later.

And more about the truly wonderful
little place we found in Todos Santos,
right across the street from the myth.

Maybe tomorrow.
In the meantime,
sit back and enjoy

Hotel California.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Success!


One new and newly configured computer
with a photo card reader
later

and I can show you
some pictures from the Baja Peninsula.


The first day, of course,
we slathered ourselves with SPF 30
and let our feet take us to the pool
with the swim-up bar.

I, being the whitest girl on any beach,
tried to position myself in the shade.
But Adrienne

got right into the swim of things
and so did Sarah.

And after a Margarita at the swim-up bar
and a dip in the saltwater pool
we all settled in to read
while enjoying the sound of waves
crashing on the beach.


You can see my first selection -
"The 19th Wife."

And I was ever so proud of myself
for not getting sunburned.

What I didn't know
is that a new medication
was making me sunlight-sensitive
and I ended up with a beet-red rash
and allergy-induced hives
all over my back and chest.
It itched like crazy.

Thank goodness for Benadryl!

So Sarah and Adrienne
swam and suntanned every day

and I learned to love the view
from our shady sixth-floor deck.


I guess you might say
I'm a Shady Lady.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeling Like a Dummy


Do you ever feel like a total dummy?


My friends,
I'm either a total dummy

OR

there really is something to this
"Mercury Retrograde Messes Up Computers and Electronics"
stuff.

There are over 800 photos in my nifty little travel camera.
The one that only weighs 17 ounces yet has a zoom
telephoto 624 mm lens.

Shots of Mexico.

Locked up tight.

I can't get them to upload.

The computer screen tells me
that the device is either disconnected
(not according to all known definitions)
or busy.

Busy.
Not doing anything.

Argggghhhhhhhh!

I'm sure you'll see my pictures of Mexico
sometime.

When Mercury shapes up.

But not today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wistful


Sometimes I get wistful.

Thinking about simple things

like the downy softness of baby hair
nestled in the crook of my elbow
as the rocking chair gently creaked.

The moment when the sun peeks through
on a cloudy morning.

The feeling of accomplishment
when the sugar carmelizes perfectly brown
and crackly on top of the creme brulée.

The intimacy of quiet moments
requiring no words between lovers
because love forms a soft cloud of understanding,
acceptance,
just so-ness.

Simple things.

Full of such richness.

The little gift of everyday miracles,
so sweet to remember.

But the wistfulness melts away
when I realize
the next miracle is just around the corner,
about to come in to view,
if only I'm paying attention.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fathomless Mystery

"Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery it is.
In the boredom and pain of it,
no less than in the excitement and gladness:

touch,
taste,
smell your way
to the holy and hidden heart of it,

"A Tiny Bit of Chihuly" - photo copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian.

because in the last analysis
all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace."
- Frederick Buechner

How much richer life is
if you give thanks
for the mystery
and grace.

Thank you all
for being in my life in this amazing e-way,
for inviting me to share your thought life,
for sharing in mine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bits and Pieces


In case you hadn't gathered,
I'm drawn in so many ways to mixed media art.

"Memories in Bits and Pieces" - copyright 2007 Meri Arnett-Kremian.

I love studying mixed media pieces to see what new tricks I can learn.
I relish collecting pieces that speak to my heart.

I'm drawn to putting little bits and pieces together
in ways that no one ever dreamed they'd be combined,
until the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
and the bits and pieces are unified.

Collage is a life metaphor, in my worldview.
Myriad scraps can be combined in limitless ways,
each one unique.

A paper fragment
a splash of paint
just a touch of metal leaf,
something for texture,
all integrate to form
a new unity.

In collage,
you play with possibilities until you find
the exact arrangement that speaks to your soul.

"Dreaming of Immortality" copyright 2007 Meri Arnett-Kremian.

In life,
you take the experiences you're dealt
and create meaning,
overlooking the jagged edges
and squinting
until you see the bigger picture.

Until you find a way to piece together
the joys
the sorrows
failures and triumphs
love found and lost
the majestic mystery of it all.

Your pile of life experience may contain
too many scraps of loss and pain
this time around.

If it does,
you can be thankful for an intimacy with loss
that informs your deep compassion.

You can be amazed that even loss and pain
adds texture to your life design.

"Trying to Find Light in a Dark Corner" - copyright 2008 Meri Arnett-Kremian.

Your ability to grow from every experience,
to create meaning from what seems
at first glance
to be devoid of meaning,
gives your life richness, color,
uniqueness.

Use every scrap
to create a rich, lush, passionate life.


Blessings to you.