Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Gifts from the Sea

One of my favorite photographic subjects
is the interplay of light and water,
the amazing reflections 
you can capture
if your timing is right.

Paintings with light.

Normally, I'd say "For more Mosaic Monday,
visit Mary's Dear Little Red House.
She's got all the links posted."

But Mary's playing hooky until next Monday.

you can check out the entries from last week
if you haven't already seen them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sepia Saturday: A Clayton Family Portrait

The stern looking patriarch here is Daniel Curtis Clayton,
seated next to his wife Cyrene Moore Clayton.
They are my great-great-grandparents.
The young woman beside Daniel is his youngest daughter,
Sarah Emoline "Emmy" Clayton. She is one of my great-grandmothers.

Standing behind Sarah is her twin, Thomas Perry Clayton.
Her sister Rosalia Clayton, wife of Charles Augustus Ruark,
 is next to her mother.
William Curtis (Billy) Clayton, the eldest surviving son,
is standing behind Rosalia and Allen Sylvester Clayton
is standing in the center, hand on his father's shoulder.
Don't the boys have impressive moustaches?

I'd guess this portrait was taken in the 1890s,
since Emmy and her twin look like they're in their 20s
and they were born in 1869. Daniel died in 1902
so that sets an outer limit for the photograph.

Billy Clayton was just a newborn when his parents
hitched the team to a wagon and set off for the West.
Daniel and Cyrene were party of a wagon train
that included her parents and siblings.
 I've often wondered what longing
was strong enough to beckon them to leave
 their comfortable homes
in Iowa and travel in hostile country
 where "trouble with the Indians" and outbreaks of disease
 could end lives in the blink of an eye.

Some descendants say that William Moore, Cyrene's father,
was from a Quaker family and felt the winds of war blowing.
 William and Priscilla Ayers Moore
(she an Episcopalian whose family thought she'd married "down")
had sons who would have been of an age to be conscripted
into military service for the Union, so perhaps the move
was calculated to remove their sons from harm's way.
The most frequent motive for the arduous trip west, however,
was the promise of free land via the Homestead Act.

For whatever reasons
 William and Priscilla, Cyrene and Daniel,
and the rest of the family joined the westward movement.
But can you imagine
finally arriving at your destination
in the wild, wild West
in mid-September with winter just around the corner
and having to build a place to live?

But thanks to William and Priscilla Moore,
I can claim that I am a sixth-generation Washingtonian.

* * * * * 
For more Sepia Saturday fun,
click HERE

Friday, February 26, 2010

Connection to Source

Gerbera daisies always strike me
 as such bubbly, enthusiastic flowers,
 at least when they're young and fresh. 

But after they've been cut off from their root
 for too long, they bow their heads
 and droop as if they're shouldering the weight of the world.
Isn't this true for all of us?

When we're connected to the source
 of our power and fully present,
 we have strength beyond our awareness
 and emanate pure love and compassion.

 But when we're disconnected, 
we lose our joy and zest for life.

 Take a moment to be still
 and check the strength of your connection.
If you've lost your ability to be present
and commune with what energizes you,
figure out what you need to do
to find what you've lost.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There's Something About It

There's something about Venice,
the bride of the sea,
that draws me back,
that pulls me as if it were my home
in some time long forgotten,
in another life.

"The Heart of Venice" © 2005 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Perhaps it's the gentle lapping of the water,
the mist that makes things vanish and reappear
like magic. 
Mist means spirit to me -
spirit made visible, 
dancing in light,
muting the sounds of the everyday world.

Maybe it's the rich sense of history,
the turning a corner into surprise,
the visual smörgåsbord beckoning 
through every passageway
and across every bridge.

It might be because I went to Venice
with someone I loved
truly, madly, deeply.
I can't disregard the possibility that my dreams
of Venice are tied up with him
even though that romance, riveting as it was,
and that journey I was blessed to take
with someone so woven into my psyche,
are just memories from my past.

Perchance it was the sense I had
that each new place
was somehow familiar,
that the spirit of the place
was welcoming my soul back
to a place it was once embodied.

It might be one of these things,
or all of these things,
but I know one thing:

 Venice calls to me.

How shall I answer?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tagged by that Curious Girl (Lisa)

Lisa of Curious Girl, that adorable cutie,
got tagged for a meme and passed the tag along to me.
I'm supposed to pass it along to 5 people.

So here are the rules:
1. open your first photo file folder
2. scroll to the 10th photo in the file
3. post the picture and tell the story behind it
4. tag 5 more people.

Since I've tagged people before
who didn't want to play,
this time I'm inviting all of you
who can't figure out what to post today
 or tomorrow or the next day to play along.

Here's my picture with an explanation.
First of all, I didn't play by the rules (but close enough).

This is from the second folder, because I had deleted most
 of what was in File No. 1.
It's from September 2009.

That lovely September day,
I had to make a trip to a compounding pharmacy
 in Poulsbo, Washington to get some medicine
 for the dog. Poulsbo's a great place for a field trip,
so I called my friend Jen and asked her
 if she was up for an adventure.
She was, so we headed up the road.

The pharmacist said it would be about three hours
 until the medicine was ready.
Plenty of time for browsing.
And lunch.

As you can tell by the photo, there's a candy store
with absolutely scrumptious confections.
I bought a birthday present for another friend
and a few caramels and chocolate truffles for me.

We browsed in a gallery

(Okay - so I can't stop with the sole required photo
when we were in a touristy place for three hours)

and checked out the shops with tourist things
like these t-shirts

which reminded me of trying to swallow
lutefisk (trying being the operative word)
when I was in 8th grade
and how diligent I was in keeping my promise
to eat that nasty stuff again.

We peeked down passageways
between buildings on the main street

and the laundry line full of clothes
was a foreshadowing of the trip
I was about to take to Egypt
where every dwelling, country or city,
had a clothesline and hanging things,
though I didn't know it at the time.

I drooled over pastries in the bakery window
while Jen bought bread

and then we window-shopped to our hearts' content

and had a lunch of soup and salad
before going back to pick up the dog's medicine.

A hundred dollars to have them take 120 mg. capsules
and redistribute them into 30 mg. doses --
a hundred dollars, mind you,
on top of the $175 I'd already paid the vet.

So much for the vet saying,
"They'll just charge a nominal fee
 to put it into new capsules."

A hundred dollars is nominal?

If I'd bought four packages of 30 mg. capsules,
the total would have been about $30 less.

Bah humbug to good ideas.
At least the field trip was fun.

Now, it's your turn!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Viva Italia

I am obviously feeling the bite
of the travel bug.

Italy beckons.
Its siren song is nearly irresistible.

Left (top to bottom): Sirmione, Milan's Duomo, Murano
Center: Murano, Cinque Terre, Venice - looking through 
an arch toward the Doge's palace
Right: Venice's Doge's Palace and San Marco, Venice, 
Venetian Painter

To visit the other sites
participating in Mosaic Monday,
visit Mary at Little Red House.

And if that doesn't give you enough inspiration,
check out my friend Cathleen Shattuck's 
celebrating the Year of the Tiger festivities
in Seattle's International District
and Chinatown.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February Picnic

I don't think I've ever been invited
to a February picnic,
at least until a few days ago.
Not in the Pacific Northwest.

My son and daughter-in-law
and the little squirt have moved
a bit closer (but still over 90 minutes away).
They're living in an apartment built above a three-car garage
on the property that Katie's cousin's family is living in.

It's right next to a lake.
So they asked me to bring them the microwave oven
that's been stored in my basement
and to come for a picnic,
since it was a sunny day.

Did I mention it was probably about 45 degrees F or 7.2 C?
And that was before the sun went down!

But everyone had a good time.
Logan wore a life jacket over his coat,
and big boy shoes as a counterpoint to his
omnipresent pacifier 
and Brendan or Katie or Grandpa Jeff
followed him every step he took.

Logan had lots of company,
because Katie's cousins Sarah and Emily have kids.
 Logan loves to follow the big boys around.

There was a hot dog roast and s'mores.

Greek salad for me, since I'm not eating
animal flesh as a general rule.
I know. . . . Greek salad at a hot dog roast?
And I can't even blame it on my heritage
since I don't have a drop of Greek blood
that I know of.

There was a paddle boat to peddle.
A smoky fire in the fire pit.
And a chair next to Mary, Katie's mother,
whose husband Jeff stopped to get her a latte
on his way to the lake because he knew
she wasn't feeling well.  
And -- oh yeah -- we had a great sunset.

I played with my camera as it got dark

and watched the lights across the lake
dance in the air and on the surface of the water.

All during this time, I tried mightily not to think cold thoughts.
When I realized it was a losing battle,
I got in the car for the drive home,
cranked up the heat to high,
and turned on my seat heater.

I managed to thaw out by the time I got home.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Mom and Dad

It's Sepia Saturday again.
So let me introduce you to my parents.

Before they were my parents.
Since my father isn't wearing a wedding band,
I'm going to guess this was taken while they
were just dating or during their engagement.

Dad was too young to join the military 
when World War Two broke out,
but as it was winding down he joined the Navy
and went to flight school. The whole shebang
was over soon after and he was sent back
to civilian life and went back to finish college.

They met in Eugene, Oregon 
where he attended University of Oregon and
a small church college called Northwest Christian College.  
My mom was a music major at N.C.C.
and my father was studying to become a minister.

They married before my mother graduated.
My dad went on to graduate school at Butler University
in Indiana and my mom worked "putting hubby through."

They were married for around twenty years
 before parting company.
 I'm not sure they were made for each other.
But still, I'm sure the decision to divorce was not made lightly,
given the stigma divorce still had in the late 60s,
especially for a minister.

A sad counterpoint to last week's
Valentine love story.

But weren't they a beautiful young couple?
I think my dad looks a lot like a young Jack Kennedy.

For other Sepia Saturday posts,
click here. (Thanks to Alan Burnett!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love Skiing

A post by a fellow blogger
about her children's skiing lessons
triggered a great memory for me,
one having to do with my youngest son's
first day of skiing lessons.

At the close of the afternoon lesson,
he snowplows to a stop right in front
of me. I think his father was there too,
but he announces, specifically to me,
with great gusto,

"I love skiing, Mom!

It's falling down I don't like."


(Out of the mouths of babes........)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Which Category Do You Fall?

I don't know if you've ever completed a 
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 
to determine your personality type.

From your answers, 
you are given scores on four scales:

 Extroversion - Introversion
Sensate - Intuitive 
Thinking - Feeling
Judging - Perceiving

That brings me to apples.
(I know, it's a leap. Bear with me.)

 So yesterday, I was in the grocery store
and saw these delectable-looking apples all nicely arranged.

And it reminded me of a continuing legal education seminar 
I once took that was an introduction for lawyers to
Myers-Briggs Type Indicators and Neuro-linguistic Programming.

In the MBTI portion of the workshop, each lawyer was given
 an inventory and then some of us were called
 from the audience to participate
in an exercise to show the difference between those
who go through life as "sensates" and those who are "intuitives."

Here was the mission:
each group was given an apple, a magic marker, 
and a big display tablet. 
We were, as members of our assigned group,
to describe the apple.

The other group
said things like:
red, white inside, juicy, 
wider at the top than the bottom,
has a stem.

My group said:
one a day keeps the doctor away
blossoms in the spring
you can press it into cider
lots of vitamins
a gift for a teacher
tastes good.

The "other" group members scored high on the sensing scale.
Mine scored high on the intuitive scale.

Can you guess in which category you belong?

(ps - I once saw an article in the American Bar Association Journal
showing the frequency distribution amongst the 16 types
in the population of lawyers.
My type amounted to less than 2 percent.
It's much more common among writers,
poets, and therapists than lawyers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Promise of Spring

This morning around seven
Latté and I strolled outside
so she could do what dogs need to do
after dreaming all night.

The sky had a layer of wispy clouds
sheer enough to suggest that the sky
was going to be seriously blue soon.

The birds were chirping up a storm.
Raindrops were still hanging onto the branches
of the coral bark maple, just to remind me
how much raindrops can look like diamond globes.

And it smelled earthy and fertile.
Full of potential.

The day lilies are beginning announce their whereabouts
with clumps of tender leaves that look like giant blades of grass.
The jonquils are sending up sentinels of green-ness
that will soon provide a backdrop for blossoms
in whites and yellows and pinks and peaches and oranges,
blossoms with such sweet faces that they always cheer me.

The camellias and azaleas aren't even close to popping
and dazzling everyone with their colorful displays

but they've begun to tease us with swelling buds, 
"It's not quite time. Wait a little longer."

And it reminded me that there's always a promise
of renewal, of growth, of bursting into flower
after a cold, dark season of life.

It reminded me that sometimes we don't know
what's about to be born into our lives
but we can feel something about to burst forth.

Sometimes all we can do with those inklings
is wait and create a welcoming, fertile space
 for what comes next.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Susan B. Anthony

Today is the 190th birthday
of Susan Brownell Anthony,
the 19th and early 20th Century women's rights activist
who worked tirelessly to secure the vote for women.
In 1872, she was tried for having attempted to vote.
She died in 1906, fourteen years before the 19th Amendment
was ratified.

So here's to you, Susan.
Happy Birthday!

To see the mosaics of other participants,
visit Mary at the Little Red House.
Thanks for being a great hostess, Mary!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sepia Saturday: A Valentine Love Story

Leota Biggs was the beloved only child
of William A. Biggs and his wife Clara Davidson Biggs.
Leota and my paternal grandfather were first cousins
(her father and my grandfather's mother were siblings).

Leota Biggs and her dog Teddy

Leota was born December 17, 1906 in Missouri
(at least according to the 1910 Census) 
and spent her later childhood and high school years
in a small eastern Oregon town called Baker. 

As you might discern from her elegant coat,
her parents were fairly prosperous. 
Both Willie and Clara attended a college
of chiropractic medicine in Portland, Oregon
in the early 1900s.

Leota graduated from Baker High School
and obviously showed academic promise,
as she went on to college
 at Washburn University in the early 1920s
when not that many girls went to college. 

Washburn, as you might know,
is in Topeka, Kansas, quite a distance
 for a girl from a small town in eastern Oregon.
The problem was that a young man named
Harold Trebbe went to Oregon State University
in Corvallis, Oregon about 2000 km away
from Topeka, Kansas.
Hal was Leota's high school sweetheart.

Willie and Clara thought Hal and Leota's relationship
was only puppy love, but they were wrong.
Leota's puppy love was for her dog Teddy.

She was head over heels, crazy in love with Hal.

So after a year or two,
she transferred from Washburn to University of Oregon.
Apparently her parents thought the 47 miles
between Eugene (University of Oregon)
and Corvallis (Oregon State University)
was a wide enough moat to protect their princess
from that dark prince, Hal,
so they assented.

However, love prevailed.
Leota and Hal eloped.

Willie and Clara were furious.
They ranted and raged
and threatened to have the marriage annulled.
They even tried to get the Baker County Sheriff
to arrest poor Hal (to no avail).

You see, Willie and Clara were sure the marriage
would never last.

And they were right.
Sort of.

Leota and Hal had only been married
about 65 years
when Hal died at age 83.

(Story details provided by Hal and Leota's
son-in-law Perry Youngreen in a phone conversation
in 2003).

To see more of Sepia Saturday photos
and stories,
visit Alan Burnett's blog News from Nowhere.
Alan's the back-from-a-cruise,
big-hearted host of the Sepia Saturday project.

Thanks, Alan!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interview with Kathryn Magendie

Since you couldn't come to my book club,
I thought I would share some of my interview
with Kat Magendie about her writing process. 

(from Kat's website -- her fancy "author" photo)

So here are her answers to questions I posed.

Meri:  How did Virginia Kate and the other characters come to you?

Kat:  I knew I wanted to write about a girl or woman whose mother had given up her children, in which the girl and her siblings would have to leave their home and live elsewhere, but I wasn't sure of the details. As with all my characters, I just had a wavery image of a girl or woman who was entreating me with her dark sad eyes. As for the name Virginia Kate, it is a combination of both of my mothers' names (Ruth Virginia and Katherine Sue), not because they are like the characters Rebekha and Katie Ivene, but because I wanted to honor the sacrifices of both of my mothers.

As to the rest, one day I was staring at a print of Chambered Nautilus by Andrew Wyeth. The woman sits in bed, as the curtains blow into the room, and she stares out the window, her face turned away from me. That image prompted the first paragraph of the first draft of what would become Tender Graces, although in later drafts and the final edit, I didn't use that paragraph or setting, but that image does come up in various ways in the novel. 

Aside from Virginia Kate's two brothers, who I knew would be involved in the story from the start, the rest of the characters just appeared. 

I never know where a character is going or who will be in his or her life, much as can happen in real life!

Meri: Were parts of various characters inspired by people you know? Did you have any qualms about incorporating incidents, mannerisms, characteristics of real people into the "real people" of Tender Graces

Kat: Characters are usually an amalgam of people I unconsciously write about.  They are unique creatures who have their own mannerisms and lives and wants and desired. However, crazy old Mee Maw is one character I can say is strongly based on my own Maw Maw - my paternal grandmother, who was such an interesting and crazy woman. She's the only real identifiable character my family can point out and say, "That's our Maw Maw!" When my family reads Tender Graces, they know it is fiction, even if a few of the situations feel familiar. For example, the Great Moccasin Incident was based on a real event -- my brother used to play snake polo with big fat moccasins on his Huffy Bike. It's much more fun and interesting to make up characters, places and events; yet there's no way most writers can get away from having things or people from real life slip in.

Meri: What was your novel-writing process?

Kat: First I'll say that I get to know my characters as I write them. It's just as any friendship where you meet and begin to talk and do things together. As time goes on, more is revealed, unless the character is very private!

I start working in the morning and finish in the late afternoon or early evening. Then I stop and let myself rest from all the goings-on of my characters -- for they can be quite demanding and tiring with all their shenanigans and drama. I can work seven days a week, but I do try to take time off and go hiking or shopping or just sit on my butt and stare at the Smoky Mountain view.  

I never know the ending to my stories or novels. My brain lets out the images and story a sentence or event or paragraph at a time. Out of some black hole comes everything. When I try to think about it or force it to come, my brain revolts and won't provide. It's a bit frustrating at times, when I think I want to write something plot-driven instead of character-driven, but I am who I am and and I've come to accept my limitations. People seem to like my writing and my characters, so I guess I'm doing okay. 

Meri: Did you write from what you know or was there a lot of research involved?

Kat: Tender Graces spans time, mostly from the early sixties to the present and I am very careful about placing things where they belong, so yes, I do research. I want to make sure the details are correct -- I don't allow myself to rely on memory, for memory can be tricky. Clothing, food, television shows, places I've not been but want to write about, jargon of the time, music, even the weather for a particular year -- all of those are things I research.

Tender Graces is set in West Virginia and South Louisiana. I was born in West Virginia, but left there as a small child, so much of what I wrote about W. Virginia was from research and two short visits as a teenager. When I was working on final drafts, I visited my biological mother and could tweak some of the landscape. I lived in Louisiana many, many years, so that was easy. Although I never say where they are in South Louisiana, people who live in Baton Rouge recognize the place. 

Meri: How did you go about getting Tender Graces published?

Kat: From the beginning, I always envisioned I'd have a small independent published because that seemed to fit me. People said I should have an agent, so early on I did query a few agents but didn't find one. What happened is that one evening I was online and did a Google search for "Southern Fiction Publishers." Bellebooks came up. I read their website and just loved how they sounded. That very night, on a lark, spur of the moment, I sent them a query. They emailed me the next day, "Send us the manuscript." I did and it wasn't very long at all before I had a contract. They loved, and still love, Virginia Kate.

As for that agent, people are still prompting me to find one, so early this year, I'll look into the possibility of getting an agent. I'm not unhappy with Bellebooks because they're wonderful! But even my publisher knows that having an agent opens doors and opportunities that might help us all.  

Meri: How does the process of writing the new book (Secret Graces) compare to the writing of Tender Graces?

Kat: The first draft of Tender Graces (the Virginia Kate saga) was huge and took maybe five or six months to vomit out. The writing was fast and furious. It needed to come out, I guess. I'd never written a novel and never thought I would. There was much editing and re-writing needed because I had no clue what I was doing. The finished produce of Tender Graces is much, much different from the original big fat manuscript that blew out of me.   If I compare that process with Secret Graces, the "sequel," the latter was a much faster and smoother process, for I knew better what I was doing and could write the novel and do the edits much more quickly. The total time expenditure was less than a year, perhaps two months or so to write it and a couple months for the first edit and a couple months for additional editing. With Tender Graces, by contrast, I had to edit and edit and edit to chip away what shouldn't be there, to find Virginia Kate's true voice (and my own), sort of like sculptors do when they start with a big block of marbe and keep chipping away until the finished statue appears. 


One other question my book club posed
 the other night was this:
who wrote the Book Club discussion questions
at the end of the book? Did you have any input? 

Thanks, Kat !

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tender Graces

My book club met last night
to discuss Kathryn Magendie's novel
Tender Graces.

It's a novel about the events and people
that shape our lives,
that touch us
for good or ill.

Virginia Kate, the book's central character,
is born in the mountains of West Virginia
to two parents who fell into an unlikely love
and tumultuous relationship,
neither having the capacity to adequately parent
their daughter or her brothers.

Pushed and pulled between battling parents,
forced to endure trauma children should be spared,
Virginia Kate is a survivor
who has to deal with the hurts of the past,
the lure of connection,
and the difficult task of forgiveness.

And for those of us who loved Virginia Kate,
Kathryn has written a sequel.
It's coming out soon and will be called
Secret Graces.

Here's the trailer.

I would have posted a photo of my book club,
but I couldn't find one where everyone looked great.

If you have a book club,
Tender Graces makes a great read.
Everyone really liked the book
and it engendered great discussion
about parenting, step-parents, bonding,
the capacity of some people to endure terrible childhoods
and emerge strong and functional.

Tomorrow I'll post some of the interview I did
with Kathryn (Kat) about the writing of the book.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, Monday

It's another gray Monday.
My book club is coming tonight,
so I'm busy cleaning bathrooms
and mopping floors,
destroying all the evidence
that this is a lived-in house.

Today's also mosaic Monday

so I'll leave you with this little photo montage.
As usual, Mary of Little Red House
is hostess for the day
and gives you links to all participants
if you click HERE.
She's thinking spring.

So go visit and while you do,
I'll get right down to the real nitty gritty,
though I have to say
that since I hired Amber to help me
organize the basement,
I feel like all I ever do is sort, discard, recycle,
free-cycle, go to Goodwill,
clean and organize.

Perhaps I'm making room
for something new in my life.
Or maybe something wonderful is about to come round again.
Just because I deserve it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Elmer and Lela (Lile) Miller

I introduced you to my maternal grandfather,
Elmer Miller, the little boy on the right
in the formal portrait of the three children from
the Sepia Saturday three weeks ago.

Now it's time for you to meet his bride,
Lela Emoline Lile.

I'm not sure whether this was taken before or after
their wedding, but it was around that time.

As you can see, they were married on October 6, 1920
in Enterprise, Oregon in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The witnesses were Samuel P. Miller, Elmer's father,
and Sarah Emoline Clayton Lile, Lela's mother.
She'd been widowed only nine months
when her daughter married. I'm sure
everyone missed him that day.

Lela was twenty-one.
Elmer had turned twenty just the day before.
Initially, they lived on Elmer's parents' homestead.
A couple of years after that, they moved to Echo, Oregon
where my Aunt Mona was born.

By 1925, they moved to LaGrande, Oregon,
where my mother was born and her father worked
in the lumber mill.

By the time the Great Depression befell the country,
Elmer and Lela had three daughters,
of whom my mother was the third.
Elmer lost his job at the mill,
but luckily was able to find work on the Grimmett place,
a large farming spread in the Grande Ronde Valley north of town.
My grandmother Lela cooked for all the farm hands
and did their laundry, as well. She grew vegetables and fruit 
and always canned things for the winter. She also sewed and mended, 
did embroidery, and crocheted. Both Elmer and Lela 
were active members of the First Christian Church
in LaGrande, Oregon throughout their adult lives.

During World War Two,
Elmer worked for the railroad for a while.
He eventually got a job with the local power company
and worked there until his retirement.

Lela died on her 73rd birthday,
after going out to a celebratory dinner
with her husband.

They had been married almost 52 years.

For more Sepia Saturday stories,
go visit today's hostess Kat/Poeticat.
You can read her piece about a girl and her car,
and she'll link you to more stories.

Friday, February 5, 2010


The most powerful symptom of love

is a tenderness which becomes at time
almost insupportable.

- Victor Hugo

Do you remember
first meeting
your first child
and how it felt to fall in love?

I remember right after Brendan 
(the new Dad in the photo above)
was born, one of the first thoughts his father,
a natural warrior, expressed was

War is so stupid.
It's such a waste.


What are you doing
to foster peace?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Poetry Slam: An Offering from Rumi

There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!

At night, I open the window

and ask the moon to come

and press its face into mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.
The moon won't use the door,
only the window.
- Rumi