Arrivals!

BarbMarley&Ringo

Sweet Lulu left Owen Sound and arrived in London, with a new name—Barb Marley! So suits her. Can’t blame a girl. Took on a whole new identity too. Now she seems “married” to Ringo. Don’t they make a lovely couple? Ahhh love…ain’t it grand!

 

And on another note…glue pages and ATCs arrived safely in Edmonton. ATCs were a little random act of art for a dear friend.

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And last, but certainly not least, Erika’s muse arrived safely in Washington, DC! All on the same day! Whoot!!

ImageImageImageShe is actually a journal (even her sleeves! With lots of encouraging sayings, haiku, and snippets of poetry to provide lots of artsy encouragement to Erika!

Now on to prayer flags and knitting for the summer surprise … a wee granddaughter! Whoot!

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Step the first … Crows

Or as Anne Lamott explains, bird by bird. Although what she means is that we get through the story that we have to write word by word, as for me bird by bird suits in all sorts of ways.

When we first arrived here in Owen Sound, no, when we first began to live here, in this house, in Owen Sound whaImaget really struck me was the murder of crows that woke me every morning. That was different. And delightful…though my dear friend JL will definitely not agree.

So much was different. In good ways and bad. Mostly bad at first. Bad because my husband was sent to BC (the province, not the date) for a two week training and I was already feeling lonely and “interrupted”. I didn’t know who I was and no one else knew either.

But each morning the crows cawed to me. Woke me with their raucous and joyous chorus. And what delighted me about that was that all those crows deterred the starlings who rob the feeders we put out for the birds we want to attract … the pretty ones, the little ones, the ones who warble and tweet and chitterchatter. And those birds also seemed to appreciate that chorus of the crows because they got the lion’s share of the seed and the starlings didn’t disturb their nests.

It still wasn’t home. Maybe it never will be. But it was a start and so this blog post is dedicated to crows. The birds who showed me a new way, a new direction for my life…for the moment. And so I am lead to ask if crow was my first muse pointing me into a whole new direction. Just musing.

Books, libraries, reading, and a what if…

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week and so I happened upon this little video that Bill Moyers made to honour this…

I agree with Bill. I wonder how many of us would be as whole as we are without books in our lives. Right now I am in a place where I can afford to buy some books. It’s wonderful!

But I still need the library. I grew up in libraries. I grew up feasting on books.

Now libraries open doors in other ways than books. We borrow DVDs, music CDs, audio books (wonderful for long trips!) and let me not forget TOYS! Whoot! When my children were small I borrowed toys regularly as well as books to read to them. All of us would be poorer without libraries and the bounty they lend to us.

But libraries do more than lend out magic. They host story telling times, events, workshops and clubs.

I’ve gone to those story tellings.

I’ve studied writing with Welwyn Wilton Katz.

I’ve volunteered in literacy programs.

Which leads me to my point (and I do have one)…the Library belongs to all of us. And we need to let our municipal politicians know that we — not some board or council — are the owners. They are just human beings; they will make mistakes.

Locally that would be the error of closing our only library (aside from a few specialty libraries devoted to small interest groups) on Mondays. What wrong headed thinking!

In our little corner of the world the library and the art gallery (the Tom Thompson) are attached which I feel is an excellent idea, a great match, a marriage made in heaven. They are both necessary as places where people learn to think, to imagine, to create, to expand their horizons, to grow. All necessary traits in a good citizen.

So, it would follow, if you follow my thread, that both of these edifices should fling their doors open EVERY day of the week…even if you must train more volunteers to do the “grunt” work (and here I believe Unions need to get on board). If citizens want this enough, they will step up and make it happen. Libraries are a human right … if you want creative thinkers, critical thinkers, thinkers period.

Are you with me?

Oh and while you’re at it…read a banned book! There’s a million of them. Here’s some I’ve read WITH my children…

Where Did I Come From? Cover

The Giver Cover

A Wrinkle in Time  Cover

And one of the all time best banned books… In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

Wonderful Banned Books Week display at Porter Square Bookstore, 2012

Nickel and Dimes-10TH Anniversary Edition (11 Edition) Cover

They are some of the best reading in town … with the greatest ideas!

Pondering an old red sweater …

Right now I am reading “No Ordinary Time” by Jan Phillips. Well, to be truthful I am not so much reading … as practicing this book. There are ideas, concepts, constructs, words, sentences, musings on every single page that I want to commit to memory, imbue into my cellular structure. This, found on page 195, speaks so intimately to my sense of “At Loose Ends” that I must share it…

Your words and thoughts

are your yarn and knitting needles.

Your life is the afghan, the mittens, the scarf.

If you work with wool and cotton threads

You will never end up with a cashmere sweater.

At first glance our socially constructed dichotomies will cause us to judge wool and cotton threads as “less than” cashmere.

But stop and think for a minute…

Do we all need, want, struggle to attain, desire, feel comfortable in and with a cashmere sweater?

Mostly I like to wrap myself in an over sized wool sweater while I snuggle into the sofa with a good book and a canine companion.

I still have an old red, acrylic sweater that I rescued from the cloImageset of my mother after her death. For years I fondled the hankie left in one of the pockets and was comforted by the scent of Noxema. It quite literally WAS my mother in those letting go times. Now the scent is gone, but still the sweater is pulled from the closet to be worn when I need to let go of feeling like a “motherless child” and yet still feel childlike and cared for and safe.

My mother and I were/are both knitters. Wool is my choice; acrylic hers. We are so different, so alike…a knitted sweater so familiar an object as to be taken for granted (like a mother perhaps) until it becomes necessary. How wonderful to have these lines to bring to recall so much. To feed my soul with the ordinary, the mundane, the trivial…that makes up so much of a rich, full life.

And so this short five lines gives me material to meditate on for years…

Thanks, Jan.

Wishes for winter

Jamie Ridler faithfully prompts us to wish every Wednesday. Today she asked, “What is your winter wish?” Since today was almost as hectic as yesterday, I had to wait till this evening to even give this some thought. So what do I wish for winter? What is my winter wish?

Aside from a long, red “swing” coat

and new high boots

…there is nothing i can think of. Though I am having fun playing on Pinterest

Nothing I really, truly need really.

I have plenty and then some as Susan Werner sings. So as she sings…when you have plenty and then some the thing to do is to share that. So my wish for this winter is the opportunity to do just that.

I want to share and serve. I wish to build up a community around me. And then I want to serve the community where I have found myself at home.

Oh and I want to become a real “expert” with Photoshop Elements 10

in gratitude to my husband for gifting me with this.

What do you wish for this winter tide?

Prayer

This is my first intention word for 2012…

I have to rush off to church for now, but i’ll post later. In the meantime, here is a prayer that speaks to my heart…

I hope it piques your curiosity…

For Presence

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of
soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

~ John O’Donohue

November

Each season has its own special beauty which we will miss if we dwell instead on the less crystalline and beautiful aspects … oh I know that frost makes us have to fling the scarf about our necks and put on those fingerless mitts…maybe even walk a little quicker to get to the next destination. But gaze on the lovely shot Jeff captured out for a walk this weekend. Who could call that anything but lovely?

Today may be a dreary drizzly day, but then tomorrow the sun may come out and hit the frost on those red berries and bring a smile to my face and delight to my heart.  So my wise words for today are mostly to myself, but if they work for you please let me know and they are free for you to share with friends and family.

I know school has been keeping me busy and away from blogging, but I miss you all (and the writing) so much, I’m going to make it a priority to blog at least once a week and if time allows twice. And that makes me smile as well. In fact I feel so light I think I could just float on the wind! Wheee!