Tag Archives: garden

morning light and reading

sedum-deemallonThe air is cool today. Fresh. And mercifully, for now anyway, the clanging, metallic, thundering racket from behind the school is at a pause.
artemisia-deemallonI am going to finish “Go Down, Moses” today if it kills me. She Said. For the third day in a row.
daisies-deemallon
But now I really, really mean it, because Harper Lee’s new (old) book is available today and a good friend ordered me a copy.   I used to read six books at a time, but right now I want to finish one, put it down, and then pick up the next. A sign of sanity, perhaps?

Walking downstairs and out the back door

Before coffee.20140715-080349-29029381.jpg
One of the saved baby outfits. This one D.’s.  College-bound (the boy, not the outfit!):20140715-080445-29085704.jpg[When I was about eight months pregnant, I showed my bed-ridden mother this little vest and onesie. “You’re finding his palette,” she announced in true art teacher/mother fashion.  She would never meet him].

Speaking of palettes, on the coffee table, random partnering:20140715-080525-29125303.jpgOn the ironing board, ready for sleeving:20140715-080559-29159380.jpgBookcases. Wooden boxes from Japan. Classics, hardbound.  Some of the many new-to-us things:

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this photo taken last night; but en route to back door

A saturating rain yesterday:20140715-081058-29458791.jpg

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others’ words

How much human suffering, mine and others’, comes back to our ambivalence about being here, our uncertainty about committing fully to a human life, to living awake with what is within and around us!

The Call, Discovering Why You are Here
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

To live in this world

you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it,
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver, from ‘In Blackwater Woods’

What you can plan is too small
for you to live.

 David Whyte, from ‘What to Remember When Waking’


And if we are truly not trying to get anywhere, but simply allow ourselves to be here in this moment as it is, we can stumble easily upon an ancient stillness…

Jon Kabat-Zinn, ‘Wherever You Go There You Are’

A community is a well to drink from, a place to nourish our spirits and find the strength we need to ride life’s ups and downs.  It’s also a place to discover what we have to give.

Gabrielle Roth, ‘Sweat Your Prayers’

Have you ever felt that if you were to really ‘expand your borders’, God would have to accelerate your already busy life? You are not alone in the assumption.  But you should know that God has entirely different ways of enlarging your influence and impact.

Bruce Wilkerson daily calendar based on ‘The Prayer of Jabez’

And now the ‘Prayer of Jabez’ itself, from 1 Chronicles 4:10:

Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil.

series, collar, rain, and shelter

SERIES.  The new series is comprised of self portraits, any of which could be captioned: “me looking deranged”.  This makes No. 2.  (No. 1 in flickr stream recently).  This well-loved Irish Linen dish towel (I think “linen” warrants a capital “L” here) was finally retired from its kitchen duties last night.


COLLAR.  A strip of the dish towel is being auditioned here as a collar on my boro work-in-progress (in Jude Hill’s Contemporary Boro class, online).  Just like I enjoy the visual pun when my older son wears Old Navy garments with the words “Established 1994” (because HE was established in 1994), there is something fun about wearing the words, “Made In Ireland”, because even though I wasn’t, my ancestors were.

I THINK I am 100% Irish.  Was always told this.  But, my mother’s father was born and raised in Hartlepool, England and had a British accent, even when I knew him decades after his arrival on Ellis Island (I found a copy of his ship’s manifest on the wonderfully historic Ellis Island website).  He (Albert Jacques) met his wife (Alice Healey) in Brooklyn, and her family haled from Co. Cork – but was my grandmother born in Brooklyn? Or in County Cork? I can’t seem to get a straight answer.  My father’s parents were both Irish (Mallon and Kinney), but I don’t know when their arrivals to this country took place.  Probably a generation or two before my grandparents, though.  My father has a namesake on one of the rolls for the Civil War – one of the MANY (come to find out) William Kinneys who fought with the militia coming out of Pennsylvania.

But, back to the garment.  The red disturbs my plan to stay monochromatic and since the fit of this thing is going to be problematic, I think I’ll force myself to stick to the blue plan.  The sleeves may come off to convert the shirt to a vest if I can’t find a way to cinch the waist a little.

RAIN.  The rain is making surfaces shine. The rain is making me appreciate shelter. The rain is making wonder how all the sleeveless prom attendees tonight will stay warm!!

SHELTER.  Sometimes the places we find solace come to us unbidden, or as surprises.  Like this spicebush.

Under the boughs of this bush-turned-tree, not only do I feel a sense of shelter, there is a hint of magic. My husband thinks it is perhaps ‘too big’ for its spot, but, though I prune aggressively every year, I will fight for its right to overcome our notion of what fits.  It has umbrellaed up and out from the small twig I put in the ground years ago into a beautiful small tree that creates a tunnel toward our garage gate.


I love the way when I stand under it, everything that is so familiar looks different.
How grateful I am for this fragrant, light-catching green, vigorous grower!