I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.
- Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
You know that you are an awfully peculiar girl when you are enraptured with the textures and colors of the frayed ropes of a fishing boat net. Even the slippery dogfish, with his insides drooling out commands my wonder.
Where Does the Temple Begin,
Where Does It End?
There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.
The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
from the unreachable top of the tree.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.
And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree –
they are all in this too.
And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
At least, closer.
Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold
fluttering around the corner of the sky
of God, the blue air.
~ Mary Oliver ~
“What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.” – Helen Claes
a place where life begins
and love never ends.
“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” – Elizabeth Lawrence
“Love is like a butterfly, it goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes.”
A community project merging the photographs of pro, amateur, and young (ages 8-18) photographers, celebrating the City of New Bedford opens tonight at ArtWorks 384 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford 6-9pm.
I am personally very excited about this exhibit because not only does it celebrate the multitude of fantastic stories and the cultural color of New Bedford, it is the first time that I will be exhibiting with my 8 year old daughter Charlotte. I love seeing the world through her photographs.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” – Albert Einstein
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. – W. H. Auden
“I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries” – Theodore Isaac Rubin
Happy Birthday silly girl. <3
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
listen to it.
- Pablo Neruda
“Exuberance is beauty.” – William Blake
I love this candid I snapped on Newbury Street of a little girl dancing her heart out to a street performance. I can’t remember the last time I danced in the street (without having 3 martinis prior). I must remedy that! Like the scene in the Trevi fountain in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, these delicious moments are meant to be experienced fully with all of our senses engaged, and with the willingness to live passionately, exuberantly, without a care for might be watching.
“Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day’s woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive. Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog. Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” – To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
When the soul lies down in that grass,
mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century
“I am watching your chest rise and fall like the tides of my life, and the rest of it all and your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow I am waiting for sleep to offer up the deep with both hands” – Ani DiFranco
“She wondered if she would ever truly know him, if their togetherness would shape her life, or if, like the summer, he would fade into the beauty and sadness of all summers. There was no way to know the future. At times she felt she might open to him, but then something he said, or a subtle change in mood–and she would close again, very suddenly.”
From the novel, Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
It is OFFICIALLY grey knit hat season!
Monkey Man is a sock monkey I gave my daughter Sophia on her first Christmas, she grabbed him with those plump baby hands, squealed in toothless, drooly delight, and they have been inseparable since. Monkey Man has seen his share of planes, trains, and automobiles; campfires and carnival rides. He has endured being flung mercilessly from the upstairs balcony, being smeared with ketchup and cupcake frosting, and having his wee ears chewed by our puppy Banjo.
After our last trip to Austin, Monkey Man was looking rough. His tail tattered, his ear a pitiful chartreuse fright, stuffing poking precariously out from under his limp arms. Sophie, deeply concerned, asked if we could take Monkey Man to the hospital because she would like to see him mended and restored to his former, gleeful self.
Sadly, I, Sophia’s mother, have no talent for knitting, crocheting, crafting, or otherwise restoring sock monkeys and their ilk. I do however have a talent for shopping, and I am deeply thankful that The Land of Nod still has the very same “Funky Monkey”. And so, a new monkey man was purchased. Not surprisingly he did not receive the same love and attention as his predecessor but he seems contented hanging with all the cherubic baby dolls and leggy Barbies.
And thanks to the artful craftsmanship of Preservation Framer, Mommy gets to capture the spirit of the original frayed yarn monkey in a colorful, custom-designed display before he is damaged beyond repair. And one day when the puppy teeth and perished ice cream cone splatters and other such incidents have been outgrown, he can once again return to the little girl that loves him so, intact, wearing the signs of their history.
Matt, Rob…thanks so much.
A grand adventure is about to begin. - Winnie the Pooh
Recently, I plucked this decades old sweater from my attic to have it preserved and framed. It was made for me by my Great Grandmother, Adeline Rock, who passed away two years ago this month. This isn’t one of those grandmother stories about a cheerful, doved-haired sweetheart who smells like baked bread when she hugs you close to her plumpness and patiently teaches you how to make homemade ravioli while telling you tales of the old country. I have one of these too. She now lives in Louisiana and regularly sends me postcards and a steady supply of pecans from her pecan trees.
No. I didn’t particularly like my Great Grandmother Rock. She would look after me, a reluctant, pink-curlered sentinel who seemed to permanently wear a scowl of disapproval. After my daily, detestable bowl of Cream of Wheat in her cramped kitchen, she put me outside like a dog, save those occasional rainy days when I was allowed quietly watch Scooby Doo on her tiny, snowy television set. And once she caught me playing in a wildflower field instead of waiting for the school bus. She tattled and I caught a monumental whooping. That sealed it. I hated her.
She died of congestive heart failure and we filed into church for the service on an oppressively humid day. Listening to her eulogy, I realized I had always viewed her through the eyes of a petulant child. I had never paused to imagine what it was like for a woman to raise seven children on her own after losing her husband, the love of her life, in WWII. Raising seven children before microwave ovens and disposable diapers (that alone would inspire a dour disposition in me). The priest asked how many of us lining the pews that day had a garment or blanket that Grandma had crocheted. Dozens of hands shot up, including mine, remembering the green sweater. She had taken me shopping and let me pick out the yarn, my favorite color, at the age of 5, green, the color of Kentucky Bluegrass. I loved it, this bright green sweater, with its big round buttons and enormous collar. I wore it constantly.
I realized in that moment, that she didn’t have to make this for me, the sullen child who refused her egg salad and whined about how awful she was. She made it because she loved me. And then suddenly I was flooded with memories of baking cakes in her kitchen, the air perfumed with vanilla, her allowing me to lick the frosting from the silver tips, at times expertly adorning my fingertip with a sugary, pink rosette. I remembered her Frankfurter Sauce, (a concoction made with hotdogs and noodles from a WWII ration cookbook that I am fairly sure that only those directly related to me have ever consumed). And I understood then that sometimes people love you in the best or only way that they know how, and if you are waiting around for some dramatic emotional declaration or grand gesture, you just might overlook and under-appreciate their love.
I think it’s an important lesson. One I always want to remember and will now have a daily reminder of.
Special thanks to Matt at Preservation Framer for doing such a beautiful job with this.