Showing posts from November, 2009

My World Tuesday: We Don't Throw Anything Away

This post conveys the mood of Halloween, but it's a sight I take in frequently when I am in Waterbury. These grave markers line the wall that frames Library Park. They were removed from the grounds and placed along the perimeter wall on the suggestion of some good citizens a long time ago. "Where are their bones?" is what I wonder every time I walk on by. These stones look suspected of being guilty of something lined up like this.
But again I ask, "Where are the bones?" Why move the stone but not the remains? I may never now. This was government work. Perhaps it's enough to know that.
And what about the condition of these stones and the explanation carved in stone in 1934? Every now and again some town employee yanks off the vines is what I guess.
At the other end of this wall is the set of stairs that takes you up to the park. It's a nice little circle called a square (again, government work) near a traffic light at the entrance of town.
I like it. W…

Today's Flowers: In the Berries

It's possible, on sunny autumn days, to have too much sun on a subject. That happens on the day you know you have nothing to complain about. Such was my day a few weeks back when I stopped at Topsmead in Litchfield to have a walk around. The berries on this tree said "come hither or else." So I went thither. Red is starting to speak to me.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Migration

I am jealous of geese
Because they feel everything With intelligence
And without, I think,
Thinking anything at all.
The press of dried grass into their bodies The thickening of the cold water The fall of the leaves The lessening of the light
And that thing we all have That makes us do what our mothers did Before us and before them And so on
To tap into that wisdom Without thought or shame
To reach for the air With perfect faith That it can be caught
And to go
Sure that return is possible So long as you keep feeling Everything
Without thought or shame.
I am jealous of geese.

One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Hangers On


Blog Your Blessings: Beautiful Kids at Work

This week the kids at school loaded a school bus with the 4,000+ cans they collected this month for the local food pantry.
I stood back and watched the kids on student council lug the stuff out on whatever wheeled thing they could find on a very cold, damp morning. They worked diligently. They helped each other out. They were so good.
I posted this little video to the school blog, but I think these kids are great and I wanted to share it here, too.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Blog Your Blessings

Wordless Wednesday: Uncut, Uninterrupted


My World Tuesday: Enduring Distortions


Today's Flowers: Yesterday's Illusion

Here are some summertime flowers reflected in the dull and dirty mirrored glass of the arcade at Ocean Beach Park. I like this photo, though it's far from good. It reminds me things are not always what they appear and it's better to look on from afar, to play gently with what you see rather than be played by it.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Creative

I think of my favorite
Contemporary poets
Their gift for control
Just the right word
Minus a little

How I value
The understatement,

The not quite saying

I swim naked in the possibilities
Soaking them up, making them me

I step from that deep water

To run through
The tall grass of pure feeling
Deeper and deeper
Lost in the

Moist dark of a wilderness

(The trained meadow is gone now)

(There is no going back)

Every wild sound becomes my voice
Every graceful sway of every branch and leaf

Is me

Moving without thought or care
Deeper into the dark

I feel everything
I become nothing

In the space between
This breath and this breath
And this

There are no words
There is no need.

Nobel winner Nadine Gordimer of South Africa once said, "People make the mistake of regarding commitment as something solely political. A writer is committed to trying to make sense of life. It's a search. So there is that commitment first of all: the commitment to the honesty and determination to go as deeply into things as possible, and to d…

Skywatch Friday: Water to Wine Somewhere Down the Line


Wordless Wednesday: Voyeur


My World Tuesday: A Quiet Morning in Woodbury

Very early Veterans' Day morning, I took a little walk while the mechanics in town worked on my car. The day was so still, so tucked in, that the biggest sound seemed to be my camera. Every time I pressed the shutter, I felt like I was shaking our rural universe. Even my thoughts seemed too loud for the day.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Bittersweet....Life Is....

Reading today, I came across these lines from The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: "Drifting off to sleep, I thought about her. How nobody is perfect. How you just have to close your eyes and breathe out and let the puzzle ofthe human heart be what it is."
Yeah, I thought. Exactly.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Reincarnation

What would you be if you could come back?
We asked the question as a game
when we were children.

I wouldn't ask it now;

I don't care about coming back,
Don't care about later.

Right now

If I could transform myself
I would not--

Though if I had to
I'd become that blend

Of sugar and sunshine
That makes a grape

A grape.

And I would wait for you
To break me open

Until the wine of so many summer days
Coursed through your veins,

Made you warm and open
And full of slow sunsets

And there was no difference
Between you and me.

I said if.

Right now
This theme for a dream is enough.

I will write it.
One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Here is Good

The themes of this dream: An origami rabbit left for me at my locked classroom door An origami star folded by a boy who asked me in passing to show him how (In passing, I did.) Matt the Reader looking for another book My daughter putting the laundry away (I never asked her to.) My mom watching a video I made at school in which a combat veteran talks about war My daughter and I making an apple cake with an old friend's recipe The janitor promising to sweep my room Being up and out early enough to watch the geese prepare for winter the way they do when they realize there's no need to go. That here is good.
Blog Your Blessings

Skywatch Friday: Gonna Be a Long Walk Home

Out for a walk on Veteran's Day, I found myself enjoying the most intense daylight in the inky waters of the Pomperaug River. The sun seemed too tired and week to melt the haze around it and claim the day. It was a beautiful, quiet morning that felt like snow.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: All Star Girl


My World Tuesday: The Restored Waterbury City Hall

The City of Waterbury has been restoring its city hall, a Cass Gilbert design that was completed in 1915. The sky was brilliantly blue, and the cleaned-up cupola just gleamed on Sunday morning.
About Cass Gilbert:

Gilbert would go on to build many buildings in New York including the West Street Building, the New York Life Insurance Company Building, the New York County Lawyers Association Building, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and the U.S. Courthouse. In 1913, Gilbert completed the Woolworth Building in New York City. It would stand as the world’s tallest building for over a decade. His career continued all over America. He worked on the capitol in Arkansas, and he designed the West Virginia Capitol. His last building was the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Warming up to the Fading Sun

On Halloween, while Adella and I were waiting to trick-or-treat along Main Street, Newtown, with her cousins, this sunflower caught my eye. I had my glasses off because it was raining, so the flower was a smudge of intense color on that dull afternoon. Strangely, unfortunately, and miraculously, the camera caught exactly what I saw--not really the flower at all. It's a bad photo that was the moment--cold, wet, waiting as darkness encroached on a magical night as we waited for children to come out and light the fire of imagination. Watching families climb the hill to celebrate Halloween was like watching a pilgrimage. Some say the holiday is about greed and sugar and malice; I say it is about the magic in the plastic wand of the first princess to toddle by on that evening. It is the magic of the sunlight burning at the end of a long stem in the cold dark.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Departed

Where from and where to,
And, for goodness sake,

So early on a Sunday morning
You skim the air as a ghost
You glow like an ember

Left over from a campfire
Where the stories were


Last night.

You are a messenger
From the place
Where primal stories
Merge with primal

And satisfaction is hunted down.

You fly by
Because you must;
You are a fox.

You know the story.
So do I.

We have departed
From the same place
Each in our own language.

We are not here

We never were

Don’t look back
Or at anybody,

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Loving the Hell out of Them

Halloween, a full moon, a time change, a day off,and the World Series together made for one humdinger of a week at school. By Thursday, I wondered if I was a zoo keeper or a teacher or the turnkey of a nut house.
At the end of the day, I curled up in my favorite chair and called parent after parent to make the dreaded behavior phone calls. It's a miserable way to end the day. I decided to shake off the misery this time, though. Instead of "there's a problem," I heard myself saying, "I love your son. Love him to death, but...." Over and over. I love your son. Love your daughter. But. And I said what I had to say.
"For the good that'll do" my cynical heart said to my tired mind as I plugged the phone into the charger and called it a night.
Today, though, I taught my kids in a blissfully peaceful room. After I told them they are like family to me, that I spend more time with them than I do with anyone else in my life, that their success means eve…

Skywatch Friday: It's Not Polite to Point

The branch of this tree always seems to be pointing an accusing finger at the Episcopal church, which is just beyond the antique (meaning ancient) strip mall to the left in this photo. Every time I climb out of the car at the library parking lot, I wonder what secrets this tree keeps. Finally, a took a photo of this character on Tuesday evening.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Takes One to Know One


My World Tuesday: At the End of the Day

This guy really does have it all buttoned up. He has survived a few torrential downpours over the past few weeks and is still standing. What goes beyond me is how those crows have fared as well. Perhaps this guy's more of a carecrow than a scarecrow.
The same downpours denuded most of the trees around here so that there is no canopy; the sky is wide open. Nevertheless, there are a few tenacious trees who are not ready to let their leafy robes fall tot eh ground. So it goes. We're all different.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Call it Love

In Litchfield Friday afternoon, I came across a rosebush that bore this blossom and three others bobbing in the cold wind on a hilltop. This time of year, roses outside remind me of my grandmother, who died on October 29 twenty-eight years ago--17 years to the day my daughter was born. On the day we said good-bye to her, a red rose bloomed outside her door. I remember my dad cutting the flower and placing it across her urn. And I remember standing there and wondering how so much beauty, love, and vitality could be gone from the earth. That was a painful time.
Before she passed, I wrote her a letter telling her how much I loved her. I had begun the letter as an essay. I was a sophomore in high school and had the incredible good fortune of an English teacher who cared about writing and cared about turning students into writers. "If you can write, you can do anything," Mr. Charles Phelps told us. And he did. He was the first English teacher who ever taught me anything, and he wa…