Showing posts from December, 2011

Today's Flowers: In the Dunes

From December 31, 2011
Today I noticed how this plant and its compadres in the dunes shape the dunes by affecting the flow of the breeze across the sand.  What one plant can do.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Change

From December 31, 2011
Life happens
Things break

From what remains
We derive stories

And claim them for our own

It must be enough

To find some part of something
The story of which folds in
On itself and around you
While it rests in your hands

Let it go

Go with it

It is a whole story

It is yours

It is not

The whole story

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Turtles, Dorks, Kids

On December 23, we had the unheard of thing:  a full day of school.  This, we presumed, was the central office's way of Being the Boss, of making us miserable because it could by stretching to the very limit our ability to manage a classroom.
Right after my belief in the value of hard work is my belief that I should not under any circumstances tolerate anybody's desire to make me miserable.  I'll bleed for you, but I won't die for you.  I like it here.
So.  I showed a movie to my students on December 23.  And not just any movie, I hasten to add.  I showed a movie I like very much:  "Turtle:  The Incredible Journey."  This is the story of a loggerhead turtle who hatches on a Florida beach only to travel the Atlantic and face nightmare after nightmare after manmade nightmare to mate and come back to Florida and wonder where her condo keys are.  It's a Sea World production worth every one of its 81 minutes.
When on December 23 students asked if they could f…

Skywatch Friday: My Peeps

From December 26, 2011 I arrived on Topsail the day after Christmas. The sunshine and warmth are glorious. Just downright cheerful. Can't beat it. These little guys on the beach put so much into persepective. There's not a whole lot that's important. Not really. Happy New Year.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Turtle in Lights


Book Review: Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Everything is connected... no one thing can change by itself. (Paul Hawken)

Julia Jarmond is a 45-year-old American ex-pat living with her husband and daughter in Paris and working as a journalist. When her editor assigns her the task of researching the story of the French government's 1942 roundup of Jews to the VĂ©lodrome d'Hiver and later deportation to their deaths at Auschwitz, she finds herself simultaneously tasked with researching the story of her own life and coming to terms with truths that are as ugly as they are unavoidable.
Tatiana de Rosnay's debut novel weaves together the story of 10-year-old Sarah, whose family was swept away from her in the roundup, the story of Julia's in-laws, and the story of Julia herself. As Julia breaks challenges the taboos of silence surrounding the Paris round-up, she also challenges the silence between herself and her husband, among her in-laws, and within herself. The truth, once expose…

Our World Tuesday: Home Away From Home

I came back to Topsail for winter vacation. I love this beach particularly because my parents chose it as their home away from home, and it has become mine. I like being here for a thousand and ten reasons but mostly because it is unpretentious and peaceful. No fools, no foolish demands, no lies. Life is simple among the creatures that have been around since the dawn of time, like this feathered dude. From December 26, 2011 Today, when I took my first walk on the beach after the long ride down from Yankeeland, I found myself trying to read the discarded feathers as if they were tea leaves. From December 26, 2011From December 26, 2011From December 26, 2011From December 26, 2011 I think our story is what we stop to think our story is. It's that simple, even if it isn't easy.
Our World Tuesday

One Single Impression: Renewal

A clear morning and a clear way: Solitude and stillness.

Time is not a challenge But a promise:

There is time And time again.

So says the ocean to the shore, My bare feet to the sand And the breeze That sings to itself,
Audience be damned.
One Single Impression

Merry Christmas

At Christmas, all roads lead home. (Marjorie Holmes)

Today's Flowers: Flower for the Goddess of Love

From Arboretum
Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love - and to put its trust in life. (Joseph Conrad)
Today's Flowers

My Wish for You


Skywatch Friday: Prelude to a Good Sleep

From Jun 27, 2011 There are rare moments when I have nothing to say. Most of the time I have something. And not because I am some great thinker or what have you. But words are my business. I am a reading teacher. I was once a professional writer. Cash or no cash, words are my business. I measure life in words. And if there are no words for a moment, then that moment is monumental or it is nothing at all. It's a matter of looking and feeling. 
Sunsets on Topsail leave me with nothing. 
Nothing.  They are landlocked moments that have me looking back at what I would like to forget or ignore or sweep under the rug: what is solid and permanent. Far better for me the transient, the moving, the evanescent. I've put up with a few too many claims on forever, a few too many promises of (I gag thinking of it) love. 
Shut up and go away and don't block my view of what I care about. Which is the sunrise and all that is possible. And there is so much to say. 
This is a good…

Wordless Wednesday: Unwrap Me


Our World Tuesday: At Home

This year, my mother's cousin and aunt passed away. My aunt's passing led to my mother's receiving a parcel of mementos that had belonged to her. Among the many loose photos and albums were my mother's uncle's dog tags. Previously mom had received Uncle Burt's flag, which had been presented to my aunt at his funeral. He had been a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart. But he came home.

From December 18, 2011 Mom keeps the flag in the living room, where she also keeps a doll her grandmother had made many years ago. This was the grandmother who had three of her four sons serving overseas in the armed forces during the Second World War. She was a talented lady who did a lot of waiting over those years. From December 18, 2011 Among the loose photos were images of my great-uncles when they were boys and then when they were soldiers. There was a picture of a Christmas tree my great grandmother had sent to one of her sons to give him a sense…

Today's Flowers: Tender Blossom

From August 18, 2011 What you risk reveals what you value. (Jeanette Winterson)
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Inkwell

Eager to like and be liked
I have often rushed into
Believing with my whole heart

In someone else.

I have called that believing


I have called cynicism
The sensible caution of burned cats.

I have made a virtue of being a dog,
In the process forgetting my own dog

Who has chosen only one to love
And therefore trust

While snapping in the face of anyone at all
Who would presume the right

To that sacred virtue.

He makes a fool of himself, being a Dachshund,
Growling in the face of giants

Except that there is no doubt in his mind
That there is no giant
He could not take down

In the name of love.

I want to be a fool like that little dog.
I want to be a burned cat.

I want to love without fear.

One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Rhythm

Smell the sea and feel the skyLet your soul and spirit flyInto the mystic
And when that fog horn blowsI will be coming homeAnd when the fog horn blowsI want to hear itI don't have to fear it(Van Morrison, "Into the Mystic")
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: As Close as I Want to Get to Snow


Our World Tuesday: Gingerbread Christmas Village

From Gingerbread Village
From Gingerbread Village
From Gingerbread Village
From Gingerbread Village
From Gingerbread Village

On Saturday, Adella and I stopped in at St. George's Church in Middlebury, Connecticut, to see the church's annual presentation of a gingerbread village.  This year's theme was Christmas around the world, and the village had comic book stores, tea and coffee houses, a beer garden, Sponge Bob, and just about everything else you could think of.  
The village makers have only one criteria for the creations:  everything must be edible.  This year, the ladies and gents used a recipe for something that looks like glass.  The windows and lakes looked delicious.  Many of the houses were decorated on the inside as well as the outside.  All great stuff.
Our World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: The Weight of Dawn

Here is a dew-laden rose that I photographed in April at the New Hanover County Arboretum in Wilmington, North Carolina.  I had stepped out this morning to take photos of the local flora, but everthing had been either reduced to fuzz or fried by frost.  These days I am not in the mood for the end of things; I am looking for what's new.  Finding it today meant looking back.  It's like that sometimes.  I remember when my daughter was little; before every milestone--walking, talking, using the bathroom--there was a step back before the leap forward.  It makes sense that we check our footing before we push off.
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew. (Saint Francis de Sales)

Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Knight

From Mystic Seaport
No steed bearing your knight,
The thunder you hear
Is your own heart,

Your rescue.

(The horse in the photo is a Percheron, a war horse whose strength could bear the weight of armor-laden knights.)
One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: For Me, Nothing Finer...

than to be in Carolina in the morning....From July 24, 2011For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes. (Dag Hammarskjold)

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Real Estate


How Are You?

What admission Buys entry to the heart?
Not I love you.
Not I want you.
Not I need you.
Not even  You are beautiful
Or You are all I need.
These are the cheap tickets bought with counterfeit coin.
The way in?
I am here.
Be with me.
And, once, in a while,
How are you?

Our World Tuesday: The Switch Flicking

The annual Christmas tree light switch flicking on Saturday got off to a good start with some spirited Christmas music, complements of the middle and high school bands. The Boy Scouts struggled with some bonfires that never quite took. (Apparently, not everybody honed his Cave Man Survival skills during the last power outage.) We were warm, though. Dad and mom had arrived early and pulled up nice and close to the gazebo. Down went the windows when the band teacher got things rolling, and life was good for us in our orchestra seats.
From December 4, 2011Santa arrived in the fire department's hose truck, climbed the steps of the gazebo, flicked the switch to the Christmas tree, and was gone again.  Takes about three minutes. From December 4, 2011He waves for the entire three minutes, but his union contract does not include talking to children or handing out candy canes or even smiling.  But, heck, he's a busy guy. From December 4, 2011It was a time of cheer for everyone. From D…

Today's Flowers: Hibiscus

From December 4, 2011
From December 4, 2011
A year or so ago I bought this hibiscus to my parents' house. They've done right by it, and it has thrived through all the mad, made weather that makes Connecticut such a delightful place to be this year (if you like the weather report to be the daily cliff-hanger). This blossom was flirting with the big ferny thing next to it, so this morning when I stopped by I crept up from behind, paparazzi style, and took a few shots.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Sapid

From Writing in Faith

A book about dogs--
How they think and feel--

Says they do much of their
Getting to know the world and you
Through their noses.

We humans don't do that.
We forget almost instantly
To notice the aromas
That shape us.

So we face that advice
About breathing deeply
And one moment at a time
And here and now

How so very beautiful life is
If we stop and breathe
And know...

We need to be told;
We are not dogs.

One Single Impression

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
1630s, from L. sapidus “savory,” from sapere (see sapient).

"wise," late 15c., from O.Fr. sapient, from L. sapientem (nom. sapiens), prp. of sapere "to taste, have taste, be wise," from PIE base *sep- "to taste, perceive" (cf. O.S. an-sebban "to perceive, remark," O.H.G. antseffen, O.E. sefa "mind, understanding, insight;" see sap (n.1)).

Skywatch Friday: Smoldering Sky

From Jun 28, 2011From Jun 28, 2011
From Jun 28, 2011

Looking through my photo archives, I came across these photos of North Topsail Beach, where forest fires raged for weeks upon weeks and smoke and soot dimmed and tainted the air and scattered a light so that everything glowed with a dull, ethereal light.
This has been a year of weather extremes all over the place. I suppose the miracle is that the earth absorbs all of this change and goes on and on. May we all do the same.
Skywatch Friday