Monday, March 26, 2012

i am poking you!

kids think it's so funny to jab each other repeatedly with their finger while repeating "i'm not poking you!" (adults do too, the facebook version). not to scoff, perhaps persons with such a penchant have gone on to world class olympic levels of...fencing. if students are rough housing in my classes, i like to tell them, "literature is not a contact sport". well, this one is. with a myriad of layers (chest guard, arm sleeve, jacket, helmet, outer jacket, cordage, swordage) you are ready for fencing 101. if you can see, that is. with my head swimming in new terms and my eyes peering out from behind the mesh with arms contorting in vain efforts to zip my jacket from behind, i tried it. amazingly fun sport. complex. (inigo montoya makes this look easy in princess bride, by the way, it's not! and zorro must have practiced...alot. newfound respect there.) within 45 minutes, you are actually out on the gym floor hooked into ceiling cords and competing (who am i and why did they give me this sharp thing?) it's not actually sharp, but rather electronic. and i was lucky enough to come on a monday when it's all about foiling (just at the chest). it seems other nights are epee (all body is fair game?!) especially if you're going more than one round, as we did, this is a very important word difference to know, my fine fencing friends. (repeat after me, "foiling" you want foiling!) i would have had someone take a picture to prove i had done it (since this item is afterall newly crossed off on my bucket list) but it took me over 10 minutes just to get out of my uniform and by then most of my class had gone home or were otherwise engaged in, yes, professionally poking one another. p.s. if you try this at home, use very dull things, like maybe wet noodles. trust me on this one or have a bandaid handy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

write kindly

erica bauermeister, author of "school of essential ingredients" and "joy for beginners" was speaking at the cannon beach library last weekened. we trooped in and found kindness, authored. really, that impressed me. she gets to know her characters, going as far as to tell her husband, "ok, i'm going to go have coffee with isabelle now" and tries to represent them well, from the inside out. she writes in spurts, often finding rhythmic activities such as swimming or walking helpful for working out her plots. (this was reassuring to me, because, while i believe in the discipline aspect of art, i find it hard to get up at 4:30 to write for two hours every day in the name of craft. kudos if you do this, i'll be out walking). she also spoke of fear and courage. what scares one person may not be hard at all for another; it's not always the "big ticket items" like river rafting or bungee jumping that may signify a personal victory...maybe it's having that tough conversation with someone or getting rid of personal possessions. she made a promise to her characters and that, quite frankly, was as refreshing as the company i kept and the ocean breezes against my skin.


parkour, the art of most effeciently navigating with one's body around obstacles (like tall buildings in a single bound) is quite fascinating. if you like hurling yourself backwards off rooftops, that is. also known as "freerunning", it's quite the sport. etymology is an altered spelling of parcours, from the french.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


sackcloth is scratchy. no wonder it was a sign of repentence. and ashes are messy. i have spring fever and i'll admit i'd much rather be all about the daffodils, crocuses, birds that are singing not to mention the frog and owl song. (is the world just not simply coming alive!?) that liturgical calendar i mentioned? honestly, with all due respect, i don't like the picture for this time of year and was tempted to flip it early. it's all desert which is not one of my favorite things. but each morning when i look at it, i try to find something beautiful about the scape. so far, i'm into the blue sky and clouds in the background. ask me about the sticks and rocks later, i'll get there. but for today i'm going on a beauty walk to feel unabashedly alive along with the great outdoors. beauty is God-grounding to me and maybe more lenten than we give it credit for. the fact that it falls at this time of year a mere coincidence? i think not.


ok, i just have to say it or i will simply burst: I'M GOING TO FRANCE! we interrupt this usually lower case post with the all-caps announcement. there, i said it. time to practice words in a different language. if you have any travel tips, ideas or networking, i'm all ears! (said with imaginary beret on my head while sipping extremely high quality coffee and eating a pain au chocolat).


this fun and funny word, before last saturday, was completely unknown to me. hence, my excitement ("synapse burst!" i like to say) whenever i learn something new. kefir, i learned is a kind of milk/yogurt. mogurt or yilk if you will, but kefir is easier. it's got more probiotics and tastes fantastic (to me). "try it, you might like it".


writers are advanced copy readers. most everyone wants to write. and for every book that's written there are editors, friends, alert and interested readers; people who get home and delight to tear into the latest parcel from the post office which contains the next great american novel. in this case, check out the latest from a friend of mine:

how to have a magical morning

i just finished reading "a homemade life" by molly wizenberg. want to have a magical morning? get in the kitchen. get a friend. light candles (which are magical at any time of day) and bake. dutch babies are delicious, buttery goodness first thing in the morning. sip coffee slowly. watch the dutch delights puff in the oven and add lemon (after admiring it) and powdered sugar. eat immediately.