Sunday, April 27, 2014

the u.p.c.s. and what you can do about it

over the years and especially this last week for some reason, i've noticed a disturbing domestic trend. yes, my friends, it's true. unused porch chair syndrome. nostalgic for days gone by when people actually sat on their front porches, i started counting types and styles of unused chair pairs: blue adirondaks, white wicker, pink metal, wooden with seat covers, even matching chaise lounges. but never once a person in them, much less two. mere suburban decor. for one, i imagine them not to be very comfortable. there's not usually a place to put your feet up, it's not facing the sun, there's no table for the paper and coffee, they're way to small to nap in...not to mention they're placed smack dab beneath the gutter drain spouts (what was our first clue?!) two, the way they are sitting looks pretty but wouldn't actually work well for real people trying to have a conversation. this in regards to a porch where they were on completely opposite sides from each other, about 15 feet apart. symmetrical, but largely useless. ("i say, over there, could you throw the homes and gardens paper section please?") case in point. now, i don't have a porch per se, or matching chairs, but i do USE things outside to sit on given the day and what i'm wanting to do. sketching? (picnic table) coffee and book? (back patio rocker) cloud gazing? (blanket) watching chicken antics (overturned bucket or whatever piece of plywood is handy at the time) not as pretty maybe, but they work, these aforementioned use of things akin to crates and barrels, ahem. so, dear reader, i leave you with this question, sponsored no doubt by pottery barn, do people not stop by on front porches because no one's sitting there? or does no one sit there because people don't stop by anymore? i'm here to change all that. down with u.p.c.s! got lemonade? as a throwback to the late 1890's, i may just come over to your porch and pull up a chair.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

magical moments

how many magical moments do we get in this life? i mean ones that truly take your breath away and send electric currents through your veins? how many shooting stars? how many blazing sunrises setting over the ocean? lucky us if we get any, and even luckier if we get to share them with someone we love. magical moments can't be contrived, but they can be made more likely by creating space. it takes time to show up, notice them and appreciate what you just got to witness on the planet; time to savor it, maybe put it into words or maybe not. Jesus tells us in so many words to be childlike and i'm trying to take that form of play very seriously. a few days ago, i sprawled out in the backyard and watched the white clouds move across the sky playing the "what shape is it?" game with myself. then i sat and just listened and watched nature all around me for probably over an hour. (disclaimer: i don't actually know how long it was, because i got lost watching and listening, but it was quite a while: those kairos moments that aren't run by chronos timepieces.) what really dazzles me lately is how the cherry blossoms sprinkle down pink. when i hike and walk under an archway and look up to see blossoms falling into my hair i could swear i'm four years old again or caught somehow in a film set for heaven. so go watch a candle burn and don't feel guilty about what you're not getting done. give yourself fully to the rain on the roof until you don't know what time it is. it doesn't have to take long, either. lilacs can be appreciated in sniffs and wafts that take only seconds. but i think my life is better for the waft. i don't have time NOT to notice the beauty or to become part of it for a while. what will your magic be?

world book night

it's not just local or national...tonight is World Book Night! so syncronize those time zones, turn those pages in every language!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


some things stay with you. like the memory of getting the garden ready when i was little. it was a "just my size" job to pour warm water on the "peat pods" and watch as they magically grew in front of me, soaking up the water and more than tripling their own size. then i would carefully take a seed, place it in the center hole in the mesh and push it under with my index finger. i did this today, too. with my starter crop of carrots, cauliflower, kale, peas and spinach. and it still thrilled me. what is one of your favorite memories from childhood that you still do?

Easter weekend bouquet

Friday, April 18, 2014

descending theology: the resurrection

from the far star points of his pinned extremities, cold inched in--black ice and squid ink-- till the hung flesh was empty. lonely in that void even for pain, he missed his splintered feet, the human stare buried in his face. He ached for two hands made of meat he could reach to the end of. In corpse's core, the stone fist of his heart began to bang on the stiff chest's door, and breath spilled back into that battered shape. Now it's your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water shatters at birth, rivering every way. by mary karr

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014