Sunday, August 27, 2017

around the table

around the table


(verse 1)     it's magic, this feasting neighbors under the stars
with laughter-lit candles we're strangers no more
i want to taste and see all that i ever can of love

(verse 2)     it's power, this shadow under the cross
the light on my face of such willing loss
for all that is gain in this precious body and blood

around the table

(chorus)     i come as i am and bring what i have
hungry as anything to know and be known
to be who i am and never feel alone

around the table

(bridge)     you set a place and we are fed
filled and understood
every guest seat has room for more
as wine and bread keep flowing

around the table

we come as we are and bring what we have
hungry as anything to know and be known
to be who we are and never feel alone

around the table, around the table
there's room at the table, won't you come to the table

ls 8.27.17

Monday, August 21, 2017

another year of shared learning

august feels to me like an abundance of queen anne's lace and blackberries...time to have ice cream with the neighbors...foster camp...escaping to beach walk during heatwaves...and this year:  the eclipse! 

and time to pour over that stack from the library before school starts.  i just finished reading "lab girl" by hope jahren, a renowned scientist, and "anatomy of the soul" by dr. curt thompson.  "my life with bob (book of books)" by pamela paul was a funny account of her reading history, and next on my list are "life without a recipe" by diana abu-jabar and "the genius of birds" by jennifer ackerman.

i came across what looks like a great tale of adventure yesterday called "the yellow envelope" by kim dinan about how she and her husband quit their jobs to travel the world.  i'll keep you posted (on the reading, that is, not necessarily quitting my job to travel--although i'm sure some days it will be tempting)...admittedly, my reading pace slows, but by no means ceases, as i start teaching again.  i truly believe in being what one of my students wrote to me, "miss smith, you are a teacher who continually loves being taught." 

how right she is and how i look forward to another year of shared learning!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

no hard feelings

this song came on the radio when i was driving downtown and it really touched me, heart and soul.  i can't say exactly why, other than that it was honest.  it wasn't trying too hard and steered clear of both saccharine sweet or depressing, striking me instead as just a warm, glowing middle that made me think the lyrics could hold true for anyone.  it's by the avett brothers on their newest album "true sadness" and it's called "no hard feelings."  i'll type the lyrics out for you below and also include a link to the music video.

when my body won't hold me anymore and it finally lets me free will i be ready?
when my feet won't walk another mile and my lips give their last kiss goodbye
will my hands be steady?
when i lay down my fears my hopes and my doubts,
the rings on my fingers and the keys to my house with no hard feelings...

when the sun hangs low in the west and the light in my chest won't be kept held at bay any longer
when the jealousy fades away and it's ash and dust for cash and lust
and it's just hallelujah
and love in the thoughts and love in the words
love in the songs they sing in the church
and no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven't done much good for anyone
kept me afraid and cold with so much to have and hold

when my body won't hold me anymore and it finally lets me free where will i go?
will the trade winds take me south through Georgia grain or tropical rain
or snow from the heavens?
will i join with the ocean blue or run into the Savior true
and shake hands laughing and walk through the night straight to the light
holding the love i've known in my life and no hard feelings...

under the curving sky i'm finally learning why
it matters for me and you to say it and mean it too
for life and its loveliness and all of its ugliness
good as it's been to me i have no enemies...

music video "no hard feelings"

Monday, August 7, 2017


this is a great new-to-me word!  sisu, (pronounced see-soo, noun) means:  extraordinary endurance in the face of adversity.  synonyms:  persistence, determination, guts, tenacity, resolve, willpower; full of courage and an indomitable spirit. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

joy upon joy

this has been my favorite commission lately:  "the windhover" by gerard manley hopkins.  it was with extreme joy and purpose that i answered the email requesting this text to be hand-lettered for someone who was going through a hard time.

the person requesting the artwork wondered if i was familiar with hopkins' poetry... i responded that not only was i familiar with him, but that he was my favorite poet of all times and that it so happened i have this particular poem memorized (the recitation was a gift for my late grandfather, whose name, i later discovered, meant 'falcon', the bird hopkins employs as a Christ metaphor).

i set to work immediately creating this piece that has since gone to live with someone i have never met but whom i hope takes great joy, comfort, and encouragement from both the images and the text. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

rachel ann austin

i am a big fan of rachel austin's artwork and have recently received many of her beautiful cards that i plan to frame.

so imagine my surprise when, at my 62-year-old friend's house for tea/housesitting tour and instructions today, i saw rachel's pieces everywhere--in just about every room.  when i said i loved her work, my friend said, "oh! rachel was a student of mine!" and then my friend proceeded to take me around the garden, "rachel even helped me put these river rocks in the water feature when we were adding the pond."

what a small and delightful world.  to view more of rachel's work, you can visit her website at:


cenotes is a new word to me; it connotes natural wells where freshwater surfaces.  i learned it from my continuation in reading "anthropology of turquoise" by ellen meloy.  (which, incidentally, i had automatically misspelled in a previous entry from the time i worked at anthropologie the store and stand corrected).

meloy writes that cenotes are abundant in the yucatan in the form of ocean, marsh, lagoon, and underground rivers, "...a tropical forest swollen with invasion and sheer presence, the sea pushes itself into what is drinkable and what is heard, or what you miss hearing when you are distant from the surf.  the sea holds an abundance of comfort and inspiration and danger, all that a person needs in order to rise to the full largesse of beauty."

meloy's writing is so enjoyable to me that i looked her up to see what else she had written and was sad to discover she had already passed away (same with alice steinbach) both at too young of an age in my opinion.  so i was extra grateful to them for taking the time to describe their adventures in such great and poetic detail. on the bright side, there are other novels authored by them.  and it was fun to learn that colin meloy (local singer-songwriter, lead of the decemberists) is ellen's nephew.  and so, her legacy continues!

life, like freshwater, always surfaces.