Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

in the mix

i just love this picture--it is from a spontaneous moment in art class when one of my sixth grade students was mixing paint for his acrylic project.

the room was actually fairly quiet in that moment until i heard, "miss smith, look at this!"

"wow, let me get my phone and take a picture," i said, as we oohed and ahhed over the natural color mix in the middle...

...so beautiful we couldn't have made it if we tried!  what "happy or beautiful accidents" have you come across lately?

Monday, February 19, 2018

classics, again

as a little girl, i had a set of hardbound classic books.  i must have gotten rid of them in one of my minimalist downsizing sorts, but i can get them from the library.

a couple of weekends ago i reread "heidi" by johanna spryi and through adult eyes realized it is basically a *child in foster care story but with a happy ending.  (*language matters, i've moved from saying 'foster kids' to 'children in care' because they are children first and the foster system, while a part of their lives, does not define them). 

and this weekend i reread "the swiss family robinson" by johann david wyss.  my main motivation was, having recently stayed in a treehouse, i remembered this book had some sort of treehouse in it!  the illustrations were whimsical and the treehouse on the island, not to mention their resourcefulness as a family, was epic.  (i always confuse this story with "robinson crusoe", so maybe that should be next on my list.)

what classics do you find yourself drawn to reading or rereading? 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

within reach

it takes commitment and training to get ready to watch the winter Olympics.  first of all, i stretch to make sure i don't strain anything when flopping onto the couch.  then there's the arm curls in order to lift the popcorn and hot chocolate repeatedly to my lips.  regular massage ensures i remain uninjured when reaching for the remote control.  all the while, marveling at the capabilities of the human body. 

here we are, some forty-nine days into the resolutions of many.  still working out, still saving, still chipping away at that dream? 

it's a small thing, with a big metaphor, but at school in the hallway, there is a cord that dangles down from the pull-down crawl space door in the ceiling.  the rope hangs just in reach of many of the students.  for twelve years i have watched kids jump to touch this cord (which is beyond frayed).  one day i asked myself, "why is this so fun for them?" 

because they can.  it's like a goal.  if it seems completely impossible, kids are less likely to jump for it.  same with students once it is easily in reach.  it's most fun for the ones who are at the height where they have to jump and know they'll be able to touch it when they do.

this is the sweet spot of world championships, of resolutions, and of goals in general.  too defeating and why try?  too easy, boredom ensues.  something just out of reach?  people are more likely to go for it! 

time for me to get back to vicariously winning gold in my favored winter sport that i wish was in the Olympics:  snow shoeing!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

winnie the pooh

the 2017 british biographical drama "goodbye, christopher robin" is about the creator of winnie the pooh author aa milne's process of creating this beloved story and the impact it has on his family.

the film was directed by simon curtis and stars domhnall gleeson, margot robbie, and kelly macdonald.

watching the movie caused me a none-too-small wave of nostalgia.  i actually paused the film and went to my linen closet to retrieve my own beloved bear.  i have an original winnie the pooh bear (the light tan color, as opposed to the newer golden rod tone) given to me for christmas, 1975 that came with the book.

this winnie the pooh has moved with me approximately 15 times and is intact, save for a small hole in his right foot from which some stuffing is falling out.  like the velveteen rabbit, i take this as a sign of his being loved by me all these 42 years.

learning more about aa milne and christopher robin's life gives me a new perspective when i reread the story.  what beloved story or toy do you cherish from childhood?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

cozy up and write

i had the distinct privilege to be part of an amazing panel of fellow writers for a program at school affectionately dubbed, "cozy up and write".  the panel consisted of a bible journaler, a blogger, a musician, a screenplay author and myself (poet).

we answered questions ranging from "what inspires us?" to "what do we do when we're stuck?" and then everyone, kids included, were given the same writing prompt.

with my small group afterwards, the kids didn't want to stop! only having time for two more writing prompts and sharing, it was time to go. i encouraged them to use the journal for any and all styles that inspired them.

i also told them about the solitude and discipline it takes to write. sometimes when i'm working on the next book chapter, poetry edit, or blog post i'd rather be out trying a new restaurant or having one of my outdoor adventures. i do all of those things and more, but sometimes it is a matter of putting everything else away for a while, getting my glasses on, and typing for several hours by myself.

sometimes poems come to me like a dream: complete and unexpected. other times they take some effort and editing. same with song lyrics and articles. but i love the shape and sound of words so much, i know there will be time for adventures of all sorts: those "out there" and those here, in my writer's soul.

so for now i will sign off, cozy up, and write...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

poetry post

for those of you who live locally, multnomah arts center has sent out their schedule of the 2018 poetry collection pieces that will be available in their poetry post outside the building. i'll type it for you here below.  (my poem is featured during the month of april and it's fun to see the other titles and authors!)

january  corianna nuqui  "list"
february  christopher luna  "say it"
march  ethel gullette  "appreciation"
april  lanette smith  "an episode of sparrows"
may  deborah chava singer  "in the green chatter"
june  francis opila  "listen to whoever flies or sings"
july  sarah rehfeldt  "abstract"
august  gwen osborne  "grace"
september  michael wynn  "blue skies and the trees behind gabriel"
october  jesus becerra  "from my house to your house"
november  alicia grimshaw  "putting the pieces back"
december  ben mefford "no time"