Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop


Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran


Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare


Friday, April 30, 2010

Trocks

Tricky trock drack pops, cooling coating calming soothing, peeper seer proper toppers, happy dappy dry no more :)

Kara's Ark

Even though it gets uglier by the day, I love my old squishy worn out couch. It's super comfy and cozy, but that's not why it's the best couch in the world. It's the best because it fits two cats two dogs and two lovebirds perfectly...and if LA flooded tomorrow, we'd be marvelously happy floating all together on our big old boat of a couch:)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

After a long day of travel

All I can say is Thank God I'm home...home sweetest home:)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moonshine

It's funny being on the Atlantic Ocean facing East...I'm used to the sun setting over the ocean like it does back home in the west! So I was disappointed at first as I sat at the window table I requested looking out over the ocean because I thought we were going to see a sunset, at least that's how I timed it. But instead of the light display I was expecting, it just got dark -- and that's when I was treated to an unexpected joy -- a moonrise over the ocean. I'm not sure if I've ever witnessed it before, but it took my breath away to see the translucent whisper of shimmering white in the darkening sky over the ocean. And as the sky grew darker, the moon grew brighter, shining down on the water making a path across the ocean that was so beautiful I was tempted to jump in and try to follow it. Ryan and I tried to think of names for that glowing path -- the moonshine mile, la avenida de la luna -- but ended up just laughing at how dumb they all sounded. We decided it was best not to try and name something so magical, to just let it be. So we did, and it was lovely:)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Meant to Be

I just saw WRITTEN BY ME up on the big screen for the first time tonight. And after all the self scrutiny and if only's and nit picking over the lines that were cut I am left tonight finally with a peaceful sense of gratitude. And humility...something I wrote made it out of my head and onto film...that doesn't happen every day. I am also left with a sense of joyful anticipation for the future movies I hope to see make the giant leap from my imagination to the screen. I'm thankful for the "divine discontent" that Martha Graham spoke of that sits on my shoulder and pushes me to want to be better, to learn more, to try harder.
My first movie. Wow. This is truly a night to remember. I can't wait to have the chance to share my unruly child (it's certainly not perfect, but it's lovable all the same) with all of you! Thanks for all of your support:)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Right Stuff

I met a bunch of giggling 14 year old girls today who were all wearing matching "Bieber Fever" plastic bracelets and asking me if, since I'm from LA, I could help them meet Justin Bieber. They pleaded with their shiny brace faces, could I at least get his email address for them? The gleam in their eyes reminded me so much of myself at 14 when I could think of nothing more than plotting ways to get the New Kids on the Block to notice me. I staked out a hotel in Louisville they were staying at during the tour. I even bribed a disc jockey at the local radio station with two boxes of girl scout cookies. I had Duran Duran pins on my jacket, Corey Haim posters in my locker and Micheal J Fox magazine covers stacked by my bed. I'm thankful for all the teen heartthrobs - for The Beatles and Elvis and the Cassidy brothers - for that giddy feelings and the ridiculous memories they give us:)
But I'm especially thankful that after all these years, I found my very own heartthrob - the cutest guy that makes me feel like a giddy teenager every day - and got him not only to notice me, but to marry me. Sorry, Justin Timberlake.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

32,000 feet

I am struck with what an awe-inspiring thing it is that I got to witness a beautiful and perfect pink sunset over the ocean from a view that in the history of humanity very few people have had the chance to see. I was mesmerized tonight as I watched, trying to experience it all the more for the millions of people who got to the earth too early to experience such a thing for themselves. They paved the way for us to reach such heights and I am thankful for all those first dreamers who each stood on their predecessor's shoulders until finally they reached the sky...and so did I.

Creative Saturday

I rejoice at the flow of creative juices on this thunder-stormy Spring day, especially when they are coming from my super talented offspring! As I write, my KaraMc is winging her way to sunny (hopefully) West Palm Beach to bask in the flickering lights of the movie projector which is painting a screen with the first images of "Meant To Be," her first big-time premier for a movie she wrote that finally made it through the gauntlet to the finish line. Even as she soars at 39000 feet (while probably working on her next big project), my AndyMc is putting the finishing touches on a professional recording session he is directing of a CD containing almost a dozen cello pieces that he wrote and scored (I eagerly await to hear them all, but especially the one entitled "Cello Haiku") that I bet Yoyo Ma would be proud to play. And even as his lucky cello player puts away his instrument, my EK Mc is accompanying Lady Evelyn Moore (may I call her Evie, too) through finishing school as she sits in the company of the "Dames" of her industry at a convention up near Chicago in an attempt to absorb every nuance and detail of her craft to make her Evie's story, and the others that will follow, the best they can be. How cool it is that on this one Saturday in Spring, as the Earth prepares to display her latest creations at her annual craft show, that all three of my artists accomplish major steps forward in displaying their own creations.
Early, early on, LynnMc and I asked God, the Origin of all creation and creativity, to equip them not only with their own unique talents, but also with the desire and motivation to develop them; how blessed we are to witness such success in our petitions. Think I'll go get a glass of wine and go outside and smell the fresh rain...you can just smell the fragrance of creativity in it...and that brings me great joy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's a girl!

I'm thankful for babies and the joy of brand new life. I'm grateful for the healthy delivery of Sarah's little girl and I can't wait to meet her. I love the infinite possibilities that lie ahead for her and I'm glad for the reminder that every day is a brand new day with new joys springing to life all around.

Positive Thinking

While we were at lunch today, Ryan and I saw a woman standing in the median of the street outside the restaurant, selling drawings she had made. She probably wasn't as old as she looked, but the sun had weathered her face and life had bent her back, and her hair was a wild mane of frizzy grey striped with some sort of do it yourself coloring. I don't think she was so much homeless as she was a vagabond, a wanderer -- and instead of begging for money, she colored pictures for it. Ryan ran out and bought one that I thought was particularly profound. It's a picture of the beach, drawn in colored marker and crayon with palm trees and a bright sun and purple and blue and red clouds and a rainbow thrown in for good measure. But the best part was what it says, up top the picture is titled "Positive Thinking" and below that reads: Your mind can only hold one thought at a time. Make it a positive one.
I'm thankful for that reminder, for the beauty of its simplicity, and for the woman who lovingly drew it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clouds!

Today the sky was filled with great big behemoth clouds, massive, moving, like armies invading. Liberating armies, promising deliverance from the tyranny of pollen and drought and dust. I have always had a fascination with clouds of every shape and size and color. One of the first moments of creative inspiration I can remember was in an elementary school art class -- we were painting with over sized q-tips and I looked out the window and saw the clouds dancing and I tried to paint those swirls of gray and white and blue because they felt so mysterious and alive. Even now I find myself pulling over my car to take a picture on my i-phone if I see a particularly impressive shape -- last week I captured a fried chicken drumstick floating above with some hush puppies, and today there was a dark shelf so black that it reminded me of The Nothing in the movie The Neverending Story. It delights my fancy to imagine touching those clouds, bouncing around on them, the wind in my hair. My dad used to take us flying in a small plane and we'd make a game of punching holes in the clouds...I can still remember the thrill. Amazing that some condensation and atmospheric pressure can create such joy in me, but it does, and for that everyday miracle, I am thankful.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Striking!

I like mornings. And before mornings, there's that awesome few minutes of laying in bed just after waking up. I love feeling fully charged... yet not having to jump up quite yet. I love falling back asleep with my bite-plate-wife's head on my shoulder. And, eventually, after a few songs, I love throwing open the shades and getting blasted in the face with sunlight. As they say on movie sets when they spark up a big spot light: STRIKING!

Happy Thoughts

Emerging into the light after days of revisions and preparations for my first conference, I thought I would drop by and see all of the joyful blogs that I missed. I, for one, am extremely grateful to have received some very positive interest in my manuscript. I am anxious and excited about the possibilities ahead of me, and don't want to forget to take heart, and joy, in the journey :)
Erin

Oh the places we'll go!

I'm thankful for my snazzy new silver (silver!) luggage that I bought today and I'm even more thankful that the store practically GAVE them to me it was on such a good sale. It's shiny and unique and looks like it could fly -- which it will -- and it brings me joy to think of all the wonderful places we'll get to travel to together:) I'm grateful for how far I've come -- that I can sit here tonight and be excited about travel and not terrified by the thought of it like I was for so long. It's really nice to have something to look forward to, to daydream about the exotic airports I'll run across and the trains I'll hop on, and it's good to know my new luggage is lightweight so I won't fall backwards like an oversized turtle again when I try to lift my suitcase onto the luggage rack like I did in London (thank God a ninety year old dead ringer for the Queen mum was there to lift it for me while Erin and I were weakened by a wicked fit of the giggles!) I'm grateful for the thirst in my soul to see new places and to experience the world and I'm glad Mom and Dad always encouraged it. Tally ho!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Crew

I am truly grateful that I don't have to work at the DMV. I'm thankful that when I have a meltdown in my car after being driven to the point of frustrated tears by bureaucracy, my sister has a sixth sense and knows to call me at exactly that moment to tell me about some good news and restore my perspective. It's nice to be able to text Linds to vent about things that are dumb and have her commiserate in a way that always makes me laugh. It's wonderful when Andi sends a picture of my nephew in his cool coat that fills my heart up and makes my problems shrivel. It's lovely that talking with my mom about my new scentimental roses blooming and living up to their name with their glorious smell helps to remind me of the everyday joy right outside my window. And it's just the best that my husband has bad-day erasing hugs. I'm thankful for my family and how they're good at being there. They're like my pit crew -- zooming in to pump up my flat tires and wash my muddy windows and put me back together when I'm falling apart so I can stay in the race, and maybe even win:)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Me Stew

Tonight, after a productive day of writing, I decided to treat my back to one of those Epsom salt baths people talk so much about. I have a gigantic tub that is sorely underused, so I got some lavender salts, lit some candles, turned on some music and got ready to relax. The only trouble is -- baths give me anxiety. I don't know why, but I've always been that way. Every year or so, I hear someone talking about how much they love a bath and I decide I should give it another shot. Maybe it's like eating broccoli and I'll grow into liking it some day. The problem is, when I finally work up to actually sitting all the way back in the hot water, I inevitably sit there and wonder if I'm accidentally slow roasting myself. How much is too much heat? Should I get some kind of meat thermometer? So I turn on the cold water and try to swirl it though until I finally decide I am not becoming a poached lobster. Next, I try to settle in and breath deeply -- only to realize that for some reason breathing seems harder. Maybe it's all the gallons of water weighing down on me. And my mind inevitably goes to Holy Crap, my bath is trying to smother me. So I sit up. I sit up and count my breaths like meditation books tell you, but by the time I get to ten, I start to wonder how freaking long I have to stay in -- a hundred breaths? A thousand? I'm going to have to sit here and count to a thousand?? Okay, calm down -- no more counting breaths -- I'll just listen to the music. The music playing on the laptop I've placed on top of the toilet. So of course now all I can think about is how if I weren't soaking wet, and the laptop weren't on the other side of the room, I could skip past the song I don't really like. And suddenly every song becomes a song I can't believe I actually downloaded. What was I thinking? So that's when I get mad at myself. Just relax! Millions of people throughout time and across the world see baths as a relaxing luxury. What in the heck is wrong with me? Am I the only human being on earth who gets seasick in the tub? Do I need to join bath-haters anonymous?

I know this doesn't sound very much like a joy journal entry, but it just gives some background into what I'm really thankful for tonight -- the invention of the shower. Without it, I probably wouldn't smell very good:)

Breathing in a memory

I am grateful for the honeysuckle bursting into bloom in my back yard...its sweet scent takes me back to being a kid in Georgia, and I love to remember the many summer days I spent harvesting the flowers and drinking the nectar off the stems like some kind of over-sized hummingbird:)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh the Thinks you can Think

What a joy imagination is! Or as Dr. Seuss called it "all the thinks you can think." I'm thankful that someone thought up the movie How to Train Your Dragon, and so many like it, that are so imaginative that your own imagination can't help but be swept up and carried along for the ride -- like a little boy soaring through the air on his pet dragon:) The kid next to me held out his arms in front of him as if he were flying right with the characters on screen. It was awesome. I used to hate 3D, but I must be warming to it...I might even say I'm thankful for a new way to express creativity...just as long as it doesn't become the only way to see a movie! I rewatched Aladdin the other day and it was every bit as enchanting as the movie tonight even without all the fancy effects. I guess it comes down to the fact that a good story is a good story, and it's fun to be transported to new worlds whether it's in 3D or 2D or even 1D (is that what they're calling books these days?)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

YOU

I'm thankful for my big sister who never misses commenting on my dorky haiku blog. After all these years, still looking out for me.

Dancing with Daffodils

The Writer's Almanac online has brought me much joy by daily posting poems such as this:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Golden

I am thankful for trips to the salon that not only lift my hair color, but my spirits as well. Somehow as my highlights get sunnier, my disposition gets sunnier too:)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Double Black

I'm thankful for a weekend with my buddies in the beautiful snowcaps of Colorado. Spring sun made our skiing slow and our drinking fast :). I love the clean air and grand peace the mountains offer. Even wiping out in awesome fashion, resulting in whiplash and two black eyes, didn't kill the mountain buzz. Or maybe it was just the beer.

Joyfully Ever After

I'm thankful for perfect happy endings that are the perfect fit, that are exactly what you hope for, and even more, they make the story you love even better. I'm not talking about sappy or schmaltzy or contrived endings, I'm talking about the ones that are just right, like the third thing Goldilocks always finds. I finished The Secret Garden (for the umpteenth time) and found myself crying...somehow I had forgotten how rapturous the ending was. How it was more than an ending, it was a new beginning for all the characters I've become such good friends with over the course of the book. I'm thankful for how reading it made me feel and for how it inspires me to find perfect endings for my stories. I have so many stories started...I hope I can push through and find the "just right" for each of them. Eventually. Right now I'd be happy just to finish one of them! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

If Icarus could see us now

I'm thankful that my husband is home and I'm grateful that everything feels better when he's here. I'm also thankful I got to witness a joyful moment on my way to the airport to pick him up. I was actually early, so I went to the In and Out and parked right under the flight path for the landing planes. It's quite a rush when they roar so close over head and I love to marvel at what an amazing achievement flight is. For how many centuries where humans earthbound, and now we take to the skies so often we can take it for granted, loathe it even. I liked to think about all the people on the planes as they made their approach, people from all over the country and the world and I waved a welcome. I heard an exhilarated cheer behind me and looked to see a small boy on his father's shoulders, arms raised high in the air, shouting with excitement as the jets zoomed by. It was such a beautiful moment between them that I felt like an intruder watching, but I couldn't help but feel the thrill myself, wanting to be free enough to throw my hands high in the air and yell "Yeah!" like that little kid. It's a pretty cool thing when you can see the magical in the ordinary. It's just a machine, just physics -- and yet I sat there beaming with some sort of ancient pride in knowing that somehow, we finally figured it out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Here Comes the Rain

I am thankful that the rain they have been promising for weeks has finally showed up, in Hollywood style, fashionably late:) May it bring happiness to the growing plants and sweet relief from allergies to me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Everyday Art

I love fashion. I know many people think it's superficial -- but I think it's accessible art. Art that everyone gets to participate in. I love that it's a feast for the eyes, but also, one of the nicest treats for the most overlooked sense, the sense of touch. Crisp clean cotton against my skin can give me an instant pick me up, just as a sumptuous cozy cashmere can make me feel relaxed and comfortable. I can still remember the first outfit I bought -- I saved up my allowance money (I was 8 or 9) and went to Sears (my first department store) -- and I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it: a felt yellow three quarter sleeve shirt with large black checks and the matching felt pants in reverse, black with yellow checks. It was soft and vibrant and made me feel on top of the world. I paired it with my favorite pair of shoes -- laminated black and white striped keds, that were classic casual but with the shine to make them really sing. And I still feel that same joy when I get to buy a well thought out new outfit. Orange and yellow dresses make me happy, grey sweaters and cropped jackets make me feel cool, and wearing navy stripes make me feel chic -- pair it with red lips and I'm positively Parisian:)
I'm thankful for all the style icons I look up to -- for Kate Hepburn's fearlessness in trousers, Diane Keaton's quirky confident penchant for menswear, Grace Kelly's glamorous blonde bob and satin dresses -- and most of all for Audrey's simple, honest elegance. I like to think I carry them all with me when I walk into a meeting or dress up for a party. Truth be told, I usually have more fun getting ready for an event than the actual event! And so as I settle into bed tonight to read (re:look at pretty pictures) though my Vogue, I bid you all chiffon wishes and cashmere dreams;)

Silent night

Tonight I went outside to breathe the sweet night air and to be outside while the dreaded pollen slept. It was cool and cloudy, and I couldn't see the stars as I had hoped, but the thick blanket that covered the sky also muffled all the city sounds somehow, and for a few precious moments it was truly peaceful and quiet. And then a cloud shaped like ET floated by to say hi, and that was pretty great:)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Questionable Calamari

I'm thankful that saltines are good when my tummy's bad after some rogue calamari did it's worst. I'm also thankful that I'm not a fish who has to eat hippo dung like on the show LIFE. I'm thankful I get to watch a show like LIFE that reminds me what a glorious, hilarious, weird, beautiful, unreal and yet totally real world we live in. A weedy dragon fish! A sarcastic fringe head! How do these creatures exist? It is truly awesome.

Thanks Mom & Dad

I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to spend time with my wonderful parents this week in the mountains. The setting was divine, the company was fabulous, and even the food was delightful. I am so blessed to have two people for my parents who I not only love, but like to be with so very much.

Even if I do have to check my 31 years at the door... ;)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hi Kara!

Few things can make my heart jump for joy as happily as hearing those two little words on the other end of the line when my nephew calls me like he did today:) His sweet voice is like a long distance hug, and I'm thankful to Andy and Andi for raising two spectacular children. It is a special kind of joy to be an aunt to such awesome kids.

Future Food

I love waking up each morning and glancing out our window to check on our tiny little edible garden. Like a vegetarian Noah's Ark, it holds a pair of various plants (spinach, cucumbers, carrots, beans, peppers, beets, 'maters) and won't produce much food. But tending to it with love everyday makes me happy. A sure sign of getting older :).

Soon we'll be able to use spinach for our famous risotto, cucumbers for salads, and 'maters for veggie BLT's. But for now it's all just future food and a happy hello every morning outside the window.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Window Washers

I'm thankful for surprises -- and for a husband thoughtful enough to plan them:) Seeing American Idol in person tonight was a joy and it was very inspiring to me to watch all of those people fearlessly putting themselves out there. I love music - from The Beatles (which they sang tonight) and my beloved show tunes, to my brother's brilliant compositions and Sinatra's standards that make my heart melt...music lifts my spirit like nothing else. Madeleine L'Engle talks about artists, and specifically musicians, as being window washers for the soul. They wipe away the film of worry and the hardships of life that gathers over our hearts and minds and separates us. They clean the grimy glass that keeps us from seeing each other and the world more clearly, and their melodies help us to get in touch with something deeper in ourselves and each other. A great song has the power to utterly transport me, and I think music can be a thing of true beauty, pulling back the veil for a moment and letting us experience a glimpse of heaven. I'm grateful for how music moves me. And I'm very thankful there's no such thing as earlids:)

A true Giant

Tonight I watched the classic movie GIANT with James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson - a sprawling epic about a Texas family's love and losses, and about the racism, sexism and capitalism that changes them over the decades. It's a beautiful movie and I am forever grateful that I got to know the man who wrote it, Ivan Moffat. What started as a neighborly gesture to take a batch of cookies to the old man who lived in the apartment below me became a life changing friendship as the "old man" (who was livelier and smarter than I could ever hope to be) graciously agreed to mentor me and my fledgling writing career. And while he passed away a few years ago, Ivan will always be with me, and I'm thankful for little moments, like watching his movie today, that remind me of our friendship and make him feel near to me again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

I'm thankful for the joy-filled conclusion of this Lenten season that we've journeyed through together. I'm grateful for a beautiful day filled with faith and family and friends and, of course, food. Homemade potato salad at a picnic in the park, pretty much as good as it gets. I loved the angelic voices rejoicing in the church choir and the hilarious deep vibrato voice coming from the man at the end of the pew. It was fun to see all the kids wearing their best dresses and doing their best to get them as dirty as possible sliding down slides in the playground and rolling in the grass. And the woman with an entire garden hot glued to her hat was awesome. But most of all I'm thankful for what this day reminds us of -- that spring blooms after winter, joy conquers pain, light dispels the darkness, and that nothing, not even the tomb, can hope to contain the glorious power of Love.

This blog has meant so much to me these last 40 days that I feel compelled not to constrain it to only Lent. They say it takes 40 days to form a habit, and I'm hoping this has become a true habit for me. So I'm going to just keep going, and I hope you will join me if you can. So here's to continuing the search -- to looking for joy, and in looking may we find it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eve

Sitting on the deck
outside my bedroom
an angel in disguise
as a wispy white cloud
floats over my head
To the east the blue sky intensifies
in contrast to the setting sun
blazing gold and bronze
gleaming like the alter crosses
that will be unveiled tomorrow
It is Easter Eve
the quiet before the bells, the brass horns,
and lifted voices
The stillness before the quickening
the anticipation in the night air
cuts through the cold
and I smell smoke rising
from the neighbor's fireplace
like incense without the spice
I catch a glimpse of my reflection
gazing back at me from her window world
she looks thoughtful
and strangely distant
"for now we see as through a glass darkly,
but then we shall see even as we are seen"
the dogs lay at her feet
like they are posing at the foot
of some eighteenth century Queen
as they were bred to do
like they have found their purpose
And I suppose I have found mine too
sitting here with pen and paper
writing and watching
watching and writing
but mostly waiting
trying to see the girl in the glass
more clearly
If only I could get closer

Kara's Joy Blog

One of the (few) things I learned in restaurant school has to do with customer experiences and the rate at which they are passed along. In a nutshell, a poor experience is 10 times more likely to be shared than a good experience. Someone who has a plate of spaghetti dropped on their lap at the Macaroni Grill will tell 10 people about it... whereas someone who has a perfectly prepared and served Eggplant Parmesan will only tell one person.


Why don't we share the good experiences more often? Why do we tend to default to the negative? Who knows. But this little forum for sharing Joy, from the tiniest of observations to the grandest of personal triumphs... this Joy Blog... is a beautiful step in the right direction. It's a slice of happy. We all have bad experiences and bad days... but what we chose to focus on here are the things that make us happy and grateful. A joyful little miracle of a blog. Thank you, Kara.


Happy Easter everyone!!

Story People

One of my favorite artists and poets is Brian Andreas, who created Storypeople. His whimsical drawings and sculptures paired with hilarious and poignant observations about life always make me smile or think.

Well for the past few weeks, you guys have been wonderful storypeople, and I've SO enjoyed reading your musings, precious moments, funny stories...thank you for sharing! I appreciate how we all find joy in different ways, and while we all don't believe the same exact things religiously, we are all joined together by our love of life and each other. So -- THANK YOU for contributing and thank you Kara for putting it all together in the first place! I'll miss this forum :)

I'd like to end my blog entries by sharing a few of my favorite Storypeople "poems". Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring, Happy Everything!!! xo
------
NOTHING MORE
If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that.

FIGHTING CHANCE
What do I get for this? I said & the angel gave me a catalog filled with toasters & clock radios & a basketball signed by Michael Jordan & I said, But this is just stuff & the angel smiled at me & swallowed me in her arms. I'm so glad you said that, she whispered to me. I knew you still had a chance.

REAL REASON
There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good.

JOY OF SPRING
The birds brought seed & flowers & bits of brightly colored string & placed them in her hair while she slept so that she would remember the wild joy of spring when she finally awoke.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In-laws

I hate that term. I think they should be called in-hearts because mine are certainly a part of my heart. I'm sure there's a much less cheesy way to say that, but cheesy or not, it's how I feel. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful new branches on my family tree. They are gracious and fun and loving -- and they raised two remarkable human beings. So tonight, I'm thankful for Pat and Kathy:)

Dancing dirty

Joy is having friends that turn you on to great movies, drenched in nostalgia, like Dirty Dancing, which takes place my last year of Junior High (in the olden days we had Junior High from 7 - 9 grades -- I would never have called myself a "freshman"! -- instead of Middle School. Most of the same awfulness, however...) and came out the year my son was born, which probably explains why I didn't see it then. It has a feisty heroine, which no movie actually filmed in 1963 would have -- that would have been "Where the Boys Are" and Yvette Mimieux walking down the middle of the highway saying, "He wasn't even a Yalie". (The other lead was Delores Hart who became a nun!). It turns out to be a relationship of mutual discovery between two people who actually challenge each other to live up to their convictions, and bring out the best in each other. And it is damn hot, with that Patrick Swayze (never really been a fan, but the boy's got a bod!) and all those hips gyrating -- OMG, and all this on Good Friday. I hope you all don't think I'm blasphemous, but it was my guilty pleasure of the evening, and it gives me hope. It's true that the person ages, but all the feelings inside are still the same. Thank you my gallant and wonderful friends for inviting me down this road, all those songs from my past, fabulous music, great dancing, wonderful love story, and a place where people stand up for other people. Almost sounds like church.

The sound of silence

I often take the peace and quiet of my life for granted. On occasion, I even chafe at the endless quiet, and will pack up my computer and drive to town to work at the bookstore where the hum of conversation and life can surround me.

And then we have guests. We have great fun, and love seeing our friends when they come to visit. But I will admit, there is nothing in the world like a few days with a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old screeching and squawking around the house to reeeaallly remind me of what a blessing peace and quiet can be!
:)

Happy Joy-filled Easter to All!

As my favorite day of the year draws near, pregnant with Joy and Hope for the believer, I wanted to express how much joy I have experienced from reading y'all's posts and comments, especially for the wonderful threads of hope that have been woven into this tapestry. Not the wispy, wishy often unobtainable hope that the philosopher Nietzsche talks about when he wrote, "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man;" but rather, the solid, faith-filled hope that Emily Dickinson portrays in her poem, "Hope," in which she says

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Or the type of hope the unknown writer of Hebrews portrays in the statement, "Nowfaith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." A metaphor for this statement might be to picture a builder examining a set of blueprints for beautiful home and standing at the site where a truckload of building materials has just been delivered; here, hope is represented by the blueprints, and faith is represented by the commitment in having the site ready and the building materials delivered.

Recently, in my studies, I was given this neat word picture: Hope is a tine in the trident we use to slay the dragons of fear; the other two tines are Faith and Love. As we wield our trusty trident to drive out and destroy the enemies of our soul, our spirit basks in the warmth of the climate of Joy, which always prevails.

Thanks for starting this warm little fire, KaraMc, and to all of you who have faithfully stoked it...It definitely brings "delight" to my day!

And thank you, Lord, for the joy of Easter, and the hope that it represents.

Happy joy-filled Easter, everyone...Hope you have a wonderful, fun filled day!

I shall get well!

I was sidelined by a migraine today...the first in over a month, so I'm thankful they are much less frequent now. Still, it was a rough day. But when I was well enough to actually open my eyes this evening, this passage in THE SECRET GARDEN brought me much joy because it reminded me of my own lovely garden right now and how it makes me feel to see spring sweep in:

And over walls and earth and trees and swinging sprays and tendrils the fair green veil of tender little leaves had crept, and in the grass under the trees and the gray urns in the alcoves and here and there and everywhere were touches and splashes of gold and purple and white and the trees were showing pink and snow above his head and there were fluttering of wings and faint sweet pipes and humming and scents and scents. And the sun fell warm upon his face like a hand with a lovely touch. And in wonder Mary and Dickon stood and stared at him. He looked so strange and different because a pink glow of color had actually crept all over him -- ivory face and neck and hands and all.
"I shall get well! I shall get well!" he cried out. "Mary! Dickon! I shall get well! And I shall live forever and ever and ever!"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A very good night

It was pure joy to watch Ryan's dedication and hard work pay off so brilliantly tonight at his pilot filming...and I'm thankful that I got to witness and share such an amazing moment in his life. Just the first of so many. There are no words to describe the pride I feel. Woweeyipyeehawoopie! There, something like that. And it's pretty great to be sitting here with a laughter-induced stomach ache. What a night:)