Wednesday, February 3, 2016

hy there

Almost walked right by this beauty yesterday. A tiny burst of color amid nature's drab winter palette. Kneeling down close to take a picture, I caught a whiff of spring.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

the envelope, please

Lucky me to spend the first part of February first exploring envelopes with some very special people.  The envelope being a metaphor about opening up. Being open. Being aware of messages constantly coming our way that imbue life with meaning. So much love in that room. It felt like a valentine.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

to love many things

"The way to know life is to love many things." - Vincent Van Gogh
I got the book for Italia, my sister and my nieces at Christmas. And my sister got it for me. It's called Absolutely Beautiful Things by Australian interior designer Anna Spiro and it's chock full of decorating inspiration for a bright and colorful (Aussie spelling!) life. It's full of love, too, starting with the joyful endpapers, a running list of things the author adores. What great soul exercise it is to list the things you love. Snail mail, St. Ignatius, candied citrus peel, Rumi, rosemary, Rome. On and on it can go, so many people, places, things, thoughts, memories, ideas, hopes, dreams. Filling up the endpapers in the book of life and all the pages in between.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Snow is drifting across North Carolina today, but my soul is in sunny summer repose in the hills above Florence. Close enough to hear the church bells ring, yet far from the madding tourist crowds. Lost in a new found translation of The Divine Comedy - or maybe even reading it in Italian, who knows? The soul is capable of amazing things. The sun hangs overhead in lemony bright glory, orange trees are laden with fruit and a butterfly has settled softly on the spine of my book. Later, at dinner, everyone I love will be around the table.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

a toast

To the New Year

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls 
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not 
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible.

- W. S. Merwin

Friday, January 1, 2016

life story

New Year's Day is the first page in a juicy, hopeful, love-and-possibility-filled new book. Open it with tender care. Place a bookplate with your beautiful name inside the front cover. Put your nose to the paper and breathe in grace. Each word was written just for you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

sensual season

Smells like evergreen, citrus and cloves
Tastes like ambrosia
Sounds like bells and the clip clop of a camel
Feels like straw, velvet and reverence
Looks like the faces of those you love

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Grinches and grace

Oh, and don't think you're going to make it through the season without drinking from the Grinch cup. All the things you have to do, need to do, really want to do. On top of the regular old routine with its work and car repairs and appointments and errands. Sometimes the struggle is especially difficult, when real trouble rains down or sadness settles in. But I recognize a timeless pattern now: sour segues into sweet and then repeats. We teeter totter between twinkling lights and the spaces and places where the light seems to have gone out. Grace days and Grinch days. Together, they add up to a whole.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

decembery doors

"There are people whose presence is encouraging . . . The sense of encouragement you feel from them is not simply their words or gestures; it is rather their whole presence enfolding you and helping you find the concealed door." - John O'Donohue
I entered these Decembery doors on Monday and spent some time with just this kind of person, discussing ideas and aspirations. The only way to describe such an encounter is grace.

Monday, December 14, 2015

star power

Advent instructions:
Look for a star,
then follow it.