Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a little birdie showed me

Sometimes there's nothing like a picture book to bring you back around to what's important in life. This one is so pure and simple that it could be overlooked. But that would be to miss a treasure.  Winner of the 2011 Prix Sorcieres for illustration (the French equivalent of our Caldecott award), Little Bird by Germano Zullo is a tale of how the seemingly smallest moments can be layered with meaning, wonder and joy, if only we pay attention. It's about a truck driver and a flock of birds with a tiny one who stays behind. There's the sharing of a sandwich. And tender encouragement. Little things that are really everything. Then, grace.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

exercise high

Forget the deep knee bends and the push-ups, the best exercise of all is jumping for joy. I did it just last night when I got great health news about a dear friend's daughter. Also when I saw some funny adorable pictures of my college kids on Facebook. And as Mike and I raked and mulched at a Sunday afternoon service project at Amay James Recreation Center. It doesn't require any equipment or special sneakers, just a a willingness to be awake and alive and aware. The best thing is, once you've experienced this kind of exercise high, you'll make a way to fit it into your routine every day.
(illustration ©Jen Skelley)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

wake-up call

Love this poster and the accompanying action steps to a happier life, created by an organization out of the UK that's devoted to good emotional health for all people. What a relief it was the day (inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell) that I stopped thinking that meaning was something to search for like a grail of some sort. Rather it's we who have to imbue our lives with meaning. What a liberating, exhilarating, molecule-rearranging realization. And awesome responsibility. Marching orders for life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

dear day

Did you know that April 12th is Drop Everything And Read Day? I didn't, but what a dear, dear idea. We're all supposed to grab a book, tune out the distractions and read for thirty minutes. There's hardly anything I cherish more, yet always seem to put everything ahead of it, from the laundry pile to Pinterest. Well, not today. Or tomorrow or the next day, either. I'm starting a new chapter (or returning to a favorite old one?) in which I drop everything to simply read for pleasure for at least a half hour every day. Longer, if I'm lucky. It feels like booking a date with a beloved friend.
(image: Pinterest)

Monday, April 9, 2012

from the portfolio

A sweet little fella like this one can brighten up any day. And, if we've done our job, help sell a neighborhood as well. Welcome to the work week at StewartMarr.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

life begins again

Easter love and blessings to you on this holy morning.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Crucifixion by Michaelangelo, something to gaze upon this Good Friday. And something to reflect upon, a passage by Jay Sidebotham from today's Lenten meditation:

The theologian Karl Barth was once asked by another Christian if he could name the date and time that he had been saved, the implication being that if he couldn't name that moment of conversion, it hadn't really happened. In response to this litmus test, Dr. Barth answered: "I know when it happened. At 3:00 p.m. on that first Good Friday."

We remember that Friday called "good" because it is the basis on which we meet the world's sorrow with God's love. Because the cross is the healing of the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

this wall can talk

Another really nice thing about working with a superb design partner (that would be Arkon Stewart, with the perpetual Starbucks cuppa' and Red Sox ball cap) is that if you want a new piece of art for the office, he can just create one. Out of thin air, some good typography, a few savvy selections from the pms color swatch book and a couple of words that say it all. This ginormous 4x6 poster now brightens a wall at StewartMarr. It's a happy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

triumphant morning

It simply doesn't get much more triumphant on a personal, soul level than having a precious baby born to you on Palm Sunday morning. Due Easter Day, Italia arrived in this world exactly one week early, a heavenly little lamb of love with a springtime heart. One day she came home from high school with a slip of paper torn from a notebook on which a boy she hardly knew had written 'I'm liking the happy atmosphere that follows you around.' A message so sweetly profound and true that I've saved it in her jewelry box. The Palm Sunday story is wildly joyous and triumphant at first. Followed by shocking, somber and sad, as life can be. Then, the miracle of Easter. And Italia.
(julie & italia, 1993)