Friday, July 26, 2013

flowery thoughts

We have been experiencing a little bit of an elephant obsession around here lately and I particularly fell for this lovely lady. She reminds me of the painter Frida Kahlo. And of how you can be plodding through the gray areas of life yet still keep bright flowers blooming in your mind.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

sweet seven

In the excavation process that I call life, I have unearthed a relic of insight that you may find priceless, too. For peace and joy, peel the inner layers back to a place in time when you felt blissfully at home in the world - and exist from there. Before worry and self-consciousness and fear dug in their tentacles. And ego took hold. Could have been twenty-seven or seventeen for you, but I had to dig all the way back to age seven to meet up with the old/new/young/original/true me. Funny how the years and the cares melt away when you're in the company of someone who knows you better than you know yourself. And couldn't love you more.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


"The Wise County Bookmobile is one of the most beautiful sights in the world to me. When I see it lumbering down the mountain road like a tank, then turning wide and easing onto Shawnee Avenue, I flag it down like an old friend. I've waited on this corner every Friday since I can remember.  The Bookmobile is just a government truck, but to me it's a glittering royal coach delivering stories and knowledge and life itself." - from Big Stone Gap, page 1

My favorite novel is Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani. While reading it, I felt such a kindred connection to the author. I think it's been 10 summers now that there was a signing in town at The Little Professor Bookstore and I was crazy excited at the thought of meeting her. It felt like a full circle of wonderfulness that Italia wanted to go with me. She was 10 years old at the time, adorable as always in a two-piece white peasant outfit, jelly sandals, headband. I remember we took a vase of gardenias from the yard and had to sit out a torrential thunderstorm in the car before making a dash for it. Inside was everything and more. Adriana read from a wonderful new book Lucia, Lucia and told Italia all about her baby girl, Lucia, who should be about ten now. Then she inscribed our copy of Big Stone Gap. And we floated home.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

from the portfolio

"Orange you glad we work in advertising?" I asked Arkon when this fresh batch of printed goodness was delivered yesterday. It's one of three information pieces we created to solicit donations for Backyard Gardens, a program started this summer by Charlotte's Friendship Gardens. They provide local produce for the more than 700 Friendship Trays delivered daily to neighbors in our community who are unable to prepare their own meals. Squash and 'maters make a cameo in the series, too, but I've definitely got a crush on the carrots. Some weeks are just about producing work. Others are like harvesting a garden of delight.

Friday, July 5, 2013

an orchard within

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
- from From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee

That's what a poem can do, capture all of life in an image or a moment. Some days are like that, too. Somehow we dodged multiple monsoon-esque Fourth of July storms to visit a South Carolina peach orchard, muck around a farm for a while and "assist" in my sister's beekeeping duties, even walk in a field of sunflowers. Then, homemade cobbler with vanilla ice cream, a screen porch, more rain. And a drive home with fireworks dotting the night sky.
(photo taken at Black's Peach Orchards in York, South Carolina.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

the angel from Assisi

He loved the earth and considered the sun and the wind his brothers, the moon and the stars his sisters. Animals and birds were said to adore him so much that they would follow him around. He threw off all the trappings of his wealthy life back in the 12th century to be an itinerant preacher and tend the poor. He championed peace, created the first Nativity scene, wrote one of the most beloved prayers of all time and heard the voice of God. He was full of joy. Saint Francis is known as the patron saint of animals, of the environment and (along with Catherine of Siena) of Italy. I'm choosing him as mine, too.