Friday, May 30, 2014

fluff + majesty

They're outrageously beautiful in bloom and take your breath away every spring. Who knew that the Old Farmer's Almanac was full of such passion? But when the subject is peonies, it's natural that poetry would follow. There's even a quote by Henry Mitchell, who calls them "the fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty." I didn't know that the peony was named after Paeon, Greek god of medicine and healing. Or that Renoir painted them in lush profusion. Wishing you peonies to ponder as May drifts softly into June. Whole armfuls of them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

meeting Maya

I've learned that people will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did, but people
will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
When she was in the fifth grade, Italia was selected to read her poem aloud to Maya Angelou when the majestic poet visited Charlotte. The weeknight field trip was for a handful of elementary school poets and their teacher, and involved a backstage visit at the Blumenthal Center. It was a wonderful time, especially when Ms. Angelou said, "your name is very beautiful." Italia will never forget how that made her feel.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

the mother of all gifts

If you stopped to think about the wonder of it, you'd never get anything done. Here's the truth about Mother's Day: being one is the gift.
(Breakfast in Bed (1897) by Mary Cassatt)

Friday, May 9, 2014

a true fan

Sometimes a short conversation or even a passing comment can open up a Grand Canyon of meaning. I treasure when that happens, even when the words are ones that hang around as a lump in the throat. Yesterday afternoon I finally took a few big bins of Lego's (separate from the ones I put in the attic) to the Goodwill drop-off. The huge metal trailer sits in an asphalt parking lot behind the mall (oh, the irony!) where it had to be 98 degrees. The sweetest young guy helped me out and I asked if he had plenty to drink or wanted a snack since I had just come from the grocery store. "No thank you, I brought lots to drink," he said. "And they give us fans!" He was happier and more grateful for that fan than I've been about anything in a while. I cried all the way home.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

and yet

The longer I'm in this world, the more I value the seemingly insignificant little word and. It's such an expansive improvement over an either/or existence. Life isn't ordinary or extraordinary, it's both. It's mysterious and tedious, exhilarating and humdrum. Kind and cruel. It runs hot and cold, sweet and sour. There are ins and outs, ups and downs. We don't stay in one place or the other forever. Which can be both frustrating and encouraging. And is a way of thinking and being. It's a word that changes everything.