Monday, August 30, 2021

Make yourself a plate, love

If you were music, I would listen to you ceaselessly, and my low spirits would brighten up.
~Anna Akhmatova

For Music Monday, Carter Ace with "Stay Here Instead":

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Dark's Feathery River

A book is a dream you hold in your hands.
~Neil Gaiman

Thank you to Richard Hedderman for giving me permission to share "Reading Yourself to Sleep" for Poetry Friday. Such beautiful imagery.

by Richard Hedderman

Eyelids flutter over the blank verse
of sleep. You brush the crow’s wings

from your face. The book, perhaps a collection
of Chekhov’s short stories, spills

from your hands and tumbles into the dark
as through still water, sinking

under the weight of words. You follow,
flumed like a spent swimmer,

happy for the long, quiet slide
into the book’s depths

and down into the dark’s feathery river.
The full moon, like the Pequod’s coin

weights your eyelids. Regret streams away
through the countless estuaries

of sentences until you finally let go.
Go ahead. The page numbers

will mark the way. The chapters
will toll the fathoms.

(Published in Front Range Review, 2015)


Unexpected Intersections has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Elisabeth!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

30 Years of Independence

The territory of Ukraine is indivisible and inviolable.
From this day forward, only the Constitution and laws of Ukraine are valid on the territory of Ukraine.
~Verkhovna Rada

August 24th was the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence and August 20th was the 30th anniversary for Estonia. Congratulations to Ukraine and Estonia!

On 11 September 1988, roughly 300,000 Estonians (almost one-third of the population) came together in the Tallinn Song for the national Song Festival. For the people of the Baltic States, choral singing has always been a source of strength as well as national unity. That year, the sense of nationalism was high and singing became a means of expression and protest to Soviet hegemony.

Along with the Singing Revolution, the Baltic Chain (also called the Baltic Way) was instrumental in Estonia regaining its independence. On August 23, 1989, nearly two million people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania took to the streets and clasped hands forming a chain of people that extended about 670 kilometers.

* Celebrating 30 years of Ukrainian independence with Ukrainian literature
* 10 artworks capturing 30 years of restored Estonian independence
* 9 books, films, and pieces of music that helped shaped independent Ukraine

Monday, August 23, 2021

Wellbeing resources

I am not a teacher, but an awakener.
~Robert Frost

Mast Cell Action has some free printable well-being resources for families and adults that could be helpful as we start the school year.

I love the Wellbeing Bucket.
What fills your bucket?
(Consider: what you do well, what you enjoy, who/what supports you)

What puts holes in your bucket?
(Write down: negative thoughts or people, worries, unhelpful behaviours)

What plugs the holes?
(List: what makes you feel better?)

Another cool one is the Ball of Wool:

* Label each different coloured string as an intrusive thought or worry.
* Jumble them up into a ball.
* Talk about how it feels to look at them all jumbled up (e.g. confusing, overwhelming, hard to see or know where to start).
* Start pulling them apart makes and notice if this makes them feel easier to see and appear more manageable.
* Reflect on this with the participant.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Ribs and Parkour

Parkour teaches you to be sure of what you are able to do.
~David Belle

A little video about how I injured my ribs...I kid! I wasn't doing parkour, but I was getting from one thing to another and fell. I posted last week that "I would be better in a day or two," but that turned out to be overly optimistic.

This morning, I told my husband a ranking of the things that are most painful to do, and there were a bunch of things tied for 2, 3, and 4, but the number 1 spot went to...hiccups. I am socially distancing from carbonated beverages until my chest is feeling better.

(I don't like to complain but I did think it might affect when we send out messages about IMPERFECT II, so I wanted to let y'all know about this hitch in my giddyup.)

Happy to report that none of these guys seemed worse for wear from this challenge:

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Summer Swap Fun

I like to think that Henry James said his classic line, “A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost,” while looking for his glasses, and that they were on top of his head.
~Anne Lamott

Feeling grateful for the Poetry Friday crew today! I love the enthusiasm and generosity that Poetry Fridayers approach everything, including the Summer Poem Swap. I received beautiful swaps from Jone, Margaret, Becky, Carol V., and Mary Lee.

Mary Lee made me a haiku deck of cards with my own quotes on them! Such a fun idea! Here's a (very meta) haiku about my blog made of lines from my blog:
my one indulgence
driven by a mad impulse
you can find it here

I mentioned that I played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time this summer, and Carol V. made a poem about it!

As I told Becky, I am a sucker for poems about grandparents:

Margaret hit the nail on the head: "Because we all need more poetry in our lives"

Jone wrote responses to the poems she was sent...for example, mine, Janice's, and Mary Iphigene's. I love that!


The Apples in my Orchard has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol L.!

Goose for a free Belarus!

At one point my favorite teacher left Belarus, and I switched to a drawing class. From that moment on, I've been creating paintings. And now it's as important for me as breathing or eating.
~ Anton Rodionov
Anton Rodionov is a Belarusian painter who lives and works in Minsk. He used to restore paintings for the National Art Museum of Belarus, then worked as an artist-designer at the Belarusian Hi-Tech Park. Presently, he works in his own Anton Rodionov’s Creative Studio.
Check out Anton Rodionov's art on Behance, including Goose for a free Belarus! from Birds with People

Bird Singing

Spring in the Heart (featuring the artist's wife)

City of My Dreams

Read an article about Anton in the Belarusian Contemporary Art Magazine Chrysalis Mag.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Learning the lesson (again)

"Actual reality is the only place where actual joy is to be found. If joy is delayed until a preferred future comes about, we set ourselves up for despair. But if there is hope in THIS day. Joy in THIS reality. This life. This body. This heart, then certainly we can prevail."

This quote led me to an article by Nadia Bolz-Weber, who describes herself as "Foul-mouthed for a preacher, grammatically challenged for a bestselling author, surprisingly hopeful for a cynic." Read the rest of her article containing the above quote, which was inspired by living through the pandemic but pertains to lots of situations, here.

One more quote from it:
...The “Stockdale Paradox” is the ability to hold two opposing but equally true things at once:

You must have faith that you will prevail in the end

And at the same time you must confront the brutal facts of your current reality.

On another topic, but also the same topic: Sending love, as always, to Haiti

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

the world doles out beauty to the in-love and the heartbroken alike

Hi y'all!

I am off somewhere, but here is an excerpt from a blog post by Mari Andrew, talking about her time as a hospital chaplain: "It’s Unfair and It Doesn’t Make Sense":
The way our culture of offering is set up, the whole-hearted feel like they have something of worth to say to the broken-hearted, the denizens of the healthy think they know more than the sick. Around those who are in pain, people suddenly assume the role of expert: “I suggest feeling your feelings. Be grateful for the good in your life.” Why do the perfectly-fine presume they have tools for the suffering? My supervisor reminded me, “The patients are your teachers. You don’t know more than they do. Other way around.”

It was so hard not to offer anything. I’ve been through enough that I know I shouldn’t try to find a bright side, or explain away the pain, or say “I know how you feel,” but it was extremely uncomfortable to sit with someone my age who was dying, or with the family member of someone who just got very bad news. I was in the position of helping them, and I thought that help meant I had to offer something. I had to leave them with a nugget, a mantra, something brilliant to soothe and uplift them.

But it doesn’t work that way.

read the whole thing here

Hat tip goes to Ariana.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Postcard Poems

I love that works of art are printed so that anyone can buy them. The variety of what they put on little postcards astounds me.
~Leonard Lauder

Happy Poetry Friday, y'all! Popping in quickly to share a collaborative effort:

* the lines are from Jeanne Griggs' delightful new book
* I pulled them from their respective poems and made a found poem
* Elena took the photos

As always, you're helping out by being here. Thanks!

In the mailbox, I received
the first sight of palmettos,
live chipmunks from the garden,
a cold Ohio lake telling stories
with people running in and out,
books under the bed,
supplies for a lonely winter.

Postcard Poems
by Jeanne Griggs


A(nother) Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Mary Lee!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Bits and bobs

Life is a great sunrise.
~Vladimir Labokov

Hi y'all! What have you been up to? I've been vacationing and working on IMPERFECT II and making Emily Dickinson cards.


Lunchtime view

I like this photo and used it for my phone wallpaper. (The others didn't think it was as aesthetic as I did. What about you?)

I wanted to see how Emily Dickinson insight ("oracle") cards would turn out so I had a sample made. (I have it in my head to start an Etsy shop someday, mostly with printable games, but maybe some physical stuff like this, too.)

We were three or four minutes into Suite Judy Blue Eyes when we missed our exit (after we were already longing to get out of the car). It felt hard to be grumpy while listening to this, though. Your mileage may vary.

That's all for now! Hope you have a good week!