Saturday, November 12, 2016

Our Small World :: Three Hundred Seventeen

We brought our miniature crafts and make projects to the Barnes & Noble Mini Make Faire. Maria spent four hours teaching visitors how they can turn toothpicks into tiny colored pencils. One of the nice results of the event was realizing that we enjoy displaying the things we've made. So, we've hung up a display case, at home, and Maria created a Thanksgiving scene, with her doll dusting and cooking, gnomes above, and our paper clay mushrooms on the top shelf. We love making. We love sharing.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Mountains Calling :: Three Hundred Sixteen

Bambi, Alex, Maria, Max, Grant, and William, in the Cleveland National Forest~

"The mountains are calling and I must go."
~John Muir

We literally packed up, and went out to hug trees. It was a good day.

“Look! A trickle of water running through some dirt! I'd say our afternoon just got booked solid!”
~Bill Waterson

“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”
~Chief Seattle

“Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
~Brian Jacques

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
~J.R.R. Tolkien

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
~Anne Frank

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
~EB White

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~George Eliot

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
~Rachel Carson

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”
~Cree prophecy

“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
~Oscar Wilde

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”
~Jimmy Carter

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”
~Jane Austen

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
~William Shakespeare

"When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Wendell Berry

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
~Gary Snyder

“How I go to the woods...

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”

~Mary Oliver

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.”
~George Carlin

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Safe and Caring :: Three Hundred Fifteen

While I have been conscientiously observant of making my blog a place to affirm the good, to focus on my gratitude, to foster kindness, thoughtful discourse, and positive engagement... sometimes it's not responsible, or honest, to gloss over the truth, to avoid the real messes, and look the other way. These days, following the election of an individual who lies, who threatens, who mocks, who has no experience in government, public office, or even public service, who maligns women, minorities, immigrants, veterans, the disabled, and basically anyone who will stand up to speak against him... these days are a trial, a heady mix of disappointment, concern, fear, empathy, and struggle. The struggle for me is with trying to retain my sense of place, and purpose in the face of threat, and uncertainty... and this is nothing new to me, because I am a woman, and a minority, and I have dealt with racism, bullying, misogyny, and xenophobia all of my life. The difficult and painful part, now, is how to live under a government that will be lead by one whose words and actions condones the behaviors, attitudes, and aspirations of a handful of hateful people. They are empowered, vocal, and active, even in my own community. My concern goes beyond my own safety, my family's well being, and that of the people I love... I am heartbroken and concerned for anyone that feels threatened, has been harmed, or abused, needs support, is looking for a friend, wants to believe that respect, law and order, are meant to kindly, justly, serve all.

About wearing safety pins... One, because I care. Two, because I share.

It's a gesture. It's a symbol. It's a reminder. It's a message. And I will not take it off or feel embarrassed to wear a safety pin. I have lived all of my life with people who have sought to repress me, pigeonhole me, bully me, harass me, deny me my rights, physically and verbally abuse me for my ethnicity and gender. And I have stood up for others, intervened in fights, called out individuals for their abuses, sheltered and fed people in need, listened, learned, and cared... in my heart, in my thoughts, with my choices, with my hands. I do not "feel guilty." I feel resolved. I do not "feel bad." I feel engaged. I am not wearing a safety pin as a "symbol of my privilege." I wear it to bolster my heart, to remind me to remain courageous, to symbolize my meek but earnest hope to carry on as a kind, caring, actively engaged citizen who is empathetic, and willing to try for good.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Taco Truck of Love :: Three Hundred Fourteen

History will have a lot to say about this divisive and embittered campaign and election. No doubt there will be even more to say about the next four years. In shock and despairing over the results, I opened our doors to friends. We gathered to share our grief, to vent, to seek and offer support, and most of all to reaffirm our commitments to peace, to building bridges, to protecting the environment, to equality of rights and respect for all, to holding faith in our gifts, our voices, our humanity, and to stay the course as a community of compassionate, informed, and resourceful citizens. We also ate tacos, and built beautiful Lego creations.

The Lego Room of Healing Arts is still open.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday Mornings on The Road :: Three Hundred Twelve

Monday mornings have turned out to be the ideal time for Max to get back to his campus. It's an hour away, when traffic is mild. Until the time change, we were leaving in the dark. Today, fog was the issue. By the time I am back home again, he's already finished Calculus, and getting ready for one of his physics classes. Sometimes I stop to walk and breath before jumping back into OC traffic, again. Sometimes I need a hot-wake-me-drink, and public restroom. I am learning Starbucks culture... things like deciphering the sizes: I take a grande tea, not medium. And even though the place is packed full of friendly faces, none of them is there for smiles and small talk. It's like a laptop library, where silence is golden, and everyone has something important to check out and into. So, though I tend to shy away from crowds, I find it's really quite natural to be perfectly anonymous and undisturbed, even on a busy morning.

I sat, almost shoulder to shoulder, yet utterly in my own space, and read all of Jennifer's new posts, made comments, sighed, sipped, and read some more. Then I took a deep and calming breath, because I realized I was getting misty-eyed missing my friend, and wishing I'd stayed back in Massachusetts long enough to see bare trees, and the last game of the World Series, to hang a W with her! Seriously, between leaving Max at the curb, outside the dorms, and reflecting fondly on lovely memories, and friendships, I was in tender state. I figured the Starbucks in OC is probably not the place to be tearily sentimental. But... I don't think anyone noticed, anyway.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Backwards Spring :: Three Hundred Eleven

While we were back East, learning about autumn, and leaves turning, falling, about preparations for winter, nature closing up shop... back at our little coastal farm, the trees are all turned around. Apple blossoms are in full bloom, new fruit has set in the guava tree, we have limes, blood-oranges, ripening. Well, the citrus, at least, makes sense. But it's not easy to grasp the idea that we are in autumn, when pink buds are in the trees, and the forecast is for mid-eighties temperatures later in the week. And please, do not envy us... this year-round gardening can take a toll!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.