september's knocking

Though January 1st is considered the 'official' start of a new year, for me September shall always remain the beginning of a new year.  The new school year:  a year older; a year closer to being grown up; a year further up the food chain in the school pool of sharks and minnows.  Even after I had finished college, before children, September still had that magical feel of 'new beginnings.'  Cooler days ahead (if we were lucky) and school supplies on sale!!  No wonder I have this lingering life long passion for new colored pencils, pretty notebooks, a box of crayons neatly sharpened and brand new!

With children the cycle of new year, new you continues.  My daughter finding her way,  at the bottom of the food chain again,  a freshman at college.  My youngest son, also, at the bottom of the food chain as he starts junior high.  For my non-American readers, we are speaking of 12 and 13 year olds on the cusp of everything:  hormones, puberty: do I fit in here?  do I fit in there? With teachers and a curriculum designed to separate the chaff from the wheat. This is where the road to college seriously begins.  And my oldest, back this week from his world-wind tour of China, starting his 3rd year of college.  He knows his way.  He's found his place.  He will be 21 in a few months.  Officially an adult in all respects.  And though I will always see the shadow of his tow-headed baby self, he's a man in his own right who is thoughtfully establishing his own world view.  Of course, from my older perspective,  I know this world view will be seriously challenged by life.  But I envy him the arrogance of his youth and his exuberant self confidence.  And I am impressed by the depth of his self awareness.

And me?  New starts for me as well.  Today I begin my new job, a promotion, as assistant store manager.  And soon, Soub will arrive.  New beginnings for us both.  A time where our dreams of a happy future finally have the chance to take root and grow.  It is an exhilarating and somewhat frightening place to stand, on the cusp of our brave new world.  But I wouldn't trade September for any other month of the year.  Spring might have the market in renewal metaphors, but every good gardener knows autumn is the best time of year to plant.  A time for roots to grow deep.  A time to build a solid foundation.

 Happy Weekend, Happy September, Happy New Year!


change of season

In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.
—  ~ Barbara Kingsolver,  High Tide In Tucson: Essays From Now Or Never



sunday sermon



frivolous friday

words to live and eat by ... ??!

hahahaahaaa !


Bill Moyers Journal: A Life Together

Thanks so much to cowboy for sending me
a link to this:
featuring Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon.

If you have a spare hour,
(and truly, to do it justice, you need to sit down and watch it to its end)
follow the link and sit back and listen to beautful poetry
and wonder at such gifts given to both writer and reader.

There is no shortage of irony and bittersweetness in listening to Donald Hall, 
in 1993, describe his then current struggle with metastasized colon cancer, and 
his estimated statistical life span: about 4 years.  So he
was thinking and writing a lot about death and about living
life in the present moment, day by day.

Donald is now 85 years old and still very much alive and writing.
Jane Kenyon died 18 months after this documentary.

In A Life Together, Jane Kenyon gives a beautiful reading of this poem:

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving   
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing   
as a woman takes up her needles   
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   
Let the wind die down. Let the shed   
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   
in the oats, to air in the lung   
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t   
be afraid. God does not leave us   
comfortless, so let evening come. 
~ by Jane Kenyon



Moving Day ....

Guess which one is me ???

I'm not crying.  Really.  I swear....


a bit of levity



donald hall

Donald Hall, poet, was husband and muse to Jane Kenyon.  While Donald has survived multiple bouts with cancer, sadly, Jane died, more than a decade ago, at the age of 47 of leukemia.

Letter With No Address
Your daffodils rose up
and collapsed in their yellow
bodies on the hillside
garden above the bricks
you laid out in sand, squatting
with pants pegged and face
masked like a beekeeper's
against the black flies.
Buttercups circle the planks
of the old wellhead
this May while your silken
gardener's body withers or moulds
in the Proctor graveyard.
I drive and talk to you crying
and come back to this house
to talk to your photographs.

At five A.M., when I walk outside,
mist lies thick on hayfields.
By eight the air is clear,
cool, sunny with the pale yellow
light of mid-May. Kearsarge
rises huge and distinct,
each birch and balsam visible.
To the west the waters
of Eagle Pond waver
and flash through popples just
leafing out.

Always the weather,
writing its book of the world,
returns you to me. Ordinary days were best,
when we worked over poems
in our separate rooms.
I remember watching you gaze
out the January window
into the garden of snow
and ice, your face rapt
as you imagined burgundy lilies.

Your presence in this house
is almost as enormous
and painful as your absence.

~ by Donald Hall
from Without 



jane kenyon

In the Nursing Home

She is like a horse grazing
a hill pasture that someone makes
smaller by coming every night
to pull the fences in and in.

She has stopped running wide loops,
stopped even the tight circles.
She drops her head to feed; grass
is dust, and the creekbed’s dry.

Master, come with your light
halter. Come and bring her in.

~ by Jane Kenyon
New and Selected Poems. St. Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf. 1996



the shipfitter's wife

I loved him most
when he came home from work,
his fingers still curled from fitting pipe,
his denim shirt ringed with sweat
and smelling of salt, the drying weeds
of the ocean.  I would go to him where he sat
on the edge of the bed, his forehead
anointed with grease, his cracked hands
jammed between his thighs, and unlace
the steel-toed boots, stroke his ankles,
his calves, the pads and bones of his feet.
Then I'd open his clothes and take
the whole day inside me -- the ship's
gray sides, the miles of copper pipe,
the voice of the foreman clanging
off the hull's silver ribs, spark of lead
kissing metal, the clamp, the winch,
the white fire of the torch, the whistle
and the long drive home.

~ Dorianne Laux



for my sweetheart

Who, in my mind,
 is the ORIGINAL anarchist ...



doctor, doctor give me the news .......!

Does this count if it's only a pillow I'm hugging ???

that's what i thought.



hello august

~ Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting



'Greater than'

'My Guard' by Carmel Jenkin
who taught you
that the
value of a woman
is the ratio
of her waist
to her hips
and the circumference
of her buttocks
and the volume
of her lips?
Your math
dangerously wrong
her value
nothing less

~ by Della Hicks-Wilson

sunday sermon ~ the empty nest

Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver, excerpt from In Blackwater Woods


hot doggin' it



laugh out loud thursday