Sunday, December 29, 2013

not a time of endings


The frenetic activity of the holidays has no place in the natural order here in the wintered west. The weak light is deeply slanted from the south. Most deciduous trees have shed their leaves and are resting. A range of migratory birds still find the occasional spider or a conifer bursting with seeds awaiting harvest or dispersal. And, the long nights and crisp days encourage a gentle sense of hibernation. The world around me is at rest, gathering silent strength for rejuvenation. Winter is not necessarily a time of endings. Like the conifer, it gives us seeds awaiting spring.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

silly season's greetings


I want to send warm and mirthful greetings to everyone for a Merry Christmas. So, I am using last year’s photo of the skinny Santa walking the streets of San Francisco in one of our many outrageous traditions….SantaCon….hundreds, literally hundreds of folks put on some version of a Santa suit and go from store to store, bar to bar, Union Square to the Mission, all the while bringing a light-hearted Christmas spirit to the City.


Nearly the end of the year. Christmas just a couple of days away. Weather unseasonable, desperately dry and not much change expected soon. A few Christmas cookies baked. A few cards sent. A few gifts selected. Not much in the way of traditional decorations. It seems like an un-traditional season for me. Not bad, just not quite the pace of many years, not quite the standard that was generally unmet anyway. And, it seems really fine. Merry Christmas and/or warmest wishes to everyone for whichever holiday you are celebrating at the Solstice!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

dancer on the street


The sun was shining brightly. The street was wrapped in a beautiful winter-morning’s cloak. A young woman, actually a girl, ahead of me was dancing from side to side on the urban sidewalk as she moved toward the stoplight. She had a broad smile and seemed to be hearing a tune that I could only imagine. We stood together as the light changed from red to green, she started across Mission Street. Only then did I realize that her dance steps were actually her normal walking pattern. Her spine had formed in such a painful way that she could only walk as a dancer. She crossed the street dancing, with her continuing and lovely smile.



The photo is of beautiful wild flowers that I photographed at Jepson Prairie one Spring. I hope that it is an appropriate remembrance and tribute to the dancer.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

live the questions


American Thanksgiving. Most countries do not have a secular tradition of giving thanks for the bounteous gifts of the earth and community. As the day and weekend progressed, I began to question my own sense of gratitude. So much is taken for granted in my life. I never have a concern for clean water. The air in my city is almost always pristine. My food choices are phenomenal, safe and nearly always available ─ for a price. Frankly, most often my friends and I have the wherewithal to buy nourishing food. I live in a safe neighborhood, have dear friends and family, have never been displaced by war. And yet, I am not grateful every day for all of that. I don’t even notice much of the time. It seems simply normal, perhaps a birthright. One Facebook friend/colleague speculated that life is less worth living when we cease to have a sense of wonder about it all. That seems like a very good step to move toward gratitude. I so often turn to Rilke for an opening into the nether world. I remembered his advice the young poet to live the questions.

I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet



(Note: the photo is of a sculpture in the gardens of the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. The sun was shining through the leaves of an old Coastal Oak and reflected in the polished center of the stone work by Dick O’Hanlon)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

from the alpine heath


I had thought I would write about the grieving process and how we know little about the consequences and changes caused by loss, except as we look back. I have not been able to do so, perhaps later in a poem. At the end of this blog entry, I do have a poem by Vladimir Nabokov about the loss of youth.

 My youth was spent in the dream of government service in the State Department. In the summer of 1963, I was so privileged to have a summer internship at the new Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. I could see the White House across Lafayette Square from my borrowed office. Washington seemed filled with excitement and hope. It was Camelot. My boss was the President’s brother-in-law. Twice, I was awe-struck to be in the presence of the President. I shook hands with two of his brothers. Truly, it was an awesome experience for a young man from the Rockies. I was filled with hope that fall as I passed the Foreign Service exam and saw my life on the trajectory that I had dreamed, so supported by my family. It was not to be.

The 50th anniversary commemorations of President Kennedy’s assassination brought days of reflection on my part. November 22,1963 was chilly in Boulder, but the sun was shining. I remember walking across campus to lunch at home with my friends. The phone was ringing when I opened the door. A political friend was on the phone with the unbelievable news. Everyone was in shock. No emotion. No talking. We had Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. We ate in silence. At such moments, every detail remains etched.

I knew at that moment my life had changed for ever. The day remained mostly in silence, just a constant droning of the radio, as college students we did not have t.v. I have little remembrance of what was being said, just the unending drone. Late in the day, I finally found a church, Roman Catholic, with the doors open. This bereft, not very religious young man sat alone in the back pew near statues of saints I knew little about, near quietly weeping elderly women and realized I could not cry. And, truly my life had changed forever.

We So Firmly Believed

We so firmly believed in the linkage of life,
but now I’ve looked back ─ and it is astonishing
to what a degree you, my youth,
seem in tints not mine, in traits not real.

If one probes it, it’s rather like a wave’s haze
between me and you, between shallow and sinking,
or else I see telegraph poles and you from the back
as right into the sunset you ride your half-racer.

You’ve long ceased to be I. You’re an outline – the hero
of any first chapter; yet how long we believed
that there was no break in the way from the damp dell

to the alpine heath.


                                    Vladimir Nabokov


Sunday, November 17, 2013

long shadows of November


Our seasons here, a Mediterranean climate mid-way between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, are more defined by light than by drastic weather changes. Many trees are coming into bud, fewer have lost their leaves. The grasses turn from golden to green with the first rains. But, it is really the light that marks time.

The long shadows of November, the sun barely edging over the southern hills in the City ─ a time to contemplate the coming darkness of full winter. I treasure each season, although the slanted light of late autumn or early spring seem especially wonderful to me. November light signals the slowness of winter, March light tells the coming wonder of spring.

Days are becoming short, the light even more precious when it is so limited. A time for interior repose and assessment.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

without irritable reaching


So often our friends are openings into wisdom. Recently, I had afternoon tea (really old fashioned) with a dear and insightful friend. We treasure these times for the conversation, or sometimes we read  to one another poetry that we have found meaningful. This day was just meandering around our lives and how we perceive the end of life, and what is after this life. We talked about the thin veil to seeing that seems to be getting thinner with such incredible new knowledge of the universe. What are our personal connections between scientific learning and religious or philosophical thoughts and mores? How do we connect this past with now? Do we?
Does it matter? All questions, little resolve.

I thought of this as I was standing on the upper level of the San Francisco Art Institute recently. This sixties-modern building in early morning could have been Thebes or even Petra, with philosophers and seers debating meaning. And, yet, hundreds of generations later we are still left with mysteries that don’t yet respond to reason.

“Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason — “

                                                    John Keats, Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends

Sunday, November 3, 2013

a good life



Over the past few days, my nephew (a writer) and I had an email exchange about the books in our lives....far too many in my house....he has a 'to read' stack two-feet high in his. But, all in all, its a good life when we have books. 

I do love this photo of two dear little friends some years ago sitting on my lap, 'reading' with me. They are now nearly teens and both read voraciously and write! The book is Too Big, one of the delightful children's books in my collection...and a gift to me from a special friend. 

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. “There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough.........who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life".
                                                  Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

I do have to disagree with Annie on "a day spent reading"....I have had so many that were wonderful...maybe indulgent, but definitely "good".


Sunday, October 27, 2013

prevailing westerlies


What is the nature of personal space? How people share a sidewalk in my neighborhood, stand in a line at the ATM, or fill a movie theater one by one or two by two: it seems to me that there is no way of predicting how people will relate to one another. Some folks come near, others seek a wider path.

Yesterday, I was walking in Sonoma and saw this wonderfully barren hill, with two oaks bending toward the east because of the prevailing westerlies. They were nearly touching on an isolated hill. How do oaks determine their space?


Do we make space, or come close, due to some prevailing force? Or, maybe it is simply learned. I grew up in a family where touch was limited, each had our own inviolate personal space in the house and alone time was considered precious. I’m not sure I would be very comfortable with the oak on the left in this picture. I will think about that today as I walk down my street, bundled up against the wind from the west.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

a perfect identity


I spent a long time with this twisted, aged and yet still growing tree. Hanging on the very edge of a cliff, always reaching westward. Gnarled into an incredible beauty, so unlike the “stately elms”, with a broad canopy of green, that graced our street in my childhood Denver. One icy winter day, I was privileged to give a ride home from a community UNESCO meeting to a stunningly beautiful woman. She had a tattoo on her left arm. A holocaust survivor. As she contemplated the winter scene, she said to me, or to the universe: “See how each tree in winter has its own perfect identity. You can’t see that in summer.”

Somehow, because of her, I see that identity in this tree. I wish that I had a photo of those winter trees, or the bristlecone and gnarled sequoias that I have seen. I do have a clear, visual remembrance, though.

A wonderful poem, by a very fine poet about "trees".

Hard Night
          by Christian Wiman

What words or harder gift
does the light require of me
carving from the dark
this difficult tree?

What place or farther peace
do I almost see
emerging from the night
and heart of me?

The sky whitens, goes on and on.
Fields wrinkle into rows
of cotton, go on and on.
Night like a fling of crows
disperses and is gone

What song, what home,
what calm or one clarity
can I not quite come to,
never quite see:
this field, this sky, this tree.

From: www.poets.org

Sunday, October 13, 2013

thinking about Matthew

Another kind of fence


On a sunny California day, October 7, 1998, I was so stunned by a news report of the savage attack on Matthew Shepard in Wyoming that I had to pull to the side of the freeway and gather my thoughts. I know the plains. I was raised in a ranching family from NE Colorado. I knew the kinds of secrets that could precipitate a hate crime.

The memory of a young boy left hanging on a prairie fence post for eighteen hours still sears my soul. He died on October 12th. What can one do to change such a world? His mother and father have devoted their lives to bringing a message of hope and peace to other outsiders like Matthew. And, being from the plains, I know that his killers were outsiders, too. That is one of the legacies of that part of the West.

My greatest wish is that in someway, somewhere, sometime, I have been able to give witness to nonviolence and perhaps someone has foregone learned hate.

Thoughts of the plains attitudes, the long and terribly lonely roads and the need to escape have been motivators of much of my poetry. My poem about Matthew’s death written from a note taken that day on a freeway remains one of the most potent for me, though so imperfect.

 wind : Matthew Shepard

wind-seared fragment of a boy
if only I were able to hang with you
on the Laramie fence post

a son of the prairie, like you
I longed to escape its desolation
but just moved on

life holds less now
knowing that you were
martyred on that split rail

none, none, no virus, violence
or loss of self
marks my quest

no martyrdom beyond the common:
a wearying howl
of an old-man wind

Sunday, October 6, 2013

another voice may speak


One of those days when there simply isn't much feeling of creativity....perhaps too much work, too busy with the stuff of life. But, remembering this poem....allowing another voice to speak....

“Praying"

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”

― Mary Oliver, Thirst

Sunday, September 29, 2013

on this date

Old bones creaking today and I was not quite up to participating in a vigorous day at the street fair of my favorite organization, the San Francisco Center for the Book. I went back and looked at photos I had taken in previous years, but then thought…did I document this calendar day on other years? What do I remember…and were the photos worth it? The photos are within the 24 hours of September 29th each year since 2008. Really weird what I photograph! Only one is a verifiable event. Photo four is setting up for the street fair early in the morning of September 29, 2011.







Sunday, September 22, 2013

before the sky filled


Autumn came in with a surprise rainstorm…very unusual for September here. I am always amazed that the ocean roils with a storm message before the sky is filled with clouds. Once, many observers knew what this portended, how to read it….now, at least for me, I go to the internet weather report.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

circular nature of nature



This morning I had several reminders of the joy of the changing seasons. 

A flutter outside my kitchen window focused my sleepy eyes on a small flock of birds feasting on the seeds of a drying garden a few properties to the north. Finally, able to identify them as juncos…all the dates for arrival in my bird book have been in late October or November. Not sure the significance of this….perhaps an early and harsh winter?


Later, puttering in my little garden area, I saw a butterfly on a salvia…same type butterfly in the Spring on a meadow sage. (I posted it here at the time...they look almost identical). 

Just a gracious and happy reminder of the circular nature of nature.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the end of art

Seamus Heaney, RIP

“The end of art is peace…."
                                                                                             From The Harvest Bow


 “It strikes me that the hermit and the poet probably have much in common: the need for solitude; the deep-down awareness of things and the self-discipline to spend hours in contemplation,” 
                                    Fr. Kevin Doran, homily at funeral mass for Seamus Heaney

Sunday, September 1, 2013

and you get to smile


If everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love, we would all be ranked as visionary and brilliant. … If you got to spend every day of your life doing what you love, you can't help but be the best in the world at that. And you get to smile every day for doing so.
                                                                                                    Neil deGrasse Tyson

I am not sure lolling about qualifies one for vision and brilliance, but it does look like something that would make me smile a lot. Not feeling particularly visionary, but the weather here is finally nice enough for pool time. (But, I don't have a pool).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

memory and time


I am fascinated by concepts of how we perceive time and how memory seems so variable, often changing in each recall. Of course, as a poet, both time and memory are central to my writing. Maria Popova in a brilliant review of Claudia Hamilton’s Time Warped:Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception used this quote connecting memory with how we perceive time:
It is memory that creates the peculiar, elastic properties of time. It not only gives us the ability to conjure up a past experience at will, but to reflect on those thoughts through autonoetic consciousness — the sense that we have of ourselves as existing across time — allowing us to re-experience a situation mentally and to step outside those memories to consider their accuracy.


Maria Popova's superb blog is: http://www.brainpickings.org/

Sunday, August 18, 2013

barriers exist



Various barriers to free expression and privacy have been much in the news, but those barriers often do not apply to me in my every day world. However, barriers exist.

I am truly struggling in a new phase of my poetry to explore some difficult times in my life. Those times are an essential, but mostly an unexpressed part of who I am today. It seems imperative to bring those times openly into my creative process.


But, I have become so aware of my barriers to writing honestly, and even to remembering. The barriers once seemed, or were, essential for self protection in society, relationships, work and ultimately my own self image. Because of change and aging, they are no longer relevant. The question today seems to be, can I remove these fences that block my reach? 

Are they unmovable or a matter of changing perspective?


Sunday, August 11, 2013

the humility of sound



Stairs have been so widely written about that I won’t venture to go there. Using the metaphor of the staircase for life’s journey, the spiritual path or even about education has been over-used. But, the blue at night of this particular stairway…which no longer goes anywhere…reminded me of a poem that I do love. (much abbreviated here)

The Blue Stairs
     by Barbara Guest

There is no fear
in taking the first step
or the second or the third

In fact the top can be reached
without disaster

precocious

The code consists in noticing
the particular shade of the staircase
occasionally giving way to the emotions

It has been chosen discriminately

*  *  *  *

It has discovered
in the creak of a footstep

the humility of sound 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

merely might have happened


It was one of those unplanned excavations into the back of a closet that caused me to think so much about events from long ago (the 60’s) and how I I remember it now. This photo certainly doesn’t look like the “me” that most people know, yet I somehow don’t think of the years as having quite the external change that has occurred. I love this quote:

I always had trouble distinguishing between what happened and what merely might have happened, but I remain unconvinced that the distinction, for my purposes, matters.

Joan Didion,

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Friday, July 26, 2013

the right to share the exotic


I have never been a fan of the zoo. It has always seemed a sad place for me. Yesterday, I was at loose ends and went looking for a photo op. I went to our local zoo. It is as good as any, I understand. I wandered for several hours and saw animals that seemed bored or putting on a show to interact with the species looking in through the wire fences/bars/glass barriers.

I got some decent photos, but at what price? The price of captivity for most of the animals seems obvious. But, what is the price we pay for this moment of viewing the exotic, far from their natural environments. The pensive Snow Leopard brought to mind this deep felt poem of Rilke. Rodin had told him to go out into Paris and observe. This was one of those moments for the young Rilke. Still holds for those of us who are old.

The Panther

His gaze has from the passing of the bars
grown so tired that it holds nothing anymore.
It seems to him there are a thousand bars
and behind a thousand bars no world.

The supple pace of powerful soft strides,
turning in the very smallest circle,
is like a dance of strength around a center
in which a great will stands numbed.

Only sometimes the curtain of the pupils
soundlessly slides up ─ then an image enters,
slides through the limbs’ taut stillness
dives into the heart ─ and dies.

Rainer Maria Rilke
tr. by Edward Snow


Sunday, July 21, 2013

scavenging


It has become a custom in my neighborhood to put out usable objects for passersby to recycle for their own use. This room size rug was prominently placed at the edge of the rec center/children’s park--a popular place for displaying “goods”. The rug is an amazing green color, but had one serious qualification from the previous owner. BTW, I like the lettering and graphics.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

a time for quiet




It is a cold, foggy Sunday morning in the City. A time for quiet, as the fog dampens not only the air, but sound. It does not seem like a time for endings or a time for beginning. Just a near silent morning thinking about today, not so much about yesterday and very little about tomorrow. Reflecting on temporality: this magnificent butterfly remains magnificent.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

blue light of awareness



Late in the evening as I was walking home, I saw the grizzled old man who frequently sleeps in doorways and on bus benches on Mission Street. I have commented on him in an earlier blog. I have observed him from the bus window. I sometimes walk past him when he seems to be passed out. I have watched him as he incoherently discourses with the passing traffic. All of these times, I have seen him. Last night, he looked up at me as I passed and I realized that he recognized me, too. I had never once thought about him observing me. This was a shattering awareness of my role as “unseen” observer. A psychic way of separation and self-protection that feels very, very uncomfortable.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

too large to comprehend




My world has seemed overly busy, congested, problematic and sometimes too large to comprehend recently. I stepped outside and the light changed it all ─ the branch of a common bottle brush tree pressing up against a wall, soft, beautiful and simple. For a moment in time, the other was forgotten.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

watching the super moon




The largest, most super moon of 2013 happened this morning, Sunday, June 23rd, according to the meteorologist. In San Francisco, if we are to believe such a thing ─ we simply must have a lot of faith and trust. Summer here often means we are shrouded in a lovely mist (well, actually chilly fog). It is difficult to observe celestial happenings unless you are on top of a mountain, and that means leaving town.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

in a Mayan temple






This morning, I walked by the light-well window in my old Edwardian flat in San Francisco at 8:44 a.m. I was stunned by the exact alignment of the morning sun through the 5 or 6 inch space between my building and the house to the north. (San Francisco homes are often built with separate walls, but almost touching).

I guess I thought for a moment that I was an ancient Mayan astronomer noting something of great significance left to me by incredibly brilliant ancestors. Well, not really, but had fun thinking about how the San Francisco land use of 1910, when my building was built, might have some relationship to thousand year-old temples in the Yucatan.

For some reason, I was unable to make a Father’s Day blog entry today. The memories seem bound up too tight and the images just would not come. I will try on another day.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

simply stunned







Today, I had the first gloriously ripe organic peach of the summer season. That moment of perfection that leaves you simply stunned. As you can see, I have two more stunning moments ahead.

But, the bowl of pits. Now, that is an example of an idea that has become obsession. In 2007, I was so happy to have the wonderful stone fruits and began to realize that each seed was slightly different. Thought it might make a photo shoot or some sort of an art project. Well, I put the 2007 pits into this bowl from Macao and that started it. The “heart” of every stone fruit that I have eaten since has gone into this bowl. What to do with them? When to stop? I can imagine someone sorting through my belongings when I have gone off to that orchard in the sky and saying….”what was he thinking?”

Sunday, June 2, 2013

artist's commitment





This amazing artwork was on the hood of a 60’s Chevy. The artist painted directly onto the metal and then had a specially developed protective glaze over it all. He told me that it took nearly a year to complete the entire car. The reflection of the overhead wires was the City’s way of complementing the art. I am deeply impressed by the commitment of any artist to the development and maybe perfection of their form. Would we view this work differently if it were shown in museum, or even as a high-end advertisement?

The Mission district in San Francisco has a long history of car clubs and individuals who keep the tradition of customization of cars that was popular in the 50’s.

This is a design from the rear of the car---decided to add it after I had posted the first picture.
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

do not disturb



Is this reptile cautious, grumpy or just quietly observant. Seemed to be saying “back off” and certainly watched me every minute that I was in his/her territory. Or, maybe after a long work week, I just wanted to think “do not disturb”… probably anthropomorphizing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

it is worth a lot



A new butterfly/moth (?) visited my meadow sage today. I simply could not identify it in my butterfly book or online. But, it is such a pleasure to have wildlife of some sort on my cement-encrusted back garden…makes life in the City seem more natural. And, it was just nice to observe.
























No picture of this, but walking back from the store/library this afternoon, three young boys (6 or 7 years old) came racing by…one on a skateboard and his two friends cavorting, pushing and all of three nearly done in with laughter. And, most of the people on the street were completely into the joy…lots of smiles and nods from the stodgy old folks (anything over 20). When the kids stopped, I noticed that one was pressing a Kleenex to his cheek. A bit bloody. His friend said “where is your tooth?” “In my pocket…not going to lose that! It is worth a lot.”

Lesson: taking in stride the loss of a baby tooth and just having fun with your friends is not an occasion for being upset.  And, besides, “it is worth a lot”.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

sunsets

I have been slowly trying to find a way to have a Mother's Day memory that was not about the sentimental moments with my Mom. She has been gone for many years and the memories are dusted with sentiment and maybe even turned sepia with age. One thing she so loved was the sunset. In her years of living on Maui, I knew better than to call for our weekly visit until the sun had set over the Pacific. It is a sweet memory. One of her favorite hymns was Sunset and Evening Star, the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Just a nice memory to close out the day.


Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

sunday in the park

I thought of Seurat when I saw the crowd on the hillside at Dolores Park celebrating Cinco de Mayo. And, the mural is on a deli at the end of my block and on the way to the park. It seems so wonderful to me that a painting from 1866 would influence how I saw the crowd today....and, of course, the muralist had a similar thought when he used the pointillism to create a tableau of local folks enjoying a day in the sun. Was I influenced by Seurat or by the mural I walk by every day?

(The mural is just down the block from the red brick church the artist placed on the edge of the park.)



Sunday, April 28, 2013

west of the West



California already is heaven, is a form of heaven, and anyone who lives in California knows the mystical quality of Big Sur, the importance of it - it's west of the West, it's where the dream stops.
                                                       Jean-Marc Barr on his role as Kerouac in Big Sur

 



Sunday, April 21, 2013

tasting the season



Early this morning, at my neighborhood market, the produce man was putting out a wonderful display of fresh strawberries from a nearby farm. In the next bin was the last citrus of our local season, still good, but clearly the winter citrus time is over.

Summer is “stone fruit” season. Each day gives us something superb: with dozens of varieties of peaches, pluots, plums and apricots. We seem to know the week by what will be at its perfect ripeness. It is almost too much! Maybe it is too much. But, we indulge.

However, the weather changes and the coming of brilliant Cara Cara oranges, a vast array of mandarin-type citrus, luscious pears and crisp autumn apples say “it is fall”...simple joys through the cold, gray days of winter.

Then, Spring and a couple of weeks of sunshine produces a new bounty….berries. We don’t really need a calendar to tell us of the changing seasons…we can taste it. 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

who stand and wait



Patiently waiting dogs outside a nearby coffee shop…not quite what Milton had in mind with his near perfect sonnet, On His Blindness. I don’t mean to make light of this beautiful poem, but the focused waiting of these dear companions immediately made me think of the final line…a beautiful reminder for me about patience and what our purpose really must be.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."