Kenny Braun Photography: Kenny Braun is a Texas photographer that’s equal parts Thoreau and Avedon—an existential outdoorsman and consummate professional who adeptly captures everything from remote places to far away gazes. He brings a consistent visual identity to a wide range of subject matter by focusing on quality of light, color and mood. Music, surfing and photography have been his passions since high-school, each influencing the other. His personal work explores a sense of place and memory by returning to scenes from his childhood. His curiosity about faces and places is evident in his work, which is so vivid you can’t even imagine a photographer being involved.
“But to preserve something is to delay that act indefinitely. Maybe preserves are where a historian’s urges meet a cook’s capacities. I wish that I could put up yesterday’s evening sky for all posterity, could preserve a night of love, the sound of a mountain stream, a realization as it sets my mind afire, a day of harmony, ten thousand glorious days of clouds that will instead vanish and never be seen again, line them up in jars where they might be admired in the interim and tasted again as needed. My historian’s nature regards with dismay that all these things arise and perish, though there will always be more clouds and more days, if not for me or for you. Photographs preserve a little of this, and I’ve kept tens of thousands of e-mails and letters, but there is no going back.”
—Rebecca Solnit, from The Faraway Nearby
Just another Friday morning commute.
Mind is pond skittering. Nothing heavy on the calendar. Chance to leave early. Long weekend. Kids home. 58° F. Morning sun warming with forecaster calling for more Spring heat. Gnawing on a protein bar. Windows down. Feelin’ light. Feelin’ Gratitude.
Ray P comes sauntering in. His Detroit Tigers’ baseball cap is slung low. His pants hiked way up and cinched with a belt burnishing a oversized golden buckle. A middle aged client from 20 years back who inherited a small sum from his Mom who had the foresight to dribble out food money in monthly installments. Mail was unacceptable. He had to pick it up. He’d bite his lip hungrily ripping open the envelope…stare at the check, look at me: “Son, I’ve got the world by the a**.”
I’m at the speed limit in the center lane, flowing with the other fishes, no obstructions this morning. Son, I’ve got the world by the a**. [Read more...]
The collegiate alumni chairperson of Rachel’s sorority asked the parents of graduating seniors to write a letter to their daughter, which was read out loud to them by their little sister at the traditional Senior Send Off event for the sorority. The event was held this morning. Here was Rachel’s text to us.
Here’s our letter to Rachel:
Let’s just say that you were difficult from the get-go. Your Mom and Dad tried for 9 years (9 YEARS!), and we almost gave up. And then you just appeared. Voila! A tadpole on a monitor. Roll the tape forward 9 months plus 23 hours of labor (23 HOURS!) – – your Mother threw up her hands and Doc pulled out the scalpel.
They say that all babies are beautiful. Hmmmmm. The forceps stretched your head. Your eyes were disproportionately LARGE and bulging. You were WAILING. I had to double pump the scissors with my trembling hands to untether you from your Mother. I was flooded with images of E.T. – – “E.T. Go Home!” I needed assurances from Doc that all of this, this, was normal.
You had colic for 6 months. You started up when I arrived home from work and stopped during our long walks down Biscayne Blvd. You were strapped in a papoose tight to my chest. With the fronds on the palm trees clapping in the gentle evening breeze, there you were looking up at me. Sobbing, then sniffling, then quiet.
We’d come home. I’d turn on Annie Lennox – – “Walking on Broken Glass” – – and you would settle. I would slump down on the couch, exhausted, and let you sleep on my chest. The little hair that you had, was matted and glistening with sweat. Your cheeks and eyes, swollen and red. Your little fingers clenched my t-shirt. Your heart pitter-pattered on my chest. And your intermittent, puffs-puffs of baby breath – – you, all of you, a miracle.
And then the frames would pass. Minutes, days, weeks and years. All accelerating.
You left home to go to College. We cried on the long drive home.
You lit up sharing your experiences with Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude Children’s Hospital – – freezing me in place as I listened to your Sunday night updates. I have yet to find my God, but I could feel something working me through you.
My chest swelled when you were named President of your Sorority. When you made Dean’s List. When you landed your Summer Internships. When you received your first job offer. (I just cut the cord. We just dropped you off for your freshman year. Where did it go? Sand slipping through my fingers.)
I know you are listening – listening to these words – sitting among your friends.
It’s time. Time for me to put on my headphones and play “Walking on Broken Glass” in a loop. And roll the time back to remember the beautiful moments in between then and now.
I can feel you.
I can feel your fingers clenching my t-shirt.
I can feel your puffs of breath.
I can feel your heart beating.
And when your heart beats, my heart beats faster.
Love you Honey.
Mom & Dad
When you’re young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time in your hands, tossing it away. You’re your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too — leave them behind. You don’t yet know about the habit they have, of coming back.
Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you’ve been.
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.
You are immersed in the passage of time. Sometimes you can feel the current moving. Sometimes you forget it’s there, only to be reminded again, another in a series of passing moments. A moment is defined by its momentum. It keeps moving. We think of a memory as somehow dead. As a memorial, anchored in its own time and place. A half buried reminder of what was once here. You can’t just hang on to things. You have to let go. You have to move on. It’s hard to imagine that certain memories are still alive. Still fighting against the current. Struggling to keep up. That certain images still have the power to leap back into the present. So you look across the room at someone you know. Maybe they’re all grown up. Maybe they have children of their own. Maybe you’ve known them for 50 years. But in your eyes they are still the same goofy kid you once knew. It’s not just the moments that we remember. Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It’s the invisible things. In minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time. These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth. Still developing.
~ John Koenig
There was some debate in our household over what I saw in this photograph. No, debate isn’t the right choice of words. I was mocked. What do you see here?
British Columbia. 1970’s:
Mountain firs line the banks of the creek bed.
Shadflies, flit in from the shadows, and back out into the sun.
Mountain run-off, clear and pure, glistens, sparkles.
I’m standing knee deep.
I pick the line with my forefinger, click, cast and release.
The bait lands with a plop.
I start working the stream.
I’m Working it.
Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where can I put it down?
- Anne Carson, excerpt from “The Glass Essay“
Anne Carson, 63, is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. She was born in Toronto. She is known for her supreme erudition—Merkin called her “one of the great pasticheurs”—Carson’s poetry can also be heart-breaking and she regularly writes on love, desire, sexual longing and despair. She taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. A high-school encounter with a Latin instructor, who agreed to teach her ancient Greek over the lunch hour, led to her passionate embrace of classical and Ancient Greek classical literature, influences which mark her work still. She teaches ancient Greek and she frequently references, modernizes, and translates Ancient Greek literature. She has published eighteen books as of 2013, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction. (Sources: Wiki & The Poetry Foundation)
Another favorite Anne Carson quote: “What is a Quote?“
“One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought “this is so nice”. Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss.”
It started in the shower.
Stomach sour – doing loop de loops.
Late November, 1980s.
The morning shower is followed by a long walk in the dark from the dorm.
Square into the teeth of a wicked Northern Michigan wind.
Mitts. Goose down coats. Parkas. Sorel boots.
Students filing in for the 8:00 am class.
I find a seat in the middle-back. Need to get invisible.
I’m below the stoners and the drunks, adorned with hoodies.
I’m above the whizz-bangs, a**-kissers and kids with coke bottle glasses.
Three weeks earlier the Professor kicks off his class with ground rules.
“A full letter grade is determined by your class participation, frequency and quality.”
Red Pencil in hand.
He’d put a tick mark next to each name who’s hand would go up.
He’d hang over his journal scribbling after a noteworthy comment.
And shredded in half.
One half with head down to avoid being called on.
The other half, The Angry Man – a full letter grade down before taking a single exam.
We’re in a field I used to love,
a redbone coonhound running ahead
her ears dragging the edges of the goldenrod
till they are tipped in pollen,
like twin paintbrushes dipped in gilt.
—Kate Daniels, from “Crowns,” in Five Points
“…Up to the sweet hill where the bees sing and faithful animals place their heads upon our knees. There we’ll set the horses loose and stay forever. There let it rest. The sun, the gorgeous sky, and you and me.”
I pull on my long sleeve shirt, first of the season.
The sunrise is working itself up on the horizon. A sliver of light in sea of darkness.
My feet are light. A soft, cool breeze kicks up goose bumps on my chest – I shiver. No matter. All body parts functioning. Biorhythms in alignment. Run friend. Run.
I pass a group of early morning runners. One is wearing a nighttime reflective green vest.
Firefighters wearing florescent green vests are lingering – – others are sweeping glass off the highway. My Thursday night commute home, and I’m late for dinner. My Northbound traffic will be clearing in 6 miles. Southbound traffic is at a standstill. I arrive at the bottleneck. The Roof of the Jeep is decapitated. White air bags hanging limp.
Yellow. Double Yellow Lines.
I lumber up the meandering hill on Long Neck Point Road. I’m winded. I slow the pace to catch my breath.
He was 12 years old. I was barreling down a 2-lane highway returning from our vacation in Banff, looking for an opening to pass the car ahead of me. Double yellow lines signal a corner. As I take my foot of the accelerator, a cat bolts in front of the car in front of us. Eric screams and buries his head into his Mother. I’m looking in the rear view mirror. He’s trembling. [Read more...]
I’m on the 5:01 a.m. train to Grand Central.
I’m riffling through two days of morning papers. Without breaking stride, I shift to chopping through a small mountain of emails. I pause. I can feel my pulse accelerating. Work mode. Game time and it’s only 5:45 am.
The train moves through the tunnel. Internet connection is lost. I close my eyes for a moment looking for a few minutes of rest. But it’s not rest I find, it’s restless.
I shift to Kindle.
Elise sent me a link to a book over the weekend. I’m a few pages in. My mind drifts. I worked with her, could it be 9 years ago? Where does the time go?
Describe her in 5 words: Centered. Gentle. Peaceful. Kind. Goodness.
I get off the train. I’m walking briskly down 42th street. City is alive at 6 am. I cross Park. Madison. Fifth. Avenue of the Americas. Times Square. ABC’s Good Morning America is setting up outside on Broadway and 44th street…crowd milling.
I let her down. I remember the look in her eyes. I couldn’t have been more than a three minute conversation 9 years ago, and it’s a piercing tattoo etched in my mind. Thoughtless, wrong, self-serving.
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air… Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
— Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
By one my favorite authors from one of my favorite books, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Angle of Repose.
Photo Source: Thank you Madame Scherzo
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Mona Howard @ Ramblings with her post titled: Practicing with my favorite model. That’s a picture of her granddaughter above. Be sure to check out Mona’s slide show at this link. Children. Miracles. (As is the photographer’s work.)
Marga @ Life As Improv with her poem titled Going It Alone (With Others): “…Going deep is a solitary thing. Aloneness is guarded at my gate – Hours of no thing. I sew into my pocket by hand. I would gulp you silence in a chalice…” Then she closes with a wonderful quote from John O’Donohue: “…Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen…This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.” Read Marga’s entire poem and O’Donohue’s full quote here.
Yvonne @ MISIFUSA’s Blog with her post: Pink Post ~ Life After Breast Cancer: “…But it’s not all flowery after you’re through with the treatments. As many who have endured disease and illness, the aftermath is often the hardest…Because what the hell do I do now? There’s no one to tell you how to live after you’ve endured the ugliness of cancer, the treatments, the surgeries, the chemo, the radiation, the humiliation, the poking and prodding by others. Family and friends are weary from care-taking and the disruption to their lives. All are ready for life to get back to normal ~ as are you…” Read more at this link. [Read more...]
It was move-in day.
A North Carolina morning.
Where a cool breeze dusted your face.
And a cumulus cloud was chiseled into an otherwise unmarked sky.
The Sun was warming.
Yes, another one of those days in which you know.
You know that this wasn’t all by accident.
Too large. Too complex. Just too big.
We are among other parents and their children getting an early start.
Moving day buzz and jitters.
Hauling printers, pillows, college-ruled paper and milk crates. Setting up bunk beds.
Momma and Momma’s Boy are tangling over where to put stuff.
PC isn’t working.
I tell him to let me try.
I sit in his desk chair. The chair he will be sitting in for the next 9 months.
And work on setting up his printer.
I feel his disorientation.
He’s inherited this from his Dad. [Read more...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
kingdomany’s photostream with his shot (above) of Buddha in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Steve Layman @ with his share: More from the good old days………….: “Here’s words you don’t hear anymore:…Wash your feet before you go to bed, you’ve been playing outside all day barefooted…Why can’t you remember to roll up your britches legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up….Don’t you go outside with your school clothes on!…Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle…Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here, it is getting hot”…Read more @ this link.
Brenda Knowles @ Space2Live with her video post titled: The Space We Need. “Something new for space2live… a short film (5 minutes, it’s worth it). A visual to enhance the many words spilled on the pages of this site. Through filmmaker, Nic Askew’s, beautiful lens the experience, rather than the explanation, of an introvert is captured and shared in a soul biography. You’ll feel the honesty and vulnerability. Enjoy.” Watch film at this link. [Read more...]
This article evoked vivid, early teen memories. Sultry Friday and Saturday nights in August. Shad flies filling the night time sky over the Kootenay River. We would race our bikes to beat the twilight turning to dusk. We’d hide our bikes in the bushes and go searching for a grassy spot on the hill at the Sunset Drive-in. The tantalizing smell of buttered popcorn and hot dogs. The car window speakers cackling. The older high school kids cozying up to their girls.
I googled the Sunset Drive-in and was shocked to learn that it showed its last movie in 1986, over 25 years ago. The old drive-in is now a RV Park known as Kootenay River Kampground.
Italo Calvino’s words capture my recollection of these memories from where we sit today, in front of our screens, big and little, in our homes: “Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.”
Here’s a few excerpts from the BusinessWeek article titled: America’s Last, Remaining Drive-Ins Face a New Threat
Good Wednesday morning. Late start today. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Ivon Prefontaine @ Teacher As Transformer with his post: “Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass.” That’s one of his shots above. Be sure to check out the others at this link. Inspiring…as is his blog…a daily stop. (Ivon, this one made me home sick.)
Nancy Roman @ Not Quite Old with her post: “Shouldn’t I have this?….Shouldn’t I have all of this?” “I want to live in a little house with a big porch on the seashore. I want to live in an apartment in New York City with a geranium on the fire escape. I want crisp white sheets and gingham curtains. I want gilded mirrors and french porcelain…I want a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich with a side of potato chips. I want to appear before sold-out crowds who laugh and applaud. I want to go for weeks without seeing another human being. I want to write poetry that makes people cry…” Wonderful post. Read more at this link.
“…if you’ve experienced enough summers, you know how quickly the season can come and go: Just blink and it will be autumn. Is there some way to prolong the lazy days, to stretch summer out? Perhaps—in the mind at least…We all know the dark side of time passing slowly. A terrified person in a life-or-death situation commonly reports that the whole experience felt as if it took place in slow motion. Time also creeps along…if you are made to believe that a whole room full of strangers don’t like you. A 20-minute wait on a windy railway platform seems endless, but the same 20 minutes spent grabbing a sandwich for lunch with a friend feels gone in an instant. Fortunately, psychological research also points to techniques that allow us to extend happier feelings, including our enjoyment of the blossoms, sunshine and long evenings of summer.” Here’s excerpts on 3 mind tricks on how to accomplish this: [Read more...]
Ours was with a hose and plastic pails – – and far, far less elaborate, yet equally effective. This photograph evoked childhood memories of sultry summer afternoons. As did these posts:
- Emjayandthem: Summer time trips to cherry and fruit orchards.
- On The Homefront: Rolling down grassy hills
- Lichtyears: On a hot and hazy visit to the Green Mountains
- OlivethePeople: What John Mayer Said (Summertime concerts. Don’t give up on this one.)
- WSJ: When Summer Was Easy
- Lead.Learn.Live: Hidden Away and Reading In The Cool Basement
Photograph Credit: Colours of Futbol
Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…
- Up top, you see a photograph by Terrill Welch, photographer and painter extraordinaire from Mayne Island, British Columbia. Check out her featured photographs here and her featured oil paintings here.
- Yoni Freedhoff @ Weighty Matters with a share that he describes as one of the most gripping, harrowing and tragic articles I’ve ever read. < 500 words. I read it a week ago. And still can’t shake it. Read the article titled Fatal Distraction.
- Sandy @ Another Lovely Day with her post: report from my in-box: 6•27•13. Our good friend Sandy had accumulated 20,000 emails in her inbox and has decided to finally deal with it. My neuroses would have exploded. She, on the other hand, is unfazed. I am inspired. Read on at this link. [Read more...]
Good Wednesday morning. It’s been a long time in recognizing my favorite posts of the week. Here we go…
- JT Weaver with his post titled The Last Visit: “…This was the last time I would ever be allowed to enter the home of my youth and I knew it…There was still a familiarity when we pulled in and parked the car in front of the garage. The grass that I had mowed so often as a teenager and the driveway I had swept as one of my chores, all seemed so real and so current to me. The garage door opened with that same squeaky sound I had known for 50 years…Just entering the kitchen I could feel and smell it. Not the musty smell from years of neglect while the house was for sale, but those many meals that were cooked here. I could feel the bustling of dozens of people around a holiday meal with the loud chatter everywhere…Read more at this link.
- A Busy Mind Thinking with her post titled A Day In The Life – When You Are Trapped In Your Body: “…Prior to illness this was my routine…I worked full time. I drove my children to and from school. I attended all school and sports related activities. Twice a month I would go dancing with my sister. I worked out in a gym 3 to 5 times a week…You would have to see my body to appreciate how it (now) appears. My fingers, hands and arms curl up. My legs are swollen and my toes are discolored. If I can walk a few steps I am significantly bent over. I cannot straighten myself up or be helped to do so. These are the facts. Sometimes, due to the paralysis nature of my illness, it affects my facial muscles and my neck on the right side. This in turn affects my ability to speak, to chew food, to swallow, to smile, to breathe, to not choke…WHEN YOU ARE TRAPPED IN YOUR BODY all sorts of things change. So here is my average day now…” Read more at this link. [Read more...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:
- LouAnn @ On The Home Front with her post titled Remembering June: “… Remember June when you were a kid? It was warm outside and the last thing you wanted to do was sit in a classroom. Yet, you had to endure exams even if you wanted to be playing baseball, or skipping rope, or just doing nothing. Remember when exams were over, and it seemed silly to still be in school? ....Read more of this nostalgic post at this link.
- Sandy Sue @ A Mind Divided with her post Finding the Rhythm: “…We become mesmerized by the details of our lives, by our hardships, by our opinions and beliefs. Our minds race to find evidence to shore up our convictions. We suffer and claim the suffering of others. But we can feel it, the offness of it. We are out of sync, forcing a rhythm that is not ours. We pile on more tasks, enlarge our circle of worry, to distract us from the discomfort. It doesn’t occur to us to stop. We slide over that notion, because to stop would be too painful. To stop would threaten all we believe about ourselves and the world. To stop might invite change…” Read more of this wonderful post @ this link.
- Ray @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post: Point – Dad: “…A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he’d make a deal with his son: “You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.”” If you are a Parent, you’ll enjoy the rest of this story at this link. [Read more...]
Eric is four. Relentless. “Come on Dad. It’s time to go swimming.” Pulling on my hand. “Come on Dad. Dad, come on!”
The marble floor in the bathroom is cool and smooth on our bare feet. I watch him struggle tugging on his suit. His little white bottom contrasting against his milk chocolate tan lines. He lets out a whimper in frustration as he can’t pull on his swim shirt.
We step outside.
We had lived in Miami for four years. The sweltering summer heat was still a shock. Swallowing up oxygen. Mixing with the heavy pool chlorine…filling nostrils and lungs.
10am. 91F. And there is still August to go.
Traffic. People. People. People. Lines. Lines. Lines. Fast Pass. Strollers. Wheelchairs. Electric scooters. Cameras. iPhones. Texting.
Sun. Heat. Humidity. Sunscreen. Afternoon Rains. Ponchos. Sticky.
Hot dogs. Corn dogs. Burgers. Chili cheese fries. Soft serve ice cream. Asian Chicken wings. Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. Coke (diet). Frozen Minute Made lemonade. Turkey Legs (NOT!). Indigestion.
Test Track. Splash Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Tower of Terror. Expedition Everest. Dinosaur. Kali River Rapids. Dad sits them all out. Nauseous just watching.
Old favorites. Kilimanjaro Safari. Haunted Mansion. Pirates of Caribbean. Jungle Cruise. Epcot. Parades. Marching Bands. Fireworks.
Good Thursday morning. Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:
- Diana Schwenk @ Talk to Diana with her post titled What Can Compare to Love?: “…Ahh the beautiful things I have seen; like sunsets/rises, the detailed design and brilliant colours on butterflies, the turquoise lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains…and the beautiful sounds I have heard; like the waves crashing on the shore, the wind blowing through autumn leaves, the crickets’ song at night, a lone wolf howling at the moon…and the beautiful textures I have touched or been touched by; walking barefoot on lush grass, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the cleansing coolness of water on a hot day…and the beautiful things I have tasted; like a crisp and juicy apple freshly picked from a tree, bread fresh from the oven slathered in butter, a cold beer on a hot day...Read more of this wonderful post at this link.
- Katy @ k8edid with her post Stuck in the Middle (Age) With You: “…#4 Half the Distance Takes You Twice as Long: I can no longer open jars by myself, my eyesight is failing faster than my vision insurance covers new lenses, and my teeth are wearing down. I have fillings older than many billionaire CEO whippersnappers and they are working loose at an alarming rate (the fillings – not the CEOs). My joints are achy and any rapid movements could land me in traction. While I don’t yet need a hover-round, I am not exactly zipping about on foot, either. I’ve traded sexy shoes for comfortable ones. I spend 2 hours a day on exercise – an hour dreading it, half an hour trying to talk myself into it (by promising myself a bowl of ice cream afterward), and 30 minutes letting the dog drag me down the sidewalk”…Wonderful post (true and funny). Read more @ this link.
- Dr. James Stratford @ Beyond the Call with his post: Finding our Bliss: “We’ve all had them, those moments when we’re reminded just why it is that we love what we do…When we find our bliss we find what we love, we connect with it at a deep level, and through it we experience more of ourselves just as we also let go of any fears or doubts.” Read about his Dr. Stratford’s specific moments of bliss at this link. [Read more...]
Good Wednesday morning. Inspiring posts were gushing over the dam this week. Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:
- Sun Dog kicks us off with a photograph of a sunrise over the Black Sea.
- LaDona @ LaDona’s Music Studio with her post titled This One Hurts. Short. Picture is worth 1000 words. Yes. I was moved.
- Ivon @ Teacher as Transformer with his post I Walked a Mile with Pleasure: “…Leave nothing behind and look back only at the good that came of it. Know you served well those you met on the path. Hold your head high…” Hit this link.
- Serenity Spell with her post titled A Heavenly Hardwood Swamp: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning” Beautiful post. A daily stop for me. Read more at this link.
- Misifusa @ Misifusa’s Blog with her post titled Rest in the Clouds. My Rachel shared this with me last night and encouraged me to watch. You are going to say, you don’t have time to watch. Yes you do. Yes you do. Hit this link. [Read more...]
And you wait. You wait for the one thing
that will change your life,
make it more than it is -
something wonderful, exceptional,
stones awakening, depths opening to you.
In the dusky bookstalls
old books glimmer gold and brown.
You think of lands you journeyed through,
of paintings and a dress once worn
by a woman you never found again.
And suddenly you know: that was enough.
You rise and there appears before you
in all its longings and hesitations
the shape of what you lived.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Good Wednesday morning. I’ve been on a siesta the last few weeks with my inspiring posts of the week. We’re back.
Kurt Harden @ Cultural Offering with his post titled You Sir at Pump 16…. I watched this clip three times. Susan watched it. The kids watched it. We all loved it. Do yourself a favor and start your day with a smile. Hit this link.
Rian @ Truth and Cake with her post Forget The Blueprint, Ride the Mechanical Bull: “…Often, we’re so hellbent on getting it right that we miss the point entirely. The right career, the right school, the right spouse, the right restaurant, the movie with the good reviews, wearing the right outfit and snagging that just right opportunity and hopefully doing something really meaningful and perfect with our lives: these things obsess us. I can look back on a (very large) handful of times in my life when I was given an amazing opportunity or experiencing something really great that, in retrospect, I stressed way too much over. Will I blow this? Will it work out? Where’s the next opportunity going to come from? What if people think I’m crazy?…Read more of this great post from a Freshly Pressed Blogger @ this link.
Seventhvoice with her post A Childless Mother, Is still A Mother. Though her arms may be empty… her heart never will: “Mother’s Day has always been an incredibly difficult day for me. Filled as it is with mixed emotions but not for the reasons you might think. It’s not a difficult day for me because I have a son with Autism or a daughter on the spectrum. In many ways their presence here helps to counteract the whirlpool of emotions that this day normally stirs up in me. Mother’s day is hard for me because I am, or at least I would have been, had everything gone to plan, the mother of seven children. You see, four of my lovely ones never made it kicking and screaming into the light of this world…” Read more of this moving post @ this link.
Ian Martin is a British author, writer for Oscar-nominated film In the Loop, major contributor to The Thick of It and has written for radio and newspapers. He shares his thoughts about turning 60. A few excerpts:
1. People who “hate getting old” are idiots. Every year is a privilege. Let me tell you, callow miserabilists: getting to 60 feels like a triumph. I have no idea how I made it this far, but I am very grateful…
4. For instance. It was 1968. Early summer evening, a Saturday. My mate and I were hitching home in the Essex countryside. We got a lift from a happy couple in a boaty car that smelled of leather and engine oil. We were 15, they were proper old, 20-ish. Relaxed and so very much in love. They treated us as equals, laughed at our jokes, we smoked their cigarettes. Walk Away Renee by the Four Tops came on the radio. We all sang along to the chorus. I felt a blissful certainty that life as an adult might genuinely be a laugh. The entire encounter lasted no more than 10 minutes. I have thought about that couple every day since. Every day, for 45 years. Imagine that. A Belisha Beacon of kindness pulsing through the murk of a whole life.
10. …You have kids, you know you will never experience that feeling of unconditional love for anyone else, ever, and then it happens all over again. A heart-stoppingly beautiful miracle.
Read More @ The Guardian – 60 Thoughts About Turning Sixty
David Laferriere, a graphic designer and illustrator from Massachusetts, has been drawing on his kids’ sandwich bags with a Sharpie marker for more than five years. 1111 bags and counting. “I’ve been doing it for my kids since they were little…They love it, and nothing makes me happier than hearing their reaction at the end of the day…I used to work nights at a newspaper, and I’d be up early in the morning making my kids sandwiches,” LaFerriere, a graphic designer at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, told Mashable. “I started drawing on the baggies, sort of as a way to channel my creative juices in the morning, and it just ended up sticking.” His kids, Evan, 16, and Kenny, 14, were both in elementary school when it started. Now that they’re older, LaFerriere said, they and their friends still look forward to the drawings every day. I’d like to keep doing this for as long as possible. Of course, things will change once they go to college — but I can still send illustrated care packages,” he said. See Flickr blog for the video. See Laferriere’s Flickr photostream for all of his illustrations. Cool!
There is some secret that water holds that we need to know. I edge up close to the creek and peer into it for a revelation of some kind, an explanation of the world. Some things I think I know: that the sun rises, that the darkness heals, that animals are intelligent, that rocks are aware, that the earth has a sense of humor. The spring wind is blowing hard. The aspens along the bank make sounds of wood rubbing together, dry boards of an old house in a storm. Fair-weather clouds break loose on the bottom of the western horizon and drift one by one across the blue sky. Below me in the creek there is a clear pool full of minnows. I get down on my belly and carefully put my hand in the water among the small fishes. The minnows jerk past my numb fingers, swift as black seconds ticking. I cannot catch even one.
~ Tom Hennen
Tom Hennen was born in Morris, Minnesota and grew up in a farming family. His poetry was informed by a lifelong and intimate relationship with the prairie. He lives in Minnesota.
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Jon-Mark Davey, South Florida Wildlife Photography kicks us off with his photograph of a orange butterfly shot at Rock Springs Park, Apopka, Florida. Check out one amazing shot after another at Jon-Mark’s site at this link.
Annabel Ruffell @ Journey For Earth with her post titled I am Enough: “But…Often in my life I have felt that I am not enough. I am not being a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough person…I am not doing enough, being enough, am just not enough…” Beautiful post. Read more at this link.
Bonnie @ Pagekeeper with a letter to her her son titled Not All At Once: “…You, growing up, is a long game and even though you and I both want it to all be ok for you right now, let’s both try to remember that you need to take your own time with things. I want you to know that everything I do is for you – so that things are better for you. So that your easy laugh and smiling eyes are always what people see first when they meet you...” Moved. Inspired by this post. Read more at this link.
Coach Bill Moore with his share in a To Run – A Prayer for Boston: “I will take you…on in the street…Every breath of mine…I will consume your hate…I will run straight into you…as if you were a finish line of joy…picking up the fallen…along the way…you will never stop me.” Wonderful. Read full poem by Scott Poole at this link.
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Luggage Lady with her post titled We Can Never Go Back: “…Every summer growing up, my family journeyed from Chicago suburbia to my grandparent’s farm in southern Illinois. They called us “city kids,” and we couldn’t wait to indulge in the expansive freedoms of country life…Woven into the daily demands were simple pleasures, like piling onto the front porch swing at the end of the long day. Grandparents first, followed by a layer of grandchildren, and topped off with the latest litter of purring kittens. The swing’s chains creaked in time with chirping male crickets claiming their conquests. An occasional freight train rumbled down nearby tracks as we kids marveled at stars not visible back home. Sometimes, a puff of cool air bored through the wall of humidity, teasing us with anticipation of a brewing storm…“
Kurt @ Cultural Offering. with his post titled Friendly Advice where he shares excerpts from a Peggy Noonan interview with the “founder” of Singapore: U.S. is still ‘a frontier society.’ ‘The American culture . . . is that we start from scratch and beat you.’ They would settle an empty area, call it a town, and say, ‘You be the sheriff, I am the judge, you are the policeman, and you are the banker, let us start.” And then Kurt shares a wonderful story about Margaret Thatcher leading from the front among a group of men. This post is titled: Margaret Thatcher R.I.P.
Shut down PC.
Stuff my briefcase with weekend reading. I Smile.
Another form of Exercise in futility.
I won’t get to it.
Slump into car. Spent.
4-day week. Felt like six.
Pre Good Friday weekend traffic backed up on 95.
Stealing glances at blackberry.
Flicking through iTunes list.
Land on Mellencamp. John Mellencamp.
Hurts So Good.
When I was a young boy
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m gettin’ older
So much older
I love all those young boy days
Memories flood. Awed.
How? How a mere few bars can take you back.
To a moment. In 1982. A technicolor and edited version. [Read more...]
My Grandfather. Deda. Walter Cecil Kanigan.
He was born on March 22nd. Yesterday. In 1909. 103 years ago.
I couldn’t tell you with certainty where he was born. Believe it was in the Ukraine. In a hospital? Home delivery?
I couldn’t tell you what he did as a child. Who were his friends? Did he have toys? A bike? A cat?
I couldn’t tell you of his journey to Canada. Where did he land? Did he ride the rails to get cross country? Was it Spring time?
I couldn’t tell you if he attended high school. Did he learn “his figures?” Did he know how to write?
I couldn’t tell you how he met Grandma. Baba. Did he ask her Father for permission to marry? Was she his first choice?
I couldn’t tell you his dreams. He mentioned that he wished he could fly. Just once. I couldn’t tell you if he ever flew in a commercial airliner.
I can’t tell you much about Deda.
But, I have moments.
He mixed different cereals for breakfast.
He slurped vegetable soup off his spoon.
Thursday. He was running late for lunch. My college roommate. Just like him to be late. My mind whirring back to college…
Short (very) and stocky build. Permanently attired in University of Minnesota Gopher sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt with hoody. Everything hung large. Everything rumpled. “Unkempt, having an untidy or disheveled appearance.” Webster’s should have added his name. He was the magnetic center – the beating heart – of every college party. Quarter-bounce champ into Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Alibi. Ringleader for late night games of Hearts. Out late. (Very) Up late. (Very) Blessed with a quick wit and quicker on the ice. Selected easiest path to graduation: Art. Sculpture. Sociology. Physical Education. And even this was a struggle. Yet, he was never late for hockey practice. Vote never taken, but most likely to end up next to the curb.
He walked in. Hair salt and peppered grey. Blazer. Blue open collar shirt. Tropical skin tone. (He’s got it together.)
The photographs of Clarke’s Pool are described as a walk down memory lane for “three generations of Castlegar kids who learned how to swim.” Well he’s partially right. It was also the training ground for the suburban kids like my brother Rich and me who hailed from Ootischenia (pop. 856).
Rich’s recollection of the pool was that it was “one of the scariest places he’d ever seen.” Ominous. Large. Deep. Dark. Intimidating. With a “giant” slide coming down high above from the rooftop. My memories were frighteningly similar. Yet, the picture today certainly doesn’t align with the Stephen King-like depiction of the darkness banging around our heads. The pool was smaller. And shallower. And brighter. With a kiddy slide jutting off the side of the garage.
The prize? [Read more...]