fall equinox || week 38


"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "  - When Harry Met Sally
 

i spend the week in wedding mode, running errands, 
making lists on sticky notes and making piles in my office. 
the kids have taken away the normal stress of a wedding, 
by keeping it simple and there are moments when i wonder
what i am forgetting to do. . .  

i talk with Jordan, who assures me over and over, 
all is good, and so i relax
and enjoy the process. 

the dog and i take to the yard in the afternoons, 
spending time deadheading, cleaning up for fall
and laying on the grass. 
i welcome fall with open arms
and decided, without a doubt,
it is my favorite season. 

“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” 
― Lee Maynard

three things ::
Basil has a new bow tie for the wedding
something broke off of me this week, in a good way, and i let it go
simple is good 

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

i look up when exactly fall equinox is this year, 
and find this. . . 

Sept. 22 is the autumnal equinox, the time when the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky that corresponds to the earth's equator. The autumnal equinox – also known as the September or southward equinox – occurs between the 21st and 24th of September each year.

On the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west with a location above the equator illuminating the Earth from pole to pole. Before the autumnal equinox, the sun rises and sets more to the north; afterwards it shifts more southward.

here in the PNW it happened at 7:21 this morning
and i realize i was having my latte, thinking about packing
because we are leaving today for the wedding. 

i watch as the leaves start to turn, i watch as they start to fall around us, 
and it dawns on me that fall is a time for letting go, releasing things
that have become a burden.  it is a natural part of life's cycle. 
there is beauty and excitement in letting go and opening
myself up and getting out of my own way. 
and i find pure joy. . .  

how was your week? 
xoxox

countdown || week 37

"Calories don’t count if they’re connected to a celebration. Everyone knows this." 
— Janet Ivanovich, Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum, #8)

we are in countdown mode around here. . . 
the wedding being just a week away. 
i love the fact that our family is growing, 
love this woman, who is already part of our family,
and feel blessed that my boy has found someone he loves so deeply. 

i spent over an hour looking for wedding quotes
to pair with this post, 
and came up empty handed. . .  
they are seem contrived and silly and
very sexist. . . 
the two of them know what they are doing. in fact,
they could give me some advice. 
so there will be no wedding quote but one on love instead. 

“Lovers alone wear sunlight.” 
― E.E. Cummings

two things :: 
Basil gets to go to the wedding
i wanted to lose 50 pounds, but didn't
(thank goodness they did not give me enough time to even consider it ) 
 

fall is upon us, the days are short, the mornings cool. 
i have not had my camera out of the yard all week, but
find beauty every where i look right now. . .

i think it is my mood; my full heart, my overwhelming gratitude, 
and the fact that there will be pie! 

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”
Jane Austen
2016_07jordan and katie 25.jpg

thank you for all the lovely comments on last weeks post, it means so much to me to read them! 

how was you week? 
xoxox

the other side || week 36

"What if pain - like love - is just a place brave people visit?" 
— Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior: A Memoir

i rattle along this week, moods shifting, mind dwelling in unkind places, 
and emotions exploding. i look for beauty and peace, and find it. . .  
but also find moments of uncertainty and anger. 
i grasp that anger is just a way of exposing pain, 
and i feel vulnerable and open and raw. 

"To be near something beautiful or precious but to be unable to experience it is the subtlest possible form of torture." 
- Robert Johnson
 

i write sticky notes to myself, reminders to take three deep breaths, 
quotes i find in books, gratitude lists of all kinds. 
i find them tucked into library books and on my bedside table,
and spewed across my desk. . .
i gather them into a pile; reading them each one buy one and
toss them into the recycling bin. replacing them with compassion
and lenience and equanimity. 

"The journey is learning that pain, like love, is simply something to surrender to. It's a holy space we can enter with people only if we promise not to tidy up." 
— Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior: A Memoir

two truths ::
i suffer from bouts of depression and acknowledging that, is healthier than asking why
pain is part of life and to feel it is good, because coming out of it feels illuminating and fresh

"Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They’re sacred." 
— Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

i turn corners and feel subtle changes in the season and within me. 
long conversations, with close friends, help me grasp how connected
i am to the cycles of the universe, and i stop fighting it a bit.
i don't give up my truths, but work on ways of listening to them
deliberately; speaking them with kindness and commitment
and allegiance to my being. . .  

"A heart expands exactly as much as her owner allows." 
— Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

i forgo the sticky notes and pull out
beautiful notecards and lovely pieces of paper.
i sit quietly and write a couple to myself, reminders that
the darkness will pass and that i am not broken but loved. 
i place them in a box, for next time, giving myself
permission to feel the pain, knowing from past experience,
that i will step out of it with a new love for life and new awakening
and feel a bit special. . . 

“The sun shows up every morning, no matter how bad you've been the night before. It shines without judgment. It never withholds. It warms the sinners, the saints, the druggies, the cheerleaders- the saved and the heathens alike. You can hide from the sun, but it won't take you personally. It´ll never, ever punish you for hiding. You can stay in the dark for years or decades, and when you finally step outside, it´ll be there.” 
― Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life

i spend hours walking the dog on new
and old pathways. i take note of beauty and unexpected twinkle lights
and bunnies, and praise him for sitting so still
when all he wanted to do was run. . . 
he is such a good boy.

“Wait! I'm the one who's supposed to chase!” 
― Anne Bishop, Murder of Crows

as always, i come out the other end so full i think i might bust.
suddenly there is beauty everywhere and joy and love and hope. 
i spend time online and google everything i can think of
with tandem bicycle themes, because there is a wedding just around the corner. 
i have a glass of red wine, because there is a chill in the air, and
i look forward to the colors of fall i know are just round the corner. 
but mostly i am grateful for this life, and the people i love,
and that dog. . . 
 

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." 
— Mary Oliver

how was your week? 
xoooxx

 

move over august || week 35

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost.” 
― Heny Rollins

august was . . . 
a trip to Idaho
gelato
corn on the cob
an engagement 

“So... Italian gelato. Take the deliciousness of a regular ice-cream cone, times it by a million, then sprinkle it with crushed-up unicorn horns.” 
― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato

august was . . .
a wedding (one of my son's best friend's) 
best man speeches
a weekend with the pugs
and manicures

"You know how you just have to touch your child, sometimes? How you drink him in with your eyes and you could stare at him for hours and you marvel at how dear and impossibly perfect he is?" 
— Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread
2016_08basil and yard 25.jpg

august was . . . 
my birthday
jordan's birthday
and the birth of the baby girl who made my close friend
a grandma

"The way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday" 
— Paris Hilton

august was . . .
blooms in the garden
green beans galore
new potatoes
cranberry beans and plums 

"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." 
— Thich Nhat Hanh
2016_08yard 34.jpg

august was good. . . 
but september will be so wonderful. 
we have our own wedding in a few weeks
complete with an amazing woman who will become  
our new daughter-in-law!
and a son who is so happy. . . 
love is in the air!
and right now, it is consuming my mind
yikes, i need to find Basil a bow tie! 

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
― Dr. Seuss

weaving scenarios || week 34

“I still hadn’t learned the power of words. How, once they have left your mouth, they have a breath and a life of their own. I had yet to realize that you no longer own them. I hadn’t learned that, once you have let them go, the words can then, in fact, become the owner of you.” 
― Joanna Cannon, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

the week is full of too many thoughts,
i weave scenarios throughout my head and within my heart,
wasting precious time. i work at embracing the uneasy feeling
(openly blaming the full moon) but also
know there is wisdom to be had, 
if i am open to it. . . 

“But that day I was anxious. I was nervous and worried, uneasy and distracted. I paced around and never felt settled. I didn't care for the sensation, yet I realized it was possibly a natural progression of my evolving soul, and therefore I tried my best to embrace it.” 
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

i listen to this and give it a go, 
finding it very difficult to separate my ego from my intuition. 
(i wonder at times why i do this to myself) but i go forth and write out some questions
and plug away to answer them, as honestly as i can. 
i try to release old resentments and the past and focus on today and
the true consciousness deep inside my being  . . . 

“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.” 
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

i wake one day to feel joy, the upcoming wedding, our growing family,
strong friendships and him agreeing it is time for him to back away from work.
suddenly i ponder what it might be like to have him home
unpacked and underfoot, a willing partner. . . 
i find peace and hope and joy
and more importantly, possibilities. 

talking is good, listening is grand 

“Here is why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own.
...I beg of you, pretend you are a dog like me and LISTEN to other people rather than steal their stories.” 
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

three things:: 
there are cranberry beans in the garden
i am finally reading this 
BLT's are the best right now 

“So much of language is unspoken. So much of language is compromised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication.” 
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

i take a lesson from Lily, who is old and blind and full of love and wisdom.
if i take a wrong turn and fall down the stairs, i need to just pause
for a brief moment and scan my body, if all is well,
i should take a stab at which direction is up and go forth. . . 
following the voices of everyone i love, who are standing at the top
of the stairs encouraging me to be brave and give it a go. 
 

“What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? Would would this would be like without dogs?” 
― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

how was your week? 
xoxox

here i am || week 33

“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else's. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else's journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?” 
― Jon Kabat-Zinn

the week is full of restlessness and some self doubt. i turn things over in my thoughts, 
even though so much of it out of my control. . . 
at times i yearn for a handout, illustrated, with colorful arrows pointing this way
and that, for different paths or scenarios i might take,
or different questions i might ask.
a step by step walkthroughs, depending on which way i choose, 
all of it coming out good. . . 
 

“One practical way to do this is to look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.” 
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

i write, i take photos, i garden, i read, i walk the dog and decided one day i need something more. . . 
something to stretch my creative side, seeing clearly that my photography,
while peaceful and a fair representation of my life,
is boring me. . .
i ponder what i might do to change things up a bit
and draw a blank, but won't give up. 

yet. . .  

“Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, how are you going to handle it? In other words, “Now what?” 
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

the mornings are cool
and the evenings grow dark earlier and earlier.
the flowers step on stage for their last big show
and it is stunning, their best performance in years
their beauty deserves to be captured, i tell myself
yet, i hold off until the last moment of each day,  hoping something
more avant garde, more creative will drop into my lap
silly girl. . .  
there is nothing in the world that matches the color of that rose, 
 i am humbled to capture it,

“and remind you that you are here now, and that when you get there, you will be there. If you miss the here, you are likely also to miss the there. If your mind is not centered here, it is likely not to be centered just because you arrive somewhere else.” 
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

pondering :: 
social media (always)
leaving my self portrait group
spending some upcoming, much needed, quality time with two beautiful woman
my baby getting married. . .  soon
a gathering in October
giving up our cable TV
being open to the unexpected
two close friends becoming grandmas
gratitude

“and remind you that you are here now, and that when you get there, you will be there. If you miss the here, you are likely also to miss the there. If your mind is not centered here, it is likely not to be centered just because you arrive somewhere else.” 
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are
“Three tomatoes are walking down the street - a papa tomato, a mama tomato and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Papa tomato get angry, goes over to Baby tomato and squishes him.....and says 'Ketchup!’"
Uma Thurman in 'Pulp Fiction'

i consider the upcoming seasons and the changes they bring, 
the dark and rainy days that will unavoidably arrive at my back door
and decide to look for a creative outlet. . . now
something to fill the hours, but more importantly, something to fill my soul. 
a new class, a fellow creative being to do a project with, a challenge. . .
any suggestions? 

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

so, how was you week? 
please live bravely and open and take in every moment, 
xoxo