Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday: I Prayed That the Bull-fights Would Be Good

At the end of the street I saw the cathedral and walked up toward it. The first time I ever saw it I thought the facade was ugly but I liked it now. I went inside. It was dim and dark and the pillars went high up, and there were people praying, and it smelt of incense, and there were some wonderful big windows. I knelt and started to pray and prayed for everybody I thought of, Brett and Mike and Bill and Robert Cohn and myself, and all the bull-fighters, separately for the ones I liked, and lumping all the rest, then prayed for myself again, and while I was praying for myself I found I was getting sleepy, so I prayed that the bull-fights would be good, and that it would be a fine fiesta, and that we would get some fishing. 

I wondered if there was anything else I might pray for, and I thought I would like to have some money, so I prayed that I would make a lot of money, and then I started to think how I would make it, and thinking of making money reminded me of the count, and I started wondering about where he was, and regretting I hadn't seen him since that night in Montmartre, and about something funny Brett told me about him, and as all the time I was kneeling with my forehead on the wood in front of me, and was thinking of myself as praying, I was a little ashamed, and regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while, and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time; and then I was out in the hot sun on the steps of the cathedral, and the forefingers and the thumb of my right hand were still damp, and I felt them dry in the sun. The sunlight was hot and hard, and I crossed over beside some buildings, and walked back along sidestreets to the hotel.

~ The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

A thoughtful quote can help guide us deeper into understanding ourselves and the world.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Haiku for Your Silence

I have these moments
where I find that I love you
just the way you are.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Letting My Freak Flag Fly

Photo taken by Christina R.
Last year it took a lot of courage to step out of my comfort zone and learn to do the Thriller Dance in front of audiences as part of the professional STL Flashmob! Everything from putting on the make-up (I usually hate make-up) to attending rehearsals with complete strangers, to dancing in front of crowds at weddings and events, to acting fiercely zombieish... it was all new and a little bit scary.

But it was a wonderful experience! I learned a three and a half minute dance by heart. I am completely okay with the fact that I'm really not a great dancer, because I found out how much fun it is to dance with others! I was happy to dance as a zombie because to me, it was a reminder that death has no power, even though I think that when we truly come back to life we won't look quite so beat up ; )  Best of all, I made new friends, young and old, whom I continued to see throughout the year at other flashmob events (we did dances for Christmas and for charity events) and have enjoyed getting to know. We even attended the wedding of one of the lovely ladies in our group, and all the women got together to create a special flashmob for her reception! 

Our group is beginning rehearsals again for the Halloween season. It's already proving to be just as much fun as before, of course : )  My costume for this year is a zombie mime; old clothes, a pair of suspenders for a dollar, thrift store shoes and gloves, and I'm set. Because I already know the Thriller dance, I'll be able to have more fun just dancing and refining all the steps, instead of having to concentrate super hard on just doing the steps right, so that is exciting.

If you'd like to check out what our flashmob does, follow this link!

Also, if you live in St. Louis and are interested in joining our group, let me know!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


With the advent of the piano,
brought by Chris's awesome family
all the way from Ohio 
(his grandmother's piano,
a beloved heirloom for him)
we celebrated with what will be
the first of many house concerts:
several guitars, piano, banjo, mandolin,
folk and classical
musicians alike singing and playing together,
from two to seventy-two. 
Rockytop Tennessee, much Hank Williams,
Horse with No Name,
Rock Me Mama Like a Wagon Wheel,
Blessed Be the Name,
Great is Thy Faithfulness,
I'll Fly Away
was the flavor of this all-inclusive performance.

Add to that a date night
to hear music at our favorite hide-out,
music sung at church and played
for the always-enthusiastic children,
music enjoyed at an open mic 
for students of my studio,
and we can satisfactorily say
that our weekend has been full
of music.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Heart Strings

When I write poetry
in the future,
I can imagine what the perfect
scenario will be: early morning
when the mist lies
on the slumbering grass
and you still in bed
(it must be the weekend)
hiding your face from the rising
sun but also peeking out
from under the sheets,
watching me sit at the computer,
a mug of steaming tea at my elbow,
maybe a little music, the Seventeen
Lyrics of Li Po, playing.
Then I will offer
to make you eggs for breakfast
but you, like the gentleman
you are, will decline and say
"Maybe when you are
done writing."

Weaving words along with everyone else inspired by Write Alm's September Prompt-a-day.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

National Read-a-Book Day!

In honor of national "Read-a-book" day, here is what I'm jumping into over the next few weeks! 

~ The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. THANK YOU to Alice N. for dropping her lovely hardback copy off at my home so I didn't have to be 35th in line to read it at the library! 

~ The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoners Dilemma, and The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart. I was enthralled by the first book in this series because of the awesome characters, the story, and the subtle messages on education! They're more for older kids, but you're never too old to read a good book : )

~ Thursday's Child by Noel Streatfeild. I've read all her "Shoes" books, ever since I was very young, but had never seen this one before, so of course I have to have it.

~ A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver. She writes such thoughtful poetry, and I like the way she accepts the inevitable questions of life without feeling like there always needs to be an immediate answer.

~ The Apple That Astonished Paris by Billy Collins. My favorite poet of all time! I read his works periodically over again just because they're so good. He creates "real toads in imaginary gardens", as Marianne Moore writes.

~ The Incredulity of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton. One of my top five favorite authors wrote another set of short stories that I'd not read yet about my favorite detective (nope, not Sherlock!), and they are just as good as I'd hoped they'd be.

There we have it! I'm also finishing up a book on education by John Holt called How Children Fail and have started its partner called How Children Learn, and I've been slowly swimming through a book of essays by C.S. Lewis, so right now there are six different books lying around the house with bookmarks in them, just for me. That way I can always snatch a few minutes with a book whenever I get a chance and no matter what kind of reading-material-mood I'm in  ; )  

What are you reading? Happy read-a-book day!