Friday, April 29, 2011

In Awe

Tuesday night, 8pm, I left a meeting to discover the most amazing cloud sculpture waiting for me, reflecting the setting sun. 

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, 
but to add color to my sunset sky.  
~Rabindranath Tagore

I reached for my camera and remembered - I had rushed from the house, late for the meeting, forgetting not only my camera, but also my phone.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.  
~G.K. Chesterton

I could only pray Tom spotted the cloud, too, and thought to snap some photos, or that it would last until I got home.
Both prayers were answered.
The first two are his - the cloud had started breaking up a little by the time I grabbed the camera for this next one, but not much.

...And great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.  
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich, "Miracles"

I'm grateful these were the clouds in our sky ... awe-inspiring but not in the monstrous way of the tornadoes that left so much death and devastation east of us. Please join me in praying for those now in mourning, picking up the pieces of their lives, that they feel the light in their heart that inspires them to keep going.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Promise of Stars...

A promise of stars ... gold, blue, red.
That's why I stood at the front of the room
facing my fourth grade classmates
pulling words from my memory
conjuring the images
the rhythms, the rhymes to help
reconstruct the poems. 

Recite a poem, get a star.
A fair trade, I thought, for a long line of red, blue and gold beside my name on the chart beside the door...

I discovered the words 
laced into poems in an old book 
with yellowed pages and crackled binding,
napping on a shelf in our home.
Within lay the key to star treasure.

But of course, the true treasure emerged in words, images, poems
that seeped into me, 
shaped me.
Treasure that still lies within my memory.

April is National Poetry Month - in honor of it, I held this photo session with my all-time favorite poetry book, aptly titled "Favorite Poems Old and New", selected by Helen Ferris and published in 1957.

Penciled on the flyleaf in my fourth grade handwriting are a few of my favorites for easy reference...

  • Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe, page 503, creepy and romantic. It was many and many a year ago...
  • Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson, page 48, imaginative and innocent. (I've always had eclectic taste.)
  • One, Two, Three by Henry Cuyler Bunner, page 537, tender and bittersweet, but joyful. It was an old, old, old, old lady, and a boy that was half-past three...
  • Just 'Fore Christmas by Eugene Field, page 538. Father calls me William, sister calls me Will...
  • Leetla Georgio Washeenton by Thomas Augustine Daly, page 419 The Italian accent I developed with this one landed me the role of the Italian watermelon vendor in our class play! "You busta my-a watermelon! You imbecile! You lonkahead!" Those were my lines. Yeah, I still remember them, along with every line of my favorite poem from that year, which is...
  • Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field, page 536, so sweet and so sad. My sister and I love to recite this (and cry) together. The little toy dog is covered with dust...

That's not the complete poem. Here's the rest...

Aye, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place---
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
Since he kissed them and put them there.

Excuse me while I get a tissue...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

O God, 

We saw the bread crumbs, emptied vessels, damp towels
Scattered over the shaking floor of our faith.
Justice was swept under the rug of violence
And redemption hung in the balance of a cross.
Just when all seemed lost and death began to dance
The long night came to an end.
               Dying you destroyed our death.
At dawn, on the first day of the week
We pulled ourselves away from tear-stained pillows
And walked in tired mourning to the place
Where unguarded, the stone, was rolled away,
Revealing an empty tomb
Full of life and possibility!
The earth shook with the news, "He is not here!"
               Rising you restored our life!
Light shines and lilies bloom.
You are with us again in this upper room.
We sigh and laugh at stories of darkness past.
At your table we eat and sing
Alleluia! Alleluia! Bells of blessing ring!
We dare to touch each other's hands and side.
Peace is your gift, Love is our guide.
               Lord Jesus, come in glory!
- David L. Coppola

All beauty in the world is either a memory of paradise or a prophecy of the transfigured world. ~ Nikolai Berdyaev

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cactus Flower

Even the cactus

the thick-skinned, unattractive, prickly cactus

is capable of delicate, outrageous, unbelievable beauty.

There's a lesson in there somewhere, don't you think?

"Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment."
Ellis Peters
British writer, 20th century

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looks like Spring (Feels like Summer!)

Snowflakes are still falling on my friends in the north
while here in my bit of Texas, 
we're sweating summer-style and praying for rain.

Does anyone else get the feeling Spring is playing hooky?
Where is that rascal hiding?

 I hope, despite the lack of rain, 
this quote is true... 

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. ~ Henri Matisse

Just in case, I'm snapping them up while I can...

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's a sickness...

I blame Jillsy and that dang Color My World photo/blog hop of hers.
She challenged us to find something turquoise.

No biggy - I posted a photo of a beautifully wrapped birthday present.
Then I sat down to eat.

Straight ahead of me on the windowsill were these...

Then I remembered this, and added it to the mix...

And that's when all hell broke loose... 
(strictly photographically speaking, of course!)

I'm sorry.

Unless you like colored glass... 
...then you're welcome.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Beautiful Grizzly Brother

Shocked. Awed. Flabbergasted.

It must be a joke. Or a mistake.

Those are the first feelings and thoughts that crossed my mind this morning when I found out Pioneer Woman chose my photograph of my sweet brother's grizzled face for Group 3 of her Brothers Photography Assignment.

But I shushed myself and just enjoyed the moment.

It's been nice. Very nice.

Thanks for seeing something in my photo, Pioneer Woman.

Thanks for letting me know it was chosen, Jillsy.

Thank you for my camera, Tom.

Thank you for having such a wonderful, grizzly, character-filled face, Donnie...

And for being such a sweet big brother.

I love you!

Happy birthday this Sunday!

(To see why he looked so grizzly, even for him, click HERE.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Antelope Horn

Isn't that a funny name for a flower?

But then, it's a funny-looking flower-
more alien than antelope,
don't you think?

Actually, it's called "Antelope Horn Milkweed"... 

I noticed it popping up along the road this week
and didn't even realize it was a flower until I looked closely through my camera lens.

That's when I also realized it's a pretty popular hang-out...
...among a certain set, anyway.

I still don't know what those yellow and black bugs are though.

Part 2: Okay, I've been sent two links for different beetles - both look very similar to mine. I think mine might be a mix of the two! Here are the links - tell me what you think...


Monday, April 11, 2011

Yellow, the Color of the Season

The theme for focus52 this week is "Yellow" - an easy one for me. 
It seemed everywhere I looked, yellow was popping up and saying "Look at me!"

And then it hit me - this sign is yellow, too.

It was a gift from my son's girlfriend. 
Every time I see it, I think of Frankie.
Sure, it makes me sad. I miss my Frankie bird.
But it also makes me smile.
He was a funny little guy.

(Click HERE if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Is it just wishful thinking that I hope another one wanders our way some day?
But perhaps not. 

After all, Frankie and Ruthie just wandered up and adopted us - why couldn't it happen again?

(I've also linked this to Lisa Gordan's Creative Exchange. Click here to see the other contributions - they're gorgeous!)