Michaelmas Time

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sometimes the time passes and I am gliding along the current without noticing. August came in like a roaring lion, early birthdays, visitors, readying a girl for university...I am just now catching my breath. Except the air is filled with veils of smoke and ash. This is par for the course here in Los Angeles in the late summer. It is as if the hills are combustible. Fires erupting here and there along the San Gabriel Mountain Range. The skies are ablaze, the light is filtered through a thick red haze, the inside of the house glows vermillion. The smell of heat and wood and golden yellow assault you as you walk outside. 

This time of year is Michaelmas Time. I often find it a challenging time, but feel it is a good time to set one's intention for the future, to plant the bulbs of possibility. Let the work of the cool winter deepen our resolve and come to bloom in the spring. The fire-filled sky serves as reminder to me of the heat and intensity of the dragon who can be tamed through the strength of Michael.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Summer Day

The dawn laughs out on orient hills 
And dances with the diamond rills; 
The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs 
The silken, beaded gossamers; 
In the wide valleys, lone and fair, 
Lyrics are piped from limpid air, 
And, far above, the pine trees free 
Voice ancient lore of sky and sea. 
Come, let us fill our hearts straightway 
With hope and courage of the day. 


Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower, 
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower, 
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship 
With the ripe blossom of her lip; 
All silent are her poppied vales 
And all her long Arcadian dales, 
Where idleness is gathered up 
A magic draught in summer's cup. 
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams 
By lisping margins of her streams. 


Adown the golden sunset way 
The evening comes in wimple gray; 
By burnished shore and silver lake 
Cool winds of ministration wake; 
O'er occidental meadows far 
There shines the light of moon and star, 
And sweet, low-tinkling music rings 
About the lips of haunted springs. 
In quietude of earth and air 
'Tis meet we yield our souls to prayer. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery

To Ponder

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better. 

Billy Collins

Birth Day

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tomorrow is my Forty-Second birthday. My first born is heading off to university and my youngest is sixteen. I can hardly believe the swiftness in which time travels. I can remember the birth's of both children like it happened this morning. I can recall the first day of school, skinned knees, moments of quiet, luxurious napping the both of them did until they were five...I have been blessed in all of my days, the difficult ones and the ones brimming with joy. I have learned many lessons and been showered with numerous gifts.

However, this year has been trying and sad and long. I feel ready to package it up with the other Forty-One birthdays, tidy and sweet, tied on the top with a silk ribbon in bright red, a sprig of rosemary tucked under the ribbon. I spent the day passing out postcards and flyers for the new art endeavor, it felt good, closing a year with a bright and shiny new impulse. I even stood up for myself in FedExKinkos. I am truly tired of sub-par customer service. It has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. Today, I spoke my mind. I felt weird as I walked out, calmly after speaking my piece with the supervisor. I vowed to NEVER enter that establishment again. I won't either. When I am done, I am done for good. I was plagued with regret on the drive home. Then, I remembered the essential. Be nice. Just be nice, and helpful, especially when I AM PAYING YOU MONEY FOR A SERVICE. BE NICE, PLEASE.

I feel a little melancholy as I do around most birthdays, but I am looking forward to a new year. This one, like all of the others, is filled with the promise of joy, sorrow and love. I could not ask for more. I am very lucky to be alive.

Mr. Toad

File:Toad map.jpg
Taking our cue from Mr. Toad.
Craft Caravan

Drum Roll, Please!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

As I my body healed over the last year, so has my spirit been gaining momentum. I have been sewing and planting, painting and sculpting, all in anticipation of this great day!

Craft Caravan is now a reality! As a teacher, I had a side job at a local teacher training college. I had the opportunity to teach art to individuals training to become Waldorf  Teachers. It was a great joy for me and many times the highlight of my week. A student of mine would always comment on the trunk of my car, brimming over with paint, brushes, clay, beeswax, et all. She would say it was like a traveling art studio. The idea began to percolate between the two of us and we are now ready to launch our own mobile art studio. We will be offering classes in The Monrovia Cottage Studios and also offering mobile services to those who are unable to travel to us. 

We are excited to announce the birth our new baby! Follow the link below to inspire your creative impulses:

Morning Poem 
by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.


Monday, August 3, 2009

I see light. I see a little spark of light. I see the potential for once again being a participant in my life. It has been a long time, Life, nice to see you again. My birthday is approaching and usually, it feels dark around the date. Lots of undone things, some regrets, and of course, the joys. This week however, feels good. Feels tidy, and put together. There are few regrets because throughout this year I finally learned that there is no point to regret. There is only living and striving and hoping and loving. I have been trying to be full of grace, walk in grace...It feels like some of that striving is sticking. I am happy for this year to be over. It has been hard and there have been lots of tears and shifts that seemed to tear at the fiber of my identity. Yet, here I stand, surrounded by growing things in the garden, tomatoes ripening on the vine, raspberries peeking out from spiky green leaves and white Pikake flowers finally blooming. I pick a small branch each day and stick it in my ponytail. I can't smell back there, but I know it is there and that makes me smile. Are there dark days, yes. There are still days of deep sadness. But this morning? This morning, I see some light...

Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved

Look at This Beauty

The beauty of this poem is beyond words.
Do you need a guide to experience the heat of the sun?

Blessed is the brush of the painter who paints
Such beautiful pictures for his virgin bride.

Look at this beauty. There is no reason for what you see.
Experience its grace. Even in nature there is nothing so fine.

Either this poem is a miracle, or some sort of magic trick.
Guided either by Gabriel or the Invisible Voice, inside.

No one, not even Hafiz, can describe with words the Great Mystery.
No one knows in which shell the priceless pearl does hide.