Small stones I photographed at The Arches in Newfoundland
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
― Mary Oliver from the poem Praying
Wicker basket of oranges I photographed in a shop in Lisbon
I pick an orange from a wicker basket
and place it on the table
to represent the sun.
Then down at the other end
a blue and white marble
becomes the earth
and nearby I lay the little moon of an aspirin.
I get a glass from a cabinet,
open a bottle of wine,
then I sit in a ladder-back chair,
a benevolent god presiding
over a miniature creation myth,
and I begin to sing
a homemade canticle of thanks
for this perfect little arrangement,
for not making the earth too hot or cold
not making it spin too fast or slow
so that the grove of orange trees
and the owl become possible,
not to mention the rolling wave,
the play of clouds, geese in flight,
and the Z of lightning on a dark lake.
Then I fill my glass again
and give thanks for the trout,
the oak, and the yellow feather,
singing the room full of shadows,
as sun and earth and moon
circle one another in their impeccable orbits
and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude.
– Billy Collins from As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse
Prayer for a Golf Tournament
A Prayer for the New Year
What Are People Saying?
It has been almost seven months since I have done a post cataloging responses I’ve received on my blog. So here are some that might be of interest. Mary who is one of my most faithful blog readers was intrigued by my post on Warli art. She used the technique to make a birthday card for her grandson.
Probably my most popular post in the last while is the one I did about my husband transporting a pineapple crisp on the back of his bicycle. My great-niece Isabella and her grandma, my sister-in-law Shirley, told me that after they read the post about the pineapple crisp they were inspired to make a peach crisp. My Auntie Mildred read the post about my grandmother’s honeymoon journal and told me she remembered my grandparents as wonderful, sweet people who were such fun.
When I did a post about A Men Working sign wondering why it didn’t include women, my friend Millie said it was because women don’t need a sign to let people know when they are working.
My post about Thin Places prompted a blog reader named Dean to write that his thin place is Tsawwassen British Columbia.
My cousin-in-law Joanne could identify with the post about my Dad and my aunt spending time together. She said she and her three sisters are very close. They get together all the time and help and support one another.
My former colleague Perry who lives in Halifax now liked my post about Peanut Park in Winnipeg. When he and his wife were first married they lived right across from the park.
I got quite a few responses to my post on the word ‘Yeet.’ My friend Jennifer who lives in Hong Kong said her pre-teen has been using the word and she’s glad now she knows what it means. A former teaching colleague said she had learned the word from her students. An art gallery colleague who considers herself a linguist said she was surprised she’d never heard the word. My friend Heather said her teenagers just roll their eyes when she tries to use ‘yeet.’
Billboard created by a woman’s rights group in the Niagara area of Ontario
Probably no post in recent months had as many likes and shares and comments as the one I wrote called Pro-Life or Anti Woman. Abortion is clearly a topic that people feel very strongly about. Interestingly that post led to me meeting with a woman who identifies as being pro-life and we talked about all the things we had in common. I wrote a post about that too.
My post about Miriam Toews and her relationship with her hometown received plenty of responses and was shared on many different sites. One Facebook responder suggested we put up a sign in Steinbach honoring Miriam Toews, but writer Armin Wiebe reminded him that it took ten years after Margaret Laurence’s death for her hometown of Neepawa to honor her in any way.
Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and especially those readers who take the time to write comments. I appreciate them all.
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