- From the archive: : I heart Sundays http://t.co/ibDcPCBU #Random #
- From the archive: : set in stone http://t.co/eb8nhjB5 #Random #
- And a sunset rainbow in the awesome clouds #sosopretty http://t.co/FdPfiju6 #
- SoCal sunset spectacular #wishingiwasseeingthisonefromtheocean http://t.co/bvt2Eewi #
- From the archive: : Harry Potter Party http://t.co/3mTs0mcj #Random #
- A peaceful beginning for a busy day http://t.co/p2sZJLD1 #
- From the archive: : elvis wedding http://t.co/aO4wdmcu #family #
- The crabs keep trying to run away (I'm a bit squeamish about grabbing them). http://t.co/7Saa2jEi #
- From the archive: : veggie-tarian http://t.co/7yBxA2Tt #
- Queuing for crabs @ Dory Fishing Fleet Market http://t.co/f8DWBYxz #
- Fresh fish market at too-early o'clock @ Dory Fishing Fleet Market http://t.co/cvveT1Di #
- From the archive: : my hands are small I know http://t.co/qg0cRWVQ #
- Moules et un vin rouge maison @ Pescadou Bistro http://t.co/Kc2s2H5K #
- Evening lights #sopretty @ Lido Island Harbor http://t.co/nLF49oKw #
- From the archive: : Traveler's Tales: "I am new today" http://t.co/WlDwrJA5 #
- From the archive: : Make me smile… http://t.co/UU9Hh3dM #
- From the archive: : prosthetic http://t.co/RJzfDpmY #amputee #
- From the archive: : swim http://t.co/XNpPzBJ1 #amputee #
- From the archive: : soundtrack for a break up http://t.co/YWNU2IKR #
- Thinking of a pair of these as nightstand lamps at the new house… http://t.co/j3yc7zbR #
- From the archive: : Openings http://t.co/7A6I82fp #writing #
- From the archive: : no sheep's clothing 'round here… http://t.co/GjIkLNih #LDS #
- …in bed @ Bamboo Bistro http://t.co/S2wEcN9M #
- From the archive: : because it's all about me anyways http://t.co/A3Rt8vm9 #Random #
From Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert, by Terry Tempest Williams:
I write to make peace with the things I cannot control.
I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white.
I write to discover.
I write to uncover.
I write to meet my ghosts.
I write to begin a dialogue.
I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change.
I write to honor beauty.
I write to correspond with my friends.
I write as a daily act of improvisation.
I write because it creates my composure.
I write against power and for democracy.
I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams.
I write in a solitude born out of community.
I write to the questions that shatter my sleep.
I write to the answers that keep me complacent.
I write to remember.
I write to forget.
I write to the music that opens my heart.
I write to forget the pain.
I write to migrating birds and with the hubris of language.
I write as a form of translation.
I write with the patience of melancholy in winter.
I write because it allows me to confront that which I do not know.
I write as an act of faith.
I write as an act of slowness.
I write to record what I love in the face of loss.
I write because it makes me less fearful of death.
I write as an exercise of pure joy.
I write as one who walks on the surface of a frozen river beginning to melt.
I write out of anger and into my passion.
I write from the stillness of night anticipating–always anticipating.
I write to listen.
I write out of silence.
I write to soothe the voices shouting inside me, outside me, all around.
I write because of the humor of our condition as humans.
I write because I believe in words.
I write because I do not believe in words.
I write because it is a dance with paradox.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand.
I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide.
I write because it is the way I take long walks.
I write as a bow to wilderness.
I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness.
I write because as a child I spoke a different language.
I write with a knife carving each word through the generosity of trees.
I write as ritual.
I write because I am not employable.
I write out of my inconsistencies.
I write because then I do not have to speak.
I write with the colors of memory.
I write as a witness to what I have seen.
I write as a witness to what I imagine.
I write by grace and grit.
I write out of indigestion.
I write when I am starving.
I write when I am full.
I write to the dead.
I write out of the body.
I write to put food on the table.
I write on the other side of procrastination.
I write for the children we never had.
I write for the love of ideas.
I write for the surprise of a beautiful sentence.
I write with the belief of alchemists.
I write knowing I will always fail.
I write knowing words always fall short.
I write knowing I can be killed by my own words, stabbed by syntax, crucified by both understanding and misunderstanding.
I write out of ignorance.
I write by accident.
I write past the embarrassment of exposure…
words are always a gamble, words are splinters of cut glass.
I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are.
I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Photo above taken on a rambly drizzly walk in Tuscany. Because I also write to remember where I’ve been…
Perhaps one hard lesson of the last few years of my life has been to learn to express uncomfortable feelings–the coping mechanism of so many years of suppressing sadness is hard to undo. But what I’ve realized is that I can tell when there’s something I need to express…because my left hand will be balled into a tight fist. Generally I don’t even know that I’m doing it, but I will look down and see the knuckles white and fingers tight and know that something is awry.
(It’s been interesting to peruse my photos from the last few years and to see how many of them include that tight fist in the frame.)
Today, I am finding my hand in a fist because of that hug that I gave my college-bound son at the side of my car just before he walked away with two suitcases in hand.* That moment recalled many similar hugs that I’ve given in the past. Hugs meant to hold on to someone who was leaving. To keep them close and safe, despite distance. To offer a memory for me to grasp on days when my hands are empty.
Making a Fist
by Naomi Shihab Nye
For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.
“How do you know if you are going to die?”
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
“When you can no longer make a fist.”
Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.
*He’s not gone to college quite yet, but will be with his Dad for a few days until he leaves
- From the archive: : Elephant Loves http://t.co/VnFohVui #books #
- From the archive: : Thaw http://t.co/zLNqlSvb #Random #
- Bonny says that this part of our backyard looks a bit like a coral reef. I think she's right :) http://t.co/RodQsYML #
- From the archive: : cooking http://t.co/fAN52PLO #food #
- Today at the depot: man reading "Trains" magazine & an older woman in a hat who @ Ruby's Diner Orange Depot http://t.co/6LHbDeIw #
- From the archive: : war http://t.co/DALVwu2Z #world #
- At the OCFair to see WeirdAl w/the two cutest teens evar! @ OC FAIR 2012 http://t.co/FXAqyZ6L #
- Happiness is: a front porch swing. :) http://t.co/JPZYWAIM #
- Mini roses from my new garden http://t.co/hWzGdhNW #
- From the archive: : here's hopin' http://t.co/oP2hrUTG #
- Belgian. :) http://t.co/4BM8wdgu #
- This is starting to look like "home" :) http://t.co/3ZPStx7S #
- From the archive: : Bridges http://t.co/JDU8WxpA #
- One of my favorite maps (of a favorite country) http://t.co/MERic2oN #
- From the archive: : Have you ever…. http://t.co/syGpgJio #
- Sunrise, sunrise…(from the new house window) http://t.co/iiQG53H1 #
In the midst of a sublime weekend, two reminders that I live among predators…
First…Ellycat is now officially a hunter–she left the remains of her first prey (a mouse, it seems) on the floor in my bedroom on Sunday morning (the catch probably coming from a brief meander outside on Saturday evening while the rest of us were busy over some Flemish stew and a bit of Belgian ale). Now I know that I am safe from rodents with her around. That she has now taken to draping herself over furniture like a mighty cheetah is rather endearing.
And then this morning as we had breakfast and coffee on the back patio, a red-tailed hawk joined in. He sat on the fence looking around for awhile, oblivious to the humans below. It’s the first time we’ve been him in the week that we’ve lived at the new place.
I, for one, am pretty happy to know that we have two rodent-eaters on hand.
Photo above of the swing on our front porch. One of my new favorite spot for morning coffee-drinking…
(h/t Jen Grey)
“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.
That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.
Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”
― Henry Miller
- From the archive: : happy garden thoughts http://t.co/ME6RiVX1 #Random #
- From the archive: : inside-out http://t.co/Q1N78V6y #
- From the archive: : Happy Solstice to You! http://t.co/4xSsseYP #
- First home-cooked meal at the new house http://t.co/bkXesnMg #
- From the archive: : making me sad… http://t.co/YvF6Ywcf #
- Looks like first dinner in the new house will include the fancy candelabra http://t.co/mp83jxJf #
- From the archive: : arbor http://t.co/o6eYZzqV #garden #
- Any friends our there have a connection to get us a table at Totoraku in LA? I'd definitely make it worth your while :) #
- From the archive: : Reading is Sexy http://t.co/yRT86TPi #Random #
- From the archive: : reflection http://t.co/aJZCfmil #books #
- Worst. Commute. Ever. #the55isabigparkinglot :( #
This poem expresses much of what I’ve been feeling lately–so much deep satisfaction with my life’s happenings. Sometimes it feels almost wrong to be so pleased with things, to have so many elements fall into place. But at the same time, I also believe in the line of this poem that “You are happy either way…” Because I’ve nearly-always chosen happiness, despite the difficulties of my life circumstances.
Still sometimes I wonder if because I’ve had challenges in so many things for so long, what I will do if things are just good? Will it cause my life to be boring and predictable? Will I create small and unnecessary dramas because I don’t have big ones anymore? Or will I start getting itchy for the open road and new possibilities (and dangers)?
Two nights ago (my first night sleeping on my own bed in our new house), I woke up realizing that I’d slept better than I had in years–deep, restful, peaceful sleep. And now I’m looking forward to so many more nights of that ahead…and thinking that whatever the future might hold, for now I will just relax and see how things unfold from here…
So Much Happiness
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.
I’ve discussed before why I see Blackboard as a necessary evil on my campus. Because I spend a large portion of my work-time helping faculty to use this tool (among others) in their classroom, I think a lot about Blackboard. Maybe too much…
Just weeks ago, Blackboard announced that the free Mobile Learn app for their software would no longer be free. They announced this just weeks before it would go into effect. For those of you not familiar with university budgets….they are established more than a year in advance and a change in pricing for enterprise-level software can have a huge impact on an institution’s budget.
Blackboard…this is just one more reason why you have a bad name among administrators–this “surprise” puts us in the difficult position of scrambling to compensate for an unplanned expense in what is an already-tight period for most academic institutions…
They are offering two pricing models for this change to the Mobile Learn app. One is to have users (i.e. students and faculty) pay for the app themselves. The app will cost users $1.99/yr or $5.99/for a lifetime license (although it is not clear if this lifetime license will transfer to new institutions if they student or faculty-member changes schools–I suspect not). Or the university can choose to buy an annual sitewide license for the Mobile Learn app. The price quoted for our small university for a year of campus Mobile Learn license is more than $20,000 (and of course that’s in addition to the amount that we pay for the regular Blackboard Learn software). That the pricetag of the license in so steep and that the lead-time for making the decision so brief, means that most campuses will not choose the license option but will make their users pay for the Mobile Learn app.
We’re now considering workarounds for the two (undesirable) Mobile Learn app payment options on our campus–perhaps offering a $2 iTunes gift card to those who want the app, or some similar method of reimbursement. Because it doesn’t make sense to put the burden for paying for the app on our affiliates, yet the cost is so high that a site license is hardly warranted for the number of users that we serve.
- Spontaneous sushi stop @ shikibu http://t.co/rAG3yzwq #
- From the archive: : vanilla-ish http://t.co/GqHwLMfM #garden #
- New office sign! :) @ Memorial Hall http://t.co/mT4ejAt5 #
- Sitting between a man reading "Trains" magazine & one man smoking a joint. :) @ Ruby's Diner Orange Depot http://t.co/xL7QBXt4 #
- From the archive: : this damnable war, part II http://t.co/w54nWWSR #world #
- KTLA filming in front of our house (because of UCI prof turned arsonist) http://t.co/s1GjnhwP #
- From the archive: : at the beach http://t.co/4KaHlh3p #
- From the archive: : the rapture http://t.co/RcXMWC3q #Random #
- From the archive: : poppy new year to you! http://t.co/B0av0shP #Random #
- A good spot for getting caught up on my academic reading.. @ Venice Public Graffiti Art Walls http://t.co/Npn7jcny #
- From the archive: : Simplify http://t.co/6u7aXKEx #
- Next course: bisteca alla fiorientina #yum http://t.co/6CQEJFR3 #
- Starting dinner with mussels, from the grill http://t.co/GgqFCjdy #
- From the archive: : when i grow up http://t.co/z0C41hdd #