Monday, August 18, 2014

New post

If there's one thing I've learned about blogs in the process of creating one, it's that they are easier to think about than they are to actually maintain. But look, here's a new post. Isn't it pretty? So clean and concise. I feel refreshed just being here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I recently underwent DNA testing for genealogical purposes and the results are in: I am part Irish, Scottish, Swedish, French, Greek, West African, Vietnamese, Cherokee, Hindu, atheist, Baptist, Muslim, human, bear, rabbit, jellyfish, Port Orford cedar, rock slide, ocean, solar system, tomato plant, shelf fungus, chicken bone, chewing gum, and plastic milk jug. I'm related to Walt Whitman and also Tom Cruise. And that's not all.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Persimmon story

I really enjoy making up stories on the spot for the girls when something prompts it.

For instance, a neighbor recently shared some persimmons. While the girls were in the bath, I sliced one in half through the middle and found a beautiful sun at the center.

This led to a story: 

It was nearly winter, and a little girl wandered through her family’s bare, brown garden, thinking about and missing all the fruits of summer, now long gone. She closed her eyes and rememberedstrawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Even the apples had fallen by now. She felt cold beneath the dark clouds, the garden already asleep for the winter. How she wished for just a tiny bit of sun!

Then the girl came to a funny little tree. Its leaves had fallen and its branches were bare, but it was covered in fruitsorange, round fruits as festive and beautiful as decorations on a Christmas tree. She snapped off one of the fruits and brought it inside her home, where she sat holding it a good long time, just looking it over and savoring how shiny and lovely it was. Finally she started to cut into the fruit. When she pierced it with her knife, a blinding beam of light poured out from it, a light so bright that the girl had to cover her eyes. After she managed to cut the fruit in half, she saw where the light was coming from. This fruit carried the sun inside it! She tasted it, and it was like tasting the sweetness of summer. It filled her with warmth and sunlight, and from that day forward it was the girl’s favorite fruit: persimmon.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."Albert Camus

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Widening circles

I found this beautiful raindrop-on-the-lake pattern inside a golden beet. The smallest shape at the center could be called the nonmoving point of origin, what Masanobu Fukuoka describes in One-Straw Revolution.

A few nights ago as I fell asleep I became aware of my heart beating and imagined each beat like a drop on a lake, sending out widening circles from my chest into the room. Irene had fallen asleep across my chest, and I felt her heartbeat too, sending its own circles. Harriet lay beside us making even more circles.

When I was first pregnant with Harriet, an early ultrasound showed what looked like a tiny seed made almost entirely of fluttering heart. She was that first little dot, the center of all that follows.

Roxanne Swentzell at the Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute talks about this pattern and others in this video I came across last year:


And then there's this Rilke poem someone recited on a radio program twenty minutes ago:

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


A moment presents itself each day in our house, never at a convenient moment, usually as I struggle to complete three tasks in a noisy space: Harriet brings me a knot to untie. At the sight of it I tense up. If only I could see it in that moment, instead of just in this one, as an invitation to give the three tasks a rest, sit down, and savor the unworking of a knot. A knot can be so enjoyable, like a puzzle. Sometimes the puzzle is twelve knots all in a row. Sometimes it's one very tight knot that requires extra fine handwork or a makeshift tool. Sometimes knots can be fun, sometimes not. Either way, they present an opportunity to pause and focus on one thing. Long live knots.