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Posts from February 2008

Let yourself be free


Leaving little bits / August 2007

I keep thinking of Katherine Mansfield's quote from my last post . . . about leaving little bits of yourself in places you've been. Maybe that's why when you come back from a journey you feel like you're not the same person as when you left. And maybe a journey is a good way to “slough off” pieces of yourself that you don't want or need anymore. A convenient way to rid yourself of annoying thoughts and bad memories. Toss them onto the fences as you pass by, let the wind tear them into tatters, and let yourself be free . . .

Little bits of yourself


Mitza's trees in the Art Show / Sept. 2005

“How hard it is to escape from places!
However carefully one goes they hold you -- you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences . . . little rags and shreds of your very life . . .”

~ New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, 1922

Reach up


Reach up like the Rosemary plant reaches out to absorb the sun / New Jersey / Feb. 2008

“A leading authority on life, my mother, once said:
    'Life will drag you down and pull you out if you let it.'
As a practice, I abide by the maxim in my midlife:
    'Continue to live your life in phases,
    each with its own opportunities for fulfillment.'”

~ Ted Gallagher writing in The New York Times

Melt into essence


Snow-covered Lavender in the first snow of the season that had to be shoveled; yesterday in this same plot the tips of the lilies and crocuses were above ground / New Jersey / Feb. 2008

When it's cold, water freezes into ice;
when it's warm, ice melts into water.
Similarly, when you're confused,
    essence freezes into mind;
when you are enlightened, mind melts into essence.

~ Muso Kokushi

The accented beat is heard first


Sheet music: a Mario Gangi Bulerías; Jose De Azpiazu; 1956

Bulerías is a high-spirited song and dance that has a fast and lively rhythm (the fastest in all of flamenco). “It provides enormous scope for improvisation on the part of dancers, singers and guitarists. It is wild, frenzied and lively, but nevertheless contains the germ of sorrow that is almost always present in flamenco.” (via

Listen to a Bulerías rhythm: 

Breathe deep


Take time out to breathe / New Jersey / Jan. 2008

Breathe deep. OK. Breathe deep again. Breathe in. Breathe out. Studies show that breath-holding disturbs the body's balance of oxygen, CO2, and Nitric Oxide. Tension and stress can cause us to hold our breath without being aware of it thereby disturbing the biochemistry of the body and contributing to stress-related diseases. Breathe deep again.

“The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumors. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the processes of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably, depression.”
~ From a briefing document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers via Linda Stone

Everyone has a story


“I always claimed I could fly.” / New Jersey / Feb. 2008

Six-Word Memoirs: Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” SMITH Magazine asked readers for their own six-word memoirs. Readers responded: from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”). A new book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, publishes hundreds of them.

Everyone has a story (mine is the caption to my picture). Can you tell yours in six words? 

Explain it to your grandmother


Happy Birthday Grandmom / Baltimore, Maryland / circa 1920

“Most grandma's have a touch of the scallywag.” 

    ~ Helen Thomson

“You do not really understand something
unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” 

    ~ Proverb

A newspaper in the tree


Newspaper delivered to my door . . . or rather, to my tree / New Jersey / Feb. 2008

I recently started a Sunday subscription to the New York Times. So nice to have it delivered rather than having to track one down around town. On Sunday when I looked out to see if the paper had arrived, the blue delivery bag was in the tree and the sections of the paper were sprawled on the ground. Does my delivery person have an artistic side, I wondered? (It looked like a modern art display that I saw in a gallery at the New Museum.) If you can't get all the papers you want to read delivered to your door (or your delivered paper goes astray), you can read newspapers from all over the world online at the Internet Public Library.