Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas morn...

The decorations are hung...

on the tree with such care...

in hopes that Saint Nicholas...

 soon will be there...

the snowmen are ready...

the tree is all lit...

Miss Patience sits pretty

Folks arrive...this is it!

The presents are devoured..

When it's over, this girl's beat...

Thank goodness for webcams....

Christmas now is complete!
I never claimed to be a poet...
Hoping everyone has a wonderful, quiet in-between time this week...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season for Gifts

"Make something of every gift you are given. Use it, but use it wisely and well. 
Imagine, when you awake each morning, what you will make of the new day, which is the greatest of all gifts. 

Listen closely when the gift is music. Return it abundantly when the gift is love. 
Touch it gently when the gift is fragile. Protect it fiercely when the gift is vulnerable. 


Laugh aloud when the gift is joyous. Share it, when the gift is truth. 
Use it bravely, when the gift is freedom. When the gift is money, give it away.  


Above all, do not pretend to understand why you have been chosen to receive these gifts. 

This is the mystery of life."

(Adapted from Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, eds. Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, Trinity University Press, 2010.  Copyright © 2010, Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael Nelson.)

May peace and joy and encouragement be the gifts you hold in your heart throughout this season and the coming year.  And may these also be the gifts you share with others as you walk this path of life.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sudden Sisters

We didn't dance in puddles (they were frozen). But we outran the snow flurries...clambered up embankments, stepped gingerly through debris washed in by a storm, faced the wind, wallowed in mud...does all that count?  And we talked. The words bubbled up between us like two antacids in a much that...

DebOne and DebToo (me) at Mary's Point
...neither of us noticed it at first...this resemblance between DebOne and DebToo.   As we toured my home ground - the beaches and bluffs - it felt like we were playing catchup on 40+ years of separation.  How does that happen with someone you've never met before?


I guess, though, when you find a blog that draws you back, time and time again, you can rest fairly certain that you will get along fine with the author of that blog.  And certainly, I had enjoyed Deb's blog often. Her thoughtful words, astute observations, poetic phrases, stunning photos....(for Deb's photos taken this day - and the amazing sunset sundog, see her blog.)

Then, when someone asked if we were sisters, we took a closer look. Do ya' think?

But then, even before Deb arrived, I knew that we would have no problem making conversation or getting along with one another. These are things you just know

It's that knowing that convinces me that we are all part of a previously designed story, each woven in with the other in an intricate way...and that someday, when we flip to the other side, we will see a pattern beyond our wildest dreams and imagination.

I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, 
but with the roughest courage.
When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, 
but the solidest thing we know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Everyone needs a little play time

As everyone is rushing about, attending to Christmas, this spirited little elk has a lesson to teach...when the opportunity presents itself, always take time to play. I know there have been times when I wanted nothing more than to dance in the puddles...

I'm also taking time to play these days...and very excited (somewhat awed, if I can be truly honest) that fellow blogger, Deb from Talk at the Table is coming for some woman play time!

She contacted me several months ago, telling me she had ordered my book...this led to a series of back and forth emails until she learned her husband was coming to NB this month on business.  She decided to come too, so we'll be spending Thursday together, touring 'Mary World', and she can see for herself the landscape upon which the book rests.  

It's quite extraordinary, really...this decision of hers to hop on a plane and head down here on a whim to New Brunswick to meet some woman she doesn't even know...but then blogging has the power to build widespread connections, doesn't it?  People who would otherwise never known each other connect when words cross the miles to resonate with others.

What can be more spontaneous, spirited and energizing than that?

(It's been raining here for two days...maybe we can even find some puddles begging for a dance...)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Second Wind

Once upon a time, I thought the hard part about writing a book would be writing the book. I know now that this is just the beginning.

One must also be able to edit on a dime, negotiate, compromise, speak publicly, plan and write speeches, conduct interviews, sound coherent at all times of the day or night, travel, think of creative things to write at the front of books, manage time and finances, and promote, promote, promote.

This is simply not what the typical writer likes to do. We like writing because it is a quiet activity that we do in solitude.

I've been on an intensive learning curve and trying to maintain energy as I squeeze interviews, appearances, speaking engagements and book signings into my work and life schedule. It's all quite heady...While I feel energized when meeting people and attending events, I must admit the aftermath quite knocks the wind from me.

I'm used to being the interviewer.  Now, I've had to adjust to being the interviewee. I know it will get easier, but right now it's nerve-wracking, hoping I can answer without rambling, stumbling or going blank. Or saying something totally stupid (as I have a tendency to do...)

I've posted links to a number of the interviews on my Facebook site, but here is one recording of a recent radio interview - with Information Morning Nova Scotia talk host, Don Connolly. It was the only one done with 87-year-old Mary and  I think it will give you a sense of her. 

CBC Information Morning, NS Interview

Mary and I signing books.
The warm and genuine responses from people who have already read Sanctuary have both humbled and slightly dazed me. It's as if they are speaking of someone else's creation and it seems quite impossible that it actually is mine...

Perhaps it is all just the newness of the experience, but I feel a disconnect between me and the book itself, as if I am simply the front man (woman) for the true creator.

And, truth be told, this is how I feel about my best if it is birthed elsewhere and simply flows through me, picking up bits of my voice, life experiences and emotions as it moves, like flowing water nudges bits of the shoreline into its current and carries it away. Often, I look at things I have written and wonder where the words came from.

I have to say, this has all been very foreign, and challenging. I've not had time to reflect on the whole experience, or the many ways it has changed me. But events are winding down now. I have some breathing room. Time to step back and gain perspective. Time to rest and revive my spirit.  Regain some solitude. Thanks for listening.