Beets are Deadly Serious

This is a photo of a poster in the dining room at the National Conference Center. I love Jitterbug Perfume. I need to try to figure out how to use this as a basis for a Creative Writing exercise in descriptive and fanciful writing. It’s so imaginative, it goes way out beyond extended metaphor. Part of it is the wild riff on beets themselves, and part of it is the repeated comparison to the characteristics of other vegetables.

And that last line. Suddenly beet people are desperate, perhaps visionary, perhaps utterly mad.

Try it. Choose a random thing, a thing among things, something you can compare to other items in a similar category: paper clips, Legos, dogwood tree. Describe it, in terms of itself, but also in terms of the other things in its category. Who exemplifies the characteristics of your item? Remember that you really aren’t describing an item at all, but a person.


Gratitude List:
1. Kitty snuggles. (Except at 3 in the morning. No, even that is sweet, if disruptive. Thor seems to have some anxiety issues related to Mama going away. He kept waking me up. He wanted to perch on top of me–shoulder, hip–but seemed to need to hold on with his claws. Sigh. Still, midnight purrs and kitty kisses are precious.)
2. Being home. Being away, and then being home again.
3. Making plans, making progress toward goals.
4. Morning sun.
5. The moon, the moon, the moon.

May we walk in Beauty!

Love and Hope

milkweed1  Love and Hope  eggses

“Where there is love, there is life.”  –Mahatma Gandhi

Today is US Independence Day:
May your celebrations today be filled with joyful moments with people you truly See you.

May we as a people live up to the ideals we set for ourselves, the dreams we claim to offer, and
the maturity that independence demands.

Here is your assignment for this morning, class: Set a timer for ten minutes.  Write a poem or an essay about what this day means to you without using the words freedom, values, ideals, dream, democracy, independence, liberty.  (Yes, I broke those rules in the little blessing I wrote up there–that’s what gave me this idea.)

Perhaps it is a function of the lazy rabbit-trail-filled brain-meanderings of summer, but a warning: Today’s gratitude list is rife with parenthetical notations.  I could not help myself, but I am not apologizing, nor am I amending.

Gratitude List:
1. I still haven’t seen one this season, but Jon keeps seeing them, and it makes me happy to know that they live here, too: black snakes.  They’re earnest and secretive, mysterious.
2. Yesterday I wrote about prayer, and a new and dear friend wrote to me of the Sufi concept of prayer as “opening to the divine radiance.” I looked it up, and my preliminary searches have found references to the phrase “Divine Radiance” in Muslim, Christian, and Jewish discussions of prayer.  This brings me great joy.  (And it was a lovely synchronicity, because I read her note just after a conversation with my parents, in which we had discussed Sufi mysticism, in which my father had been reading Hafiz poems to me. Am I not fortunate to have such parents? There’s a bonus gratitude thrown in for the morning.)
3. I love the charge in the air on a morning that is waiting for rain.
4. All the flowers.  In my parents’ (yes, there they are again) garden: deep red gloriosa lily with yellow tips, fluffy white hydrangea, deep purple and dusky rose lisianthus (because my name is Elizabeth Ann, I have this feeling that the Lizzy-Ann flower is personal to me), deep magenta rose, yellow day lily, violet clematis.  Along the roadsides, thousands of blue-eyed chicory (we used to call them cornflowers–I like both names), the elegant dusty green and golden-tipped heads of hag’s taper (mullein, but I like the common name), shaggy pink balls of milkweed that haven’t yet been mowed down (please let them stay!), bright orange day lilies, the delicate lace of Queen Anne, violet carpets of vetch, bright golden patches of buttercup.
5. Community conversations

May we walk–like the snakes, like the flowers, like the birds–in Beauty, in Wisdom, in Prayer.

Waking Up

Today’s Writing Prompt from Auto Writing Prompt is to write a two sentence story with a mood change.

I have been walking through this fog, in this wood, since before there was a before.  Today I saw a shimmering silver light above the trees.

Gratitude List:
1. Deer on the hillside
2. Sharp-shinned hawk in a tree
3. Snowflakes
4. Baby wombats (google “baby wombat images”)
5. Mary Oliver’s “Starlings in Winter” (you can google that, too)

May we walk in Beauty!