Being Present

Time to Work


Don’t leave your broken heart at the door;
bring it to the altar of life.
Don’t leave your anger behind;
it has high standards
and the world needs vision.
Bring them with you,
and your joy
and your passion.
Bring your loving,
and your courage
and your conviction.
Bring your need for healing,
and your power to heal.
There is work to do
and you have all that you need to do it
right here in this room.

-Angela Herrera


If you know me, at all really, you know that I find books to be magical. I’ll give almost any book a shot, and most times I am pleasantly surprised and transported away. The mister often gets nasty looks if he tries to interrupt me, and if I’m at the end of a book, well, you’re just out of luck.

I used to daydream about being a housewife so I could spend all my time reading.  I quickly realized a bit more is expected from a housewife and I would hate it, but I just wanted to read.

One thing I find fascinating about books is how reading them changes. My understanding changes each time a re-read a book, or pick up a book I refused to read before.

Let’s take “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood” for example.

Chances are, you are more familiar with this book as movie then as fiction. That’s okay. I did a book report on the movie*. I loved the movie so much that I was determined to read the book, because I knew the book would be loads better**.

But I couldn’t read it. Not because it was above my reading level, mind you, nor because I ran out of time (ahem). But because I didn’t get it. I was in 8th grade and I so desperately wanted to understand it because it seemed so good, but it just wasn’t so.

Within the last month though, I’ve been seeing the title and have been itching to read it. On Saturday, the mister and I happened upon a Library booksale that had many copies and I picked one up for $1.50 and started reading it that night.

Funny enough, I can’t put the thing down, whereas before I dreaded cracking the cover open. See, I get it now. I get where the story is going and why the author is using the style she is using. I have more life experience to understand where the characters are coming from.  And it’s quickly becoming a favorite.

This is not the only book this has happened with. There are many books that I read again and again because I get it differently the next time. It’s a big reason why I re-read and don’t let people tell me that re-reading is a waste of time because there are so many great new books out there. I know what I like, dammit.

I also think books are magical. I’m sure it’s some psychological condition when you read something that fits you just|perfectly at that moment in time. Whatever it is, I attribute it to the magic of books.

And magic of the universe.

One of my favorite quotes is from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. You probably know it.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Which is how I explain things like this:

I finally purchased a book that I’ve wanted for a while. I needed it for class, but I’ve wanted it for two years. And I bought it from a used website, from someone in Canada for $11. I opened it today and there was this inscription inside, with my name. At first I was thoroughly confused; why would a person I don’t know write an inscription to me? And then I noticed the date. It’s from 16 years ago.

And it reminded me that the universe is as it should be. That I am where I should be. And that books are still magical.

*I got an A, thank-you-very-much.
**98% of the time, the books are so much better then the movies. You know it, too.

Maybe Pensive, Maybe Weary

I’m sitting at our party table right now. It’s set up in between the dining room and the living room and taking up way too much space.

My sewing machine is happily resting on it with a wedding quilt laid out on the floor begging me to finish it. I have a cup of strawberry tea next to me and the cat is curled up next to the husband on the couch.

Out the window, it’s snowing my favorite kind of snow. It’s the fluffy kind that doesn’t really stick because it’s too “warm” to stick at 33 degrees. I love snow, by the way. It’s one of my favorite things about moving here… it snows.

It’s the last day of my break. I go back to clients and classes, work and demands on Monday. I’m not ready. But for now, I’m going to sit here and drink my tea and think about finishing this quilt.

Happy Friday my friends.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

This is not my favorite snow, fyi 🙂 Just a pretty amazing timelapse video.

Chicago Trip

I don’t have any fancy names for our anniversary trips.  I think, though, we’ve established a tradition with them. For our honeymoon, we road-tripped our way back home from Texas and it was a ton of fun.  This year, we spent a day and a half in Chicago to celebrate our anniversary.  I’m sensing a tradition forming: take off the week of Thanksgiving and spend the first few days celebrating our marriage and then the next few days celebrating Thanksgiving.  I can get on board with that.

Highlights of Chicago:
1) Traffic is insane and I felt shell-shocked after not being in traffic for over a year
2) We are destined to stay in hotel rooms by air conditioner things
3) We walked at least 10 miles on Tuesday
4) We rode the giant Ferris Wheel (ahem, Devil in the White City)
5) It’s been established that I looooove architecture while the husband appreciates the science behind the buildings
6) Still not a huge fan of blues music and no one can make Chicken Fried Steak north of Texas
7) We clearly need way more time in Chicago