Wednesday, October 29, 2014

in silence

- all he knew to do , for now, was keep his mouth shut , and
in silence let the Holy Spirit do the talking. 
( from Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon)

Still ( which is part of stillness) putting silence into my days . 
Staying home helps. Sometimes silence is just getting messes 
cleaned up or laundry hung out on these warm October days 
and putting them away in piles on upstairs beds. 
Sometimes silence isn't still. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


We looked at this one stanza from Burnt Norton of TS Eliot today in class.
We are reading Caring for Words  by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre and came
to the chapter on POETRY. They were to find a poem that does what Emily 
Dickinson said: 

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I knowthat is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?” 

and a poem that has helped them spiritually or fed them deeply. They go back to it to get to the heart of  the poet. We turned our attention to Eliot and the use of his word STILLNESS. ( after  listing what words do and any Scripture connections). Where is stillness in our world? We tried to name some stillness. 
Can you?

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

Monday, October 27, 2014

create silence

I met Lanier two weeks ago in Nashville. I knew she had taken a month
on an island. Hold on . You will want to do the same. It means making 
daily life stop. No chance here at my house! BUT I do love Lanier's writing 
and loved hearing her at Hutchmoot. 

“The present state of the world, the whole of life, is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply, “Create silence! Bring men to silence. The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. Create silence.” —Soren Kierkegaard

You can listen to Lanier and Sarah Clarkson here. 
There is a Part 2 for another hour and worth listening to. 

Long wedding weekend on Cape Cod in early September.
A different kind of silence that enlarged my soul: a wedding. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

New painter

I discovered Mat Grogen's work while looking for another Autumn 

Quite beautiful:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

a week later

"When the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths," Anne from Anne of Green Gables exclaimed on one Saturday morning, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?".  


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

More Autumn photos at Autumn Cozy on Tumblr

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back and doing this tomorrow

Having my students act out a chapter scene from The Scarlett Letter. 
Needing an A.

Printing off one and texted a student to make one. 

My soul is enlarged from the weekend in Nashville at Hutchmoot.

Here are a few photos I found online:

Where we were:


Last evening's dinner: 


Dining inside plus there was a tent outside

Beautiful 86 year old poet, Luci Shaw


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Heading to Hutchmoot this week

Way back in March  we got  tickets to Hutchmoot in Nashville.
It is a conference by the Rabbit Room writers and musicians. 
I compare it to a medieval guild and Culture Care of Makoto Fujimura.
Somehow meeting one person led to another and all of a sudden
I have a handful of friends who have gone to Hutchmoot. They
are Rabbit Room members.  Here is how this creative community started
and it was Lewis and his Inklings who really started it. 

You know when you do something and it seems as if the key opened
the door. Well, when you get tickets in March, they don't say WHO IS 
THE KEYNOTE speaker. LOOK who it is:

Keynote speaker : Luci Shaw

One of the workshops is N.D. Wilson.  ( Death by Living)

One with Charlie Peacock , although they may be at the same time. 

I hope to learn and see  something unique in the Christian life this week 

as these very writers and musicians share their love for words and 
music or is it musical words? I know I will see something very beautiful
in their love for each other and the One  who created them.  

Andrew Peterson, Andy Gullahorn, Jill Philips, Pete Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, 

Jonathan Rogers, Sally and Clay Clarkson, Lanier Ivester, Rebecca Reynolds
 ( I adore her poetry) 

I am thankful. 

more next week on this fabulous time in the Kingdom.....

Friday, October 3, 2014

weekend food

New cookbook out by Jamie Oliver: Comfort Food

He was a special needs kid and writes his cookbooks & makes every recipe. 
I do believe him.  I just listened to him in an interview. He cares for his staff 
and their mortgages. He adores his dad. He has a beautiful wife and children. 
He lives back where he started , in the town  of his childhood. They ( his parents and siblings ) lived above the pub his dad ran. Turning 40 next May....

He says these are "home run" recipes. 
Just put a HOLD on this cookbook at the library.

Just found Jamie on Instagram. 
He is in Canada and already been to NYC for this book. 

Ice Bucket Challenge:

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Today, my students were smitten by this poem:

The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

They begged to continue to  read it out loud together next week and declared  ' We must"  but there are some who just can't wait to see how the courtship goes and will read on. They are to zip their mouths in class next Tuesday! They are also romantics! We know who they are! 

See this line below: You must not now and then tuck a pill into the jam.
( you must not what? be content that the poem  shall always charm... and then 
tuck a pill into the jam... which means help the poem in some way. It will delight on its own with the use of rhyme and rhythm)

Charlotte Mason's Parent's Review :  An Address on the Teaching of Poetry

The poetry must be such as to delight them, (1) by being in itself delightful; and (2) by being suitable to their years.

(1) The poetry must be itself delightful. All the poetry they learn must be delightful. If you wish poetry all through life to preserve its charm for them, you must be content that it shall always charm. You must not now and then tuck a pill into the jam. I speak as a parent when I say that I can understand that the temptation to do this may be irresistible, but it must be resisted. You must be content that the names of the faithful spies, the laws of mechanics, and even the nature of Repentance, shall lapse from your children's memories IF they cannot be treasured there without the use of rhyme and rhythm. Rhyme and rhythm are to be sacred to joy, and these other things are not joyful. Need I add that learning poetry must on no account be made a punishment.

(2) The poetry must be suitable to their years. You must not expect little children to enjoy what you enjoy. You can drink claret, perhaps port, perhaps champagne, they cannot; their natural beverage is milk. The sources of joy open to them are the simplest, and to these you must bring them. The grandeur of Milton's blank verse will be as little to them as an organ concerto of Handel's; they must have simple rhythms to begin with, and they must have rhyme; they must have verses that sing themselves. And the subjects, too, must be appropriate to their age. There is an age, just beyond Nursery Rhymes, which finds its most exquisite joy in the "land of counterpane." For such in our generation Louis Stevenson has written, or, in a more ideal way, Blake, in some of his "Songs of Innocence." And let me say here, in a parenthesis, that I agree with Miss Mason (whom we all delight to honour) in somewhat dreading nonsense verses for children as being a trifle (shall I say) profane. I once heard a mother of the upper classes reciting to her young hopefuls these graceful and spirit-stirring lines:

"Old Mrs. Hubblechin,
Had a little double chin."

What a criticism of life! Keep verse for the serious joys of life. Then, for children of an older growth, there are narrative poems, such as Mrs. Hemans' "Casabianca.." There is Longfellow, the very poet of reflective childhood; and for those older, again, there is Scott, there is Macaulay, and there are the "Northern Ballads." There are poems too for all moods--poems that breathe and inspire the joy of patriotism, like Campbell's "Battle of the Baltic" and "Ye Mariners of England," Cowper's "Boadicea," and "The Royal George," Burns' "Scots wha hae," Browning's "Herve Riel," Tennyson's "Revenge," Taylor's "Red Thread of Honour," Yule's "Birkenhead"; poems full of the joy of romance, such as Allingham's "Up the Airy Mountain," Browning's "Pied Piper," Arnold's "Forsaken Merman," Coleridge's "Kubla Khann" and "Ancient Mariner"; poems of the joy of earth, like Shelley's "Cloud and Skylark," and poems of man's fellow-creatures, like many of Cowpers.
And then there is Shakespeare  from whom alone, almost, one might feed one's children from boyhood to old age.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

midweek beauty

Very beautiful fall day that reminds me of being up on Block Island, RI 
in late September. I call these fall days  " Block Island days."
Crisp and clear. 

New tumblr for beauty:

(via VIBEKE DESIGN: Hello September !)




(via La pluie ne s’arrête pas jouer | Ben Pentreath Inspiration)