31 October 2011

Grace #15: Pumpkins

'tis pumpkin season. Time to ride the hay wagon to the fields, to find the perfect speciman. Time to gather these vegetables, cleave them, scoop out the seeds and roast them with oil and salt to crack later between teeth. Time to cook the flesh and make creamy pumpkin soup and spicy bread, perfect with a pat of butter. Time to carve ghoulish faces and light a candle, watch the flame flicker in the dark.

Happy Halloween.

(Art by Lea, age 9).


30 October 2011

Grace #14: Neighbors

We have good neighbors. We look out for one another. We may not always agree on things, but we can come together as families and share snow days, Halloween, walks in our street. I am grateful for these people.


28 October 2011

Grace #12: The Grape

Today I am grateful for the grapes sliced on my salad and the red ones crushed, fermented, and now crimson in my glass. Happy Friday.


27 October 2011

Grace #11: Filling Us Up

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.

Perfect grace. Perfect last stanza.
FILLING STATION by Elizabeth Bishop


26 October 2011

Grace #10: Why We Write

All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopefless, and brutal. ~Flannery O'Connor

Why do we write? I have been thinking of what moves me to write, and I think this quote comes quite close.

Why do you create?


25 October 2011

Grace #9: We are always in school

There is nothing so stimulating as learning something new. Today I learned how to really read the first paragraph of a story as a map to its end. What did you learn today?


24 October 2011

Grace #8: Dinner Is Late

But that's okay. Sometimes time is best spent playing soccer in fallen leaves, talking with neighbors on the street, gazing at the sliver of moon when October grants us a summer day.


23 October 2011

22 October 2011

Grace #6: Triple Play

1) Applesauce from local Ida Reds and Staymans.

2) Free books at a yard sale (Walt Whitman and Garcia Marquez).

3) The view from my front yard at dusk.


21 October 2011

Grace #5: Walton's Mountain

We watched an episode from The Waltons, that television show from the 1970s about living life in the rural mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression and later, WWII. It gratifies to watch a family bicker and disagree, yet pull together when times are tough. There's a universality here about being a family, an ideal of a family that is actually possible to achieve, even in this age of gimme-gimme and divorce and children's 'sitcoms' where parents are not present and, if they do make an appearance, are stupid and unable to, well, parent. In the Walton family, everyone has respect, even little Jim Bob and Elizabeth.

Good night, everyone...

20 October 2011

Grace #4: Beautiful Bluster

The view from my front door at 7 am. (The photo does not do this image justice).

Scudding clouds = fall = turning inward.


19 October 2011

Grace #3: She loves me yeah yeah yeah

My daughter told me this evening I am an "awesome mom." This while massaging my hands.


18 October 2011

Grace #2: Baltimore Food Trucks

Today my work felt unrelenting. My head began to ache from close reading of two manuscripts and a student's thesis. I bolted from the 12th floor to the cool outside. The food trucks lined up along the hospital plaza. I ordered California fish tacos, intending to eat at my desk, but the sun warmed my back so I sat on the brick wall to eat, along with a dozen others, and arrived late for my meeting. Peace...

17 October 2011

Grace #1: i thank You God for most this amazing

Welcome to bluetruedream, a place of grace. Every day I will post an observation, a picture, a poem or inspiration, that provided me an instant of beauty. As a writer, I seek to find meaning in the space between instants, the pause, what musicians call the golden moment. Consider this space a sanctuary of sorts, a place to breathe for a minute before heading into our over-full, over-busy lives. Consider this space an altar -- leave your blessings and graces in the comments.

I hope to post 1000 graces. Why 1000? I think of 1000 origami cranes, 1000 candles flickering in cathedrals, 1000 pennies dropped into fountains. I hope by the time I write my 1000th grace I will, perhaps, have found my own.

The first grace, the poem that inspired it all...

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings