In a year of great doing, and the sometimes even harder task of not doing, we thought we’d pause and share our appreciation of the things that give us joy, purpose and meaning no matter what is happening in the world around us.
Julie let what she loves–creating images and writing–speak for itself.
Flourish and Grow by Julie Paschkis
Planting Thoughts by Laura Kvasnovsky
Here you are again, on your knees in the dirt.
Close your eyes and feel the sun warm on your back and the dry papery husks of the bulbs in your hand: Muscari armeniacum.
Breathe in the sharp scent of sandy soil and the darker fragrance of compost and leaf mulch, and hear the birds, if they chirp, and the rustle of the breeze.
The earth waits. Dig in and settle the bulbs, grateful for that ancient impulse to grow, to bloom, to go to seed, to fade.
And grateful for the turning of the seasons that finds you here again, on your knees in the dirt.
Mending by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Close your eyes and think about the clothes you are wearing.
Think about everything that went into making them:
The people who put them together, somewhere in the world,
the plants and animals and energy that were used in making them.
We mend in gratitude for all these things.
We practice patience. We practice acceptance.
We embrace imperfection as part of what makes everything unique.
Words Full of Promise by Julie Larios
I’m a poet. To me, being a poet means using words – individual words – words made of evocative letters. How can letters evoke feelings? Well, when I see the letter “j,” I love the dip it takes below the line, the little hook that feels rebellious, non-conformist. I love the letter “z” in a word, because it feels (and even sounds) strange; it’s a letter that can’t decide if it wants to go forward or backward. When you write it, it reverses direction. It’s a letter full of doubt, and I prefer doubt to certainty. The letter “k” is a bit aggressive, very certain, the Genghis Khan of letters. Each letter of the alphabet has a unique personality, yet together they cooperate, they cohere, they form little societies called words.
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for each letter of the alphabet, and for the way letters make words and words make poems, and poems are, by nature, inclusive, they invite people of differing experiences to contemplate shared feelings – they help us share a spot at the Thanksgiving table.
I invite you to think about the shapes of letters. Rebellious, uncertain, bold, shy – you’ll find their nature if you look. String some together into a word, two words, three. Don’t worry about grammar yet. Build a poem with one-syllable words. Right now I’m thinking of the word “thirst.” Begins with a “t,” ends with a “t.” That word feels suspended in time -something hangs in the balance, makes a growl. Then I consider the word “juice.” Playful. Generous. Put them together for a two-word poem, full of promise – “Thirst? Juice!”
Sleep by Bonny Becker
Close your eyes and think about sleep.
Turn off noise, color, fear, hate, right, wrong.
Even love can wait.
Nothing needs you right now.
Turn off the story.
Slip over the edge into the velvet void.
Nothing needs you right now.
Be done today with do.
Rest and begin anew.
Thank you from all of us to all of you.