Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Pencil Day

Expecto Patronum!

In my sunny Minnesota neighborhood today all things were clothed in spring. Cars cruised by with their windows open and sub-woofers thumping. Motorcycles brapped their tailpipes in the distance, accelerating up on-ramps like frisky colts stretching their legs. Joggers jogged and bicyclists biked. And I walked and walked, inhaling the season and discovering treasure: I live within spitting distance of a handful of schools, and where there are schools there are pencils.

Last night's thunderstorm and today's warmish temps caused the remaining winter snow to recede remarkably, and my eye spied a whole handful of pencils on my walk. Some were broken, some were just stubs... but I knew that inside them all were things just begging to come out. Things that I was curious to discover.

So home with me they went.

When I took off my jacket and quickly checked emails, I learned that today is Pencil Day. Who knew?? And Punchbowl, the folks who provide my Blog Widget, had this to say about it:
On this day in 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first-ever patent for a modern pencil with an eraser attached to it. Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil and received high praise for how easy it was to use for writing and drawing.

Did you know that a single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line that is 35 miles long? A pencil can also write under water, upside down, or in zero gravity. Manufacturers painted the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. People quickly began assuming that yellow pencils were the best type!

To celebrate Pencil Day, set aside your laptop and use a pencil and paper to write today!

But I didn't write with my pencil. I drew instead.

And as I drew I thought of the character of Harry Potter. I thought of Harry's personal 'Patronus' -- his protective spirit guardian -- and how it manifested as a glowing, ghostly stag from the tip of his wand when he pointed it and said the magick words. And I wondered what sort of wizard would have a pencil as a magick wand and what manner of Patronus would come from it.

And then I thought to myself, "Anyone with a pencil for a magick wand would have a Patronus limited only by the boundaries of their imagination."

And then I thought, "...Cool."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thoughts of the Season

The older I get, the simpler things are. The simpler I am.

My stiff roots and branches are softening and pulling within like the juicy fronds of a reef creature, returning me again to the size of a seed. I can feel them retracting. Everything I am is no longer so dramatic or driven or complicated....

I'm liking this time in my life.

And as the season builds, I tuck in tighter. I brace myself. My religious friends push their agendas now; my non-religious friends defend theirs. Mother Earth quietly goes about Her business with or without me. I observe it all. It's so epic that I just let it wash over me. It's all I can do.... That, and hope that my foundation -- the one I've cobbled together for myself over the years from stuff I learned that either sang to me or killed me a little -- holds fast. It will. New thoughts and beliefs blown in on the tidal wave cling to it like barnacles, as always. That's ok; I love the seed shell I've created, all tumbled smoothe by time and tide into the simplest of forms made unbelievably fancy and strong by the sum of its parts.

Now is the time I seem to think deeply on things until my head hurts, then tuck them away in the little pickle jar of my heart to ferment. There's all sorts of stuff in that jar! It's created its own light, its own heat, there's so much going on in there. So much that the seed I'm shrinking into sometimes feels like a hot little pinhole, a cell-sized star nearing the bang of its birth; so much that I expect that what looks like simplification is about to become wildly complicated again.

Waves. Patterns. Circles. Spirals. Simple made complicated made simple again. Birth, life, death, rebirth. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wow.

(*Insert sound of head exploding a little.*)

Huh. Where did that come from, I wonder? Certainly not from Simple Girl here.... I must walk away from all this and go pick up a pencil!

And to YOU I say may the spirit of the season get inside your heart and crack it wide open. And may what emerges blind you with its holy radiance.

Have a blessed Easter, my friend.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Widget Sez

My blog widget -- that cool Let's Party! thingy courtesy of the folks at Punchbowl (scroll down, it's in the right-hand margin) -- tells us that today is "Make Up Your Own Holiday Day." It says:
If you’ve been following our daily Reasons to Celebrate, then you know how many interesting and unique holidays there are in the world. Today is your chance to make one up!

Establishing an official national holiday is not an easy process. For example, in the 1800s Sarah Josepha Hale decided that our nation should observe a national day of thanks. She wrote countless letters to politicians, governors, and even the president. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln agreed to Hale’s proposal, but Thanksgiving did not become an official national holiday until 1941!

To celebrate Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, come up with a creative, meaningful, or quirky idea for a holiday. Invite friends and family over tonight for its first annual celebration!
So in honor of today's blogsketch, I've decided to dub March 26th "Take a Snail to the Theatre Day." And this guy is all set to go. What should we see? Any suggestions? ("The Saltshaker Cometh?")

I think I'll buy him a beer afterward, too. I just won't let him drown in it. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013



I couldn't say it better if I tried.

Thank you, Vincent. Your 'Starry Night' gets me every time....


(And to YOU I ask: how would you fill in this quote? "I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as _____.")

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Remember Me?

Chili peppers sometimes like the color pink and wear slippers. :)
I've yet to share a post in this crazy month of March and it's nearly over.

How can that be, I wonder?

Well, truthfully?, I think I understand. There've been bills to pay, movies to catch up on, appointments to keep, visits to make. I've been to California and back again, I've written letters and postcards, I've taken a bajillion photos....

There were planes and trains and automobiles in my March. Backpacks and strollers and car seats.

There were crowds of people poking pins in my Comfort Zone, and legions of thoughts filling up the rooms in my head.

I saw cherry trees in blossom, daffodils nodding along the roadside, snow on the mountains. I walked trails. I appreciated pines so tall and air so fresh and beer so exquisite that I thought I was on another planet. I collected leaves, acorns, pennies, maple keys. I studied millipedes and treebark and bear tracks and banana slugs....

And I loved on a grandbug so small and feisty that I'm thinking of calling her my little chili pepper. Seriously -- so dang small I could tuck her in my carry-on for the return trip home again! And believe me, it was tempting....

She dubbed me 'yaya,' can you believe it? (Finally -- an honest-to-goodness gramma name.) And I drew pictures of her and sent them to my Minnesota 'bugs. And ever since I've been dealing with the sad goodbyes and the difficult withdrawals and the Dark Looming of the Rabbit Hole....

After all the activity (granted, I didn't run any marathons, but my month's still been excessive by my standards) I was visited by a crazy Fibro flare-up that's had me up to my neck in hot soothing baths, soft clothes, and Aleve. And I've been taking quiet care of myself, care that involves stepping back from all forms of communication while I try to reunite my two halves and multiple personalities.

And now today I'm feeling almost sort of vaguely like myself again, if you can believe it. So I thought I'd drop a line to you just to let you know that I'm still here. And you're in my thoughts. And that if this is the only message I manage to send in this crazy month of March, I apologize. And I hope you can understand.


Sweet.... :)

Happy Vernal Equinox, my friend. I've missed you. (*Hug*)