Showing posts from January, 2010

picking up my piece of the continent

"No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend's
or of thine own were:
any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind,
and therefore
never send to know
for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee..."

~ John Donne, Meditations XVII

I stumbled upon this today while doing some reading about Hemingway's For whom the bell tolls, and two thoughts popped into my head: 1. Simon & Garfunkel TOTALLY stole this idea for that song, "I am a rock," and 2. I love the first line, "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, part of the main." I am sometimes surprised at how we lose an awareness of how important each of us is in community; how each one us is a significant, though maybe small piece of the puzzle.

Coming back from va…

remembering a recluse

J.D. Salinger, recluse, author of much--most notably TheCatcher in the Rye--died this week at age 91. All I keep thinking is that I wish I would have read Salinger in high school and maybe I would have appreciated it more/differently than I did when I read it in my early/mid twenties. Here are some links to interesting articles post and pre Salinger's death.
New York Times, Salinger's NYS.J. Gilman's reflection on NPRA funny reflection on Salinger, which a friend, Bill Shein wrote back in 2004 here.This is the dialogue in the book which I most remember. Funny how some things stay with us for a long time.

Holden: "You know that song, 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'?..."

Phoebe: "It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!... It's a poem. By Robert Burns."

Holden: "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody…

missing the same imaginary place

"A community is a group of people united by the common objects of their love."
-St. Augustine, The City of God

Spending time at home always makes me realize a couple of things:
1. Though I love spending time with my family and friends in Michigan, I love my home at the Farm; I love having my own space and I miss it while I am away from it.
2. I love community. I love living in community, I love knowing and being friends with my neighbors, I love that as a community we care for each other.

Community is what I missed after I left the Farm, but for whatever reason, this time being at home made me really aware of the little communities I had created for myself when I wasn't at the Farm. My small community of college friends, my community at church, my community of the besties--the group of friends I hold most dear here in Michigan. All of these communities, groups, urban families. There is something to be said about the ability to connect with people on some level, call it…

looking forward to creeping across the map

I am exhausted this week. I am not sleeping well--this usually coincides with my going home. Work has been for crap this week; been left feeling ineffectual and ugh. So tired. Should have napped. Now need to get into shower and make myself somewhat presentable for staff gathering at MN's house. Urgh. So tired.

Going through my previous blogs earlier this evening; doing some copy and pasting of "kernels," (what a writing prof. called it when we read through our writing excercises and picked out pieces that intrigued us enough to want to write more about them) into a document so I can meet last years's goal of getting something together and published before I die.

Flipping through old blogs, momentarily stopping to read an entire one; found myself reading over things I'd written about visits to the Farm when I was living back in Michigan; realized in rereading those entries how much I loved and missed this place when I couldn't be here all the time. Sometimes …

trying not to get excited

Today was a hell of a day. It seems like it's been a hell of a week for a couple of friends. The rest of the week/weekend will be busy, mostly fun things which I am looking forward to, and which will speed up my vacation. I am going home to Michigan next week for a week of (hopefully) R&R.

My calendar looks like:
Dinner with Julie & Danny, Wednesday nightWork related meeting, Thursday nightDrinks with John O., Friday night Dinner and drinks for M's bday, Saturday nightSunday-Tuesday work, then off for 13 days straight!! In feeling a little stressed and like there are a lot of things going on, I do my normal and seek out poetry which is calming. I found this and found it appropriate.

"And we shall not get excited"

And we shall not get excited. Because a translator
May not get excited. Calmly, we shall pass on
Words from man to son, from one tongue
To others' lips, un-
Knowingly, like a father who passes on
The features of his dead father's face
To his s…

living spontaneously

Occasionally I have these sit-up-and-listen-to-the-urge moments. These moments spring up on me, and it's funny how I am getting better at indulging myself. I have this fear that as I grow older I may become boring or sedate or have a routine or laugh less or dance less or sing less or eat fiber all the time. So, I try and embrace my spontaneous moments, whether they be dancing around my room alone; or getting in the car at 1am and driving up and down Woodward Avenue on a hot summer night, listening to oldies with the windows down, just wondering where I will be in five years, or in five minutes! (I did this a lot when I was in my last two years of undergrad).

Yesterday after work I was lying on my bed, just staring at my bookshelf and marveling at the fact that all of these authors felt and wrote of things that so touch and inspire so many people. For whatever reason in that moment of connectedness I jumped up and grabbed Mary Oliver off the shelf and thumbed through until I foun…

finding that good feeling again

A hope for myself this year is to get patient or better at just being; being in the moment; being able to know that I am HERE and not THERE; being able to be present in each moment of each day. I am always a work in progress. I was reading Friend of the Farmer, where I found this quote, and just had to share it. I like it. I like it a lot.

"Wendell Berry in Bringing It to the Table quotes Terry Cummins, the author of Feed My Sheep, on what its feels like to provide husbandry.

'The feeling inside sort of just happens, and you can’t say that this did it or that did it. It’s the many little things. It doesn’t seem that taking a sweat-soaked harness off tired, hot horses would be something that would make you notice. Opening a barn door for sheep standing in a cold rain, or throwing a few grains of corn to the chickens are small things, but these small things begin to add up in you, and you begin to understand that you’re important.

You may not be real important like the people yo…

a child going forth

I always feel a rush when a new year begins; a new adventure just lurking behind dates and months on a calendar which has yet to be filled in; a fresh chance at something, everything; possibilities. I always feel an exasperation too; goals and resolutions to set forth; things that when unaccomplished at this new years' end I might find myself feeling guilty about. So, this year, instead of setting forth an agenda--with things like: lose weight, excercise more, eat healthier, find the love of my life, make lots of money--I have decided instead to become a child who goes forth. Thank you, Uncle Walt, for always knowing exactly what I want and what I mean!

"There was a child went forth"

There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of
the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and whit…

no distance that can hold us back

I am still fumbling over what I want to say about another year coming to a close, until then, if I were eloquent or clever I would say something like this.

"The New Year,"  Death Cab for Cutie

So this is the new year.

And I don't feel any different.
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance (in the distance).

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogues bleed into one

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that can hold us back.

There'd be no distance that could hold us back (x2)

So this is the new year (x4)

New Years Eve, a recipe

Wondering how to throw the perfect New Years Eve party? Follow these simple instructions.

2 dozen people8 bottles of wine4 cases of beer1 bottle of champagneand an eclectic playlist which looks like this:Just Dance, Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis
SOS, Rhianna
Paper Planes, M.I.A.
Whip It, Devo
When You Were Young, The Killers
Rock Your Body, Justin Timberlake
What I Got, Sublime
We didn't start the fire, Billy Joel
A well respected man, The Kinks
Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
The way you make me feel, Michael Jackson
The Way You Move, Outkast, Featuring Sleepy Brown
Please Don't Stop the Music, Rhianna
New Year, Death Cab for Cutie
Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show
Mr. Brightside, The killers
Umbrella, Rhianna
Sexyback, Justin Timberlake
Video Phone, Beyonce & Lady Gaga
Lebanese Blond, Thievery Corp.
Paparazzi, Lady Gaga
In the waiting line, Zero 7
These Days, Necco
Take on me, A Ha
Love Games, Lady GaGa Gaga
Take me on a trip, Kanye West and Este…