Thursday, September 30, 2010

The True Miracle

"The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Changing Season

That night was the turning point in the season
we had gone to bed in summer and
we awoke in autumn;
for summer passes into autumn
in some imaginable point of time
like the turning of a leaf-Thoreau

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exploration Of Our Lives

image: K. H. Cox

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." -T.S. Eliot

Monday, September 27, 2010


"You know how I feel about tacos.
It's the only food shaped like a smile.
A beef smile" - (Jason Lee), "My Name is Earl"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Within Your Power

"One can make a day of any size

and regulate the rising and setting of

his own sun and the brightness

of its shining." -John Muir

Saturday, September 25, 2010

To Be Filled With Light

"When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness,

I would almost say that they save me,

and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness,

and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out,

"Stay awhile."

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again,

"It's simple," they say,"

and you too have come

into the world to do this,

to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine."

-Mary Oliver, from Thirst

Friday, September 24, 2010


"When I let go of who I am,
I become what I might be." -Lao Tzu

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Changing Seasons

"Autumn is no season for defiance."-Michael Pollan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Made Out of Leaves

"Needing one, I invented her —

the great-great-aunt dark as hickory

called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud

or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves,

and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool,

and whisper in a language only the two of us knew

the word that meant follow,

and we'd travel

cheerful as birds

out of the dusty town and into the trees

where she would change us both into something quicker —

two foxes with black feet,

two snakes green as ribbons,

two shimmering fish —

and all day we'd travel.

At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door

with the rest of my family,

who were kind, but solid as wood

and rarely wandered. While she,

old twist of feathers and birch bark,

would walk in circles wide as rain and then

float back

scattering the rags of twilight

on fluttering moth wings;

or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she'd hang in the milky moonlight

burning like a medallion,

this bone dream, this friend I had to have,

this old woman made out of leaves."-Mary Oliver

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Flow, I am

"Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.

Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell.
As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength.

Move back and forth into the change.

What is it like, such intensity of pain?

If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,

be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,

the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,

say to the silent earth: I flow.

To the rushing water, speak: I am."

-Rainer Maria Rilke,Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, Sonnet XXIX

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Need For Some Time Out

"Our life is frittered away by detail.
Simplify, Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maybe It's The Memories

Old town Monterossa, Le Cinque Terre summer 2007

Maybe it's the memories...

Barb and Athena's get-away to our favorite little spot in Monterossa...we love that village.

the change of the pace that brings us there
The sense of the vacation,
maybe the smell of the place,
the sight of the gulls, the dunes, the grasses,

but oh, it is the feel of it,

the crunch and the slide of it,

the feeling of beach sand, so different from
dirt, soil, loam. No not earthy, moist, rich

but oh so granular and gritty. Even when wet,
movable paper spreading under toes,
sliding beneath the soles, smoothing my skin,
clearing my mind, unburdening me of the rest.
Drawing me to the tactile,
the feel of the beach sand."

Beach Sand by Raymond A. Foss

Friday, September 17, 2010

Love Affair With Books

"I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them - with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself." -Eudora Welty

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Food for the Heart

"Night is falling swiftly. The forest reverberate with the undulating buzz of countless crickets and the eerie rising wail of tropical cicadas. A few stars poke dimly through the treetops. Amid the gathering darkness there is a pool of warm light, thrown from a pair of kerosene lanterns, illuminating the open area below a hut raised up on stilts. Beneath it, in the glow, a couple of dozen people are gathered around a small, solidly built monk who is seated cross-legged on a wicker bench. The air is filled with a vibrant peace".
-Venerable Ajahn Chah is teaching.
From Food for the Heart, collected teachings

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"I loved the italian eating experience so much that,
at times, I felt like my day was broken into two parts:

the times I was eating and the times I was

waiting until the next opportunity to eat."
-David Farley, travel writer/author

Summer 2010 Pizza time Barb, Aria, Daniele, Mike

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Simple Exercise

Sit quietly,
close your eyes, and just for a moment or two concentrate on the word "happiness."
What comes to mind when you imagine feeling happy?
What are your associations with happiness?

Write your thoughts in The Happiness Circle.
Don't think;
just fill your circle with happiness.
You may be surprised to note that the simple things in life
are what come to mind!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Daily Dance

"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false, which was not accompanied by at least one laugh." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wanderlust Hasn't Changed

"When you find yourself irresistibly drawn towards a travel poster of moon-drenched Doric columns or yodelers in gray leather britches, of heather-covered moors or whirling street dancers, take care! You're skating on the thin ice of wanderlust." -Fodor's Woman's Guide to Europe 1953

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Travel Gift

"Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else."
Lawrence Block

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Once a Year Rendezvous

For the past five years since my friend retired and I stopped teaching full time we rendezvous for breakfast on the first day of school each September. This year we picked a restaurant in Laguna Beach called "Las Brisas".*

Rather than take the freeway I decided to drive south from my home in Long Beach on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). PCH follows the coast line through all the beach towns and is a great drive.

There is a quiet, kind of joy driving along the ocean on an overcast day.

I left my house at 8 a.m.

The day was overcast. The words from Pablo Neruda's poem echoed in my mind..."The morning is full of storm" ...but there was no rain.

Drove past Main Street Seal Beach, Sunset beach and then thru Huntington. Each seaside town has its own special atmosphere. I love them all.

There were surfers at Huntington and Dog Beach.

Leaving Huntington and entering Newport Beach

Wish I could stop to take some photos of all the boats in the bay but must go onward to get to Laguna by 9:00.

Just beyond the Balboa Peninsula you will drive past Newport Beach's Fashion Island Mall. Can't stop to shop right now.

Heading past one of my old childhood favorite beaches, Corona Del Mar. This is such a nice little town, lots of little shops and restaurants.

Okay now leaving Newport Beach and nearing Crystal Cove. Have you been there? Crystal Cove is like a step back into a movie scene, with old beach shacks and a great little long ago artist colony setting. (One of these days I'll tell you about that place.)

I have arrived in Laguna and just parked up a long hill off Pacific Coast Highway. Here are some of the cute houses I passed.

There's so many things that catch my eye.

Pretty garden settings...

What's this guy doing in the front yard?

Las Brisas restaurant has a perfect location on Cliff drive

Arrived right on time to find my friend waiting for me. It's our once a year reunion and we have lots to catch up on. Time for a great buffet breakfast and we're hungry!

There's a beautiful patio setting

This is a perfect spot for drinks at sunset or lunch on a sunny summer day

Since it's cloudy outside there's no patio dining for us

Instead we are seated by the window with a view of the ocean

A pretty room with a view

Las Brisas has a great view of the ocean and the town of Laguna below

After a long and leisure breakfast it's time for a walk

There are tidepools to explore

Normally September days are still like summer here but the weather has been unpredictable this year. If today were a sunny day this beach would be full of sun bathers. Today we have it to ourselves.

Such a peaceful morning to walk on the beach.
And now it's time to head home.

What a great rendezvous we had. So my friend and I hug and wish each other well, promising to meet up again, same time next year!
click here for info on Las Brisas
wikipedia says this about Laguna:

"Laguna Beach is a seaside resort and artist community located in southern Orange County, California, United States... Its population was 23,727 at the 2000 census. It is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in southern California. The city is also known for its hotels, unique shops, restaurants, world famous art galleries, and art festivals."
Note: If you have never been to Laguna Beach you should put this on your list of places to visit. It's a really lovely place that I'm sure you will enjoy. For me it's a little piece of paradise close to home.

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