WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: WALL

Story wrangler and editor at Automattic, Cheri Lucas Rowlands, wants WP bloggers to consider the walls we’ve erected and decorated, the halls we walk down each day, or the exteriors we’ve ignored or neglected. 

 

The walls in my classroom filled up fast.

My solution? Move out into the hall.

What better place to let kids construct a timeline?

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Toni 3/18/15

with many thanks to my generous friend/teacher/neighbor Joan ♥ 

WHAT SHALL I LEARN OF BEANS OR BEANS OF ME? HENRY DAVID THOREAU ASKS, MARY OLIVER ANSWERS

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♣♣♣HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY♣♣♣

 

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Putting in the peas, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. (This year, expect a delay.)  Shamrocks, leprechaun hats, and Google remind me to make soda bread and that it’s (almost) time to work the ground.

Being in the garden reminds me of Mary Oliver’s poem, Why I Wake Early. She knows how to pay attention, be idle, wander dunes, kneel in grass. She says she doesn’t know exactly what a prayer is. I say, it’s her poetry.

Oliver writes what she likes to call ‘Praise Poetry’. Her poems comfort and amuse me. She focuses on the good and the hopeful and doesn’t mess around with what makes her unhappy in her writing.

She’s used up a lot of pencils over the years. And experienced crushing loss. But Oliver considers her life an amazing gift. Listen to her poems on The Writer’s Almanac. Garrison Keillor reads them to you while you’re otherwise engaged in buttering toast or shooing squirrels.

They (the poems, not the toast) have welcome stickiness. You hear one and a day later it’s still with you, still there in the brainpan, delivering some good thing of use. It’s what folksy-literary critics call ” a bearshit-on-the-trail” poem ~ a true and clear picture of the familiar that starts in the today and ends in the infinite.

I’m going to have a friend in this world as long as Mary Oliver keeps on living her One Wild and Precious Life.

 

Self-Portrait

by Mary Oliver

I wish I was twenty and in love with life
and still full of beans.
Onward, old legs!
There are the long, pale dunes; on the other side
the roses are blooming and finding their labor
no adversity to the spirit.
Upward, old legs! There are the roses, and there is the sea
shining like a song, like a body
I want to touch
though I’m not twenty
and won’t be again but ah! seventy. And still
in love with life. And still
full of beans.

 

Toni 3/17/15