Beautiful Dreamer

Our beautiful dreamer.

I’m spending more time in June writing and less time taking photographs. I feel a bit like this beautiful sleeping baby: resting in the afternoon air — closing my eyes to the vibrant patterns of light and travelling within.

It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? What lies within a little sleeping soul?

Challenge

One of the questions I’m living with right now is this:

“Is she being met with enough challenge?”

A wise mother friend suggested to me this week that I may not need to be responsible for bringing the challenge to her; instead, my daughter may actually seek it out.

She has crossed a certain threshold where her own bravery and strength will help her find what she needs to thrive.

40 :: American History

Studying American history feels especially significant at this moment in time: the Declaration of Independence; our three branches of federal government; separation of powers; the Constitution of the United States of America.

Do these documents, these ideals, still serve us? How are they being tested today?

39 :: Watching Sister

For a long time
I let those thoughts occupy me —
you know those thoughts
that say
“Your kids will be awkward if they don’t go to school.”

Those thoughts that come from nowhere
and everywhere
so pervasive and strangely persuasive.

And yet,
how do they know,
those thoughts?
How can anyone say,
with conviction,
that schools help us to be less awkward?

Well, maybe they do teach us how to fit in.
But fit in to what exactly?

18 — 22 :: Go Dark

Amidst a great deal of talk about our country this week: the transition in leadership; the grace of President Obama as he left office; the inaugural address; what it means to be trustworthy; the importance of our words; the value of integrity and respect . . . While all the while wondering what we can do, in our relatively quiet part of the world, to reach out to our neighbors . . . there was a whole lot of quiet work (and play) happening in our home.

January feels very dark. Not just this year, but especially this year, I feel a heaviness that I cannot shake. I do not know if I should try harder to shake it or try to sit with it. But when I sit here, trying to enter in, fully, to the weight of this darkness, I find myself simultaneously celebrating life — life and the joy that is so very present in each day shared with our beautiful children. Their curiosity. Their wonder. Their questions. Their pureness of heart. This is light.

I think of this poem by Wendell Berry (forgive me if I have quoted this recently. It has really been on my mind.)

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, 1998: p. 68.

Did Wendell Berry march in the Woman’s March yesterday (or would he have in his younger days)?
Does he outwardly protest? Or inwardly? Or both?
Does he speak out in body? And on paper?
In the light? Or in the dark?

16 :: On Edge

Last year’s growth
covered in this year’s ice.
Frosty crystals
making lines —
on edge.

I’m on edge
as the curve emerges
against the landscape,
and I ask questions
with no answers,
and I look back
too far.