minimalist — a random bird on a post


When I hoped I feared,
Since I hoped I dared;
Everywhere alone
As a church remain;
Spectre cannot harm,
Serpent cannot charm;
He deposes doom,
Who hath suffered him.

Emily Dickinson

I know I’ve been posting an awful lot of birds lately; believe me, I’m the first one to go “huh?”.

Indulge me with one more. I just love this little guy sitting on a post in the middle of the ocean. Do birds ponder their existence? Who knows!

I’ve been pondering quite a bit lately, so that might explain why I’m drawn to these kinds of images. Anyway, it’s those two opening lines I’ve highlighted that speak to me here. They capture both the fear of daring to do something, and the hope it brings.

Check out other interpretations of the minimalist theme at the Weekly Photo Challenge.

7 Quick Takes Friday: The Return of the Slacker

Check out the collection of other 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, hosted at Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog, Conversion Diary


I haven’t done this in ages. In fact, if I checked, I’d discover it had been months. Maybe even a year. But enough of that, I’m happy to be doing it. I’m happy to be getting back into blogging again, writing some poetry, maybe even trying something longer. In related news…I’m not particularly interested in returning to a hyper-present presence in social media. I mean, I’m tweeting and putting stuff up on FB when I have something to say or share, but I don’t get Pinterest. I don’t Instagram. Holy smokes, I’m just an old lady with a laptop. I think I’ll embrace that. And maybe get around to dying my hair after all. Or maybe I’ll figure out Instagram, and post pictures of Otis.



I’m still traveling for work, which is part of the reason I’ve not been blogging so much. This past week took me to Boston for a great couple of days with a publisher. It’s alway’s hard work, these publishers. But it’s fruitful, and definitely worth it, for me, but especially for my students. I paid a little visit to Emily Dickinson’s home, and swiped a picture of her writing process to share with my students. Shhh. The docent told me no pictures.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.05.21 PM


The bonus is that I got to stay in Boston and visit my dear friend Pat Gohn. So naturally, there were some hijinks. Regrettably, we didn’t think to take a picture of us together, but she did take this picture of me standing next to some gigantic pumpkins. I’ve never seen anything like that in person. She struggled to get a good picture because the light bounced off the pumpkins, but here’s something she managed to play with and rescue. I maintain those pumpkins are huge because of weird radiation treatments. Look at it glowing in this picture.



I ate  a delectable French dessert called profiteroles. Why oh why have I never eaten this deliciousness until now? The meal was already exquisite, and then, this…


The one I ate was swimming in chocolate sauce. To. Die. For.


I also paid a visit to the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy. My father, who passed away this past summer, was devoted to the Divine Mercy, and I was grateful to be able to pray there, for him, and me, and all my loved ones. It was a special day that I share in this blog post at another cup of coffee.



My new guilty pleasure is The Mysteries of Laura. Go ahead and judge me. I’m enjoying it.


Finally, I think I’m going to try a new approach to my week. I enjoyed reflecting on the past week but I don’t want to stop there. I think I’m going to look forward, too, and think about something I can do next week that will make me better in some way.


Got it! I’m going to replace that glass of sweet tea or soda I have at lunch time with a glass or two of water. Let’s see what I have to say about that next Friday.



I visited Emily Dickinson’s home this weekend, a tremendous treat for me since she’s one of my favorite poets. It was a delightful way to spend a little time indoors on a rainy New England afternoon. I loved seeing the little bits of history they had there, but I especially enjoyed a little moment upstairs in her bedroom, where I stood at the window and looked out at the field she must have gazed upon a million times. The docent explained she was playful and would call to the neighborhood children playing out there and lower a little basket of gingerbread to them.

What a quirky thing! I loved the thought of a playful Emily, laughing in that room.

I also liked hearing about it — that somehow enough of her life was recorded that these kinds of stories could be shared. I wondered what people might say about me when I’m gone. I hope they say I liked to laugh. And I was kind.

What about you? What would people say about your life?

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.


hHope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

                         ~ Emily Dickinson