Monday, April 25, 2011

It's a Toss Up

Wynham turned 16 today, but he never stopped moving long enough for me to get a decent picture. Karen was more obliging as she whipped up her "prize winning" salad with greens from her garden. I've never been able to top, or even duplicate, her dressing; she should be selling it in gourmet grocers across the country!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Other Words

The senior advanced theater class put on an amazing performance at CellSpace in the city. They wrote the show themselves and I have to say it's the best production I've seen in a long time. Chloe sang a couple of original pieces and she continues to astound...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't Fence Me In...

Some words of wisdom crossed my path yesterday: "Hang your future on a rusty nail." Meaning, don't sit around waiting for things to be perfect; get out there, jump the fence! Who cares if you rip the seat of your overalls on the way? A more humble, down-to-earth piece of advice than "Hitch your wagon to a star," but more accessible in the everyday, and one worth considering.

The words came with a strong visual, a memory of a college weekend when I left the books behind and tagged along with a handful of friends who said "Come on! Let's go!" We ended up in Sonoma county on a warm Indian summer day, hiking high into the hills, coming back down to the borders of a friend's farm at sunset, tired and parched.

And there, hanging on a rusty nail in a fence post, was this beautiful bowl. Glazed in celadon and burgundy, graced with the impression of some ancient fossil, it mesmerized. "That's gorgeous. Why is it here?" I asked. My friend, the inhabitant of the farm, said "My sister made it. She figured the right person would come along and claim it." With that, he took it down off the nail and handed it to me.

We filled the bowl with blackberries found growing along the fence, and pulled water from the well, and watched a silvery crescent come up over the Valley of the Moon. All those memories are held in this vessel, and other things too: a reverence for simple beauty, the wonder of things unexpected, a reminder to look past the usual boundaries. Yes, I think I'll hang my future on that rusty nail...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Moon Over My Heart

Coming home from San Francisco on Saturday night, I was somewhat disappointed when I couldn't fully appreciate the moon over the fog-enshrouded city (necessity requiring that I keep my eyes on the road). As I walked in the door, Chloe said, "Hey Mom! Look at these pictures I took with your camera tonight..." In that perfect, synchronistic way of things, she had captured the very moment I'd wanted not to miss.

Funny thing about our beloved Golden Gate, shown in this photo in particular: it's an ever-changing tableau, one that even the most jaded among us never tire of, and a humbling reminder of human excesses and limits. Majestic yet fragile, beautiful and ominous, a mecca or a means to an end, revealing things seen and unknown, shadow against light -- the perfect reflection of a tender and terrible heart.

Something to fear, something to love, something to live or die or hope for... Let's meet in the middle...

Friday, April 15, 2011


"Not Friends. A friend, after all, is someone with whom you need not discuss important subjects, though you often do. Nor do you have to clarify the status of the relationship, except when you must. Your good news doesn't bother him too much. Bad news brings out the empathetic best in you both. And each of you knows what small misfortunes to keep to yourself. To be just an acquaintance is normal enough. But terrible to be an acquaintance when you want to be a friend. Terrible when one person is thinking friend, the other acquaintance, and, after a long separation, those rapid, uncomfortable pats on the back when they hug. Show me a back patter, and I'll show you an acquaintance lost among his intuitions, whose body's Morse code is doubt, doubt, doubt. At a party full of acquaintances, it's almost as bad. What do we say after we've said what we usually say? Better to be a stranger with small hopes and a plan."

from What Goes On by Stephen Dunn
painting, Three Friends by Milton Avery

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gimme Shelter

It was a rainy, windy morning, but that didn't stop all the kids from having a blast on the beach. The better to build a fort, my dear!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grasping the Moment

Deb had a grand time on the carousel at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, grabbing for that elusive brass ring. I love the momentum in this photo...