26 December 2015

Christmas Terrarium - Corvallis, Montana

So fitting for Boxing Day: a wee bit o' fairyland 'boxed' up in glass - an enchanting living room reminder of magical viewpoints we can choose.

"There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it...Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They... can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned... The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland." - L. M. Montgomery (1874-1942), The Story Girl

25 December 2015

Christmas Lights - Downtown Missoula, Montana

"Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been...
Now beginning, and alway:
Now begin, on Christmas day."

- from Moonless darkness stands between by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Happy Christmas to you, in the truest sense of what Christmas means.

24 December 2015

Winter Quiet - Missoula, Montana

"Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? ...or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully." - Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

23 December 2015

Retired - Missoula, Montana

"Maybe [retirees] could do worse than give themselves to the world that needs them as much as they need the world.
This may involve things like volunteer work at the hospital or delivering meals on wheels or heading the library-fund drive, but the place where giving yourself to the world starts is simply paying attention to the world—to the people you've been saying hello to for years without really knowing them, to the elementary-school kids hanging upside down on the jungle gym, to the woman taxi driver with the face of a Boston bull and no teeth to speak of who waits for fares at the bus stop, to the old vets marching down Main Street on Memorial Day." - Frederick Buechner, from Beyond Words

22 December 2015

Snow Silence - Missoula, Montana

"...Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere..." - from Snow by Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)

21 December 2015

Walking Through - Quail Tracks, Corvallis, Montana

"[Miss Green] says that being an artist is more than a job or a skill; it's a way of walking through the world." - Filomena, p. 38, The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Wishing you continued (or newly begun) striding along, comfortable in your own skin and whatever personal version of artistry it contains.

20 December 2015

Memory Stirs - Missoula, Montana

"I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy."- Hamlin Garland (1860-1940), McClure's, February, 1899