agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Friday’s Five in Photographs

It’s #worldphotographyday I am told. So, tonight, I’m going to look at my camera roll and post five images that I shot this past week. Five images that capture my heart and say this is good. Because we need as much good as possible. Amen.

New art processes–bundling papers to dye and create new papers.

New art companions with easy grip crayons–plus they taste good, too.

Visiting geese and egrets…surprise.


Old barbed wire fences still standing–a nod to a beautiful history.

Finding the perfect resting place after a busy morning of block stacking and story land. Naps are bonus! My sis knitted this blanket for my husband during his hospice time and  Sofia connected with it today. 
It was hard to choose five. What’s on your camera roll this week? What images made you pause and smile? 


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Friday’s Five

To the person who posted on FB: My weekend’s gonna suck. Geez,woman. You’re mid-forties. Did your daughter die in a wreck today? At some point, it helps us all if you would shut up.

Shameful. I know. But I’m sick of whiners.

 And this: I love you all but you shouldn’t post if you have a drink because an alcoholic might see it and be tempted. You should be a witness.

Really? What about the posts of family parties for folks who lost their family? Why post wedding pics? It might upset a widow. What about those cute baby pics? Does that harm the infertile?

You may sense a different voice today.

It’s still me. I’m just weary of people who still refuse to realize: This. Moment. Is. All. We. Get. For. Sure. 

Not the next one. This one. So for heaven’s sake, try/attempt/make some kind of effort to see a glimpse of good.

Here are mine, in the midst of a sorrowful, heartbreakingly sad week for friends I know…still, I was present to see:

1) a friend gave me a stack of art supplies and, at the last second said Wait. I have one more thing if you even want this. This turned out to be an Infant Jesus of Prague statue…He is my favorite, unbeknownst to her until that moment.

2) instant coffee dyed art papers. This led to clothesline stringing and more art making. I need this in my life.

3) lighting a candle in a church on my one- year-old granddaughter’s birthday. Holding the match with her. Watching her eyes widen at the light. Knowing in that moment we each get that chance to witness. Don’t miss it…

4) a publication called womankind. Look it up. It is the real deal and a place of ad free inspiration for creatives.

5) knowing. The greatest gift of all…realizing we can lose it all in an instant. Cherishing the people (ourselves included) that we see each day. 

Love and mercy. I still have a way to go, but I’m trying.


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Friday’s Five

You know those moments you realize you didn’t record in any form? No photograph, no scribbled phrases in a journal, nothing but you and the instant of knowing this is real and beautiful. I had a lot of those these last weeks. I’m thankful.

And, for these moments with people I did not know 12 days ago:

Zee, a shuttle driver, who spoke to me about Ethiopian coffee ceremony; I can still see his mother dressing for the day and preparing for the family…and I’ll likely never meet her. Or see him again. But now I want that coffee, that ceremony, that experience. 

Mike, a member of Ketchikian’s Holy Name parish, who drove us back to town and offered to take my daughter and me out to see the totems in Saxman. He waited while we reveled in the artistry and then gave us insights into the area as we made our way back to Creek Street.

Marida, a California resident who was at Medusa’s for the free champagne (like me) and who danced with me for hours as we led other ladies and one appreciative man to the floor for the joy of moving to music.

The young guy on the plane to Seattle who was a theology student, a honeymooner sitting apart from his bride of eight days, talking with me and exchanging smiles and gestures with Sofia; his flight was delayed. They might miss their cruise. He laughed with us and hoped for the best.

The older lady on the plane from Seattle who rejoiced in the expressions of my grandchild; who shed tears as she told me of her trip to witness the burial of her brother-in-law; who listened as I told her  the realities of a widow’s journey.

Those five people are my five (of countless)  blessings  this week. Five I’ll probably never see again. Five I’ll always remember for their essence, their truths, their humanity.

We are so blessed to connect with one another in this life. It is never as random as we might think. 


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Friday’s Five

Time with family.

Laughing with strangers.

Larson. I’ll always remember that you memorized our names.

Glaciers. 

The Pacific Ocean.

The wonders of this world are many. The choice to live looking for the light is a choice I have never regretted.

May you always find it, too. 


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Friday’s Five

The little boy in the parking lot. I did not get to see his face; I only saw his red cape fluttering behind him on this windy day. He was holding his mom’s hand. And he  made it safely to his car.

The lady at the vehicle registration who asked me if I realized my tags expired last May. Have you been stopped for expired tags, ma’am? No, I have not. 

A trip to the vet with my daughter’s dog. I had the harness on in such a way it made the assistant laugh. Doing the best I can, Lady. We all need to laugh more.

A recent art trip to Houston. Lisa Sonora taught one of her courses Dreaming on Paper and the women in our class painted and cut and glued and wrote. It was beautiful. 

Little free libraries. I’ve seen them on my travels before, but last Sunday I stopped at every one I saw. The effort people make to improve the world. That matters.


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International Widows Day 2016

June 23. I never knew there was “a special day” for widows until I became one.

And now that I have lived as one and survived as one, I am ready to be a voice for anyone who thinks they cannot go one more step, take one more breath, answer one more question, relive one more memory.

Yes, you can.

 Except for those questions. Sometimes the answer is just “No.” (You really do not have to answer all those questions.)

You get to use what my dearest friend gave me in my darkest days: free passes.

I bestow them upon you today, on this June 23, 2016. They never expire. They never run out. Here’s how they work:

When you start thinking —

Maybe I should have… 

Well, they wanted to know…

Then, I said…

Could I have…

OR ANY version of any question–

Remember. Ah. I have a free pass. It’s my absolution. My getaway. My freedom. My (insert your favorite phrase). 

And you give yourself a break.

Because you have experienced a hell unlike any other and everything has changed. And for the moments you can remember to, you are going to love yourself and let it go. Whatever it is, whatever you thought or said or did not say or said too loud or whatever is causing you to second guess…

Free. Pass. Time.

You will survive the horrible days. 
They will backtrack and blindside you and send you crashing. Get back up.

You are not alone. 

Find your people who give free passes or let them find you. Or be one who gives them. It works every way.

My heart is with you today and my prayers are with you everyday.

 Every. Single. Day.

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