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: Truths

Gratitude this late Friday evening for things I name as well as things I keep silent about for awhile for just my heart to know…which brings me to item

 #1:

The truth that we need not answer every question we are asked…protect your secret self without apology or explanation; 

#2:

The truth that winterberries add a burst of color to a gray January landscape…I’m hoping to pick vases full this weekend;

#3:

The truth that spirituality is a form of knowing and grows exponentially as it is nurtured…there is so much to know;

#4:

The truth that babies express joy through belly laughs at only a few months old…and the blessing of daughters-in-law who text videos so you don’t miss the moments;

#5:

The truth that one’s earliest memories can be recalled and today’s dots continue to be connected…

Here’s to seeing the truths and knowing the joy…


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Friday’s Five

1. See that cardinal? It was a welcome visitor this week, and I was lucky to get this shot through the window.

 

2. Texas weather. High in 60s today. Tomorrow? 40s. That means a possibility of a fire in the wood burning stove. And homemade soup. (That’s 3 things. Oh well.)

3.  I began the Documented Life Project 2016 with several other art friends. It’s a creative promise I made and it will be fun to see how it evolves. 

 4. Knit shawl in progress. Almost off the needles !

5. This sweetie turned 5 months yesterday. Saved the best for last this week.

  


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Friday’s Five

Happy New Year! I am going to try to get back on track with this blog in 2016. Here’s to a year of art and travel and words. I am not usually a maker  of resolutions, but I like these. More. A year of abundance of good things. May we all have that. Amen.

 

Light more candles.

Draw more pictures.

Pick more flowers.

Write more letters.

Read more books.

 


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Friday’s Five

Cincinnati

Lickety Split

Salvadore (pronounced Salva-door-AY)

Boolie Boolie Boo FrahnsAY  FrahnsAY

The unexpected joy of nicknames. There is no rhyme or reason. They just wanted to be called to life along with the precious one I call my granddaughter. So I speak them. I listen and know.

I hope you have a good nickname, too. By the way, this grandma stuff is A Ok. 

Loulou is my new nickname, resurrected from a few decades ago. I like it a whole lot more now.

Listen for the names that are calling…speak them with joy.


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Friday’s Five

I booked a flight to visit my daughter in Amsterdam  and  Maastricht. 

It was a fairly quick decision and a good one. I’ll never forget the joy of that trip and the people and experiences associated with it.

I filled journal pages on the way home with images. Reminders of those days. 

My first grandchild came thirteen days early, but she was considerate enough to wait until I returned back home to the states.

I hold her. That little baby…

Over and over, I write words of thanksgiving in my journal. Thanksgiving that I have these days  to fly or stay home.

To see my daughter in her element, happy and confident. Beautiful.

To see my son hold his newborn daughter. And hand her to me to hold.

To realize we do not have to explain anything to anyone. The emotions of living are so complex, so competing at times. I do well to accept them as they come without expectation. It really is what it is. 

We get this one life, friends. Embrace it. Live it. Reach out to people and listen to their stories.

Smile at them.

Understand you don’t have to answer to anyone here. You really don’t. You are free. Live that freedom.

Fly…


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Blog Anniversary #3

Funny how dates have a way of imprinting themselves into our minds.

I recall this day three years ago very well. I remember a decision to start blogging. A trip to Shreveport with my family where we ended up at a bookstore and a book on blogging found me almost immediately. I remember the decision to blog daily for a year.

I could not have known what the future years would bring and if this intermittent writing would matter at all three years out. But, it does matter because I am still here and still writing. A lot has changed in three years. I promised myself not to read back over the previous July 23 blog entries until I finished writing this one. I wanted to record where I am and where I hope to go in the next year without looking back at what I hoped for then.

I am widowed now, and I certainly did not see that coming three years ago. My daily blogging almost got sidelined during the heart wrenching news of a cancer diagnosis and fight. Somehow, though, I kept writing. I think I knew that of all times that the words mattered, it was then. I have not reread a lot of what I wrote during those days, but someday I will. it gives me a sense of peace to know that those days were recorded, however haphazardly. There is evidence on many journal pages, notepads, calendar squares, blog entries, and random pieces of paper that those days mattered enough to make marks on a page. Some of the marks were desperate. Some were incoherent. Some were detailed and poignant. All of them matter.

Our words and our place here in this time are part of something much bigger.

After I met my self imposed requirement to blog daily for a year, I moved to weekly blogging–mainly listing a group of gratitude entries on Fridays–five reasons I was grateful. I am glad I did that. Gratitude is a powerful feeling and it leads to more good.

Then, along the way, I was aware that I was not blogging as much. I was still writing though. I don’t think I have missed many days at all in the last three years. I am not centered when I am not writing. It is a gift I give myself every single day, sometimes many times a day.

Writing is the emptying of my mind. It gives my thoughts and words a place to go, outside of my mind. I can leave those marks on a page and know I don’t have to remember the newest thoughts unless I choose to–they are safely recorded and can be retrieved at any time.

Nowadays, I follow a fairly strict routine in the mornings. Coffee in hand, I begin my day with a journal and a prayer book. I begin by emptying my mind onto the page. Sometimes that means dreams are documented. Sometimes it means listing all the events of the previous day, or plans for the current one. Often, I find myself writing two different things–my entry, plus the random day-to-day tasks that constantly compete for my attention. I call this “double journaling” and almost every time I sit to write, it happens. I embace that as part of my process.

I still do not reread much of what I write, but lately, I am drawn to do just that. I feel a book is in the making, a piece that is beginning to take a more definite shape as time goes on. Maybe by this time next year, I will have the draft complete.

Reading is a central part of my days, and I am thankful to have a book club group as well as family and friends who also like to discuss and read books.

Poetry is more important than ever, and I keep discovering new poets and continue to be delighted by the combination of words that are possible. So much joy in the art of poetry…

What will the next year bring? Well, three years ago I couldn’t know I’d be redefining my life in so many ways. I am now on my own, a retiree who still works part time, an artist (who just had her first piece accepted to a juried show!), a writer, a tutor, an English professor and a field supervisor for student teachers, an etsy shop owner. AND a grandma to be. That blessing will join us in mid to late August, and our lives will change yet again.

Art is an important part of my day, too, and I find that my writing and art are beginning to merge in new and interesting ways. I hope to follow where they lead in the coming year and answer the call to create.

There are many goals I hope to meet in the coming year. I am starting a spiritual direction program next month, and I hope that through the reading and writing I do for those classes, I will become more centered on what matters. Us. All of us. We matter.

We have a responsibility to create an environment for ourselves where we can flourish. That means something different to everyone. For me, it means slowing down, practicing tried and true routines, taking walks, cooking, playing with dogs, making art, surrounding myself with “people on the way” and recognizing that we are all in each other’s lives for a reason we may not ever get to know. But I do know it is not coincidence. There is a bigger reason and here we are, part of it.

I know blogging will remain an important part of my journey because it is a place I meet myself on the page and try to figure out what it is I am doing and where I hope to go. I know I want to make a difference for others. I am not sure exactly what that means yet, but I know I will discover the answer through the gifts God gave me. I am determined to use those gifts for His glory in the years ahead.

Thank you for being part of my journey. I am not sure where it will lead, but I am looking forward to finding out.

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