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

Re-establishing this weekly practice of listing…

Five good things from the past few days:

Watching my granddaughters delight in throwing rocks into our creek.

Bundling my grandmother’s heirloom roses onto silk scarves to see if I’ll get a print or dye.

Laughing as a child I tutor tries on my glasses.

Copying a poem a day into my little altered art book.

Opening the mailbox to find packages and letters from loved ones near and far.

Simple things that bring happiness. Truly, if we cannot be happy in our own self we cannot bring it to anyone else.

What makes you happy? I’d love to know…

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Sunday’s Song: A Sentence and a Step

Week 5 of Lent. Easter is not far away, and my Lenten promises have pretty much gone by the wayside. But… a sweet surprise came along and helped me see that when we strive to follow a better path, things do indeed work out, and sometimes we don’t have to follow through on this plan or that goal…we just have to be the real me or you and walk on.

I met a new friend this week, one who knows me from what she saw me post on social media. We were at a mutual friend’s party and were introduced there. You may not remember this but you defended your religion awhile back. She went on to say what I’d written and the one part that stood out for her: You ended with Peace be with you and I thought wow. Yes. That.

Turns out this new friend has a Catholic upbringing. Thinks about coming back. Attends Mass when she’s visiting her mom.

She is also a cancer warrior, and has just spent several months recovering from treatments.

She’s seen a lot, been through a lot. Walked some dark roads like others have. Is still working things out. Thinking things through.

But she stood there and talked to me about one little sentence I posted months ago…maybe even a year or more ago. And she remembered that. Not because of the theology. Because of the grace. The kindness. The “no matter what you think, I hope you find peace on your way” which is how I strive to live.

Look, you cannot change people. You cannot force anyone to do this or be that, but you can wish them well. And mean it.

And while I am not the best Catholic in a lot of ways, that day she saw me as one who brought her a step closer to coming back to church. So, I am grateful to know. I am grateful to see a God who works through every person in every way…simple people like me and simple things like comments on a public post.

Grateful because I ask God routinely to help me lead others to Him…and to look for Him in them.

And this week, He said yes to all of that. And that meeting, that reminder, beats any list of things I could hope to do. So, keep on living your best day to day, not just during Lent, but any day. And God will use you if you ask Him to…and likely even if you don’t.


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Sunday’s Song: Springtimes and Sunsets and Startovers

Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Yeah, that Lenten art book I bought with such good intentions? Unread.

The Scripture study I started a couple of Saturdays ago? Haven’t made it back.

Thinking a lot about seasons and cycles and how some things never change.

Decided to start reading through some old journals to help with a project I am working on.

Realized there in black and white that my themes stay constant.

Same ole songs, day in and out.

Was almost discouraged by that. The same things I hope to get better at or stop doing or start doing are there from months, even years ago. Sigh.

Decided to sit and sew for a little while. Let the silence still my mind.

Allowed the mindful repetition of threads turning into rows of pattern remind me that row after row, line after line, a story still takes shape.

Sometimes there are starts and stops and sidesteps. Sometimes there are repetitions.

Maybe there is a break in pattern and something interesting is sewn in. A contrast. Different color. Unique stitch.

Sometimes a mistake creeps in.

But like spring cycles back with its same ole flowers and crickets and fireflies, we still welcome it. We don’t expect something new from it…not really. We just want spring to be spring.

And those sunsets that mark the end of each day…sometimes they seem closer, brighter, dearer. Maybe it is not the sun, maybe it is the viewer.

So. Take stock of your life from time to time, but don’t look back too long.

See what there still is to do…so much!

And just begin again. And again. Until you realize all the same old words have shaped themselves into the story you want them to be.

Start again…


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Sunday’s Song: Smiles and Sentimentality

This week brings me to another marking of time. March 8 will make four years since Sam left this world. Five years since knowing we were in a very bad place. Terrible, terrible times.

I look back sometimes and wonder how we made it. I would not wish what we experienced on anyone.

But if you just keep moving…

Today, our daughter Skyped with me from 5,000 miles away. She’s been ice skating on a frozen lake. She tells me of her adventures, the friends whose names I did not know five years ago. We laugh, we visit, and I am aware of the arrival of a new day. Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.

I sit with our son at Mass. I visit his family  tonight. Laugh at the constant motion, constant buzz of his house, filled with family and laughter. Good food, good conversations. Laugh at the antics of two little girls we did not realize would be  coming to us.  Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.

Never ever could I have predicted the days we lived five years ago. Never ever could I have predicted the happy circumstances my family lives today.

Smiles from living in the moment we are in. Sentimentality from remembering a good man who would be smiling at all of us.

Wherever you are,  whatever sadness might stun you, overwhelm you, paralyze you, breathe through it. One day, it will get better.

Maybe not in four years, or five. Maybe later. Maybe sooner. Just keep at it.

Walk —when you cannot take one more step, take just one more. Sooner or later, you will walk into sunlight. The ice will glisten like diamonds on a frozen lake and you’ll marvel at all the colors you see.

Wait—when you cannot wait one more second, a child might arrive. Or two. And they will bring laughter from a well that until then was unopened.

I have watched my children’s smiles return. I have seen real joy in their eyes.

This is a gift from walking and waiting.

So, smile when you can and remember what you must, but know that a lot of good is right down the road. Live to see it.


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Friday’s Five

Five little things from the past few days that remind me I am a human on this earth:

babies’ laughter…

my daughter’s text from 5,000 miles away…

my son’s hugs…

a sacred medal mailed from a beautiful friend named (appropriately) Care…

a late night phone call from a friend decades younger in real years, but our soul years are sort of the same…

…our connections sustain us. They are the most beautiful and treasured gifts we have on this earth. Cherish your people. 


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Sunday’s Song: Renewal

Today is the five year anniversary of this blog. I  just spent a few minutes looking back at previous July posts. I found my former self in the space of those days: the eager exhilaration of beginning something new, the devastation of learning my husband’s cancer diagnosis, the paralyzation of grief filled days, the determined plodding ahead.  

And this brings me to the fifth space. This year. This walk. How do I describe it? How have I changed? What is around the corner? 

Who am I today that I was not five years ago? Well, I am a widow. A grandmother. A theology student. A world traveler. A retiree. A small business owner. An activist. Those titles come fairly quickly. 

Who am I still? A mom. A writer. An artist. An independent woman. 

Who am I yet to be? Time will tell.

I feel a longing, a tugging toward something more. Something that involves writing, art, spirituality, helping a larger group. We will see. 

I know not to discount the power in putting one foot in front of another. I know presence has deep meaning. I know that for all the people who tell you that you cannot do something or be something, you are the one who ultimately decides.

A lot of good has come my way in recent years. I have had three different pieces of art accepted into nationally juried shows. Still, someone laughingly commented: Oh, it’s so nice to say I know a real artist. Truly, I have been an artist for decades now. It was only when my work was accepted by someone other than me that this person accepted this part of me. This saddens me. We limit people. We put barriers up with too many requirements. We don’t make the next move because we allow ourselves to be defined by someone else’s limited view. 

Don’t allow that to happen to you. 

Days pass quickly. I can still remember riding to Louisiana with my family for a summer outing five summers ago. I found a book on blogging that day. It was like a sign. And I began. 

The journey took detours, and I am sure more detours lie ahead. In the meantime, though, I re-affirm my decision to write. To create. To think independently. To live in this world as the person I am. And to witness to those who cross my path. To celebrate all they are and all they hope to be. 

We have power. We must use it. Our day will come. 💫


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Friday’s Five

I am two days away from a five  year anniversary of writing this blog. Writing those first entries and wondering where they would lead… I did not picture myself as a widow, an activist, a world traveler, a theology student. Yet, here I am–all of these and more. We just never know what is around the corner. 

I have lived through many seasons, and I am still able to say I am grateful for so much. That is pure gift. Pure grace. Tonight, these five from the past week:

  • Safe travel to and from Austin, where I spoke with a policy advisor and participated in a rally for public education, teachers, and retirees’ benefits.
  • The realization that I am not afraid to stand up and fight for what is right, regardless of who stands with me.
  • The awareness that when I am true to myself, the universe rises up to help me.
  • The acknowledgement that I have a lot of goals to work on in the future and how happy that makes me.
  • Knowing that difficult situations do not last forever, and when they do come ( because they will indeed come), to trust that a power bigger than me has my back. 

Listen to your heart and follow where it leads. Remember that you are here at this moment in time for a purpose. You don’t have to see the whole picture. Just keep pressing on. Peace.