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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Good Friday 4/14/17

I bought a rose bush this morning  to honor the memory of my best friend. A drunk driver took her away from me on this day five years ago. I spoke to her that morning. A few hours later, she was gone. 

I thought I’d die.

That year began a journey of losses and realizations and change. Over and over, death stared me in the face. Then, the very next year my  husband was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Again…

I thought I’d die.

Some days I really wanted to. 

I do not have the answers to why people suffer and struggle. And even though some say Jesus already suffered for us all, we know the reality is that we still suffer here. 

This isn’t a post about looking for the good. It’s a post about realizing even though.

Even though there is pain and loss and suffering…

Even though we sometimes live seasons when the world is falling apart around us…

Even though we are not sure how the light will come to us again…

I’m only here to remind us all…

The Light is in you. It is deep within you and will never be extinguished. It is waiting for when the day comes you are able to walk in it again. 

Unconditionally.

Today, I pray for the broken-hearted. For the world at large. For all those who suffer physically, mentally, spiritually.

Back to the rose bush. A dear and mutual friend gave me a rose bush to plant in memory of our friend. She planted one, too. Hers, five years later is blooming in yellow radiance. She sent me a picture of it. I confessed mine didn’t make it, but today I am  trying again. Pink double blooms for a woman named Waydean. 

When I drove up with it to the area I’d decided on, one lone cardinal greeted me as if it say Finally. 

The sun is bright here today. I can feel it. 

God bless you ALL…



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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 4/10/17 (Monday)

Holy Week.

What do those words mean to you? Will you live differently this week? More mindfully? 

Or, will this week be yet another week in your life that is no different than the one before it? 

I look at this week as kind of a “last call” before the big event of Easter. Time to get the inside and outside ready, so to speak.

My Lenten plans are written in a notebook. I’ll review them tonight. I might wince at how fast the time went, how much I still want to do. I might sigh at repeated themes: how hard it is to follow plans sometimes.

Yesterday, I was supposed to meet my son and his family for early mass. I slept right through the alarms. (Yes, plural.)

I went to a later mass at another church in my town.  I was still late to that one. (See something I need to work on? I know.) 

Anyway, I sat in a back pew and watched a little girl a few seats away making crosses from palms. I was making one, too. It’s kind of a tradition, one that brings to mind my daughter. A special memory.

I listened to the Passion as I braided my cross. I recalled previous Palm Sundays when I felt ashamed to participate in reading the part of the play where the crowd says Crucify him. Crucify him. 

From an early age, I remember feeling truly sad that this would be my line. I listened to the congregation read in unison, but it was a moment of realization for me–I could feel the result of those words in my soul. Some years, I only mouthed the words. Some years, I didn’t speak them at all.

Yesterday was like that. I sat and listened and pictured the scene and realized that each year God reminds me in this tangible way of how much He gave up for me, for us. 

Later in the mass, I stepped into the vestibule and brought in a couple more palms and handed one to the child. She had a pile of crosses, but had run out of palms. At the end of mass, she handed me one of her creations with a hug. Here, ma’am. I made this one for you. 
I left the palms in the car until today. They’ve already changed so much…just in one day, the drying process has started. The green is already faded significantly. These palm frond crosses are a visible reminder of how much we change from day to day. At some point in the coming year, they may become brittle and even break. But next year, there will be fresh green ones again. And the scene will repeat until the day comes when we don’t have to wait anymore for Christ to return.


I’m praying for us all this Holy Week. 


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Friday’s Five

This week I am thinking about America. The election process. The aftermath. How can I still see the good, you wonder?

Well, this is how:

First on the list today: veterans. I salute you, I support you, I thank you. Without your service and sacrifice, I would not be able to speak freely and live freely here. On this Veterans Day 2016, I sincerely thank you.

Next, reminders. Reminders to open my eyes. Think for myself. Read. Listen. Watch. Question. Act. Be part of a solution to the problems I see. How?

By realization. When we realize that small, intentional acts have a ripple effect, we become empowered. We empower ourselves. Choose to make a positive difference and act on that choice.

Education. I was talking with a few of my college students at the end of class last night. We are knee deep in research and plodding through all of the rules for formats, sources, documentation. But the reward! The reward of learning something we did not know. The reward of answering a question and discovering a new one. The reward of taking ownership of and for our own learning. 

Power. We have more of it than we use. We have the power to decide what we will accept and what we will not. We have the power to change our circumstances. We have the power to turn off the tv some days. Disconnect from the noise of technology. Connect with who you are at the deepest level. The very fiber of your being. Listen. Breathe. Decide. 

And walk on in the light of you. 

Peace, brothers and sisters. Protect it.


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Friday’s Five

1. I’m trying to make a consistent  return to blogging, dear people. That counts as my first “grateful thing” on the list tonight. This is more complicated than it sounds…getting a few words on a page some days. So, it gets top billing tonight. 

2. Free Starbucks coffee in a cool green cup. First of all, the barista claimed I had to wait too long, so no charge. I didn’t think I waited any longer than normal, but her gesture improved my mood. And I mention the green cup because…

#3…it is artsy. A continuous line drawing of humanity. I read that there is some controversy over said cup. So I list it because of that, too. It is a cup. I’m grateful that a lot of things do not bother me at all.  Chill.

#4. The red present. Ever since my mom died (ten years ago this month) I shop each holiday for something “from her”…it is a way to keep her memory alive and works for me. Tonight, the red present appeared. It always does. Every holiday season.

#5. Wrinkles. I know. Everybody I know seems to be obsessed with masking them. I used to be like that, too. Now I am honoring them. I see them as a map of the places I’ve  been. God willing, I’ll get to add a few more lines before all is said and done. No blank slate required here.

Happy November, dear readers. Be thankful with me every day… Xoxo.


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Friday’s Five

Fresh cut flowers in an antique glass bottle at a modern restaurant. 

Brakes. And quick reflexes. Yay.

Leaving a decent tip and walking away.

String lights…is that the right name? The big ones that are clear and look like light bulbs…those.

Opening this blog to see that a lady I only know virtually shared my words. They mattered to her. Thank you, Dawn. ❤️

Little moments…remember.


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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.