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

This past week I sat with my friend D who reminded me yet again that it is time to write the book. The book she told me I needed to write when she found out I was getting ready to walk a terrible and tragic path. The book she brings up from time to time, but never more forcefully than this past week. You have the time now, friend. 

And, as most true friends have the tendency to be, she is right. So, in the spirit of internet accountability, I share my intention here. I also ask a favor of whatever  group of humans might read this post: pray for me, please. Pray that I will discipline myself to write daily, that I will write clearly and true, and that one day my words will find the right people and help them.

I know that God has a way of making the most amazing things happen, and I know He has set me up with time to write this year. He continues to put people in my path who show me this book is needed. He is persistent. 🙂

He has shown me that I have a tendency   to sabatoge my plans by letting myself get too busy. He gave me the gift of realizing that, and He keeps showing me in ways that only He can that now is the time. So, I humbly began writing out the first pages of thoughts and outlines and notes. 

I have a long way to go. A lot of word counts to meet. A lot of pages to turn. And rewrites. And edits. I am pretty sure this is not going to come easily. I am almost positive some of the remembering and reconstructing is going to be hard. 

But I am beginning in faith. I know if God intends for this book to be written, it will be written. I have committed to meet Him halfway in this and show up with the pencil. He has been patient on His end, but I know He has a sense of humor. Lately He’s been whispering the reminder that Look, we don’t have forever for this. Get on with it. 

He is the centerpiece of my story, my life, my “one day to be” book. 

I ask Him every day to let others see Him in me. He gave me a love for writing and words a long time ago. It seems He is going to let me use something I love to tell about what He can do for all of us. 

So, I still hope to post my weekly reasons for gratitude (probably the short form–unlike tonight’s bolded words), and I’ll of course let this page take whatever twist and turn seems fitting. One day, God willing, I’ll show up here to tell you the manuscript is ready. Then we’ll pray for a publisher. 

On second thought, go ahead and get busy on that prayer, too: agent/editor/publisher and anybody else I’m going to need. As God reminds me, it’s time to get this show on the road. 

Peace. Love. Action. Amen. 


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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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Sestina for Easter Season

I wrote this sestina during Holy Week, about the same time I assigned this form of poetry writing to a class of Comp 2 students.  

Their results and responses inspired me, and their struggles did as well. Someone would come to class and say, This is hard or I really had to think on this. One student told another: Man, don’t wait til the last minute. This thing takes some time.

So, I decided to experience again what I often ask my students to do. The attention to the form was a discipline. The words came though. And, as often happens in life and writing and art, a simple action spurs us on to a new creation. 

Easter Sestina:


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 4/12/17 (Wednesday)

Holy Week.

Today I marvel at the people I encountered.

Book lovers like me at a local college event. Take all the books you want. Help us out here. My kind of place! I loaded up on books that I’ll have fun repurposing into art journals. I found some good reads in the stacks as well. And it was so beautiful this morning…a perfect temperature and light breeze among the trees as readers like myself took our time browsing.

A knitting friend I’ve known for about three years. We meet weekly at s local  yarn shop to laugh and create and enjoy our retired moments of freedom to do things we like. The shop owners have adjusted their summer hours, but they kept our time open. I’m pretty sure  they did that for us. 🙂 

A teacher friend I’ve known for several years. We are both teaching night classes at the same college, and we generally get to visit for a few minutes before class. She watched my latest grand baby video. I got to see some family pictures of her dad and a special gift he made for her recently. We both recognize the preciousness of shared moments like this: moments we celebrate the happinesses of life with others.

My W night college Comp  class. They were full of energy and conversation tonight. It is fulfilling to see 22 adults from all walks of life interact and laugh and learn together. I always leave smiling.

The pizza maker. Thanks for that pick up window ready-to-go dinner. 

Ordinary encounters with everyday people. Strangers and familiar folks come in and out of our lives every day. 

Beautiful beings. We get to be part of that network of humanity. We get to choose to be beautiful. What a gift. 


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 4/7/17 (Friday’s Five)

Today, five good things from the past week. Gifts my eyes witnessed:

1) red clover blooming along the  highway; there is something about it that always makes me smile. Sure sign of springtime.

2) a moss-green wool cardigan I bought on a trip to Amsterdam several seasons back. It was almost cool enough to wear it today, so I put it on…and I could almost feel cobblestones under my feet and see the canals…hear the bells of bicycles…objects hold memory.

3) a concrete pig outside a “new to me” yarn shop; when the clerk greeted me, she said the sheep’s name was Agnes, too. Agnes Pearl or Agnes Purl. Well, hello.


4) fibers and stitches; I’ve been spending more time creating lately, and it is satisfying to pull thread stitches through paper, sew fabric books, sketch plans for new projects. There have been days (months) when I just could not create. So when I can, I see it as a tremendous gift. 

5) faces of friends; I saw several this week and each time I’m reminded of how blessed I am to know so many good, truly good people. 

I hope you will look back over the past few days and find countless reasons to give thanks, too. God greets us in so many ways. But that sheep…that’s a new way. 😜😜


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/21/17 (Tuesday)

I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.”–Leonard Cohen

I am a collector of quotations. Unfortunately, I have not collected them in one place. Instead they are torn from magazines, underlined in books I’ve kept, jotted down on random slips of paper I run across from time to time. 

This Lent, though, I feel a calling to gather. Gather words and sentiments of my own as well as those of others who speak to my heart. 

I’m opening my eyes once again to the reality that life is fleeting. If we are called to keep a record, let’s do it.