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—May 15, 2020

Hello, dear reader…

I hope you are well. I hope you are safe.

I hope that when you might start to think too much about these coronavirus days, some new and hopeful thought can wriggle in to keep you moving forward.

These are things that moved me forward this week:

…a new routine materialized in my morning writing. (This happens quite often…don’t be impressed. 🤣😅) However, a new schedule that I succeeded with today (yes, just today) gives me a sense of accomplishment. I guess I’ll keep trying new ways of moving through the days until I find the right one. ✅

…a friend who sends podcasts. We have similar tastes in our love for nature and poetry, and she seems to find the one that speaks to what we need on a certain day. Listening isn’t my best attribute, so this gives me a challenge and I have been rewarded each time with some new insight. ✅

…water. I offered some to a delivery man this week. You would have thought I had given him a thousand dollars. His gratefulness made me realize how little we have to do to make someone really happy, and how surprising to make such a difference without leaving my front yard. ✅

…a look back. Now and then, it is good to stop and reflect on all the ways our lives have unfolded through the years. Surely we all have a few places along the way where we thought What is this??? Yet, here we are. Past it. Stronger. Smarter. Determined. Remember: we only have to do this one day at a time. ✅

…a look toward the future. Join me in picturing yourself sometime in the future in your favorite place (or a new place). You might be smiling. Laughing. Embracing someone special. Toasting to some new wonderful event. You’re safe. Well. All the people you love are, too. That day you’ll realize you made it. Picture it. Think about it, even for one minute a day. There is power in visualizing what we want. ✅

I’d love to hear that you’re doing well. Take care of yourself during these days. Keep looking for the good…sometimes it comes through the simplest, sweetest means. ✅


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Friday’s Five—May 8, 2020: Moms Get a Turn This Week

My sis and I were talking earlier this week and she mentioned a beautiful crystal vase our mom had given her years ago. Isn’t it funny how some objects carry so much meaning? I hope she will fill that vase with flowers this weekend to honor a truly good mother AND her own good mothering self as well.

I’m planning to make biscuits tomorrow, and I’ll use a pottery bowl with navy hearts on it. My mom bought that bowl for me over thirty years ago. It was really too expensive at the time, but she bought it for me anyway. It’s seen a lot of good use. I’ll feel her spirit with me when I make those biscuits. I’ll wish I could sit with her and share one or two.

Vases, bowls—-those outward objects that represent people/times/moments. Outward gifts to be grateful for of course, but maybe your mom gave you some not so tangible gifts. Maybe you’ll think about those this weekend. Maybe you’ll hear her voice. Maybe you’ll feel blessed or grateful or loved.

During these hard days especially, I think of my mother and how she’d react to this pandemic.

Honestly, she would be worried, but she would also fill her days with prayer and good works. She would laugh a lot and make us laugh. She would call us to encourage us. She would look forward in hope. She would cook or later in life, ask us to cook for her. She would envelope us in such a sense of well-being that we would feel better than we were. And she would say this:

Be good to yourself.

This was one of her favorite quotes from the book of Sirach. She probably said it when she bought that vase, that bowl. She already knew that when you are good to someone else, you are also good to your own self. Amazing how she continues to teach me, years later.

Thanks mom. I’m surely grateful I had you to love me.

Happy Mother’s Day, dear readers. Be good to yourself. It has an amazing effect. ❤️


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Friday’s Five —April 24, 2020

Five very good things from these past few days—

because if I have learned anything in my years here in this realm, it is this: there are beautiful gifts in front of us every day, but we must take a breath and slow down and pay attention.

1–my dear friend Kim enlisted her hubby to help, and they came to my house and created a raised bed garden for me. It has already been a daily delight for the grands and for me…such kindness and generosity. 🌱The bigger gift was paying attention when I mentioned I’d love to make one someday. How rare and sweet to be given an answer to a wish. 🌟 ( Listen to your people. Make a wish come true when you can. ❤️)

2-good music on the radio. As I write this post, NPR is playing a classical music segment. It’s calming. But this week I heard my fave song (Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd) in its entirety as I was driving—windows down, volume up. You know exactly what I mean, I hope. 🙌🏼 🎶 (Know the power of music to elevate your mood. Listen.)

3-cocktail hour with my sis. I kidded with her this week that we did long distance “virtual” cocktail hours before pandemic time made them cool. We are going on six plus years now—once a week and sometimes more—we settle in to create/chat/vent/sip, and I am always happy to hear her sweet voice. 🍷📱🍷 (Make extra “special”time for your loved ones.)

4-children’s laughter. Emma and Sofia are imaginative and happy and their voices reflect that, no matter what we are in the midst of…and this week, when I saw baby Clara, she smiled her slow sweet smile of recognition and then pushed her arms and legs out in what I translate as recognition of the love we already share. She “answers” with her own language and I answer with mine, knowing she already understands far more than people might think. 👶🏼 🥰 (Always talk with children at a higher level than you think they understand.)

5-poetry. It is National Poetry Month, and I’ve made a point to post a poem a day on social media. Usually, I create a project of some sort…this year, it’s a postcard project, which serves multiple purposes: it puts poetry into the world, lifts someone’s spirits, and supports our USPS. Will you join me in a grassroots effort to help our postal service? Will you send an extra piece of mail out once a week? (You have power to change things…use it well.) 🌟✅🧚🏻

Stay strong and well, dear readers. The world is in the midst of upheaval, but we carry on with our heads up and eyes open to the gifts around us. They are our strength. Remember. ❤️🌟🌟🌟


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Friday’s Five on Good Friday

I know so many are missing ritual and routine today.

The one day of the liturgical year when everything is upended: no holy water in the fonts, no music, no consecration …is all the more real this year because a worldwide pandemic has us looking at shuttered church doors, emptied holy water fonts for fear of disease, and no communion.

No Good Friday services. At least not in person.

The questions about the future remain.

We are in mourning.

That is the base truth. We are mourning the present, and we are mourning the past. We are mourning the future that has not been revealed.

In the space between now and what is to be, I invite you to:

Take a quiet breath

Close your eyes

Listen for a familiar sound

Really hear it…

And in the space between hearing and accepting the new truth about our circumstances,

Be still.

You are not alone.

We are walking with you.

You do not have to know what to do next.

You only have to be present.

You survived the moment.

Survive the next one. The next one.

At some point, it will change. Until it does,

Stay in the moment. This space.

If your body says it’s tired, rest.

If your heart misses a friend, call him.

If you feel like crying or screaming, allow that to happen, too.

Stay home. Stay safe. I’m praying for our world.

Please join me.


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Friday’s Five

Tonight I’m remembering another time in my past when I made a determined and conscious effort to keep blogging, to keep writing even though the world I was in seemed to be (and was) spinning out of control.

I’ve often looked back at that time and wondered why I felt that I had to write, what was it about that act that somehow centered me. I understand it is control. This is one tiny way of making order out of mess.

For me, this act of writing and documenting is also an act of defiance. It is the I will look for and find joy in the midst of out of kilter days. I have that power.

I celebrated a birthday a few days ago, and while some might think that this is a terrible time for a celebration, I disagree. I’m glad my family and friends disagreed, too, because they brightened my day in many special and memorable ways.

We really get to choose more than we realize. I choose to keep looking for the light.

Here, a few of those bright light moments…

“Snow glows” and woodpeppers” —Emma’s words for dandelions and woodpeckers as we wander outside for walks …

“I want to write in your journal” Sofia tells me and then takes letter dictation for the words she’s wanting to record—-I recognize this as the gift it is…

That little orchid I bought in Sara’s honor a couple of weeks ago is getting much love and attention from her nieces. Something to care for gives us direction.

Visiting cardinals…they have returned, and I am able to give them lots more attention now that I work from home these days. I moved part of my work area to the sunporch so the outside is never far from view.

Photographs…old and new and the treasure of reliving the moments.

“Snow glows” and wishes ❤️

Keep wishing and watching and reveling in the days you are given.

Stay safe, dear readers. Stay home if you can. 🌟


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Friday’s Five

I don’t know, folks. This is a biggie.

I can list five good things from the week …and I will…but first I need to say a couple of things.

It’s hard to look for the good when the whole WORLD is facing the same problem:Covid-19. This week has been a mental challenge. I see how my friends and family are adjusting to a new way of life. Nothing is easy. We all cope in different ways.

However.

While I do indeed look for the good, I’ve also seen people spend time looking for various supplies this week. World: stop hoarding…and thank you to the postal worker who brought hand sanitizer out from behind the counter so I could use it. This is her third bottle—the prior two “disappeared”—yes, really. That is what we have become.

On a better note, she now wears gloves that do not fall off because a regular customer saw she was wearing oversized gloves secured with rubber bands and brought her a pair that actually fit. These are people handling our mail. Answering our questions. Moving our boxes. Connecting us with loved ones. Surely, they deserve gloves that fit.

So many heroes. We have power to be heroes. Will we? Will you?

Ok. Five beautiful moments from this “not so beautiful” week for our world:

—my son and his family playing Red Light, Green Light as if it were any ordinary weekend night…little children delighting in counting and laughing and moving game pieces with their mommy and daddy.

—Skype sessions with my across the world daughter. I feel the distance so strongly these days, but I’m so grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected.

—the postal service. They are a lifeline connecting so many of us. There is such beauty in receiving a real letter. Join me in writing more during this time, if you wish.

—the kindnesses of strangers including doors held open, eyes that meet in understanding, and simple smiles as we navigate our new lives from six feet (or more) apart.

—the tiny orchid that whispered Buy me this week when I made that last grocery trip for awhile. My daughter’s birthday is coming, and she doesn’t know it yet, (unless she happens to read it here), but her mom decided to buy that plant and nurture it in her honor throughout the coming days/weeks/months.

To end tonight—-

One of my granddaughters peered out across my yard of spent jonquils yesterday and looked at me in dismay. “Where did they all go, Loulou? All the flowers?” I explained how there is a season for everything. “They’ll come back” I answered.

Just like us, dear readers. Just like us. ❤️


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Friday’s Five—

A little different take this weekend~~~

Sometimes we take steps back and reevaluate.

We realize once again that we are not running one thing.

That space is an opportunity.

These past few days have reminded me that our regular lives don’t go away just because the world is in pandemic stage.

We still deal with daily concerns and problems , and then we look up to find that somehow a worldwide pandemic is in the mix.

What to do?

Well, I pray…but I am praying from afar, not in a church. Not for awhile. I know a lot of people see no benefit, but I have learned that prayer often changes things and people we may never know about. So, I pray.

I love…people who mean a lot to me are hopefully feeling my love for them from near and from thousands of miles away. Love is always a good choice.

I think…about so many scenarios. When that gets out of hand, I settle on the present. Make the brownies. Cook the soup. “Feed the people” has been my default for years. It does help because it keeps me busy and nourishes someone.

I rest…because we can only take so much in in a 24 hour period. I limit social media right now, and give myself quiet time. Oh, I’m still scrolling…just not constantly. I’ve learned I must disconnect from drama and do something else.

I hope…because that keeps the wheels turning. One day, this will be memory. Until then, watch for glimmers of light in the shadows.

❤️

Since I missed last week’s post, here are a few extra joys/really good things to think about as we navigate this new world:

children who ask to snuggle

poetry books with underlined passages

music on an old school record player

birdsong

letters in mailboxes

Take care, dear readers. I’m going to keep deciding to look for the light. I hope you’ll join me here for a respite from the chaos when you can. 🌟