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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Palm Sunday 4/14/2019

A simple palm.

It’s not an object I think about much, but when this day rolls around each year, I have vivid and specific memories:

the man walking away in New Mexico last year, his back pocket filled with them…

the time several years ago my daughter quietly fashioned crosses out of them in the back pew of a church, to the delight of several people around her…

the reverent way my mom made sure every crucifix in the house was adorned with them…

…and today, my two granddaughters waving them at me as they greeted me at Mass. I was thinking I might hear en guard at any moment, but the novelty wore off quickly.

Small moments that last in the mind’s eye.

The realization that the small moments carry the sweetest stories.

There were successive small sweet moments at Mass today:

A slow hymn played and Emma began whimpering. She feels the music. She and her sister always have. This truth gives me insight into the kind of people they will grow to be…caring, aware, attuned.

Sofia spotted her beloved “Aunt Betty” on the way to communion and stopped to let her know. To greet her, smile at her, visibly be thrilled to see her. Then, tears when we were back in our seats…that last few minutes until she could see her again feeling like an eternity.

To love, to feel love like that. That.

Emma, age 2 1/2, leading me by the hand to light a candle. Waving to Jesus on the way, holding the long match and patiently (as possible…she’s 2) waiting for the flicker to become a flame. Sofia, 3 1/2, arrives just in time to assist.

Lots to think about on this day. It’s a day of anniversaries as well. My own life re-started thanks to skilled doctors and blood donors 28 years ago. I’ve witnessed an extra lifetime of small moments that I said thank you for again today. And… because life is this two sided coin… a life taken 7 years ago: my best friend lost to me and so many who loved her because a drunk made a terrible choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive.

So, a Palm Sunday candle is flickering in a century old church tonight with prayers of thanksgiving for a life spared and prayers of not knowing what words to say when a life is taken, so a tiny flame takes the place of the words.

I don’t have to have the words. Like two little girls remind me, my feelings are enough.

Sometimes, like the people in the Gospel narrative today, we are witnesses. Seeing all the things. Storing them in our hearts. Knowing that we each have a role to play on and off the page.

We enter Holy Week today…a week that I hope to continue some Lenten promises, spend some extra time in silence, and reflect on a lot of things. And hopefully, learn from the small moments and little children that the smallest acts of love and presence still matter the most.

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Friday’s Five

My mailbox has been filled with beautiful letters and cards lately. I’m hoping to return the favor soon. A whole day can brighten when a real letter is in the box. 🌟 Trying…

Hand sewing. Rebel stitches. Another India Flint class has begun, and the community of makers is a generous and talented bunch. It is so lovely to see women sharing and supporting one another in creative pursuits. Stitching…

A yard filled with jonquils and camellias. February has shown out with beautiful bouquets for the taking. My grandchildren collecting bouquets. Watching…

More opportunities for presenting various workshops and celebrating the creative spirit. Teaching…

Looking at this point in my life and knowing that it may last just a season, but it’s a good one. Living…

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. Love the you you are today. And if you haven’t already, do one little thing for yourself. Treat yourself well.

You’ll never regret it. Prioritizing…

🙂


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Friday’s Five

February 1:

Welcome, dear short and hopefully sweet month. You started off in good form, giving me lots of good news this day.

Have you ever had days where you seemed to say Thank you for things that other days you might overlook? That was me today.

Here are five of many:

The receptionist at a doctor’s office commented on a metal ring I wear. That led to a conversation about New Mexico (soul state, people…) and then she gave me tips for next trips because she used to live there. Ahhh. Then she reached into her purse and showed me a medicine bottle filled with bits of white sand from a location we discussed….all that because she noticed my ring. NM lovers don’t waste chances.

( She keeps that sand with her, y’all. Think about that. )

A lot of good talk which spilled over throughout the day and colored other interactions … because that’s how it is once we feel connected, isn’t it… we want others to feel it, too…

The jonquils are blooming…

…which made me think of my children and the many bouquets they used to pick… and how these three blooms will accompany me tomorrow to an art workshop I’m teaching…

and the red berries I don’t know the name of are still near my driveway, which makes my heart smile every single time…

…the birds are getting their fill…but that is as it should be. I get to get a glimpse and am glad for it.

While I was outside, I decided to pick up twigs for another project. That led me to find a favored pen I did not know I dropped earlier…the mundane things that are capable of bringing happiness…

Order is my focus word for the new year, and it is proving to be a good choice. An enlightening and challenging choice…and that is exactly what I need. It will be interesting to see how many things I can set into some semblance of order this year. I may need to keep this word for two years. Ha.

It is the month of love, dear readers. I celebrate by posting vintage valentines on FB… here’s tomorrow’s

pick. Little things…

How will you show love this month or minute?

I hope you show it, feel it, acknowledge it.

Not just in February. 🙂


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Friday’s Five

I’m reminiscing tonight. Looking through old blog posts. Realizing how much happens that we sometimes remember, sometimes forget. I was happy to see many posts; sad to see I didn’t document anything here last January. So, in yet another determined phase, I offer my traditional Friday “five good things from the past few days” post.

…a text that says “patio”…and both of us knowing exactly where to meet, a place that’s seen us walk through every emotion. If we have just one patio friend, we are doing pretty well.

…camellias in bloom…prolific blooms this month and many buds…time to get more vases out. Maybe draw one or two–or paint a few.

…an orchid that makes her comeback…I nearly froze this one out two years ago, but it seems she has forgiven me. Sunlight, children’s voices, measured feedings, and maybe pure luck… she will likely bloom this year.

…busy days but days that have turned much happier…part time jobs I enjoy and where I feel valued, time to care for grandchildren, art opportunities, writing and travel time. I’m aware of the blessing of each day.

…collaborative journals…I have three going with three enormously special people. I hope to write more about this endeavor as the year goes on…and on it does go…

January is whooshing away MAYBE in a cloud of Texas snow…it’s likely next week…and so…here we go, dear readers. Looking for the good in every day…knowing we can find it…knowing the sharing of it might help someone else. ❄️💨❄️🤞🏼


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Sunday’s Song: Seven

Seven good things from the past few days:

a grandchild’s birthday

an art journaling workshop

a Don Williams song I’d never heard before

a solitary walk on a rainy day

a hug from an old friend

a found poem

a cardinal returning


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Sunday’s Song: Suffice it to Say…Palm Sunday in Taos

I am at one of those places where I have so much to say, but I cannot say it all today. The specifics have to arrange themselves in the shape they want to be, but I am honoring the commitment I made to blog each Sunday of Lent. So, here I am on sketchy WiFi, typing on my phone, my dear friend Care across from me in a lodge room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House.

I read over my journal entry from yesterday morning. Start today’s entry. Wonder how on earth a day can hold so much. Today held so much. It is one of those times you think How could all of this happen in one day? Abundance. Total abundance.

I am spending this Holy Week in Taos. It is a marker of time that keeps ticking…keeps saying yeah this is the week you were supposed to be in this place at this time.

If I told you everything so far, you might not believe me. Or you might think I’m a bit crazy. Or you might be glad. Choose glad.

The people in my path have been from every end of the pendulum. A wide arc. We are not all kindreds here…believers and unbelievers and all in between abound…but I have decided sometimes we need the disparity to recognize how much good there is. Or how far we might have to go. How much we still have to do. How much one’s presence matters in this world for so many reasons.

Today I saw parishioners process around a town square, people waving palm branches, singing, marking a moment. I saw a policeman far far down the square holding a palm branch. Waving it. And then a child, an armful of branches at the edge of the crowd bringing us lucky bystanders palms. He was in the frame of my lens and a second later his sweet voice Here. Just that.

Here. As in take it, Woman. Or as in the message be here, present right now. Or as in I see you. Or as in you need this.

Later, I see a family walking. The man (son/brother/father?) had his back pocket filled with palms. He was probably the designated carrier for the family. Maybe they were all out for lunch like we were, enjoying the New Mexico sunshine on a crisp bright day. Maybe they were filled with hope. Something about that pocketful of palms. Something that said see this.

I am seeing a lot these days. Knowing every image is leading me to a place I cannot quite see but know it’s worth walking toward…but remembering to worship the moment I am in. The deep moment of place and time…and suffice it to say I am grateful.

I am watching. Listening.

Here.


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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.