"And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?" {M. Oliver}

It was cold yesterday, and now again today. When I take a deep breath and exhale the warm air from my lungs and thermal interior, it slithers out between my lips and turns into a suspended flag of vapor.

I saw the the fog slumbering on the road this morning and on the river, and in between the trees and their branches. And I wondered what breathed those extensive masses of vaporous ensigns into flight and presence, for surely fog is only a larger likeness of my freezing human breath.

On wintry mornings the great wizardly Oak trees must blink their eyes and peel back their bark and yawn; and from them, and from the dark recesses of the quivering ground, must come the sweet breath of the dirt and rocks and roots. Stretching it's arms, bending and winding above the ground and below the power lines, coming to a stop; sleeping among the waters and houses and yellow lined roads.


And so the juncture of cold comes
like prancing paws
echoing on ice
here again,
gone again,
until it's here to stay
drowning the particles
of grasses and
in a kind of liquid trinity.
The tide of seasons
rolls in ever
lapping at the weeks
and months
with a familiar-ness
of which we know
so well
we could feel in our sleep
or hear in our dreams;
or catch
And we begin to think
that it has always been this way,
the way of the seasons;
of ebbing.

Of the way
of rain on the roof,
of clefts in the earth
given us from the
anguished skies;
of the joy of winter,
and the revival of our
souls in the hope
of Spring.


"The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." {Ayn Rand}

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

{Ayn Rand , Atlas Shrugged}


"Where day never shuts his eye, up in the broad fields of the sky" {Milton}

In reading C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet last night, I came across the quote below. I wasn't thrilled with the entirety of the book, it was a little dull and uninspiring, and I much prefer L'Engle's metaphysical stories to this one. Maybe my judgment is partly due to the fact that I am not very much a space enthusiast, and pretty much find all Star Trek and Star Wars-esque fantasies silly and tiring. However, there were a few great passages worthy of quoting and I consider the following one of them. Briefly, this quote is of a human who was taken to a wonderful purple and bright world (Mars, if you can believe it!), who came across certain strange creatures, and of his perception of them:

"It was only many days later that Ransom discovered how to deal with these sudden losses of confidence. They arose when the rationality of the hross tempted you to think of it as a man. Then it became abominable-- a man seven feet high, with a snaky body, covered, face and all, with thick black animal hair, and whiskered like a cat.

But starting from the other end you had an animal with everything an animal ought to have-- glossy coat, liquid eye, sweet breath and whitest teeth-- and added to all these, as though Paradise had never been lost and earliest dreams were true, the charm of speech and reason.

Nothing could be more disgusting than the one impression; nothing more delightful than the other. It all depended on the point of view."

. . .


One of the little five year old twins I nanny, relayed to me that he desperately wanted to dream of Free Willy the other night. "I tried to dream of him, but it didn't work. I didn't dream of anything! I'll try again tonight."

I asked his brother if he dreamed at all the previous night. He replied, "No. I'm just not a dreamer guy all the time." I laughed and tried to encourage him, "Well, maybe you'll become one as you grow older?" He looked at me so seriously, with wise little eyes and said, "No, when I grow up, I won't. 'Cause remember Peter Pan? When you grow up, you can't go to Neverland anymore and all that."

I just looked at him laughed. I attempted to explain the concepts of dreaming and sleep, but even after my explanation, still to his mind his reasoning made the most sense, so I dropped the subject with a smile.


Of a classmate:

You walk in with a smile
and leave with one and
when your smile says
'hello" it wakes
up mine and my teeth
feel ashamed and
groggily stand at attention.
I wonder, if you had to
dissect a breaking heart
or a decaying soul
if you would smiles still-
in a mournful way,
you would.
I pray the light that issues
from your lips will
never be doused
by unressurectable
sadness or fear,
for your smile heals me
and artlessly teaches
me to capture each
second as it gasps by
with these saluting teeth,
crusading for laughter
and joy.



..I keep death on my mind
Like a heavy crown..

Newspaper, newspaper
Can't take no more
You're here every morning
Waiting at my door
I'm just trying to kiss you
And you stab my eyes
Make me blue forever
Like an island sky
And I'm not pretending
That it's all okay
Just let me have my coffee
Before you take away the day

..I keep death at my heels
Like a basset hound..

-Conor Oberst

A few nights ago I was crafting a little crown out of paper for the little girl I nanny- it was just her and I since her twin brothers were at soccer practice. We decorated the crown with stickers and yellow paint and we talked. Out of no where, small Ashlyn with big sky blue eyes asks me, "Holly, what are you 'fraid of?" Just seconds ago we were discussing the splendor of princesses and the finer aspects of fake glittery jewels and how many "pretties" I should put in her hair. I had her repeat what she said. "What are you 'fraid of!?" she asked again. "Oh," I laughed and said, "scary things." She looked at me as if to say, "Lame answer." And so I tried to elaborate: "You know... spiders. I don't like spiders at all." "Yes," she replied, " 'piders are icky! But, what are you 'fraid of?" I was having a problem with the highest pointy part of the crown which kept flopping over because of the weight of the plastic jewels atop it. And I didn't feel like discussing the topic of fear. "Oh... I don't know darling," I think I said. And that topic was dropped and we started another about how fun it would be if Peter Pan's Wendy got to fly and fight against the storm troopers in Star Wars.

A couple nights later, I was making dinner for the kiddos of another family I nanny for. The littlest, Alyssa, with chocolate hair and eyes tugged on my shirt and announced, "I have question." "Yes, darling? Dinner is almost ready!" "No, I have question." "What, honey, what is it?" She smiled as she lisped, "What are you 'fraid of?" I stopped what I was doing and looked down at her, engulfed by a strange feeling of deja vu. "What?" is all I said and thought, where did that come from?! She repeated the question and I was tempted to say "spiders" but I didn't. "I am afraid of a lot of things." I said. "You are?" She asked in her little baby-ish voice full of surprise. Yes, I knew I was afraid of many things, and I realized that ultimately I was afraid to speak them aloud. Things uttered out loud leaves one vulnerable, as if not acknowledging them somehow makes them not really exist. "What are you afraid of?" I asked her. "Heffalumps and... witches," She said resolutely and then with a silly laugh she exclaimed, "But they're not weal!" "No dear, they are not. And you do not need to be afraid of them!" "Nope!" she said with more laughter; and in her merriment and seeming flippancy, she was completely relieved that I affirmed her hypothesis.

I wish all I feared were Heffalumps. But I am fearful of things a little greater than that. Beyond being afraid of admitting my fears: I am afraid of trying and failing, of mediocrity and pain, I am afraid of death and disaster. I am afraid of wasting my time on things that don't matter. I am afraid of never becoming who I was created and meant to be. I am afraid of not doing what I know I should do.


"I think that it's brainless to assume, that making changes to your window's view, will give a new perspective." {Death Cab for Cutie}

From where I sit at my desk, looking out the window at the stormy sky and agitated trees, I note a small vase sitting on my window sill. I put it there a while ago- it holds a mess of dried lavender that was freshly cut last summer. But it isn't the lavender or the vase that I'm really interested in, it is the extravagantly tall and monstrous evergreen tree which stands a little ways outside my window. Or rather, the fact that I can't see the extravagantly tall and monstrous evergreen tree, because it is hidden directly behind the small vase with slender stems. Perspective. There is a certain ironic humor found in this example of perspective: the giant eclipsed by a dwarf, the powerful distorted by the delicate. Sitting here observing that rather pathetic analogy, I notice the complex mathematics of the relative mystery of relativity, the physics of space and time and matter which produces that tree cloaked from my view. And yet in the end, all the confusing physics of placement, perspective and of relation just mean: where I'm sitting. If I move, tilt my head, the vase is small again and the tree, towering. Approach the subject from a different angle and a different story or reality is produced. In the end it's akin to, "No, wait. Stand a little further to your right for the picture. Yes, good! When you were standing over there it looked like you had horns growing out of your head!"

I guess I was just musing at how often we distort things because of our perspective, because of how or where we happen, or choose, to be sitting. I wonder at how much we consider, label or believe reprehensibly, because of the slightly skewed angle or tilt of our head, leaving our frame of reference misrepresented. Obviously, "slightly" has enough power to interpret a reality of three-inch tall trees and forty-foot glass vases! Sometimes I wonder if I continually realize how much depends on an honestly clear worldview. For everything depends on it, undeniably.

. . .


I've wanted to make stars for a long time, but mine have always ended up coming out a little unstar-ish. I can do a bunch of origami, but fold and cut a star? Obviously way out of my league. I was over at my friend Christa's the other day and am very indebted to her for showing me the correct way to make a five-pointed star. Now I've created a galaxy! Half of my room is basically a celestial sphere. A constellation.


Genesis 2: 4-7

Read it again, the narrative of being,
the explanation of pulsing organs and of the
of thoughts and sounds.
Acres of newborn earth, that seventh day
bathed in the gauze of
see him reach down, far down, and grasp the
purified soil
in his hands, his lips parted as he
the fire of life into the
of the ground.

And we were kindled, then. Awakened, found, born.

Now: becoming.