Backyard grapes on the vine.
My beaded trimmings.
Beadlike trimmings. Sweet and round and purple among thrifty kitchen bits.
I have Sally to thank for the wonderful earrings and belt among other wonderful treasures delivered to my door and Laura Jane for the white dress with perfect netted cutout details :)
I have my husband to thank for turning backyard beads of sweet goodness into jars of the brightest purple grape jelly. His first attempt at canning of any sort was a smashing ;) success. Can't wait to try my hand at it too. Any good fig jam recipes out there?
AND, I have this amazing woman to thank for making my Friday night a truly beautiful experience. Her poetry is perhaps magic in it's simplest form. Wise, elegant, adorable (she wore all black with crazy multicolored socks peeking out from below her pant hem and above her shoe), endearingly scattered between poems and gently centered within them, and so funny she was. Within the hour and a half in which she spoke, a big roomful of hearts were captured, mine included.
One of many poems she read:
Mornings at Blackwater
by Mary Oliver
For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
Mary Oliver looks out at her beloved Blackwater Pond, 2006. [source]
During the question and answer session after her reading, she told of walking out into the woods near her home at Blackwater to write. She would hide pencils in the trees should she find herself with an idea and in need of one to write it down. Apparently, at one of her readings a guy once showed up with a pencil that he'd found in a tree. She said they broke it in half and now he has one half and she the other.
When I Am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
This one's for Milla. I have her to thank for introducing me to Ms. Oliver's poetry in the first place :)
By Mary Oliver
In the afternoon I watched
the she-bear; she was looking
for the secret bin of sweetness -
honey, that the bees store
in the trees’ soft caves.
Black block of gloom, she climbed down
tree after tree and shuffled on
through the woods. And then
she found it! The honey-house deep
as heartwood, and dipped into it
among the swarming bees - honey and comb
she lipped and tongued and scooped out
in her black nails, until
maybe she grew full, or sleepy, or maybe
a little drunk, and sticky
down the rugs of her arms,
and began to hum and sway.
I saw her let go of the branches,
I saw her lift her honeyed muzzle
into the leaves, and her thick arms,
as though she would fly -
an enormous bee
all sweetness and wings -
down into the meadows, the perfections
of honeysuckle and roses and clover -
to float and sleep in the sheer nets
swaying from flower to flower
day after shining day.