Wednesday, June 24, 2015

And There was Light by Jacques Lusseyran

   There is no real inner life for a man or a child unless his relation to real things inside and outside himself is a true one. 
   The gym was much more than exercise, it was my marriage with space. 
   I began to look more closely, not at things but at a world  closer to myself, looking from an inner place to one further within, instead of clinging to the movement of sight toward the world outside. Immediately, the substance of the universe drew together.
...radiance was there, or, to put it more precisely, light.
   I could feel light rising, spreading, resting on objects, giving them form, then leaving them. Withdrawing or diminishing is what I mean, for the opposite of light was never present. 
   I saw the whole world in light, existing through it and because of it. 
   How could I have lived all that time without realizing that everything in the world has a voice and speaks? 
   The waves were arranged in steps, and together they made one music, though what they said was different in each voice.
    A sound we don't listen to is a blow to body and spirit, because sound is not something outside us, but a real presence passing through us and lingering unless we have heard it fully.
    ...there are no differences between us except those which come from heart and spirit. 
  I have never had to go more than halfway, and the universe became the accomplice of all my wishes.

   Words from: And There Was Light, the Extraordinary Memoir of a Blind Hero of the French Resistence in World War II by Jacques Lusseyran. I have a feeling this will be my favorite book of 2015, but we shall see.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Arrives

Some of us think walking in the woods delightful.
While some of us prefer to roll very fast down 45 degree, 100' slopes, 
and live on the wild side.
 The bike helmet was at Grandmother's house.
A chainsaw helmet works in a pinch.
 But we can all agree on our sweet treats. 
 Elk Rock Garden and gluten free Kyra's in Lake Oswego 

   If things are quiet around the blog space this summer, it's because I'm writing my heart into a middle grade historical fiction story about Thomas Nuttall. I'm nearly 23,000 words into his story, and he's got me. As such, I've promised him I'll write 2 hours each day, 6 days a week. There you have it! That's what I'm doing in the woods this summer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June Bug Days a Coming

   I left May a bit stunned. I'm still in denial that June is upon us. The stack of receipts to process, reminds me I'm definitely not running ahead. Not down trodden, but a bit dazed. Like I've smacked into the window, and need a breather.
   Happily, the hubby surprised me with a weekend away in Hood River. It was all sun, thunder, lightening, coffee, wine, and books. A lovely weekend there. Truth is, we both needed it, and grandmas make all things possible. Non-stop souls they are. Rest and renew. 

   June bug days are coming. A different pace. Even the rain has settled into a spring patter, not a pouring forth. At night, the frog's croaking keeps me awake, and beckons me early. While the dove's coo reminds me to savor the day.

   I count doves all day long. On their perches, they speak peace. If I'm in a bit wider space the hawk reminds me to soar, and the ravens remind me God feeds us in the desert spaces we wander within and without. Yes, I count all day long, and I'm counting the days until summer break.
   As we wrap up school, soccer, and swim, we're thankful for the opportunities. He'll still work on soccer skills, and we'll enjoy family soccer together. She'll still work on her flip kick. We'll be thankful for the rest. For mornings to sleep in, with no one to wrangle out of bed. Time to write alone, and time to steadily stroke the stream of words in morning silence.
     The sun seeks us out, as do the Oregon strawberries. But as we process berries, we talk about summer explorations, and what we'll incorporate into our summer learning whether by canning, camping, or cursive.
   For brother, there'll be the rewriting of Aesop's Fables and 642 Things to Write About. I'm pondering putting him through the IEW Geography course, but not sure I want to subject myself, or him to the headache :-) He uses all his words verbally, but needs to pace himself, and put some to paper. Writing is not his favorite thing, so we persevere, and focus on tools to make it easier, as well as practice, practice, practice.

   I'm waiting to hear on some writing news, even as I'm blessed as a finalist here in unpublished children's fiction. Feeling very blessed. It's year two of being a finalist. Hoping to change the unpublished part soon, but honestly that's God's area of expertise. I show up for work. 
   Sister and I have been busy finishing up school, but she too, will focus on math and writing this summer, at least a bit. We have about 15 lessons in order to finish up Saxon Math 8/7. They'll both work at/for Khan Academy this summer in math. 

   She also very much enjoys cryptography at Khan, and I like teasing her: "You know the NSA knows who can solve those cryptography puzzles fast. Better slow down or they'll come recruit you to solve puzzles all day long."

   For those interested in the resource, I want to share that she and I have really enjoyed our two Coursera courses this spring. In many ways, they are school "lite", especially the AstroTech class comparative to the water class. Yet, they have been a much needed change to help us push through the spring school doldrums. I highly recommend Water in the Western United States.
   I just finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikery. It's really gotten me thinking about the books that have most impacted me. More on that topic soon. 

   I'm on to Oregon native Gina Ochsner's, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight. I am wrapped up in her word narrative. She portrays a journey in which we are all born with abundant words, then struggle dearly to hold onto them as we face oppression and sorrow. Try we must. I'm counting on the story ending with the words winning. Showing us that the journey of articulating our stories is worth the effort, and worth the sorrows.  
   I've been pondering a picture of words. That is, a word carried within every rain drop. But so often, the word rain drops fall to the page as our sorrows. We must remember that even if our words sink into the mire, within them, is the potential to rise up and give life. Let it be. 
Here's to finding our summer wings and soaring high.