Archive for June, 2012

what i need to discover


than the joy of flickering gusts of wind

through smooth pinions

more than the


of crimson-tinged gold gleaming from wings

more than the sweep of air and tilt

of curve

more than the clarity of mile-high vision

more than the primal thrill of a

blue morning scream

what i long to know

more than the perfection of muscle and wing

is the hawk’s unfettered freedom of never wondering

if he might need

to learn how to swim


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in her world

becoming a mother

is an honor

the village celebrates




all together embracing

the new mother

a sister’s joy in a new life

so when she gave birth

surrounded by beeping machines

and antiseptic professionalism

she waited

for the cheers

the joy

the warmth

only to feel the crushing

weight of silence

in a culture

far away from any


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one reward of teaching

beginning band

is helping them learn enough

so that one day i turn and see

a black boy

a white girl

an Asian girl

who taught themselves how to play

“Lift Every Voice”

and their smiles are exactly the same

as mine

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i don’t feel like i’ve impacted

anyone’s life.

what am i there for?

“to teach is to touch lives forever”

but somehow i lose sight

in daily discipline

tests, projects, explanations


and all they want to do is

get out and play

and i stand

in an empty room


i meant to teach you

about life”

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I Could Take

by Hayden Carruth

I could take

two leaves
and give you one.
Would that not be
a kind of perfection?

But I prefer
one leaf
torn to give you half

(after these years, simply)
love’s complexity in an act,
the tearing and
the unique edges —
one leaf (one word) from the two
imperfections that match.

“I Could Take” by Hayden Carruth, from Collected Shorter Poems (1946-1991). © Copper Canyon Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission.


I know this is a little odd, but I realized I didn’t post anything for my wedding anniversary.  When I saw this poem on Writers’ Almanac on July 30, I thought it was a great one for that.  So I’m back-posting to June 13, when I was just a little too crazy to think about blogging.


According to Jewish tradition, the first person was created as male and female, then separated later into two halves.  The belief is that each person is searching for their perfect “other half”.  While I don’t believe that there is only one person for me, I do think that people should know each other well, should complement each other, and share companionship as well as attraction.  I find it hard to believe that Kent and I have been married for eight years — our relationship has been strong for so much longer, yet the time seems to have flown so quickly!  Kent is my companion, my partner in crime, and my best friend.

I just love the last line of the poem above — the two/imperfections that match.  As we are married longer, we are learning to be better partners, to let each other’s strengths balance out our weaknesses. The idea that we support each other when we need it, that we are imperfect people who are stronger and better because we love the other.

Happy anniversary, lover.

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So, a few years ago the whole idea of setting yourself 101 life goals (small or large), to be completed in 1001 days was making the rounds of the Web and BBs.  I started to make a list, and then got derailed for some reason.  I may have completed (or started) one or two of the items, but most of the things were still “someday goals”.  With the success of my weight loss efforts (though I still have to lose about 19 pounds yet), I feel like I may have some of the organizational skills I need to achieve something like this.  No, I haven’t gotten less busy (though some of the things that are making me busy went on the list, like finishing my ESL certification!); I just want to feel like I am doing things for “me” that don’t include reading more books than I already do.  I don’t need reading challenges — I am always going to read as much as possible — I need life challenges, to get me off my butt, off the computer, and doing the things I always say I want to do.  So, starting Sunday, I will begin this list.  I may not get everything done on it, but the act of trying will help me focus more on what I really want out of my time.

I’ve sorted it by category.  Some of the things depend on my having a full-time job (which I certainly hope I have by this fall!), so they are things to work towards, not to do right away.

Starting Sunday, here goes!  Wish me luck, and determination! 🙂

101 Things in 1001 Days
 (Start—June 10, 2012; End—March 8, 2015)
Charity Begin regular contributions to ADRA/other relief org.  did for one year
Have a successful fundraiser for breast cancer/ADRA  no time
Make pillows/quilts for community service  no time
Fundraise for 13th Sabbath ($250 per quarter)
Hobbies Make Brekken’s quilt
Finish Andrea’s purse  Dec. 2012
Finish Andrea’s pillows
Enter something in the State Fair
Stitch Crystal Waters
Finish Green Earth
Finish Mommy’s star quilt
Finish my pansies quilt
Finish Jon and Ali’s quilt  finished July 2016
Finish blankets for friends  done!
Finish Maura’s quilt
Finish Owl in Flight
Finish the flannel quilts
Get fabric for Thai silk quilt
Learn to knit/crochet — make one pattern
Make a mosaic from my broken plates  still want to do this
Learn how to make a bench/cabinet/bedside stand  I’ll settle for finishing something already built
Learn how to use a lathe  started, a little
Learn to cook authentic Indian food  cooked some, not sure how authentic it is
Learn to make cheesecake
Learn to make round loaves of bread  round, yes, but not on top of the rising yet
Make three ornaments in 2012  stitched, not finished
Make six ornaments in 2013
Make nine ornaments in 2014
Cultural Go to a reenactment (fife and drum?) — Gettysburg?  harder to do now in AZ
Get kimono/ao dai/dirndl made
Go to the Renaissance Faire in costume  gone, but not in costume
Get a Scottish costume
Improve my German (get to a C1 level)  changed to Spanish since moving to Tucson
Go to five local museums  1 in 2012, 1 in 2015
Mental Write three blogs a week for a year  nope
Memorize more poetry (1 per month)
Finish ESL cert. Finished and certified in MN and AZ
Fix music cert.  N/A in AZ
Fix English cert.  N/A in AZ
Get Reading Masters and cert.  not sure if I still want to do this
Write a story and publish, if possible
Finish honors for Trail Friend (updated)  yes
Finish Trail Companion  yes
Finish Wilderness Explorer  in progress
Finish Wilderness Ranger
Finish Voyager and Frontier Voyager  Voyager yes, not the other
Finish Guide and Frontier Guide
Finish Master Guide
Get the orange honors on my list
Physical Go rock climbing every month for a year done for a couple years in MN
Lose 10 pounds  done
Reach my target weight
Lower my resting heart rate to 60  It’s at 72
Run a 5K race  done Thanksgiving 2012, and several more
Run 10K
“Walk” to Rivendell
“Walk” to Mordor
“Walk” back
Hike the rest of the 60 hikes  N/A
Learn how to waltz
Spiritual Invite a non-church friend to church  done but she didn’t come
Memorize 500 Bible texts  173 as of summer 2016
Give Bible studies to a non-church friend
Get involved in church choir/Pathfinders  Pathfinders Jan. 2013
Get involved in community garden/cooking class
Start a prayer group in my neighborhood
Travel Go to the Boundary Waters
Climb Katahdin
Climb Mount Washington
Canoe/kayak in Rangeley and/or Baxter
Travel to three new parts of the US  Sedona, Chicago, Mackinaw Island
Home Purge bookshelf  done
Declutter closets  done-ish
Declutter bathroom cabinets  done
Get carpets professionally cleaned  done Nov. 2012
Revamp wardrobe – take in, donate, purchase  take in – done!

donate – done!

Find solution for top of fridge items  done Dec. 2012
Music Finish French Suite
Learn Emperor
Finish Schumann
Join Magnum Chorum (for at least a year)  N/A now
Play five of the trackers in the area  not done, N/A now
Take voice lessons (at least while in M.C.)
Do double quartet (for at least a school year)  trying again
Social Get together with friends once a month  so far so good
Have Friday night and Sabbath traditions with Kent  food tradition; nothing else yet
Have worship with Kent every day  we have to get on the same schedule…
Help Cary make curtains/learn to quilt  N/A now
Financial Pay off Andrea’s card debt  not sure what this was
Pay off Kent’s school loan  done 2015
Pay off my CapOne debt  done and then back again
Save one month’s wages  done
Save three months’ wages  possible to work on now
Save six months’ wages
Begin giving offering
Begin IRA fund contributions
Begin saving for trip (goal?)  $1 per month
Begin saving for speakers/motorcycle (goal?)  $1 per month
Get back to PC (for at least a year)  Don’t want to anymore
Just Once! Bike the Grand Round  N/A
Hike the Superior Hiking Trail

Edited in Jan. 2013 – I added “run a half marathon” to this – I’d like to sign up for one May 2013, barring injury.

Edited October 2016 just to see what I’d done and what I can’t do anymore.  Maybe I’ll make a new list.

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