reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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butterfly moments.

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as we walked yesterday we were aware of how many butterflies were around us.  flying, flitting, dining on nectar-filled wildflowers, they swirled around us and seemed to be going along, hiking with us.  these amazing monarch butterflies during the summer breeding season will only live weeks.  some will live a bit longer, migrating south to mexico when fall tips the tree-green of leaves to fiery reds and yellows and oranges.

i remember a day sitting in an adirondack chair in our front yard at home.  many years ago now, it was mid-july, a sunny and warm day.  stunningly, as i sat there a monarch butterfly flew past, close to my chair.  it wasn’t but a few moments later that it landed on my knee.  gently opening its fragile wings, it basked in the sunlight as i basked in its beauty.  it was in no hurry to leave its perch on my knee and i was in no hurry to move.  it seemed unconcerned about next.  it seemed unconcerned about quantity of time.  it was present in now.  and now seemed enough.  time seemed to stand still, my breathing slowed down, my worry forgotten as i watched this tiny creature drink in this very sun-moment.

“the butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” (rabindranath tagore)

time and again we are reminded of this:  that every single moment counts.  time and again we forget.

wishing you a day of monarch-inspired moments…drinking in the sun, gently fluttering your wings and flying unfettered.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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pssssst. [merely-a-thought monday]

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pssssst.  wanna play telephone??  i remember this as a little girl.  you would whisper something in your best friend’s ear who would whisper in the next littlegirlear who would whisper in the next littlegirlear until you went all the way around the circle.  that last littlegirl would announce what she was told and all the littlegirls would giggle at how silly it was that what had started as one whispered thing quickly became another.

columbus tells stories of growing up in a little town in iowa.  he delights in the stories of everyone-knowing-everyone and everyone’sbusiness being everyone’sbusiness.  whether thebusiness is true or not.  pssssst.  now living in a suburb of denver, he still yearns for monticello, iowa and his littletown.  he has not recollected stories of thetelephonegame type silliness to us, but i am certain they exist.

this island…well, wow.  mike said to us, “if you sneeze on one side of the island, by the time the news reaches the other side you will have pneumonia.” this is ridiculously true.  even if you didn’t sneeze.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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our posse. [merely-a-thought monday]

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we are five hours and a ferry ride from our basement.  but we have an amazing posse of friends back there on the mainland.  my girl has taken up residency keeping an eye on our house and our posse is keeping an eye out for her.  we know that, no matter what, someone is but a phone call and minutes away from any kind of help she – or our house, basement included – might need.  and in that, we rest easy.  such generosity.

the humidity and heat has been high in southeastern wisconsin this summer and our basement?  in a line from my big fat greek wedding, it suffers.  one dehumidifier is not enough.  worried, we texted our up-north-gang up north to ask advice:  “in a non-centrally-air-conditioned house, how many dehumidifiers would you put in the basement?”  immediately we got back answers from jay and gay, opinions from charlie and dan, and within days dan brought over a dehumidifier, installed it and checked on the one already there.  thinking about the cluttered basement, we texted to him that while paying attention to the basement to please ignore the basement.  he texted back, “i didn’t even notice the basement.”  generosity.

we ran home for a night a couple weeks ago.  we ran errands, we installed the a/c units in the windows, we grocery shopped, we weeded and vacuumed, we prepped the house for our girl’s arrival.  we picked up mail and packages from john, shared drinks and not-enough-stories with jen and brad, ate a late dinner with 20, had quick before-she-went-to-work coffee with michele.  in their busy schedules, our beloved posse dropped everything and made time to see us, time to spend together.  generosity.

we couldn’t be here without our posse there.  fact of the matter is, we couldn’t be THERE without our posse there.

because it takes a village to take care of a basement.  and each other.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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it’s a strangely narcissistic world. [merely-a-thought monday]

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when i was in perhaps fourth grade i went to sleepaway camp.  camp koinonia was upstate ny and my bestfriendintheworld susan went as well.  we slept in bunkbeds in cabins that had screens as windows, ate in the big cabin that was the cafeteria, took hikes, swam in the lake, did craft projects and played kickball.  on one of our hikes in the woods we passed a tepee.  i wanted a full picture of this tepee so i stepped behind a big pine tree and parted the branches so i could take an artsy picture.  one more step back and i would be able to capture the whole thing in the frame of my pocket instamatic camera.  one more step….

i fell backwards off the side of the 30′ cliff that was behind that pine tree.  i was intensely lucky though, for at the bottom of my fall was a very large pile of pine boughs.  they softened my plummet down.

it is lately that we have seen more and more accidents that happen when people are not photographing a thing but, instead, are photographing themselves.  selfies are the preferred modus operandi for instagram, snapchat, facebook, your own camera stream of memories.  but people are falling and, tragically, they are perishing in their fall.  just to get a photograph.  the ever-important picture-of-self-to-post is heart-wrenchingly disastrous. maybe there is another way?  maybe it’s not that important?  or perhaps, if it really is that important, you could have eye contact with another person and ask that person to please take a picture?

there was a story recently that made me shake my head in utter amazement.  residents of a town in russia were flocking to a toxic artificial lake which had turned turquoise because of chemicals from a coal-generated power station.  they are hiring photographers, staging photo shoots, getting IN this water that is – knowingly- ridiculously harmful to the skin, all because it and its turquoise hue will make a good picture.  it’s a dumping ground!  what are they thinking??  i stood there, after reading the story aloud to d, shook my head and said, “it’s a strangely narcissistic world, isn’t it?”

i worry.  and, beyond a selfie-craze, i hope that there is a sharp turn away from the dominant narcissism that seems widely accepted these days.  if the point of all this – the world – was about any single one of us, i suspect there would be only ONE of us.  instead, i believe that the point of all this – the world – is about ALL of us.  it’s not just one, at any cost.  it’s all.  i’m hoping the cost of that – ALL of us remembering that it IS – indeed – all of us – doesn’t destroy us.  it’s a toxic lake.  we need to see it for what it is.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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life. dust laughing. [merely-a-thought monday]

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every time you think you have it all figured out, life has a way of poking fun at you, pulling the rug from underneath you, making you re-evaluate, maybe roll your eyes, maybe cry out and push back, maybe giggle in abandon.

the island players performed a short at TPAC from spoon river anthology (e. l. masters), a collection of epitaphs spoken as monologues by the deceased residents of the fictional town called spoon river.  it is gripping.  a not-so-subtle reminder of our brief time on this earth and the absolute into-thin-air-ness of our lives.  perspective-arranging, yes, as you listen to the tales of each person, ephemeral, transitory, all fleeting moments in a deep milky way of vast time.

one of the characters, a finely and properly dressed older woman, brags of renting a house in paris, entertaining the elite, dining at fine restaurants, taking the cure at baden-baden, a spa town in germany’s black forest.  she returns to her hometown of spoon river, only to realize that no one really cares about where she dined or what she ate or who she entertained or if she took the cure at baden-baden.  a sobering moment for her and, if you let it in, another one of those lessons.  the kind where you realize that what you do and what you have is – not – who you are.

instead, the dust of us will later snicker, laugh, out and out guffaw at how invested we all were in the things of life that didn’t really count, the things that will disappear into the outer atmosphere of the universe, never to be retrieved.  instead, we should chuckle now, realizing that indeed the best-laid plans are only that.  plans.  that doesn’t make them life.  life has its own ideas.  perhaps we should just remember that, cut ourselves a bit of slack and recognize how funny it really is that each of us, formed of zillions of random cells, somehow ended up here, right here, right now.  for this time.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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two ears and one mouth. [merely-a-thought monday]

god gave you

i suspect that my sweet momma and mike would be friends. just this quote alone would qualify him.

it’s a simple premise….listen before you speak. and then, think before you speak. and it goes hand and hand with momma’s “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.”

in today’s outspoken world, this is not so easy. the love of candor seems to supercede the love of respect. one-up-ness rises above humility. but-listen-to-what-happened-to-me out-volumes quietly listening what happened to you. complaining-in-public tantrums over mature restraint. bullying pushes back compassion.   kindness is lost in angry, impatient words. helpful advice goes the way of competition and judgment. condemnation is mute consolation.   louder seems to be the way of the land, the horizon punctuated by harsh decibels of bitter noise. less quiet. more frenzy. less listening. more clamoring.

“God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason,” mike said. in heaven, my sweet momma was nodding, a smile on her face.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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let the adventure begin. [merely-a-thought monday]

let the adventure begin

“today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

i remember this on posters, on cards, in songs, in speeches.  it was the 70s and recognizing that today was today and tomorrow was fresh seemed enlightened.

we stand, paused – and surrounded by things to pack into littlebabyscion and big red – and glance at what is forward.  the adventure.  the adventure begins.  today is the first day…

we have accepted positions as the co-managing directors of a performing arts center on washington island in door county, wisconsin.  we will be on island this summer, settling into the island community and handling the details of this beautiful 250 seat performing arts center.  the community seems kind and embracing.  the island is quiet and peaceful. our home will be a haven of sunrises across the water and our friends and family will gather there as we do our new work.  the deck will welcome loved ones from near and far; the adirondack chairs will tease with invitation on water’s edge.  dogdog and babycat will adjust, as will we.  and soon, probably before we are ready, the summer will be over and we will be back on the mainland, still managing, but from afar.

there is a special energy in door county.  you can feel it; it’s palpable.  it’s a creative juju that celebrates the simple beauty of time spent outdoors, time spent with loved ones, time spent honoring the arts.  i can’t think of a better match.

let the adventure begin.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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