Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hopes for 2012

Photo by Rita Bourland © 2011

Hopes for 2012  

I carry my hopes and dreams like a cloak sheltering me from the harshest wind.  They bring light on a dark, wintry day; filling my heart with possibility.  As a new year looms on the horizon, those same hopes and dreams demand more attention, take firmer shape, shimmer before my eyes saying, ‘I’m still here, are you ready yet?’ 

I get a bit scattered when it comes to my creative and ideological desires.  Pinning down the direction I want to take can be like trying to catch a firefly on a warm summer night; flickering just out of reach.  The same hopes and dreams that fill me with possibility can bear down like the burden of unfinished business, turning my inner commentary into an unhealthy monologue on my lack of resolve.    

But with age and a bit of wisdom I have learned a few things about hopes and dreams and inner monologues.  They don’t mix well.  Turning off one to accomplish the other is the only way to move forward.   

Lest this turn into a bunch of psychobabble, I will just say that I have learned to accept my uniqueness.  I’m doing the best I can in this crazy world. 

So, in 2012, I plan to continue hoping and dreaming, playing and praying, loving and living, contemplating and creating, doubting some, but mostly being the best version of myself I can be and loving myself all the better for it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Gem of a Quote

mikiedaniel.wordpress.com
 
A Gem of a Quote

In the movie Midnight in Paris the character of Ernest Hemingway speaks the following line when counseling a budding novelist:  

“No subject is terrible if the story is true and if the prose is clean and honest and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”  

This is not an actual quote by Hemingway but an idealized version of the kind of language he might have used.  As I watched the movie (for the second time) last night, I was struck by the quote and took the time to write it down.  I considered the idea of speaking with courage and truth, using clean and honest prose and doing it with grace even when outside or internal pressures exist.  There seemed to be much to take away from this one compact sentence; ideas that might be useful to writers but also might benefit all of us in our day to day interpersonal relationships.   Keeping things clean and honest, speaking the truth to those we love, acting courageously when faced with the darkness in humanity and summoning our inner grace to move through our days. 

I love being handed a gem of a quote such as this.  It creates a pause in my day to consider words spoken by another, words that speak a profound truth to me, a truth I can carry into the New Year.  Maybe it speaks a truth to you as well.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poem: A Mall-less Christmas


 A Mall-less Christmas

It’s a mall-less Christmas for me,
No muzak or fake Christmas tree,

No garish bright lights
Or elves in red tights,

No two for one deals
Or boots with high heels,

No Santa to greet
With photo complete,

Or children in tears
Being ushered through Sears,

Not one impulse buy
Or flashing green tie,

No fluffy pink slippers
Or fancy egg whippers,

Yet the gifts that sit ‘neath the tree,
Were purchased by little ol’ me,

With just a few clicks of my mouse,
The shopping was done from my house,

So now I have time to sip tea,
And munch on some crackers and brie,

I’ll listen to CDs and sing right along,
Filled with the hope of each Christmas song,

It’s a mall-less Christmas for me.
Thanks, Google, for setting me free.


I actually like to support a few independent stores in town but the internet has also been a wonderful tool for shopping.  I haven’t missed the mall a bit. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Poem: I Love Christmas Cards


 I Love Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards,
Always have,
Always will,

When I was a child
My mother wrote stacks and stacks
Of cards,

Who did she send them to I wondered?
How did she know so many people?

She carefully wrote the addresses,
Signed each card with a personal note,
Affixed the stamps,
Licked the envelopes,
Then mailed the stack two weeks before
Christmas,

And now I do the same,

It is a duty, a compulsion,
A necessary part of the season,
As much as carols, trees, cookies and gifts,

It tells me I am connected
To family and friends,
That meaningful relationships exist,
That time and distant do not
Define love or friendship,

A card is a small thing
Yet it looms large in my life,
Always has,
Always will.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Charming from Cover to Cover - Columbus Independent Children's Bookstore

Charming from Cover to Cover 

Nestled in the heart of Columbus in an area called Clintonville, and sandwiched between a bank and Jiffy Lube is one of the city’s great treasures - an independent bookstore for children called Cover to Cover.  Stepping through the front door is like entering a candy store.  There is the feeling of wanting to devour the contents; swallowing them up over many hours of delicious reading.    You can see all the way to the back of the store in one glance which gives the sense that consuming this considerable feast is quite feasible.  


As your eyes regain focus and your happy heart calms a bit, you might notice an employee such as Beth standing by ready to help you in your search for the perfect reading treat.  Maybe you want a Caldecott award winning book or maybe you want a selection of poetry, or possibly a book about whales.  Beth knows every book in the shop and can steer you to the perfect selection.  

But wait, my eyes have wandered to a new distraction.  Someone has written all over the walls with black markers.   On closer inspection, I realize the walls are covered with autographs.  Think of a children’s author you love and their autograph is certainly inscribed on the wall, often accompanied by a delightful illustration. 



 On the day I visited the store, I had the great fortune of running into another Columbus treasure, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld.  When asked how she would like me to describe her, she said, “educator, author and elderly hippie”.  This charismatic, engaging woman has written several books including Celebrating Young Children and their Teachers.  It seemed fitting to find her in Cover to Cover buying her grandchildren a few books for the holidays.   She is happily internet avoidant; always preferring interactions with ‘real people’.   
  
Shael Brachman, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld, Rita Bourland

Married owners, Randy King and Sally Oddi are all about the connections with real people.  They’ve been at it for over 30 years and have figured out the formula for running a successful independent bookstore in an age of internet absorption.  By providing a real versus virtual experience they have found and retained legions of fans still longing for the same thing. 

So stop by Columbus and get lost for a few hours in Cover to Cover.  Maybe come by on a Tuesday or Saturday morning for story hour or drop by when an author is on tour.  Or maybe just stop in to embrace this charming place, inhaling the smell of books, and traveling for a few moments into a world where children thrive and a book can take you to places you never imagined.  It’s better than anything you could find in a candy store. 


3560 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 263-1624