Posted tagged ‘inspiration’

The Saturday Book Shop – Small Wonder

February 27, 2021

Small Wonder is a collection of essays by one of my all-time favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver. This collection of essays was originally published in 2002 and written in response to the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Still, it feels quite timely in trying to wrap our hearts and minds around the unique challenges facing all of us today … holding fast to the little moments of life and love that make up the big picture—and making our natural inclination to hold hope and light more bearable, more together, even when we’re apart and it sometimes feels as if so much has shifted.

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I’ve only just discovered this book. I thought I knew all the books this author had written, yet finding it now just underscores the notion that we all get a glimpse of when being led to a book or re-reading a book: that it finds its way to us at just the right time and in just the right way to fully receive the precious stories it holds. Barbara Kingsolver’s unique way of capturing moments of loss as well as laughter—amidst the dailiness of myriad mundane miracles that often lead to the grandest ongoing hopes and resolve—makes her essays, novels, and non-fiction a complete joy to read. They’re inspiring like a glimpse of an early-rising wide full moon on a clear bright night. Thank you, Barbara Kingsolver, for writing, and for continuing to write.

The royalties from this book support the work of Physician’s for Social Responsibility, Habitat for Humanity, Environmental Defense, and the humanitarian aid project called Heifer International. The copy of the book I’m showing above is a hardcover copy. Paperback is also available (with a different cover).

From my bookshelf to yours … Happy Reading!

 

Would love to hear in the comments if you’re finding time to read these days and any titles that have caught your attention or favorites you’re re-reading.

Look forward to seeing you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop

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The Saturday Book Shop – All Along You Were Blooming

February 20, 2021

The words of Morgan Harper Nichols wrap you in gratitude, in grounded open empathy, in beauty, in heart song — and especially in hope.



All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living by Morgan Harper Nichols is one of those books you can pick up at any time of day, read a few pages, and come away with a perspective polished up with grace. As beautifully illustrated as it is written, these poems shine light through the bumps, the worries, the hard unknowns, the shadows, the joys & Love—as if her hand unfurled a prayer through the pages.

An artist, poet, and musician, Morgan Harper Nichols’ work touches the weary, the wisdom, and wonder of life. Her compassion and kindness beams through in her writings and art, and she quickly grew a devoted audience on Instagram. This book is a blessing. And Nichols has a new book, How Far You Have Come, slated for release in Spring 2021. 

Morgan Harper Nichols has also just launched a phone app called Storyteller, that delivers daily messages of encouragement alongside beautiful original art. Enjoy the inspired talents of this extraordinary bestselling young author and artist. ❤️

 

The Saturday Book Shop: December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop.

I’m sharing three books today that sort of sum up the moment here in the midst of the holidays, the pandemic, and looking forward with hope and faith toward 2021, even though we still have quite a ways to go.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamotte is just the right blend of funny-meets-unflinching faith that I’ve seen described as capturing “life’s imperfect moments perfectly”. She is also the author of so many favorite titles, including the classic Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, which is all the title implies and more. Love it, and have happily followed her writings long time.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book by a “writer who draws”. It’s full of creative inspiration and reminder-smiles that do literally help keep you going, come what may. He has an excellent newsletter and eclectic fun blog you can sign up for too.  All of his books rock with  wisdom and wit and big riffs of delight.

And finally, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I am grateful to have many many poetry books. Love them all. Especially this one. Mary Oliver and all of her quietly elegant words—which uplift the everyday well spring of nature and life with such a notice-everything-and-tell-about-it open heart—are all time favorites, to be sure. When I was pulling this book off the shelf to snap this photo, a little postcard I had painted for myself and stuck in the book fluttered out. I’d popped it in opposite this poem … seems especially apropos at the moment:

WHAT GORGEOUS THING

I do not know what gorgeous thing

the bluebird keeps saying,

his voice easing out of his throat,

beak, body into the pink air

of the early morning. I like it

whatever it is. Sometimes

it seems the only thing

in the world that is without

questions that can’t and probably 

never will be answered, the

only thing that is entirely content

with the pink, then clear white

morning, and gratefully, says so.

— by Mary Oliver

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy, & Heart-full-of-Love-and-quiet-Joys kinda Holiday season❣️

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

Beginning A Happy New Year

January 3, 2017

Seemed like an apt thought for beginning 2017—or anything!!  (Enjoy the day-to-day layers of the unfolding collage of life.)youdonothaveto-quote-b

 

What A Marvelous Mantra

October 1, 2012

Sunday Inspiration: The Summer Day

July 17, 2011

 

 

 

 

Bahama Blue Bathing Beauties

May 30, 2011

The color BLUE dazzles in The Bahamas. Countless variegated shades of aqua, cyan, cerulean, azure, sky, royal, indigo, and sapphire surround us in the shifting seas and are celebrated in all kinds of art—including these artist trading card collages I created for the blue-themed ARTchix challenge.

 

I loved making these vintage Bathing Beauty mixed media collages. The backgrounds came from photos of tropical-water-hued fabric prints in my fashion wardrobe, photographed and printed onto paper, then layered with some retro-fun ARTchix Studio images and historic postcard text.

I love splashing into waves of blue and frollicking in art.

Tra-la.

 

Florida Fandango

April 16, 2010

Because Grand Bahama Island sits a mere 68 miles off the coast of South Florida, the closeness creates a sort of fandango of back-and-forth, here-and-there-frequently two-step, where the best of both worlds is readily at hand.

The small flock of flamboyant feathered friends in this picture were gorgeous to see recently at Ft. Lauderdale’s Flamingo Gardens, and it got me thinking about the great abundance of flamingos in The Bahamas, where  the world’s largest colony of West Indian Flamingos (some 50,000 of these long-legged lovelies!) are a true Bahamas National Trust conservation success story on the southernmost island of Inagua. Protected by law, the wild flamingos of Inagua live in a beautiful symbiosis, thriving along the shallow lagoons and salt ponds created by The Morton Salt Company in their harvesting of almost a million pounds of salt each year.

Known as the national bird of The Bahamas (and sometimes locally called “fillymingos”), these brightly colored wonders take their name from the Latin word for “flame”, and are just one of the many shared tropical ties between Florida and the 700 islands and cays (pronounced “keys”) of The Bahamas.

Images of flamingos and their iconic pink plastic lawn ornaments (created in 1957) became so widespread and overused in the marketing of Florida’s development boom that some people see them as a cliched symbol of paradise. Their image has swung back and forth between the ultimate in tacky taste and retro-cool for decades now. I can’t argue with that (and I’m actually a big fan of kitsch and love seeing a flock of pink plastic for a good cause!), but I also can’t help but be amazed at the odd elegance of these exotic creatures in a more natural environment.

Flamingos became a symbol of the tropical good life in Florida at about the same time a group of concerned world citizens took steps to save actual wild flamingos from extinction. Because of their timely efforts to save the flamingos, they are now a symbol not only of the good life, but of a natural and national treasure in The Bahamas. I am encouraged to think that The Bahamas still has a chance to thoughtfully and carefully develop its many precious and unique islands, and to grow in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, learning valuable lessons of restraint and environmental awareness from its more commercially overgrown-up cousin, Florida.

In The Bahamas, the flamingo was saved from extinction through a combination of foresight, vision, international cooperation, hard work, and dedication to preserving irreplaceable distinctive rare beauty. May this same approach (and sparks of divine design inspiration as graceful and eclectically riveting as those seen in the flamingo!) ever be present in any development of the stunning, world-enhancing, and incredibly beautiful and beloved islands of The Bahamas. Amen.

The Pioneer Woman – love this blog!

September 25, 2009

My friend, Vanessa, told me about this super-fun blog that herds up all kinds of things I enjoy: cooking, photography, Photoshop, gardening, and a delightful and funny look at life and love. A definite outpost of inspiration:

Charging Colts by Ree Drummond, www.thepioneerwoman.com

Charging Colts by Ree Drummond, http://www.thepioneerwoman.com

www.thepioneerwoman.com


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