Mary Beth Writes

12/15/2022

Spirituality is interesting. For most of us, it is the nebulous ought’s and ought-not’s handed to us by our families, churches, and culture we grew up in. It’s obeying sensible and weird rules about how to behave. Spirituality is given to us, often without our understanding how much of our sense of who we are is simply a passing along of lots of traditions and rules.

There is another way of understanding spirituality. It’s a way of being awake to the world and moment we are in. Its standing outside on your porch at night, looking at the sky - not to see how lovely it is – but simply to see it. To look as intently as we can at what’s there, what the air around us feels like, what noises we hear, what the universe is humming tonight.

I invited you yesterday, to send photos of right now, where you live, what you are seeing, what is capturing your imagination. Holiday photos are great. So are pictures of nature and pets and what’s going on in your kitchen or craft room or your congregation or classroom.

Instead of fulfilling what we already know and expect from advent, Christmas, December– I’m inviting us to be still and then and look around. What’s your dog yearning for when you look into her face? What is your grandkid learning as she wildly climbs the castles at the playground? What happens when you bite into the first double chocolate cookie you make late at night when you can’t sleep? Those kinds of photos, too.

Here are some photos some of you sent yesterday.

Can you feel the chilly breeze coming up and over that ridge?

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David says of this: “Taken last Sunday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, at the mineral exhibit. This one is of Pyrite “Sun”, obtained from Sparta, IL. Having a camera in my cell phone allows me to get a lot of photos that would have been impossible back in the day. I can press the cell phone right up against the glass of the display case and there will be no annoying reflections.”

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This is a NASA photo of a star burst which has the Pyrite dynamics of a lifeforce bursting outwards from the middle.

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Len took this photo at our last house.

“The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on
Like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue”

Bob Dylan

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You can email your photos to me at MB at MaryBethDanielson.com   If I get more pictures from you, I will post them. 

 

 

 

 

Comments

I really like your photo ops for all of us!

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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