Mary Beth Writes

jenny's Flower

12/16/2022

Every little kids says it. You said it when you were little. I said it.

“I can’t see! Lemme see!”

Remember when people would talk about something interesting visible to people over five feet tall? We youngsters would jump and push and whine and our souls were pummeled with despair until we could see the thing the tall people were seeing.

Vision is a door into and out of our spirit. Bored? Stop thinking what you always think. Open your eyes to see the vision in front of you as if you were new to this living room, this hike, this dog walk, this world.

Nancy Eberle was my mentor for a short time; we met me at the activist church we both went to in Chicago. She heard me talk in church and invited me into the biggest writing project I’ve ever been part of which was Reinventing Home. You can still buy our collection of essays. New for $19. Used for a buck. Google Reinventing Home by Caroll Stoner, It's out there at various sites. 

It took two years to write and publish the book. During that period Nancy became ill with a recurrence the cancer from which she would pass away. It was the late 1980’s when there was less knowledge and fewer therapies.

Anyways, Nancy wrote an essay that affected me a lot but didn’t end up in the book, so I’m the only person who can tell you about it. She compared herself to a Kipling story about a very ill little boy who must live in bed - so he plays soldiers on his lap. Nancy wrote that when one can’t go out into the world, sometimes they can bring a world into their room and onto the blanket over their lap. It depends on what one is willing to work at seeing and thinking and imagining.

Audre Lorde wrote. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

...

Dorian sent this photo. “This is from the San Pietro church in Perugia Italy. I took it a week ago. I was in Perugia for two weeks accompanying my sister-in-law who lives in Italy and is undergoing treatment for cancer. I love how the one angel has her arms crossed, and the central figure has three faces.”

...

 Fawn sent these. “Thankful for unexpected snow, neighbors who worked together to shovel and then shared leftover soup in a friendly neighborhood, Colorado.”

...

 Jenny in Waukesha took this photo of a bee in her garden. I love that she entitles it,” Feasting and Resting.” (Those of us who play Spelling Bee after Wordle thought we were seeing a NYT spelling bee, didn’t we…)

 Jenny also sent this flower plus the one at the heading of this post. “What we see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the coloring, hunters the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.” John Lubbock

...

 Lorna sent this from Arizona. “This rainbow appeared at 7:45 am Monday as the dogs and I returned from a walk. The sun had made an appearance, but the rain was beginning.”

 

Please continue to send pictures of what you are seeing. I will post again on Monday if there are new photos. MB at MaryBethDanielson.com

 

Comments

I have a copy of that book. I should re-read it! Love the pictures. (-:
Leonard's picture

Her illness left her unable to type, which was sad because she experienced so much of her world - both the world outside and the world inside, where she used her imagination - by writing and all that was cut off for her. Also, the photos are spectacular!

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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