Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Sonnet, Trinity 18" by Madeleine L'Engle, in Honor of My Sister Barb

"Sonnet, Trinity 18"
By Madeleine L’Engle

Peace is the center of the Atom, the core
Of quiet within the storm. It is not
A cessation, a nothingness; more
The lightning in reverse is what
Reveals the light. It is the law that binds
The atom’s structure, ordering the dance
Of proton and electron, and that finds
Within the midst of flame and wind, the glance
In the still eye of the vast hurricane.
Peace is not placidity; peace is
The power to endure the megatron of pain
With joy, the silent thunder of release,
The ordering of Love. Peace is the atom’s start,
The primal image: God within the heart.

This poem appears on the last page of the book The Weather of The Heart, Selected Poems by Madeleine L'Engle.  I first found the book in December while Christmas shopping for my children, and I immediately knew I had to buy it for my sister Barb for her birthday, which is today.  Later I went back and bought another copy for myself.  Barb loves anything by Madeleine L'Engle with a passion.  In my mind's eye, I can see her as a child and as a teen, curled up with A Wrinkle In Time.  That has always been her kind of thing, and it's lucky for both of us (and a testament to our parents) that we are always allowed full access to terrific books -- from the library and the bookstore -- when we were children.  Now we are both authors, I of inspirational non-fiction and poetry, she of often edgy time-warping YA novels that are yet to be published. When we were very young, we used to write stories together.  Not "together" as in working on the same piece, but as in working side by side, reading snippets here and there.  I think she gave me her only copy, delicately illustrated, of her first book, Miss Bluebird's Dancing Lesson. I only wish I knew whatever happened to it.  We also used to design our own dream houses side by side, complete with detailed layouts.  Then we would furnish them curtain by curtain, dish by dish, bookcase by bookcase (of course!) from the Sears catalog.  The legacy of reading great books continues.  I think of a single title from our own childhood, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, which Barb's son Doug ( took along to his college dorm room, and my nine year old son Ben has at his bedside.  And I read A Wrinkle in Time to my own children last year.

Back to the Sonnet for a moment. I chose this one because my sister has literally endured a "megatron of pain" with horrid chronic migraines plaguing her almost daily for years on end, despite a nerve stimulator and PFO surgery and lots of pharmaceuticals.  My prayer for her in the midst of it is peace, "a silent thunder of release." So much pain, and yet so much love that she has poured into me in spite of it.  She is an ocean of compassion and concern and courage for me.  Last year, for her 50th birthday, all she wanted was for me to fly up and join the family for a trip to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.  And so I did!  See here for the photos: Weekend Gratitude for Family in Maryland and Longwood Gardens Here is just one shot from the gardens: my mom, brother John, Barb, my dad, me, and Grandma Hess in front.

Happy birthday, Barb!  And a few more childhood photos...



California years
(though this picture was taken at Crater Lake, Oregon)
Much love,

P.S. There is another L'Engle poem from this book in my post "Shimmer and Shadow."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunrise and Camellias on a Chilly Morning (P52 Week 8)

Dear friends,

This morning I drove my daughter to the bus stop at 6:45, stopping just long enough before I left to put on my shoes and grab my iPod.  It's February in Florida, so I wore a t-shirt and shorts.  Still a little chilly, I must say!

Turning the car around to drive the few short blocks back home, I couldn't help but gaze at the sunrise I could barely see through the trees.  Too good to miss, I say, but I needed a better view! Question: should I go home and get my better camera, risking the precious minutes that change that hue of the sky, or should I wing it with the iPod?  Moments count, so I drove to my nearest decent sunrise view, the neighborhood elementary school.  Granted, the iPod doesn't do the cloud texture or sunrise color justice, but imagine with me!

Pretty enough, but what would the view be from the lake at nearby Kewanee Park?  Off I go, chasing the sunrise while the sunrise chases the fog on the water.

Sunrise reflections on lake

Fog at Kewanee

Tree silhouettes against the sunrise sky

Always, always, notice the little things, 
the bright natural colors....

Red berries on a tree at Kewanee Park

Back home again, the pink already seeping away...

I see a pink camellia bush in the neighborhood,
and remember to check on my own in the backyard.

A way to bring a bit of beauty inside...

Three pink camellias for the float bowl.
This is what wedding presents are for, even 26 years later!

I lamented to my husband that I hadn't been able to capture just exactly what I wanted this morning through my lens.  He sweetly reminded me that the most amazing camera is the human eye and that we should never outgrow a wonder for what God has made.  That is why I always say, pay attention, look closely, soak it in.
See more sunrise and camellias from last year: 

Blessings of beauty to you and yours,

Click here to see Project 52!

project 52 p52 my3boybarians.com
(This Friday's theme: Cabin Fever.  Can we ever mope inside when there is such a pretty sunrise?)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Orlando Folk Festival 2012

Orlando Folk Festival 2012
Dear friends,

Last Saturday, I took three of my own kids and a neighbor to the Orlando Folk Festival on the grounds of the Mennello Museum of American Art.  The Folk Festival is part of the Orlando ArtsFest.

I thought you might enjoy some photos from several of the exhibits.  I enjoyed chatting with the artists, and asked permission before taking pictures. Please take time to visit their web sites, or e-mail them if you are interested in their work.

There were face painters and some hands-on crafts for the kids, too!

Banner hanging outside the Mennello Museum of American Art.
Admission to the museum was free during the Folk Festival.
There is also free admission the second Sunday of each month.
Check the web site for details.
Check web site for all
ArtsFest events in February: www.artsfestfl.com/

Bobbin Lace
That's a pile of bobbins!

More bobbin lace!

Beneath the Bark Creations ~~ Claus Tiesman ~~ ctiesman@embarqmail.com
I love the brilliant blue color of this bird!

Another Claus Tiesman creation (see above)

Claus Tiesman shows the carving process from block to bird

Douglas Bringle ~~  dbazores@aol.com ~~ www.crealde.org/faculty/doug_bringle
This photo and the next one are of Doug Bringle's pottery.
He is also an instructor at the Crealde School of Art in Winter Park, Florida.

by Doug Bringle
Elayne Pryor ~~ Imagiknit ~~  elayne.pryor@gmail.com
That is raw silk on her lap!  She spins it on her wheel.
Elayne is from England.

Knitting with raw silk

Cottage purse made from wool ~~ beautiful!
Jayne Pryor - Imagiknit

Elayne's skeins of wool in a basket ~~
so picturesque even before knitting!

Catface Camp Quilting ~  Jewel Tompkins ~  jeweltompkins@msn.com
A quilt made from favorite souvenir T-shirts --
she makes these and other quilts to order!

Jewel Tompkins (see above) 

Melissa Be Crafty ~~ Melissa Borghorst ~~ www.melissabecrafty.etsy.com
Melissa is a very creative lady, a former high school teacher.

Jim Bergman
P.O. Box 88, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130

Psalm 23 walking stick by Jim Bergman (see above)

Squirrel by Jim Bergman (see above)

~~ Madeleine McLean ~~
no contact information since they only sell at shows  

~~ Madelaine McLean ~~
~~ Madeleine McLean ~~
A spurtle is used in Scotland for stirring oatmeal
(See note at end of my post "In the Poet's Realm")
Painted gourd by Madeleine McLean

~~ Mary Jo Snell ~~
Fancies & Whimsies Folk Art Dolls ~~ mjrsnell@earthlink.net

~~ Melissa Menzer ~~ 

~~ Melissa Menzer ~~  

Pottery workshop ~~ I didn't catch the name!

Sam Knowles Chainsaw Art
(no relation, even though we have the same last name)

Pelican by Sam Knowles Chainsaw Art
(see above)
While I was watching one of the musical shows,
I saw a live pelican dive down into the lake to catch a fish.


Talako Indian Dancers  
~~Talako Indian Dancers ~~ 
a non-profit performing troupe for young people is looking for new members

Crooked Road Celtic band

View from a distance -- while standing on the bridge at Lake Formosa

Tree with low spreading branches

I love art and music.
I love to be outside in the fresh air, even if it is chilly and breezy.
I love to take pictures, even just with an iPod camera.

I hope you've enjoyed these pictures!  If so, you might enjoy two of my other art show posts:  
I wrote two other posts last weekend that you might like to see (and now you know why it took until Wednesday to post about the Folk Festival!):

Blessings of beauty to you and yours,

Virginia Knowles

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