Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Chasing Light with Memoky

I wake up with a list in my head, sometimes, not seeing the light, not seeing the shadows shifting through the water-spotted windowpanes, because I’m seeing all the unchecked boxes. I wake up already feeling behind, sometimes, and tumble headlong into it all, very unlike a poet.

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Sometimes, I get up and frantically do, forgetting to be, ignorant to the beauty all around, because the day isn’t going the way I planned.

Because I’m clawing at efficiency.

“We are attempting, all the time,” says Billy Collins, “to create a logical, rational path through the day. To the left and right, there are an amazing set of distractions that we usually can’t afford to follow.  But the poet is willing to stop anywhere.

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My four-year-old stops anywhere.  She’s nonstop, she’s scientific, her brain is a perpetual motion machine, and yet she’s a tiny little poet. Why? Because, even in her intensity, she knows how to pause.

She’s intent on the details.

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She’s still captivated by all the tiny little pieces that together make up this “one wild and precious life” [1], as Mary Oliver says. At four, she hasn’t yet learned to ignore the shapes the sunrise scatters across the wall at dawn. She hasn’t learned to forget how fleeting they are, and hasn’t been trained to shrug over the fact the light fades in seconds. And so she giggles, chasing the shadows, running across the room to catch them, head thrown back, laughing loudly into the golden air.

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memoky_on_oaxacaborn_12And when the light shifts from yellow to white, she stops and pulls her knees up to her chest and lets the light illuminate the pages. It’s as though she’s already read Wendell Berry’s “How to be a Poet (to remind myself).”

“Make a place to sit down. 
Sit down. Be quiet.”

[Okay, so she doesn’t know a thing about quietness, really.]

“You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity…

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Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

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Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.”

I knew we can’t all be silent (although sometimes, after answering  279,817 questions before ten, that sounds like the loveliest retreat.) We can’t all pine away at a desk, acting as writers and poets for a living  (although that sounds marvelous too.)

We can’t all be children. It’s not only impractical, it’s impossible. We can’t abandon our responsibilities. We have schedules, work to do, and tasks we simply must complete. We can’t all recline like men and women of leisure, as though life were some still, calm, ancient painting.

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But we can train our hearts to see the joy and the beauty, right? Even in the hectic chaos, can we see snippets of what the poets see?  Can we choose to have hearts like children? (Jesus had a little something to say about grown people becoming as children, I think. [2])

My friend Marie reminds us that “life isn’t always clean and easy. Sometimes it’s messy and fuzzy.” But, she goes on, “There is still beauty and peace if you look hard enough. Find your beauty and share it. This world needs it.

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So can we do that? Can we leave room in our days for wonder? Can we leave margin for awe?  And then when we switch off the alarm in the morning, we can say, like the poet,

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields…
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness. [3]”

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About Memoky // Founded in New York City in 2015, Memoky offers an intentional collection of furniture, decor and lighting for the home. Shop online at memoky.com, or follow @MemokyHome on Instagram or on Facebook.

Myhre Table Lamp in White and Brass via the Galla Collection c/o Memoky.

Additional Credits // Flokati Sheepskin Rug: Shades of Light | Side Table, Plywood Chair, Bed: IKEA Orlando |  Tiger Sweatshirt: RUUM | Striped Linen Pants: Leitmotif | Poster Rails: Posterhanger 

Disclosure of Material Relationship: I received a lamp from Memokey in exchange for publishing this post. All the photographs, opinions, and experiences shared here are in my own words and are my own honest evaluation. Please be assured, I only accept sponsorship opportunities for brands I personally use and/or would recommend to close friends and family, and I will always disclose any such relationships.

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Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: October

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“Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don’t have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

I can understand that…But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better — and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. …This results, then, in the courage to rejoice.” -Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger

Homeschooling, Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: A History of Weather

Life in Photos :: Sonlight Science A :: Biology, Botany and Physics :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

Life in Photos :: Sonlight Science A :: Biology, Botany and Physics :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

Life in Photos :: Sonlight Science A :: Biology, Botany and Physics :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

Life in Photos :: Sonlight Science A :: Biology, Botany and Physics :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

We spend the mornings together, side by side, she a constant inquisitive spirit, eager, joyful, full of wonder. We sit at the table together, the sun casting shadows through the curtains and across the stacks of books. Sometimes she slowly exclaims “Wow!” and sometimes she shrieks “Tell me more about it!” But always she wants to know more.

I read, she listens. She reads, I listen.

Civilizations.
Atoms.
Voyages and discoveries,  light and darkness.

We turn the pages together. We marvel at the lines in the paintings of the masters together.  We look up into the vast distance of the galaxies together.  We talk of good and evil. We talk of beauty. She asks for more about Moses, more about Joshua, more about Sarah, more about these men and women who walked before. Her voice recites truths, her fingers are just beginning to dance across the piano keys, her little self is flying through books like there is no end to adventure.

Because there is no end to adventure.

Life in Photos :: Sonlight Core A :: An Intro to World Cultures :: Ancient Romans :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

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Life in Photos :: Sonlight Science A :: Biology, Botany and Physics :: Homeschooling on the Oaxacaborn blog

 

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Childhood and Summertime

Falling asleep reading
backstage at the theatre
Dala horse and ramen
mosaic fountain
Papa and Aveline
Grumpy Aveline and Spanish moss
Post performance blues
Papa and Aveline
sunrise wakeup call
lighting check
big old palm
raincoat indoors
A little too happy to do spelling

“What child, while summer is happening, bothers to think much that summer will end?

What child, when snow is on the ground, stops to remember that not long ago the ground was snowless?

It is by its content rather than its duration that a child knows time, by its quality rather than its quantity—happy times and sad times, the time the rabbit bit your finger, the time you had your first taste of bananas and cream, the time you were crying yourself to sleep when somebody came and lay down beside you in the dark for comfort.

Childhood’s time is Adam and Eve’s time before they left the garden for good and from that time on divided everything into before and after.” -Frederick Buechner

Little Style

LITTLE STYLE :: From subarctic to subtropic, Scandinavian children’s clothing, Småfolk

Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog

It’s no secret around here that I love Scandinavian design. I’m always fascinated with the contrast between where I live now (Florida), where I was born (Mexico) and where my family tree is rooted (Sweden and Finland, among other places). The contrast is especially vivid at wintertime during the annual Scandi Christmas series, as I’m sitting here in the subtropics, blogging about the subarctic.

Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blogSmåfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog

Denmark-based Småfolk, one of the Scandinavian brands I love, drew me in a long time ago with their iconic apple design and bold 70s-leaning patterns. And I can’t help feeling like the designers behind Småfolk really gets it when it comes to kids clothes — the designs are bright, fun, stylized, and (what a novel idea!) actually appeal to the children for whom they’re designed.

Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blogSmåfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blogSmåfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blogSmåfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blogSmåfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog
Småfolk, Scandinavian children's clothing on the Oaxacaborn blog

Had you heard of Småfolk before today? I’d love to see this established brand take off in the United States, too.  I feel like there’s such a big space in the children’s market here for this genre of clothing, and style this good deserves to go global, don’t you think?

GET THE LOOK :: Apple Sweatpants | Leopard Sweatshirt Dress | Yellow Horses Dress | Anniversary Edition Cars Tee | Grey Sweatpants with Orange Apple | Yellow Velour Sweatpants (not pictured)

Småfolk Website | on Facebook | on Instagram

Disclosure of Material Relationship: I received clothing from Småfolk in exchange for this blog post. I did not receive monetary compensation and was not required to present or promote any specific products, nor was I required to express any particular viewpoint. All the photographs, opinions, and experiences shared here are in my own words and are my own honest evaluation. Please be assured, I only accept sponsorship opportunities for brands I personally use and/or would recommend to close friends and family, and I will always disclose any such relationships.