Number 38

loss and love

WE HAVE EXPERIENCED a loss in my family, one that came sudden and was heartbreakingly sad, and as things often are, at the same time filled with so many blessings that the only reasonable response was gratitude. It was one of those times when people around us rose up and stepped in and did, and in their doing and caring, held us aloft.

What we did, especially my sweet Eliza and me, was stand in awe at how much it meant. How every gesture, tiny and grand, moved us forward moment to moment, helped us process and respond. From sweet Katie who was suddenly at the door with a gigantic arrangement of lilies and daisies and a thousand gorgeous blooms (a four-hour drive she made simply to deliver love to Eliza, and to offer a 30-minute heart-to-loving-heart walk), to the long beautiful stream of wishes and prayers for both of us on Facebook, to sweet, precious family who locked arms and locked step, to every beautiful COVID-masked face that celebrated life and friendship and generosity of spirit at a funeral service that ended with, appropriately and joyfully, A Pirate Looks at Forty.

Here's what we vowed, my daughter and me. Forever we will remember those kindnesses. Forever we will know what even the tiniest gesture means, how people who offer sweet acts of faith and love and goodness lift and support, how they encircle and propel, how they embody the very best in what it is to be a kind, caring human on this planet. Forever, we vowed, we will remember, we will take time, we will be those people.
Until next time ~
I've shared so many things I love via 37 prior issues of Grace Notes. But this particular episode of this particular podcast? "Before You Know Kindness as the Deepest Thing Inside. . ." is a conversation between On Being's Krista Tippett and poet Naomi Shihab Nye, and I was mesmerized and charmed and moved in the most beautiful way. I did not know of Naomi Nye before clicking to listen, and now I cannot stop thinking about her and her perspective and her powerful words. Naomi says most of us "think in poems" whether we know it or not, and now I understand why. A beautiful listen.
If I haven't convinced you, you can hear Naomi Shihab Nye as she reads the amazing poem referenced in the title to the On Being episode above. Kindness, by Naomi Nye. It begins:

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.

(Oh my goodness this poem. She also tells the story of writing it on the episode. Incredible.)

Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 9.15.53 AM
We've just finished our second viewing of Friday Night Lights, the five-season series that launched on NBC in 2006. We loved the show the first time around and boy does it hold up. An ensemble drama, the story centers around Dillon, Texas high school football coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami, a guidance counselor, as they navigate the challenges inherent in both their careers and marriage. There is so much to chew on in this series, which is chock full of interesting, colorful, and well developed characters. Years ago I wrote a blog post about one of my favorites, Tyra Colette, and to this day "An Interesting and Surprising Life" is one of the most popular posts on The Daily Grace.
Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 9.00.40 AM
image: Eating Bird Food
Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers, by Brittney Mullins of Eating Bird Food.
I'd never have made this, but one time my grocery list said ground turkey and sweet Tim, who (praise hands) does most of our grocery shopping, brought home ground chicken instead. What on earth does one make with ground chicken? I wondered. Then I googled. Then I found this recipe on Eating Bird Food that I AM NOT KIDDING I like more than a regular beef hamburger. It's easy, it's healthy, and typically I don't even use a bun. (Although I may reconsider that, looking at her photo, above!)
Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 8.42.05 AM
It feels to me like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has taken the world by storm, and I can see why. It's beautifully imaginative. Addie makes a deal with a god of the dark in her early life in 1700s France and to get what she wants, she will spend her immortal forever never being remembered. It was a four star for me, not perfect, but I definitely kept turning the pages. I did a combo of audiobook and reading the hardback.

Agnes takes up her story like a woman knitting past a dropped stitch, leaving a gaping hole behind her.

--from The Once and Future Witches, but Alix E. Harrow


What is it with March? I have feelings, as it turns out, very strong feelings about the month I find to be the most fickle, the most untrustworthy, the most maddening. Even if it is true: March is very busy, making way for spring.
Happy Spring, y'all.

Even when clouds grow thick,

the sun still pours its light earthward.

--Mark Nepo
facebook twitter instagram pinterest email