Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Time, Another Place (91/366)

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again
From the far side of the ocean

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Clean Water for to Quench My Thirst (89/366)

Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing
And I shall drive my chariot
Down your streets and cry
hey, its me, I'm dynamite
And I don't know why
And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I even felt the pain.
We shall walk and talk
In gardens all misty and wet with rain
And I will never, never, never
Grow so old again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And My Insides Shake Just Like a Leaf on a Tree (88/366)

I bought a new album today, Astral Weeks by Van Morrison.   It's beautiful.  

I am listening to it as I watch the light shine through this water glass like a prism,
hearing about life:
the crystalline moments captured in the songs
The everyday beauty that tinkles like glass.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Questions of Heritage (87/366)

Every country from which my ancestors came is in this tiny corner of the world:  England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.  Well, I suppose that's not quite true.  Every country from which my ancestors sailed to America is in this tiny corner of the world, but before they got to those places?  Who knows from where else my mitochondria have their provenance?  Who are those unknown and anonymous grandmothers and forefathers whose lives made my own possible?  These questions stir my imagination.
But I'm getting off-track. What I wanted to say is that I've been thinking a lot about my heritage lately, especially the Irish part.  (Maybe it's a lingering buzz from St. Patrick's Day.) Being Irish has always been a part of my identity, but it leaves me with some questions.  Can I really call myself Irish, or am I just American?  When I make my "heritage" a significant part of my life, should I really be listening to Buck Owens and B.B. King?   Learning the Jitterbug and the Charleston? 
I wonder if it does me any good to lose myself to the sweet sounds of the sean nós of Carthach Mac Craith and Iarla Ó Lionáird,  to sing "Craigie Hill" and "Lough Erne,"  to learn every word of the Irish language that I can.  Am I keeping something alive?  Does it make a difference? Does it matter?
I can't know, I guess, but I believe it does. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reading for Pleasure (85/366)

Finished thesis + passing mark on oral exam = reading for fun!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Two Things (84/366)

This is the bouquet to which yesterday's single rose belongs.   I was happier with the way today's shots turned out (as you can see, the roses are not yellow), so I wanted to give the flowers a chance to make a good second impression.   These roses are special, because they are certified sustainably grown Ecuadorian roses, which means they were grown with minimal use of pesticides, and the workers were paid fair wages.  The sustainably program makes a big difference for the environment and for flower-growing communities in Ecuador.  You can find out more at

Second, my brother has requested more outdoorsy, landscapey photos for my blog.  I've lamented the dearth of such pictures myself, but two factors have hindered me:
a. It's been quite cold on most days, too cold for mitten-removal and long pauses as I walk.
b. Living in the city means that I don't see expansive, gorgeous landscapes too often. :(
Today was bright and mild, so I attempted to rectify my negligence with a walk past the reservoir on my way to the library.  I hope to be taking pictures of spring-y glory soon!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Most Blessed Night (82/366)

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:
"This night will be as clear as day;
It will become my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and humans are reconciled to God!

May the Morning Star which never sets 
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all humankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Water Drops (80/366)

Today was one of those days with one foot in winter and one foot in spring, a soft, damp day when the ground and rocks gleam grey and green and moss seems to have grown on everything overnight.  The water is steely, but not unfriendly, and life begins to pulse forth from underneath the mud.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bewilderment (78/366)

Do you notice faces in the things around you?  I've always loved to do this - I think it's a talent I have gotten from my Dad, who would always point out interesting shapes to us. ("Hey!" he would say, "This buttnernut squash looks like George Washington, etc.") I think it makes the world a little warmer - full of friends to make in the cracks in the wall and in doorknobs.  I'm not sure why this doorknob is so perplexed, though.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's a Lovely Day (77/366)

Today was indeed a lovely day for a Guinness - actually, a most glorious day all around.  I still feel like I'm living in a dream world, because I submitted the final draft of my thesis!   I feel satisfied with the way it turned out (and very grateful for the encouragement of my friends and family as the thesis consumed my life like a crazed octopus).   So today I was walking on clouds.  
I celebrated my Irish heritage and the successful completion of my thesis with some potatoes, a glass of Guinness, and a really neat documentary on the development of Irish popular music, Out of Ireland.  The film was quite engrossing and I got some insight into my all-time favorite band, U2, and their contemporaries.  The Guinness, for its part, was the best Guinness I have ever had.  Perhaps it was the sweet taste of freedom.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!  Beannaichtaí na Féile Pádraig!  (That means St. Patrick's Day blessings.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday (76/366)

Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.

Ps 148

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kiss Me, I'm Irish (75/336)

It Was Still Friday in California (74/366)

when I took this photo, even if it the light of Saturday had reached Guam by the time I posted it.   

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Punk Rock Kids (73/366)

Each subway stop along the lines that criss-cross my city has a distinctive flavor, and no two are alike.  It's sometimes hard to believe that they are all part of the same system. One backs up to a sylvan park that is almost otherworldly in its beauty; another is full of hustle and bustle and brightly colored tiles.  The one by the technology institute has a huge set of chimes, dangling from the ceiling, that clink against each other if a train comes through fast enough.  This stop, where I was waiting tonight, is close to the music college and always, always, a distinctly emo vibe hangs in the air.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

City and Campus (70/366)

Taken from the a fifth-floor classroom where the views are always good.  The sun was just starting to set.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

An Extra Hour (69/366)

My neighborhood looks very pretty today, no?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Out of Focus (68/366)

My eyes are so tired I can't see straight, and still I've so much to write.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Expiration (66/366)

I've walked past this flaking, fading moped innumerable times but today was the first day I noticed that its registration expired a good twenty-three years ago.  I guess they're not riding it anymore.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Peace Now (65/366)

UPDATE 3/7  We have peace!  Thanks be to God!  I am happy and relieved.
- - - - 
I wake up each morning more worried about the situation that is developing between Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.  I keep checking the news for updates, hoping to hear of a solution, but instead I read that things are getting worse.  Correa and Chávez have both mobilised more troops to the Colombian border and members of all three governments go on arguing, with more and more rancor.  I feel such sorrow to think that a war might be the culmination of this mess; but I still have faith, even now, that we can find a diplomatic solution and real peace.  I lit all my little candles today to pray fiercely and bravely for true peace.

Me despierto cada día aún más preocupada por la situación que está desarollando en los paises de Ecuador, Colombia, y Venezuela.  Estoy sin cesar leyendo las noticías; cada día espero leer que ya han encontrando una solución pero leo que las cosas van empeorando todavía.  Hoy envió Chávez más ejércitos a la frontera colombiana, incluso sus fuerzas marinas, y todos los gobiernos sigan peleando entre ellos, cada vez con más rincor.  Me da tristeza, lástima, y dolor temer que una guerra sea inevitable.  Pero yo siempre, aún ahora, tengo fe que podemos alcanzar una solución diplomática  y que vamos a lograr la paz.  Alumbré cada una de mis velitas hoy en rezar muy fuerte y muy duro por la paz verdadera.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom! (64/366)

Today is my mom's birthday, so in her honor I'm posting my first-ever bird picture.*   She is a bird-lover extraordinaire:  she knows more kinds of birds -and their calls, feeding habits, and juvenile and mating plumages - than I know flavors of ice cream, and that's saying something. When we take walks together in the woods, I like to surge ahead, but Mom likes to pause every few paces because she wants to look more closely at a flash of feathers that was invisible to my merely ordinary (or impatient) eye.   Mom also volunteers weekly at a wild bird hospital in my hometown.  I love to talk to her after her shift because she regales me with stories of grumpy bald eagles with eagle pox (did you even know there was such a thing?)  or tiny saw-whet owls with their yellow egg-yolk eyes.  Lately she has been spending extra time at the hospital taking care of a flock of pelicans who, confused by the balmy autumn, didn't migrate in time and were stranded when the weather turned inhospitable.  By the time the pelicans have been rehabilitated and released, it will be baby-bird season, and you'll find her leaning over a row of incubators while nestfuls of gaping golden mouths vie for her attention.  They need not worry; like the good mom she is, she'll leave these little nestlings full of love and good food.

*Well, technically, this is the second shot of the first bird I've tried to photograph. 

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thesis (63/366)

There are all the books and notes and papers, ready to go!  This is going to be the best darn thesis that committee has ever read.  

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Exploring (62/366)

I've always loved looking at maps.  When I read a map, I get excited to think about where I might go exploring some day, and feel comfort and happiness to remember the places I've been. And then I like to think that every place on the map is the center of the world for someone.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Asphalt (60/366)

I'm not sure why I like this one so much, but I do.