Sunday, January 31, 2010

It rained on my afternoon off.

When I got home, I thunked my library books on the counter and kicked off my shoes. 
Dingy grey light seeped through the curtains.

So I went back outside.

I watched the rain roll off the bricks and the wrought iron stairwells.  I met a neighbor, and we watched fat droplets fall against the stairs and splash back up like fountains. I saw a plastic chair nestled in the shadows beneath the stairwell. Puddles collected in the grass and grew ripples, as the rain beat against the eaves and the pavement.

Someone's charcoal grill was drowning, and puddles rippled around its rusted feet.

My hood slipped off my head, and the raindrops found their way onto my neck, behind my glasses and onto my eyelashes, through my hair and onto my scalp.  They rolled liked little rivers off my bangs, and my hair curled.

When has rain helped you to see something you never noticed before? When has a rainy afternoon turned out to be better than what you had planned?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Colors

Sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands.

Sky like tin?
Puddles lapping over the sides of your shoes,
wicking up your socks?

Put a little hot pink or burning yellow under your mittens.

What brightly colored secrets do you have,
stored away for a grey day?
What tiny little things bring light to your winter?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Comfort or, The First Steps of the Journey

Before you can set out on a journey, you need to be prepared and well-rested. It would be shortsighted to pack up one's yurt and set off across the Mongolian highlands without a giving a thought to provisions. (Yak's milk yogurt? Mutton jerky? Tea?) And you'd be sure to get a good night's sleep and fill up on Power Bars before stepping onto that marathon starting line.

I think the same is true of journeys in the metaphorical sense. You can't go out and search for fulfillment for your soul without knowing where you're starting from. So, since my redesigned blog is all about conversations on the journey, I thought I would start out the new year with a little taste of home. The photos I'm including are all evocative of comfort, taken over the just-ended year.

New Year's Day 2009, on the road to my best friend's house.

Baked goods are a no-brainer: always comforting. Whenever I come home for a stay, I stock up on hometown bagels; they just aren't the same in the state where I am in exile - er, currently living.

A trail marker on a cross-country course invited me to remember my own high school running days.

The cloves studded in the lemon twist really do make the hot toddy.

Is "a dusting of snow like powdered sugar" too cliché? In any case, the snow made my favorite park even sweeter on New Year's Eve, and companionship made the walk a little warmer for these friends. (One imagines, anyway. What might they have been talking about?)

What brings you comfort?
What sustains you on long journeys?
And if you were packing up your yurt, what essentials would you put in?