CHOICES

“Joy like a river in her soul”, words of a young boy

Sharing his mother’s state of being. 

A town nestled next to a river

How does one tear down and build anew?

River dredging begins Flood Control Master Plan.

Town awakens, sounds of bulldozers and cranes, 

People wearing helmets working

Design to demolish, preserve, develop, convert

Empty complexes, aging structures, dormant land 

Long deliberations in what the town needs:

Hotels, shops, restaurants, or something abstract

Community park in summer turns flood diversion space in winter.

Building a promenade on riverfront, 

Passageway along railroad tracks,

Connecting Vine Trail, continuity without impediments

Collaboration with artists and role of the arts,

A time for coffee and twisted cinnamon rolls.

One accent, the Passages, a segment of passageway 

Once a haven for graffiti’s passion and restlessness

Now a channel for artistic expressions,

Vivid, vibrant, living project

Come, look, linger, get involve.

Walking home I hum a Dave Brubeck’s tune

I prepare smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, 

A bowl of peach yogurt and blackberries for lunch.

I take my time. I do not eat with haste.

Like town dreamers, like my friends

I, too, have choices and concerns

Should I join the frenzy of high technology

Pulsing reminders of “constantly possible productive moments”

Or walk with artists and pilgrims in shared humanity

Learn value of life, bear the task, persevere?

In my solitary walk, my mind can’t remain still

How will the young boy paint the river?

Let image follow imagination like spells of delight

Art’s idea whispers, shouts, bends then leaps to clarity

A journey of praise of what one truly loves.

In art and life, one will leave one day, the other stays.

I will write my praise.

Musing over a cup of coffee

Have you seen a cat weeping?

Or a thirsty squirrel?

A pause, practice deep involvement

From a splendid height

A kestrel watches

Graceful speed, finesse.

Lots of letters to answer

Diminish the clutter

Walk softly on the circled path

You live, find meaning

Practice virtues

Not incomprehensible

Even if you live in Istanbul or Damascus

Or in time of pandemic

Each day can be of gratitude.

Art does not explain

You experience beauty or riddle 

Or something significant.

Farther than before

I walked farther today than the previous days: three miles. I crossed Napa River on an elevated  bridge and connected to the river trail, to the downtown then returned home on another street.

It was 65 degrees, sunny with a cool breeze. I met along the way other walkers and cyclists.  We all practiced the safe distancing. There colorful flowers and plants and art.

I stopped a lot to take photos.

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“Kintsugi”

“In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending. In the context of the tea ceremony there is no such thing as failure or success in the way we are accustomed to using those words. A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired, a distinctly Japanese tradition of kintsugi, meaning to “to patch with gold”. Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself. Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.”
-Teresita Fernández, sculptor
quoted by Maria Popova in Brain Pickings

What the day offers

She examines herself on the mirror
without admiring or questioning
She wonders what the day can offer.
She wishes to be anonymous
but doesn’t want to spend the dawn alone
well, someone may descend from the stairs.

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note: the two photos are from Downtown Napa. The top one is from the Veterans Memorial Park. The one below is from the Artist Alley.

Conversion

“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew,” he told Fr Spadaro. “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.”
-Pope Francis
quoted in the chapter, “Who Am I? A sinner…” in the book, Fioretti, The Little Flowers of Pope Francis, by Andrea Tornielli

“Pope Francis asked people in the crowd to find a quiet time at home or in a church to remember in silence and with gratitude an occasion when they felt that merciful gaze of Christ.” quoted in an article by Cindy Wooden, link here

The rendition of the The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio with narration here

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note: Part of my daily readings during Lent is spiritual books:
Into The Silant Land, A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird, Fioretti by Andrea Tornielli, and Franciscan Prayer by Ilia Delio. The other book I’m reading is Becoming Wise, An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippet.

The photo of The Calling of St. Matthew is from Khan Academy. org