Mary Beth Writes

jenny's Flower

12/16/2022

Every little kids says it. You said it when you were little. I said it.

“I can’t see! Lemme see!”

Remember when people would talk about something interesting visible to people over five feet tall? We youngsters would jump and push and whine and our souls were pummeled with despair until we could see the thing the tall people were seeing.

Vision is a door into and out of our spirit. Bored? Stop thinking what you always think. Open your eyes to see the vision in front of you as if you were new to this living room, this hike, this dog walk, this world.

Nancy Eberle was my mentor for a short time; we met me at the activist church we both went to in Chicago. She heard me talk in church and invited me into the biggest writing project I’ve ever been part of which was Reinventing Home. You can still buy our collection of essays. New for $19. Used for a buck. Google Reinventing Home by Caroll Stoner, It's out there at various sites. 

It took two years to write and publish the book. During that period Nancy became ill with a recurrence the cancer from which she would pass away. It was the late 1980’s when there was less knowledge and fewer therapies.

Anyways, Nancy wrote an essay that affected me a lot but didn’t end up in the book, so I’m the only person who can tell you about it. She compared herself to a Kipling story about a very ill little boy who must live in bed - so he plays soldiers on his lap. Nancy wrote that when one can’t go out into the world, sometimes they can bring a world into their room and onto the blanket over their lap. It depends on what one is willing to work at seeing and thinking and imagining.

Audre Lorde wrote. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

...

Dorian sent this photo. “This is from the San Pietro church in Perugia Italy. I took it a week ago. I was in Perugia for two weeks accompanying my sister-in-law who lives in Italy and is undergoing treatment for cancer. I love how the one angel has her arms crossed, and the central figure has three faces.”

...

 Fawn sent these. “Thankful for unexpected snow, neighbors who worked together to shovel and then shared leftover soup in a friendly neighborhood, Colorado.”

...

 Jenny in Waukesha took this photo of a bee in her garden. I love that she entitles it,” Feasting and Resting.” (Those of us who play Spelling Bee after Wordle thought we were seeing a NYT spelling bee, didn’t we…)

 Jenny also sent this flower plus the one at the heading of this post. “What we see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the coloring, hunters the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.” John Lubbock

...

 Lorna sent this from Arizona. “This rainbow appeared at 7:45 am Monday as the dogs and I returned from a walk. The sun had made an appearance, but the rain was beginning.”

 

Please continue to send pictures of what you are seeing. I will post again on Monday if there are new photos. MB at MaryBethDanielson.com

 

Comments

I have a copy of that book. I should re-read it! Love the pictures. (-:
Leonard's picture

Her illness left her unable to type, which was sad because she experienced so much of her world - both the world outside and the world inside, where she used her imagination - by writing and all that was cut off for her. Also, the photos are spectacular!

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What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 

6/15/2024

Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Swan Story

6/3/2024 

I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing lately and I have decided there is too much to read. Much of it is very good but there is JUST TOO MUCH!

So my goal going forward is to write shorter posts, more often, that might remind you of the glory, power, and goofiness of your life as well as mine.

So, let me say again what’s always very true. Thank you for reading what I write.

..

About My Memorial Day Story

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Today my story ‘Memorial Day’ is posted at Substack. Read it here. 

Courage, Big & Little

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Courage.

I’m writing fiction this week. I started a story in December that, along the way, turned into a Memorial Day story. It will be my Substack story this Saturday.

This morning I looked for an old newspaper column to rerun and found this one about a time when one of our kids needed to have four teeth pulled.

Cholesterol Numbers & Squirrels

 5/15/2024

Years ago I was out to dinner with friends. We were all just entering our 40’s and thus were all beginning to get the fun medical tests about this and that and cholesterol. I said, to a friend next to me, that I’d started eating oatmeal everyday for breakfast and my cholesterol had dropped …..

The room went silent.

Everyone heard “cholesterol dropped” and stopped speaking. Everyone wanted to hear how much it had dropped – which was about 8 points. In our twenties the conversation stopper was gossip about sex. Now the secret sauce was HDL and LDL

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