Monday, December 3, 2012

Tonight I stumbled upon an amazing discovery- the story behind my favorite stone, labradorite. . . According to the Inuit origin myth for labradorite, the aurora borealis, or northern lights, were once trapped inside of the rocks along the coast of Labrador.  An Inuit warrior discovered this, struck the rocks with his spear, and set the lights free.  However, some remained trapped in the stone, which we now mine as labradorite.

 wow.  that is so cool. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

dreaming. . .

it is approximately 1,000 miles from San Fran to Seattle via highway 1 & US-101.


thinking of all the AMAZING towns, parks & scenery that is PACKED into this section of America-  if i had to pick only one road trip to take for the rest of my life, this would be it.   :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Middle Fork of the Salmon River: Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

"The Middle Fork of the Salmon River.  One of the world’s most popular whitewater rivers, with everything to offer you—rapids up to Class IV and glorious alpine and forest scenery as it flows through America’s largest roadless wilderness area outside Alaska.  Idaho’s Salmon River is the longest undammed, free-flowing river contained in a single state in the lower 48 states of the USA.

For the fly fisherman floating and fishing, Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon is a dream come true. The crystal clear waters are home to a high concentration of Rocky Mountain Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.  The majestic Middle Fork of the Salmon River will leave you breathless.  From dazzling whitewater rapids to precipitous granite walls towering over 1,500 feet. Beautiful campsites will meet your day’s end and quite possibly the soothing waters of a hot spring."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

last night i couldn't sleep.  I read some of a Donald Miller book (ahhh, he is one of my favorites), drank a cup of Earl Grey, and laid back down.

still no sleep would come. . . so, to clear all of the noise swirling around inside my head, i got up & wrote out a list of all the things that I still want to do & see & experience (all the things that came to mind at that hour, at least!) in my life.

 it is a good list, one that makes me excited at the thought of life ahead- full of experiencing.

“No, life cannot be understood flat on a page.  It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath... We get one story, you and I, and one story alone.  God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution.  It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?"
Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts 

“Sometimes when I watch my dog, I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories. Lucy doesn't read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just IS a dog.  All she wants to do is chase ducks and sticks and do other things that make both her and me happy.  It makes me wonder if that was the intention for man, to chase sticks and ducks, to name animals, to create families, and to keep looking back at God to feed off his pleasure at our pleasure.”
―Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life  


Monday, November 19, 2012


“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree”
― Haruki Murakami

“Poetry, music, forests, oceans, solitude--they were what developed enormous spiritual strength. I came to realize that spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, had to be stored up before a race.”
― Herb Elliott

“Right before you head out running, it can be hard to remember exactly why you're doing it. You often have to override a nagging sense of futility, lacing up your shoes, telling yourslef that no matter how unlikely it seems right now, after you finish you will be glad you went. It's only afterward that it makes sense, although even then it's hard to rationalize why. You just feel right. After a run, you feel at one with the world, as though some unspecified, innate need has been fulfilled.”
― Adharanand Finn

 "I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."  
― Jesse Owens

"The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life."  
George Sheehan  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

aurora borealis

The aurora is most active late at night or early in the morning, when the sky is clear and the air chilly. The best time to watch is in spring and fall, especially February, March, September, and October. One of the best times to look for the Northern Lights will be when it is dark because of a new moon.

10 Best Places to See The Northern Lights:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. 

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for."

― C.S. Lewis


Monday, November 12, 2012

“Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember
when my soul heard something from your soul.

I drank water from your spring
and felt the current take me.”

― Rumi

... more good stuff here.

a deep, heartfelt "thank you" to America's veterans!

Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. 
Trouble no one about his religion. 
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours. 
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. 
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. 
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. 
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. 
 When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. 
 Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. 
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. 
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. 
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. 
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

Friday, November 9, 2012

the fire

Lie here ‘till your world stops spinning round;
Lie near me ‘till the birds start singing out
Oh come show what it is to be warm
Be my shelter and I’ll be your storm.

Oh come; lie down ‘till the four winds cease to blow;

Lie here full of rivers that you know
And I’ll make your bones shake
The sweat we take off hearts still battered and worn
Be my shelter and I’ll be your storm

And we'll show the fire,

Yeah we'll show the fire how to burn
Yeah we'll show the fire,
We'll show the fire how to burn
We’ll show the fire,
We'll show the fire how to burn
Yeah we'll show the fire,
We'll show the fire how to burn

I don't know, I don't know where you came from

Honey God's been smiling;
I don't know, I don't know where the rain's gone
But it's been a while been a while now
I don't know, I don't know where you came from
Honey God's been, God’s been smiling;
I don't know, I don't know where the rain's gone
But it's been a while been a while, been a while
Been a while now
Yeah I don't know, I don't know where you came from
Honey God's been, God’s been smiling down
I don't know, I don't know where the rain's gone
But it's been a while been a while, been a while
It’s been a while, been a while now
-ben howard

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Yeah the video was shot by a friend of ours Mickey Smith who lives out on the west coast of Ireland.  It’s pretty special over there, with the Cliffs of Moher and the Atlantic as rugged as it gets!  The video was really an introduction to the music and pretty loose conceptually. We just told Mickey to shoot something beautiful and that he did."   -Ben Howard


“He lay on his back in his blankets and looked our where the quartermoon lay cocked over the heel of the mountains.  In the false blue dawn the Pleiades seemed to be rising up into the darkness above the world and dragging all the stars away, the great diamond of Orion and Cepella and the signature of Cassiopeia all rising up through the phosphorous dark like a sea-net.  He lay a long time listening to the others breathing in their sleep while he contemplated the wildness about him, the wildness within.”   
― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays  

Monday, November 5, 2012

a place only you can go

Indeed, if we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives.  It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love.  We've heard it in our favorite music, sensed it at the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean.  The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend.  Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure.

... he says that even though we sleep, our desire does not.  "It is who we are."  We are desire.  It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence.  Absolutely nothing of human greatness has ever been accomplished without it.  Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire.  Desire fuels our search for the life we prize.  Our desire, if we will listen to it, will save us from committing soul-suicide, the sacrifice of our hearts on the altar of "getting by".  The same old thing is not enough.  It never will be.


Just as our lungs are made to breathe oxygen, our souls are designed to flourish in an atmosphere rich in love and meaning, security and significance, intimacy and adventure.  But we don't live in that world anymore.  Far from it.  Though we try to resolve the dilemma by disowning our desire, it doesn't work.  It is the soul's equivalent of holding our breath.  Eventually, we find ourselves gasping for air.  As Allender said, "Can any human being live with a loss of soul- a loss of his or her very own existence? Of course not."

Faith looks back and draws courage; hope looks ahead and keeps desire alive.


-excerpts from  Desire  &  The Sacred Romance

Friday, November 2, 2012


this evening i realized: winter is coming.  the musing of fall, that portion of the late fall season has which turns to winter, has begun.  

i love the grey of a winter sky- love the way that greyness causes me to become more reflective i love the way that the pale, whitewashed blankness of this season becomes a canvas yielding a brilliant palette of its own.  the glorious blue-grey trunk of the beech tree, tightly holding its golden-orange leaves... the toasted-brown of the chesnut leaves against the mossy green hill... the rolling, murky charcoal clouds above a muted rose sunset.  i love the tree-skeletons, their beautiful silhouettes finally given a chance to be noticed.  

the chill is upon us- the one that drives you back to books long-forgotten in the glory of spring, summer and fall.  the wind that whistles and howls most fiercely is blowing.  tea is brewing, fires burning.  upon us are the cold, clear nights yielding twinkling vantages nearly to heaven.   the stillness of this quiet, settled-season is falling.


i intend to drink up & savor it all.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
- John Muir

 "In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware."
- John Muir

“As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”
- John Muir

"For I have learned To look on the nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense of sublime Of something far more deeply infused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the minds of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All living things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods And mountains, and of all that we behold From this green earth, of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear -- both what they half create, And what they perceive, will be pleased to recognize In nature and the Language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul Of all my moral being."
-William Wordsworth

"Once in a while you find a place on earth that becomes your very own. A place undefined. Waiting for you to bring your color, your self. A place untouched, unspoiled, undeveloped. Raw, honest, and haunting. No one, nothing is telling you how to feel or who to be. Let the mountains have you for a day."

Monday, October 15, 2012

joe purdy

Where are you going my one true love?
You understand me like no one does
So who's gonna save me now?
Yeah, who's gonna save me now?

He said...

Going away love can't you see
I can't take you
And you can't change me
So I'm going to save you now
Yes, I'm going to save you now

She said...

Well I got bruises on my feet he says
And I got cuts on my hands
So who's gonna help me stand?
Yeah, who's gonna help me stand?

Well I got wounds that won't heal she says
Just as deep and just as long
So I'm going to make you strong
Yes, I'm going to make you strong

Well I can't sleep at night he says
When those lights go out
Well who's gonna show me how?
Yeah, who's gonna hold me now?

I have dreams of you she said
I see you hiding your face
So I'm going to make you brave
Yes, I'm going to make you brave

I'm going to save you now
She says,
I'm going to save you now
Yes, I'm going to save you now
I'm going to save me now

Save me now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

cold is the night

a sunset

I love the evenings, passionless and fair, I love the evens,
Whether old manor-fronts their ray with golden fulgence leavens,
In numerous leafage bosomed close;
Whether the mist in reefs of fire extend its reaches sheer,
Or a hundred sunbeams splinter in an azure atmosphere
On cloudy archipelagos.

Oh, gaze ye on the firmament! a hundred clouds in motion,
Up-piled in the immense sublime beneath the winds' commotion,
Their unimagined shapes accord:
Under their waves at intervals flame a pale levin through,
As if some giant of the air amid the vapors drew
A sudden elemental sword.

The sun at bay with splendid thrusts still keeps the sullen fold;
And momently at distance sets, as a cupola of gold,
The thatched roof of a cot a-glance;
Or on the blurred horizon joins his battle with the haze;
Or pools the blooming fields about with inter-isolate blaze,
Great moveless meres of radiance.

- Victor Hugo, from "A Sunset" 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

John Muir

Friday, September 28, 2012

hours at sea

I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,

  The fragile secret of a flower,

Music, the making of a poem

  That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,

  Voices of people kindly and wise,

And the great look of love, long hidden,

  Found at last in meeting eyes.

I have loved much and been loved deeply --

  Oh when my spirit's fire burns low,

Leave me the darkness and the stillness,

  I shall be tired and glad to go. 
 - Sara Teasdale 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. 

- George Eliot


east coast

7/8-mile-long breakwater leading to the lighthouse in Rockland, Maine

Silas' first ocean dip

enjoyin' us some beach

hours of ocean-fetchin'. . .

hiking Cadillac Mt in Acadia NP

we loved Maine!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

@ Brew's after the rehearsal dinner-  the night before one of my little sisters got married!
 it was such a delight to be a part of the celebration & share in their joy this weekend.

Light for the Lost Boy

the best album of the year is now available:


i would venture to guess that, in some way, your life would not be the same after you experience this incredibly real, honest & gifted man's music.

Monday, July 9, 2012

pure magic.


Lisa & the Lads on tour in Europe. 

the April 2012 Rotterdam, Netherlands show in its entirety! 

listen the whole way through- you'll be so glad you did. 

as a memory. . .

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Red & Gold

Meet me tonight
where the sunlight falls to shadows
and the wind whispers words that were once unsaid
I'll be there
down by the river
chasing after laughter that you and I once shared

Take me back 20 miles west
where I first saw the moonlight shine upon your breast
and I'll be there down by the field
underneath the wild wood and that crow's crooked tree

There was blues in the shoes of our traveling songs
against the green of these sunny sunny hills
I couldn't shake all the smoke of these ghost town grays
and there was you with crimson running through your veins

Please see for me that the garden keeps on yielding
and the house that we built keeps you from the cold
and follow the trails
those trails of broken branches
and leave my ashes there for dancing beneath the red and gold

There was blues in the shoes of my traveling songs
against the green of these sunny sunny hills
I couldn't shake all the smoke of these ghost town grays
and there was you with crimson running through your veins

Shake that apple tree so I can lay you in the orchards
watch the sky and the clouds go past and drift on through the pine
talk about the days
how the good ones turned to hard ones
but damn damn damn that ticking hand of time

There was blues in the shoes of our traveling songs
against the green of these sunny sunny hills
I couldn't shake all the smoke of these ghost town grays
and there was you with crimson running through your veins

and there was you with crimson running through your veins

and there was you with crimson running through your veins.

Monday, June 18, 2012

the unknown

Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark.  That's where the most important things come from, where you came from, and where you will go. . . The things we want are transformative, and we don't know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation.   Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration -- how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of self into unknown territory.  How do you calculate upon the unforeseen?  It seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforeseen, of keeping balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control.  To calculate on the unforeseen is perhaps exactly the paradoxical operation that life requires of us.

That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost.

- Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Death is promised to the bee
Who's sting protects the colony.
Was its life worth nothing more
Than honey for the queen?

Life is a branch and it is a dove,

Handcrafted by confusing love.
Sign language is our reply,
When church bells make no sound.

In hollow towers and empty hives,

We craved sweetness with a fear of heights.
Was it all just a grain of sand
In an hourglass?

The smartest thing I've ever learned

Is that I don't have all the answers,
Just a little light to call my own.

Though it pales in comparison

To the overarching shadows,
A speck of light can reignite the sun
And swallow darkness whole.

Death is a cold, blindfolded kiss.

It is the finger pressed upon our lips.
It puts an unwanted emphasis
On how we should have lived.

Life is a gorgeous, broken gift.

Six billion pieces waiting to be fixed.
Love letters that were never signed,
Sent to where we live.

But the sweetest thing I've ever heard

Is that I don't have to have the answers,
Just a little light to call my own.

Though it pales in comparison

To the overarching shadows,
A speck of light can reignite the sun
And swallow darkness whole.

Monday, January 9, 2012