Here are some photos from a recent job for edible magazine about what patients in hospice care eat towards the end of life. It was super eye opening for me to think about...that idea of things coming around full circle and the digestive system becoming as fragile as that of a baby vs. an adults idea of what brings comfort and solace.
I went up to Vermont this weekend and on the way home I decided to buck the system and not eat at McDonald's. I had in my head that a family owned pizza restaurant would be just the thing. We ended up at this place where: the food was mediocre, the place was filthy and the service was...pretty good! Three generations of the family that owned it were present plus the awesome bonus of this picture wall. The food was maybe a little bit better than fast food but that really wasn't the point anymore. I actually felt like I had been somewhere.
Here are some pictures from Aaron and Corvette's wedding. This wedding was extreme in its depth of joy and sense of celebration. I was speechless afterwards. I guess I still kind of am, so I'll let the pictures tell the story:
One of the highlights of my year has been watching my cousin and his partner deepen their commitment to each other in work (they are both farmers and started farming together) and life (marriage, baby, the works!). They are both extraordinary people who are taking a very personal approach to building their lives and I am proud and honored to be a part of it.
They had a small wedding ceremony this summer and I am not sure what I was expecting but I was blown away by the power of it. The day started in the barn with regular chores and cow milking and then on to the ceremony at a waterfall not far from where we live. My husband had written the ceremony and it was, for me, an unforgettable tribute to the idea of union. Here's a small excerpt:
What makes a place holy? Is holy in the place, or is it brought to the place? I think it must be a bit of both.
Look around us: water, rock, plant and animal.
Now close your eyes.
Now picture yourself in the middle of a wal-mart parking lot in Oxnard, California. Now, I'm not here to diminish Oxnard, and of course, this is just an illustration, but sometimes by taking away, you see more clearly those things which are meaningful. We have all heard about places that indigenous people, all over the world, designate as holy, why? These are people who didn't have the benefit of organized religion, but they also didn't have the bias of organized religion. What they do have is the patience, the quiet, the open eyes and open heart necessary to see holy qualities; qualities that emerge from the landscape.
...We have talked about the place and decided that it is indeed holy. Now I would like to talk about family. How about this for a segue: think of the union of Sam and Tim like the colonies of New England who 235 years ago declared that they were a whole and independent entity, and severed ties with England. Today, this ceremony is a declaration of independence, a statement of a new, fully formed and unique family, no longer governed by parents. I know it's a stretch, but think about how traditionally the father walks his bride to the alter and hands her over. It's really a quiet revolution.
But our preference is to emphasize the growth of the family through marriage; as the pooling water droplets and the swelling tributaries. This is a happy occasion for the family because the family grows. Think of what Tim's dad said about all the smiling loved ones, looking down at the growing ranks.
Very often we think of the family as tree with it's many branches, forever growing upward and outward in fractal fashion. And as the branches grow outward, the trunk grows stronger. The roots stretch ever deeper. This is a great metaphor for family.
I also like to think of family as a fabric. We are individual strands, but made up of the fibers of our forbears. Their strength flows into us and through us in ways that we sometimes can't even recognize, and that sometimes lie dormant, but emerge when they are called upon by challenge. We bring our strands together through marriage and through the bearing of children. But remember that these strands, require a stitch to bond them together. You can have many strands, does that make fabric? What makes the weave? What is at the core of this strength. The fabric is one of these kinds of things that is greater than the sum of it's parts. It is the joining and the bond between the strands that makes the fabric strong. And beautiful, too. Think of all the patterns that the colors of the individual strands bring to a piece. The color of individual strands and the way that they are woven, again, makes art, makes something that transcends the elements of which it is composed.
And here's a few pix from the day:
Five years ago today my youngest son was born. In the hospital, I was given the above pictured bread to eat. Something about the presentation struck me as wholly unappetizing so I passed, but for some reason I brought it home with me. I guess I like to watch it age in comparison with my beautiful boy. Happy birthday August!
I recently went on my first adventure to Chuck E. Cheese's. I had been able to avoid it for a long time, somehow always drawing the long straw, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Most of the credit for my good time goes to this picture which I found stuffed behind the photo booth there. Given the lack of irony in this boy's eyes, I assume it was just bad timing that the camera caught him with his finger in his nose. For me, it just humanized the whole place and I couldn't remember why I had resisted for so long.