Valentine’s Day : Lovelinks

The thing I love about stories is how long I carry them with me after I first hear it. I come from a family of story tellers. Each memory is told and retold until it becomes part of the fabric of our very lives. Stories, I think, help us cope with life on many levels. It’s why we love books, film, television, art – they reflect life at it’s most intense, it’s most poignant. The truth behind each one is an underpinning that holds our lives together, weaves them into something bigger than just ourselves.
And isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? Stories remind us that truth is real, love is real, humanity is good. A good love story will keep your heart afloat when life overwhelms you.
So here is a list of lovelinks to inspire you and remind you : Hallmark didn’t invent love, but they did give us one more excuse to celebrate it.
Leigh’s blog series : This is How We Met.
Wondering what to say to a broken heart today? Take these sweet suggestions.
Girls : Swoon over the return of the nice guy.

Never waste a rubbish relationship.

“Because what is love? It’s friendship — deep, long-lasting, intimate connection with someone who knows you better than anyone.” The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Okay, let’s be honest : Valentine’s Day does have some strange origins that have nothing to do with candy hearts or greeting cards.
“Love poetry is the only type of poetry that can be put into practical use” — which is to say, it supposedly results in ‘spirit becoming flesh; words becoming deeds; the two of you hopping into bed.'” – Celebrate the practicality of poetry and put it to good use with a few of these :
“My love has two lives, in order to love you…” Just found this beautiful love poem from Pablo Neruda, and the sentiment of it sort of reminds me of this song that I can’t stop listening to.
A funnier kind of love poem : “You had me at no duh.”
And remember this sweet love letter? Write someone a love note today.
And in case you missed these : my husbanda Zeppelin shirt, and a good date idea.
Xoxo, B.

Inspired By.

I’ve wanted to get my hands on it for a long time, and now I am finally and blissfully engrossed in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. It is as good as everyone has insisted, and it’s just what I need right now. I love the imagery in this,

“I wish I had a secret I could let you in on, some formula my father passed on to me in a whisper just before he died, some code word that has enabled me to sit at my desk and land flights of creative inspiration like an air-traffic controller. But I don’t.”

Yes. Exactly.
And today my thoughts are flighty and somewhat incomprehensible and so I’m thankful that this weekend is here, and that I can fly around with them, exploring new ideas, and hopefully capture them on a page somehow.
These are the words and ideas that inspired me this week, the ones that are still floating around in my head, among other things. I hope you find them as delightful as I have.
“We lost the bet and won everything.” A beautiful post on marriage.
Are you a midnight hustler? Ryan Gosling has something to tell you.
Bones and bodies : the mystery of our physical selves.
[Photo : my peace lily. The one living thing in my apartment besides me and husband. I find it fascinating. Also, do you follow me on Instagram? Let’s be photo friends.]

Inspired By.

I feel compelled to say something.
I hope that my posts this week didn’t mislead you.
Let me explain.
I lost my mom less than three weeks ago, and yes, I feel totally different than I anticipated.
But.
I hope that my motivation and my words and my thoughts didn’t lead you to believe anything other than that this grief is real. I’ll be honest with you, I’m getting the “you’re doing so great!” line a lot. Maybe that’s my fault. I’ve been giving the blanket, generic, “I’m doing fine” line, too. And I appreciate the support and encouragement. Really, I do.
Yes, I have newfound motivation for my morning routine when I expected to be unable to get out of bed. Yes, I am writing now more than ever when I expected my words to run dry. Yes, I am focused at work when I expected to be incapable of functioning. Yes, I am making plans and goals for the new year when I expected to be stagnant indefinitely.
But this difference that I feel in my everyday, in my faith, in my self, is downright befuddling. Confusing. Strange. Surreal. It is not a “great” or a “fine” or a word that denotes anything close to easy.
I’ve encountered something, and it has stolen my breath away. I sense the vastness of life, and it feels so much larger and deeper than before. And it is a terrifying magnificence that evokes wonder and awe and worship and shock and fear. Maybe something like the astronauts felt the first time they looked back to earth from the moon. Or how a mother feels at the peel of an infant cry in childbirth. Or how a diver feels when he happens upon the Lions Mane Jellyfish. It is all surreptitiously heartbreaking and beautiful. I feel grief, and also peace.
And I don’t get it.
But I do get it.
But I don’t.
And so really, all I want to tell you, is that should you survive loss, like most of us have to do at some point or other, don’t expect anything. Prepare yourself for the reality of life and death, but try to let nature run it’s course, not just in the person you are losing, but in you. Let life overwhelm you and change you. I hope that you get that part of it, at least.
Meantime, here is some good reading for the weekend.
What makes me feel beautiful : wine and words.
“The real question at the heart of Harry Potter is, Can love win? And it’s answered in Snape, the second cruelest person in the world, next to Voldemort, who is somehow transformed by love.” – Snape is my type of hero.
“Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you.” Sound advice, no? House of Reps, are you reading this?
Oh, and this photo.

Inspired By.

It’s late and I’m exhausted. I am soul tired and bone tired and trying hard to grasp onto the good things and face reality, such as it is. Mom sleeps next to me, here in our own quiet room of a fifth floor oncology wing. For a few hours this evening she was coherent, ate a small bowl of soup and her headache was gone, her fever was down, her levels looked good. A glimmer of hope.

I don’t know what to think about anything. I don’t have a lot of words to say. And for the first time in a month, I don’t have a paintbrush in my hand.

I have memories, good ones. I have prayers. I have a whole host of angels that call, text, tweet, message, and show up live and in person to love on us and ease the pain. And I have these little links of happiness that have made hard days a little brighter. I hope you enjoy them as I have. If you found a good link this week, do share.

Clouds.

Light.

Warmth.

Lovers see like artists do.

Unearth your story.

And a random comfy chair I’d love to curl up in right about now.

Inspired By.

I’m headed home in the morning to spend the weekend with my family for a belated birthday celebration. As I go I am distinctly aware of the blessing that this moment is. Holidays and birthdays and anniversaries tend to flag a reminder: you’re in a different place than you thought you would be. That can be good, and it can be bad. A few months ago I was afraid of my birthday. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be celebratory, because at that point my mom was in the hospital, and we weren’t sure if and when she would leave. But this birthday has turned out differently, beyond expectations. She’s home, and the distinct cheer in her voice leaves me speechless, deeply grateful beyond words.
It’s this gratitude for life, this gratitude for grace that is my motivation and inspiration for the project I’m working on, soon to be revealed. And so I ask you, as I often do when we reach the end of another week, what is it you’re grateful for? What inspires and motivates you? What makes you laugh? Cry? Create? Demonstrate your gratitude.
Next week I want to go in depth with you about the experience of traveling abroad and how it changed the way I approach life, my writing, my dreams and my goals. If you have had a similar experience, I’d love to read about it. Please email me at shewritesandrights[at]gmail[dot]com to share a guest post next week about traveling as it relates to personal, creative and spiritual growth.
Until then, here are a few lovelinks from around the interwebs this week…
Happiness or Holiness? What should really determine a good relationship.
“The times I argued I was an adult, I was a child. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the fervor nor the interest to make my point.” No Children in New York.
I love Missy Durant’s imagery here about holding the door closed. And also this quote, “…That’s because I wrote a book. Which was a good idea, until I realized people would read it. “ Um, yeah.