On our way home from a family wedding this weekend [yay Whitney and Jon!] my husband and I took a detour and stopped in St. Joseph, Michigan. We spent our honeymoon there two years ago and wanted to revisit Silver Beach, which holds a lot of happy memories for us. Sunday was gorgeous : 78 degrees and sunny. The clouds rolled in as the sun was setting, giving us a spectacular lake view that we couldn’t help but capture with some snapshots. The first I took with my iPhone, the rest were taken by Matt with his Nikon D80.
When I was young I didn’t appreciate the natural beauty of Michigan. Then again, most of what I new of the state was southwest Michigan, which really isn’t that spectacular away from the lake. Now though, I love that on our way home to Chicago we can stop and drink in a late summer evening, complete with Silver Beach Pizza and a GIANT waffle cone of Kilwin’s pistachio ice cream :
“You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.”
BY LI-YOUNG LEE
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
I asked to know real Grace.
It is my namesake
and I have a feeling I need it.
I break things.
So I ask,
God, what can this mean?
Is it a name,
or a thing that lives and breathes?
Does it pardon me, or teach me that I’ve been wrong?
On Sunday mornings,
I believe that there is more to it than a church pew.
On other days, I am caught.
Between hospital beds
and the place where harsh words are said,
in that precarious, miraculous balance
I then feel it sustaining me.
I tear myself away from reading this book to bring you a few inspirational posts from around the interwebs. I’ve been on vacation [glorious vacation!] visiting family in Michigan, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and catching up on rest, relaxation and writing. I’ve worked up some new ideas for the blog, and I implemented a new poetry section here this week.
The following posts, like this time away, have been a breath of fresh air to me this week.
Insecurity kills. “You are worth far more then what you do, so don’t flood the internet with you rantings of what you wish you were.”
What to do when your blog growth plateaus. Guest blogger Adam McLane shares some great tips on keeping up the pace when you begin to feel stagnant. My favorite tip: Read a book.
Sometimes I need this reminder: travel young. It’s important. I know this, because I’ve done it. But sometimes in my nostalgia for good memories, I forget that my hunger to see new places isn’t a misguided need for escape, but rather a yearning for new opportunities to grow. Travel is a necessary discipline.
The best kind of friendship is encouraging, loving and brutally honest. I’m thankful for the friends in my life who share this with me, because like Jon Acuff shared this week, it’s the kind that will help you get better.
Writing a blog: is it about truth, or traffic? It’s easy to get the two confused.
And from Enuma Okoro: For the love of God, Write.
And finally, I’m seeing this movie tonight for the second time in a week… Yes, it’s that good.
Have a good weekend, friends.