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She’s almost 20 now, but the sentiments still hold true.

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I love having a child. Granted, she is not a child anymore – she is almost 17. Wow.

I guess I need to stop saying that I’m trying to lose the baby weight.

Here are some of the wonderful things about being a mother:

1. Getting to know the amazing person who is my daughter. I’m so glad her little soul chose me.
2. The idea that I made this person out of a seed is remarkable. She’s the best thing I ever made. Even better than my eggplant parmesan.
3. She has taught me more about what’s important in this world than almost anyone I have ever met.
4. Through her, I have remembered what it is like to be a child.

There are lots more things I could say, but it’s that last one that I want to focus on. When I was on a walk yesterday, I…

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Or it will be soon. Looking forward to going home.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty.” — James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Dragonflies
Katie Ledecky
Friendly chalkboards by front doors
Hot air balloons this morning
Perfectly dried roses

I sometimes think that all works of art are born somehow of fire. Words burn in a writer’s brain, unforgiving until they can spill upon page. Motion burns from the core of a dancer’s muscles. Paintings are licks of flame risen from a spirit through a brush to a canvas. Even in photography, there is a burning peaceful need to capture what is seen by one set of eyes into something that can be seen by others, a sharing of the embers of the photographer’s vision. The center of the earth that we walk on each day is made of fire, and it passes through layers of rock and soil and the skin of the soles of our feet to the center of the souls of our being, and must be expressed somehow.

In this sculpture studio, we found the purest expression of the creative fire, molten iron casually poured by men protected from its destructive power, men looking like creatures from the center of the earth themselves, men who controlled the flow of creativity, channeling it into molds and frames, containing it, shaping it, melding with it, as it fashioned itself through the sculptors hands into art, cold to the touch but still retaining that fire within. As we all do.

It reminded me that art can be dirty and primal and beautiful, full of heat and passion and practicality all at the same time, blending hotly and gently to create an artist’s ever-imperfect vision, for imperfection is the nature of art as viewed by the artist, and what makes them strive to improve always, trying to touch that fiery core with their bare hands, capture it, rejoice in it, and share it.

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Shidoni, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I used to know a sculptor… He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love… Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here.” She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. “Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don’t know who they are anymore. I believe I will feel them here.” — Erica Bauermeister

Daily gratitudes:
Brief flashes of clarity
Some time with Kelsea
Realizing creative necessities
Water
Beach time soon come

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell, especially when depression shadows you, constantly grabbing for your hand to hold you back. Even when I know the things I need to do to come out from a bout, I sabotage myself by not doing them. Sigh.

IMG_8419Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Rabbits
Clean dishes
An empty drawer
Birds flying in formation
The Olympics

Save

I don’t know if this means it’s a sale on Big Jesuses or if it’s a big sale that encompasses all Jesuses, but either way the sign struck my fancy. I mean, you can’t buy Jesus. He’s way too ethical for that. I don’t actually recall even seeing any Jesuses at this interesting and chock-full shop that popped up on the other edge of Cerrillos Road from Jackalope, which it is trying to resemble. It was worth a stop on the way out of town.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” — Anne Lamott

Daily gratitudes:
The light smell of rain
A peek-a-boo sunset
Shared experiences
Good books
Clean sheets

The rooftop bar at La Fonda Hotel is scorching in the summer at cocktail time, so they have been most considerate in putting up canopies that shield the sun while unveiling the sky. We have had enough hot in our western world in the month of July, and while I would never expect to hear myself say it, I am looking forward to cooler weather. If I must be hot, then let me be by a beach. Soon.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.” — John Updike

Daily gratitudes:
The look in MKL’s eyes and reassurance of his presence
Kelsea and early adult heartache
My bracelet from Tam
Random exercise
A suspected new comrade

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