Category: creating

six months after my last post

six months after my last post

| May 8, 2017 | 4 Replies

Blogging joined the ranks of other purposeful pleasures: swimming, practicing guitar, cross-stitching, braiding my hair. I stopped doing it for long enough that although I knew I’d start again, it no longer felt like something I ought to be doing. Who hasn’t added room after room to the house of self? Mine has looked like […]

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adventures in uselessness 

adventures in uselessness 

| September 18, 2016 | 7 Replies

Today I listen to Yo-Yo Ma play Bach’s cello suites and I dance around the kitchen. I have lived most of my hours aiming to be useful. The weight of that sometimes grows unmanageable. I am a dancer, but not a Dancer (if you know what I mean), so my body still remembers how to […]

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Parking lot 

Parking lot 

| August 19, 2016 | 2 Replies

Your life is a poem, Naomi Shihab Nye says in the podcast. You have known this to be true, even if lately the stanzas of your life look like unmetered scratches on a page. So write something, even if it is sad. Admit that even the pollen on the dashboard looks mournful to you: evidence […]

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life is a spell so exquisite, everything conspires to break it.

life is a spell so exquisite, everything conspires to break it.

| January 18, 2016 | 5 Replies

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., here is a letter I wrote to myself in the fall.  _________ 22 October 2015 dear Hannah, Please remember the day you bought this card. It was July, and you were picking up gifts for Greg & Jamaica to thank them for Company. The colors of life had looked […]

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the marvelous mundane – part two

the marvelous mundane – part two

| December 12, 2015 | Reply

First, a fun fact. It’s unlikely that anyone remembers this, but the last time I wrote a blog with “part one” in the title, I never wrote a part two. (Don’t let it keep you up at night: I feel confident that “restoration – part two” will want to be written someday.) Now, a moment of self-congratulation. Woo-hoo! This time […]

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the marvelous mundane – part one

the marvelous mundane – part one

| December 9, 2015 | 2 Replies

Every day the counters are dirtied. Every night the bed is unmade. In dark seasons I can’t keep up, and I become Sisyphus, pushing the boulder up the hill only to watch it roll down again. No matter the season, I take comfort in doing the laundry. The hum of the washer; the warmth of […]

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braiding my mother’s hair

braiding my mother’s hair

| November 4, 2015 | 4 Replies

Late on a Saturday morning I take my mother’s hair between my fingers and begin to braid. Mom doesn’t like it when hair falls into her eyes, and rotator cuff surgery has nixed her usual styling strategies. This turns out to be the number one thing I do to help when I visit: hair styling. Why do […]

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new home

new home

| September 13, 2015 | 10 Replies

Moving into David’s parents’ house was a no-brainer. We’d save on rent, have an easy commute to River Valley (where we’re both happily teaching now), and do Mark and Cheryl the favor of care-taking the homestead while they’re in Dallas. Okay, confession time: I’ve never wanted to live in a big house. I love rambling old New England farmhouses, but […]

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a walk

a walk

| November 25, 2014 | 4 Replies

As I walked from the bike shop to the Atomic Café, it occurred to me: I am carrying too much. I’d filled my backpack with enough work for four hours, but I only had 45 minutes till my guitar lesson. And a guitar to carry, of course. At the café I sipped my cup of tea. […]

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restoration: part one

restoration: part one

| August 16, 2014 | 3 Replies

In May of 2013, I unwittingly lost a glove from my bike basket on my ride to yoga class. When I discovered my loss, I stood in the yoga studio holding the lonely leftie, thinking how good and serviceable those gloves had been over many years. One glove was little use without the other. On my […]

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another (brief) lesson in surrender

another (brief) lesson in surrender

| May 29, 2014 | 2 Replies

I have an hour till David comes home with our niece and nephew. An hour to clean up from lunch and water the plants and type the emails and make the phone call and maybe – just maybe – write the overdue blog entry. I love the way Ally and Jack take over our lives when we’re together. […]

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the intersecting space

the intersecting space

| May 12, 2014 | 4 Replies

When Cora asked me to help with Girls Group, I almost said no. For one thing, I earn money by teaching after-school yoga classes and voice lessons. Cora and her cohorts graciously offered to schedule the high school girls’ art group for my one free afternoon of the week, but I worried about missing an […]

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after the burning

after the burning

| May 6, 2014 | Reply

Here’s the guest post I wrote for my friend Catherine’s blog: some of the gifts of this challenging year in Wichita. http://catherineannehawkins.com/hannahs-in-between-guest-post/ Special thanks to James Nedresky for permission to use this photograph. Find many other breathtaking images of the prairies at his websites: http://www.jnedreskyprairie.com http://blog.jamesnedresky.com/?p=138

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in the game

in the game

| February 18, 2014 | Reply

We play dozens of games when we get together with Joy and the kids. We play Mario in our jammies; we pull out cribbage once Ally and Jack go to bed. If we’re lucky enough to have extra grown-ups on hand we play banana rummy and up & down the river. Splat is one of […]

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stay in tune (and other love advice from children)

stay in tune (and other love advice from children)

| February 14, 2014 | 4 Replies

Stuart the duck perched atop the valentine David made. I walked into the kitchen this morning to find all three of them (Stuart, the valentine, and David) grinning brightly at me. David and I like to make each other cards. Call it creative or call it frugal; it’s our tradition. Weeks ago we agreed to […]

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life, death, and faulty brake calipers

life, death, and faulty brake calipers

| December 11, 2013 | 5 Replies

The roads were icy Sunday morning. The car fishtailed a few times on the drive to church, so I developed a gentle rhythm. First gear for turns, early braking for red lights. But on the way home the brakes failed. I could feel it well before the intersection. I pressed my foot down harder. I […]

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tree roots and laundry

tree roots and laundry

| November 13, 2013 | 1 Reply

My friend Ralph Eckhardt sent this picture the other day. He wrote, “I had just been thinking about your latest Breathe Deep and praying for you when I saw it, and it was a picture to me of how complicated life is that produces the wonder of who we are.” My mind keeps wandering back to […]

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Wichitastic

Wichitastic

| November 6, 2013 | 9 Replies

It’s a rainy morning in Wichita. Most of the colored leaves in the courtyard below our apartment still cling to their branches. The flags whip whirling music against the flagpoles. The cat sleeps, the light is soft, and a new month has begun. For several years I spent the month of November writing daily thank […]

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groundlessness and tea

groundlessness and tea

| October 31, 2013 | 5 Replies

Waking up in the morning feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever done; maybe the hardest thing anybody has ever done. I might always feel this way in autumn, as darkness presses in from both sides. Our mornings spill over with common kindnesses. My husband lets me sleep twenty minutes more while he takes a […]

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Hafiz, hula, and surrender

Hafiz, hula, and surrender

| September 18, 2013 | 14 Replies

So I’ve been teaching this yoga class. My beloved friend Jennie bequeathed it to me shortly after I met her, which was shortly after we moved to Wichita. (I showed up at her yoga studio, two hours later she came over for tea, I gave her granola, we went for a swim in the pool, […]

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just so

just so

| September 13, 2013 | 4 Replies

Ben, Joy, Ally and Jack will be here in less than three hours, but I’m sitting down in my untidy bedroom to write a blog entry. Uncompleted tasks sun themselves on the desk. In the living room the fan hums loudly, drying the last of the laundry. I’ve barely begun the paper crane mobile. How […]

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the Sun and the shower

the Sun and the shower

| June 10, 2013 | 5 Replies

I woke early Sunday morning, wearied by the ludicrous night visions only a bride-to-be must endure. A shower rinsed off the outermost layer of fretfulness. Mom was still sleeping, so I took myself to the beach, aching for the cleansing only salt water can afford. A year ago I was at Rowe Conference Center, soaking […]

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all the colors

all the colors

| May 24, 2013 | 12 Replies

Weddings mean flowers, right? I’m sure most summer brides have already ordered their bouquets, but that item is still languishing on my to-do list. My focus for the moment is on a different variety of flower. Being a glutton for connection, I’m inviting a host of women I love to contribute a flower to my wedding […]

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70 miles per hour

70 miles per hour

| May 12, 2013 | 4 Replies

Driving home from the Grub Street conference last Sunday, I worked my camera with my right hand and the steering wheel with my left. The Cinco de Mayo sun made its languid descent over southbound traffic, casting trees and shrubbery in unprejudiced glow. The hula girl on the dashboard chuckled at me. Who tries to […]

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short trip to the compost bucket

short trip to the compost bucket

| March 21, 2013 | 4 Replies

After the show, bouquets took over the apartment, preening above my life’s neglected minutia. Delphinium trumpeted above the half-written birthday cards and half-read letters; gerbera daisies flounced atop books and script pages and the city census. I would love to love fancy floral arrangements. Indeed, I welcome them into my home with the cordiality I’d […]

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like washing the dishes while singing your heart out

like washing the dishes while singing your heart out

| March 9, 2013 | 5 Replies

As a kid I used to sing my heart out while I washed the dinner dishes. I’d gaze at my ponytailed reflection in the window above the sink as a soundtrack blared from the tape deck on the counter. I can chart my childhood by the shows I was in. At age eight it was […]

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new and not-so-new

new and not-so-new

| December 31, 2012 | 1 Reply

On the train home to Boston yesterday I gazed out the window at the new fallen snow. Celebrating my birthday with my family in Philadelphia had gladdened and wearied me in equal measure. Holiday hubbub provides little space for the solitude that keeps me sane, so I was counting on Amtrak for restoration. I turned my […]

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in pain’s classroom

in pain’s classroom

| December 8, 2012 | 8 Replies

The month of November was shrouded in misery. Did teaching feel impossible because I was sick all month or was I sick all month because teaching felt impossible? There were three consecutive colds (well, it might have been one long cold with two brief intermissions). My hips were sliding out of place every couple weeks. […]

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source

source

| September 19, 2012 | 2 Replies

In honor of the new school year, I offer an essay I wrote last spring at a writing retreat offered by The Sun. Thanks to the great Alison Luterman for the prompt; thanks to Elin’s mom Deb for the picture; thanks most of all to Elin for the inspiration. Six-year-old Elin has a new song to […]

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return of the moofie

return of the moofie

| September 3, 2012 | 2 Replies

Few people would set out to make moofies. I blundered into my first batch two weeks ago when I found myself with a bowl of cookie dough and no cookie sheet. (I’d tossed my ancient specimen weeks before and forgotten to replace it. It may be unnecessary to note that I don’t do a lot […]

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