Friday, October 18, 2013

creative souls, a little book of hope and martha


From Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton


I am one of those people who underlines, marks and folds pages in a book...even hardcover books. This is one of those things people feel strongly about, you either do or you don't. I can't help myself, it's personal. I see it as bringing the written word to the next level...if it means something to me, I don't want to forget it. To that end, I recently created a 'little book of hope'. It is a small journal filled with words that sparked my curiosity...ones that give me hope.

What has surprised me in this little quest of mine is just how insightful and revealing it is. I have had my
nose in books all week...following a trail of words. With books on one side of my desk and my Kindle
on the other, I have been bouncing in my seat with excitement. I liken it to a type of mindful therapy.

Many of you are soulmates when it comes to projects like this. We are a merry little band of creative souls. We write, we read, we photograph, we draw, we paint, we ponder life and we express it in our own way. We appreciate each other's talents and pursuits because 'we get it'. Nothing is too crazy...we just embrace life the best way we can.

If this concept is new to you...I am hoping you will create your own 'little book of hope'. Call it what you like. Grab a journal or pad of paper and start searching. You will know where to go. My guess is the words will be right in front of you.. in a book, in a card, in a letter, in that pile of notes that you tucked away for a rainy day. Mix it up...use your words and anothers. Take yourself for a long walk, meditate, crank up the music..do your thing and write. It's your story..your little book of hope...it's your secret and it's fun!

I will let you in on one of my little secrets....one that I discovered one summer's morning while reading at Tahilla Farm. I breathed in every word...

       Finally at the end of that long, rainy, glorious day, I turned out the lights and fell into bed. At first there was too great a buzz of things still to be done in my head, but at last I could listen, first to the silence, and then, through it, to the infinite number of sounds an old house contains in the night. There were small creaks, a door opening in the draught, then the scurry of a field mouse somewhere in the kitchen, and something less tangible, as if things themselves breathed very softly, as if the old furniture were settling down. All these sounds together made the house feel like a ship. I did not know where the ship would take me, but I knew it was snug and beautiful, and I know that it's passenger was both inwards and outwards bound.

Written by May Sarton in Plant Dreaming Deep



Outward bound to Tahilla Farm and Martha....



Some of you may recall 'Martha'
a mighty old girl embracing Tahilla Farm. 
If this tree could talk, she could tell a tale or two 
as she goes back some 150 years.  




There has been a great debate around Martha this past year. 
Should she stay or should she go?  She stands perilously close to the house
and if a storm gets the better of her..well, you can imagine the rest. 

I undertook a campaign to get as many opinions as possible, 
thinking the decision would be clear. In hindsight, this was not a wise
idea for it confused me even more.



Mr. H and I discussed it at length and decided to give Martha more time. 
We are taking another leap of faith that with careful pruning, cabling and a good feed 
that she will stand tall and proud for many years to come. Work starts in two weeks. 



Once our tree expert gets to the top of the tree he will have a better prognosis.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that the sun will shine on Martha for 
many years to come. All I can say to this old girl of a tree is...
All Hail Martha..she has done well to stand this long.
:)

Plant Dreaming Deep


If you would like to know more about May Sarton's work, you can read here.
You will find the book in the Brown Paper Book Club list here.
With special thanks to Tara Dillard for suggesting this book to me!
Creative souls are the best!



33 comments:

  1. I do exactly the same Jeanne...my books are full of turned pages, pencil marks and little notes...it's always interesting when you read a book again to see the things that were important to you at that time, some still are, others you have grown from...for the last 10-years I have written in small leather journals...I call them my 'quote books' they give me great comfort.
    And that tree...Martha...what a BEAUTY!

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    1. So glad you do the same Catherine..and I agree..she is a beauty! xx

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  2. I wish the very best for Martha, Jeanne... may she stay with you for a long time to come... And how that passage at the end resonated with me too... xv

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    1. So glad Vicki! I think you would enjoy the book... xx

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  3. Good morning, Jeanne...May Sarton's words sound like you could have written them about Tahilla...lovely.

    And, I do hope the lovely Martha will stand proud over Tahilla for many years to come. Good tree care helps a lot - during Hurricane Sandy there were hundreds of trees down all around us and we didn't lose one because we had everything cabled and pruned. As much as I moaned about the expense, I was thankful when we didn't have any damage!

    Have a lovely day! xoxo

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    1. I can sympathize with the moaning Sandy..but agree, it is the right thing to do. :) xx

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  4. If Martha does 'go' have a mobile saw mill come and get her into planks for harvest tables.

    She will continue for centuries !!

    Yes, I know that Sarton paragraph well. Thank YOU for sharing our May.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

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    1. Your very welcome Tara...and I love the idea of harvest tables. I hope it will not come to it in my time, but if it does..I think a family of harvest tables would be lovely. Thanks for the idea and the book suggestion! xx

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  5. Good morning Jeannie.....I'm glad you gave Martha "a little more time". As a person who "talks" to trees I know she is saying thank-you. (O: I'm off on an airplane making yet "another book of hope."

    xo

    Jo

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    1. Have a wonderful time Jo..I hope you get a chance to talk to a few trees along the way... ;) xx

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  6. Jeanne, I am exactly like you about books. I fold down the pages, copy sentences, highlight. More often than not I will be reading a book, could be anything or kinds and there will be something that stops me in my tracks, almost as if I am receiving a "message."

    When people give me book I love to see what captured their attention or what was written in the margins.

    In fact, I meant to write and tell you this. The very day that you mentioned your Bowerbird club I was reading a book and the bird was mentioned as well as some interesting text about its likeness to people. I took a photo of the passage with my phone!

    As for Martha, may she stand tall to offer shade and comfort to you, your children and your grandchildren and beyond.

    Take cake, xo Elizabeth

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    1. I love it when little things like that happen Elizabeth...long live the bowerbird! xx

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  7. live on Martha(you are so kind to her)+ i read the book + write the pg. number + unline the phase in the back of the book for quick reference + adore books in all shapes. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  8. JEANNE, thank you for introducing me to this writer. And yes, I write and underline and write down the beautiful
    things I read in books-(and print out quotes from Blogs as well). So many people say exactly the thing I wish I could say-like you for one. And-Yes, I think you have taken the right steps with Martha. Give her a chance. (-:

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    1. Thank you Leslie! I find that it is also a great way to get the ideas flowing for a blog post. I imagine you have lots to say...I hope you create that first blog post one day! ;)

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  9. I mark up books too!They are mine and I feel like you taking it to the next level!
    As for Martha bless her she willNot disappoint you I can feel it!
    You are GOOD people one can definitely tell through your words!

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    1. You are a sweetheart Contessa...I can feel it! ;) xx

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  10. Jeanne, like you I am constantly writing and underlining in my books. I cannot, however fold the pages. Isn't that rather odd? I have these fabulous little markers to pin on pages of interest. I have notebooks full of favorite quotations. You are a woman after my own heart.

    I do hope Martha gets a good prognosis. Enjoy your day !

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    1. Sounds like you have a creative journal in the making Bonnie...I would love to see your scribbles. If you write about it on your blog, please be sure to let me know! xx

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  11. "I am one of those people who underlines" and write on the empty white pages in front and after the book text.
    You will decide what's best regarding "Martha."

    from Mary Sarton's Journal of Solitude: "The delights of the poet as I jotted them down turned out to be light, solitude, the natural world, love, time, creation itself."
    -Mary Sarton, Journal of Solitude

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    1. Sounds like something you would write Edgar..
      light, solitude, nature, love, time, creation...
      I think you have a poem in that!

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  12. Oh my goodness, I was holding my breath until the verdict came for Martha. Thank you both for giving her more time...
    And oddly, I don't write in my books! They don't feel "mine" enough to do so...

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  13. Many feel the same way Heather...it's a curious thought... xx

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  14. I'm also an "underliner " and" marker.." ..talent, Jeanne you got it.....hope your little secret story made you feel sleepy and dream...and a long life for Martha...take care of her.
    Your wonderful postings make me always thoughtful and I discuss some themes with my closest friend. Nice to see your picture in "replies" now.

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    1. That is so nice to hear Rena...thank you! The photo is my attempt to take a 'selfie'. One of these days I will get it right! Keeping it real... ;) xx

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  15. I once made a little book of hope...a collection of my favorite quotes. Then, one day, it disappeared...perhaps in a move from house to house?

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  16. I always love the way you express yourself - so simply and so eloquently. You are always an inspiration. And I am so glad that Martha gets to stay. I love old trees. There is something deeply reverent about them.

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    1. I agree Loree..I think Robert Frost was right, they do have a way of speaking to you. Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful words..xx

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  17. What a lovely post. I always seem to feel right at home here with all your 'little band of creative souls."
    And yes I'm an unapologetic book marker. I definitely fold my book pages (where are those book marks when I need them?) and I pencil stars next to passages that grab me and I consider them signs of book love. The photos of Tahilla Farm are simply stunning and I'm hoping that dear Martha makes it. There's something about old, weathered trees that just tug at my heart. Could this be another sign of my aging? :)

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    1. Thank you Leslie...and what a wonderful little band of creative souls it is! Signs of aging...I won't go there..if I do, I will never stop! ;) xx

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  18. I totally agree....we are all soul mates here...WE ARE! i do the exact same thing....I highlight, write..take notes...of everything I read...my little pleasures in life....Words....are magical....
    I am so happy that you kept Martha...She is a beauty :)
    Maria

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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