Celebrate Anyway

Christmas day means nothing at all to a whole lot of the world. Even some fairly devoted Christians are either skeptical about the accuracy of modern guesstimates of when the historical person Jesus appeared on earth or, in some cases, just plain weary of the commercial kidnaping of Christmas as a secular holiday. Beyond that, there are innumerable people and nations so impoverished or endangered as individuals, as communities, or as entire regions of the world that the last thing they can afford to pay attention to is an arbitrarily set date for recognizing anything as a reason for joy and revelry.Photo: Cymbals

There are no gladly clashing cymbals, no brass choirs trumpeting their huzzahs to the skies, no parades or packages, masses or meditations that can fill the void in hearts and homes oppressed by war, famine, disease, hatred, or inner turmoil. The very thought of happiness and reverential bliss, if it can even pierce the noise and violence, the stress and terror holding such people hostage, seems hollow and artificial. Goodness and light are as distant and unimaginable as the most ridiculous fiction.
Photo: What a Lot of Brass

These sufferers deserve to have their sorrows and their pains lifted from them, obliterated by any and all who dare to change history. No one knows better than I that not everyone has the strength and wherewithal to be so bold in action. But if we cannot do so with our physical labors, we must do so with our hearts and minds, our words, our plans, and our constancy in spirit. One voice at a time, one solitary note sung by a tiny, quavering voice, is the only way to begin moving toward a day when others, also one by one, will join and build to a worldwide song of peace. Only when we direct our every breath toward healing, harmony, and hope will the song come fully alive. Every atom of our being will whisper, speak, sing, and shout until the whole of humanity rings with echoing gladness.
Photo: Stringed Instruments

One moment’s pause, one hour of cease-fire, one hospital patient or lost child or elderly neighbor rescued for one single part of a day at a time makes space for the sound to bloom. We need to make room, and lest the horrors should return to fill the void, we must fill it up instead with songs of hope and joy and celebrate any way we possibly can. The other voices will someday, if we sing for long enough, follow.

10 Terrible Words that Shouldn’t Exist in Any Language

Digital text-illustration: 10 Terrible WordsOne person who hates is a Weapon of Mass Destruction. One who cares and shares? Perhaps the only antidote.

As I recently said to my friend Maryam: poverty—both of concrete, material resources like food and shelter, and of intellectual and ephemeral resources (education, spiritual enrichment, the arts, community engagement, etc)—seems to me to be perpetrated and perpetuated more by selfishness than by an actual shortage of any of those resources. The rich and powerful always want more riches and power, and what they do have makes them able to afford and acquire more and to keep their feet firmly on the backs of the have-nots. Plenty is never enough. The resulting imbalance is as old as history, and rotten as ever. Only those who will speak up and resist entrenched inequities and injustices will have any hope of making change.Photo montage: Wolverine & Badger

The badger and the wolverine have a reputation for being among the most tenaciously savage brutes of all the mammals. Yeah, Honey Badger even has his own meme to show for it. But let’s be honest: no beast of earth, air, or sea has a capacity for vile, rapacious cruelty rivaling that of the human animal. Even creatures of the natural enmity of predator and prey compete, fight, kill, and are sated. They have little apparent ideation of hatred and war to match people’s. A wolverine or badger will fight to defend, or to kill for food, but unlike the human, doesn’t seem inclined to attack indiscriminately outside of its primal needs for safety, shelter, and food; when the skirmish is done as efficiently as possible and the need assuaged, the sharpest of tooth and reddest of claw among them doesn’t do an end-zone dance to celebrate its pleasure in winning but will usually depart the scene or go to rest for the next time of need. The remaining food and shelter and other resources stay in place for whatever creature comes next, hunter or hunted, cousin or not.

Can we humans not learn from such a thing? I’m pretty sure that if we destroy each other and ourselves in our constant self-righteous, self-congratulatory belief that we deserve everything we can get our hands on, Honey Badger won’t be the only creature that doesn’t care.

Just a Different Stripe, or a Horse of a Different Color Altogether?

Does it really matter whether our differences make us varied members of the same family or citizens of separate countries entirely? At the bottom of it all, we remain genetically bound to each other as disparate parts of the same species. What we choose to do with and in response to that simple truth is what really defines us as individuals and as parts of the human family, not how different we are from one another.

Working for respect, kindness and peace toward and among all the people whose paths cross mine in life seem to me like perfectly viable ways to respond. That’s the choice I’m going with, and I hope that it will be seen as defining my true colors always.

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Our differences may be subtle or they may be tremendous, but they’re still contained in remarkably similar packages.

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It’s a gift and a privilege to see the beauty in those of a different stripe than ourselves.

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What, are you really so concerned about the cut of my hair or the color of my hide?

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I should always try to get a leg up on what challenges my expectations, whether it’s my nearest neighbor or someone from worlds away.

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After all, some of my best friends are zorses….

Things I Used to Know

In olden times, when I was young and Apatosaurs snacked on the treetops, I knew stuff. I’ve forgotten more since then than most sentient beings learn in a lifetime, although in fairness to them and to my own addled and limited brain capacity, much of that was only memorized and not really understood or applied. And what little I have learned or known has mostly long since been reduced to dribbles and scribbles and other forms of rubble.

digital illustrationI once knew how to ice skate and roller skate. Not particularly well, mind, but I could stay upright and toddle around a rink or lake without breaking ice or ankles, which for a person of limited grace and less skill is good enough. I could ride a bike, row a boat and climb a tree. I read books intended to make me smarter and ones intended only to amuse me, and a fair bunch that had the possibility of doing both simultaneously. I sang in every section of a choir that would let me in, played the piano poorly but enthusiastically, and learned about four chords on the guitar from Dad.

Much of this is gone, forgotten or so rusty that it would be somewhere between horrifying and laughable, or possibly both, if I were to try my hand at any of it now. And I’m not proud of that. But I’m not too worried about it, either, nor am I ashamed. I’m probably not all that different from most people when it comes to such things. I wouldn’t mind, though, if the opportunity arose to revisit any of those things and I discovered that (a) it’s true what they say about bike riding coming right back as though I’d never left off the practice, and (b) everything else I’d ever once loved doing would come back as easily as zipping around on a long-neglected bike. Before all the rest of me freezes over, as it were.

I also used to know how to leave the house without much thought of what lay outside its doors or worry over what I was to avoid and/or accomplish before returning to its safety. I had a firm grasp of many, many things that didn’t matter in the slightest in keeping the earth rotating properly or making my part of consumerism fully sustainable, let alone in achieving and maintaining world peace. As a supposed grownup, I learned to worry and fuss a great deal over that sort of stuff, even (or especially) when I knew full well I hadn’t any hope of challenging my born impotence in these matters.

But one thing I have learned as an adult that is remarkably useful–assuming I can keep it in mind, an increasingly slippery endeavor as I age–is that no individual human ever did really have any control over anything of this great importance. Occasionally, one of our kind manages to break through the barriers or even simply to fall into a solution by being in the right-or-wrong place at the right-or-wrong moment, but most of us are not able, alone, to learn or do anything much more complicated and meaningful than reading or singing or ice skating. And most wonderful of all, I’ve learned that that’s okay. It’s important to care, and to do and be the best that I can, but it may be equally needful that I grow wise enough to stop banging my head against any brick wall that practice has taught me will never actually budge and, yes, be content that I made the effort, not carry around pointless guilt that I’m not killing myself with further useless striving and angst.

As much as I loved ice skating when I was young and owned skates, and lived near a park where I could use them in winter, I don’t feel terribly cheated that decades later I’m fairly certain I couldn’t even remember how to skate. I’m happy to hang up those old blades and let someone newer and nimbler learn how to ice skate, and finally to get old enough to forget it too, in turn. The world itself will probably continue turning, with or without us.digital illustration

Röda tråden (The Red Thread)

Röda tråden is the Swedish phrase for connectivity. I learned it from my husband, who in turn learned it during his dissertation studies on modern Swedish choral history, and in a way it’s the perfect encapsulation of what his research revealed: that the astonishingly deep and broad influence of such a small country, in such a short time, on such a large field as Western choir singing and music came about primarily because of the remarkable and unique confluence and joining together of a huge number of events, people, ideas and resources in that little land at the end of the Second World War. As unimaginably terrible as war is on any scale, it’s all the more a testament to connectedness that at the end of one of the largest we’ve known, such good and meaningful and positive elements were all drawn into one significant, beautiful growth spurt in the art of singing together.digital illustrationAs a miniature of String Theory in the arts, this surge of the choral art in Sweden is notable (no musical pun intended) not only because it posits a reasonably substantial explanation for the larger choral sector’s modern expansive development amid the general devastation and struggle following the end of WWII, but also because in doing so it illustrates wonderfully how the intertwining of all sorts of seemingly disparate elements such as safe havens from political unrest and postwar reevaluation of norms, personal and professional relationships and experimentation with new media could come into contact and interact to create a new mode of thinking, acting, composing, teaching and singing. In turn, this is a striking model of how people from distinct cultures, educational backgrounds, economic resources and political systems and of widely varying personalities, unified by the one tiny thread of choral music, could be pulled together into a complicated system that, though still colorfully messy and imperfect, led to a potent common end that has had lasting and marvelous influence for long and fruitful decades since.

I am, of course, grateful on a personal level because this Swedish postwar influence on Western choral culture has not only enriched my husband’s professional and artistic endeavors–not to mention was the basis for his award-winning doctoral dissertation that in turn opened a lot of friendly doors to us both in Sweden–but because it produced so much spectacular music and inspiration for so much more.

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Röda Tråden is the Swedish version of the idea that–indeed literally–fascinates so many of us: the connecting thread–that which binds one thing to another. I can think of nothing greater than to spend life seeking the Red Thread that shows us our commonalities and binds all people together as well.

Further, though, I am grateful that such an otherwise inexplicable event as the ‘Swedish Choral Miracle‘ seems to me ample proof that all things and people really are connected. And that through recognizing and making good use of those connections, however, odd or tenuous they may appear, there is hope for new and better songs to be sung everywhere.

If I needed further proof of this, last night’s concert gave it amply. My spouse conducted the combined forces of the Chancel Choir of the church where he’s currently interim choirmaster plus their excellent hired pro orchestra in performing Haydn and Dvorak’s two settings of the Te Deum text as the concert opening and closing, respectively, bookending the extraordinarily lovely and moving Missa Brevis of Kodaly. I came in to sit for the concert among strangers and acquaintances from the church and discovered a friend from another parish sitting across the aisle from me, then learned from one of the choir administrators that a friend of hers in attendance turned out to be a long-ago colleague of my husband’s from another state, and finally went up to greet my guy after the concert and found him speaking with a group of ladies in the front row, one of whom was the wife of a former US president. What brought all of us divergent people together in this moment? Music. Beautiful singing and playing. Chance, kismet, divine intervention. Call it what you will, the slender but unbreakable thread that connects us all drew us into one place for a time of basking in the inscrutably beautiful harmony that is beyond craft, beyond art. That is a concert without peer.

Equilibrium

photo montageOne of the things I enjoy most as an artist–as those of you who frequent this joint know–is playing with all of the commonalities I find in the visual world. I am very much an analogous thinker; what I see is tested, examined, recognized and theorized on the basis of what it reminds me of at first glance. I suppose it’s the virtual equivalent of judging a book by its cover, but what it allows me when I’m thinking in strictly visual terms is the opportunity to fiddle with the ideas of what I imagine to be the links between one subject and another and as patterns emerge from it, use that for creative fodder, learn something about these pet subjects of mine, build images based on them, and in turn, learn something about myself along the way if I make even a little effort.

It’s very easy to become a collector. We all have our idiosyncratic passions and interests, to the degree that when we’re not actively gathering objects and concrete stuff that reflects them we are still busy building our internal storage of ideas and images related to them, and we end up with personalities shaped by, and like, them. People associate us with our sets of tastes and ways of thinking. Me, I am addicted to patterns and repetition and all of those other characteristics that seem to me to express the wholeness of the world. I like the unique iterations that make each part of the larger network have its own personality or meaning yet remain subservient in one way or another to the more visible and outspoken qualities that are held in common.

I strongly suspect that this simply showcases my longing for a wider world wherein the beauty of each individual is respected and nurtured yet the things we know we have in common are celebrated above all else because we treasure our place in a bigger picture. That’s a work of art that we shouldn’t have to take art classes to appreciate.

What if I Never Grow Up?

digitally doctored photoAside from the fact that all of you know already that this is a given rather than a question, I can still pose it rhetorically and ask it of all people in general. See, I think about this a fair amount, and not just because of my own level of maturity at any given time or in any given category. It’s simply a question we all get asked in one way or another at some point, or should jolly well ask ourselves, at the least.

This marvelous Möbius loop of inquiry and insistence begins the first time we are told, as children, that we need to Grow Up, and it can be applied to any number of circumstances. The irony that this mandate is almost invariably handed down to us by a person or persons barely older and more grown than ourselves is of course lost on all of the parties involved, because we’re all too inexperienced and naive and, conversely, too full of ourselves to understand it. The bigger kid tells the littler kid to Grow Up mainly because the elder wants something that the younger has or has simply lost patience with her.

It doesn’t change. When we’re older, the toys and privileges may have changed to different brands of money and power, but as long as we think someone else has more of whichever kind we desire than we do, we’re just as inclined in adulthood to nit-pick at that someone for his supposedly lower maturity levels both as cover for our covetousness and in shallow hopes of shaming him into being more generous than we are ourselves. The failure of this silly system doesn’t change either, but it doesn’t stop the less magnanimous and less mature from nagging at those who are more so, no matter the age or the occasion.

There are perfectly good reasons to wish anybody, including ourselves, would think and act with maturity and keen sense and the wisdom of experience. Those things tend to lead to our being more level-headed in emergencies, more practical in the everyday, and more inclined to share those traits and all sorts of other things with other people–and that leads to better community. Who knows, even World Peace.

But isn’t it grand, all the same, to forever retain a large enough pinch of immaturity and, if not childishness, then at least the ability to be childlike, that we can still look at the wide world with the awe and wonder it requires. We should hang on, with youthful enthusiasm and gleeful tenaciousness, to innocence and hope, to curiosity and rambunctiousness, to unalloyed silliness whenever the moment permits. Maybe we should even be willing to get down there with the actual kids and roll around in the grass once in a while without batting an eye over how dirty it’ll get us or whether it might make our old joints sore tomorrow. If we can’t still do somersaults, then we’d better find other ways to regain and retain our not at all grown up point of view, because the world, especially while it’s still short of outright Peace, can really use a healthy splash of the ridiculous now and again.

 

Solace in Silence

Let us look for our peace wherever we can. Let us embrace it and rest in it. And let us always share that peace with whomever, whenever and however we are able, inviting them all into our places of peace so that they and others all around the world, too, can find and disperse the sweetness of true and deep repose.

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What’s in Store

Sometimes even a partial notion will do!

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I told you recently that I was preparing to offer some of my work for sale online, and it’s time for the first revelation. I know that so many of you who read and converse with me here are also artists, writers and other creative people, and thus virtually by default are also (a) somewhat challenged by the technology and know-how of operating in businesslike fashion, promoting and marketing and selling your work; and (b) not exceedingly wealthy, as a result. So I did what I know a few of you, and many other people nowadays do, and turned to an existing, established production/marketing mechanism online and am going to let Zazzle help me with the ‘dirty work’. It means I’ve made a few business choices already, and I will share my thinking with you here because we really are all in this together!

First of all, this is far from a get-rich-quick scheme, not only because this is work I’ve spent most of my life learning to do and producing, but because as a business model it’s even less remunerative than the 30%-off-the-top commission that’s fairly typical among artist representing galleries and agents I’ve known in the past. But I am willing to take a very small amount (in many cases, the standard 10% royalty fee) from a company that will cover the grunt work I’m not willing or able to do myself. That is, of course, if they prove they can and will do it. I chose Zazzle because they have a certain established reputation and track record, easy to use interfaces, and while they are not high-end and going to capture for me any exclusive and wealthy clientele, they produce a decent quality range of products and so far have been very responsive in our interactions. This also makes me feel confident in their interactions with anyone who would come to view and buy my work, and that I can price the work as low as possible so that people like me (many being of the aforementioned impecunious creative sort) can choose from a variety of items that they might actually be able to afford without horrific trials.

I have begun posting my designs to the store fairly recently, but have made an effort to put up a reasonable representation from different sorts of my work: photography, drawing, painting and mixed-media images, and a fair range of topics from the abstract to absurdist, from factual to fantastical. There are a small few images with text (prose or poetry) on them, and many of those offered as prints can be purchased not only in different sizes but on different kinds of paper or even as stretched, ‘gallery style’ canvases, that is, with the image wrapping the sides so that the pieces can be framed but do not require a frame for hanging. I have offered a few of the designs as T-shirts, too, because it’s generally considered a good thing to wear clothes, and if we require clothes, then why not wear ones that aren’t terribly expensive? T-shirts are a pretty affordable option. But I’ve never been fond of wearing anything that advertised someone or some Thing (object or cause or concept)–if I want to promote a cause, I’d rather do it with my own words and my actions than with worn signage. So you will find very few slogans or words at all on the T-shirts, just pictures for the most part. I have made a number of them simple black-and-white images, often using my pen-and-ink line drawings, and I would encourage those who like color to consider getting a set of fabric coloring pens and having a good old time coloring the T-shirts like coloring book pages to suit taste and need. Might be a very fun thing to do with children, in fact, as the T-shirts can be ordered not only in a range of adult sizes and styles but many children’s ones as well.

I’ve configured most designs as the largest print version for which I think they’re suited, but most can be scaled smaller for your smaller space or to be more affordable. As it is, there are a great many prints under $20 a piece, and quite a few under $10, so I hope that a larger number of people can afford them without feeling a terrible pinch. There are a whole lot of other designers and artists represented in Zazzle stores, and a really wide array of objects and items that can be customized with your, my, or others’ designs and images, and I will see if and when I’m ready to branch out further with my own. For now, you should know that there is lots of work posted to Zazzle by someone under the name of ‘artspark’–pretty nice stuff, from the look of it–that’s not mine; I tried a huge number of store name options before finding one Zazzle accepted as not already in use, so I’ll just stick with this one even if it’s a bit close. I titled each of my designs KIW Sparks: [Title] to differentiate a little, hoping that helps.

ArtSparks

Even if you have no interest in–or money for–buying anything, I invite you to spend a little time visiting my work at Zazzle. It can serve, in part, as my online gallery for now, where you can see many of the works I’ve used to illustrate my blog posts, as well as a few artworks you’ve not seen here before, and I am eager to share them all with you. I hope that you, too, are finding the courage to ‘put yourself out there’ artistically and creatively because we have this fine forum among friends in the blog-world and online businesses, because even though it’s generally a tough way to make a living, financially speaking, it’s a glorious way to make a Life.

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I don't know if I can claim to have accomplished anything yet, but I'm at least underway in the process of taming the dragon that is my fear of the business side of the creative life. Hopefully, having chosen Zazzle as my squire, I'll figure out how to battle my way through the whole process more successfully over time!

Lighting Candles in the Vastness of the Dark

photoIt’s easy in this big, busy world to feel sometimes that one is alone in the magnitude of space, a tiny voice calling out and not knowing if there’s anyone who will answer. When times are grim, that is quite simply the pervasive sense. When my youngest nephew was very small and spending his first overnight at his grandparents’, my mother tiptoed down the darkened hall before turning in for sleep and heard his little voice coming out of the doorway with the plaintive little inquiry: “Is there anybody here who knows me?”

Like him, I have always eventually been answered in my timid forays into the fearful or unknown with rescuers coming to my aid, whether in a literal sense or in the sometimes equally powerful act of offering emotional and companionable solidarity. I’m here for you; I hear you. It doesn’t always have to be more than that, though I can’t imagine there are many who would find themselves able to be surfeited when it comes to genuine kindness and support; sometimes just knowing that there is somebody else somewhere in this overwhelming life who cares what happens to us is grace enough.

Entering the seemingly surreal world of the blogosphere is certainly sufficient intimidation and unfamiliarity for most of us, and a place where we well might feel we’re talking into empty nothingness. The discovery that there are not only fellow wanderers in the place, indeed, but kindred spirits–well, that is more than just a comfort. It’s a relief and a joy and the sighting of rescue breaking through the impenetrable dark with, however tiny, a candle flame. Amazing how that infinitesimal light pierces the gloom and begins to widen. How it begins to be passed from one to the other until a seeming infinity of tiny flames has suddenly coalesced into blazing daylight!

That is the kind of friendship that shifts from virtual to virtuous in a rather quick succession of conversations and shared thoughts and dreams, where we go swiftly from meeting-in-passing to knowing that it matters that each little flame be tended thoughtfully. True community, it turns out, can be cultivated in dimensions that know no boundaries of physical space. It grows in sharing commonalities and respecting and treasuring the uniqueness and differences of opinion and belief and history that give so much deeper meaning to what we do hold in common.

So I pay grateful tribute to those who have answered my voice in the darkness, who have shone light upon my blogging life and more importantly, shed light in every direction by the mere warmth and passion of their spirits through their own voices in blogging. There should be a much more beautiful and euphonious name for this dimension of community than Blog, Blogger, Blogged, Blogging–all of them sound, if not rude, then at the least terribly plebeian. But then, perhaps the true beauty of the construct is its very ability to carry our unvarnished, unembellished humanity if not on golden wings then on plainly mortal feet, all of us walking along, however trepidatiously, speaking softly to others we only trust are there, carrying our little candles ahead of us with quavering hope.

Lately I have been reminded of this sharing of light and warmth yet again by the gifts of three further Versatile Blogger Award recognitions by that Beautiful Spirit, Alpha, at Aspire.Motivate.Succeed., the warm and wonderful master of his well-tended garden, Bishop, at Bishop 9396’s Blog, and the Bardess, DM Denton, who shows magnificent visual and verbal ambidexterity. From three people who demonstrate great versatility indeed I take it as a high compliment.

And I have now been granted the Candle Lighter Award by dear ‘Nessa at Stronghold. She is a bright light indeed for such a young torch-bearer, bringing her insights and opening discussions on many a topic that could fall into the dark but for the repeated loving applications of the light of inquiry and passion that she offers in her forum. All are free to ponder there the complexities of life, love and the human psyche that cross all boundaries of age and experience. Precisely the kind of place that welcomes shared illumination just as I’ve been describing here.

Candle Lighter Award logoThe Candle Lighter Award has been variously described in terms of its requirements, so I thought I’d see if I could trace it back, and behold, this award’s creator actually maintains an open link so that we can bask in her generous and thoughtful gift. So raise your lamps high with me, won’t you, and we’ll thank her for this kind and inspiring offering. Thank you, then, both to Kate, the nurturing mother of this Award, at Believe Anyway, and to ‘Nessa, who believes strongly enough to shine her own light in the darkness.

Kate is especially generous and ingenious, I think, in opting to simply let the award she conceived stand on its own, requiring no response or action other than that one should, appropriately, shine light upon its meaning as a representation of positivity and hope and illumination in and of itself and the thoughtful sharing of it ought to recognize those whom the giver sees as showing those qualities in blog work. To further those beliefs and ideals, I will of course share the names of a small few bloggers who represent the vigor of meaningful optimism, teaching and leading and sharing the light through their munificent and loving work. And as ‘Nessa has reminded me, many of the brightest lights are those that persist to shine in the darkest places.photo

Thus I gladly pass the torch to my friends at PsycheVida, The Invisible Shadow, Aspire.Motivate.Succeed., The Human Picture, G (of G Caffe), and Year-Struck, who all know the light well, if partially by virtue of having known or passed through various dark places, and choose to shine their better selves abroad like rays of sunlight.

I have handed the Versatile Blogger Award along (as well as a few others with similar requirements) enough times that I fear I shall put your lights out, all of you, if I should share another laundry-list of factoids about my shining self, and know that you’ll find more than enough of my self-revelatory chatter just by wandering around my blog any day of the week. But I hope that you will also attend to the following fellow off-road-thinkers who certainly deserve a badge of Versatility for their wide-ranging skills and interests, again without requiring anything of them in return other than that they should rejoice in being in company that deeply appreciates the surprising and wonderful collection of wits that each of them represents.VBA logo

To Marie, tending home, garden, and a next-gen toddler in her Little Corner of Rhode Island; to Ellen, who writes and paints and draws and sets the cultural coordinates of her region at Nine Lives Studio; to Bella of winsomebella, a magical land where passionate soul-searching merges with poetry and photography, travel and storytelling; to John, cooking up history and food and familial love in the Bartolini Kitchens; and to Nia, who intertwines photography with food, the tails of cats with tales of travel, and wonderful daily expressions of local culture to charm and amaze us.

Some of you, I know, have been laureates of these specific and many other blogging awards, and deservedly so, so I neither demand of you that you accept (though it’s pretty much an impossibility to make me un-like you once I’ve decided I like you, as far as that goes!) nor that you ‘keep passing the dessert around the table’. Your blogs and excellence speak for themselves, and if you wish to share the joy further then I am delighted to have put it in your hands for the sharing. Because that is the whole beauty of this place we call the blogging community. There’s dessert and light and warmth enough here for everyone.photo