look once, look twice
first, take a look at the convoluted crumples of these two leaves. then look at the convoluted crumples of the white space between them. stay there for a while. then repeat. you’ve done your STILL blog homework for the day. now get out there and slow down.
dried catalpa leaves
someone asked me the other day if i was running out of ideas for STILL blog. i understand the concern behind the question, but i almost had to restrain the enthusiasm behind my denial. i have thought to myself that i could probably do a year’s worth of STILL blog from one square meter of forest floor, not only because there is such a shocking amount of biomass in that square meter, but because the contents of that square meter change almost daily through the seasons, not to mention the phenomenon of creativity blossoming in an atmosphere of constraints. anyway, i’m not currently running out of ideas, in case you were worried. ask me if i ever get tired of evenings by the fire. ask my puggle if he ever gets tired of begging for leftovers. ask a northerner if she ever gets tired of spring. or a fisherman if he ever gets tired of opening day. i think you get the idea. running out of ideas? that’s crazy talk.
for those who have been with me for a while, you know i typically make some kind of big announcement about this time of year with my plans for STILL blog in the coming year. i have no big pronouncements this year. right now, my only goal for the year is to put together a STILL book proposal. i get lots of requests for a STILL book, especially around the holidays. i have wanted to make one for a while now, but my husband (the resident writer) is working on a memoir about our family’s immersion in southern france. so, i have been kind of waiting for him to be available to help edit or maybe even co-create a STILL book with me. he is still hard at work on the memoir, but i am usually pretty good at encouraging him to think big. i figure a proposal commits me to nothing. what do you say, mr. hoffman?
happy new year my friends! i do what i do because of your continued enthusiasm and encouragement.
xo, mary jo
fading of the year
i am seeing a lot of year-end summaries on instagram these last few days. usually i love this kind of exercise–taking stock, summing up, celebrating the successes, analyzing the failures, laying down plans for the year to come. i love all of it. but right now i am nursing a cold that has my head feeling a bit like this dried peony. so, it will have to wait a week. instead i am reading shonda rhimes new book, year of yes, and i am laughing and feeling inspired. if you haven’t heard about it, i encourage you to check it out. it’s funny, it’s honest, it’s insightful. it’s almost worth having a cold.
my original inspiration for yesterday’s post was a half-pinecone i saw posted somewhere (which i am currently stealing like an artist). but yesterday’s cone was too evocative and full of wood grain to crop, so today i tried my original inspiration, which i like equally well. it’s a longleaf pine, probably 7 or 8 inches long, and what i like most about it is that usually the shape of the pinecone is so iconic and recognizable that you only see the overall shape, whereas here you get to meet the individual leaves, and notice how each of them has a shape, and almost a personality. hello, curious pinecone leaf, looking questioningly up at the sky. hello depressed pinecone leaf, staring at your shoes. hello thoughtful pinecone leaf, staring pensively into the middle distance…
pine cone (pinus palustris, longleaf pine)