Archive for June 8th, 2007

Holding My Breath, watercolor and ink painting, ybonesy 2007, all rights reserved
Holding My Breath, watercolor and ink painting, © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

  1. Holding my breath when I drive by a cemetery, else spirits of the dead will invade my lungs. (Present. Given to me by my husband. Something he did as a child. Now it belongs to our family.)
  2. Checking all the locks on doors and windows in the house at night before bed. (Present. New, ever since we moved into the big house. Before that we lived for 16 years without ever locking our doors.)
  3. Making a sign of the cross right before my flight takes off. (Present. Limited mostly to international flights.)
  4. Making a sign of the cross any time I drive by a church. (Past. Picked up from my sister who’s six years older than me. She still does it and so do her daughters. The other day I pulled up to a red light at the corner where an old Catholic church sits. A man in a big service truck made the sign of the cross, and it reminded me of my sister.)
  5. Turning all the pennies so Abe Lincoln is staring at the dealer in games of Black Jack or Poker. (Present, although I don’t play much anymore. Given to me by my grandma. We played cards almost every day when we visited. Dealer almost always goes bust when this ritual is used.)
  6. Not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk lest I break my mother’s back. (Present but sporadic. I did catch myself last week doing it on the walk from my car to my work building.)
  7. When putting the girls to bed, saying Good-night (me), sleep tight (them), don’t (me) let (them) the bedbugs (me) bite (them). (Present. We even do it over the phone if I’m traveling.)
  8. Scratching the roof of the car while driving through a yellow light. (Past. Again, my sister. I wonder if she still does it.)
  9. Picking up my feet while driving over railroad tracks. (Past. Her again. I realize her rituals were a big part of why I loved her so much. I should tell her that.)

-from Topic post, Rich In Ritual.

Read Full Post »

 Edges, Thursday, June 7th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

-Edges, labyrinth in Martinez, Georgia, June 7th, 2007, all photos © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

It was 96 degrees at 5pm. Mom and I did a quick geocache in Martinez, Georgia, right off of Columbia Road and Buckboard Drive. Geobrother, who has logged more than 1000 caches, gave us a few tips. I have barely learned to use a GPSr. Mostly I depend on Liz who easily navigates geocache land with stealth and grace.

When we got to the cache site, Church of Our Savior stood in the middle of a drive around circle. Cars were parked on theLabyrinth, center detail, Martinez, Georgia, June 6th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. grass, edging their front bumpers up to the hedge. We spotted a cool resting place next to the path and grabbed a pen, handwritten directions, GPSr, and Canon gear. When we turned the corner past the hedge, there it was, a beautiful brick paved labyrinth. Mom knew it was there because she had been talking to my brother earlier. But I had not been clued in. I was gleefully surprised.

I told Mom about walking the labyrinth at Carondelet as part of my practice during the writing Intensive last year. The pattern at Church of Our Savior drew a familiar map – a medieval replica of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. I couldn’t have been happier. Mom immediately spotted the high resting cache, Inward Peace, from the edge of the labyrinth. Liz will be ecstatic. It’s our first cache in Georgia.

Geobrother’s map of found caches goes all the way up and down the East Coast. Liz’s goes from East to West – Maryland all the way out to Wyoming. And now we can add Georgia. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll grab a cache in South Carolina before we leave for the far north on Saturday.

Oleander, Augusta, Georgia, June 6th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.For those who love labyrinths, there is a great tool out there called World-Wide Labyrinth Locator. You can type in a zip code, city, country, or state and up pops a list of addresses and descriptions of labyrinths in the area. Some have photographs and there are details of the architect and model, and whether the labyrinth is grass, brick, dirt, concrete, painted, mowed, or buffed.

We didn’t have a chance to walk the whole labyrinth this afternoon. Though I did take a few photographs of Mom winding toward center. The brick red against summer green created high-contrast beauty. The surrounding inner path was lined in oleander. Only the evergreen leaves were present but I was taken by their shape and beauty. Oleanders are also poisonous and loaded with myth and history. My mother knows all the plants down here, most which bloom in stunning and fragrant color. I have spent much of the trip asking her detail names of plants and trees.

Magnolias, miniature gardenias , crepe myrtle, mimosa, yucca, and lantana to attract the butterflies and bees, are only a Lantana, Augusta, Georgia, June 6th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.few. We saw a brilliant lantana yesterday when we stopped to see a home that had been in my family. The same woman Mom met last year when she brought my youngest brother down was standing outside the house, tending her plants.

“Remember me,” Mom laughed. And the woman said, “Yes, sure I do,” as she walked toward the car for a chat. She said she used to visit her own grandmother in the same house.

I asked her if I could take a photograph and she graciously agreed. When I stepped behind the chain-link fence, the squat, bushy lantana was to the left, covered in dipping butterflies and darting, fat bees. And that’s when my step-dad and mom piped up about the nickname, Ham and Eggs. I kept being amazed at their knowledge of the plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers surrounding them. It reminded me of what Natalie said about knowing the trees in her neighborhood, about paying attention to the details of our environment. It’s important to know what surrounds us in earth, sky, and water.

I felt glad my parents were in tune with the history of the land around them. And I knew they had passed that down to me. I felt joy at spending that kind of time with them. As an adult, I have come to appreciate the unpredictable and solid makings of a family. For the hundreds of times in my youth when I wanted to run the other way, there are only moments left to discover what I might have missed.

Brick by Brick, labyrinth in Martinez, Georgia, June 7th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Brick by Brick, labyrinth in Martinez, Georgia, June 7th, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Read Full Post »