Archives for category: Tennessee

Recent developments with work have led me to some gorgeous views of the Nashville sky(line). I deeply love my city.

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Wednesday’s sunrise was unreal, so lavish and extravagant the fire in it.

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I wish we would do away with daylight savings time so we all could see such beauty more often. October commutes on a teacher’s schedule are unparalleled for their sunrises, especially if one is favored enough to be driving East. They certainly help redeem the sacrificed sleep!

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He planned to propose here. We married not far from here. He visited for the first time last week. His plan would not have worked anyway. But we shared beauty and solitude…

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And he found the perfect stick!

Tennessee has quite a selection of gorgeous waterfalls, many tucked away on back roads that wind through small towns and farms with few signs to tell you you’re getting close. It is my joy to introduce my Californian fiancé to some of these beauties. This weekend, we hiked to Machine Falls in Short Springs Natural Area.

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The falls are about 3 stories high. Most of the water pours in from the main stream above, but side creeks join up along the edges of the gully and drop their water in tinsel-thin strands. My fiancé was ill-equipped for rock-hopping and so went barefoot. Though he later saw the pumice-like effect the keen, cold water and stone had on his calloused feet, he didn’t join me as I climbed partway up the falls. Maybe I’ll get him a pair of proper Chacos and initiate him fully as an outdoorsy sort. Meanwhile he snapped a few pics of me from the lower levels. This is my favorite.

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Looking forward to our next outdoor adventure! I love sharing my love with my love!

To the sea! To the sea!
Follow my feet up the Wearmouth quays
Where the gull brays
And memory keeps
Where old men watch the turn of days
And graves still pray

Past shipwrights’ industry
Looking for my heart to be
Rooted in a land where my
Soul is told to breathe

But I am not free

Wild heights and quarried ways
Hewn by hands in elder days
Or set by mind at dawn’s design
Still call to me, still call to me

And in the pounding, grey-lit surf
Waves convulsing, giving birth
I send my spirit to the wind
I soar from here, I’m gathered in

I’ve called this land my home, and for it
Given all to bless, restore it
To my gifts, the land has shuddered
Cannot claim me as a mother
So to the wind and to the sea
I will return where I am free
(You are the only Ten-I-see)
For my heart beats Tsalagi

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The above attempts to reconcile and understand my heart’s churnings while in Northern England. Photos are from Sunderland. Paintings completed in Tennessee in early 2014. All rights reserved.

Solitude is lovely in the days leading up to a change of seasons.

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But sometimes sharing life with a friend is best.

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This past week I wandered my favorite trails, visiting the swollen shores of my summer swimming spot and breathing deeply as one can only breathe alone in the woods.

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My heart leans into the whispers of
secret poetry spoken only in the
moment of beholding this
simple retelling of
genes expressing generations and yet
I find myself
I find myself among the
ones
privileged
to witness its telling
and I dare not repeat
dare not repent
dare not dishonor by the attempt
to understand with the mind what
syllables spoken by my soul
in response to these whispers might
say
for
much is lost in translation, and yet
I come away
enriched in the knowing
in the being
in the breathing
into
me

My Mister had a hankering to go to the symphony as he’d never been. We got tickets to hear Mahler, a great introductory experience for him. Prior visits recommended me to the seats above the orchestra, facing the conductor and audience, our backs to the organ pipes. It was spectacular, the setting enhancing the performance and the view unmatched.

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Other patrons were just as entertaining. One knitted her way through. A father-son pair burst out in unison during the final bars, throwing themselves back in their seats and exclaiming, “Whoa! Bravo!” (The description does them little justice.) My attention happily flitted between the five percussionists, two harps, slew of horns, mandolin, and the effervescent conductor Guerrero.

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Because this is Nashville, we were flanked by musicians. A young man to our right sat with rapt attention to the expressive, emotive Guerrero. Come to find out, he is studying to be a conductor himself. The gal to my left plays French horn and came to hear that section especially celebrated.

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Though I’ve had the privilege to attend the symphony several times, this experience set a new high water mark for me. The Mister was euphoric, to say the least, and we look forward to attending again as soon as may be.

I’ll spare you the photos of empty bread and milk shelves at the grocery store. With wintery precipitation expected in the panicky South, schools were called off, and my Mister and I settled in English-style.

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I must say, my first attempt at a Victoria sponge was a complete flop, though it held the shape of the mould well. Next time I’ll try to be more precise in my conversions.

In the morning, we had a bit of icing sugar covering the frozen land.

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Someone suggested blowing bubbles in the icy air to see if they would freeze. It didn’t work for us (air inside the bubble too warm, perhaps?) In any case, it was more fun than I assume the neighborhood children were having. Optimistically they popped outside pulling sleds. After a few runs of scccriiitccchhh scccrrraaaaatttccchhh over crunchy grass, they gave up. I don’t blame them. As pretty as a dusting of snow can be, it’s more fun to look at than play in. I am thankful, however, to be in the South where we have long hours of bright sunshine even in the cold!

Here’s hoping those I know and love in other parts of the snow-covered country are faring as well or better!