Slice of Life: A Smile To Light The World

I often have to pick up my son from his high school. It’s not a straight route from my school, so it takes longer than I’d like and it can be more frustrating than it needs to be.

Every day, like yesterday, I see another high school student – a young woman — walking in the opposite direction, and I swear, there is not a day that she doesn’t have the biggest, brightest smile on her face.

It’s one of those smiles that makes you want to smile, too, and seeing her is a nice counter to feeling frustrated by the drive. The world needs more smiles like hers.

Peace (and Happy),

Slice of Life: A Scent Of Spring

Enter the greenhouse at Smith College this time of year, and your first reaction is to merely stand still and close your eyes. Close your eyes and breathe deep. Breathe in the scent of flowers of many varieties, all in bloom. Outside, although it is a sunny March day, snow still remains on the ground. A Nor’easter storm is bearing down. Winter remains, a stubborn creature. But here, in this glass enclosure, contained and curated, the bulbs for the annual show have come into bloom, and the result is a magnificent reminder for the senses that the season is in the midst of shift. Soon, there will be no need for a greenhouse enclosure. No need to wait in line with other people for the experience. No need to follow the crowd along a designated path. Soon, the sleepy seeds of the soil will be coming up in yards and flower beds and in random places not yet known. Soon, yes, but not quite yet.

Smith College Bulb Show

Peace (and Flowers),

Slice of Life: The Kid Goes Flying By

I can’t quite believe that our youngest son is a high school senior, with college on the horizon and just a few more months in our city’s school system.

Sometimes, the transitions in our lives ahead become crystal clear.

Yesterday, I drove more than three hours into New York City to reach the New York Armory to see him run for less than a minute with his high school indoor track relay team at the Nike Indoor Nationals.

It seems absurd when you consider the hours of travel versus the time of running like that, and I could have watched the webcast from the comfort of home, but it was important to me, and to him, that I make the drive, to send him encouragement from the stands, to be there to support him.

In his pink shoes, at the sound of the starting gun, he was flying, going so fast from starting line to the baton handoff with his teammate that he was nearly a blur from the stands, disappearing as I tried to capture the moment on my phone while shouting encouragement.

Everything becomes metaphor at some point, doesn’t it?

Driving back home later that night (he is staying in the city with teammates, to cheer on another crew of runners who will compete today), I was complaining to myself in the car about the long drive (it was raining) but then reminding myself: hold on to these kinds of moments because they won’t be available much longer.

Peace (in the Time Passing),

PS — his Speed Medley Relay (SMR) team came in 7th place, out of 30 teams.

Slice of Life: Phenomenal Woman

My wife and I went to see Ruthie Foster in concert, and it was just her and her guitar on the stage of a music center now using a church. She was magical, singing us blues and soul and gospel through the night.

Today’s poem for Slice of Life captures the wonder we had in watching her perform, and in particular, a moment where she went into a song with no guitar at all — just her, her voice, and us, the audience.

She SingsAnd here is a glimpse of Ruthie in another concert from a few years back. She played this song — a Maya Angelou poem set to music — near the end of the concert and just blew us all away.

Peace (and music),


Slice of Life: A Dog, A Ball, And Some Snow

It was a decent New England snowstorm for March. It happened mostly overnight from Friday into Saturday, so there was little impact on school or travel. It was fluffy but sort of heavy. So, sticky. There was more than enough to cover mostly everything.

And Rayna, our younger dog, had a blast in the morning, barreling around the backyard after uncovering one of her toys — it’s actually a horse ball, but the handle was long ago ripped/bitten off — and now she is adept at putting her snout inside the hole (where the handle used to be) and tossing the ball into the air, then bopping it off her nose, as she races around.

Rayna in Snow

I was trying to catch her in the act with my phone’s camera, but only got this shot. It’s her eyes, though, that I like most — she’s in her intense play mode here.

Then I decided to go another step further, since I liked that image so much, and put it into an art app called Oilist, and made two different variations, capturing the app’s process along the way. I folded both iterations into this video: Rayna’s Art Show.


Peace (and Dogs),

Slice of Life: Piano Crates And Imagination Rhythm

I’ve had time on my hands this past week and so I’ve wandered into making a few tracks of music. Here are two songs from yesterday, each capturing a little different emotional spin from being stuck temporarily at home. (Note: I think the songs are best experienced in headphones.)


Piano Crates (link)


Imagination Rhythm (link)

Peace (Rhythm and Sound),

Second Half of FlashFeb Drawings

This is the second installment of my curation of illustrations done for Flash Feb (where a prompt with an F in the title invited art).

Here is the first compilation for Days 1-15.

Peace (and Drawing),