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The brightness

Light in San Fruttuosa

“Then let light be,” I said, “a process, a movement of brightness through whatever it passes through.”

-Sena Jeter Naslund
Ahab’s Wife 1999 Perennial Press






The rain on Superior

This day, Friday, in Italy right now where the bells just rang the fifteen of nine and you are likely still asleep, unless you are one of my German readers or you live in Cornwall, England, in which case this post arrives with your mid-morning tea break, or at a café filled with women in day dresses and fine shoes, tanned not because it is chic, but because they live in a town on the beach and to reach the market one has to walk, thus the tan, and I am turning towards home.

This is our final day of this month-long time away and I have not written much here on Laundry Line Divine for a bunch of reasons, mostly having to do with swimming and my sisters and dear friends and hours of boules or walking. This has been a time of looking up and out at the horizon, sunrises and sets, clouds moving like alligators swallowing the edge of the earth that just ever so slightly tips into the mouth of the beast of time, devouring our hours. And now, sunflower-like, I turn towards home. Toward that light.

I have not come to any great conclusions on this trip, but I have asked a lot of questions. I have not decided on the exact next steps for myself here on Laundry Line Divine, or my personal life, but I do know plums and my kids will feature prominently. I have not woken up to flashes of insight, but I have studied the shape of the faces of the people I love and seen light rise from within them.

Found poetry and a bee in my journal

What I do know is that brightness has passed through me, leaving marks on lives and on paper, on paths and in to fruit tarts and collages, postcards and the exchange of large beautiful paper monies for round, ripe cheeses. Light as an exchange, as brightness moving through, from one to the other and on again.

Cheeses in Camogli

I desire so much. I dream wildly. And I wake up to each new day knowing this is the adventure that has been made for me, whether it includes hours of writing or chopping onions for risotto, whether there will be hands held on hills lined with heavy pink bougainvillea or threading needles with thick thread that will pierce paper that becomes a book.

Paula sewing in Camogli
Paula sewing in Camogli

A book that becomes the place where what is inside the maker finds roost outside the maker and in this making of a place, a sacred refuge, change happens, reflection becomes new thought and again, this brightness.

The eye of bread
The eye of bread in Camogli

So, send prayers for safe travel. I treasure these pages, the bright white spaces where my inner meets yours and we are some form of brightness all together. May your early September days be filled with light, and the morning that meets your dreams be easy and slow.

All my love,


You are enough

An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.


I wish you gentleness and calm today.
It is a move of self-care to remind myself that I am enough.
Enough doing, enough caring, enough-just as I am.
I wish you to know that however you celebrate the season, your fullness reflects
what is sacred and special.

I am baking gingies today.
Decorating the tree Ben cut for us yesterday in the rain.
And imagining you each, beloved readers of Laundry Line Divine,
carrying this message with you.

All my love,




If you are hungry for more reading,

here is my latest article on Berkshire Family Focus. It is about skiing.

And here is a really juicy list of quotes about the Solstice and this dark season.

And my hilarious pal, Bill Walker, and his regular feature on HuffPo.

How I Get My Joy On #ExpressiveAugust on Laundry Line Divine

My Moon Faced Girl by Suzi Banks Baum

Almost every morning my body wakes me up to I can see first light.
I just love to see it, especially out my window at home.
It is something sort of ancient in me. I love to see how the light colors day.

Right now, I am sitting on the terrace of my friends home, above Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. I have been on my #summeradventure2013 with my family.
Today is our last full day of vacationing. Tomorrow we turn towards home.

Morning light over Cannero Riviera Lago Maggiore

I read my pal, Stephanie Gunning’s newsletter this morning. She offers a challenge to make August a month of Self Expression which fits right in to my views for Laundry Line Divine. This website is a hub of self-expression for me and for the guests who post here. I am very attracted to people who express. The women of the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series, like me, are pressed to express. Even the people who comment on this site, especially in last week’s post about 6 word memoirs, are pressed to express. How I love the community of Laundry Line Divine.

This morning, as I greet the light and joy settles in to my heart once again, I am filled with gratitude for getting to live another day. Curiosity opens my eyes and fuels my steps to see what this day will bring.

Now the moon is rounding in to fullness again. Each of us are, no matter our exact location at this present moment, connected by light. Maybe that is the key to what wakes me daily, early and eager. I love knowing that wherever you are, we are both touched by this light.

That is one way I get my joy on.
How about you?


With much love,



PS Here is a poem by Mary Oliver titled Why I Wake Early. She likes morning too.

Organizing Light

#nofilter #greatbarrington #goodmorning #riverwalk #413 #laundrylinedivine. Have a sweet morning!

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
~Viktor Frankl

I am slowly putting this page back together again after a bumpy few days.
Life is good and full to the brim. This website it under a bit of reconstruction.
If you would like to subscribe, to keep up with Laundry Line news, please fill out the tiny box up there on the right.

I will doing dancing to this song while you do. If all you see is a blank space here, hit your ‘refresh’ button up there on your navigation bar and a YouTube video will appear.

Here are the much awaited winners of the ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ blog drawing:

Corey Sprague and Lynn Amaral won a copy of my Rice Pudding recipe.
Lisa Millen and Angela Vuagniaux won a copy of Janet Elsbach’s brownie recipe.
Lorrin Krouss won an original letterpress print, first edition on archival paper, by me at PRESS as part of
the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers events.
And Peggy Barrett won Alana Chernila‘s The Homemade Pantry.

Congratulations people!
I am so honored to get to mail you these gifts.

Here is Peggy with hers. She is a long time reader of LLD. Thank you Peggy!

Peggy Barrett is the winner of Alana Chernila's The Homemade Pantry.

Look forward to more here on the Laundry Line. I have some new friends here, Jennifer Boire– who’s poem was posted here the other day and Miranda Hersey Helin, who’s Studio Mothers site feels like my home away from home here on the internet. And I still have some wonderful photos of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. I do have a new persona of ‘girl journalist’. Without the training, but armed with my camera and tiny notebook, I love to document events I am part of, which give me results like these.

Thank you for being here.

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