When do you feel most alive? Mull that a bit. I started writing these occasional posts as a way to return to this important question.
I am more ALIVE because I’m a reader. You?
I’m late in wishing you a happy, healthy and creative 2022 in this section of my site, my home on the Web with its various sections, “rooms.”
How do we continue our artistic pursuits–writing, painting, sketching, dancing, singing–in this complex Covid time? I have to schedule daily, or at least weekly, time to focus on what I’m trying to create. I don’t discuss my writing projects until a draft has gone to my agent. I’m currently working on a manuscript for adults.
In January 2019, I began these occasional posts about feeling ALIVE.
My husband Vern, who’s now a retired academic, and I maintained our quiet writing schedule through the pandemic. Family and writing probably helped me stay sane. Thanks to my dear friend Father Murray Bodo, before I go to my desk in the morning, I read for reflection. I ponder. I thank God for my many gifts—family, health, friends, books, ideas. Each of these gifts helps me feel alive. What about you? What helped you working and smiling during the pandemic? I should begin pondering what I learned.
This past week, I’ve been thinking about the wonderful word epiphany. In the Christian tradition, January 6, Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, symbolizes the arrival of the Three Kings or Magi to see the Christ Child in Bethlehem. This event symbolizes the Child being revealed to the World. In some countries, like Spain, that don’t have our Santa Claus tradition–although I think our Santa may have a world-wide following–it’s on January 6th that children receive presents.
My daughter, Libby Martinez, who spent a few years in Madrid with her husband, recently told me that many children in Madrid visit three kings sitting in front of a large department store. The braiding of traditions and commercialism.
Back to the word epiphany, a word I love and think of as a flash of insight.
Wishing you helpful and happy epiphanies in 2021.
What colors and symbols enrich your life as we end 2020, a challenging year?
November 2020Are we all feeling very ALIVE on this Election Day, 2020? Our amazingly diverse, democratic country is facing a significant challenge. Don’t we feel especially ALIVE when we are investing our talents and energies in a greater good?
Bombarded as we also are during this COVID Pandemic by ads and sales and distractions, how do we create opportunities to reflect on our specific work in this world? Investing in our deepest work day by day, we will feel most ALIVE. What is your deepest work?
Would I be less cold-natured had I not been born in the desert? I’ll never know. I do know that even a few warmish days, a respite from Santa Fe’s cold where I now live, give me an energy boost even without the shamrocks that I always grow inside in March. Spring is coming!
It’s a challenging spring with international health worries and election primaries on the news. Soon, though, I travel to speak to students, teachers, librarians and parents—all audiences I enjoy. Writing and presenting are among my favorite activities.
As you know, since I’m an avid reader, I’m also very committed to motivating our country to be a nation of readers. For many years, reading has helped me relax and learn. I feel very lucky to spend time with books and to encourage our young people across the country to be readers too. My granddaughter is a reader too now. Woo-hoo!
Join us in promoting and growing Children’s Day, Book Day, April 30th and every day of the year.
January 2020A year ago, I began this section for sharing some of my ruminations. When I was a little girl in my hometown of El Paso, Texas, my wonderful dad, Raúl Mora, known to many of his English-speaking clients as Roy, opened an optical company. Because it was directly across from a United States federal building, Mom and Dad named their business the United Optical Company.
My siblings and I all worked there at times whether cleaning desks or cleaning and delivering glasses to doctors’ offices. I grew up hearing Dad use the phrase 20/20 to mean “perfect” vision.
In this 2020 year, many of us are hoping that our cherished country will see clearly the work we need to do, collectively and individually, as a democracy, to live our stated ideals. One of my major commitments is promoting the pleasure and importance of reading and the importance of children, our nation’s future, through Children’s Day, Book Day, a daily initiative.
What do you hope keeps you creative and lively in 2020?
Each of the four seasons brings us memories. Some years back, I enjoyed writing haiku about the foods of the Americas in Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings, illustrated by my talented friend Rafael López.
Autumn is often a season of counting our blessings including family, health, education and our beautiful planet. Each of our blessings makes us more alive and, ideally, prompts us to share what we’ve been given.
I hadn’t thought of this season that I wait for with great anticipation as a verb too, of course–to leap. The spring season does have plants springing up and leaves appearing. Blossoms too. Ah, even here in the New Mexico desert, the scent of lilacs, sweetens the breeze. Lilacs require that we be attentive since though lovely, like many spring flowers, lilacs don’t last long.
Neither do the huge pink peony buds, a neighbor’s amazing gift. I am mesmerized by the stunning beauty, how the huge, opening blooms transform a room.
How can each of us also transform our spaces, share our talents generously, naturally, do our good work in the world? And what work is needed so that our wonderful country with its high aspirations of equality for all stuns our world by our example. Each of us is needed. Let’s be stunners ;).
So much snow this year in Santa Fe! How fortunate I feel safe and warm reading One Hundred Poems from the Chineseby Kenneth Rexroth.
“The city is full of flying pear flowers.”
I enjoy Penelope Lively’s Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived. All her wise and witty perceptions. How lucky I am to be a reader and to have access to books. Do you too savor that blessing? How it expands our lives and connects us across languages and countries. Diverse humans.
Across our country, educators—teachers, librarians, publishers–who are not only readers but reading advocates are planning their annual Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations on April 30th, a year of connecting children to bookjoy. Families join this yearlong commitment at home and can participate in the spring community celebrations.
I am more ALIVE because I’m a reader. You?
“When do you feel most alive?”
Years ago, a woman at a dinner asked that question. I’ve been thinking about these words as 2019 begins. Since I’m now (shock) a grandmother, and my three grown children are older than I am ;), it isn’t that hard to answer: when I’m with my family, and when I’m writing, presenting, or savoring the natural world whether outside or in my small atrium.
And you: when do you feel most Alive?
Because to do my work, I spend quite a bit of time alone, I’m excited about writing short monthly notes to those of you who visit me on social media. Thanks for stopping by. I welcome your questions and send you warm wishes for a healthy and happy year–of being fully ALIVE.