{december lights: citron}

Buddha's Hand Fruit 4

citrus deities

fragrant hand blesses
wafting godlike essences
breathe, breath of heaven

Fruitcake with plain dried fruit and fresh spices and no weirdly colored cherries (or whatever those green things are) is actually quite tasty. If you’ve never used a citron medica var or fingered citron or Buddha’s hand in cooking before, you owe it to yourself to try. Wait for a day when you have a few extra pence lying about, and splurge. It smells glorious, and tastes like… well, lemon peel with essence of lemon blossoms.

We left slices of this lovely fruit in our sugar bowl, and in the kitchen, and now our tea tastes magical, and the whole downstairs smells of flowers. May light infuse and suffuse your being in just this same way.

{december lights: little fires}

This past weekend, our chamber group had a night show and a matinee show, and were able to take advantage of the gloriously bright, but bbbrrrrrisk afternoon to wander about during intermission and before call time (as long as we were within earshot. Our Director is calm, but the section leaders are a teeensy bit on edge). We were singing at one of California’s historic missions, and so the landscaping was gorgeous, dotted with ancient olive trees, fountains, and… well, graves. The original building collapsed during the 1909 earthquake, and a chapel was built in front of the ruins (and somewhat over them) and they used the churchyard as a regular churchyard, until the church was dismantled and sold to the Episcopalians. The families wanted their departed loved ones to remain in situ when they rebuilt, so… there are graves everywhere, even inside the mission chapel.

But, I digress – I was talking about the lovely grounds. I have no idea what kinds of leaves these are, and I came upon them reading gravestones… they were a nice counterpoint. In the midst of life, we are in death, but hey — in the midst of death, these leaves glow like ruby flames.

Sing a song of seasons!
            Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
            Fires in the fall!

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Arise and shine, friends.

{december lights: a new annunciation}


Blessed, blessed

are you, for


will make you weep

when the light hits the grass

in the morning.

I will make you crave

conversation like red

meat, lay you

weak, at the feet

of strangers. I will open

lives like vistas

before you

that you will never



beautiful thing

will come to you and press

against your flesh.

There is nothing

that will not call

your name, nothing

that you will not long

to possess, nothing

that will not offer up red

kisses, coupling,

seeping into the roots

of the world.


will deceive you,

tell you all you need is a

mouthful, but in truth,

I know the desire

I infect you with is


See, how the red shoes

I bind to you prick

your feet,

hungry for the beat

and sway

of word upon word.

Blessed, oh! blessed

are you.

~ ©2007, all rights reserved, by Sara Lewis Holmes

{december lights: queer divine dissatisfaction}

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.

You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

~ Martha Graham

{december lights: emo management}

Probably by the time you read this, I’ll be lying down with my feet up. The first two of five concerts is whooshing toward me this weekend, and this year I am not sick, I am not coughing, I am READY and … yet, no matter how many times I do this, I still get stage fright. Yes, welcome to my life. Our first two concerts, we’re singing in a chapel built in 1797…with such beauty and antiquity, there’s a slight feeling of being weirdly out of my element, not to mention the fact that people are paying to come and hear us. *Yikes.*

Whenever emotional overrun happens, we remember Mr. Rogers, who told us how to deal:

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” – Fred M. Rogers, 1928-2003

If I mention my anxiety about …well, everything too often, it’s because of this: everything mentionable is mangageable, and once we can talk about it, we can kick its butt.

And on that note! Arise & shine.

{december lights: p7’s poetry friday lai}

…or the stars, as the case may be.

It’s Poetry Friday, and the last month of the year, huzzah! The Sisters have once again persevered and come through! Yay, us! And here we are with another poetic form! This one… I’ve never done before, and it was both simple and hard. Simple is sometimes really difficult, I find. The Lai is a form from France, and this nine-line poem uses an “A” and “B” rhyme scheme with A lines being five syllables, and B lines two. The pattern is AA B AA B AA B. See? Simple. But… also ridiculously hard.

As always, the Sisters did it justice. Don’t miss works by Sara,
Laura, Tricia, Kelly,, and Liz.

Fortunately, our theme was “hope, peace & light” which ties nicely into December’s theme as a whole, right? I gave it a go, and after some technical difficulties under the heading of, “I started to enjoy just writing a poem, forgot there were rules about end rhyme and ended up with some weird hybrid,” I came up with this little poem in three parts – moving from dusk to midnight to dawn… it’s not so much about hope or peace or light, and more about… determination to find such:

I. Waning Light
Darkest time of year
Dusk seems always near;
It waits.
Autumn days austere
chill the atmosphere.
By eight,
Day time’s souvenir,
moon, will disappear.
II. Will The Dawn Return?
Let the dark gestate
That which we await
And fear.
Though we may debate,
seasonal dictates
are clear:
Let us celebrate
Life, as its due date
draw near.
III. Dragging In Darkness
Daybreak’s slow premiere
heralds blue skies, clear
roads straight.
Borne, we cannot steer
Our celestial sphere.
Our fate
mutable, unclear –
But, we persevere,

Vacaville 191

2017 has been… a ride over Niagra in a barrel – and if you’ll recall, Annie Edison Taylor said of it, “If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat…. I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.” Yeah… it’s just been that kind of a year. But! While days may be dark, the moon may be dim, and our nerves on edge, remember that the spirit of creativity is its own spark, dear ones. Don’t let your hands be idle. Even if it’s putting stickers on a piece of paper and making bookmarks for a school library, it’s doing something to feed you. Keep finding your feet, holding your candle, and lighting your world.

Arise and shine.

Poetry Friday today is hosted by Cousin Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Please pop over for more lovely poetry today. Thank you for dropping by, and we hope you join us – the Seven Sisters – for whatever poetic hijinks we get up to next year! We’ll see you in January.