Friday, June 3, 2016

Taking Time for Silence


"Moon shadow" by James Jordan

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
          ― Robert Lynd


It's time to be silent for a while.
 
Reacquaint myself with stillness and the wonder of the moon.

"Moon child" by Michal Koralewski








CHILD MOON
     by Carl Sandburg, 1916

The child's wonder
At the old moon
Comes back nightly.
She points her finger
To the far silent yellow thing
Shining through the branches
Filtering on the leaves a golden sand,
Crying with her little tongue, “See the moon!”
And in her bed fading to sleep
With babblings of the moon on her little mouth.


Reacquaint myself with my own pen and paper babblings.


Back in February, I introduced my One Little Word for 2016:

Enkrateia = to be "in power over oneself."

Without getting into that discussion all over again (you can read it here), my goal was to find where I can cut back on some things in order to make room for others. I've taken enkrateia to heart (even if I still can't spell it *by* heart), and to that end, here are three ways Today's Little Ditty will be changing over the coming months:

1. Spotlight interviews and the Ditty of the Month Club will be published eight months out of the year: February through May and August through November.
The "off" months will be spent focusing on other projects. I still hope to blog occasionally, even if it's just my illustrated quotation series (Two Line Tuesday), but it probably won't be with any kind of regularity. I hope that doesn't cause the Ditty of the Month Club to lose momentum, but some things are worth the risk.

I'm reminded of these words from Adam Clay's "Meditation for the Silence of Morning": 
I wake myself imagining the shape
of the day and where I will find

myself within it.


. . .

We destroy the paths of rivers to make room for the sea.

We have some wonderful Spotlight interviews scheduled for the rest of 2016, so trust me, there's much to look forward to!

2. I'm delighted to be adding a new regular contributor to the TLD line-up.
Diane Mayr has agreed to bring her expertise as a librarian to explore various resources, tools, and opportunities to expand our horizons as writers, readers, and poetry-appreciators. Thank you, Diane– I'm looking forward to your posts!

3. Would you like to share a blog post with the TLD community?
I'm opening Today's Little Ditty's doors to guest bloggers. Not to be confused with TLD's regular contributors, these one-off posts might fall into an existing TLD series—Book Love (reviews) Haiku Garden (focusing on haiku), Limerick Alley (focusing on limericks), or Poetry in Action (focusing on poetry combined with other mediums, music, video, art, etc.)—you decide who or what you would like to feature and write the post, I will publish it. Or maybe you have something related to children's poetry, picture books, or verse novels that you would like to share outside of these series. While I don't have a whole lot of slots available for this kind of thing, I do have a few. Contact me– I'd love to hear your ideas.

There may be other changes to the blog as well, though I haven't spent enough time exploring feasibility to know if they're actually going to work! I do promise plenty of good stuff come August and hope you'll be here to join me for that.


And speaking of good stuff...
How about that persona poem celebration last week?! There were a couple of late arrivals, so you might want to go take another look.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed a persona poem in response to Laura Shovan's challenge. In an email exchange with Laura, she said, "There were some great characters and voices created in response. Who knows – maybe one among them will go on to star in a book someday." I couldn't agree more!

Random.org has determined that the winner of a personalized copy of Laura Shovan's THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House) goes to . . .

DIANE MAYRcongratulations, Diane!


"Cape Cod fantasy" by Elliot Margolies

Wishing all of you a wonderful summer!

See you August 5th for our next Spotlight interview and DMC challenge. 


Jone MacCulloch is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Check It Out.







58 comments:

  1. You have great instincts, Michelle, so I'm sure your blog will continue to flourish under these changes. xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Tabatha. I hope you're right. xo

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  2. I'm not doing a post today, on vacation, Michelle. But I had to read your post, loving all that you are pondering and planning. Welcome to Diane, too!

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    1. What a sweetheart you are for stopping by on your vacation, Linda. :) Enjoy!

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  3. I'll miss TLD, but I'm glad you're taking a break. Have a blessed summer and see you in August!

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  4. Thanks for including me as a contributor, Michelle! And another thanks for drawing my name for The Last Fifth Grade...! How lucky am I?

    If you (everyone) has specific librarian questions you'd like me to try to answer, let me know! Or, let Michelle know and she'll pass them along to me.

    I'd like to say I can start researching today, but, my daughter is in labor with her first child at this very minute!

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    1. Wahooey!!! Awaiting your good news (and a picture), Diane. :)

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    2. Now 5:09 PM and still waiting...

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    3. Saw your message on FB this evening, Diane, so I'm letting everyone else know— congratulations on your new grandson! Kisses for baby Owen. xxx

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    4. Thanks, Michelle! He's definitely a keeper!

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  5. I'm looking forward to your changes. They sound wonderfully grounded, sensible, and roomy. Good for you. I was reflecting on a poem this week by Elizabeth Rooney. I think you may enjoy in this season.

    Mute

    Must we use words
    For everything?
    Can there not be
    A silent, flaming
    Leap of heart
    Toward Thee?

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    1. Yes! I'll be on the lookout for that "silent, flaming/Leap of heart." Thank you for sharing these words with me, Dori. :)

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  6. Sounds like a good plan, one that will help you balance the goodness here at the blog with your own projects. Nice to hear Diane will be joining the gang. :)

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    1. I'm hoping for the best, Jama. My expectations of what can be accomplished are usually superhero-sized, but I'm going to focus on one day at a time and see how it goes.

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  7. "Child Moon" is one of my favorite Sandburg poems, Michelle. I completely understand your desire for "enkrateia" (one reason why my little blog has been a bit neglected this year). TLD is such a treasure, and I think it is wonderful how you are finding balance through cooperation with other authors!

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    1. I agree, Becky, blogs can eat up time like nobody's business. But I always consider it a treat to have you stop by!

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  8. I'll look forward to August, Michelle. In the meantime, I hope you accomplish all you hope to over the summer, including having time to rest and recharge. Thank you for creating this welcoming, supportive corner of the kidlitosphere!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine. Your words mean so much. :)

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  9. Such harmonic convergence for grandma-in-waiting, Diane!
    Yay! for her winning, for her librarianship answer desk upcoming here
    at TLD & for the imminent birth.

    And appreciations to you Michelle for sharing about the exciting shift,
    here. I know It will be wonderful for your world & that includes your writing.

    I love thinking about silence & later today will go listen for the sky & the insects & the birds... I didn't know the Robert Lynd quote & thank you for it & for many other things wrapped up with the wonderful TLD.

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    1. Thank YOU for being a part of my world and the TLD community, Jan!

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  10. I didn't post today yet. Mulling over whether or not I will, I read your post. I am cleaning out. This is a yearly thing for me after school is out. The momentum slows quickly, so I must grab it while I can. Much is the same for silence and giving time to ourselves. We have to make room for it. I appreciate all you do here and celebrate that you are taking a break. Happy summer, silence, and writing!

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    1. Margaret, I'm similar....I'm all wired for a few days and then whoosh the energy is gone. Never have learned good pacing for myself....working on it though.

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    2. Welcome to the summer of self-love, Margaret. Sounds like you could use a bit of pampering. :)

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  11. So lovely to hear from you and to see one of my role models...model self-artist-care.

    All of us live in a world that praises us for doing too much. Creatives can get beaten up in that a bit.

    Michelle, you continue to inspire and TLD will be something I seek out in whatever format you put it. I look forward to seeing whatever project you are working on bloom.

    You go girl!

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    1. Aw, shucks, Linda... make my day, why don'cha!

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  12. Hi Michelle,

    I'm feeling the need for some silence and moon-gazing too. I like that you acknowledged it instead of just disappearing, like me!

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    1. I'm just glad you're taking it, Liz, whether or not you announce it to the world!

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  13. Congratulations, Michelle, for listening to your inner being. I know that whatever you do (or don't do) will be with the greatest of intention. Change is hard. Always.

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  14. Rest and rejuventate & enjoy your summer, Michelle!

    I'm craving quietude and stillness too--just 7 more days of school, and it will be summer! :)

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    1. Thanks, Maria. We're counting down the days here, too!

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  15. I love the poem, the wise thoughts on the need for silence and your powerful decision to make choices that allow you to grow and be. Wishing you all good things this summer and plenty of time for moon-gazing.

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  16. You can hear so much in silence sometimes. I'm looking forward to your changes, Michelle. I, too, have some changes coming at my blog (something must be in the air). I may have a blog post idea to share with you in the fall. Also looking forward to Diane's contributions. This community is awesome. =)

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    1. Ooh, you've definitely piqued my interest, Bridget! Email when you can.

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  17. I hear you. I posted today at the last minute. I had a goal of posting to reach 1000 by year's end, but that isn't happening and I'm okay with it. I have to be. There is so much more to do and listen to and read and experience. Time to get reflective and reassess some things.
    Have fun!

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    1. I'm hearing about a lot of last minute (or not at all) posts today. Sounds like there are quite a few of us who are a bit burnt out, Donna. Do take care of that muse of yours.

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  18. You deserve a break, Michelle! Make sure you take one. I, for one, really appreciate the enthusiasm with which you've celebrated our contributions to your ditty challenges. But I know how much time it takes me to put together my simple blog posts. I can't imagine how time consuming your monthly challenges were -- because they were always excellently presented. It was a treat to be featured. Wishing you a good good summer!

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    1. It's definitely a labor of love, Violet. Happy summer to you, too!

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  19. Good onya! Less (for us) will be more (for you), and that's just FINE.

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  20. I absolutely adore your blog and all you offer, so I'll miss it...BUT breaks are important. It's so easy to ignore our own writing and we must take time for it. I'm taking a break, too. Last summer I didn't and I decided then that I would definitely take this summer off.
    Here's to reacquainting yourself with your own pen and paper babblings! Happy Summer!

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    1. I'm glad to hear you'll be taking a break too, Penny. It's always good to recharge... plus, that means I won't be missing too much. ;) Happy summer!

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  21. Michelle, in the daily living of life we all need to recognize that balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle. I applaud your move "to be silent for a while. Reacquaint myself with stillness and the wonder of the moon." This is a timely phrase for me as I co-host #PeopleSkills tomorrow on "Balance in Life Relationships." I have been a bit off-balance lately with too many things to do. I will miss your voice but know that when it comes back on air, it will be powerful. Enoy life!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I do wonder sometimes how you manage it all!

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  22. What a perfectly lovely post. That first photo is just breathtaking. Have a restful summer. I know how important it is to take time now and then.

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    1. So nice to see your name pop up, Rosi! I've been thinking about you. :)

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  23. Glad to know you'e giving yourself some time to relax and refocus. Have a great summer!

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    1. Thank you, Matt. I hope you have a great summer, too!

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  24. It is such an important thing to step back and take time for self and your own creative projects. Good on you for being brave and also kind to self.

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    1. Thanks, Kat. I know I can look to you as a role model for that.

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  25. These seem like great choices, Michelle, and I hope your moon-wanderings, celestial writings make your soul happy. XOXO

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    1. A happy soul goes a long way, doesn't it! Thanks, Brenda... enjoy your summer. xoxo

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  26. Hooray! I'm excited to see what Diane brings to TLD as a regular contributor. Michelle, thank you for this lovely reminder that we need to take time for ourselves, to be silent, to replenish.

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    1. Hoping you can find some replenishing time for yourself, busy lady!

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  27. Enkrateia, what an enchanting word, in so many ways... Sounds like some positive and fruitful changes, I'm looking forward to what's coming. Thanks for the celestial poems here, I'm especially fond of Carl Sandburg!

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    1. Isn't that Sandburg poem wonderful? I'm not 100% certain myself what's coming, but I'm glad you're along for the ride, Michelle.

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