Showing posts with label KISS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KISS. Show all posts

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Ways to Get Subsidiary Focal Points Right

Not a focal point, below, but a grand subsidiary focal point.
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Garden Design Rule: One Focal Point per Area.
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Not my rule, but agreed to.
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What to do?  Invent another rule.
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Focal Points are allowed subsidiary focal points nearby if they recede, touch foliage, don't draw attention.   Can be numerous if properly chosen & sited.
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Focal Points & Subsidiary Focal Points must both be so wonderful they will be fought over at your estate sale.


Pots must be so wonderful they can remain empty.  This young man, above, has dead plantings and he's fabulous.
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More, he flows with the style of the home's interior.
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Dogs, 3 young children, parents each own a business, they have farm property nearby, and a lake house.
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Get the picture?  Zero time for the garden.

Designing for women 80+, taught me how to truly design with tough love.  A huge honor, and weight.  They demand beauty, must have unskilled labor to maintain & little of it, something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, focal points on axis from inside views into the garden.  Nothing can go wrong with the garden.  Nothing.  Health issues arise, the house needs a new roof, a toilet floods.  If the garden has issues, they may decide to move.  It is my goal, their garden gives strength & joy to carry on in their home.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic this week in a client garden.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elements of Simplicity in Garden Design


Plain?  No, totally designed.
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 Embellishment?  Why?  What is that about?  Lack of confidence, knowledge of the wrong sort, arrogance against Providence?

 Tara Turf.  Gravel from the local river.
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Century old bricks made in Milledgeville, GA, an hour's drive.
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I designed the buttress copying an antebellum cotton warehouse seen near Atlanta.
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The walled garden was the client's idea.  
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It was my good fortune to design & site it.
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Oddly, with total confidence.
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Whence does that come?  Truly, a subdivision child ca. 1960, living in a subdivision still.
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Degreed in USA horticulture, not taught how to  design a good garden to save anyone's soul.  Much less my own.
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Off I went, $20 bills stuffed singly & slowly, somehow paying for 2+ decades of studying the best historic gardens across Europe.
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With this project, 300 acres, I learned what the real focus of those decades had been. 


Garden design working with land & home.
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More, mind/body/spirit.
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Land & home, team members with the garden design.  Literally, the best performers with the most talent.
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That college degree in horticulture?  Training to work against the land, ignore every gift of Providence.


Doubt any of my college professors could give a concise sentence about the style of Henry Repton.  In, "Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Repton wrote:
“The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the four following requisites. First, it must display the natural beauties and hide the defects of every situation. Secondly, it should give the appearance of extent and freedom by carefully disguising or hiding the boundary. Thirdly, it must studiously conceal every interference of art. However expensive by which the natural scenery is improved; making the whole appear the production of nature only; and fourthly, all objects of mere convenience or comfort, if incapable of being made ornamental, or of becoming proper parts of the general scenery, must be removed or concealed”.
The garden views, above/below, totally designed.  Providence reigns, human arrogance replaced with a pride in unveiling Nature's gifts.


Henry would know this garden.
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Beyond the Tara Turf, above, is my best design work.  Views across a Natural pasture into woodland.  .
Curiously, this type of gardening is perfect for the starter home on a postage stamp with little budget.  Instead, that type of home is built with an expensive landscape.  Lawn with mowing/chemicals/fertilizers, bushes needing regular pruning & mulching, nothing to shade the house reducing hvac, nor fruit trees to feed the household, certainly not any focal points on axis with the house to feed the spirit.
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Truth, with your full intellect, if you demand more from your landscape you will have it.
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By the time anyone hires me, that choice has been made.  Incredible to work for people who have engaged with their own lives.  Same, when I lecture.  Every chair filled with people who have engaged with their life.  They aren't there for me, nor am I, we are there for the same reason as Henry.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite earlier this year.
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The capitalized words? Used in the vintage sense.  Underlined sentence at the top?  Describing myself on the front end.  This has not been a boring ride !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Three Best Mistakes to Make in Your Landscape

Choose to make garden mistakes on the side of too simple, too little, too plain.
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Better to want more later than dig-up, move plantings, replace a now-thought-cheap/tacky-bench, regret the shape-style-color-of.....
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Long term, cute in a garden grates.  Whimsy is better.
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Be wary of 'words' in a garden.  They hold thoughts hostage that should flow randomly, Cole Porter's, Don't Fence Me In.
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Of course there are exceptions to all of the above.  Indeed.


This morning, above/below, Tomato & Hydrangea.  Perfect name for a spiked tea & scones cafe.


Feeding cats & chickens, assessing what the night wrought & will it rain today.


Tomato still in its peat pot with cellophane wrap & tags.  Awaiting a much larger pot & bamboo cane trellis.  Perhaps this weekend?  Hydrangea blossoms hanging lower, petal margins crispier, will I cut to dry or leave to enjoy from the windows?


Calm.  Boring is good.  Idle chit-chat in the head.
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Something new to learn about Social Media.  Facebook cannot control pictures during war.  Images seen cannot be unseen, merely absorbed into a safe, prayerful, place.
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Again, my Garden working for me.
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Have you watched the award winning foreign film, Burnt by the Sun ?    "The film depicts the story of a senior Red Army officer and his family during the Great Purge of the late 1930s in the Stalinist Soviet Union. Like a tragedy bySophoclesBurnt by the Sun takes place over the course of one day."  Wikipedia
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Oddly, it's beautiful. 
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Glad it taught my heart to assimilate what I saw yesterday within mundane ubiquity of beauty in a tomato & hydrangea.  The gift of choices, health to act upon them, perhaps a dinner party in late summer honoring the last of the tomatoes.  With dried hydrangeas in a vase.
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This is freedom.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden this morning.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garden Design Course: Free in a Single Pic

Under a pecan tree not much grows.
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Tara Turf is best.
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Why?
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Increased pollinator habitat increases crop yield up to 80%.
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 Susanne Hudson found herself with 4 benches needing a home.  Exquisitely, they found a home.
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Please put this on one of your Pinterest boards.  It's a free Garden Design course !
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Garden Design: backdrop, canopy-understory-groundcover aka ceiling-walls-floor, color, texture, scale, flow, garden rooms, mystery, serene, poverty cycle, curb appeal, focal point, subsidiary focal point, vintage theme, simplicity, low maintenance, pollinator habitat, urban gardening, structure all year.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic snapped with my phone last week.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Burn Your Light

Light from the garden, below.


Interesting legs, garden light a few of my favorite things.
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Oh my the criticisms, for decades, for leaning inward, to seemingly insignificant small joys.
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Edna St. Vincent Millay, "My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!"
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I met Peter Pan yesterday, and he wasn't lost.  With a bigger life I doubt I would have known.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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My bedroom, above, renovation still needs yellow/white French check draperies a la Charles Faudree.   Walls, Benjamin Moore - Sundress.  Hence you won't see more till then!  Painting by, Christine Gholson.  Truly, the light in my home is enriched by the garden.
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A quote in NYTimes long ago, "The more you go inward the more you outwardly connect." Pure permission, be-who-you-are.
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If you want a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, and causes you to tap the brake pedal, as you look in the rear view mirror heading out, become my client, local or on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gardener's Kitchen


This, below, has already gone to my contractor.



A gardener's kitchen.


All about the garden view.
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Contractor's response, "You can't afford to lose cabinet space."
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Whatever.
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Sitting in the kitchen now, I'm imagining how much more garden I will see.  Wind, birds, blooms, snow, rains, fall foliage, exfoliating bark, berries....
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics via Cote de Texas.  Of course new counters & painting too.  Kitchen is almost 3 decades, my starter kitchen, a relief to discover its next chapter.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the Porch with Drapes

Nothing was here, below, a few days ago.  


The porch, below, when we began.



The corner 'before', above, and 'after', below.


Lamp, above, seen from the garden, below.


Porch 'before', below, viewed from the garden.


 Of course you want to look in the window, above.


 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics of Porch Garden I created with Susanne Hudson at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival earlier this month.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Covered Screened Porch

Garden view, daybed, lamps, table w/chairs, blue/white, cozy, stuffed with amenities.  Staycation is too small of an idea for this room.


Flowing from garden to kitchen with doors, & views from master bedroom and living room.


This couple is always doing something with their grown children & spouses with grands.




Tipping point for the TV is obviously the grands.


Daybed, slounging chairs + a table with chairs for projects/computer?  Perfect trinity.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics same house/garden as previous post.  It's obvious Susanne Hudson has put her skills here.   I have a strong weakness for grandparent/grandchild relationships.  Mine still fills me with incredible strengths.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Front Porch Simplicity

When the competition is an old Pecan Orchard I know to go simple, below.


Soon the tea olive, above, will engulf the end of the porch.  And then be pruned into a tunnel, for the pure life necessity of leaving the porch at its tiniest entry.  Silent Partner doesn't think this is needed.  He has his reasons, I have mine.  200 acres and I am particularly interested in this square foot.


My competition, above.  Fields, Pecan Orchard & Home, a perfect trinity.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken this month at jobsite of several recent posts.  Leaving the Pecan Orchard alone includes creating Tara Turf, siting daffodils, boxwood & historic brick path, keeping fence at the road and saying 'no' to foundation plantings.
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Another fabulous Landscape Design making me unemployable to the largest landscape design/build/maintain companies across USA.  Planned obsolescence of irrigation, keeping fence, no foundation shrubs, no zoysia, no annuals.
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MATH on what 'those' companies would lose in installation & a single decade of maintenance with my design.  New fence, irrigation system & rows-upon-rows-upon-rows of green meatball shrubs. Lawn: 2 acres sod, mowing, irrigation, pre-emergents, fertilizer, edging.  Shrubs: several prunings yearly, mulch in the beds, pre-emergents, fertilizing, replanting annuals 2/year.
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Minimum annuals charge is $500/season by the best firm (of course I use the best, Simply Flowers, & of course they are needed in many commercial, and residential situations.)  Monthly maintenance $500.  Fence $4000, irrigation $4000, mulch 350/year, chemicals/fertilizer 200/year, &  foundation shrubs $5000, 2 acres zoysia sod $52,800.
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$141,300.00 for a decade of traditional USA Landscape Design.  My Landscape Design, above, $50/month maintenance fee, no foundation plantings, no irrigation, no chemicals, no mulch, little pruning, no sod, little mowing, keep fence, no fertilizer, no annuals, $6,000 for a decade.  (A kind woman, I give away the concrete foundation expense of the brick path, mine are in dirt.  Otherwise add another $5000)
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$135,300.00 difference. 
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Has the math sunk in?  
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My work/style is not meant to save money, yet it does.  It's historic Italian.  Enfilade from the interior of the home, pollinator habitat, a thanks to Providence, a joy to look at and live within.  When away on vacation my gardens are carried in the heart with a yearning to know everything while gone & return soon.  If you can leave at all.
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Chill Pill Urban Ag!  There are other ways in this industry to make money.  Ask Silent Partner !  Thank you for letting me be on your Outreach team.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Foyer & Front Porch


Foyer, below, with garden light.


Window, above, from the front porch, below.


It's my job, vanishing threshold, getting it right.
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This project  uses my entire team: interior decorator, general contractor, foreman, crew team & equipment, carpenter + team, mason+team, pruner+team & of course the homeowner.  We are 3 centuries of experience.
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With no weak links.  Communication flows.  Every ego wanting to know what is not right or not working, how else to get it right?
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And we all love getting dirty.  Homeowner too.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken at jobsite yesterday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Small Kitchen Garden

A few vegetables, greens, roses.  Done!


A rare patch of sun designed the location of their kitchen garden.  Their beloved dog dictated the fencing.  When we designed/installed their garden something fabulous happened.  'They' took over immediately their creativity unleashed.


Notice the leaf litter mulch?


A tree fell & her husband used it for the fencing.
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Sublime to create a garden for long-time-marrieds and they play like kids outside.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite this week.  Alas, I was called back because of septic work that demolished a quadrant of the front garden.  Have posted their garden before & must go back in spring for more pics of various garden rooms that they've lightly touched with 'art' yet let Nature rule.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sanctuary Gardens: Terry Hershey


Last year a client forwarded Sabbath Moment from Terry Hershey.


Every week, I take the time to read all of it.  Often passing it forward.
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He gardens too, above.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara


Terry Hershey

Uncle George

December 10, 2012

What is honored will be cultivated there. Plato   

If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Jesus     


Do you have any relatives that make you wonder
about the gene pool in your family tree?  Well, Uncle George was demanding and difficult. Looking after him was stressful, taxing and thankless.  Driving to the funeral of Uncle George, the young man let loose with pent-up emotion.

"Thank God," he says to his wife. "I suppose I'm sorry he died, but I've got to tell you, I don't think I could have stood one more day with that annoying man. I've had enough. And I'm telling you that the only reason I gave so much time and energy to your Uncle George was because of my love for you!"

"My Uncle George," she says flabbergasted. "My Uncle George? I thought he was your Uncle George!"

We collect Uncle Georges. It is the perfect metaphor for any anxiety, worry, fret, disquiet, apprehension or fear that is elevated to the level of urgent consternation. Uncle George consumes us. And he's not even our uncle. 

"Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things."
Jesus, The Gospel of Luke 

Which means there is a shift: I am now worrying about stuff I can do nothing about. And I give the better part of my attention, energy and time to non-essential matters.

And yet. For all our objections to the contrary, we collect worries like we collect all our STUFF... there's always room for one more. It seems to take care of something. I know I like to use Uncle George to let you know how important, or busy, or indispensable I am. It's still about control.

But worry and fuss is a pickle, because it gums up the system. Stops the flow. Worry, from an Anglo-Saxon word "to strangle" or "to choke." As if literally cutting off the air supply that allows us to breathe emotionally and spiritually.  

It's not just the accumulation of Uncle George(s), it is that we have become untethered and susceptible. So we feel at the mercy of--whether it be exhaustion, public opinion, the need to pacify or please, the need to impress, or fear or embarrassment or potential failure.

Here's the deal: preoccupied with Uncle George, I am quite literally, not myself. I am of two minds. I am exhausted, busy, pulled in many directions... and numb, not really available for people I love. And I am not really available to any wholehearted fire or gladness or desire or intention.  This is not to say that we can't engage in activities, or service, or work. However, work that is fueled by a need to be needed, or need to prove value is too consuming, leaving no time for rejuvenation, or prayer, or delight, or the quiet work of the Spirit.

So. What to do? As if we don't feel bad enough, some opt for the willpower-on-steroids approach, "Just cut it out!" That lasts for a half hour or so, about the same amount of time I can give up serious dark chocolate.

Others opt for techno-cure. Our paper had an article promoting "Hot gadgets to chill on vacation." Who knew? To think I can't relax unless I have the proper equipment. (Although, maybe they have a devise to help me remember all the stuff I forgot to worry about.)

The bottom line? With Uncle George we lose focus. When this happened to Jesus' friends, ("because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat," The Gospel of Mark), Jesus--mercifully--didn't preach or lecture or lead a prayer or offer a gadget.  The story says, immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowds away. "Come with me by yourselves," Jesus told them, "to a quiet place and get some rest."

It's not about creating a life absent of stress.
It's about being present, even in the hectic.
In other words, it is in the rest, the refueling, the "be-ing," the Sabbath that we refocus on essential matters, and allows us to let go, to be present, even in the busy, the noise, the demands, the lists.   

My friend tells the story about a Nativity play at his parish. Mary and Joseph show up at the inn, hoping for lodging. The little girl, playing the innkeeper, has only one line, "No room." But she apparently isn't beholden to the script. She opens the door (of the inn), looks at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at the priest. She looks back at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at her parents. She looks at Mary and Joseph and says, "Oh well, you might as well come on in for a drink."
Yes... I think that's great. We need the freedom (wisdom) of that little girl... the spontaneity and joy and compassion and gladness that comes from not being beholden. 

Today I am stressed. I have a rather intimidating pile on my desk (it could be two piles, but I'm afraid to try and separate them). I have obligations and travel commitments and speeches to make. I recognize that with the stress, I go through my days with a different point of view. It is predictable that I no longer see surprises, or splendor in the unexpected, because now I am too focused on what is missing, and I see only defects, imperfections and blemishes. This worry is gumming up the system. It is choking my sense of awe. Perhaps I've lost sight of essential matters.

There is more work to be done tonight, but it can wait. Sarah Mclachlan is singing Silent Night, there is a little Bordeaux left and a couple more ornaments for Zach to put on the tree. Right now, this is more important. It is the heart of Sabbath. The music washes over me. And, at least for the moment, I don't give any thought to Uncle George.
 
I want to know if joy, curiosity, struggle, and compassion bubble up in a person's life. I'm interested in being fully alive.  Alan Jones    

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Poems and Prayers          

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened. Mark Twain
   
Why I am Happy
Now has come, an easy time. I let it
roll. There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by and a willow listens
gracefully.
I hear all this, every summer. I laugh
and cry for every turn of the world,
its terribly cold, innocent spin.
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on.
And I know where it is.
William Stafford

Dear Lord,
Help us to do our very best this day
and be content with today's troubles
so that we shall not borrow the troubles of tomorrow.
Save us from the sin of worrying,
lest stomach ulcers be the badge of our lack of faith.
Amen.
Peter Marshall 


Be Inspired

Misty River -- Heather's Song
Melissa Etheridge -- Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Sarah Mclachlan -- Silent Night

Favorites from Last Week:    
Patty Griffin -- I don't ever give up  
Patty Griffin -- Forgiveness  
Final dance in the movie Strictly Ballroom   
The only response is gratefulness - Brother David Steindl-Rast
When it don't come easy - Patty Griffin 
Sarah Mclachlan -- Answer 
The Prayer --  Shy Boy and his Friend Shock the Audience on Britain's Got Talent
Sarah Mclachlan -- In the arms of an angel 
Pete Seeger -- Forever Young 


Notes from Terry
 
(1) Sabbath Moment is only possible because of the generous gifts of readers.  For those who have donated... THANK YOU.   If you wish to be a part of making this gift possible, I appreciate your gift.     

 
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(2) Enjoy a stroll in my garden...   

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