Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nature's Lullaby

1/29/08 - 11:00 p.m.
The hill behind my home is called a mountain by the locals, Red Mountain. Perhaps they call it so because its bones are stone and minerals instead of just plain dirt. It is tall but not very – just tall enough to catch the winds that came with this night’s storm. Through my open windows I hear wind roaring across its crest. It sounds like a distant rough surf or a never-ending train. I can see the lights of the TV stations along the crest, and I’m sure they are broadcasting even now how there are blackouts across the city. I’ll hear the replay sometime tomorrow morning; right now my power is out. I heard the transformer blow on that mountain, and I wonder that it is my lights that are out and not theirs.

I sit here at my laptop with a fully charged battery, a glass of wine at hand, enjoying the ambient glow of candles in my hearth and oil lamps bright enough to read by here and down the hall. It’s rather pleasant actually, and once I’ve finished this blog, I’ll take my lamp and glass of wine out onto the balcony before the temperature takes its predicted plunge. Just because I can work, doesn’t mean I must. I want to soak in the rare moment of the darkened neighborhood with only the sounds of the wind on the mountain and the occasional passing car.

1/30/08 - 7 a.m.
It got colder around midnight, so I battened down the hatches. Lamp in hand I remembered to turn off light switches, as I made my way to bed. Once there, warmly ensconced betwixt and between down pillows, feather bed and comforter, I opened Evanovich’s ‘Plum Lucky’ and chuckled my way through two chapters. With laughter as my nightcap, I was ready for sleep; blew out the flame of my lamp, snuggled deeper into my feather nest; and fell asleep to the sound of wind on the little mountain behind my home.

© Perle Champion

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Makes America, America?

What makes America, America. That’s the title of Oprah’s show today. It’s a good question. I’ll tune it in at 4:00 cst and watch, but I thought that first I’d answer the question for myself and pose it to you out there.

America to me is being able to get in my car and drive across the borders of 48 diverse and contiguous states and never have to show ID – there are no border guards. America is an abundance of opportunity that at times seems most appreciated by the immigrants for whom it is novel and not the given. I hope I never become so jaded that I take it for granted.

It is the peaceful, if somewhat vociferous, transfer of power of the presidency and other elected offices. It is being able to write and say what’s on my mind and not be arrested for my opinion. It is the rule of law, with all its pros and cons, that gives us a basis for the decisions of our courts.

There is more, too much to list here.

I still tear up when I sing the Star Spangled Banner. Here in the South, I still attend meetings where the invocation is followed by facing the flag in the corner and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with my hand over my heart – and I know what every word means to me.

(c) Perle Champion

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let’s Get Organized - Yeah, Sure!

I’ve read all the articles; I know all the rules. In some areas of my life, I succeed. By the door are 2 terra cotta white wine chillers. They were gifts from some people who know I drink wine, but didn’t pay attention to one small detail. I only drink red wine. I found that their absorptive nature makes them the perfect container for wet umbrellas.

Also by the door is a large basket holding anything that needs to go out the door when next I go out the door to the car: library books, a spare hammer for my mom, magazines to pass along, etc. Across from the door is the entry table. This gets keys, sunglasses, change, outgoing mail, post-it notes and a pen for messages or notes to self to immediately stick on the door, so I don’t forget my take-alongs. The

roomy top drawer holds my purse on the right, and stamps, envelopes, return l abel s, and pens on the left.

Some areas of my life just flat defy organization. My studio is one of them. My

writing space is another. Oh, and then there's the coffee table.

Organization here is a

goal, a carrot, make that, the perfect double dark chocolate truffle, in the distance. No matter how hard I try, I never quite reach it.

It is said that the destination is not as important as the journey, so I'll keep on traveling and reaching for that distant truffle.

© Perle Champion

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Camus Can Keep His Summer - Give Me Spring

A lone narcissus bouquet, fooled by a false winter, blooms in the pale December sun streaming through the window of my aerie. I peruse the White Flower Farms catalog; plan my window boxes; and dream of Spring.

Camus had his invincible summer*, but I have spring. A spring deep inside me that says new things are always possible. Always there is a budding and a potential for the full bloom of life and love and my heart’s desire. A humbug friend of mine says I’ll never grow up. If by growing up, she means giving up the infinite possibilities of life, then she is right.

In the deep of winter on my morning walk, I sense the potential life in the barren limbs of trees just waiting to spring forth. The frosty, crisp, brown grass whispers up to me of verdant futures yet to be.

The narcissus’ on my sill are mute. Do they wonder at the frosty landscape below their safe interior sill? Do they care? I do. They as much as anything, keep Spring’s promise near to the fore in my thoughts, side by side with each dream and each daily chore.

*”In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

© Perle Champion, is a writer, artist, photographer. Contact:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Here’s to Billy Joe and Jimmy Buffett

Here's to my brother Billy Joe and his Brilliant Strategy.

This morning is a cold, cold winter day; the temperature is in the teens. As I sit here at my computer occasionally cupping my hands around my steaming cup of tea, I feel cold seep through the windows. The local classic rock radio station is playing in the far corner of the living room, when all of a sudden I hear the strains of Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’. I immediately hit the remote to pump up the volume, sit back and let the music wash over me. I am suddenly transported to a hot summer day walking along the white strand of Fort Morgan’s beach. I cup my tea and almost taste the margarita and hear the sounds of surf off the balcony of the house we rented every year on that peaceful beach just down from the Preserve.

Why do I thank my brother for this? Simple. The whole time we were at the beach all those summers ago, he would play Buffett’s music over and over again. One day in exasperation, I asked “Billy, can’t you play anything else?”

He said “Nope, I only take Buffett to the beach. And some day, you’ll thank me for it. Some cold winter’s day, when Buffett comes on the radio, you’ll flash to the beach and it won’t seem quite so cold. It’s like magic.”

He’s right, so here’s to Billy’s bit of magic, warm memories and a nod to Buffett.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Journal - A Conversation with Myself

I’ve put a fresh spiral notebook between the red leather covers of that which is my journal. Through most of my days, my journal is my lifeline, my confidant, sometimes my very sanity. Somehow, committing my life’s trials to the page are my salvation. On the page, I can view my life more objectively; on the page, it is something I can ponder but not dwell upon. Somehow, it is once removed and lends me however briefly a certain objectivity.

If I can offer you one thing to add to your resolutions, it is this. Keep a journal Once a day, put pen to page and write whatever comes to mind, what you are grateful for, what bothers you, what you want from days to come. Turn off all the outside noise: TV, phone, radio, ipod, computer.
Take a little time to have a conversation with yourself. Go back and read what you have written and get a little insight into this unique person that is you – you might surprise and amaze yourself at who you really are.
Happy 2008.