Grace Notes

This week’s newspaper column:

“Happy is your grace,
That you can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style.” ~ Shakespeare, As You Like It

Confession: I have always wanted to be graceful in all its diverse incarnations: elegant, willowy, lithe, agile, light on my feet, dignified, gracious, refined, charming and poised. Confession number two: I have always come up short—particularly in the lithe, agile, light on my feet definitions of gracefulness. The other meanings of grace I leave up to others to discern—you cannot judge your own graciousness or charm, you can only aspire to them.

Shakespeare’s definition of grace above, which I take to mean is the way in which we handle our fortune (or misfortune) is more abstract, but those of us not blessed with agility can try to emulate—“a quiet and sweet style”, rather than one that is brash and vulgar, arrogant and aggressive.

Another definition of grace derived from “The Book for Dangerous Women” is one that I can more easily aspire to as it does not require one to glide through life in a manner that does not include tripping (something I do quite regularly and will expound on more later). The three authors, Clare Conville, Liz Hoggard, and Sarah-Jane Lovett offer this wisdom under the heading of grace, and I have not read a more cogent and thoughtful treatment of the subject:

“We all have a higher self somewhere inside us. This is where your capacity
for kindness, wisdom and courtesy meets your love of family, and generosity
toward your friends and workmates transcends any negative or bad feelings
you have had. Graciousness reigns in this realm and if you can access your
higher self in times of strife it may well get you out of all kinds of trouble and
bring with it a feeling of great calm and serenity.”

So plumbing our depths for grace does not necessarily have to include that which I have so often reached for superficially—being swanlike and agile. I have never had inherent physical poise. I have to remind myself not to slump and to walk with my shoulders straight and head up. I try to tame my “duck” walk with feet splayed out rather than pointed in the direction I am going. And more recently, I try to cover up the fact that my balance is off.

Over the weekend I attended a lovely celebration for a couple who are now blissfully wed. Walking from one venue to the next, I attempted to climb the stairs to a restaurant in town, but for some reason I miscalculated and almost ended up hurling myself against cement steps and a brick wall. There are falls and then there are falls. But have you ever started to fall and just know that you are not going to be able to catch yourself? And you know if you do not, you are really going to maim and bruise yourself—and quite possibly break something? A helping hand reached out and prevented this—I do not know who helped me as I was quite shaken by the incident at the time, but whoever you are, if you are reading this—thank you, thank you, thank you.

I would like to be someone who floats effortlessly into a room but I am not. I have determined though that most of the factors that define grace are less contingent on physical gracefulness and more reliant on developing our higher selves—graciousness and kindness being at the top of the heap.

One of my heroines and the epitome of my definition of graceful is Audrey Hepburn. And it is not just because she exuded class and elegance—it is because her definition of beauty encompasses all that is graceful. She said:
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

In her words therein lies gracefulness.

What is your defintion of Grace?

Published in: on September 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm  Comments (36)  
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First Snow

First Snow!!! :)))

First Snow! (Photo credit: Denis Collette.)

The thin white layer

Barely covers the fall leaves

First snow of season.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm  Comments (15)  
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Wafting and Waning

Cairngorm autumn

(Photo credit: GaggieITMI)

Waning October

Wafting autumn fades gently ~

Late fall enchantment.

Published in: on October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm  Comments (22)  
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Harbinger of Things to Come

Textured Forest Floor

Textured Forest Floor (Photo credit: Martin Cathrae)

Warm blanket of leaves

Covers the lush forest floor

Limbs wave in mourning.

Published in: on October 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm  Comments (29)  
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Shiny Autumn

Wet Leaves

Wet Leaves (Photo credit: Noël Zia Lee)

Rain slicked autumn leaves

Plastered to the grey sidewalks~

Kaleidoscope swirls.

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm  Comments (10)  
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Finally in Mid-October

Weathered beauty

Weathered beauty (Photo credit: kuddlyteddybear2004)

Crispness in the air

Summer has now surrendered

Breathe freshness deeply

Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm  Comments (26)  
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Delicate Sensibilities

Today a story in the local daily about pink pumpkins caught my imagination. I took the address down and went on the hunt for my pink pumpkin.  I found it nestled among its sisters and brothers–not too big, not too small, plush but not obese —

English: The Giant Pumpkin competition at the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goldilocks would most assuredly declare it “just right”. It now adorns my front porch, adding a note of whimsy to my fall decor.  Its delicate colour appeals to my senses.  And the bonus is that part of the price of the pumpkin is going to cancer research. Here, in haiku form is my ode to my pale pumpkin:

Plush pink pumpkin glows

Beside its orange cousins ~

Diaphanous wisp of fall.

Are you a fan of the original orange pumpkins or do you like to mix it up?

Published in: on October 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm  Comments (34)  
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Season Changes Overnight

Inside Preview of Wet Fall Foliage

Wet Fall Foliage (Photo credit: catchesthelight)

Wet, cooler and brisk

Authentic fall at the helm ~

A relief of sorts.

Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm  Comments (14)  
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October Fairies

fairy wings

fairy wings (Photo credit: Jo Naylor)

Autumn afternoon

Cool morning mist has lifted

Fairy wings flutter

Published in: on October 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm  Comments (15)  
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Autumn Timeline

Late fall in Queens

(Photo credit: terryballard)

A tinge of autumn

An explosion of colour

Bare trees show their lace

Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm  Comments (12)  
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