what my soul looks like

March 31, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments

tonight, on this sore-throat, mozart-ian, sleepy tuesday at twilight
while the saint sits on the floor reading Tillich,
and Octavia languidly lounges atop her perch,
i share with you some images of my soul:

from Erica Tanov's spring/summer collection found via Bliss

from parisian photographer Nicolas Matheus via Desire To Inspire

now off to make celebratory cupcakes in honor of a shrunken waist line,


a wee spot of something simple

March 30, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

happiness is an empty dishwasher.
misery is ill-fighting tights.

happiness is new gloves from Israel.
misery is gloves that are still lost!

happiness is in the wanting.
misery in the same.

may today be simple and good.


five miles by friday

March 27, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

as of monday, i have successfully walked five miles this week. though this is by no means a superhero (or even exercise worthy) sum, i feel good that it is more than i did last week.

friday's walk was a bit different - and shouldn't friday stand out among the other days of the week? so i gave friday its soul's demands.

i walked on bellevue avenue, but only after i readied myself for being out for the afternoon. i ran into some lovely friends and neighbors on the street, and then walked up to summit to write my weekly correspondence at top pot doughnuts. i managed to refrain from partaking of the doughnut goodness, but i plan to reward myself for it next week with a cupcake! i sat in the quiet for two and a half hours, and my hands started to cramp...but what joy is mine; how i love writing them.

i then wandered to the grocer to buy some fruit for healthy snacks (i am cracking down on some of my recent eating habits) and vegetables for the carrot & ginger soup i made for dinner.

our friday night is quiet. i gather candles around me and light them slowly, letting their fragrance of evening settle upon my heavy eyes. whatever your friday holds, i do hope it is something so entirely satisfying to your soul.

with admiration and appreciation for your reading eyeballs,


once upon a slow thursday morn

March 26, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments

today my body is in protest: protest of walking, protest of waking, protest of making my bed. i confess my unwillingness to dress and leave the house on my morning walk. there are days when my bones can carry nothing more than my weighty soul, my flesh desirous only of the weighted slumber of my comforter. but alas, i hit snooze as much as i wanted, and then finally arose with grumble and grit. i also must confess that i walked because i told you i would. i never thought the internet could keep me so accountable.

there are days when i can multitask wondrously, but today i minimize distractions, keep only one webpage open, blink out the world, and crawl into my foxhole.

and i wonder at this changling.
while i walk, i write.

to be human is to change. we feel so acutely in one moment something we discredit in the next. if we choose one path, we feel ashamed if tomorrow we choose another. we fall in love; we grow cold. we are attached; we need space. we love; we hate.

taking into account this ever-changing nature, i suppose then that the most ideal relationship will allow another the change of their nature, with no explanation, expectation, or resentment - to encourage the culdesac of the soul.

as i walked on this bright, brisk morning, my legs felt like weights and head clouded in gray. though nothing in my awareness plagues my soul this morning, i feel cautious, quiet. i want to stare out the window like my cat and sit for hours.

and then i realize that i am living the life wherein i can do exactly as i please at any given whim, and my eyes sting with gratitude, my soul expands with breath...

alas, happy thursday to you. today my hope for you is that you leave yourself alone - be a friend to yourself - and take what you need with the knowledge that you are exactly as you are supposed to be.

~candace ruth


wednesday morning chronicle

March 25, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

miracle of miracles! today is momentous and jocund indeed, for today i was able to wake up at 8:30am and STAY awake. i have had such a wonderful morning, and it is only 11:15 (roughly about an hour after i usually wake up). okay so i am not as bubbly as my words make out - this is probably not at all possible for me (except on the dance floor), but it really does feel oh so good for my wee soul.

so what did i do with the extra 1.5 hours i put back into my day? well, i'm glad you asked.

i woke to the faintest drizzle and the brilliance of the sun trying to peek through seattle's umbrella of gray. it was too early for me to take my walk, so i sat with tea (chamomile) and breakfast (yogurt, granola, honey, and strawberries) on my decidedly comforting green couch and read for a bit. i wish i could skim over this part for your sake (i mean, you probably have things to do besides sit and absorb my chirp-chirping), but i simply cannot.

i read two amazing passages this morning. one in the form of a poem by Rilke (yep, still crushing) and another in Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain.

Rilke summed up my recent desire for morning walks. "I would like to step out of my heart and go walking beneath the enormous sky" (expert from "Lament"). A quote that will, no doubt, appear in future musings.

But Merton - oh Merton speaks to me today with tones of Moore's Care of the Soul. The suffering of a human and what the repression of said suffering can do to a soul...it is devastating.

"Indeed, the truth may be that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does the most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering comes to him from things so little and trivial that one can say that is no longer objective at all. It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture....it turns our nature inside out, eviscerates all our capacity for good, turning them against ourselves" (90).

This is such an accurate depiction of depression - this being both "subject and source" of pain...an internal demonetization that knifes you. you scream for it to stop, grabbing the hand of the killer - only to find it is your own hand...your own face...your own soul. because this suffering is the worst i have known, i instead often choose to uncover all the little pockets of suffering that i have repressed...to deal with them instead of the later.

A thought-provoking morning, indeed (the best kind).

I then embarked upon my morning walk. I heard more poems, this time Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 - which I also memorized in grade nine. I took off my cap to let the rain kiss my face. I made a fool of myself taking pictures while others stared. I simply was...in that moment...I was. This, like an early spring shower, is a gift both profound and simple; immeasurable and diminutive; vast and microscopic.

Upon my return from my walk, I found myself at last awake and ready to do as I intended...dishes, vacuum, write, etc. I will spend the rest of the day at my parent's house doing my taxes and designing my next little house project.

Wednesday can be so tricky for some, but for you, my dears - I wish for even one nanosecond in which you can hear your breath, listen to a sonata, smell an old page; for in these sacred spaces, your comfort is surely waiting.


i want a cupcake.


i wandered lonely...

March 24, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

i have just returned from a most glorious morning walk. my cheeks are rouged, my eyes wide, my spirit awakened. i must tell someone! it's brimming up inside of me! it is a GORGEOUS day here in seattle and not necessarily because it's traditionally perfect weather, but because it's a day that has been noticed and loved. though cold, there is a dreamy breeze that kicks up the tails of my coat and brings to life the forsythia, daffodils, and green things that i know not by name.

what do you hear when you take a walk in solitude? i hear the wind and the beat of my blood. to this beat, my mind recites old poetry i didn't know i remembered. today, because of the presence of so many daffodils on bellevue avenue, i recalled "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," by Wordsworth. i was required to memorize this in grade nine, but alas, i could only remember the first four lines on my walk. i admire what is birthed from meandering, pointless solitude.

i came home to a small, simple bowl of mini-wheats and orange juice, and dug out my high school text book. i looked up the poem and read it as i ate. it has been an ideal morning...the kind i dreamed of having back when i was stuck at work. then i thought of many of you who cannot enjoy a leisurely mid-week morning walk, and i thanked god for this time. i did. it's true.

for breath, for rest, for unknowns, for you.
i thank god.
~candace ruth


march meanderings on bellevue avenue

March 23, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

good morning, my trees.
what sustains your trunk today? to what wind do your springy branches sway?

i will not use this opportunity to complain about my inability to rise out of bed at a decent time, but will instead inform you of my morning walk. it is my intention (and i am just going to leave it at that) to head out every morning this week right as i wake and take in the morning - hopefully snapping what i see along the way.

oh what does the day hold?
for me - beer, books, and basketball.
a tasty combination considering the basketball was free.

i plead to the gods for your monday,


le weekend: en emages

March 22, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

mid morning walk

like him with friends possessed

courtside sass

a most happy procurement


a flurry of activity and the long-awaited before/after

March 20, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Happy Friday, dearlings. I hope you feel that schoolgirl crush on the weekend as I do. The saintly saint and I are headed to Bellingham to visit our lovely cousins overnight and I have a list a mile long of preparations to make beforehand. We are also leaving Octavia for the first time overnight, so that should be an interesting experiment. Tell me, what do you have planned? A quiet time at home with coffee and a magazine? A hot night on the town with your lover? A gab-fest brunch with girlfriends? Whatever it is, I bless it in the name of the father, son, and holy ghost. amen.

But before my weekend jollys can commence, I must report on quite the activities this week. Things were bustling on this week of Saint Patrick.

On Monday, I joined Umber, BC, and her lovely bestie, Ti for lunch. After the very brisk walk home, I sat for the afternoon to paint. I haven't painted yet this year, and it felt good. Though not happy with the end result, I realized that I wasn't doing it for the end result. Dears, this is progress indeed!!!

On St. Patties day, the gang got together and enjoyed corned beef, cabbage, guinness bread, and whiskey. Then we headed to our local pub and pinched each other even more.

On Wednesday, after a bottle of chardonnay at lunch with Jess and her lovely mum, I headed on down to Mom and Pop's to finish the repurposing of my nightstand. It turned out lovely and I am happy to share the progress with you:

Yesterday, instead of sushi with my gals, I had to stay home sick. I had a very quiet, very sleepy day and I feel much better! I spent the day writing a letter, reading my new Bazaar, and loving the homemade soup my joelio made for me.

blessings upon your weekend, my child.
mrs. morris


to the green jello pool and other thoughts on shit not going wrong

March 18, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

it's happening even as i sit at my dining room table. the hour approaches midnight, octavia stares at invisible mice in the ceiling, i'm shrouded in the shadow of my blooming forsythia, taking one last swing of a 2005 Tinto that my husband left for me to taste.

and it hits me.
it's happening.
you know...IT.

i peruse etsy and admire all things i see (especially this!) and i sigh with the realization of it. i peek over my shoulder with admiration at my new freshly-painted bookshelf (tune in soon for the before/after blog). i ponder the events of tomorrow; i wonder of those far from me...
and it hits me.

nothing is wrong.

i was shocked too! upon further internal assessment, i realize that i feel buoyed up, bobbing in this pool of lime jello, frantically searching for my familiar piece of rotting driftwood upon which to float back to the land of frustration, repression, despair, irritation, and doubt. there is no such wood.

i tongue the mouth of my life; i linger, i savor, i seek the sour. is this true?! in a panic i think that this MUST be due to my oversight, my mistreatment of an issue, my not dealing with something. with relief, i realize that being blindsided by myself is not really probable; i am dealing, i am aware, i am present.
and yet still...
the tranquility.

so it has survived the taste-test of an ever discerning palate acclimated to a diet of wounds, competition, and oh so bitter herbs.

having accessed this state of general contentedness and staving off the portent of waiting for the shit to hit the fan, i am therefore determined to blow up a floaty, grab a straw for my mai-tai, throw my arms behind my head, and linger here for as long is allotted to my weary soul. there is nothing like lounging in a bowl full of jello after a year in a foxhole.

"make it easy, only just for a little while,"*
lady whit.

*thank you mz. neko case

*random confession: i weep like a baby every time i hear the song "i hope you dance." it's possibly the most UNCOOL song in the world, but those lyrics are so damn good. also, i am going to go make a midnight burrito and play carcassone on the xbox. the end.


on doubt: another building block of the artist and also how i hate sharing

March 17, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

i have a guilty pleasure.

when things get inter-relationally too voluminous for my small, introverted hands to juggle, i start to imagine a world where only the saint and i exist. we wander anonymously through the streets of Munich, interacting only with strangers and our benevolent barkeep. of course, i do not wish my life permanently void of those i cherish deeply, i just wish for a long vacation where everyone forgets i exist for a while. but don't we all feel this? i think it's called vacation; a time where all types of responsibility fall to the wayside in favor of solitude, bratwurst, luther, and ale.

you see, i am a classic and hopeless escapist.

one thing i seem to lack (that either others have a lot of or they pretend to and never speak of it) is an ability to deflect arrows (both intentional and misguided) shot my way. in the last couple of days, the arrow has taken the ubiquitous, molesting shape of doubt. this is not completely new to my psychological journey in the last few years; i have always been confident, but i recently purposefully took off that hat in order to authentically deal with the parts of me overshadowed by this confidence. and this week i have either come to a place where this is aggravated, or i am simply STILL not at the point where i can gather a holistic confidence in myself. oh the temptation to don the bravado of the past! it takes so much energy to purposefully stay in this state of vulnerability. but i do very much believe that it is worth it.

i trust with all my little soul that the integration of my sweet child and confident adult will produce a brilliance such as i have never known.

but what of this doubt?

this nagging morpher of other's words - who steals the soft, important embrace of celebrating others and whittles their sucess into the sharpest point, popping the wee balloon of confidence into which i had only just managed to blow. in fact, even compliments on my art have morphed into condescention and doubt.

who do i blame here? i truly believe in myself and my burgeoning art, but when i stop to look around at how i measure up to their progress, their exposure, their success or their praise, i go blind, cannot breath, and trip into the deepest abyss of doubt wherein i am left to lick my wounds and pray i never have to emerge or encounter another person's words ever again.

so what about when someone possesses a talent in the same area i posses? is the goodness of my work really defined by the talent of another? this cannot be. my being rings with the lie of such fabrication. and yet, it seems to be a trap i cannot escape.

and for all of these reasons, as the escape from a quiet hell of doubt, i fantasize away my pain, imagining instead a life with no influence, no one else who can do what i can do, no one to compare or threaten, no one to condescend in praise or submit in admiration.

are they hurting me?
am i hurting myself?

and then.
just in time,
and of course through literature,
i encounter the sweetest morsel of comfort,
the most helpful tidbit of redirection.

he takes my streaked, puffy face in his everlasting forest,
makes a chair for me in the brances of the rouge-bloom,
and puts my nose to book.

"And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must becoming knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrassed, perhaps also protesting. But don't give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and they day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers-perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life."
Rainier Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet, 102.

breathing deep the fragrant bouquet of security; aloft in his tree, above predators.
~little whit.


how's it going, ficus? and other thoughts on use

March 15, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

with my little mason jar full of a bright 2007 Viognier and my feline scatting about le chateau in cat-nip paradise, i sit surrounded by joel's oversized hoodie to give account for a lovely and much too short weekend.

"but wait, candace. aren't all your empty days like the weekend?"

"oh sadly, no." she says.

the weekend means absolutely no pressure to get anything done. since most people aren't working, i don't feel strange not working. also, the saint is home so i get to enjoy his fine company and sleepy mornings. the weekdays are a continual ploy to keep myself feeling a combination of busy, entertained, calm, and useful. in conclusion, candace loves the weekend.

Friday night we had the up and coming Umberdove's second Seattle art show (this girl has only lived here 2 years, that's how ON it she is). A great many of us (including some of our favorite local wine-shop owners from Vino Verite) donned our fancies and headed down to posh Belltown for free wine and gorgeous art.

the layers of <span class=
the layers of mz. bell (an excerpt from sacred space)

the venue
the venue

Afterward, a few of the stragglers and the very artist herself were seen at what may be their favorite cocktail joint on the hill, Chez Gaudy. Afterwards, we happily stumbled back to my apartment and had some snacks and laughs until we all lazily left or dozed off.

Saturday brought to the saint and I the blessed sacrament of sleep. We slept for TWELVE hours that night and then also took a nap later that day. It was glorious. After all that sleeping, I convinced joelio to take me on some errands. Coffee, Ikea, Kitty Food, and Groceries...after which we decided to take ourselves on a date for a good steak. It was the ideal Saturday...complete lazy rest mixed with fresh air and dimly lighted restaurants.

And Sunday.
Today was the busiest day of my week with a early hair-do appointment, a couple of tutees and hanging with the family. Our benevolent mother saw fit to feed us a traditional Irish meal, and we lazed in glorious fireside contentment afterward with full bellies and hot tea.

Even on the wave of such an ideal weekend, as each ticking second brings me closer to my week, I feel myself falling deeper into a pensive state. I feel overwhelmed with the emptiness of space, the availability of too many and too little options. Shall I paint? What's the point. Shall I read, I don't know. Should I exercise - oh there's plenty of time to do that. Sigh.

I hearken back to the demanding cosmic whimper...

And yet I wonder if I am not going about it all wrong.

Perhaps there is a hidden truth in the pursuit of uselessness. Perhaps, when I am in such mood, instead of frantically looking for my writing pad to start mapping out my week, I instead allow myself to sit and feel the fear, wallow in the boredom, be pressed down by the rest.

Because truly, at the end of all this thought, I know I am not useless. I know I have a purpose. But I really must teach myself that these things are not in what I do or what vocation I peruse or how I spend my time...

What if instead my use is:
  • Being a tender, capable, and adoring mate.
  • Tending to all things that need help growing - like my little ficus.
  • Listening to the quiet prodding of my soul.
  • Facing my faults with courage and accepting my virtue with admiration.
  • Staring at the clouds.
  • Offering myself authentically to relationships.
  • Petting my kitty girl.
  • Comforting those in mourning.
  • Taking a photograph.
  • Staying up late and greeting the inspiration.
  • Writing a letter.
If so, I have use.
And these things are not insurmountable.

in determined pursuit of the unturned rock,
candace ruth

i would like to offer my thanks to god almighty for his benevolence in granting me some successful big hair. alleluia.


en images

March 10, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

the goodness of those i love touches me tonight. a day full of meaningful and happy interaction lightens my heart for those in joy (my dunlaps birthed a baby today!!) and burdens it for those suffering under the weight of pain.

and i turn to photos to marry such paradox.
since some things ever and always remain unsayable.

"Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life."
Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

waiting for her
waiting for her

mourning ascent
mourning ascent

birds of a feather
birds of a feather

no less than
no less than

she is going to get stuck someday

waiting for her part two
waiting for her part two

correspondence day
correspondence day

on <span class=
on empty

i need some mending
i need some mending

days off
days off

because i just might die if i couldn't,