the comforts of home

March 30, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

today i received a package from the saint of requested goods from our country house.  you know, my face wash, sport's bra, etc.

to my happy delight, i found a few things i didn't request.
send me your sweatshirt

the sweatshirt i always steal from him to wear around the house.
flower petals scattered throughout my requested copy of The Brothers Karamazov.  

flowers in Russia     Petals

and tonight, i will pick up the saint from the airport.  
my home comes to me.



thank you

March 28, 2010 Candace Morris 0 Comments

your notes, letters, emails, phone calls, text messages, instant messages, poetry, videos, recipes, and prayers
(each arrives at exactly the moment of need)
have encouraged us as we plug along...

uncovering a new life...

reminding ourselves of truths.

(please don't stop sending them).


discovery in the doubts

March 26, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

I've been noticing how life-changing events can spiral one into self-doubt like nothing else.  As I scalded my skin in the shower this morning, I got to thinking about how confusing it can be for self-made, confident woman to suddenly find themselves thrown feet first into a viscous pool of self-doubt.  Just a few weeks ago, both my sister and I knew our purpose, knew our goals, knew our dreams. In a few short weeks, we both find ourselves wavering on the facts...what we thought we knew has been pulled out from underneath us and we are left on our asses looking around in panic, hoping no one saw.  The tail bone bruise hurts like a mother.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to expel self-doubt.  Sure it makes me vastly uncomfortable, but maybe doubt is nature's way of helping ourselves evolve.  Tragic surprises must change us, and if we weren't vulnerable in certain spots, how could we accept and make way for this change?  If we retain bravado all throughout the mourning process, how will we find new truths?  If we cling to our old understandings, how will we grab hold of the courage necessary to redefine our dreams in light of these grand changes?

Self-doubt is not forgetting how you feel, but perhaps instead realizing that you feel vulnerable.  
Self-doubt is not lack of confidence, but full faith in knowing that we must question before we can proceed.

And perhaps it is the actually the most confident person who can live in this doubt.

Questioning ourselves is (I strongly feel) a human duty. Since three girls are living in the wake of another person's choices, it is my strongest desire to live even more intentionally, listening to all manner of voices inside and expressing them with honesty to the people I love...and if I can't to them, to a therapist or a journal.  It's really sad to think that so many relationships fall apart because someone couldn't turn to their partner and say, "I think I'm unhappy.  Let's talk." 

I realize those words are horrible to hear.
But never as horrible as the words, "It's over."

After all, when we commit to someone, there IS a clause about it being worse than better...remember?

I'm reminded of something I read last year:

"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.

"I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer..."
Rainer Maria Rilke



a few moments of grace

March 24, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

 Things are progressing around here.
 Funny how life keeps moving, how babies still need to be fed,
bulldogs still growl at you to play,
 and sisters still make you pee your pants with laughter.

It seems we are standing still on a merry-go-round,
sweaty from playing too hard on this playground called love.

I spend my hours here reading books about raising children,
planning ways to sneak food down my sister's throat,
making homemade ice cream,
reading your letters
(each one has made me cry),
taking pictures,
helping carry things,
opening packages,
(thank you UMBIE)
walking walks,
sipping gins,
gathering data,
sitting on the couch for the best seat in the house to watch a woman rise from the ashes,
and finding that even the worst nightmares are strangely livable.

It's amazing what we can do when we have to.
But it still really friggen sucks.
The end.



the lovely blogger list

March 22, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

The Lovelies

Today I am excited about an opportunity to continue networking myself.  Rachel of Lovely Clusters has organized a way for bloggers to become better acquainted.  Most of you following me are already friends or family, but if not, I want to take the time to (re) introduce myself.

My name is Candace Morris, and I am an aspiring writer/photographer. I used to teach high schoolers about literature and the English language. My husband, kitty Octavia, and I have recently moved our city-dwelling selves to the country life just outside of Seattle.  We love bustle and culture, but we also crave the silence of wind in the trees.  We spend our days listening to owls hoot, watching deer creep across our property, sipping hot tea, and embracing our old souls.   I've become devoted to living a slow-paced life, full of soulful connections and choices.  To create, to relate, to inspire...these are what I was born to do.  You may wonder at my use of the word melancholy, but I've come to see that my soul finds comfort in shadow and delights in big drops of rain.   This beautiful sadness is profoundly important to my self-definition.

Most of my work has been on my various blogs, but also I have written for Antler Magazine.  Truth be told, my most proficient genre is in letter-writing.  I find nothing more encouraging in life (perhaps except sharing my journey with my husband) than hand-written letters.  My photographs are also featured on this blog, but can also be found on my flickr profile.

My inspiration comes from literature and the written word.  I find great comfort in solitude and reflection.  In addition, I come to other bloggers for encouragement and support.  I recently went through a deeply profound personal tragedy and have been entirely buoyed by my fellow bloggers.  A few of these are:  The Noisy Plume, Umberdove, She, Thoughts and Biro Sketches, and Sunny Rising Leather (not to mention countless design blogs!).  I also spend a lot of time on my husband's blog catholicbeer.

Hope you'll be a regular 'round these parts!



sipping slowly: a new series

March 22, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Lordy, lordy.  This weekend was hell...three drink minimum days.   In my lens, it seemed increasingly important to capture the small moments where we sip reality slowly, gulp passion widly, and drink deeply of confidence. 

Written words sustain me.
Thank you for your continued affirmation of what we're doing here...

Sipping Slowly.




March 16, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments


two million
around the

scribbles and scratches and records of validation.
write, my sweet sister.

but there is good.
good in the misty fog.
good in the sunshine.
good in the sweetest of baby girls.

good in the mid-century modern
and good in strawberries.

and when there are so many things to miss,
and so many new reasons to be angry,
and so many questions,
and so many unconscionable answers,
and so many voices to filter,
and so many reflections to combat,
and so many points of order to attend to,
and so much future to be afraid of,
and so much past to be rehashed,
and so many bottles to wash.
and so little sleep to be had.

this goodness reminds three lovely ladies that
forever and ever
there is
new growth.
and there will be new
things to miss,
questions to pose,
reflections to love,
answers to be found,
american spirits to be ignited,
sleep to be slept,
 and voices to love.

On the back-porch of our eternity,
in the bottom of our bottles,
in the packs of smokes...
we shall recover. I just know it.

From this fire, she emerges so kind, so calm, so soft, so empowered.

And she even let me borrow her shirt.
Full well knowing I ruin all her clothes.

You, my big sister,
you are still one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen...
Since first I began to see.
And saw you looking down at me with those big, kind eyes.

May our minds be kind to us.



March 14, 2010 Candace Morris 4 Comments

My world has flipped a bit, hers has spit her out.
My world lost a vacation, hers lost a lover.
My world didn't pack a big enough suitcase, hers didn't chose his daughter.

I've not been where I thought I was going this weekend, for in the midst of it, the unimaginable occured.  I dropped it all and flew to San Diego to be with my sister and her daughter, and here I shall remain until I bring them home with me in a few weeks or months. 

Together, we grasp at pieces and pick up straws.


because he never spoke up.

For God's sake.
Speak up to yourself...
If you don't, one day it will speak up to you and devastate everyone.


This is no venue for personal information, but for personal expression. 
Email me and I'd be delighted to explain the injustices.



March 10, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

Thank you for your consolations per my previous blogular sadness.  As the baby's scent is no longer in her room, I find myself in a sad and slow (but steady) recovery of normalcy.  I think the fact that I don't want to recover may be slowing my progress down a bit, wouldn't you say?  

To boost my feeble recovery, my favorite red and I are off to San Fran to visit her fabulous mother and aunts.  Since all of them are gourmet cooks, we shall be spoiled indeed.  We'll be taking the ol' RV out for a spin to Half Moon Bay (the RV is exquisitely huge) and spending the weekend with bloody marys in hand.  It sounds just divine.

I took gads of pictures of my lovely Clara (affectionately named "pickle" by her really amazing mother), and know you are dying to see those chubba cheeks!  If you are not, I would rather not hear it, thank you very much.  

And there were great times with T too.  We aren't all work and no play...

We helped Joel plant a tree!!

A proper pleased english courtsey!

This picture added to show off the fat around those wrists!

She may have been insulted at my calling her wrists fat.

a fireside chat with gin

what i woke up to every morning

Clara's first snow!!!
Good thing she packed the bonnet, sweater, and booties Gma crotched for her!

Oh this post has made me miss them all over again.  Rats.
Guess I better get down to San Diego again soon.


you may view even more here:
Teresa and Clara visit Seattle March 2010