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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Douillard’

Poetry Friday is with Keisha at Whispers from the Ridge

Photo by Kim Douillard

I follow Kim Douillard’s blog. She posts a weekly photo challenge. Last week’s challenge was “Path.” To me, her post was poetic, so I took words and lines and created a found poem.

Path
a found poem from Thinking through my Lens

The snail’s wet trail caught my eye.
I remember Emerson’s words–
go where there is no path
and leave a trail.

I find the sculpture;
Its path formed of trash
her artistic eye transformed
into beauty.

My own path
ebbs and flows like the tides.
I follow moments of sunshine
to clouds echoing the waves.

Seabirds above
follow an invisible path.
In the sky, agile pelicans
intersect the line of a hang glider

Causing me to wonder
what magical paths
await if we are willing
to look.
–Margaret Simon

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Kim Douillard is a fine photographer. She blogs here at Thinking through my Lens. She posts a weekly photo challenge with a single word. I don’t often take the challenge, but this time the word familiar interested me. I started thinking about the root of this word. I was surprised to find an odd connection to Halloween:

familiar
A low-ranking demon given to a witch by the Devil for the purpose of strengthening the witch’s power. In medieval times familiars were commonly thought to be animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits and toads. In shamanism, a familiar is a spirit who protects a shaman from illness and unfriendly forces and is also known as a totemic animal, guardian spirit, power animal, or tutelary spirit.

bill-on-the-swing
Bill, our male outside cat, often whines at the back door. And what he wants isn’t food. He wants Charlie, my dog and his familiar, to come outside. Bill rubs and rubs on Charlie. Charlie, in turn, humps Bill. These are signs of animal affection. Bill is our familiar, our guardian cat, ready to fight the evil spirits of birds and squirrels and raccoons who wander into the protective area.

The first definition in the online dictionary for familiar is “1. Often encountered or seen: a familiar landmark. See Synonyms at common.”

This gas pump was a familiar site of my youth. Gulf was the well-known service station. My mother would pull up in our Oldsmobile station wagon with the fake wood on the sides and wait. The attendant would pump the gas, wash her windows, check the tires, and give us a piece of candy. Those were the days…

good-gulf

These days the presidential election campaign is heating up (or gone off the deep end, rather), but in our small town of New Iberia, politics happens on Main Street. My husband will not discuss national politics, but he can talk all day with his friend Dan who is running for Mayor Pro-Tem. Here they are at a political rally complete with signs, beer, jambalaya, and a brass band.

politics-as-usual

Thanks, Kim, for giving me a word to focus on for this Slice. What does familiar mean to you? Join the conversation with #familiar and @nwpianthology.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Julie at The Drift Record

Poetry Friday round-up is with Julie at The Drift Record

 

 

Photo by Kim Douillard

Photo by Kim Douillard

 

The Butterfly

touched my outstretched hand
for only a millisecond,
yet left behind
a tingle

on my sensitive,
scarred skin.
I kept my arm
outstretched
waiting,

watching
this fluttering yellow kite
dart through the goldenrod
Daddy grew from seed.

How could he have known
when he sowed and watered
that at this moment
when I needed it most

A butterfly would
leave Joy
on my outstretched hand?

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Reflection: Yesterday, I wrote about touch.  I saw this amazing photograph on Kim Douillard’s post this morning.  All day the gift of touch has been on my mind.  Even the slightest touch of a butterfly can wrap us in a moment of Joy.  What else is there?

 

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I follow Kim Douillard’s blog, Thinking Through my Lens, and she posts a weekly photo challenge. Yesterday the challenge word was Curves. She wrote, “When your week throws you curves…take photos of them!” And I thought, if your week throws you curves, write about it. So I am going to combine the two, DigiLit and Photo Challenge.

May is a stressful time for me as I’m sure it is for most teachers. As I thought about this month and the many stresses, I realized I needed a new perspective.

There is a large old oak in my front yard. I look at it every day. Yet this image shows a new perspective, looking between the branches.

between the branches

If I turn my perspective to the curve between the branches, I can see a new design. The branch that was trimmed has new growth. Some curves may be tough to take, but later allow for new growth.

On a walk with my dog, we came upon this snail in the grass. Small and slow, the snail curved his slick body, stretching out as far as he could go, lugging along his shell. When we stopped to look, Charlie didn’t see it, so he stepped on it. The snail retreated back into his shell.

snail in grass

When I complain about May, my wise husband says, “May is followed by June.” So I can make it. I can stretch out and lug along because I am heading toward a safe harbor, a time of renewal, “the big weekend!”

a single rose

The curves of a single rose fascinate me. These are my Mother’s Day flowers. They remind me that I am in this with others. I am not alone. I can turn to colleagues and friends. They will listen to my rants and my complaints and tell me that all will be well. And it will be.

Please consider joining the Digital Literacy conversation. Place your link by clicking the button.

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NPM2016

Magnolia

Magnolia

Heading outside for some well-needed Vitamin N; Kim Douillard posted about this necessary vitamin here, and invited us to post photos from our outings. So this post with be a photo ode as well as a poetic one.

To the tune of the lawnmower
and the cardinal at the birdbath,
April harmonizes
and paints the air
with buzzing bees
and wispy contrails.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers

April celebrates Cathy’s birthday;
She shows me how to
stop and smell the flowers.
She names them for me:
“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
is deep purple yesterday,
violet today,
and white tomorrow.”

pineapple guava

pineapple guava

April holds a pineapple guava
ripe with red nectar
while the cashmere bouquet
hides its treasure
beneath wing-like leaves.

cashmere bouquet

cashmere bouquet

April rains make a gentle waterfall
of a mere coulee, a watering hole
for passing dogs in the park.

flowing stream

April is as I imagine heaven,
bright with new light,
flowing on the breeze
a kite with strings
made of flowers.

Japanese plum tree

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

As an educator and as a writer, I am always on the look-out for inspiration. It can come in the form of a blog post, a quote, a video, or an image.

This school year I decided to start a new posting on my kidblog site. I called it Snippet of the Sea to go along with my blog title, Mrs. Simon’s Sea. Each week I post something and ask the students to respond. I started out using quotes. I’ve used videos. And since the new year began, I’ve posted poems.

At first my goal was to promote kindness. The quotes had to do with kindness. But now I see that my purpose is more about inspiring real thinking. I want to expose my students to good, strong words and inspire them to be good stewards of their own words.

To view last week’s poem post by Irene Latham and my students’ thoughtful responses, click here.

I was this close to choosing Inspire as my one little word. I still feel attached to it. The meaning connecting breath and creativity appeals to the core of who I want to be. However, the root meaning spirit tells me that this word belongs to the Creator.

in·spire inˈspī(ə)r/ verb
1. fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
“his passion for romantic literature inspired him to begin writing”
synonyms: stimulate, motivate, encourage, influence, rouse, move, stir, energize, galvanize, incite
2. breathe in (air); inhale.

Kim Douillard of Thinking through my Lens inspires me. This week her photo challenge is Quiet. Works well with the quiet, restful week I’ve had. Living on the bayou, I am witness to the quiet calm of nature. On Saturday morning, a blue heron was perched on the water in the rising sunlight. He was there again this morning in the fog. I captured these images.

Bayou heron, Margaret Simon.

Bayou heron, Margaret Simon.

Blue heron wings, Margaret Simon

Blue heron wings, Margaret Simon

What inspires you? Inspires your students? Share your digital literacy posts below.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Six Words

The National Writing Projects’ summer collaborative learning began this week.  So much is going on, it’s hard to believe we are just one week into the CLMOOC.  Read the reflections here. 

If you are here for the first time, I want to invite you to join the DigiLit Sunday community.  Each week we post about digital literacy.  The link up will be at the end of this post.  Leave your link so we can learn together and support each other in this wild digital world.

Clmooc has taught me that there is too much out there.  I get stimulation overload.  I don’t know how the camp counselors can keep up.  They seem to be incredible multi-taskers.

To manage my own participation, I’ve selected only a few games to play.  The theme this week was introducing yourself by not introducing yourself.  Not exactly.  It was more a call to remix the typical introduction.  We also explored what un-introduction really means and says about a person.

Above I’ve posted a slide I created in a Google slide share by Sheri Edwards.

What six concepts shape you as you shape them? Challenge: Consider your beliefs. Using six words, arrange them as phrases read horizontally and vertically to express an essence of your identity.

This week I’ve been attracted to activities that revolved around words.  I posted an unintro poem for Poetry Friday.

I played with images, too.  Here’s a remix of a free graphic of Saturn.

Image made on LunaPic with free graphic of Saturn.

Image made on LunaPic with free graphic of Saturn.

Kim Douillard offers a photo challenge each week.  This week the challenge was #sky.  Where I live the sky is often covered by the magnificent spread of live oaks.  The oaks guard the sky and protect us.  The hot sun is shaded and tamed.  My image is not altered because this is what it is.  Mother oak.

sky with tree

There have been questions about invitations and how we welcome others into the community.  I have not struggled with feeling welcome.  This is a large group.  We are all individuals playing around with technology and creativity.  We express ourselves in unique and fun ways.  I am looking forward to the weeks to come.  I’ll play and stretch and find new friends, but I’ll also tuck away new ideas for my teaching.

How can unintroductions work with my students?  If anything they will add an element of fun and creativity.  But at best, my students, like me, will discover a little more about who they are and how they best interact in this cyber-world.

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