Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while

people stare
arranging and changing placing

carefully there a strange

thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps

Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and

Old things,while

people stare carefully
moving a perhaps

fraction of flower here placing

an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything

- e.e.cummings


Many Happy Returns

Back in September I wrote about my friend The Insurgent Scrapbooker and her suggestions for the best way to pay the gifts you've been given forward and how to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Well, I was so inspired by her post that I not only wrote about it but I decided to participate in the micro-loan program administered by Kiva.org, which allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). On April 15th I received a notice that my $25 dollar investment in a weaving and agriculture business had allowed Niels Alejo to fulfill his dream of building a home for his family.

I have to tell you, it feels good. And I can't wait to do it again. Kiva makes it so incredibly easy. Once a loan is repaid you can opt to reinvest in another entrepreneur. I chose to reinvest with Yaw Dadzie from Ghana, a thirty-nine year old married father of three children who has been selling auto parts of different kinds for over fifteen years. Currently, he sells shock absorbers, lower arms and doors. He hopes the loan proceeds will help him increase his sales volume so that he can continue to save for his children’s education.

You can read more about Mr. Dadzie as well as many other entrepreneurs who could use a helping hand at kiva.org. The return on your investment goes far beyond dollars and cents.


C'est Si Bon!

Could the time have passed so quickly? We arrived on Friday, left on Monday and we're already plotting our return.

Montreal was a true gem, a city that felt both familiar and yet excitingly foreign at the same time. From the top of Mount Royal to the ports of the St. Lawrence, me and my honey walked the city until there wasn't much rubber left on our shoes. And then we grabbed a magic bus ticket and explored some more.

Perhaps that's part of what we found so enticing about Montreal -- that somehow we knew our way around even as we were examining the differences. For sure the chocolate croissants and the coffee were good. As was the cookie we got when we checked into our hotel. And the lovely fellow who told us how to find the best Italian restaurant in the city. And the bus ride we took through the real part of town. And the view from the top of Mt. Royal. And, and, and...

...yeah, I'm still dreaming.


Throw Something from the Train

Just got off a 12-hour train ride from New York to Montreal. Scenery was lovely -- saw two bald eagles! -- but still, twelve hours?!? More to come...


Secret History

Of the light in my room:
Its mood swings,
Dark-morning glooms,
Summer ecstasies.

Spider on the wall,
Lamp burning late,
Shoes left by the bed,
I'm your humble scribe.

Dust balls, simple souls
Conferring in the corner.
The pearl earring she lost,
Still to be found.

Silence of falling snow,
Night vanishing without trace,
Only to return.
I'm your humble scribe.

-- Charles Simic