Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inspirations: Springtime, a Dear Friend, and My Big Brother

I've been thinking often of my word for the year: inspire.  I'm feeling incredibly inspired lately, especially now that spring has arrived in full force here in Portland.  I have a huge writing project to finish, and for the first time, I can honestly say the end is in sight.  So, thank you soft spring air and blooming cherry trees, and cheerful muscari.  Somehow all this growth and renewal gets me to writing.

Photo by prairie girl studio
I also am feeling inspired by friends both far and near.  One friend in particular is on my mind today.  Her name is Aeleen, but perhaps some of you know her better as prairie girl.  She is back to blogging these days, and her gorgeous photos and words are more inspiring than ever.  You can visit her here. Also, Aeleen was the winner of my London Treasures Giveaway, so if you're curious about what goodies I gathered while on my trip, she and one of her sons have created a wonderful post about the package.  When you read it, you'll discover that Aeleen has been through a great deal in the past several weeks.  I'm holding her and her family in my heart as I write this.

The photo above is of one of the Murano glass eggs I included in the parcel.  I think she and Jesse have taken a pretty object and turned it into something spectacular.  That's what Aeleen does with everything she photographs.  She notices detail in a way that never ceases to amaze me.  She also has a heart of gold.  Truly.  Perhaps that is what inspires me most.

And finally, the photo above is of my big brother when he was a wee lad.  Mark celebrated his birthday this past week.  He's now just a few years decades older than he was in this photo.  I've never mentioned him here on the blog before, so I hope he doesn't mind.  Ever since I can remember, my brother has inspired me with his artistic talent, his quick wit, his insatiable curiosity, and his deeply caring soul.  When we were kids I loved to watch him draw ornate pictures of houses and flowers and fantasy race cars in his sketch book, and I would follow him pretty much anywhere he would let me.  I especially liked searching in the woods with him for treasure . . .  or hanging blankets in the attic to make a fortune teller's tent . . . or building elaborate sand castles encrusted with shells and sea glass at the beach.  No matter what we did, everything with my brother felt like an adventure.  I love this picture of Mark with our kitten Sharon in his arms, because it captures who he was then and who he still is now.  He has taken in countless injured, ailing, and homeless animals over the years, providing them with shelter and boundless love.  He has also offered incredible support to me whenever I've asked--and often when I haven't.  We've lived far apart for most of our adult lives, but no matter how many years pass, I can just close my eyes and he's in the bedroom next to mine, Led Zepplin or Janis Joplin cranked up to 10.  I can just knock on the wall if I need him, and I know he'll always knock back.   


  1. I just love your blog!
    And I know exactly what you mean about brothers!!


  2. Hi Gigi,

    Thank you for linking us to prairie girl's blog site...I so enjoyed watching her open the treasures you sent...and what treasures they were... and prairie girl was just the one to receive them...what a delight to the world you are Gigi...thank you for your inspirations

  3. I agree, spring is a really inspiring time! I have been thinking about friends lately too. (Two special friends that have passed away) - I am inspired by the way they lived their life. That compiled with the promise of spring makes me feel so grateful for this moment.

    Cheers to walks in the woods searching for treasures,


  4. oh dear ... my turn for tissues this morning ... i love so much what you have written about your brother ... i am certain his heart was swelling in every adventure with his little sister ... i can just see his drawings ~ especially the cars ~ too cool ... and this photo of him so shows the tender soul ~ so lovely. mark can't help but be touched deeply to read this and i think it is so important to let our loved ones know how much they mean to us ... especially in such a special relationship such as yours. you are both so blessed ... xo

    oh my ~ and thank you for your heartwarming words and compassion shown to me and mine. xo
    i just have to say how much it means to me that jess was here to capture so perfectly the moments of opening your gift. you know how people say how those who have gone before us live on in us? well, i can see it right here in jesse's photography. i didn't really give him any direction ~ i just told him that i didn't want to miss a thing. (there were some dillies of me that weren't meant for publishing, that's for sure!!) i look at this photo of the murano egg and it blows me away because it is so how i would have seen it ~ gives me goosebumps!

    eternally grateful ~

  5. I loved this post Gigi--made me smile. I have an older brother, too, and when we were young I never let him out of my sight for very long. He was and still is a good friend, and I'm thankful for your writing as you've reminded me of the special friendship and love shared between a brother and sister.

    You package to PG is magnificent! Boy, I got lost over at her place, beautiful photography and words, a place full of love and hope and happiness--much as it is here.

    Thank you for sharing this. It's always a joy to visit with you. :)

  6. Oh, Prairie Girl is one lucky friend. You do, indeed, have a magpie's gift.

  7. I've been looking for more of those Murano glass eggs for a very long time now! May I ask where you got them? My local stores aren't carrying them anymore so any clue would be greatly appreicated!

    1. I found the eggs at a local store here in Portland, Maine, called Folly 101. They had them in for Easter, so I think they might only carry them seasonally, although I've often seen Murano hearts there, too. Another store where I've found them in the past is Nesting in Concord, Massachusetts. Good luck with your egg hunt! :)


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