Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thousands of Candles...~ Buddhist Thought for the Day ~

Pinned Image
Photo via Pinterest

"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, 
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

I teach one thing and one only: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.
Just as a mother would protect with her life her own son, her only son,
so one should cultivate an unbounded mind towards all beings, and loving-kindness towards all the world.
One should cultivate an unbounded mind, above and below and across, without obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry.
Standing, or going, or seated, or lying down, as long as one is free from drowsiness, one should practice this mindfulness. 
This, they say, is the holy state here."
~Sutta Nipata

One of ma belle soeurs got me to a yoga class this past weekend and it's been way too long. 
I even did a 75 minute session on my own at home this morning 
which almost never happens. 

There is just something about that mindfulness (all by itself) 
but especially combined with the strengthening and lengthening and focus on the body. 
Mind/body focus.

I'm determined that this start will put me back on the yoga mat on a more regular basis. 
And while I don't do a long meditation every single day (like I'd prefer) , 
I do find that a few minutes several times a day is still tremendously helpful. 

Love that term: 'An unbounded mind.' 
And 'happiness never decreases by being shared.' 
Too often we share the opposite. 
What if every single day, 
we opted to share happiness through an unbounded mind?! 
What would the world look like? 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oscars on my mind

Sooo very excited about this year's Oscar Night!
I watch them every year so that's nothing unusual
but this year a friend of ours is nominated and will be in the audience.

You'll see his name come up for Art Direction for the runaway silent film hit 'The Artist'. 
He's been living what I would call a kind of double life, 
part of the time raising chickens and domestic animals 
with his beautiful and delightful artist wife 
(whom I've dubbed 'A little Piece of Magic')
in a small rural town in Oregon.

The other half of his life is spent traveling the world 
creating and directing set production for famous Hollywood (and now French) directors
such as Paul Haggis, Peter Horton, Edward Zwick and Robert Redford
(the latter of whom I have twice now been one-degree of separation away from
and still have not been in the man's orbit.
Third time's a charm, Bob!)

This Sunday night we'll be having our own cozy Oscar party,
me and The Chef, a few fun nibbles, our new family addition (kitty photos soon to come),
scanning the screen and audience for A Little Piece of Magic
and He of the Double Life. 
So thrilled for you L.B!
And if I see my mail carrier in the audience, 
I'll know where our tickets went. 

(photo/poster from Google images)

Monday, February 20, 2012

On Rue Mouffetard~Missing Paris Day

Just across from the 15th century church of St. Medard
at the bottom of rue de Mouffetard in Paris
sits a most lovely and unusual house. 

These photos are not perfect but they give you an idea.

I found it thanks to Michael Palin's 'Walk Like a Man' Hemingway tour 
of which I will share my photos in an upcoming blog. 

Though I've been searching for some information about the house,
my search continues. 

But thought you might enjoy seeing it anyway.

It's not been well kept up
but still worth a view.
And the street itself
continues its tradition of a morning market
through which Hemingway must have walked every day
(if he made it out early enough after a night of drinking). 

Should you find yourself in Paris,
don't miss the street
(and the tour).

More to come!

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Sweet Kisses


A sweet day! 
We will be making dinner at home with
 The Chef's twenty-something son and his sweetie
(at their request)
celebrating by way of a couple's dinner. 
Can't think of a better way. 

Wishing all of you a most lovely Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Right Bank Tombs of Beauty~ Missing Paris Day

Another shot from Cimetiere de Passy in the 16th arrondissement
which overlooks the Eiffel Tower. 
I love the bright green of the moss alongside the gorgeous patina of the door.
And of course, the cobblestone walkways. 

Since 1820, Passy has housed the remains of such famous names as Debussy, Manet, 
Givenchy, Mirbeau, Morisot and Renault. 

If not for the names, worth the walk for the beauty, 
the view and the chestnut trees. 

Cimetiere de Passy
2, rue du Commandant Schoesling
Metro: Trocadero

(photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Novel House in Paris~ Missing Paris Day

Welcome to the house of my novel~
partially set in Paris. 
It's just a few blocks from our apartment so easy access. 
And right on the Champ de Mars.
I love the arched doorway in grapevine relief,
the mini columns and the heads also draped in vines. 

I've had it in mind for some time
but on this last trip I took some photos so I'd have them for description. 
Notice the wild cat licking a leg above. 

And the pine cones over the window...

and in the corners. 

It's actually a couple of apartment buildings
but in this job, I get to take creative license. 

It also happens to be the home of the Cesar Academie
(of which a friend has been nominated for an award-
but that's another blog post). 

The backside looks right out on...

the Eiffel Tower. 
Imagine having this as your living room view.
That's what I did so (besides the tenants of the building)
my characters are the lucky ones.

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)