Sunday, June 29, 2014


I have started my 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and wait'll you get a load of the place I'm staying at in Gloucester, Mass., for the month of July. Truly, I have hit the jackpot.

Before leaving my beloved Rye Beach, NH, however, and at the risk of OD-ing on peonies, I feel moved to share these pix I took in the back yard of my cousin Richard's. Many of the blooms were in the stages of early to mid-decay, which entranced me.

Spending six weeks in the approximate locale of my formative years, I hope to re-visit that gaping narcissistic childhood wound and heal the damn thing once and for all!

At the very least, I will get a good tan.


  1. My mom's childhood home is right there on Eastern Point. In a sense my gaping childhood wound came direct to me from Gloucester, Mass. Also, the grace that would heal the wound. My parents got married at St. Anthony's by the Sea. Don't forget to smell the sea roses. I will pray for you.

    Sea Rose
    By H. D.
    Rose, harsh rose,
    marred and with stint of petals,
    meagre flower, thin,
    sparse of leaf,

    more precious
    than a wet rose
    single on a stem—
    you are caught in the drift.

    Stunted, with small leaf,
    you are flung on the sand,
    you are lifted
    in the crisp sand
    that drives in the wind.

    Can the spice-rose
    drip such acrid fragrance
    hardened in a leaf?

  2. I reread that comment! I see that was a really dark thing to say about the place where you've hit the jackpot - sorry! It is a beautiful place - just the right place for healing old wounds.

    1. Love the poem! Was taking photos of sea roses today. Will have to do a whole study--the place is festooned with them. Well, life IS dark, isn't it? Thanks, Rosemary...

  3. My oldest granddaughter bought me a peony bush last month. I wished many time that I had brought my momma's peony bush from our house in the country (I'd dug it up from my parents' home when she died). It had the most delightful scent; I'm hoping my new plant does too, but I know from experience that those who make plants stronger and able to produce more blooms do that by sacrificing the fragrance. I can't imagine doing a month-long retreat, but I wish that it will be just the right thing for you.

  4. Time and what you can do, in July and arrangements on time. I like your pictures simple but subtle.

  5. No, the peonies don't have much of scent, or rather the scent is very delicate and subtle. Kind of like the pink Pond's Cold Cream my mother used. But the petals are often softer and more pliable than rose petals, so the blooms can arrange themselves in all kinds of evocative poses, and the life-to-death span is long, varied and beautiful, every step of the way. I'm sure there are many Peony Lovers' Clubs!


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