Grocery meditation

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The grocery is great for active meditation.

This, from a man that has never taken a class on the subject but regards the practice with keen interest.

Instead of simply being aware of thoughts, grocery aisles are filled with opportunities for observations.

Someone blocking the aisle?
It is a moment for reflection.
Visualizing meals to make.
Considering friends for breaking bread.

I tend to drift off, head tilted, smiling until I’m snapped back to reality.

Observing thoughts and patterns.
Eschewing judgement.
Cultivating compassion.
Finding stillness in motion.
Focusing on a single point (the next item on the list).

And then all that zen is erased when I check out.

This day’s haul: Wrapping paper, sparking water, flowers, cream cheese, milk and Dream Whip—a whipped topping powder once owned by a tobacco company.

Checking in

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I was having difficulty contacting a dear friend of my mom’s. Turns out he’d been in the hospital since Thanksgiving and was about to undergo surgery.

I let him know about mom and asked if he wouldn’t mind a visitor. He was (I think) delighted, but not prepared for the grizzled, salt and pepper bearded son I had become.

We caught up for a good spell. This, the man who my parents let drive me and my brothers two hours to see Pink Floyd in 1987.

His thoughts on passing beyond the physical realm filled me with hope and aligned with some of my own thinking.


Friday, December 14, 2018

I was in a drive-thru, making bad choices, when I caught this moment.

My favorite part is seeing the delight on the kids’s faces by the energetic little dog who was running back and forth to their waves.

Bonus? The two girls filming or taking photographs.

Inside and out

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Spent a good chunk of the day considering an approach to organize and honor. We made a list of categories and realized, we need more categories.

Mom was pretty darn organized though we started in the smallest spare bedroom used for crafts and projects, so it’s likely one of the more concentrated areas of the house.

There’s a lifetime of leaves and flowers carefully pressed between the pages of books.

Reams of paper, some bought, some made.

Drawers of sewing supplies.

Notecards and stationery.

And tucked away here and there? Favorite quotes transcribed, reflections on the past and notes to the future.

Work to be done

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

When you’re a one man organization (design consulting, not Wire & Twine), the show must often go on even when you could use an understudy.

I’ve been extremely lucky that most every client has given me space over these weeks to spend time with family.

But there is some work that needs to be done, I smiled seeing her photo when I sat down at my desk for a few hours.

I’ve quickly found that she is still with me… realized it the other day as I was walking through the brisk air of the neighborhood.

She was beside me—bright, smiling, curious and enthusiastic for everything—ready to listen and reminding me to be present.

I told you she made exquisite things

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

handmade teddy bears

Mom made this pair of teddy bears for my twin nephews when they were born in 1984.

Fully articulated, a bell in one ear and though they’ve worn off, she painted the most impossibly small hearts in each of their eyes.

Still though? These fellas have held up extremely well over the years.

I’m so proud of my sister’s boys for the amazing care they give to all the important things that come into their lives.

In memory of my mom

Monday, December 10, 2018

Paula Lynn Glass was loved by many. She moved gracefully through life with a charm that put folks at ease. Her smile and attentive nature made each shared moment special and invigorating.

Her life began in the hills of Branchland, West Virginia on May 28, 1942 to Lorena Williams. Lorena went on to marry Elmer Barbour and the family grew to include sister April (Robbins) and brother Chuck.

They moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and her father embarked on a career in lithography, but the spirit of Appalachia would be a significant thread throughout Paula’s life, craft and work.

She was most at home in a garden, but her interests grew far beyond the herbs, flowers and trees she planted through her 76 years.

Her appetite for experiences was infectious. The easiest place to understand her interests would be to browse the library she organized neatly by topic. Gardening comprised a formidable set of shelves—but she also had deep appreciation for cooking across many cultures, spirituality, history, philosophy, art, antiques, design, architecture, poetry and a special section for the art of bookbinding and paper making.

You may have met Paula behind the counter of an antique store she started in a church, or another she helped manage at Duck Creek through retirement. And though she loved the history and stories behind things, there was always a piece of her heart collecting items to make something new… Paper.

Her love for handmade paper was immeasurable. It was a joy she was able to share with others as her husband Robert Glass, a machinist, built a press to her specification that made the process easier and more approachable for all.

Paula was often manifesting creative ideas into a welcomed reality—a trait admired by her daughter, Robin Steck and sons Robert, Thomas and Chris.

She made sure the family farm in New Richmond was as unique as her worldview. In the pastures roamed Belted Galloway cows from Scotland while peacocks lorded over the large gardens.

Her life was filled with learning. It started young as she mastered sewing through quilt making, but advanced to the work of a fine seamstress. She made clothes for loved ones and later developed a line of exquisite stuffed animals she sold to many lucky individuals.

She embraced technology in the middle of her career and managed the office of a design startup company led by her youngest in downtown Cincinnati. She became the favorite of every employee.

Her love for Cincinnati grew over the years and became the city she emphatically called home. She carefully chose her final resting place in the neighborhood of Northside. She loved its artistic community and bohemian spirit, most colorfully on display during the annual 4th of July parade.

Watching the parade from her porch became a yearly tradition for friends and family. This was her favorite holiday, evident by her spirited cheering as it went by each year.

Every place she lived, she worked tirelessly to make beautiful—each home decorated thoughtfully with art and light and color. But her soul was in her garden—a collection of herbs and flowers and trees, each with meaning and stories of their own.

Her joy of gardening was inherited by her grandchildren Mark and Matthew Galea. Her creativity lives on in her granddaughter Gabrielle Galea and great grandchild Livia Galea.

She passed peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, near her garden on December 10, 2018.

A celebration of her life will happen at her home in Northside on May 28, 2019. Contact a family member for information.

In lieu of donations, please send a handwritten card to someone you hold dear.


Friday, November 30, 2018

I’ll stand by what I said 5 years ago at the end of this (loooooong) Creative Mornings talk. When you’re in a rut? Get a haircut.