If Javascript is disabled in your browser, to place orders please visit the page where I sell my photos, powered by Fotomoto.

 Grab a Button:

Vision and Verb

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.visionandverb.com" title="Vision and Verb"><img src="http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag46/visionandverb/VVBUTTONcopy.jpg" alt="Vision and Verb" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Featuring a sampling of our personal favorites in our latest gallery...

A reminder that ALL proceeds go to fund KIVA loans!

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe by RSS


Kiva - loans that change lives

Vision and Verb KIVA Loans:

6/6/2012 -   Kalinisa, Kenesh Village, Kyrgyzstan 99% REPAID (currency exchange loss)

6/6/2012 -   Lama, Jordan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Mujeres de Xeconjom Group, Guatemala LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Nuevo Horizonte Group, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/18/2012 - Miriam, Negev, Israel LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/18/2012 - Noem, Ang Snoul, Cambodia  LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2012 - Phally, Takeo Province, Cambodia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

7/10/2012 - Carmel, Cadiz, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL 

8/4/2012 -   Julia, Boane, Maputo, Mozambique LOAN REPAID IN FULL

8/4/2012 -   Khishigjargal, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

8/11/2012 - Miladys Dayana, Barranquilla, Colombia

9/23/2012 - Dugarmaa, Arhangai, Mongolia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Divino Niño Jesus Group, Caaguazú, Paraguay LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Armando, Tonala, Mexico   LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/17/2012 - Doraliza, Ica, Peru LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/27/2012 - Sola, Bilasuvar, Azerbaijan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/27/2012 - Sergio, Huatusco, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/28/2012 - Sophie, Yaoundé, Cameroon LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/29/2012 - Paradi De Dolval Group, Trou-du-Nord, Haiti

12/29/2012 - Makieu Andrew's Group, Kenema, Sierra Leone LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/30/2012 - Alia, Wihdat, Jordan

1/1/2013 -     Prudence 3 Group, Brazzaville, Congo LOAN REPAID IN FULL

1/8/2013 -    Marcia De Jesús, El Sauce, Nicaragua

1/21/2013 -  Caroline, Toluca Lake, United States

2/5/2013 -    Diana Cecilia, Huaraz, Peru 99% REPAID (currency exchange loss)

2/20/2013 -  Lorna, Poblacion 3, Clarin, Misamis Occidental, Phillipines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

2/20/2013 - Kwamboka, Nyamira, Kenya

3/15/2013 - Halima, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

3/15/2013 - Mwanaisha, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Leda Del Rosario, Managua, Nicaragu LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Seda, Ujanis village, Syuniq region, Armenia

5/15/2013 - Vilma, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

5/19/2013 - Teimuraz, Kutaisi, Georgia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2013 - Leonora, Bogo, Cebu, Philippines

6/20/2013 - Sherry, Knoxville TN, United States

6/28/2013 - Zahava, Kiryat Ono, Israel

6/28/2013 - Ilkin, Azerbaijan

7/25/2013 - Sine, Albania

7/25/2013 - Luzdina, Pucallpa, Peru

7/25/2013 - Wossidji Iv Group, Warinibougou, Mali LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/5/2013 -  Norma Carolina, Managua, Nicaragua

9/2/2013 -  Nubia Teresa, Montería, Colombia

9/22/2013 - Salina, Kapsabet, Kenya

9/29/2013 - Purevsuren, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

9/29/2013 - Sambath, Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia LOAN REPAID IN FULL 

10/1/2013 - Rinat, Beit Shemesh, Israel

11/3/2013 - Asiya, Ibanda, Uganda

11/3/2013 - Nafisakham, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

11/13/2013 - Harriet, Bombo Road, Uganda LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/13/2013 - Elizabeth, Naivasha, Kenya

11/14/2013 - Sonia Antonieta, La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras

11/26/2013 - Lidia, Cochabamba, Bolivia

12/11/2013 - Teresa Aracely, Osicala, El Salvador

1/4/2014 - Queren Yined, Bogota, Columbia

1/4/2014 - Jorge Carlos, Cochabamba, Bolivia

1/9/2014 - Esther, Sanniquellie, Liberia

1/19/2014 - Sarim, Siem Reap, Cambodia

1/20/2014 - Betty, Kampala, Uganda LOAN REPAID IN FULL

3/4/2014 - Hulkarkhon, Khujand, Tajikistan

3/4/2014 - Fenehas Jason, Hoima, Uganda

3/6/2014 - Maa Bastaren Group, MURIBAHAL, BALANGIR, ODISHA, India

4/10/2014 - Karine, Vanadzor, Armenia

4/10/2014 - Mona, Araara, Israel

4/10/2014 - Nermin, Kosova LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/10/2014 - Juana Patricia, El Salvador

4/17/2014 - Mentari Group, CILACAP, Indonesia

4/17/2014 - Analiza, Segatic Daku Misamis Occidental, Philippines

4/17/2014 - Shahnoz, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

4/17/2014 - Susana Del Rosario - El Salvador

5/25/2014 - Violet, Kasse, Uganda

5/25/2014 - Alba Del Socorro, Somotillo, Nicaragua

7/13/2014 - Parbati Shg Group, Junagarh, Odisha, India

7/14/2014 - Trinity, Hurungwe, Zimbabwe

7/14/2014 - Madina Khaitsa, Nakaloke, Uganda

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana



Contact Us
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Interdependent Generous Grace of Global Community | Main | A Fairy Tale »

    On becoming a gramma

    Get everything finished beforehand, because it will be some time before you get anything "important" done again.

    Weekends will not be your own.  You won't get through the laundry, dishes or yard work.  Friends and other family will have to get together without you.  New movies, books and news articles will pile up, unwitnessed by you.  You'll rock the baby to sleep several times a day and otherwise sit around and stare at him a lot.  With everyone's gratitude you'll change every soiled diaper, secretly knowing it is your interlude for special smiles.

    The day I met James, a few hours after watching him emerge spectacularly from our daughter, he became my teacher.  There in the hospital recovery room he lay swaddled and still on my knees, fists nestled near his staring face.  How extraordinary, I thought, that he was welcoming his new world by simply watching.  I felt myself slow and somehow not feel guilty doing nothing but stare with my Zen grandbaby.

    For years I've been drawn to the "nothingness" of Eastern spiritual practices, and to poets like Rumi and Rilke who sang songs of emptiness beneath the noise of my busy life.  There is a state in Buddhism called Dhyāna...collected, full-body awareness in which mind becomes very powerful and still but not frozen, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.  (Wiki)

    When James arrived, flesh of my flesh, he seemed to model this that I'd longed for:  patient stillness with abiding attention.  Staring.  Have you ever seen a Buddhist monk who wasn't staring?  Well OK, often their eyes are closed; maybe they are staring into their interior.

    In May, we took four-month-old James outdoors for his first day in nature here at the farm. He lay on a blanket in the maple’s dappled shade, cooing at the birds, breeze and leaves. When he wasn’t cooing, his mouth remained open, tongue slipping in and out examining this place through its soft, wet fluttering. It was active whole-body staring. I mimicked him.

    This is a reversal, of course, your grandchild becoming your teacher.  The pressure is there to teach a child how to be in the world.  But what he needs he has at birth; I learned from him then, and now I must keep reminding myself and him to continue to observe and absorb--to stare actively.  Action can emerge almost effortlessly out of this state.

    Can it be that simple, when complexities multiply exponentially every day?

    I'm not sure yet, but I'm trying it out.  After six and a half years of blogging, i decided to stop my blog synch-ro-ni-zing.  It had begun to feel like a belabored carousel I wanted to get off.  Many things in this world I don't get to choose or unchoose; but there are a few I do.

    Active staring is a way to examine in the soul the information swirling into the space of the mind.  Rumi said, To the mind there is such a thing as news, whereas to the inner knowing, it is all in the middle of its happening.

    It feels good to write again today out of the slowed pace.  I believe I will emerge from my womblike  cave and re-open synch-ro-ni-zing; after all, the little girl on my sidebar is a kindred spirit of the Zen grandbaby, observing with new eyes and taking notes.  Slow down to the pace of the soul, my friend Inge says.  I think that is the most important synchronizing a person can do.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    A returning guest from 2 years ago (!), Ruth Mowry comes to us now as a first-time grandma.  In fact, today is her grandson's 6-month birthday.  This Instagram photo was taken by Ruth's daughter Lesley, James' mommy.  Ruth lives on the farm with her husband outside of Detroit, Michigan, and writes...again...at her blog synch-ro-ni-zing.  Welcome to V&V, Ruth, and to the joys of grammahood!

    Reader Comments (30)

    First - congratulations on becoming a Gramma!!! I can perfectly understand how the world slows...how nothing becomes more important and/or beautiful than gazing into his/her eyes.

    Such wonderful gifts and unexpected teachings come from the slowing down..simple focus and concentration. There's a yogic practice of 'pratyahara' - where you shut down all of the external 'noise' to allow for the internal truth to emerge. When you're ready - I'm sure you'll return to your blog with new-found creative energy and joy!!!

    Thank you so much for coming out of your womb-like state just long enough to visit us here today!!!

    July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterMarcie

    Yes, congratulations! I love this, I think you are so right, there is so much we can learn from children. I'm not a grandma yet, but look forward to those days.

    And I love the Rumi quote, that is very timely for me just now.

    What a beautiful photo!

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    You know how much I adore you as a gramma, Sister...finally. HA! Being the baby of the family, it was a long time coming for you, I know. I can hardly wait to get my hands on him to steeze the squffings outta him!

    In the meantime, to learn from our grandchildren, I've decided, is one of the main reasons they "happen" to us. And I still love the bumper sticker: "If I had known it'd be this fun, I would have been a grandparent first." :)

    I love this image of you and James. I love how you are writing about him. Thanks for sharing your vision and verb with us today. (Not that I'm prejudiced, of course!)

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    True wisdom will wear innumerable guises. I tend to turn west, not east, for my wisdom, but there's no question Rumi would smile to hear Flannery O'Connor say, "“The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

    Grandchildren, love, synonymous.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMother

    changing flow of experience ~ active whole body staring, I love every bit of this. Thank you for sharing James with us!

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

    It seems so trite to say that there is NOTHING LIKE BEING A GRANDPARENT. But, it's true. I'm thankful for - and treasure - each and every moment and experience I have with mine. You have expressed so beautifully the awe and wonder of new life. Thank you for joining us today and sharing not only your thoughts, but the lovely image of you and James.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

    A beautiful post, Ruth, both visually and verbally. And, yes, learn all you can from Baby James about the art of active staring. Ironically, we are born with the greatest of all gifts—the ability to pay attention to what is before us in the present moment—but we often lose that gift through the distractions that come with "growing up."

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

    You described so perfectly the awe and wonder of witnessing our own children bring our grandchildren into this world, and then all that we get to learn from these babies. I've been Grandma to a super wonderful little man for over 18 months now, and I'm smitten. There is truly nothing like it in this world.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

    Oh my goodness...lovely lovely image. I CANNOT wait to become a grandma. When I had my first baby, my entire being changed, I can't wait for that feeling again. I see the love in this image. It's beautiful. And yes, reopening yourself to your blog, great idea!

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPuna

    Ruth, the image Lesley captured of you and James shows your special, delightful bond. Enjoy all your days, Ruth, especially those spent with your Zen Grandbaby!

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

    When my daughter was born (she's still too young to make me a grandma), I felt this slwoing down as well - and seeing my baby as my teacher. She really taught me a lot, I was open for it. She was an easy baby on top of it, and I remember those first two years with her as miracle years. I felt like living on a cloud.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarola

    I'm sure after all the staring and observing, you'd want to spill out what you've collected... since you've gathered so much, you're full. ;) Just like this post, the sharing of grandma wisdom, and this beautiful photo, hard to keep to oneself. Thanks for letting us feel the joy and see the precious gift you've received. Thanks for sharing, Ruth.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArti

    Dear Ruth, oh my...my.... Your words; so deep, heart-felt and beautifully expressed. Rumi's quote, which is new for
    me and who I so love. And that gorgeous boy-child...how stunningly perfect that you are allowing yourself the gift of
    presence with this "flesh of my flesh". You break my heart with this post in the best possible way!
    Welcome _/|\_

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Sherman

    Little James has grown up a lot since I saw him in a picture with a little blanket! What a lovely baby. Your words show so well the feelings of a grandma. Last Sunday while my daughter’s family was watching some show on TV I took my youngest, 1 year old, grandson away in another room as he was not happy with the scary noises. I placed one of the CDs on, one of those I had brought to listen in my car – a song from Sénégal – and I was so surprised when I saw him rocking back and forth with the rhythm – so young but so attentive. Isn’t it wonderful to watch our grandchildren and communicate with them, without words, but just with our eyes or with music.

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVagabonde

    Oh! I agree that the joy of grandparenting is to have the opportunity to slow down and learn from them unlike when our own children were babes and we were so busy and anxious. We are lucky to have this in our lives:)

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail O

    "...what he needs he has at birth..." One truth out of so many here, Ruth. Every word an act of love. Thank you for sharing yourself, and James, and Lesley's extraordinary photo. I am glad that you came out of "hibernation"!

    July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterds

    Thank you to all my friends here, new and old. It is beautiful to find that understanding is shared about things that are difficult to express in words, such as this love I share with my grandson. It truly multiplies joy, doesn't it? Many thanks to Ginnie, Marcie, and to all the hostesses at Vision and Verb for this welcome and opportunity. Bless you for what you share with women in the world who need a foothold to improve their lives. And godspeed for all your photographic and writing endeavors!

    July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

    Time slowing down. What a gift from James to you. Enjoy it and him.

    July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJean Spitzer

    Beautiful post Ruth, Thanks for sharing

    July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPetra

    Congratulations on your grandson and how wonderful that you have forged such a great bond.
    I've come to learn that as much as we teach our children they have things we can learn from too. Very special.

    July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

    Congratulations Ruth, on becoming a Grandma!
    Love your words, so beautifully expressed. Love also this phrase: "The day I met James, a few hours after watching him emerge spectacularly from our daughter, he became my teacher". So true!
    Great post!

    July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSonia A. Mascaro

    Congratulations :-) That is an adorable photograph.

    July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPie

    Thank you for sharing sweet baby James with us and what he's taught you. When the student is ready, the teacher emerges. In this case literally! My grand boy turns ten in two weeks and I still cherish time with him. I love your photo. Be well.

    July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandmother Mary

    Congrats! Well I won't ever be a grandparent, but I so agree that we can learn from everyone! I have so many fond memories of my grandmother so I'm sure you will have as much of an impact on James! Enjoy every minute!

    July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGotham Girl aka Robin

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>