Virtual Chocolate Buttons

Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday.  She’ll be five.  She’s asked to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant that has dim sum and live jazz on Saturday nights.  We said yes!

Today she will bring small packages of Cadbury chocolate buttons to school and share them with her classmates in celebration.   This makes her jump for joy.

I wish I could give a packet of chocolate buttons to each of you, too, so you can be a part of the excitement.  Unfortunately, for all its wonders, the internet remains stubbornly unable to provide chocolate buttons to people who visit my blog.  Instead, I offer you virtual chocolate buttons – lovely little links that will lead you to delightful places.

  • Spoiled Fruits of Empire – This is a blog I found while reading the guest posts at mslexia (a UK-based online and print publication for women who write).  Carolyn, who is responsible for these fruits, describes herself as ‘a Zimbabwean-born export to London who, through no fault of her own, fell in love with an American and moved to Texas.’

I think our trans-Atlantic ships must have crossed in the night as I moved from the US to the UK.  Reading her posts on living in the US has something of a ‘through the looking-glass’ quality for me.   Carolyn has met the challenge of double culture-shock: learning not only to live in the US, but also doing so deep in the Republic of Texas*.  Her post, big, captures so much that I miss and don’t miss about my home country.   At the other end of the spectrum, if you want writing that makes you feel and think deeply, I suggest you ponder her post when politics becomes personal and its associated story. She is the kind of writer whose words I enjoy, regardless of the topic.   Go on – give a visit to her blog.  You’ll be glad you did.

  • Dreaming aloud –  I lurked on Lucy’s blog for many months before emailing a hello.  She has been as gracious and welcoming via email as she is on her blog.  It would be great to meet up for tea and cake in real life someday. The thing I like best is how I’ve seen so much unfold as she dreams aloud and dreams her way along into realities.  It’s such a testament to the power of building foundations under your castles in the air, one brick at a time.  This is from her very first blog post:

 This is a virtual space for dreaming aloud, whatever form it might take…a place for the seed of an idea to fall from my mind and take root. A kernel which maybe, just maybe might grow into a full grown article or even a book one day…But for today, it is here: a thought, a vision, a dream, a wondering, a wish, a rant, perhaps lots of rants, a possibility, a flower in the desert…come join me as we dream aloud together, dream a healthier, happier, bigger, bolder more vital and vibrant version of family life, education, birth, health and humanity than we currently live. Let us share our visions, let our songs mingle into a beautiful melody together…Let us dream…

And, less than two years later, on April 1 (no joke), she shared how many of these kernels have grown into published articles, paintings, a book, and a community of writers and artists.  Keep dreaming aloud, Lucy!


Maybe home’s an oversized tackle box

bursting with what you can’t give away: a myth

of bliss and slow-running sap.

Maybe.  I’ll be thinking about this.  I certainly know about the slow-running sap of the pinons and ponderosas staining my jeans and sticking to my fingers.   You can read some of the poems from her book here.  I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

  • Finally, for so many of these connections, I am indebted to my friend Rachael who, in addition to her own posts, finds and shares great links each Monday on her blog, The Variegated Life.  Last week, she demonstrated this equation:  3 photos + 3 lines of heartbreakingly clear prose = 1 visual poem.  So, the last place I will send you before I sign off is to her bluebell wood.

Hope you liked the chocolate buttons!  Happy birthday Juni!

*Lest you think my sentiments regarding Texas are uninformed, I can assure you I did four years (at university) there and, true as the lyrics of the country-western song, all my exes have lived in Texas.

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5 Responses to Virtual Chocolate Buttons

  1. I love these chocolate buttons! Thank you so much for pointing me to wonderful writing I would not otherwise have found. xox

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  2. Rachael says:

    Thank you for the link! Also, thanks for linking to Lucy’s first post. Dreaming aloud: yeah, now I really get it. I guess I do a bit of that at my blog, too — as do you. Scary, isn’t it?

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  3. CJ says:

    Thank you so much for calling my blog a virtual chocolate button — I am honoured and humbled to be mentioned on yours. I look forward too to reading some of the delicious writing you’ve pointed me to.

    As for being obsessed with the idea of home — I’m as fascinated with your British life as you might be wistful for my American life (though maybe not the Texas bit).

    Happy belated birthday to your sweet little girl. If my girl reaches 5 and asks for dim sum and jazz, then I shall be a very proud mama indeed.

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