What Makes a Kid at Heart?

There are infinite ways to define what it means to be a Kid @ Heart. Perhaps a key lies in that feeling of infinite joy. For me, on the afternoon Martin snapped this shot, infinite joy was walking barefoot on the beach.

Ursa, a character in Glendy Vanderah’s novel Where the Forest Meets the Stars, had this to say on the subject, “She’s kind of like  a baby. She didn’t know she was supposed to grow up and that makes her more fun than other grown-up people.”

I’m very glad I didn’t know I was supposed to grow up when it comes to stomping in rain puddles, dancing in the rain, and making pretend Reese’s cups by squeezing chocolate syrup on a spoon of peanut butter. What about you? Where in your life didn’t you know you were supposed to grow up?

Cataloging Art by Color

If you’ve been hanging out here for even a few weeks, you know I thrive on color. My sister Lisa just sent me a link to a Google site that has organized art by, you guessed it, color!  I simply adore this.  Talk about eye candy. More like soul candy. Whatever your mood, you can feast your eyes on old favorites and find new faves as well. Cataloging art by color might sound kitchy or amateurish. Not.

Where else might Van Gogh’s Portrait of Joseph Roulin  rub shoulders with Umberto Boccio’s Stati d’animo – Quelli che restamo.  (States of mind – Those that remain). Deceptively simple and abstract at first glance, it is mesmerizing. The longer I gaze at it, the more mysterious and haunting it becomes. Then my eye was drawn to the still life with oranges. The painting has a spare modern feel. I was astonished to learn it was painted in 1640. Feast your eyes. What color captures you? Which paintings delight you?

Still Life with Oranges courtesy of Wikipedia Commons















Thank You, Yves Klein

I am overcome whenever I see a blue like this. Cobalt blue. Yves Klein Blue. YInMN Blue. My heart quickens; I can’t stop smiling; I’m sure my eyes dilate. All the signs of love. I want to dive into such a blue, merge with it.

This love affair with color began with my first set of 64 Binney & Smith crayons. You know them as Crayola but they weren’t always such. I can still see six-year-old me sitting on the floor of my room lost in sounding out the names of each paper-wrapped stick of visual magic. Magenta! Periwinkle! Mulberry! Bittersweet! Goldenrod! I memorized the subtleties between Forest Green and Pine Green; Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna; Brick Red and the (appropriately now-retired) Indian Red.

I dreaded ruining the points of all my blue crayons but I had no choice. Aquamarine set me sailing, while Midnight Blue seated me beneath a starry sky way past my bedtime. Cornflower felt like a summer day and Periwinkle made me swoon. The shade of blue to the left, the shade of delphinium and the Girl with the Pearl Earrings head wrap delights me  like no other. I don’t know why, but every time we cross paths, I am happy to be alive to enjoy it.

What color zings your strings? What hue colors you happy? Share, please!



This week’s shout-out to blue was planned before I saw today’s  NYTimes story on YInMN Blue (2.7.2021, Sunday Style section, page 3.) It’s leapt from the lab and has made it into Crayola’s offerings under the name Bluetiful.  Limited availability for artists, but hopefully not for long.

Double Dutch Poetry

Reading Paul Fleischman’s Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices is akin to Double Dutch jump rope — you have your part, your partner has hers and when you’re in the groove, it’s pure joy.

The poems (all of them about insects) are set up in two columns. One reader takes the left column, the other the right. Some lines are read aloud in unison, others, alternatively. Sometimes you and your partner are reciting the same words, other times your words are completely different.  It’s dissonant and delightful.

Many moons ago, Emma and I would cuddle up in the chair in my bedroom and recite the poems. We loved House Crickets for the onomotopoetic chorus of “cricket cricket” that rubbed throughout the poem. The entomological narrator of Book Lice “… was born in a/fine old edition of Schiller. His fellow louse  “…passed [his] youth/in an Agatha Christie.”

I’ve never particularly feared these six-legged beings. Reciting the poems with Emma was a particular pleasure, especially when the fireflies told us, “Light is the ink we use/Night is our parchment.” How can you not fall in love with such an image and thus think a little more kindly of the “bugs” so many want to squish?

Our Double Dutch poem reciting is now the stuff of memory. Like the life of the mayfly, our time of reading poetry each night after dinner seems to have lasted only from morning till night. The next time we’re together, I’m bringing the book along. And maybe this poem, too.

We’re                              We’re
Mother                            Daughter
We part
                                          We part
Though our hearts
                                          Though our hearts

Span the miles                Span the miles
When we visit

                                          When we visit

There is joy                      There is joy

again                                   again
we part
                                             we part

taking one another           taking one another
with us                                 with us
as we go
                                              as we go.

Debra B. Darvick

Make a Face

When I bought this game for my granddaughter, I nearly bought one for myself.  The idea is to create faces from the 160 facial features — photographs by Saxton Freymann of street debris and other found objects, leaves, shells, and branches. My inner adult overrode the inner child, admonishing the idea as totally juvenile. Had my inner teen been awake she’d have rolled her eyes and retorted, “Well, yeah. Your point?”

During our week’s visit with Olivia and her family, I got my chance. Olivia and I built face after face. She went on to play with another toy while I made faces for a while longer. Each face had its own personality, its own emotional aura. Some were silly; some were grumpy; some were quite lovely. What a brilliant concept — creative, simple, endless possibilities.  Order a set of About Face. If your inner adult balks, tell her to take a walk.  Or better yet, invite her along to play with you. and if you make a face, send it along for me to share.