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Journal

Must Read | To be of Use

Must Read | To be of Use

To be of Use by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

From “Circles on the Water,” copyright © 1982.

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Friday Feels | Mercury Retrograde

Friday Feels | Mercury Retrograde

It's here now until December 22nd. My friends tire of me three to four times a year because when Mercury Retrograde comes around, I remind them life will slow way down, communication will be convoluted, travel will be haywire and things will be lost (including computer files). The reality is MR is a beneficial occurrence...we need to tune to the gifts of reflection and insight that this period can bring. We can’t constantly be moving full steam ahead all the time. We need the pause to be still, listen, discern and contemplate. However, a little information and prep can't hurt so you can navigate this time more gracefully. Check out Susan Miller's brilliant Everything You Need to Know About MR and my other favorite source for astral insights, Mystic Mamma.

Art credit: Mystic Mamma

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Visit | Living in the Moment

Visit | Living in the Moment

With holiday decorating, menu prepping, parties and shopping, it’s easy to forget the splendor of the fall season is still with us. There is nothing more beautiful in North Carolina than getting to see the leaves change from stunning greens to gorgeous orange hues in the fall. Driving down the highway doesn’t seem like a chore anymore due to the scenic views our trees have created for us. The best way to enjoy these views and the autumn color? The mountains.

My home state boasts more hiking trails than I can count, and I’m sure I’ve hiked at least half of them. One of my favorite places to hike is Grandfather Mountain State Park in Linville. There’s a great array of short and easy, but still view-rewarding trail hikes, as well as long and strenuous hikes that allow you to scale up the sides of the mountain via ladders and rope line. Another tremendously beautiful hiking area is the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville. If you want to see a canvas of colors, I highly suggest heading here - I’ve never experienced a leaf-change like this anywhere else. If you're more of a scenic driver than a hiker, this region is home to more than 20 tunnels on the famed Parkway, so there's fun for everyone.

Consider putting your holiday prep on hold for a few hours, grab a bag of trail mix and get out to experience the show our trees have put on for us; it only comes once a year...let’s live in the moment!

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Promo | Cyber Monday + Giving Tuesday

Promo | Cyber Monday + Giving Tuesday

Today is Cyber Monday and we're joining the party! We hope you'll consider tearing yourself away from Amazon and shop small (we love Amazon too, so no hate). Also, tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, so as a combo deal we're offering 20% off your order w/ free US shipping and tripling our donations to our 501c3 partners. This promo is valid today and tomorrow till midnight. Use code cbmongivingtues to take advantage, happy shopping!

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