Author: jane staw

A Small Singing Moment

I’ve never been able to carry a tune. But I’ve always loved to sing. In 7th grade, I joined the school chorus as an alto, and loved every minute of practice. But when I tried out for the chorus in 8th grade, after the same…

Another Lesson From Small

It had been pouring for two weeks. As I sat cutting carrots for the horses at the refuge where I volunteer, the rain let up, and Jean-Claude asked me to please help move items left over from the white-elephant sale we had held over the…

Small and the Prado Museum

Stephen and I recently spent four days in Madrid, and for Stephen the highlight of that trip were the museums. Of course! He’s an artist, and loves noting more than spending entire days gazing at paintings. Unfortunately, I’m not visually gifted like Stephen, who can…

One Small Moment Contains It All

When I left France last April, I missed a major event at the horse rescue where I volunteer–la transhumance–when Marie, the director, and a group of volunteers led twelve horses and donkeys to a chateau nine kilometers from the refuge, to summer pastures. Yesterday, I…

How Small Helped Me With Grief

I recently read some shocking news on Facebook: a close family friend of Jonah’s had suffered a serious stroke. This woman is married to one of Jonah’s closest high-school friends. She is young—in her early 40’s. She lives a healthful life—she’s vegetarian, aware of and…

How Small Becomes Large

Sometime during my year of thinking and seeing small, I began taking photos of beauty within decomposition. I’d focus on rust on crumbling metal pipes and fences, peeling paint and cracks on dilapidated buildings, tiny holes in stucco, lichen of all colors on rotting wood.…

Remembering How to Think Small

It’s difficult to practice thinking and seeing small when you first arrive in France. Your cell phone isn’t working, you’ve just tasted one of the best cheeses you’ve ever sampled in your life, you’re trying to speak French every chance you get—and at the same…

How Small Suddenly Became Large

I’ve just understood that at rare moments in a lifetime, something can be simultaneously small and large. And I have Stephen to thank for this discovery. We were on our way to SFO Monday, chatting with our lyft driver, when an awful realization burst in…

Remembering Again to Think Small

Who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed in my shoes? I’m leaving a home I love for two months in France—which I also love. Besides being faced with so very much to complete, arrange, provide and plan for, I’m struggling with all the emotions triggered by separation. This…

A Small Change Can Yield Large Results

Last weekend, when we were in Pasadena visiting my stepson, Nathan, his wife, Corinne, and our grandson Miles, at dinner on Friday night, Nathan suggested putting our fork down after every bite. He’s becoming certified as a nutrition counselor, and this was one of the…