Bacana Notions is the name of our short ‘n sweet weekly blog.  We aspire to have each Notion in some way capture the essence of the Bacana vision statement.

no·tion noun \ˈnō-shən\ an impression, a concept,
a theory, a whim, or a belief held by a person or group

A Bacana Notion could spark a new thought or give you a grin in the middle of a long day.  It may even provide you with that helpful advice you’ve been waiting for.

what path to your wild life?

“…following someone else’s idea of right is all that keeps us from walking fearlessly into our own wild lives…”
– Brian Andreas

Who’s idea of right are you following? If not your own, can you let that go? (I’m asking myself right along with you.)

chair of another season

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
– John Steinbeck

In this same snowy chair, I sat and looked up at the stars in July. Summer is difficult to fathom in the winter, just as winter is difficult to fathom in the summer. I enjoy them both though not as much as I enjoy fall and spring. Perhaps it’s active change that I like, or the becoming of something different.

What’s your favorite season?

nuts, anyone?

“In life, one, at some point, I really do believe, needs to walk across China backwards. And, if not that, the equivalent of that, whatever it is. In life, if we don’t do something nuts at some point, we’re probably missing out on something.”
– Glen Hansard

As we start this new year, what’s on your list for things to do, conversations to have, places to go? And what is the thing that’s totally nuts?

I wish a bag of mixed nuts of our favorite varieties for all of us this year. Go forth & do something. Something nuts, of course.

appreciating the light

“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”
– Yasunari Kawabata

I took this photograph of the moon over the Hudson River early one morning when I’d woken up to get a glass of water. The light surprised and amazed me. Those of us in the 21st century take our bright nights for granted. Whether it’s turning on a lamp or watching a television or reading from a computer tablet or walking down a lit street, light comes easily whenever we want it.

Kawabata is right that I will never understand the true joy of a moonlit night. But I can certainly try.

When did you last turn out the lights?


the attention balance

Just a quick reminder… you can be relaxed and very, very alert at the same time.

Sweet Pea knows this. Let her teach you.


brick by brick and window by window

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

Tourists are always looking up in New York City. There are great things to see in the sky… because of many, many small things brought together.

This concept instills patience in me as I sit here typing one single letter at a time.

Keep on going with your (seemingly) small things!


the how of change

“And that’s what change is. It’s essentially one person doing one thing different one time. That’s what change is. And, when you can do that one thing different that one time, it gives you the ability to do it one more time. And it actually can be a life-changing thing.”
– Cheryl Strayed

Whatever it is that you’re hoping to change, learn, stop, start, whatever… Just do it once.

After that, set a goal to do it one more time.

And so on.

Every mile starts with a single step, and all that jazz.

island of memory

This smallpox hospital was built in 1856 on Roosevelt Island, the tiny sliver of an island in between Manhattan and Queens. In the 19th century, the island pretty much only contained hospitals, prisons, and a “lunatic asylum.” People who were frightening in some way, because of their actions or illnesses or behaviors, were sent there.

In the 21st century, the island flourishes with life: community gardens, kids playing, apartment complexes, parks, tourists, Starbucks…

It comforts me somehow that the ruins of this hospital still stand. We are so quick, as a culture, to erase history or to deny its ever present closeness. This unique site serves to ignite our wonder about and reverence for the people who experienced that frightening time.

And isn’t it ironic that a place that held so much pain is now so beautiful?


listening to a flower

This is a photo of a beautiful flower in a place that was hard for me to be. I had decided to do some housesitting in a region of the US not terribly far from where I grew up. A region I left at age 17 and never wanted to go back to.

My life at the moment is about listening. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to listen in a place where that wouldn’t be so easy. And it wasn’t. And I was very grateful to move on when the housesit was over.

And yet. There is a beautiful flower there. And quiet breezes. And a cute little health food shop. And a couple of lovely women with a lovely cat.

So I’m glad for the next chapter. And I’m glad to have seen this beautiful flower.

Sometimes the small things can be enough.


prep like honest abe

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln

I guess that means he was a fan of preparation. This is a good reminder for some of us (me) who can get restless and want to begin now. Or want a result now. Honest Abe wouldn’t have swung a dull axe at anything. Would you?