Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Happy Thankfulness


We awoke early this morning, Jonah and I, and decided to take in the sunrise at Lucy Vincent.  It was cold, but there was no wind, and so the air felt delicious and we were very relaxed, thankful for the unfurling beauty of another day.  I’ve been thinking about thankfulness lately, and how it is a pleasant fullness; a warm contentedness; a quiet joy.  It is the heart that beats with gratitude for its participation in the vastness and the vibrancy of this world.  Thankfulness is a state of being we sometimes forget- even around such a holiday as Thanksgiving- with the busy preparations of family, friends & feasting.  Sometimes we distract ourselves away from the sacred essence – the hidden gifts of the day.  And so I don’t simply wish you a happy Thanksgiving, but Happy Thankfulness, the warm and quiet richness of a grateful and happy heart. 


Several years ago I created a pdf print out of Thanksgiving gratitude sheets, with a few good quotes & graces, and I’ve uploaded the link to the Joy Tender’s Treasurehouse.  If you are looking for a few props for your holiday feast, you might enjoy them.  Subscribers to my Joy Postcards have permanent access to the Treasure-house simply by putting their email in the sign up box.  Scroll down to the bottom of the treasure-house page for the Thanksgiving Link.

New magical little book!

I was minding my own business this week when an enchanting little book of soul questions asked to be created.  Oh it’s such a treasure!  I put it in my pocket and carried it out on my walks and had to keep stopping to read it again and again. At 1 1/4 inches by 2, it’s a delight for those of us who know good things come in small packages.  It brims with beautiful questions that lead us back to the soul.





There are 32 tiny pages, with 40 questions in all.



These are delightful writing prompts… invitations for inquiry… conversation starters…



Each page offers a powerful invitation and transmission…





I’ve sewn the book with gold thread and left a loop so it could be hung as an ornament,
or even worn on a chain as a conversation starting pendant.


CLICK HERE for the product Page for A Little Book of Soul Questions.

Add to Cart

It’s the Having, not the Keeping…notes on the emptying nest


Our youngest daughter, Bella, left for college this Fall.  Our oldest daughter, Rose, graduated college and has been living in Seattle for the past year.  Last week I nursed and loved one of our old cats while he transitioned out of this lifetime.  This felt like a loss upon loss; the ending of a chapter; a deep invitation into melancholy and nostalgia.  Jack Gilbert’s beautiful poem, “The Lost Hotels of Paris,” in which he lists many of life’s losses and impermanences, contains a line in which he says, “But it’s the having Not the keeping that is the treasure.”  It is this line that is bringing me back to life- to the energy of life, the flow of it, to appreciation and gratitude for the having of every experience- the blessing of it all.

 Earlier this Fall, I began to pepper a few of my favorite photographs of the girls’ childhood about our house.  You know, we had a wonderful time of it.  The picture above is of Bella who was a delightful Buddha Baby, and Rose tasting her first Christmas tree.  Pictures such as these fill me with joy.
IMG_3127 IMG_3130

Here is a big sister, little sister angel costume portrait…


And here we are on a very small and silly roller coaster somewhere in New Hampshire… the scariest ride we ever took.



My sister, Heather, took the above photograph of the cousins combined.  Hannah and Gordon are also away in college now.  I keep this photo in the kitchen where it reminds me of the enchanted childhood our children (for the most part) had.IMG_3136 IMG_3138

Rose has asked me to send her the album we made of her sweet sixteen costume birthday party, and I must remind myself as I let it go, “It’s the having, not the keeping that is the treasure.”

IMG_3140Here’s cute and spunky Bella then…. and Beautiful, Vibrant, delightful and wise Bella now, as we visited her at college and went apple picking nearby…


I’m grateful for all of it.  So grateful I can weep at the slightest breeze.  And I’ll confess, also, to feelings of loss and lostness… to both the excitement of “what next?”, and the hesitation.   How is it that Mystery’s emptiness can hold both qualities of luminosity and of  looming?  I must consider all the past ways, and perhaps find new ways in which to greet and enchant and experience- for my soul to savor and to love the gift of being in this world.

Autumn and an Angel



This evening’s walk was a rich display of Autumn’s warm colors.





Sheep were grazing in the field, and looked up to see what I might offer.

IMG_3064 IMG_3079

I have nothing to give the sheep,
but I do have a new Angel Journal that I have sewn with golden thread, and that I offer you this season.

IMG_3095 IMG_3096

Included with the journal is a bookmark with the following poem:

   If I were an angel,
I’d softly speak to
your heart’s ear,
and hold you with
my warm and
hope-filled wings.
Though this life is
rare and precious,
do not live in fear~
count instead the
blessings which
every season brings.
A kingdom much like
heaven is spread across
the earth, and with
growing awareness
awakes the human race.
And Love does flow
right to you, within, among,
and through you,
lighting all you do and are
with its eternal Grace.

The illustration on the journal is a painting called Tatiana’s Awakening, by Charles Sims,1896.  There are approx. 60 golden parchment pages inside, and she is nestled in a gift box.

To order, or For more information about this beautiful new Journal, go here.

In the Studio This Week

I’ve been joyfully listening to the audio version of BIG MAGIC, Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Her writing style; her beautiful mind… such wonderful company in a creative studio, in the car… anywhere.  While I listen, I’ve been wrapping BLISS OF BEING inspiration decks,  and JOY bundles.  I feel so blessed to have this creative work.



Favorite pictures from Italy

When Jonah and I visited his father in Italy this summer, we took many lovely walks and outings.  Snapping photographs was one of my favorite activities.  These pictures are from Florence and Cinque Terre.  There are more laundry photos in a post below (oh do I have a fondness for laundry photos!!!)














Beauty Blooms Everywhere


I received a Gift…

There was a package in my mail last night which arrived out of the blue.  A gift!  A Surprise!   It arrived from a woman I have never met before, but who discovered me online, and liked what I express.   Her name is Melanie G Mason, and she is a photographer and writer from New Zealand.  She sent me an exquisite book she has created, called THANK YOU, LIVING IN GRATITUDE.


Every page is a joy.  The book brims with brilliant photographs and grateful inspiration. I cannot do the book justice, or the rest of Melanie’s work… or her amazing spirit.  I can only urge you to visit her website.  You too will marvel, and be so inspired.


The quotation on this page reads, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom.” ~Marcel Proust

Melanie has many beautiful images on her website, and somewhere the quotation, “Photography teaches us to see.” ~Berenice Abbott


I’ve been dipping into the book, and then, indeed, seeing the world around me with brighter eyes. I took this photo this morning of the sun upon our Buddha Rock, the goldenrod of this season.  Everything feels more radiant; more beautiful.  Thank you so much Melanie!