Wednesday, September 29, 2010

night sky

The moon and stars are all tucked in

beneath their cloudy coverlets,

trees gathered round to tell stories

and hear goodnight prayers.

(linking with skywatch friday)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

giving thanks

for my mother's art

for hand-dipped candles

for smiling faces

for Asian-inspired soaps

for friends who pray.

Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You

— Chris Tomlin, Our God

Friday, September 24, 2010

pretending it's fall

I'm looking for fall color wherever I can find it, these days ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

in this world

They aren't supposed to be here.


Evil word. Healing fibers gone rampant,
sealing wounds, then snaking
malevolent fingers
to seize the healthy parts and bind them fast.


They aren't supposed to be here.

I had a healing once,
and they were gone and I was free
to marry, to bear a child, to live.
ten years, a little more,
a gift

They aren't supposed to be here.

Adhesions grow again, sometimes
and mine returned,
worse than before and
the surgeons cut to heal, but
there is no healing,
apart from His.

They aren't supposed to be here.

But they are.

And God knows,
and God allows.

And sometimes,
I weep for His knowing,
for leaving me here
so afflicted
and I weep for others like me

in this world
where healing fibers grow destruction,
where beloved children die
while others lie abandoned
or abused

in this world
where we cry and
grieve the reality of deep suffering
and unanswered prayers

in this world
where God became flesh
to know our pain
and conquer darkness


in this world, by faith

He is still

He is still

And He weeps with us.

"Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
Luke 7:23

(visit in the hush of the moon for more imperfect prose)

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
— Luke 4:4

Since I've been sick and living on liquids again for the past two days, I find this verse particularly apt and comforting.

A reminder that His life in me is enough.

Friday, September 17, 2010


—Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won't slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job's done,
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me,

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall,
Confident that we have built our wall.

(linking to The Essential Emily to share this poetry favorite today.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Ah, September, fickle month,

you sing your merry song

for others, caressing cheeks with breezes fresh,

blazing your gold and scarlet

for other eyes.

Yet here in the land of flowers

you languish sultry,

hued the weary green

of old summer,

unmoved by my autumnal hunger.

So I wait for November,

he of the gray and chill repute,

to streak these southern skies

with cirrus and blue,

to kiss my cheeks briskly,

keeping faith with this sunny clime,

while he turns his wintry back

on fall.

(linking with emily for imperfect prose, today)

Monday, September 13, 2010

giving thanks

for gifts from the sea

for sunshiny blooms

for lavender-scented candlelight

for rabbit's foot ferns

for a daughter's first loaf of homemade bread

Friday, September 10, 2010

haiku my heart: basenji heaven

A contemplation:

warm sunshine on an old quilt,

basenji heaven.

(visit recuerda mi corazon for more haiku fun)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I woke up the other day with your stories in my head. All your stories of hopes and dreams and struggles and sorrows and joys, swirling in the mists of early morning. Then your stories swirled away, and in their place was a kind of panorama of my stories. And, still in the mists of sleep, I think I had a revelation. No, that's too pretentious. But it was certainly a glimpse. I don't know if I can put it into words, but I want to try, because it was lovely.

I'll be 55 in November. Not old, but certainly not young. I've seen my share of joy and my share of sorrow. I've been pretty sick in recent years, and sometimes I get awfully weary. Life is not what I hoped and dreamed it would be when I was young. There are days when I wonder what it all means. What purpose it achieves.

So in this pleasantly somnolent early morning mist, my stories unfolded. Not a complete panorama, but a good slice of memories....

my brother, sister, and i sitting around a worn oak table, mom teaching us to draw... dad testing the lake to make sure it was frozen, stomping cautiously in his old rubber boots, marking out the safe areas before i was allowed to skate... the agony of my parent's divorce... the joy of my own wedding day... the day my only daughter was born, and i first saw her face, a tiny replica of her father's, and so perfect it took my breath away... dad's death and all the pain that followed... mom's frightening brush with death... my hospitalization at age fourteen — the beginning of a life lived under the shifting shadows of illness... the fun of playing an oboe solo with a killer reed... a good book waiting to be read... laughing with friends over something inane... my husband's 200-year-old family farm, lost to the financial realities of Alzheimer's disease... the pleasure of reading to my daughter when she was young... the joy of reading something she has written now... the satisfaction of a walk with my dog on a crisp winter's day...

Happiness... Hurt... Joy... Sorrow... Music... Laughter... Pain...

Dreams fulfilled. Dreams broken. A panorama.

And within this swirling kaleidoscope of memory, running through its core, was a single, indestructible thread. Love. Tender, patient, pursuing, liberating, healing, sustaining, all-encompassing, Love. The meaning of it all. The thing that makes it all make sense. The thing that makes it all okay. The thing that someday, when this life is over, will lead me home to the place the Lover of my soul has made for me. The place where I will see Him face to face and I will understand it all and I will say, "Oh, now I see.You pursued me for this."

And I will worship.

(joining hands with emily for imperfect prose, this thursday)

Monday, September 6, 2010

faerie lights


1. verb - to shine with fitful, intermittent gleams.

2. noun - a tremulous gleam of light; glimmer.

Synonyms for twinkle:


Things that twinkle:

fairy lights
sun on water
merry eyes
dragonfly wings

Can you think of any more?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

retreating shadows

Thankful today for:

squirrel feasting on bright red berries, using a tree root for a napkin

silver peace sign earrings with green turquoise stones

hot pink adirondack chairs and retro cushions

young blue jay with his new-grown mohawk

the support of friends near and far

unexpected relief from pain

retreating shadows

Thursday, September 2, 2010

haiku my heart: gathering clouds

Clouds gather darkly

mounting their winged wind-steeds

yet light pierces through.

(visit recuerda mi corazon for more friday haikus)

returning tide

i lie here, in fetal position

weary of this all-too-familiar pain

sweet, short respite bringing

hope. light. happy.

making the returning tide of illness

unwelcome. hateful. enemy.

and i am crushed by the waves

and i lie here, in fetal position

wanting life

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

put on a happy face

I don't like pain, of any kind. I don't go looking to suffer. Yet pain comes to us all. It has been coming to a lot of us, lately. Illness, broken relationships, even death, that last, great, enemy. And even though we, as believers, have hope beyond death, there is still that heartwrenching grief, that longing for the one who has slipped away into eternity before us.

I miss my dad. I miss his lovely, deep voice, the way he smelled of tobacco and shave cream, the way he would chuckle, suddenly, delightedly, at one of my quips. I miss his fierce protectiveness when one of his kids was in trouble. I miss his Irish eloquence. He's been gone for fourteen years, and I still miss him.

I have a friend whose son died, less than a year ago. He was only twelve. His family knows without doubt they will see him again. They believe he is alive, now, in heaven, in the place Jesus prepared especially for him. Yet they still grieve. They miss him. And it's hard. Really hard.

And sometimes, well-meaning folks tell them to "put on a happy face." Maybe these folks are impatient for the grieving process to be over. Maybe they are uncomfortable with the face of suffering.

But suffering has a hidden grace. Because when we have lived through its fires, we can recognize the scorch marks on another's face. And we don't ask them to "put on a happy." We weep with them. For as long as it takes.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

(joining hands with emily for imperfect prose, today)