Monday, April 26, 2010

Hidden Story

I used to write inside the dresser drawers. First on the white paper liner, later lifting the protection and coloring beneath. Dark smooth wood. I’d scribble green and red and blue and then close it away. A hidden rendevous with beauty. A hidden wrong.

The mind is a drawer of remembracnce...

...hidden stories that rub off on clean clothes, that seep subtly into everything—a cuff stained with a fleck of red, a blue tinge on your favorite shorts.

Occasionally, in just the right weather, the dresser shakes and the drawer rumbles open, the story flies out in a kite full of gestures, paper and colors against wood and wind, soiled sox tailing the tempest, truth diving and circling the syllables.

Listen. There’s more.

Now it’s your turn. Confession is a story with a line of sorrow, the updraft of forgivenss.

It takes two. An indelible connection. No matter how dark, how closed.

Breaker crushed shells, grit

So fine it tells a story:

Undertow. Life line.


Monday, April 19, 2010


Light can be described both as a wave and a particle. Not one or the other. Both.
It can be dark in the light. And light in the dark.
In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God.
Riddles in which we find truth.
Is there anything more full of light that the voice of someone you love?

Trails under the bark

Passageways defined by dark

Light softly spoken


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Golden Rule

I have only one word of advice:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

That's it. That is the only flashlight you get.

Keep it in front of you. It will go well with you.


(it's only cliche until you do it...)

Forgive sweat and blood

Skin covers bone with feeling

Petals fall open


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Answers. Mostly not like a math problem, there are massively varied solutions. And those are the ones you actually figure out.

Look. Listen. Touch. Smell. Taste. Senses are hardly the right tools.

Memory comes closer.

Pain closer yet.

I'm not saying pain is the answer, just that we begin to understand different things when pain is involved.

And we still might not ever have the satisfaction of knowing the answer.

Thumb flipping pages

The leaves talk amongst themselves

Answers clear as wind


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A year ago, a good man died in Africa. Willis. We tend to speak well of the dead—memory does that—but in the end truth lingers. Willis was kind and generous. I hope his two young sons absorbed his faith and are bearing that fruit even now. And Grace. Grace, his wife, is living out her name. I think it is Grace that I admire most in this world.

Kneeling on pebbles

Clockwise circle the seasons

Best days: sky is blue


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Poles apart

Two merge into one

Sky lays down on water and ripples


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Apple of the Eye

A bit like the smell of motor oil, I relish the smell of printer's ink.

My husband actually likes a light smell of skunk. It recalls his uncle's ranch as as child, walking up the creek fishing and the barn cat that could not wait for the hook to come out before grabbing the fish.

Ever wonder what odd thing makes your reflection shimmer in God's mind?

 Reflecting the heart

Backward upside down buffoon

Apple of the eye


Monday, April 5, 2010

Green Flash

I've never seen the green flash. It's a sunset phenomenon wherein just after the sun slips below the horizon there is a flash of brilliant green. 

And I must tell you that if someone said they had seen it, well, it would be suspect. It is just a flash afterall. Anyone could say they saw it and the world would be no different. 

But still I wonder: is this instantaneous burst of color real--or is it just wishful thinking? 

I tend to believe slow things. Rocks flattened by glaciers and Saviors that take three days to rise. 

And yet there I am at sunset and staring through slow minutes...hoping.  

Crane: midstream stock still

Scanning eons urgent surge

Green flash flips a tail


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ Has Risen. He Has Risen, Indeed

Old crows and rocks gawked

Wings and doubt over head flocked

Savior rose rose rose


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wait. You Just have to Wait

The Saturday of Holy Week: waiting, waiting--being still, living with the horror for a whole day, waiting. And their waiting was not in expectation of resurrection. More like: so now what? How do I explain this? Perhaps I'll just quietly walk back down to the dock and see how my fishing boat is. Anyone want to come?

Corridor of death

Clouds run from the horizon

Crows fly single file


Friday, April 2, 2010

Cannon for Good Friday

Tremolo: earth quakes

Glissando: law shifts on grace

Fermata: ripping


Thursday, April 1, 2010


Someone named it: April. And then National Poetry Month. NaPoMo our term of endearment.

Poetry—the art of choosing the exact and right words. Oh it strikes fear in the hearts of those who expect this means there is a right and wrong answer. And sadly these days, poetry illicits disrespect for hiding rather than revealing meaning, making the reader feel stupid. But it does not have to be so.

I propose progress as playtime. Begin with a small form: the haiku. Three lines of syllables five then seven then five. Think images. Think stark: nouns and verbs. Give one nod to nature and another to our humanity. Post your poem in the comments below.

One a day. Just like the vitamin. Who knows what good will come of it.

Frost. Clay. Rose. Each named
hair, star, grain of sand, sparrow
sought after, chosen.

Nothing in all the world means chosen, like being named.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Beauty of Nature

Grab a camera. Scan the world. What will you capture?

Beauty. Without even thinking, we search for beauty...

…if not classical beauty, then the beauty of the odd, the subliminal beauty of a curiosity or a fragment of human emotion. Click.

It’s remarkable isn’t it—a myriad of forms so present, yet beyond us, that beauty feels like God.

No wonder nature is worshipped. We look to nature for evidence of a Maker. The striations of an iris, a finger print, not just the way the smallest particles of dust can turn a sunset aflame, but that its crimson allure forces me to stop and acknowledge its presence.

Yet beauty does not in any way reach back to address our adoration.

And there it is: God never promises to be present in nature. Nature only bears witness to God.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
 (Psalm 19:1-4)

I have friends who shun going to church. It seems the hypocrisy and annoyance of people gets in the way of their communing with God. Yet, I wonder if their experience of looking for God in nature can be like getting to know someone by staring at their picture—or reading about their attributes on Face Book.

I’m not saying that seeking God in books or the Word is without wisdom. Or that going out into nature is without value in focusing one’s mind on God. It just occurs to me that if a person wants direct contact with God…

… where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (Matt 18:20)

Interesting, no?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Writers talk about “suspension of disbelief”. In fact, it is the essential ingredient in storytelling, the ability to cause a listener to enter the adventure—to partake of a proposed reality without skepticism. No holding back.

Dreams have this genius. We participate in their reality no matter how birarre.

Falling. Flying. Elevators that go sideways, nakedness that goes unnoticed to a room full of people.

Dreams flawlessly slip from one reality into another; my newborn baby walks and talks while I urgently try to find the class I haven’t been to all semester. I am under water. Slowly, so very slowly, I inhale. The rules of this place are so completely apprehended that the mind no longer questions the laws: the reversal—inhale to exhale—must be seamless in order to breathe underwater.

In dreams there is no choosing to believe or doubt. Disbelief does not exist.

Yes, I am breathing underwater, if only tenuously. And well, it does not feel miraculous. But it feels like I’ve uncovered a new possibility.

Dreams. Could this be an odd template for faith...

… a persistent and birarre model for the suspension of disbelief?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Renewal. The mind must be, not just trained, but re-newed in order to suspend disbelief.

Can renewal change the mind so it no longer depends on doubt to be the catalyst for courage?

Is it within our grasp to see things as God sees them? Wouldn’t that be perfection?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect. What do you think that means?

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Suppose you were able to see the end results of different paths that are offered you in life. Let’s say all your choices are based solely on the final outcome.

The most alluring choice, the one to which we would say, YES, I want to be THAT, the one that will change us for the absolute best, will necessarily involve pain. If fact, any result at all will involve pain. No pain, no gain. Tell me if I am wrong on this.

It is interesting to me how very many choices we do have in life. But the most painful ones often come to us as no choice at all. My young friend has arthritis, my husband has been dealt the C (cancer) card and I am torn between believing that the pain will be gain and scriptures that insist we can be healed.

What shall we call this disconnect—painfully healed?

Lewis again says, “It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to makes of us.”

Alas, we see in a mirror but dimly, and cannot see the end.

Hope alone is powerful…

…but toss in faith that believes God to be not only willing, but most powerfully capable and completely settled on my good, well, even with that invincible confidence, life is a wicked soup.

So, well—thanks, but no thanks to the easier route. This time. Daddy always said, "You won't remember this fine day, if we don't get stuck."


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Be Ye Perfect...
Many people are bothered by these words. As C.S. Lewis says, many believe God expects us to be perfect, if not He will not help us.
A rather hopeless position.
Perhaps, as Lewis muses, He meant, "The only help I will give is help to become perfect. You may want less than that, but I will give you nothing less."
   Help to become perfect.
Impossible comfort?

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Truth. It doesn't change. Sweet, salty, sour, and bitter equals taste. We get four choices plus smell, the great enjoyment multiplier of fine cuisine. (To qualify as taste, a taste must be detected without any other sense involved.)

Enter umami: Taste #5.

Defined as a "savory" taste, found in meats, seafoods, sea weed and various other vegetables and foods," one website says,"most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays and important role in making food delicious."

Is that to say we don't taste it?

I've been thinking about describing the color blue to a blind man.

Or describing sweet to a man who has never had any. Words are impossibly inadequate. But we have honey. There is sugar.

There is salt. Bite that lemon. Chew up that Tylenol.

Umami remains illusive as the blind man's blue.

Yet they say it is the heart and soul of delicious.

MSG is the golden child of umami.

Umami enhances other flavors. It's the thing in cheese that enhances wine. The part of oyster sauce that makes stir fry---what? . Indefinable, indescribable.


That is something.

But there is nothing new under the sun.