Monday, April 27, 2009

Giving and Taking

From the Journal

7 AM, at my desk, much on my mind, sunshine on the walls...

Since an experience I had on Saturday afternoon, I have been thinking much about photographs...and the difference between giving someone permission to photograph you and someone taking your photograph.

I do believe the distinction is more than semantic. For me, when it comes to photographing people, one speaks more readily of relationship. One is to be with someone who relaxes you enough to say, yes, you may photograph me, you may ask of me, you may do what you need to do to set up the scene, and I will comply...I will give you permission to photograph and to be in charge for these moments. It's actually rather freeing, that feeling of trust and willingness. And it is steeped in things so fundamental and simple... care, story telling, attention, laughter, respect, comfort... steeped in grounding faith, really, that someone else will go to the effort to share that space with you and not have it be monumental, but rather a way of being in this world...easy, generous gift.

I am grateful when this happens. Whether at meals, photography, sitting alongside, or plain old extraordinary being with.

Friday, April 24, 2009


It's a bucket-list Friday 5 brought to you by RevGalBlogPails...errr...pals.

1. Prepare my own version of Babbette's Feast and bring together friends from all eras/segments of my life.

2. Travel the Mississippi by paddle boat while reading Mark Twain

3. Learn to unicycle

4. Live in England

5. Help wherever and however I can by writing of discovery and revelation and sharing that writing with others.

Credo, Part II

A continuation of Credo

Beyond believing, I know, yes, I know that my redeemer lives and I will rise, I will rise…rise on the cool stone steps of Word that speak to me in the valleys; I will walk because I see beyond any valley knowing there are others that await but raising my face to the vision I have been given by a God of hope, a-ha, and insight. I will go forth because I believe the valley can teach and I believe mystery is an omnipresent element yet to be added to the periodic table.

I can say that I hurt because I choose to love and that I thrive because of the same and that I can not imagine doing any less; I can say life is amazing and God is amazing and sometimes the line between smiling and weeping gets blurry and that’s just the way it is.

Beyond knowing, I believe in paying attention and watching for the trees and sharing the fruit; in taking in and taking note and taking time. I believe that there are reasons for measurements like eons and light years and joules because we need ways to think about the infinite and the infinitesimal. And, I believe in leaving some things to speak for themselves, unexplained and curious.

I can say that joy lives in my pocket along side a string of beads I finger when my mind wants soothing and a handkerchief of my father’s. Joy breathes in my heart, fills my spirit, and will not be overcome.

Beyond believing, I know that suns will continue to awaken and moons will nightly ease, that fallow times come and visions expand and wonders never abate; I know laughter helps and God enjoys riddles as well as the concise clarity of “I am.”

I believe too that I am, my neighbor is, and so are the daffodils and God sees it all and says “Yes. This, and so much more.”

And so I gather and so I go and I do not know some things.

Nonetheless, the invitation is mostly irresistible and thoroughly promising.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spin me a Wander

Spin me a Wander

I ache and I grace

and I cannot explain

beyond “Spin me a wander path

the color of light—

I will bough, I will Spring, I

will leaf and Fall and

stark rattle my branches,

calling the birds

to come sing in my hair."


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cool My Eyes

Cool My Eyes

If I was on the porch
with the honeysuckle
and the knowing

And I was inclined to start talking,
or singing—because it has to be
done that way sometimes,

I’d ask, Mary could you come
and cool my eyes?

let me see through you,
sweet, stone, smooth
sweet, stone, smooth…

Yes, I’d say
swing me low and wide
low and wide…

teach me where to find
the mint-water river
dancing me fresh…

Oh Mary, could you come
and cool my eyes?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Morning Music

After watching this video, suggested by a friend, I begin my day considering anew how passion can at once be so grounding and so freeing. It was a realization more beneficial than that second mug of coffee and for which I am most thankful.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hum-Full Shimmies

I received a bottle of bubbles today...Take it literally or figuratively--it was an uplifting thing.

Happy Spring and peace.

You're Never Too Old

I dunk and purse
and aim with care—

of prismatic air!

Their skin is thin—
might pop
and sting your eye.

Worth it though,
to let them go—
whimsy in the sky.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Things in Heaven and on Earth and Under the Earth

This morning, just above the southeast corner of a building I pass on my quotidian amble, there was a perfect half-moon reverently singing her praise for creation from the helio-cradle of morning’s rise. The desire to stop and gaze with intention was stronger than any concern about catching either a bus or a cup of coffee in my back from another on her morning path who hadn’t noticed that the journeyer in front was resting a moment.

Then, on the approach to school, the time-weathered beauty living at the end of the street shook her arms and head at me. “Look at my new bangles!” “Look at my bows!” She laughed, and raised herself to the wind, letting the new day brush through her branchy spring green tangles.

"It is a good day for living/a good day for praise/a day to delight/a day to amaze…"

Yet, within all of this, the question that looms for me is how to incorporate this with the spread in this morning's NYT outlining the specific methods and techniques of torture used by the CIA.

Alleluia, he is risen...and not a moment too soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Morning Moment

From the journal this early morning...

At my desk, the usual time. The light this unique moment, though, is a glorious treat... there are large scalene triangles of sunshine on the west bookcase across the room and yet, also one small spotlight of sneaky joy that hums with morning atop the 8956 combination of the number pad on my keyboard. What a welcome greeting this rising Spring day.

A welcome I wanted to share with others.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter, 2009

I tried writing
an Easter verse,

my pencil
burst into blooming;
the page leafed greenly;
and a bird
took to singing
from inside my coffee mug.

can do that to a poem,
it can.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Went to Vigil practice last evening. E, C, and I practiced our readings with relative ease and speed. I was able to run through Exodus twice—to chew on it. learn its textures, taste it—a welcome thing. I stayed a while after, though, steeping in the space…as if trying to take it into my being somehow. Trying to take in this active space where Word and song and dance and decoration are being planned, choreographed, practiced, carried out, for the glory of God. I wanted to take it in, yes, but also, I must admit, the desire was to be taken in by it…to loosen and send myself, my spirit, forth into that space to swirl with all else occurring…to have the wind of movement, practice, choreography, conversation, shush by where I was standing—tucked into the curve of two pillars meeting—and gather to itself some portion of mystical me-ness so that it, too, becomes a part of all that is present behind, beside, beneath, within, the feel of the space created.

This brings me back to thoughts of the voice of God… remembrances of when the choir director told me that notes are made up of harmonic waves. What if the note of the voice of God is also made up of those waves? Those waves being bits of the wind, bits of laughter, wailing, loving, soothing, shouting, mourning, foghorns, ram's horns, car horns... elements of the noise of life's fullness harmonizing into the note that is the voice of God.

What if the feel of a space is a sensing of the same sort of waves? Except, instead of converging in a sound, they ripple into a feeling? Feelings that are lush with all that has already happened in the space, all that has been given to a space. New birth, welcome, praise, commitment, perhaps indifference, commendation, sadness, contradiction; encounters with peace, hunger, love, grace, anger… Feelings that are detected differently by each one who enters the space…each one who has a changing shoreline to receive the tidal lapping of those waves. Sometimes the waves take part of us, and sometimes what is in the waves remains with us. Both are changed in the process.

Hm. Instead of practice making perfect; perhaps practice best begets more practicing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Into Jerusalem

The final steps of the walk began today. It is a walk I know, a story I can tell by heart. And it reminds me of a dance I participated in during a meeting the week before last.

It was known as The Spiral Dance. The leader has a candle and all eyes are on the candle as we walk, hand in hand, all in the same direction, spiraling tighter and tighter in until it feels as though there is no more room to walk. Yet, the call is to follow the light and keep moving....inexplicably, in the same direction. As we kept moving forward, we are looking at each other in the eyes and also at the light, now being held at face level and seemingly impossibly, slowly, slowly unwinding our spiral until we are again in a wideness and looking at the light held high.

It seems to me that is what this week ahead is about. The moving forward as community, spiraling in--the movement began with the burning of last year's palms and marking each other with the fiery remnant. From today forward it is laying down the palms, reclining at table, misunderstanding, being served, denying, standing by, falling asleep, swirling in the chaos of arrest and preparations for execution, being there when they crucified our Lord, kneeling, perhaps weeping, comforting, experiencing the loss, the empty, the no more room to move.

The last bit of the walk began today. Thursday, the tabernacle is emptied, the sanctuary lamp put out. Friday, the skies darken, the cross is raised, casting its shadow.

And then, again, we are called to fill the church community with light. I think it no haphazard choice to begin the celebration of resurrection with fire that spreads throughout those who have gathered. We move through the emotions together, eyes on flame as it burns, as it smolders, is snuffed, but whispers back by spark, ashen cinder, and heat, DEATH HAS NO HOLD.

From the Journal

I was asked to pinch hit for proclaiming today. Isaiah. The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue.... morning after morning, God opens my ear that I may hear...

It isn't only ears and hearing though! This morning, I would add all of the senses in as I stand here and practice. God! You have opened my ears to HEAR the choir practicing, hear the notes, hear behind, within, and among the well-and-full-noted story they sing; eyes to SEE the glory of sunshine pouring in the open doors, the open windows, and tinted by story told in glass, pages that have worn over time yet remain paned chapters of beauty that captivates me; a nose to SMELL the incense that rises and reveals itself in sunbeams far above; a mouth to TASTE syllables of your Word--the roll, the crunch, the sweet, the chew; a heart and spirit to FEEL the synthesizing convergence of this wonder, wonder, wonder, and not be overcome...simply, exceedingly, grateful.