The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm back to looking after that lingering ear ache ... maybe this is old age setting in. Was I supposed to keep putting those drops in my ear or was I supposed to stop once the ear felt fine? And that nose spray ... Ok? Not ok? I know I can't fly with this ear blocked ... It feels entirely closed with a hum locked inside ... or maybe that is my brain.

I especially wanted two things for Christmas this year ... one is a nice picture of all five of my kids together. The other was some down time in Atlanta. Looks like I may have some quiet time with H up in B'town this week instead. That will be very nice. The picture of the kids ... really they are grown ups, but how do you say that? Two Thanksgivings ago a picture was made on our front porch steps ... it is one of my favorite things. ... Hmmm ... I can hear my heartbeat in my blocked ear ... yes, and still the hum. My husband is off golfing and everyone else is still tucked in. I can't sleep like that. I don't think I ever could ... I am more of a napper.


This morning I was remembering favorite toys from my early childhood. I especially loved a snow globe, a little clear plastic ball in which a butterfly twirled as the ball rolled, and a jack in the box. I was inexperienced enough to be perplexed by the clear plastic. I didn't see it, I saw what it contained. It was inexplicable and thus ... delightful. My etch a sketch had that same potential ... to become a favorite toy because of the mystery it expressed. I liked to figure things out. I like to know how things work. My older brother took the etch a sketch apart as soon we were out of my mother's sight. They are pretty cool (and surprisingly messy once opened). I'm thinking that the mechanics of that are similar to the aileron/vertical stabs connection on the Ercoupe. Yeah ... I'm totally guessing. I could be totally wrong.

This morning as I "slept in" I was remembering my little jack in the box. It was made of tin and painted colorfully with a little crank on the side ... there was a wooden bead at the end of the bent metal crank. I really enjoyed that goofy thing. I liked it just sitting there ... it was pretty for one thing, but maybe part of the draw was the wonder of the pop out clown housed within. The clown, fully extended out of the box, was a lot bigger then the clown folded up inside the box. I had no concept of a spring. How the clown could possible fit was such a puzzle. I had acquired knowledge of how the "music" must be connected to the turning crank ... my jewelry box had a key which activated the tick studded cylinder on which metal brushes strummed "Fer de Lis" ... I was certain that "Pop Goes the Wiesel" was similarly generated. But ... hours and hours of sitting on the floor turning the crank fast, turning the crank slow ... pushing on the lid of the box, humming that catchy tune hoping to coax the clown out ... all my experimentation did not unlock the secret of the lurching clown. Little me concluded the >pop< was random.

And ... Here I am thinking about it again fifty years later. Sweet baby ... it's not random.

My oldest son and I are visiting about this idea of how ... maybe it's just women, I'm not sure about that ... maybe it's just a coping strategy of some people some times. This I am sure about ... I do this sometimes. When a problem can't be addressed for whatever reason I put it in a box and put a lid on it until the the resources or circumstances permit or encourage resolution. And ... just every once in awhile the lid pops open quite unexpectedly and the "devil" flings out. We are talking about how feeling what you were feeling when you had to tuck "your stuff" in to a box in the first place may trigger the release of the contents. What I hadn't thought about before today is "these boxes" really do have a crank on the side sometimes ... sometimes you think you are playing with a delightful little music box ... til you find out its spring loaded!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Golden moments


Life is A LOT busier when all the kids are home. They come and go ... Their friends are in and out ... it's not that they expect me to entertain them ... other things are keeping me busy like enticing meals and super fluffy bath towels.

Christmas was really nice. I am thankful for ... all the birds in the nest when I woke up.

AND coffee was waiting. They are being pretty nice to each other ... golden moments. I had to close the doors to the den to mute the "fun" card games ... I don't expect grandchildren for at least ten years. They say grandchildren are great fun ... supposedly the big payoff for "letting your children live". I really like my kids. I'm collecting these golden moments. ... serious joy to my world this week.

Lying under an acacia tree with the sound of the dawn around me, I realized more clearly the facts that man should never overlook: that the construction of an airplane, for instance, is simple when compared [with] a bird; that airplanes depend on an advanced civilization, and that where civilization is most advanced, few birds exist. I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.

— Charles A. Lindbergh, interview shortly before his death, 1974.

And I do not know what Mr. Lindbergh was thinking when he said this. I copied it here because I liked the turn of phrase ...with the sound of dawn around me ... It must be an easy truth to see that the simplest bird is far more complex then the most sophisticated Airbus. Yeah ... I think so, at least for now. History holds the secrets of civilizations which may have been more or less civilized then what we believe our own to be. It seems to me that even while technology advances that civilization rolls backwards ... are we becoming more civilized? Maybe I am missing the forest as I hike through the trees. If he is comparing the creations of mankind to God's creations, that's interesting. Is he suggesting that as we advance we fool ourselves in to believing we are gods? Is this a metaphor? Is he suggesting that we "squeeze" God out as we marvel at our trinkets?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day


Today was a wonderful day. It was good to wake up in my own bed. I like my sheets and my fluffy duvet ... I like how the sun paints wake up smiles on the drapes ... and how the birds chirp ... I rub my foot back and forth as though in the sand under a receding wave ... I play at waking up. Today coffee was made ... and ... those tins of Sister Schubert's were already almost reay to ome out of the oven. I slept in. Two was up and at'em with everything headed in the right direction ... what a sweet way to start a Christmas day. Freshly ground Christmas coffee ready and waiting ... and a few quiet minutes with one of my sweethearts.

We always open presents on Christmas morning. I loved enjoying the thoughtful gifts that my children surprised each other with. They "get" each other. The presents they chose remembered and reinforced bonds. One gave Five a beautiful cookbook and had earmarked a few recipes which he said he was hoping they could cook together during this coming week ... Three gave One a t-shirt with some cartoon figures of a tv show they used to watch together. Two opened a scarf from Four which was exactly the scarf Five had her eye on as a gift for Four ... all three of the girls will wear it eventually. I like it very much that the kids have jokes with each other ... and love. It was a wonderful morning. Later those who wanted to went to see a movie. We usually do that on Christmas afternoon. I felt that I was behind on starting the gumbo, but it all came together in plenty of time. I didn't sit by the fire reading today. There wasn't a fire, and there wasn't really time either. I enjoyed my family today.
Christmas Eve day ...
I drove the first leg this morning departing Austin around four o'clock with a cup of hot coffee in one hand and the steering wheel in the other.  Boy was it dark, so very dark, too dark to see the plops of rain pelting the windshield. Cruise control settles in at maximum speed and I reach for what is certain to be the country music selector ... and here we go.  First stop Houston, but just briefly. I grew up in Houston ... it's a good place to be from.

Yesterday we drove around Lake Travis.  I have been looking at housing around the lake on Zillow and a couple of small airports on Google Earth.  Everything looks different on the ground where you can "really" see what's going on.  The lake is way down ... draught hit Texas hard this year.  That's another big plus for the coast ... the water level stays pretty constant ... until it suddenly comes way up (that's what my husband says ... beach houses have him thinking about hurricane damage and flood insurance). The homes around Lake Travis were very densely packed.  I like the urban amenities, but ... I think if we bought a small place near Austin I would want to just go all in with a loft in the city.  We've decided to explore some of the other lakes, down around San Antonio, on our next trip over this way.

The flight school/university that we looked at in East Texas was a no go for us.  The actual flight program looks like baby pilot heaven to me.  The facility and equipment is "ahhh" inspiring.  Glass 172's make up the bulk of their fleet, but they had a nice variety of other airplanes too including a glossy red Citabra.  Their program was impressive.  The area was depressing.  I wouldn't want to live there even if most of my time were spent in the airspace.  Without exception, the locals said they "hated" it there.  Hate is a big word. I don't want to stink up my life with "hate".  Their business model is very similar to the flight program I am most familiar with.  The CFIs there are required to work six days a week  ... their director of flight ed. reminded me that they are there to build time (that little fact floats the model).  I loved the well thought out scheduling of the path through for the students.  For example, the instrument rating is  flown primarily at night.  It's  an excellent way to maximize the use of aircraft, and ... as a pilot, I see a lot of charter/corporate flying returns at night.  Night experience in a training environment can only help. As I said ... the actual program rocked.  That they offer the AP rocks ... most of their grads finish ME commercial with an AP.  I think I have a fairly strong understanding of aircraft systems ... those systems that I fly, not the fancy stuff ... but I sure would like to learn more.
I don't want to work six days a week every week ... I'm in a different place in my life.  I'm starting to see that free lance instruction seems to be my track.  I like giving flight reviews to retired airline guys ... they make me laugh, and ... they can fly the snot out of little airplanes.  I like providing instruction for marginalized students ... A proflight program can't adapt to their crazy schedules, but it sure works for me. Having trained in a professional program I just thought, maybe even in a snobby way, that that environment was "the" way for me.  The ability to work with students and pilots in a start - up program is pretty cool.  I am liking it ... and staying busy enough.  I'm not worried about not having enough aviation in my life like I was this time last year.  As a matter of fact, I'm not worried about anything.  This has been a wonderful year.  I feel "unloaded".

Being back in Ft. Worth was just great.
My mother-in-law joined us and sat visiting with my husband while the rest of us meandered around first the Kimball, then the Amon Carter museum.  During college, one of my  jobs was in the museum district and I passed many happy hours with the Rembrandt's ... Remmington's and Russell's.  My best friend, and foreign film buddy ... I'm leaning towards playful here, but the truth is, this friend was important to me.  He introduced me to what has become a love of cooking  (I arrived at college  knowing how to make two things: flour tortillas from scratch and scrambled eggs ... that's it),  he taught me how to balance my check book ... and  ... I'm sitting here in the backseat barreling down the road remembering ... all good memories ... a best friend  He went on to direct opera at three major companies.  He died suddenly a few summers ago.
Anyway ... the Kimball ... as a young mother I always took my son to the museums, lunch at the duck pond, and on to the zoo every Monday.  Monday was play day. We were wide eyed together at the TUT traveling exhibit when he said "bowl" for the first time.  I would hold him on my hip and read the museum notes aloud for him.  Under glass was an ornate ceremonial vessel ... an ancient treasure and that day equally precious to me, a new word.  He's in his mid twenties now ... an excellent hang out bud. I enjoyed being there with him again.  My youngest daughter especially enjoyed the museums too.  I'm going to plan a surprise trip over to Atlanta for her very soon.

It was good to see family. We were able to stay in my brother's home for a couple of nights ... He sent us on our way with tamales and venison sausage in the ice chest. Tamales for my breakfast tomorrow ... the kids love cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket for their Christmas morning tradition ... later in the day I will start a gumbo built on that spicy sausage. Next week will offer a bunch of serious cooking ... !
It had been a while since I saw my mother.  This was the most pleasant experience with her ... ever.  Why ... I need to think about that.  It seems so very strange that we just don't connect well.

My youngest and my oldest ... Up in the front seat driving while their dad and I sit in back ... he is actually asleep. I probably should be too ... It's a full days drive to put us home in time for a Christmas all together.  The kids are all looking forward to a pit stop at Cafe du Monde ... me too!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I love it when I am so excited about something that it wakes me up during the night.
I was happy on Sunday night because I knew I would spend all of Monday flying ... .  Boy was I happy when the GPS display started turning blue ... It was too overcast to actually see the water, but just knowing it was nearby was pretty good stuff. I hand flew the leg home ... two hours of unadulterated fun.  I was right seat looking across for instrument help ... It was pitch black on top and we were in and out of the layer ... pretty fun at 195kts GS.  On the panel in front of me the "spare" Attitude Indicator stayed just whooper-jawed enough to encourage a slight turn which would put me left of course ... Reading the HI over there, even anticipating cross cockpit parallax viewing errors, kept me laughing at myself ... subconsciously I wanted to "line it up" ... would have taken me more left ... too left  and not at all right. Pink line was shaking a finger though ... no,no,no and mind that crosswind while you're at it girlfriend. Everything conspired to nudge me just a bit.  OVC40 at home base gave us plenty of room to cancel and set up for a visual ... For some reason our localizer has been squirrelly of late so I was happy to see the lights in plenty of time.
I love to land airplanes.  I really do.  The climb out is fun, but, I always feel like the airplane is doing all the work there while I just continuously update my "what-ifs".  Landings invite finesse. I always say the airplane wants to land ... and in the way I'm meaning it it's true, but airplanes don't automatically land in a manner that makes me smile very slowly all the way from my eyes and mouth to my heart. At 154 kts I requested gear down ... three green no red ... time for flaps ... and ... I came over the gate high enough to know the wheels wouldn't be loving on the white strips.  We rolled off at the high speed exit when I woulda preferred the one before ... Oh well.  I don't get to land  often enough at night and I was just a tad too energized.  If I were flying on an inheritance I might have gone right back up for a few laps, but ... I started buttoning up while my buddy taxied us to the hanger.   Well ... Flying ... it's just good.
Today we have spent driving to Texas.  I haven't touched the wheel, which is unusual.  My husband is normally very appreciative of my heavy foot moving us along.  It's been a very pleasant ride.  We stopped for lunch in Rushton, Lousianna, at a nice little local place with a Cajun sounding name. Their Gumbo was pretty good ... not insanely hot like the bowl I enjoyed yesterday ... spicier is still better.  We played a game of pool while we waited.  I get pretty serious when I'm shooting pool ... I expect to win. After lunch we browsed several cute little arty shops in the restored old downtown area. My husband enjoyed handing me a little sack from the Chartreuse Pear ... tucked inside is a bar of White Gardenia , shea butter enriched, bath soap and a candle, Black Moss ... smells soooo good.  Little luxurious treats.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Beautiful day for flying ... crisp like a fuji apple and just as sweet a climb. I love cool weather ... I loved the handoff to Houston too, It made me feel like I was almost home though we landed in Mississippi. I've been sitting around working on "re-packaging" ground lessons to fit the syllabus I'm using. I've also been looking at my fingernails thinking about a professional manicure, but decided not. This FOB sent me to a place nearby for their lunch buffet ... I'm not exaggerating when I say they served at least ten different choices of meat ... Potatoes fixed three different ways ... MacCheese ... white rice on which I scooped gumbo so spicy that it surely scared any possible swear words right out of my mouth. They had an area devoted entirely to desserts ... which I avoided entirely. I've never been in a place with so many dead animals hung on the walls and resting in lifelike, yet vacant, glory. Lots of other pilots and airplanes round. I saw an ERCOUPE ... Very cool, tiny airplane. Pictures in a few days when I can. I don't even know what to say about this little jewel tonight ... it was different. Also saw a V tail bonanza ... It was parked with a wooden block where the nose wheel shoulda been. Interesting tail. Navy T6-A ... An aero commander. A lovely King Air with a couple of very entertaining pilots ... They asked me what I was doing and I said sorta the girl version of what they were doing ... drinking yucky free coffee and watching back to back episodes of pawn shop show ... Cept I was also thinking about important stuff like nail polish and peanut M&Ms or just plain ... sorta like bonbons for lounging pilots. I did enjoy talking to a guy from Hollywood who is there on an internship with ... Hmmm I think he said Boeing. He had recently done an annual for that little ERCOUPE ... Said it was maybe a 120hp ... No rudder ... No brakes ... Impossible to spin ... Weird little fuel system ... It looks like a model of a big WW2 plane to me ... Like a wind tunnel model. I also visited with a man who had never been out of Mississippi till this past summer when he chaperoned a church youth group trip up to the mountains of Tennessee. He said the sight of the purple mountains majesty was overwhelming. A good good ole boy.. I got a lot of work done and saw a few interesting things ... good day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"A baby is born, takes on all our burdens, shares our deepest fears, sorrows and all else, He witnesses our weaknesses and obeys His Father and dies for us, so that we will be fully restored, is resurrected and now sits on the right hand of God our Father! Amazing Grace!"

Received recently in a note from a friend. The simple true of these words ... simply stated ... strum softly chords my soul leans forward to hear ... "now, obtain some accurate information concerning that OTHER WORLD which the instinct of mankind has so long predicted."(Thoreau)

instinct is such the perfect word ... a response actuated before conscious processes, iow, not a reasoning thing ...

That is the lock which the key forged by love and held in a hand steadied by trust can open.
No, it doesn't make sense ... because my senses cannot find that other world.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"The anecdotes of modern astronomy affect me in the same way as do those faint revelations of the Real which are vouchsafed to men from time to time, or rather from eternity to eternity. When I remember the history of that faint light in our firmament which we call Venus, which ancient men regarded, and which most modern men still regard, as a bright spark attached to a hollow sphere revolving about our earth, but which we have discovered to be another world, in itself,—how Copernicus, reasoning long and patiently about the matter, predicted confidently concerning it, before yet the telescope had been invented,... and that within a century after his death the telescope was invented, and that prediction verified, by Galileo,—I am not without hope that we may, even here and now, obtain some accurate information concerning that OTHER WORLD which the instinct of mankind has so long predicted." ~ Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

Still my favorite.

Galileo Galilei Quotes

Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.

I cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.


And yet it moves.


~ Galileo Galilei

Friday, December 16, 2011

This is what I've been looking for ... I want to paint this next.
"Chatting" online with an Australian friend early this morning. She observed that Christians easily form bonds with one another it seems. In a way I think that is true. I've looked and looked for a credible citation to this ...

An invisible red thread
connects those who are
destined to meet
regardless of time,
place or circumstance.
The thread may
stretch or tangle
but it will never break.


... seems to be attributed to Eastern Asian philosophy, but shows up sort of all over the web w/o much solid back ground. I posted my photo of "droplets of sky" hanging from a red thread in homage to this thought. It is surprising to see invisible connecting ... holding, hugging ... helping. This morning I asked "If one could sit a write a story ... the story ... of their life, how similar would it actually be to the story their life tells?" And isn't that exactly what we are doing? Writing the story of our life with the choices we make.

I would like a chapter ... where ... I ... . I'm making it up in my imaginings but, I wouldn't like to read a story with a chapter which made absolutely no sense. Sometime earlier this year I was thinking about wanting to do something that would be off track for me ... out of nowhere with my particular goals. Something like disappearing to the Bahamas in the middle of a snow storm. Yes, a nice thought ... then who would shovel the driveway? Hahah ... I guess we are writing a story ... the tale that is told by our choices.

Well, I know that is random. Makes no sense. I wanted a moment in Lala land for Christmas this year. That's why it's on my mind. The story my life wants to tell is one of Christmas lights and happy Sister Schubert smiles ... I think we are on track for that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

57/1000

"I wept not, so to stone within I grew."  ~ Dante Alighieri

This week I have viewed a timelaspe video of things of the sky interacting with things of the ground ... Above with Below and Between. A video edited from film collected over the course of several days.

Reminding me of this ... Dante again ... " Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground. "

and this ...
"The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart."~ Buddha

with this ...
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood

Teach us to care and not to care

Teach us to sit still

Even among these rocks....


~ Eliot


I could sit with the camera for days, looking as carefully as I might, at what the film is collecting. I would have been unable to see the tale that is told within the 3 minutes and 53 seconds that result in the video. Oh, it is beautiful. The time lapse allows me to see other layers in these events. The texture of the tale ... Seen with the same eyes told at a different pace. A wonderous story emerges from the mundane.

Sometimes I feel ... hmmm ... bogged down ... de-energized by the routine and yet seeing the fog lift in a valley while the mountaintops are washed in golden light ... it's spectacular ... The ordinary viewed with just slightly different filters becomes quite extraordinary. And Eliot's words illuminate as a prayer.

56/1000

I look through a different window now to see the sun low on the horizon ... Early morning light glides through the rose vine, mostly vine now, no roses, but still a few leaves. It's the whole frame, but specifically the "stories" hanging there which I am thankful for. How do the birds know it's there? Yesterday it looked like a local Starbucks during the morning drive ... at the current level of interest, the block of mixed seed will last maybe six weeks. My entire family is enjoying seeing the variety of birds, though I think even one visitor would suffice ... inviting enough pleasure to fund the feeder.

A few observations and curiousities thus far.

I hung the feeder and birds began to show up. How did they know it was there? Do they tell their "friends"?
Types of birds I have never seen are arriving. Some of them cooperate and dine together ... Bigger birds seem to want alone time ... smaller birds wait, watching from a distance. The bigger birds exude entitlement ... They perch on top of the feeder, probably for balance. The smaller birds are lithe, more agile, landing on the sides and making room for one another.

The feeder hangs under the roof out of the weather. Rain would spoil the food ... Wind would scatter the seeds on to the porch and surrounding flower beds. I put the feeder close to the house, just a couple of feet away from a window. I thought that would be best for the birds, also providing a view of the activity. Does God do that for us? Encourage us towards a safer place where we might be cared for. Does he delight to see us enjoying the gifts He has carefully provided?

Seed falls from the block and scatters below. My husband said the birds are leaving little thank-you notes under your feeder ... He is talking about the little bird droppings on the porch. Yes ... that. Birds are messy. The fallen seeds intermingle with the droppings ... Birds shuffle through the mess looking for scraps. Just like us. I would be happy to keep the feeder filled and the porch clean ... happy to wash spoiled kernels away with the poop. Some of the birds seem to prefer the less optimal experience.

I'm thankful for the bird feeder.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just thinking about this ... On going topic.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde

I'm wondering about the context of these words. Where is this quote from? Was this penned earlier or later in Oscar Wilde's life. Where did these "words to live by" take Mr. Wilde. I like many of the quotes attributed to him ... Was he satisfied by the life he chose to live? I wonder. Next year I think I will revisit some of his work. (Also, the quote I posted by Ayn Rand ... Good words. Boy did I struggle to read The Fountainhead, no it was Atlas Shrugged. I didn't enjoy reading the book, though I chose it for myself ... Christmas Break reading when I was twenty. I'm thinking to peruse it again this year as well, but that is off topic.)


"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~ Howard Thurman


Same sort of injunction. Is this simply hedonistic? Or ... is it a worth a shot ... are these words to live by? I'm leaning towards ... No.

Did I say I enjoyed the movie In Time? It has an excellent visual demonstration of time as a commodity. Time is spent. Time flows without opportunities for many do overs. I will trade today for what ever it is I might leave here. And ... these quotes call us to live "alive", but I wonder if in retrospect "alive" would be a life well lived.
One life. Rather, one lifetime, perhaps many lives. I am certain that I would not want to enjoy "living large" at someone else's expense. And, I'm pretty sure that Rick Warren got it right when he wrote "it's not about you". I'm sure I can't chase "alive" at any cost. I'm equally certain that "alive" is worth thinking about. Maybe it boils down to a season for this and a season for that. I do not feel that my life has some "great purpose ... some destiny to fulfill" I may even secretly believe that "great lives" are largely great PR jobs.

I know of lives with great moments in them, but I wouldn't feel comfortable saying those persons would say they lived to feel alive.

My alive can not be bought by sucking the life from another. That much I am certain of. Recently, I have read that one of our primary needs in life is to feel loved. I don't think that is true. I don't think it is a basic motivator ... I don't think feeling loved is what makes us feel alive. I've been thinking about love these past few months and one conclusion I've reached is ... I think/feel that love is tremendously important to God and also that God is capable of knowing and loving the whole me. No one can see the "whole me" except God. If I am loved by a person it can only be a partial and idealized me. How can someone think being loved by a person makes them feel "alive". I really don't get it.

"Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life." ~ Elie Wiesel


Restoration Hardware ... Ahhhh, we went in to visit my huge leather couch and saw a few other wonderful things. For one, a really nice iPad cover, also leather, it comes with a keyboard. I like using my keyboard sometimes. Right inside the door they had two trees decorated with just a few things. One string of tiny lights ... Perfect. This morning I had hoped to "re-interpret" this idea outside on the crepe myrtle tree near our front door ... but, it's raining here. Maybe later today.

Also visited Barnes and Noble ... My new best friends apparently ... last year I did a bit of online Christmas shopping with them and have been receiving an average of two e-mails per day ever since ... yeah, I know I could un subscribe myself, but I haven't. Anyway ... These two books came home with me. I am almost out of stuff to read. I'm looking at a book titled GOOD ORDER RightAnswers to Contemporary Questions ... A anthology of essays written by "conservative" thinkers (1995 Brad Miner). I am behind on my political reading ... Daddy wouldn't like that. Politics and football were probably his favorite topics ... he said they were almost exactly the same thing ... a bunch of over paid pumped up thugs puppeted by "owners", driven by greed and bloodlust ... quite an incredible show all around. He would be so thrilled with the screen within a screen ... Probably would have worn himself sick looking at politics as we find them these days. The political picture is too big for me to see now ... I stopped looking at "it" a few years ago ... now, I feel that that was irresponsible and I need to find my place. I've been voting based on likely Supreme Court nominations and little else, because I either don't believe what any of them is saying, or I don't like what any of them is saying. I have become uninformed. That is just not okay. Well, anyway ... .
So, two new books. A biography ... Bonhoeffer ... saving it for Christmas day. My personal Christmas day tradition ... After all the paper and bows have been cleared away, I sit near the fire with a good book. This is definitely going to be a good book. Several people have pointed me towards Bonhoeffer this year.
The other book is Velvet Elvis ... I don't know much about it except, again, several (different) people have asked me if I've read it and usually after several queries on the same book, I start feeling like its a cosmic nudge. Velvet Elvis, we'll see.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"re-blogged" (w/ permission) from A-Mused


Jealousy is all the fun you think they had. | Erica Jong: American writer and feminist, 1942
Jealous people poison their own banquet and then eat it. | Anon
A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything.  Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. | Robert A. Heinlein: American science fiction writer, 1907-1988
In jealousy there is more of self-love than love. | François de la Rochefoucault
Jealousy is always born with love, but does not always die with it. | François de la Rochefoucault
Jealousy is nothing more than the fear of abandonment. | Anon
Jealousy is that pain which a person feels from the apprehension that he or she is not equally loved by the person whom he or she entirely loves. | Joseph Addison - English essayist, poet, dramatist and statesman: 1672-1719
Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive. | Havelock Ellis

A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS

What do you think jealousy is?   How would you describe the word, or better still, the feeling of jealousy ...?
In the Hebrew Scriptures we read: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” [Exodus 20:4-5]  and in the Christian Scriptures we read,  “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.” [2 Corinthians 11:2]  What do you think the word “jealousy” means in this context?


I've wondered about that. Most instances of jealousy I've seen were little fits of sibling rivalry. A jealousy I've known was rooted in envy ... her ice cream is "more" then mine ... that sort of thing. It doesn't seem possible that the creator of the universe, the Lord your God, would be "jealous" as jealous is commonly construed.

Jealous, in the scriptural context, is intended to be understood as zealous vigilance.

zealous - marked by active interest and enthusiasm;
avid
(enthusiastic - having or showing great excitement and interest)

vigilance - watchfulness or readiness for danger.


English needs more words. This week I have looked up definitions of several words and I'm finding turquoise where I thought to see cerulean.

God, portrayed as "active ... enthusiastically watchful ... mindful ... ready to address the dangers to my soul" ... wow, totally different then a pouty little insecure needy "god".

As it is more commonly used, I'd think of jealously as envy/entitlement flowing, flooding, seeking to destroy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The red string


Drops of sky hanging on a red string.

Fear of falling


“You know, some people fall right through the hole in their lives. It's invisible, but they come to it after time, never knowing where.” ~ Louise Erdrich
(New to me ... Writer and Poet, b.1954)

Falling.
We grew up watching Willy Coyote fall ... he would suddenly be suspended in mid air, and he would look helplessly through the cathode ray tube right at me ... sitting cross legged on the floor, I couldn't help him. I never thought it was a funny cartoon.
My older brother and I were somewhere we shouldn't have been ... way up high ... scooting along an outside edge of an abandoned concrete building. A pin feather lodged in the sole of my little saddle oxford and Momma wanted to know how it got there. I am not a skilled liar ... I probably would have tried my best to deceive, had I known the trouble the truth would purchase ... but in my innocence I told her the truth ... I must have gotten it when I accidentally stepped on an empty bird nest tucked in to corner where a column met a window ledge ... several stories up in what seemed like thin air. She probably spanked me, what I remember though was her saying "You could have slipped and fallen. That would have killed you." I was too young to know what those words meant. Falling from great heights was nothing more then a set back to the coyote. Momma was the original drama queen. I figured that out years before I heard that label. I can sit right here right now and remember my confusion that day ... killed you ... What could those words mean? "Dead" she said, "like that animal hanging on the fence. Never ever ever able to run with her brother again!" ...
(Yeah, that's a different story ... I don't know why this was done, but it is a true story. A coyote was positioned on a bar wire fence ... It was the first "dead" thing I had ever seen and my daddy said that animal was there because he wasn't playing nice with a rancher's cattle ... little wide eyed me thought that was the wild version of standing with ones nose in the corner ... something I did quite a lot of.)
... "Dead like goes to sleep and never ever ever wakes up!"
Oh. Two new words ... one new idea ... I think the sleeplessness and nightmares probably started right around that time. And when I did sleep, seemed like I frequently fell out of my top bunk bed. How did I survive my childhood? I'm trying to remember what I was afraid of, and all I can think of was I was very afraid of falling ... my body was afraid ... my gut leaked that visceral fear every time I even thought about falling, falling from a height. That childhood fear still sneaks up on me and catches my breath sometimes ... those times when falling seems inevitable. I probably need to take my body skydiving.

This year I fell through a hole in my life. Remember those black circles ... drawn by Disney animators, a character could pick them up by the edge and move them around. Remember? I knew there was a hole in my life right there, but I sure didn't believe it was possible for me to fall through it. I've already written about it, but, I'm thinking about it again because it turned out to be the very place where my soul felt God. I had been straining to find some solutions to my little faulty trust switch, not a unique problem, but I felt certain that it was impeding the quality of my journey. People who can't trust are very careful about touching and being touch ... interpersonally. People who don't trust do build walls around themselves. I probably am still working on it, but ... seems like I had a lot of whoever I am supposed to be "protected". I chose to trust a person, low risk, someone who was passing through my life, like most people do. And that went well, until it didn't. During the last few minutes of the "friendship" some ugly words were said. Mauling words ... Friendship killing words. And ... That part of me that looks out for myself tossed her hair back and said "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out buddy". I realized pretty soon afterwards that me looking out for me was ... not just stupid, but also excruciatingly counterproductive. Sitting very still with that mess I felt for the first time ever that I ... me ... tiny insignificant me ... my sin made God feel sad. God feels bad when we sin. Even little easily justified sins make God feel bad. I don't want to do that. I realized that while maybe I am just getting started with the work of trusting, that my buddy may be getting near to the end of his willingness to work on the very same problem ... repetive little burns will eventually burn one completely down. I should have been someone who could be trusted not to torch a bud. Hmmm ... I can see how it happened. Someone recently introduced me to the idea of seeing everyone I met as one of God's particular favorites. It's a lovely idea ... I think it's true that each of us is uniquely valued by God. No matter how I want to justify my actions as I looked out for me, the truth is I messed up where God was working ... I ran through and "messed"on His work of art ... I maliciously fired a flaming arrow right into a person's soft spot. Because of that mess which I participated in I decided to start trying to let God "look out for me".
It has gone well, though it is difficult. Even knowing that I don't really know how to "do" life all by myself ... it's still difficult to reach for an invisible hand, it's difficult to leave my hand tucked in safe there. Want to know what happened after I fell through the hole in my life?
I fell like a feather floating gently back and forth. I've already written about it. I fell through the hole in my life. I thought I could keep myself safe by just keeping a distance from that scary black circle, I thought I could pretend it wasn't there ... ignore it, put a patch over it, fill it with unimportant things maybe ... but the hole moved ... suddenly, and I fell through. That was this year. The best year ever. I may not be afraid of holes ... Not sure about that, but I am certain that I'm not afraid of falling. Falling took me away from the place where tending that hole kept me busy. Falling through took me to a place where that hole can't haunt me. Trust feathered the fall.
     
“You know, some people fall right through the hole in their lives. It's invisible, but they come to it after time, never knowing where.” ~ Louise Erdrich
(New to me ... Writer and Poet, b.1954)

“Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.” ~ Franz Kafka

THINKING LIKE A BUTTERFLY
 

Monday I was told I was good.
I felt relieved.
Tuesday I was ignored.
I felt invisible.
Wednesday I was snapped at.
I began to doubt myself.
On Thursday I was rejected.
Now I was afraid.
On Saturday I was thanked
for being me. My soul relaxed.
On Sunday I was left alone
till the part of me that can’t
be influenced grew tired of
submitting and resisting.
Monday I was told I was good.
By Tuesday I got off the wheel.
~ Mark Nepo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Barn inspired architecture ... Japanese firm


Tap title to link

Sitting here with a roaring fire remembering the picture and the post about coming through a fire and not even smelling like smoke. Beth Moore on Daniel ... I remember saying I would run through fire for something ... I remember wishing to stay and play in a fire too. That fire is toasting up this room ... so nice. I can enjoy it from over here ... any closer and it just might burn me up.

H called. That's what sat me down in here. She's gonna call right back. Maybe ... child wrangling rewrites intentions sometimes. Her little girl doesn't want to change to a winter wardrobe. She wants to clothe herself in what was just perfect for Fall. Yeah, I remember. And we talked about how we do that spiritually too. I brought it up. Cause I'm looking at that fire across the room ... and I'm remembering.

That fire is mesmerizing ... it makes me want to sit with a friend I've never met in a place I've never been.

Christmas music may be just the thing.
Wednesday night I saw a chest of drawers with "good lines" sitting out near the curb in our new neighbor's front yard. Thursday morning bright and early is trash pick up on our street. I was really hoping someone would see that chest of drawers and save it from the landfill. Thursday morning L and Two are driving in to work together. She sees the chest and tells her dad "If Momma sees that chest before the truck rolls through, it will be in the garage when we get home tonight."
"No way" he says, "last thing she needs right now is a project."
My girl knows me. I hate the idea of something useful just going to waste ... even more so when it is also beautiful. The wood grain on this old chest is book matched. I noticed that immediately as I zoomed by on the way to drop off Five for school. Even little miss knew that chest might have a future with us.
"Mom plleeassse don't get that ... it would be soooo embarrassing."
I just shrug. I decide what is embarrassing for myself.
"Well, prepare yourself for my worst, because if it is still there when I get home, I'm definitely going to take a close look at it."

Yep ... still there ... sitting pretty under a layer of shimmering frost. The top two drawers slide out smoothly and I begin to think about new pulls ... what does this chest want ... hmmm. Middle drawer is a little whooper-jawed. I feel certain I can soothe that. Bottom drawer ... Not much there behind the gorgeous front ... Looks like all the pieces are resting in the middle drawer. I know I can "fix" this even if I have to build the bottom drawer from scratch. My feet are getting cold standing around out here thinking about something that the thinking is done on.

Okay ... heavy ... really heavy. Heavy is good with furniture, but this is just a bit too heavy for me to move. Now ... I figure I can flip it upside down and push it back on the lawn ... uh, the new neighbor's lawn ... to signal the garbage collector not to haul it off ... then I can go round up some cardboard to "sled" it on. I know I am strong enough to push the thing down hill. That's my thinking when I pull out my phone and call the neighbor. She answers immediately ... bet she was watching the whole thing. Maybe I should be embarrassed, but I just tell her that I think this is a beautiful piece of furniture and I wonder if she minds if I have it. She says she will put on some warm clothes and come help me carry it to my garage. I feel bad about getting her out ... she says she is so glad I am rescueing it ... her husband doesn't have time to work on it again ... they paid ten dollars for it at a garage sale in Chicago and it's been a vexation ever since ... . The two of us can barely carry it. Every six feet or so we have to put it down ... my drive way has never looked so long!

"Let's just leave it right here ... my guys can move it the rest of the way this evening." she comes in to visit for a while ... to catch her breath before she climbs back up the hill!

I don't know what I'm going to do with it after I finish "fixing" it ... .

It's waiting for me out in the garage now. I like to have things like that to keep my hands busy. This piece will be an interesting challenge. The top is veneered and has a few blemishes. I don't know if they will sand out or not. A small corner of veneer is missing from the top's edge ... I know I will putty that in and I think I will attempt a very simple trompe-l'œil "fix" for the wood grain.

Husband is out on a field trip for the next several days. The kids always have big plans when the week end gets here. I think I will be sitting with that chest for the next few days.

Airplane waiting in the maintenance hanger on a few little pieces ... I've been doing a bit of ground work with a couple of students. I'm still working on acquiring enough time in the plane so that I may be insured to instruct. It is the easiest flying plane I've ever flown. This time last year I know I would have been aggravated to be in this situation ... I would be busy drumming up renters who required a safety pilot, or looking for some little warrior that needed to be ferried somewhere. I like this me better. This me trusts that everything is exactly as it should be ... this me really does believe that it is interesting to sit back and see how things unfold. Even as I type those words out my heart smiles ... because ... something miraculous has taken place in me ... how do I describe it? Some process has strengthened my feeble soul towards trust. I am going to learn the language to express this in ... this year. Some people are able to find ways of expressing this sort of thing. Writing out a set of facts and coloring around them with descriptive words is difficult enough ... but this thing I am talking about isn't a matter of simply choosing with my brain to consciously see things differently ... It's sorta like the Turrell quote posted a day or two ago ... . This is like a light I can see with my eyes shut ... with my heart open. That's it ... a little private miracle opened my heart ... hmmm not exactly my heart ... for now the best words I can think to apprehend this feeling are ... unexpectedly, inexplicably, the heart of my heart began to pulse strongly ... softly, but steadily ... strongly. My soul feels ... what? ... re-invigorated? Maybe this is what those guys who have a little heart surgery feel ... a stint has "fixed" a little "broken" heart. I've been thinking about it a lot lately as the year ends. It's a big deal to me. It's true that this year has been the very best year of a lifetime of pretty spectacular years. I sat still ... not because I particularly wanted to. Hmmm ... I wasn't expecting a miracle. (That's why the quote on "The Star" resonated so ... That light does indeed endure and it is a beacon for a weary soul ... to "see" that light calling through the darkness is ... fortifying to say the least ... that light may lead one home) ... What is the definition of miracle ... I'm gonna go see, because it seems like a miracle must be something beyond ones imagination ... those miracles mentioned in the Bible were always more ... always beyond what could be imagined possible.

Miracle:

n.
1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God: "Miracles are spontaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves" (Katherine Anne Porter).
2. One that excites admiring awe. See Synonyms at wonder.

miracle - From Latin miraculum, "object of wonder"; its ultimate root meant "to smile upon."


n miracle [ˈmirəkl]
1 something which man is not normally capable of making happen and which is therefore thought to be done by a god or God. Christ's turning of water into wine was a miracle.
2 a fortunate happening that has no obvious natural cause or explanation.


Well ... That chest out in the garage is going to help me think about this. I know I am different then I was this time last year. I know it is related to being able to actually see "the essential me" as being able to trust ... God. Sometimes tutorials are painful ... like the tenderness a body feels after a surgery. I am going to go back and look at those miracles because suddenly I realize that they came at some cost. The persons involved ... changed. Hmmm. Thinking time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

from early December ... just thinking about

"To see something special. To see something beyond yourself and your imaginings. To follow it wherever it leads. To always remain prepared for miracle. That is the inner music of the story of The Star. Like all stories that survive, it is the music of the heart and not of the head, and like the heart, it will endure." ~GVdL

"In thinking of light, if we can think about what it can do, and what it is, by thinking about itself, not about what we wanted it to do for other things, because again we've used light as people might be used, in the sense that we use it to light paintings. We use it to light so that we can read. We don't really pay much attention to the light itself. And so turning that and letting light and sound speak for itself is that you figure out these different relationships and rules."   ~ Turrell ... he is talking about his art and more to the point, what his innermost is searching to express.  Ironically, we look at "art" and think about it as "decorative" ... as a thing that doesnt speak for itself a gift from the artist's soul.

and this also

"... And also wanted to gather starlight that was from outside, light that's not only from outside the planetary system which would be from the sun or reflected off of the moon or a planet, but also to emanate light from the galactic planes where you've got this older light that's away from the light even of our galaxy. So that is light that would be at least three and a half billion years old. So you're gathering light that's older than our solar system. And it's possible to gather that light, it takes a good bit of stars to do that, and a good look into older skies, away from the Milky Way. You can gather that light and physically have that in place so that it's physically present to feel this old light. Now that's a blended light, of course, but it's also red-shifted, so it's a different tone of light than we're normally used to. But that's something that you can do here in a place like this, where you have good, dark skies. So to have this sort of old blended light and to have this sort of new, eight and a half minute old light from the sun - it's like having the Beaujolais and then having a finer, older mature blend [of wine] as well. And I wanted to look at light that way, because to feel it physically, almost as we taste things, was a quality I wanted. ~ Turrell

To see the light of that star and even more specifically is to look beyond what eyes have seen towards what a soul may sing of.  To be prepared for a miracle ... to immerse ... see, feel ... taste ... to turn my soul towards this light.

John 1:1 and Genesis
Cyclamen ...
One of my favorite flowers is a white orchid. The elegant arching stem supporting a cluster of blooms ... orchids are quietly bold, they appear delicate, fragile, but they have staying power. I love the luminscent petals. When I look at orchid petals very carefully, they remind me of microscopic pearls, little beads piled together to form a petal. And the vermillion throat ... unexpectedly frolicsome at the heart of the discreetly quiet  white ... am amused laughing red.   Orchids seem to express a secret world ... dangling on a stem which emerges from sturdy waxy leaves. I do love orchids.
And gardenias ... with their intoxocating scent.  White  again, their petals are relatively plumped and diffuse but if you touch a gardenia petal it will immediately begin to brown. Gardenias don't "keep" ... they disclose their beauty generously , but they wear themselves out, and have to be replenished frequently if kept as a cut flower ... gardenias are wildly exuberant. I wish they bloomed year round ...yes, that would be a wish well spent.
And then there is the lovely cyclamen ... a very special treat. The flowers emerge from thelush emerald foliage stretching stems, that seem to gently coax the bud along. Cyclamen are not shy with their wild bursting bloom ... from above they seem like wild horse manes dancing out enthusiastically behind ... unfettered ... but, and this is the surprise, the face of this flower remains private. You really have to want to see the origins of all the apparent abandon, because a cyclamen presents orchid like delicate flowers with delicate petals which appear to be as exuberant as awhole bouquet of gardenias, but cyclamen are demure. Yeah really. The flower looks back to the earth and the hosting leaves.  The true beauty of a cyclamen can't be seen at first glance, the initial beauty disguises a sweet vulnerability ... cyclamen.  Continuously unfolding ... complexity expressed in a potted plant ... simply breath taking.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today birds began coming to my feeder! I am so happy about that.

Also today ... I had a specific mission in mind for today. Yesterday I took the shower curtains down (okay, I hang two sets because one, I think it looks nicer, and two, one shower curtain is too skimpy to keep the water inside the tub area) ... down to laundry them and get them rehung today. With the shower curtains down I could see the tile really needed a good scouring. Got right on that this morning ... Turns out on close inspection, the entire bathroom needed a careful cleaning. I tried a new product ... Sprays out blue turns white when ready to wipe. Not all it promised to be ... Comet is still my favorite, plus it removes polish from nails as one works so ... it must be a superior product!
All this Christmas decorating has me noticing that the high gloss white on all the wood work just isn't so very glossy ... I really need to repainted every bit of it. After the first of the year I will do some house painting. Not my favorite job, but I do enjoy how fresh everything looks afterwards. AC/DC will help me.

Tonight I have a ground session. This guy needs a flight review. I'm not looking forward to getting out and I'm not particularly excited about looking at part 91 with this guy. I am going to set my phone timer ... He's a chittychatter. Tomorrow I may go get my nails done by a professional!

This is the other thing I am specifically delighted with today ... I found the most beautiful cyclamen

Out of time now ... More on that later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today's mail was waiting for me on the dining room table this morning as I came through with three bags full of groceries. At the market I asked the butcher if they ever get any elk or venison. "No," he answers, "no one around here produces those meats in a humane gentle environment." Wow. That's where we're at. I did read Skinny Bitch a few summer ago, the practices of the meat industry are sickening ... I judiciously avoid homone enhanced poultry ... pork ... all that. Ground Bison was going for 10 bucks a pound while Chilean Sea Bass was sitting on 27/#. I will estimate that grocery prices have increased by at least a third in the past nine months. I do all the grocery shopping/food prep at our home, and I am certain that groceries are running fifty bucks per flimsy little bag. The kids are perplexed about why I refuse to purchase bottled water. This summer I got rid of the extra frig/freezer which was out in the garage. The beverage frig.

I'm fussing. This morning I woke up perfectly content ... happy with life. Everything decorating wise was completed yesterday. Our home looks just right I think. Well, I may hang Christmas lights along the front porch ... and I may do some other things outside, but ... I may not. There is only one light that matters.
46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. John 12:46 (NASB)
Wise men followed a great light in the sky to a place where a child was born. It is amazing that we even know that story. That light has shone steadily through the ages. It's impressive even if one doesn't believe. This morning, as I ran errands, I noticed that people are even grouchier then usual. Everybody is fretting over glitter and missing the reason. Some lady sitting snug in her car tapped on her window while I stood in the rain patiently trying to figure out what she could possibly need. Turns out she thought I was parked too close to her SUV. Her car was parked after mine ... Yes ... Her little agape fish emblem was right there on the driver's side. It makes me laugh ... it also makes me grouchy. Candle store guy said his first customer of the day tried to get him fired because the candles weren't half price ... she was furious ... couldn't see straight to read the sale notice apparently. I'm going to try to finish any Christmas shopping on line. Something about the FedEx truck stopping for me makes me smile. I love to think of freight flying here and there. Hohoho.

Oh yeah ... mail. Notable was the traditional pecan cake (aka fruit cake) delivered every year about this time from Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas. So good. Also Crate and Barrel Christmas goodies catalogue. I enjoy sending treats from them. And ... A brochure about the Emmaus Walk. It may be time for me to do the Emmaus walk.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm thinking about how do you reconcile a God who might kiss you in to eternity as Rev. Spurgeon suggests and God as seen in the Old Testament.

One of the things we all noticed from our visit with the Pentecostals was they are able to create an environment where the fact that life sometimes, maybe even frequently, sucks is right out there on the table ... and the beneficial part of that is then the message that one is not alone in the mess can be expressed and heard. The Pentecostal experience struck me as therapeutic ... cathartic. They did a feel good segment and a feel bad segment. The sermon was basically on "the Frogs" in our lives. Preacher didn't read the scripture, but he alluded to the Exodus account saying if God can't get your attention with frogs, he'll keep on ratcheting "it" up till you ... basically submit. It seemed like the real message was "your life sucks because of failings on your own part and God is in tough love mode till you get your stuff straight ... at which time the frogs will cease ... ." Lotsa Kleenex and "modesty covers" for those slain in the spirit. I am certain that the charismatic churches have unique personalities ... this one wasn't one I would want to share time with. We came in a little late and were directed to our seats by men in casual black outfits who looked like "security". The building structure was new, a warehouse style architecture devoid of windows and painted entirely black. The exits were not clearly illuminated. I would never be able to relax enough in such a place to be able to hear a message from God. Two days later I am still processing the non-verbal stuff. The stackable banquet-style chairs were very comfy ... dark purple. Everything was dark except the three huge media screens behind the preacher ... and his lucite pulpit.

And then what? It didn't seem like a very ... I don't know. The music was loud ... well, I like loud music, it just didn't ... it all seemed manipulative and condescending as well. I appreciated a willingness to be open to the Holy Spirit, it just seemed a bit frenzied and contrived. People hurried out afterwards ... . I'm hoping to visit the Episcopalians next.

beauty/walk

Well, I'm livin' in a foreign country but I'm bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor's edge, someday I'll make it mine.
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born.
"Come in," she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm."
Bob Dylan
Quick note ... It is a beautiful morning here, we've enjoyed extended pleasant weather. The Camellias are blooming ... that is supposed to be a February event! I really want to spend the morning walking Sammy, but Mondays can't go like that. Monday always has homemaking plans! And ... the Christmas tree needs its lights today at very least! One of the teachers called and asked me to plan a baby shower for one of the teams teachers ... She will go on maternity leave end of next week. The shower is primarily for the students. I'm thinking about ways to make it fun and sweet for everyone. The ewww factor is potentially high among sixth grade boys ... I'm trying to come up with some grin and bear it activities for them.

Well ... Lights first!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I did get to fly in the lovely beech bonanza on Friday. What a wonderful little plane. My buddy was doing some instrument recurrency stuff. I said letting the auto-pilot fly the stuff seemed ... well, not quite in the spirit of things. His GPS (Garmin 530) made everything way too easy as well. He asked me to set up the profile ... and then once I told him the approach he would just tap a couple of knobs and all the frequencies would tumble in to place. Not fair! What ever happened to being just one little digit off on one little nav aid? ... It was so much fun. He loaned me a Boise headset for the ride ... Seriously light weight and oh so fine ... 1200 bucks worth of smooth ... My very nice headset invariably pulls hair out ... Not the Boise set though. I don't know if they "attenuate" better, but they are definitely more user friendly. I like the engine quite ... Good plane. Good time.

Today he was over to join us for church (Pentecostal's) and lunch. I've known him for years ... Kinda all of a sudden he and my daughter, Two, are seeing each other. It's really nice to have another pilot in the house ... Neither one of us could remember the name for what ever those design items that extend from the leading edge and make stalls more difficult are. I was telling him that I really like feeling the buffeting with the soles of my feet. He was saying the bonanza has very pronounced stall characteristics, but when we went through the stalls series on Friday, I wouldn't have said that was so. It's more like the airplane is clearing it's throat ... Cough cough, hey ya gonna lower the angle or what ... Then right back to positive rate with nary a hair out of place. Good airplane. Slow flight practically hovers pointed at the moon ... It shudders in to a very polite little stall ... And goes immediately back to minding it's manners with no extended hanky panky. 1.7 ... Two landings for me. He did an acceptable power off 180.

There are a few things to tend to here in my home this week. Christmas things. Christmas things first. I really like decorating for Christmas. There is a new puzzle on the coffee table in the den ... a tradition for us. Usually they have a Christmas theme, this year V chose a New Years scene.

Today I did hang a bird feeder out under the rose vine. And I also hung a pair of hummingbird feeders. The birds have been hopping around in the vine inspecting the nests that are vacant.

Cherokee Prayer of purification

Great Spirit (U-ne-qua), whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me;
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy MYSELF.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.7

With Beauty ... Navajo Ceremonial Prayer

Walking in Beauty:  Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
...
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…



Tap post title to link full prayer
“For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”
― John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings

Can a person "invoke". Can a person really "bless"another by saying some words? Right now I think doling out blessings is actually at God's discretion. I am concerned about the idea of a mere mortal dispensing ... . Someone sneezes, I do automatically say "God bless you ... " passes as good manners though it's just words. Sounds better then "Ewwww, cover your mouth!"
Someone said O'Donohue was a Christian Druid. Hmmm. I don't know. Thinking.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

John O'Donohue ... Thinking about

"Frequently, in a journey of the soul, the most precious moments are the mistakes. They have brought you to a place that you would otherwise have always avoided."

"Once you start to awaken, no one can ever claim you again for the old patterns. Now you realize how precious your time here is. You are no longer willing to squander your essence on undertakings that do not nourish your true self; your patience grows thin with tired talk and dead language. You see through the rosters of expectation which promise you safety and the confirmation of your outer identity. Now you are impatient for growth, willing to put yourself in the way of change. You want your work to become an expression of your gift. You want your relationship to voyage beyond the pallid frontiers to where the danger of transformation dwells. You want your God to be wild and to call you to where your destiny awaits."

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”

“The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.”

"Time is eternity living dangerously."

“Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul.”

A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

door baulk and battery squawk

Okay ... the airplane is safely delivered to the maintenance hanger an hour and a half Southeast of here. Bunches of planes flying with JAX center this morning.

I got out to the hanger on time for a 1500Z departure. Sure is creepy out there with just the coyotes for company. Those old two story high sliding, and I use that term loosely, doors were cold and cranky. Big hangers have perfect acoustics for whistling in. I love to hear whistling mornings even when it's me. Whistling is so unselfconsciously cheery. So ... I whistled for a while doing a bit of preliminary fiddling then I started pulling pins on those doors. Wow! Golden brilliance ... and warmth fill the space allatonce! I hadn't realized how cold it was. The air was so icey cold and clean, I felt as though I was drinking it. Standing there I recognize this perfect moment when I am the luckiest person in the world ... gorgeous cerulean morning, perfect flying conditions, an airplane waiting ... and I get to fly all by myself, actually doing someone a favor so ... they paid for the fuel ... it couldn't possibly get any better then this!
The crunch of gravel startled me out of my joy ... scared me really ... I reached for my phone. What was that opposite of joy word/feeling?

Ah ... Here is that list:

love .......................................................indifference
joy  .....................................................................fear
peace ..................frustration or obscurity/vagueness
forbearance.....impatience or harshness or stiffness
kindness ........................................malice or cruelty
goodness ........................................pride or cunning
faithfulness ...................................................breach
gentleness ............................pride, power, authority
self control ...................self-indulgent or impulsive

Joy ... Fear. I felt it pierce through me. Maybe some survival instinct kicking in. Turned out to be a nice visitor ... one of the guys who have been just great with helping us get the operation going. He asked me if I wanted help with those old hanger doors, or if I just wanted to figure them out all by myself. I liked that ... choice as a courtesy. Perfectly phrased. I said I was willing to accept instruction and a little brawn thrown in would be appreciated too. He kicked the snot out of the door right where the wheel is supposed to be ... And he also said watch the wheels at the top of the door, they'll help you figure out which way to push.
Most of the door sections are 12'x20' ... Hooked together like box cars and you have to move everyone of them to get enough of an openning to accommodate the 35' wingspan. Doable, but just barely when they get stuck! He watched the wingtips while I pulled the plane out into the sunshine. While I'm doing the pre-flight several strangers pulled in or taxied in ... Fuel prices are lower at this tank then anywhere else near by ... you gotta self serve, but most GA pilots don't seem to mind that. I am not a big fan of strangers. I would guess these guys are hunters just trying to get to their deer leases, but I know I would have been uneasy if a friend weren't around.
So ... Guess what happens next! I prime ... a couple of extra shots 'cause it's cold (I'm used to fuel injected, but this guy has a carburetor) not really sure where the happy place between perfectly tended and totally flooded is ... . We, the warrior and I, get to the part where the prop is supposed tonstart spinning and all I get is rruuu rruuuu ruuuu. Dangit. That is not the right sound. Battery doesn't have enough juice to turn the prop! And, I really am at a loss for what to do about that out here where there are no services (cept the self serve pump and the neighborly assistance of other pilots!). I shut the thing down and climb out ... Everyone has stopped what they're doing and are currently staring ... I hate this. I really don't like it when I don't know what to do. Yeah ... I knew I had a dead battery ... problem identified ... solutions ... not so many. I walked over to where my buddy was standing with some of the other guys with a big smile on his face. Yep, I getting ready to ask for help. One of the strangers asks me if I have an external power receptacle ... I say, "No, but the Warrior does ... ." Everyone laughs. Turns out he has just the right everything to jump the system. Right out in the middle of nowhere ... starts out just me ... and before I even know I have a problem, help arrives. ... Like a hug. Just like a hug.

Sweet flight down ...1.5 on the dime. Winds aloft were given at five knots. I picked up flight following with Atlanta and listened to the big guys who were tickling the sky with white scratches. The flight back was just great. I've never been in a Cherokee 140. The six-pack was strewn all over the dash ... fuses on the circuit panel ... trim on an overhead crank ... no PPT on the right yoke ... vintage, with Hersey bar wings. He let me fly it the whole way home. It rocked. I told him I liked his plane and he said, "Gal, you just like planes."

Back where my jeep sat soaking in afternoon sun a Super Cub came in as we taxied off ... just lovely. Prettiest red paint lazily streaking through the blue. He made four landings before he sailed away. I'm gonna safety pilot in a beech today ... love that engine.

from May2011 Hugs

Someone told me a secret today ... I usually don't love secrets, but this one ... I love this secret. I've been waiting to hear this secret.

I also started figuring out something that I've been working with since last July ... those dreams weren't about waiting. I felt like they were holding a message ... I think some times dreams do. Both of those dreams were so vivid ... memorable ... and I thought they were related ... linked.
"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you." - Marsha Norman

Somewhere along the way of life seems like we get messed up.  Like, you know how you meet or see someone and you're like, "Oh man, he is so messed up!" and maybe you say a little prayer for them or maybe you're thankful that you're not that messed up ... . Well, we all have our little hidden "messed up". One of mine is  way down there on the first tier of Maslow's hierarchy. I'm going to label it "abandoned".  It's a tiny scared space in my psyche ... my soul ... that is afraid to take a chance on "trust". But ... and this is huge for me ... I am getting better at trust and less afraid of abandoned.  I believe both of those dreams are about ... trust, and in both of those dreams, I find myself ... abandoned.  Abandoned doesn't freak me out in either dream ... I stay just like me ... pretty calm ... trying to figure it out. 
  
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same."
     ~ Flavia Weedn

Don't you love this little quote?  It's good. People, even perhaps important to you people, come and quickly go. That's good ...I mean really good, like a little hug from God, reminding you, that you have not been abandoned ... reminding you that you are cherished by God. It really doesn't get any better then that.

I have been messing something important in life up because of this little issue with abandoned ... stranded ... I don't let people get close enough to me to give me those little hugs from God. I am a pretty good hug giver ... but not a hug receiver ... I don't want to be touched.  I know what that looks like on other people ... just didn't know that about myself.  I want to look out for myself ... I want to count on myself.

Note 2 December ... Looking for something else and saw this. Hugs. Hugs are good.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Liquid coffee mate is 10 calories a tablespoon. I'm changing horses tomorrow. Yes, this is a big freaking deal to me ... because when I quit smoking so so so many years ago, I told myself that that was the only thing I would ever make myself stop doing. There was some propaganda about if you are this age and you stop this foolishness today you will add this many (and it was a lot) years to your life. I did the math. And I thought nobody in their right mind would want to ever be a day older then that ... so ... I'll stop this, but that's it. Then that Fat Farm guy came down for a Flight Review and an IPC and mostly to hang out with some of his buddies ... and he casually mentioned that women my age average a seven pound weight gain per year for the rest of their lives. I think I picked up twenty years when I quit smoking ... that's like 140 pounds ... that's not extended longevity, that's another whole earth suit! I think I see that seven pounds in my coffee up. 85 calories is a significant percentage of any appropriate daily caloric intake. Well ... enough of that. I'm going to start getting used to it tomorrow. If I can't or won't I'll switch to green tea. I don't expect that to taste like a wake up smile.
Ceilings OVC016 a l l along my intended route of flight today. I'm not instrument current ... and, I wasn't itching to fly single pilot IFR any way. Well, maybe I kinda am ... or maybe it's just a rash. I'm not legal this morning anyway so ... approaches and holding on my short term to do list. Ugh ... That's the problem with pretty good weather, you lose currency. Most approaches end up being visual anyway ... at least during the day! I was already not thrilled with flying it at 3500MSL. It's just not much altitude in my pocket just in case.. Tomorrow promises to be a lot nicer. Weather does not always play well with others though ... we shall see. Bag waiting by front door. I woke up ... no, that's not true, I got up and made coffee earlier then usual ... still dark when I got out of the shower and headed to my closet. Accidentally pulled "skinny jeans" from hanger. Good news ... They zip! Yes, with me in them. Bad news ... They are tight. I decided to keep them on though, they will remind me not to grab something from a vending machine for lunch. My coffee is 85 calories a pop. Bummer. I really like coffee and even more so when the weather gets cooler.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Looks like the flight will be a go for tomorrow and good company is a part of good planning I think ... Did I mention that guy at the airport who introduced himself and immediately began doing everything he could to help us out with our little operation? He's retired airlines and has recently sold his toy plane ... in other words, I figured he was itching to get back up in the air (and he confirmed that). No ... He'd love to but he's got a medical visit to go to tomorrow with his adult son. We talked about that because one of my buddies has just recently successfully navigated the very same problem. Maybe it was a relief to talk about it with someone knowledgable, but not personally involved. He switched topics saying he's gonna keep things in perspective ... and that he's pleased that I thought of him and insists on a raincheck. He also tells me that they owned a Cherokee 140 a while back and that the ride in the back seat sucks (that's the ride home) but he would still go if he coulda gotten away. Frankly, he's been a huge help, but I thought of him because one he's a hoot and two, he knows stuff that I don't know ... he's probably forgotten more then I'll ever know. Flying has been his life.

I'm out running errands and he calls back. He says "Speaking of perspective ... " and goes on to tell me some of the details about that crash in Arizona on Thanksgiving day. I told him I figured the kids were with their dad for "his" holiday ... and that there was a mother whose very world had ended during that moment too. I saw the video and it made me sick ... because I know what happens to people who love those who are now irrevocably ... gone. The very fact that there is video floating around is ... I don't have the words for it. Eventually the NTSB will issue a report ... among other things it will say 6 fatalities. Won't mention that a mother started dying too ... her babies are gone. Their dad was a Captain with one of the major airlines ... she is a Flight Attendant ... the other men on board ... the emotional and spiritual wreckage from this ... there are no words. Every single person who has heard of this terrible tragedy has to pray ... pray for those left in the wreckage. Pray for that little mother.
Pray that their community will somehow know some way to help her.

Ramblings on "choice"

~ found Photo (idk)
I was thirteen, sitting in a booth for four at a pizza hut in Houston, Texas with one of my Dad's brothers. By then I had learned to say which ever of my uncles I am sitting nearest to is my favorite ... Daddy had six brothers, and I enjoyed spending as much time as possible with any one of them. This particular uncle was so incorrigible that he could even get my mother to loosen up occasionally ... that didn't endear him to her though.
Looking back on the dinner conversation, I can see the context that eluded the younger me. He talked while the candle flickered and his pizza congealed. Always remember this he said, " Each one of us comes in to this life with a ring of keys. Some people have many keys, some people have a few ... some people prefer to "pick" locks. Don't be a lock picker," he said looking up. I think he was trying to make sure that I understood that lock picking was dishonest. "Use your keys, but use them judiciously, some keys may only be used once. Some keys fit only one particular lock, don't force a key ... don't force a lock. You're not going to know which keys will forfeit from your ring once tried, so take care with them." By then I'm sure I was wondering what specifically prompted this little talk. It was as though my uncles could read my mind, and I wondered if he was somehow aware of some recent mischief making on my part. I held eye contact with him while I searched for a guilty spot in my conscience. He must have taken my look of innocence for deep thought ... but rather then thinking about what he was saying, I was trying to figure out why he was saying it. There was no way he coulda known about me skipping school to go swimming in the Falls ... "Okay, I'll remember" I said flashing a big smile. He signaled the waitress to refill my Coke, but he wasn't finished with his story. "Some of your keys will reward careful choice by multiplying. By that I mean, you open a locked door to find another key, or several keys, in that place. But sometimes, you arrive at a door only to find that you have squandered the key elsewhere. Be mindful with your keys little sister. You seem to be starting out with a full ring, but you've got a long ways to go." I liked the analogy. I thought, even back then it was an interesting take on things. I thought he was talking about me, but looking back I realized that he was sharing some private pain. That night we were waiting at Pizza Hut for his fiancé, I was meeting her for the first time. He had divorced his first wife who was special to me ... I still keep up with her now nearly forty years later ... she attended his funeral several years ago. I grew to love this woman I met that evening too, many times over the years I thought he was so very fortunate to have won the heart of not one, but two exceptional women. I loved him, but I could see why my momma did not.
Choices. From here I can see his regret and his relief.

Proverbs 20:24 (NIV)
A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Barnes' commentary:
The order of a man's life is a mystery even to himself. He knows not where he is going, or for what God is educating him.


How about this? Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

... Out of time for now. It's good to have choices, and we all do. I think where the lock/key thing gets messed up, is where a choice is made purely on impulse, equally where it's made purely by "rational" choice. I like what I have read recently in DAWN ...about those people who have helped shape us, and I would take it further to include those without faces whose work we've seen or heard or read; our experiences. I've said my choices make choices. Way leads on to way. I think maybe the soul has many folds just like the brain.

Snow is forecast for today ... My little flight is probably on for tomorrow. I have a few things to do before I spend a day away ... So, I better get going ... after I read this backwards. One of my favorite teachers taught me to proof myself by reading things backwards. It works good with life too.