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

Friday, September 30, 2011

These are the color of sea glass and driftwood. Definitely the colors of my soul relaxed. And definitely exactly how I imagine who I'm growing on towards. My kids laugh because I wear my boots like houseshoes ... boots are good. Long as I'm wearing them rather than them wearing me ... boots rock.
"To endeavour to domineer over conscience is to invade the citadel of heaven" ~ Charles V (France)

To coerce isn't right.

"All history attests that man has subjected woman to his will, used her as a means to promote his selfish gratification, to minister to his sensual pleasures, to be instrumental in promoting his comfort; but never has he desired to elevate her to that rank she was created to fill. He has done all he could to debase and enslave her mind; and now he looks triumphantly on the ruin he has wrought, and say, the being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior."

~ Sarah M. Grimke (1792–1873), U.S. abolitionist and feminist. Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman, letter #2: dated July 17, 1837 (1838).

In general, I do not agree with Ms.Grimke. This statement is rather grim ke. People do establish pecking orders and hierarchies. People so barter what they have for what they want ... Subjugation? Idk ... It doesn't seem like love or a loving sort of thing. It sounds a bit like an employer/employee relationship. I understand what she is saying. It's here because I'm thinking about it ... I just don't believe this, as a broad statement is totally true.

a dream is a wish your heart makes ...

"All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible." ~ William Faulkner

"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream." ~ Khalil Gibran

"All men of action are dreamers." ~ James Huneker

"Dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall be prophets." ~ Bulwer Lytton

"Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions." ~ Edgar Caycee

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." T.E.Lawerence

"You may say I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one ..." ~ John Lennon

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde is becoming a favourite. On my list of get to know better ... Moonlight ... And to get to see a new dawn before ... And the Dawn I see happened over there hours ago, and will happen over there in a few more hours ... but it will be their dawn seen from a different vantage point, through different atmospheric conditions ... different filters. Well, I love this quote. Searching in the gentle light ... looking towards a new dawn. Rather rewarding.

"Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?" ~ Joan Didion

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~ Christopher Reeve

"I've always said that one night, I'm going to find myself in some field somewhere, I'm standing on grass, and it's raining, and I'm with the person I love, and I know I'm at the very point I've been dreaming of getting to." ~ Drew Barrymore

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." ~ Thoreau

"Only things the dreamers make live on. They are the eternal conquerors." ~ Herbert Kaufman

"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living." ~ Anais Nin

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman

"I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams... Man... is above all the plaything of his memory." ~ Andre Breton

“Dreams are like may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.” ~ Idk

“I'll do my dreaming with my eyes wide open, and I'll do my looking back with my eyes closed”
~ Tony Aratha

Thursday, September 29, 2011

cyn·i·cal  (sn-kl)
1. Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others: a cynical dismissal of the politician's promise to reform the campaign finance system.
2. Selfishly or callously calculating: showed a cynical disregard for the safety of his troops in his efforts to advance his reputation.
3. Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness: a cynical view of the average voter's intelligence.
4. Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity: cynical laughter.
cyni·cal·ly adv.
cyni·cal·ness n.

Seems like this layer of my idea about how people tend to ...
I'm seeing this differently. Somewhere along the way this has gotten skewed ... I think that is my problem. In other words, I will take responsibility for this mis-cue ... I'm thinking about this ... Love seems worth re-looking at. Re-imagined. New chapters written. Cynical is not how I express love, but is how I tend to receive "love". Not good enough. Love is higher then this base view.
Flowers on the communion table sometime this summer were placed there by their four sons in honour of the 68th wedding anniversary. Married for sixty-eight years.

He is ninety, she six years younger. I said I wanted to know something more about love ... and ... I truly wish I weren't so cynical about love. They are helping me to see love in a way I haven't seen it before ... it is deeply moving.

They live in a comfortable garden home under the departure end of 36 ... it was delightful to hear the continuous purr of light engines climbing. She said every evening that the weather will allow, they sit outside on their swing and watch the little airplanes and the hummingbirds. Neither of them has ever flown in a small plane, but they enjoy them the way I enjoy hummingbirds at the feeder.

I spent several hours in a rocking chair in their living room this morning listening to her reminisce ... and try to remember words to express what she wanted to say ... and straining to hold the thread of what she was saying. I like older people quite a bit. I am fascinated to hear what of their lives they want to share ... what was planted deep enough to still have hold in the oft tilled soil of their souls?

She has always been a homemaker ... raising four boys. Pictures of their family are in frames on every surface. And there is a small Christmas tree in front of the fireplace, with lights, and garlands, and all her favourite ornaments sparkling in this morning's summer sun. She likes Christmas. I do too ... maybe someday I will have a little tree that stays up year 'round celebrating the birth of hope.

He stayed for a bit to make sure she was comfortable being left with me while he ran a few errands  ... she doesn't remember me at all, and I was so glad I had a few pictures of L and I hiking the trail to confirm that I actually do know L.  He has always been one of her favorites! Sweet. I can't remember how many times she asked me whose wife are you ... She doesn't think I sit with him at church ... it's true that I don't always sit right next to him during the service, sometimes two or three kids will sit between us. He taught the senior adult men's Sunday School class at our church for many years and all the old guys are very fond of him, as are their sweet wives.

She is grateful for her husband's tenderness towards her. She started to cry a bit when she told me she wished they could die together ... She doesn't wish him dead she said, but she knows her health is not good and she can't imagine being without him. She said she is afraid to go to heaven without him ... she doesn't remember being without him nearby. She doesn't remember when he used to leave for a day at his office ... she sat where she could see his car coming up their street, and I kept an ear on the garage door opening ... I wanted to be sure to be watching her when she first saw his car. She still has a beautiful smile.  It is the kind of smile a woman with a well tended heart grows in to over time ... it is a smile that creates more smiles.  I think she has been bringing out the very best in people for a long time.

The mind is an amazing thing. She really seemed to enjoy reading names out of the church directory and asking me about them ... what happened to this one and that one. It was fun for me to see how happy she was that I could tell her nice stories about her friends ... She wanted to know why one man was alone in his picture ... where was his wife ... The wife had been her Sunday School teacher for many years before she died unexpectedly on a tour of the Holy Land a few years ago. I could see her confused that I seemed to know so many sweet stories but she just couldn't remember ever seeing me before.

How are our impressions formed, and why do we remember what we remember? I am not afraid of forgetting large chucks of my life. I wish I could be there to see what remains important enough to stay put. And important enough really isn't even the correct sentiment ... .
There was a beautiful crocheted tablecloth on the side table between their chairs. He was pleased to tell me that she began making it the year they were married. She remembered working on the table cloth. I asked her permission to take a picture of it ... when I got down on the floor for the angle I wanted, we both saw a pink wash cloth hiding underneath. She was embarrassed. She apologised for not being able to keep her home as she used to ... She said the cloth was left there from when she dried the feet of her friend. He was having some foot problem that required an occasional  soak ... she dries his feet afterwards ... He said it breaks his heart to watch her trying to figure out how to get the cloth between his toes ... Watching as your love disappears is courageous work I think.  Lonely work ... his strength will keep her safe in this confusing tangle on the path they walk together towards home ... I know he is trying to spare her his grief.

When he arrived home she was so precious ... lighting up like a school girl. Gosh, I can feel my chest tightening up as I type that. He came right up to her and handed her the mail, asking her how her morning was before smiling over at me. So precious. So very precious.  And ... it's easy for me to imagine her in heaven ... sitting there near enough to keep her eye on the gates ... waiting in joyful expectation for him to come through.

When it was time for me to go, he showed me his garden, and I told him she was very fond of the swing out under the trees ... and the hummingbirds ... I know it is because of the time they have spent there together.  He wondered what she remembered and I told him she remembers how much her life with you has meant to her ... remembers a lifetime of sweetness with him ... and that's the truth ... that's pretty much all she was sure about. He had a tear squeezing his eye when he told me she sometimes wakes up at night and asks him if he is her husband.
Today she remembers. Today she tells me that he has always been the best husband in the world.  Today she tells me that she always knows that he is her best friend.  She knows that with her soul I think ... in her soul the truth of that is a treasure beyond reach, and I see it sparkling from her.
Love.  Theirs is a love story.

Theirs is a love story which can be seen over time ... lots of time, and I don't know the story of each day. I know every one's life has joyous times and more difficult times woven together ... we help each other create the table cloth on the communion table where love is celebrated.  I can't see the individual stitches.  She has lived with her love, Him, long enough to remember what seems to me to be the sweetest, most precious, most essential thing ... it's the story which I Corinthians 13 tries to illuminate for us.
Love ... protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres ... and faith, hope, and love remain when all the other stuff falls away ... and God said the most important of these is love.  I like it that a husband became a best friend ... a friend of one's soul as Christ wants to be to us ... a best friend whom human frailties cannot shake loose even for a second ... I am certain that love is woven in to eternity.

I like it that their family places flowers on the communion table to celebrate their love.  I'm trying to hear what the preacher is saying ... I'm hearing a story about love.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I woke up early, or what used to be late and maybe will be again some day ... I like night. And one of my favorite places is

Where I can see the stars and the waves at the same time. Where I can feel the ocean on my skin ... or is it just a cloud? Where I breathe in and out in tempo with the deep caressing the shore. Where I wrap myself in my green shawl baba chillin' ... just chillin'.

Last night was like that for just a moment. Listening to a video of waves reaching then receding over a pebbled shore. Sounding so perfectly soothing, it reminded me of the rain stick L brought home from a trip to Africa. I loved the sound it gave. Last night when I awoke time was all my own ... a line with thunder rumbling towards release was right outside my window. 3:30 ... lulled by a distant shore ... my eyes are closed and I'm at the beach with Orion overhead ... and an airplane so high as to be part of the constellation ... a shooting star in s l o w m o whiling as a wish is framed. And my wish is a dream. And I feel my soul smile in the dark.

Then I thought to just go ahead and get up ... make some coffee ... see about sitting outside for awhile with the passing storm ... . Bummer of all morning bummers ... The bean basket is empty and the pantry storage is also without and I wonder how did I let this happen? And it's too early to be out driving alone ... I go back to bed for awhile. Six o'clock finds me on the coffee aisle with a stocking clerk ... Is it still raining out he wants to know and I say we are in a little clear window, but more is coming. I saw it lighting up layers of dark and inky blue ... not quite enough energy for real lightening ... more like a rumbling growl and a hint of what might be. Maybe weather. Yawning showers. Another perfect day ... once the coffee is stirred ... lol.

Once everyone is out of the house I think about what I'm going to do to earn my keep, and I tell myself to stop remembering that phrase ... It clings like a sticker burr. Hahaha. I can do better then that ... and I notice that there really isn't much housework to do today ... and aeroweather indicates there won't be much weeding either.

Last night I saw this quote:“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way.”
― Heraclitus
Yes, I think, that is what I was going to think about. All of that ... and my soul ... I know what color it probably might be ... the color of a morning glory ... all the possible morning glory colors, but usually that most vibrant blue violet ... and then when I'm resting and the old me I am traveling to mostly shades of sea glass green and driftwood grey. The color of my soul ...
... I watercolored this before I knew how I wanted the prop arc to look ... This was the original version ... I came across it this morning when I was looking for something entirely else ... and I saw this also ... Instrument Collage ...
and a pile of these ...

So ... Here we are ... Sammy looking silly with his summer do growing out ... and me neglecting to remove a sticker burr that I know will stop annoying as soon as I nudge it out.
Sammy is afraid of storms, but, I'm not. I think this will be an awesome day.

A few more ... Dream quotes ... and Thoreau again just because

"All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible." ~ William Faulkner

"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream." ~ Khalil Gibran

"All men of action are dreamers." ~ James Hunker

"Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled." ~ Mark Twain

"Dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall be prophets." ~ Bulwer Lytton

"Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions." ~ Edgar Caycee

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." T.E.Lawerence

"You may say I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one ..." ~ John Lennon

"A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not read."~ Talmud

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde is becoming a favourite. On my list of get to know better ... Moonlight ... And to get to see a new dawn before ... And the Dawn I see happened over there hours ago, and will happen over there in a few more hours ... but it will be their dawn seen from a different vantage point, through different atmospheric conditions ... different filters. Well, I love this quote. Searching in the gentle light ... looking towards a new dawn. Rather rewarding.

"Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?" ~ Joan Didion

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~ Christopher Reeve

"I've always said that one night, I'm going to find myself in some field somewhere, I'm standing on grass, and it's raining, and I'm with the person I love, and I know I'm at the very point I've been dreaming of getting to." ~ Drew Barrymore

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." ~ Thoreau

"Only things the dreamers make live on. They are the eternal conquerors." ~ Herbert Kaufman

"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living." ~ Anais Nin

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman

"I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams... Man... is above all the plaything of his memory." ~ Andre Breton

“Dreams are like may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.” ~ Idk

“I'll do my dreaming with my eyes wide open, and I'll do my looking back with my eyes closed”
~ Tony Aratha

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

46 ... Today ... I am able to prepare any number of wonderful breakfasts for my family ... because we are blessed with plenty ... and because we are still able.

The stain glass window to my right with a band of color exactly as this morning glory, a tall candle flickering inside a hurrican glass on a side table remembering soldiers and their loves, and always second pew from the back ... a very old couple. We know them well. We've been in church together since I had babies in diapers. They look exactly the same ... The babies drive themselves to worship so they don't have to stand around on the front steps hearing I remember when .... The old lady sits still under her gentle fluff of white hair ... still WWII coif minus the shellack, her hair knows it's own way. She has morning glory blue eyes ... strong eyes that belie the blankness within. She sits close to him ... touching at the shoulders and knees, holding hands. She doesn't remember the words to the hymns ... she doesn't remember the friends they joined for lunch every Sunday after service ... she doesn't remember anything ... he holds all her memories for her. His eyes are sad.
Yesterday, my H's momma told me that he locks the car and leaves the AC running to keep her cool while he runs in to the grocery store to pick up essentials. He does all the housework, all the tending ... holding her hand and holding it all together. I hadn't realized we were there yet. Hospital visits have always been to pinch his toe ... . I have to figure out how to help. ... I am so very thankful that I am able.

Monday, September 26, 2011

43the pleasure of playing words with friends with One ... He's pretty good at it, and witty as well. Tonight we've been talking on the phone ... Nice. I liked it.

44 L surprised me by ordering that book ... Haidt's book. I lovelovelove having books enroute
45 MK called to set up lunch ... I'd rather be flying with him, but he is a prodigious eater, skinny as a praying mantis, it's like a magic show watching his meal disappear, and I think it's his turn to buy ... so all good. Friends rock.
(pic from photo bucket)
38 I'm not doing too good at getting my 1000 thankfuls whittled down!
D called pumped about hanging out with her little sister in Austin ... Chinese Food. She is going to learn how to make Chinese noodles with her pasta machine. I love her funny plans and I love listening to her drive through ordering ice tea with extra ice please ... She reminded me of something about my granny ... We agree that we would not have been allowed to hang out with my grandmother were she our age. My mother would never have approved. Old friends to laugh with ... Huge blessing.
39Sammy is obviously delighted with his big deal grooming ... He has minded his Ps&Qs with the compost pile. Best dog ever.
40chicken roasting in oven ... Making whole house smell awesome.
41At church one of the old guys said I look younger. I don't care about looking younger, but I do care about being less stressed out ... That is what I know that he doesn't. And I am thankful for a lighter load.
42Life is just good!

The Happiness Hypothesis ...

The TED talk given by Dr.Haidt is pretty interesting.

Jonathan Haidt is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideology. His book, The Happiness Hypothesis, examines ten "great ideas" dating from antiquity and their continued relevance to the happy life.

His Moral Foundations Theory looks at the way morality varies between cultures and identifies five fundamental moral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.
These are:
Care for others, protecting them from harm. (He also referred to this dimension as Harm.)
Fairness/Justice, treating others equally.
Loyalty to your group, family, nation. (He also referred to this dimension as Ingroup.)
Respect for tradition and legitimate authority. (He also referred to this dimension as Authority.)
Purity, avoiding specific things, foods, actions, etc.

Haidt found that Americans who identified as liberals tend to value care and fairness considerably higher than loyalty, respect, and purity. Self-identified conservative Americans value all five values more equally, though at a lower level across the five than the liberal concern for care and fairness. Both groups gave care the highest over-all weighting, but conservatives valued fairness the lowest, whereas liberals valued purity the lowest. Similar results were found across the political spectrum in other countries.
. Quick reference from Wikipedia
I happened upon this as I look at and think about politics in and involving the US. I'm wondering who is most likely to be able to deliver what they are selling, and do I want to vote/buy that.

I am perusing exerpts from his book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, which is linked under the title of this post. I have almost picked this book up at the bookstore ... If I had, there would be a copy of it in the house already. This will go on my Amazon wish list most likely.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho ...

Linked under this post title is a pretty cool version of this old Spiritual. I grew up hearing the Elvis Presley rendition, and my dad was a guitar playing man. He played this slower, more reverently ... Bluesy similar to Wolfgang Vrecun... I'll link it in the next post bc that seems to work on iPad.
Anyway, my dad played this song and I've been hearing it all my life. Joshua. One of my favourite Bible guys. I like him because he consistnetly did what he thought God was asking him to do ... and what makes that meaningful to me is that what he actually did didn't seem to make much sense, but he did it anyway. He was good at being him.

I've been not sleeping well the last few nights. I blamed it on the jalapeños but I don't think that's really it, cause every time I wake up I am fretting about flying stuff. I've looked at this from pretty much every angle I can see. The bottom line is, I wanted that job so bad and worked so hard for it that I just am having trouble letting it go. You know, it's just the weirdest thing. We used to have a dog, Mach, the smartest little wire-haired fox terrier ever. I loved that dog. He delighted in playing tug of war with an old towel. We could say "go get it" and he would shoot off and come back with his towel. Sometimes I'd play towel games with him outside ... I'd make sure he had a strong hold on his end then I start spinning around and around lifting him up off the ground ... Flying in a circle of fur and mirth til we both fell down dizzy. I'm lucky he didn't throw up on me! ... and he would never let go of that towel. That's how this is ... It's like I've bitten in to this thing and it spins me round and round ... and I just won't let go. 'Cept, this isn't fun ... this wants to make me sick. How I really feel about it is ... okay. I spent a good amount of time learning some super important life lessons in the coolest classroom in the world. My frame of reference for a lot of life things are airplane things. Even things like giving blood are so much easier because when I get scardycat, I remind myself of other stuff ... Airplane stuff that used to seem kinda scary ... til it didn't. Everything is hard before it's easy. I am grateful ... all the way down to a molecular level ... the qi that is me ... loves flying. I like everything about it from weather ... to the genius of the mechanical systems ... aerodynamics ... I could go on and on ... and, I've barely scratched the surface of where all aviation can take a person ... in both life and in metaphors. It's just cool on so many different levels ... I'm sure I will enjoy it for the rest of my life ... It's all good. I don't feel animosity that the job I wanted didn't happen ... The guys I worked with and the guys I trained with are all gone now ... It's a different shop. I'm not willing to work six days a week every week, so I can see that that is not a good fit for me, or for them. That's all good. I've looked at every possibility near enough to my home and so far there are not any workable options. I'm okay with that. Why this pains me when I'm sleeping ... I don't know. My husband wanted me to tell him what is waking me up so much and I wish I understood it myself. All I can articulate is ... I think I did everything I was supposed to do ... I worked hard, I was successful, I hopped over the hurdles, wasn't unkind or unprofessional ... I've been a team player ... Yeah, the one guy seems to not like me, idk why and it doesn't bother me, we all have our stuff to deal with, and I don't try to figure out what's going on there ... it is what it is ... I truly believe if I was supposed to be working there that I'd have a job there ... I think God is able to open doors and close them ... I am comfortable with all of that. I wake up and I shhhh myself, and I ask God to hold me because I don't want to start thinking wrong about this thing that is so important to me and has been ... It is a vehicle ... I trust God to steer it ... I don't even know where he wants to go, but I know it will be a good place. I think we are already living eternity, not just getting ready for it. I feel so fortunate to be in a position where I want to listen to God ... Lots of people take harder roads to that place.
This morning I told my husband that thing I posted yesterday about suffering shaping a soul towards what? Could we say an ability to experience God's love ... It looks a little twisted written just like that.
This morning my husband made me laugh reminding me of Joshua marching around Jericho. "Do you think people were laughing at him? Maybe throwing stuff at them from the top of the wall ... Hurling taunts and insults. And then on the third or fouth lap, his own guys grumbling ... Questioning his sanity ... Imagine him waking up knowing that he would be marching again today." It made me laugh when my husband said that little horn blowing must have gotten on his nerves. My husband said nothing about that could have made much sense ... And the little horn blowing ... drawing attention ... here we are doing what we think God told us to do, bizarre as it seems.

It doesn't always make sense. I did do what I thought I was supposed to do in this area of my life.
Right after breakfast I went out front and worked in my yard ... Planting pansies ... Putting some mums in a container ... Trimming hedges, training the new shoots on my rose vine ... I sat still trying (unsuccessfully) to get a nice shot of the big black crows who are picking at pecans under the shade of that tree I like to watch. A little C172 flew over. I didn't wish for even a second to be there rather then where I was. That's how I really feel. I just don't understand why I can't quite let go of the towel ... .

Battle of Jericho ... played by Wolfgang Vrecun

Tap title to jump.
Similar to this ... bluesy ... How my dad interpreted this song.

Btw ... This guitarist has a lot of beautiful work on you tube.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Romans 5:3-5
New International Version (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Suffering...perseverance...character...hope...God's love
I said I wanted to know about love ... God's love is real love ... Is what matters.

Romans 5:3-5
The Message (MSG)
 3-5There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Every Season
Lyrics ~ Nichole Nordeman

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

Jalepaños on hamburgers with sweet potato fries ... Stunningly delicious for dinner ... not so great to sleep on! I know I must have dozed some last night, enough. Fall is in the air and pushing summer to the very tips of the branches. It's the time of deep corals and rusty pinks ... Deep emerald and just a few tiny hints of the golden yellows and oranges browning before returning to the ground. I love Fall ... Autumn. I say I love at the beginning of each season, and it's true ... I do. Look at Sammy's eyes. His coat is growing back in soft as a lambs ear ... He has always had that freckle on his tongue. When I finish this little note I'm going to coax him into the bathroom and give him a shower ... We will both be sopping wet when the last suds gets shaken out! I'd love to wash him outside, but I know he'd go straight for the compost pile soon as I let him go. He loves to smell like dog. I'm cooking chili slow on the stove top today ... He'll be hoping for more then a smell of that!

The day awoke under a thick blanket of fog ... Dripping fog. I love morning walks in the White wisps ... Everything is Monet behind the fuzz of fog. Now, it's almost lunch time and I haven't had breakfast ... Steaming hot coffee and out the door!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I said to my soul, be still ...

"Stillness needs to come first.  It happens in stages: stopping … breathing … listening … undoing. Then hope: the hard job of replacing the old recordings with fresh, life-giving possibilities, aspiring for a life that is more manageable, less distracted and scattered. And then faith: believing in a God that can deliver me to solid earth where I can begin to think, consider, cry, and heal. And ultimately, to dance!" ~ Philip Chircop sj
Tap this posts title to zoom to his site. Lots of great images and interesting thought there.

Could that be true? Stillness ... Then hope - that word I said I could not see an action associated with. That quiet word barely whispers to me. And hope for what exactly, even if it's a whole basket full of bunches of hope. These words ... More manageable, less distracted and scattered ... don't fit me. I would be over on the opposite side if these words were piled up on a scale. ... And then faith ... I do have confidence in the goodness of God, but I steer clear, mindful of the winds of chance and circumstance, of defining my deliver me to or fromq ... I thought I had an eye on the big picture, but now I see that my GPS screen can barely project a pink line between the here and there of today.

Today I can see rain piling big grey stacks of water up so high, and I am amazed to see water floating on air ... next week I'll be swimming in it ... or drinking it.
Today I can see a bath tub that wants to be clean and smudges on the refrigerator door ... the clock ticks, tonight we get to eat out, maybe I should bake cookies for after ... and it's time for another grocery list, don't forget the eggs this week 'cause there are none hiding in the back now.
Today I can almost see tomorrow, when I plan on planting Fall flowers in the freshly refurbished pots on the front porch ... And I'll think about an étagère in the garage that would be fun to spray paint with the remnants of that can. I am cleaning and reorganizing the garage slowly but surely ... It makes me sneeze and smile.
Today I can see me ... Thinking, considering, crying and laughing 'cause life is pretty amusing really (not too bad, kinda weird and messy, but ... it's actually rather nice ... ) and healing. I feel more comfortable with God ... That must be healing. I think it is. ... And ultimately to dance ... or to soar maybe ... my kids say I dance funny and maybe I do.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. ~ T.S.Eliot

Smart Glass and mostly other randomness

Here is a you-tube presentation on smart glass. Three is very interested in this technology right now. Have to say ... I love it. All the class rooms in our city schoolS use smart screens ... . Smart surfaces at home will be super cool.
Two very sweetly told me what she is planning for a Christmas gift for me this year ... She wanted to ask my permission, at the same time didn't want to lose the sure joy of Christmas morning when I would open a surprise. She has been looking in to getting my blog posts bound in to a book. She wanted my permission to download and re-format this stuff ... She wondered if I wanted to go back through and add pictures or ... She didn't say this, but I think she was giving me the opportunity to sanitise some of my expressions ... . Almost all of 2009 is stored as drafts ... Lots of 2010 is also ... It's almost time to look back over 2011 and tidy it up too. She said if blogger goes down I will lose all of this content and it is true that I haven't backed up any of it since I began using the iPad. I haven't been happy with the photo additions since using iPad either. I just need to sit down with one of the laptops available in our family and brush up some stuff. Not sure how the MacBooks interface with blogger. On iPad I do not have any edit options ... No fonts ... No spell check ... Nada. And my photos have to be routed through photo bucket. She is suggesting a different photo option, because I do not like to add my photos to photo bucket. ... Anyway, the gift of a book is very thoughtful and a lot of fun. I always enjoy projects with Two. I asked her to set it up with some blank spaces so I can write some notes in and also so that I can add photos or scribbles or whatever's ... . I have frequently wished for a peek in to the lives of my grandmothers and my greats also. Sometimes you wonder where your people have walked. When my friend Lisa was dying, her one major regret was that there wasn't time to create a record of who she was so that her children could truly know her. Certainly, this blog has evolved to leave some of my footprints ... handprints ... what I think and feel ... what I see from here with my eyes and my heart.
Talking on the phone, which I never really like to do very much unless I'm out walking, I've mentioned to both of my sweet buddy girls. That's a little diversion my girls have me doing with them lately. It's an online bulletin board where photos, ideas, recipes, sayings (these little blocks with quotes in them are from that source) ... All kinds of girl stuff. I guess it's like a visual scrapbook. So ... Interest with a P in front.
And, I am so covered up in books right now ... Plus, I am super interested in running down some of the background information that fleshes out the stories of the miracles that Christ did during his ministry. I think he was very mindful about what he did, when he did, why he did, who ... All that. ... The story of the leper(s), the story of the loaves, of the water to wine ... All that ... Moses turned the water to blood, Jesus turned the water to wine. I think it means something and I want to think about each incident carefully.
I also want to complete my notes on Anam Cara ... Boy does that eat time! And id like to add some more ground notes ... aerodynamics next ... And it's finally cool enough to walk my dog again.
Yesterday I saw the doctor about my ear. Well, L had suggested candle-ing which I think is a hoot ... Basically genius too. An ear candle is a cone, of I think it's beeswax, that you light up and "stick" in your ear. The heat wicks the congestion out ... up into the hollow candle. So ... The "patient" lays very very still with a fire stick balanced in their ear. Sounds like fun, right? You can hear the siphoning and tiny popping sounds ... and you can feel pressure changes. Over the course of three days prior to seeing the doctor L stood by lighting up several candle sessions and making sure I didn't get burned by the ashes (they drooped over as it burned down, but stayed connected to the candle) ... immediate relief. I was really surprised. Anyway, by time my doctors appointment arrived I could tell my ear was on the mend. They did a hearing test in a sound booth. The doctor asked me what I would attribute my slight high decibel hearing loss to. I surprised and possibly offended him by laughing out loud at his question. I don't see many doctors professionally, but I did sense that he felt laughed at. That wasn't my intent at all.
The people in his office were calling me by my first name ... Which, of course brought my mother to mind. Thinking of my mother while I sat in the waiting room for a full hour with my ear pounding, reminded me of all the times she told me to turn it down or turn it off ... the music ... she said I was ruining my hearing. Well, guess what? Mom is right again!
"What's so funny about that?" he asked and I said, "I'm fifty three almost ... There was a lot of really good music in the seventies ... and later ... Airplane noise rocked (still does) ... and I use the uber noise attenuating headset when I'm in a twin, but I like to hear what a single engine is thinking about ... and ... honestly doctor ... between the earbuds and the headset providing things I want to hear and just all the life noise I would sometimes prefer not to hear ... I think I'm really okay with the wear and tear so far. Not laughing at your question ... just laughing at life." I smiled. He smiled. He looked in both ears, both nostrils, down my throat ... Wrote two prescriptions, told me to come back in a year for another hearing checkup. Now we have a benchmark. Nice guy. I may be using these ears for another many years ... Maybe it's time to start being more mindful.
Four tore her MCL this weekend at the lake ... four kids on a tube fast as can be behind a boat. She is in a full leg brace 24/7 for at least the next three weeks. This morning she told me that it is difficult to maneuver in the bathroom. Other then knocking herself unconscious during a biking accident and perhaps some over zealous leg shaving incidents, she hasn't experienced physical roadblocks. No driving for three weeks is going to be a grind for her. Homecoming in a leg brace ... Ugh. Laughing with her buds while they fly over the water ... so totally worth it if that's what she wants to do. Life is for living.
Thinking about names last night ... Well, this morning at fourish. When someone uses my first name it always calls me back to being in trouble with my momma. When she is speaking to me she doesn't use my name ... The name that everyone calls me by, or even the deriviative that close friends may use. My small group of pilot buddies affectionately coined a nickname ... my name plus. My husband rarely says my name, and the kids call me mom, or momma when they want something. Legal documents show my first two names plus my married last name. My identification documents show my name plus my maiden name plus my last name. When I got married a lot of women were keeping their last names or hyphenating. I just dropped my first name ... The name that meant I was in trouble. My husband fill out all forms using it. I wonder how to get that tidied up. I don't like having a name that is longer then the space given to signatures! I don't like feeling like I may be in trouble when I'm visiting the doctor's office. I actually did get in trouble because I didn't answer when they called me ... Either I didn't know my name, or I couldn't hear ... That's what they thought. I like to hear people say my name. I like to say the name of people I'm talking with.

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4

When I see my name misspelled by people who know me, like my brother-in-law frequently does, it always seems so odd. Careless. As in uncaring. He is notoriously detail oriented ... I notice and shrug. I'm reading Elie Weisel's book right now too (and yes, the copy of Heaven is for Real is right here beside me and I promise to get to it tonight! ... But it's not a fifteen to twenty minutes worth of reading like you said it was!) ... The parents of one of my college friends had those horrible intentionally dehumanising tattooed numbers above their wrists in the soft skin. ... My mother doesn't chose to remember the names of my children. Really. She refers to them as the one who dives ... or, seriously, by a nickname she has chosen for them, or even as uhmmm, your son, or her coup de grace ... By the names of my brother's children. She calls him "your brother" when she is talking to me and he and I joke about it by referring to her as "your mother" when we talk with each other. I laugh about it, but I know it's really not funny. Names. Names are important. Now I am reading about the water to wine miracle ... Jesus refers to Mary as "woman" ... the commentaries indicate that this expression is intentionally distancing as Jesus begins the work of his Father. They provide excellent linguistic support for the premise that this wasn't disrespectful or even slightly hurtful towards his mother. She got it. Again, I wish I understood more languages.
This is the last thing ... Our soul. It is eternal. That's what I believe ... The details of that, large and small, I'm waiting to see, but I do believe it is eternal and I do believe it was created by God. When? I have liked to wonder about that for longer then I remember. An easy answer would be at the point of conception. My husband doesn't believe a body gets it's soul until it is being born. What about Jesus and John the Baptist, I ask ... He says they are special cases. I don't know. It doesn't really matter. As a mother, I can't think of abortions or miscarriages as just a loss of flesh and bone. We agree to disagree here. This I do know ... When I read Roots, I loved the way an African child received the gift of his name. And then, a few years ago I read in the book of Revelation where God tells us our name. I like that God has a name for me. I love thinking about how it might sound when I hear it ... for the first time ... for every time. Even now, with my DeAnn name, I listen to how it is said. Just like little Billy ... I think we all hear what is being said by how our name is used.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

What is a miracle? This morning I've asked the people in my family this question. It surprises me to hear such very different perspectives under the same roof! The question goes well with grits and rainey Southern mornings.

I think a miracle is "an event" where a soul experiences the presence of God ... via our physical senses, or our intellect, or spiritually. I think a miracle is any time or place where we "walk" mindfully, like the first people did in the garden, with God. It seems like we have to quietly match pace with God for this walk, and I feel that this is what TNH is expressing. To walk on the earth, in this fallen state, wasn't the original design. It seems like communion was God's intent. Okay ... I've wandered to my definition: A miracle is any anything whereby mankind shares communion with God.

My husband says a miracle is an act whereby God expresses his authority over natural laws. He cited Biblical miracles like Moses with the plagues and the rod he struck the rock with. "Are births miracles?" I asked and he said he didn't believe so, because births are natural events. His definition seems to be very textbook ... I've looked up definitions today.

Because I believe God spun the universe in to motion, I not sure the natural law deal is satisfying to me. Natural laws are God's laws within that context and "miraculous" must be at his discretion ... Maybe top shelf laws so to speak ... Not laws which break or contradict other laws.

The leper was healed. He was unclean, and their laws required him to maintain his distance from people and to announce his uncleanness whenever someone was within earshot. Was he calling out "unclean, unclean" when Jesus came by ... Idk ... The text says he called out to Jesus and that Jesus healed him ... He said something like, If you are willing, you are able to heal me. I think the story of a miracle, like this story, tell a lot of stories. Yeah, seems to demonstrate Jesus authority over natural law, as miracles are defined, but there are other stories here that are actually relevant to me ... This is my miracle too ... All the miracles of Christ carry a meaning which I think is personal to each of us. According to the laws laid out in the Old Testament, touching a leper made one unclean ... They took the uncleanness of the leper upon themselves. That is where this particular miracle expands ... I recognised that I am spiritually unclean ... He didn't make a rule whereby I had to call that out to everyone, but he did make a way to come by me and I did ask Him to heal me ... And he took upon himself, my sins and the sins of us all ... To me, for me, for all of us, that is a miracle. He came and made a way for us to become clean ... and physical death loses it's sting right there. A miracle I can't see. Natural laws weren't involved beyond the first layer of this story, and yet the miracle penetrates through eternity.
Yes ... Weeding. I may be a natural born weeder.

Sammy came around and sat near me as I worked. It's hot and humid now ... Steamy still from the rain last night. That bed surprised me by being full of ants. I didn't plant impatients, poppers the kids call them because of their cool seed pods ... no impatients this year ... Watering them would have been too much effort on top of everything else. So ... This summer a few shallow weeds have taken hold ... and in the brick side walk too. Not like me. I have been looking the other way some, maybe more then I ought. This summer I focused on V, and on disciplining my stray thoughts away from unproductive tracks. I am trying to cover myself up with good stuff to think about when I wake up at night.

On flying ... Today I saw where one of my buddies who finished his CFI certif right before me ... The very day of the gear up matter of fact ... Well ... He's at the regionals now fully entrenched and ready to start bitchin' about overnights in Mexico. Yeah ... I started to lick that wound but I made myself stop. My husband asked me what I do around here to earn my keep ... Hmmm, was it last weekend or the one before. On Sunday he and I walked in to town together ... And I told him that something important to me recently died, and I'm just doing the best I can to reboot myself. It's really starting to feel like something I used to want to do ... instructing and commercial flying.
I remember when we moved away from Ft. Worth. I didn't want to. I was happy there with my two little children and friends to enjoy life with. Ft. Worth had been home to me ... The home I chose and I really loved those years there. When we moved to College Station ... I knew it was temporary and I was also working full time while L earned his PhD. Then over here. It took me awhile to adapt ... but I have. If we had stayed in Ft.Worth I woulda never learned to fly in the first place. I would have stayed in the box with my buddy girls over there. I don't know which ways I might have grown over the years, but not towards flying I almost certain ... We were girls with big hair and fancy closets. This has been a much better life for me. I would have resisted the change if I understood that you never go back, but I am truly thankful that I got to get out of that box. One of my college roommates lives over in Atlanta now ... I don't think we have enough in common to even make it through a lunch. Third husband is a pilot ... she loves to complain about how crazy his schedule is ... You start out a trophy wife and end up with a trophy husband ... .
Uhhh ... I thought I was thinking about better stuff but apparently no so much! What I was thinking is that even if I want to stay where I am so comfortable and happy ... now that is in an airplane ... Maybe I'll get a few years later and see that the fork in my road directed me towards where I really wanted and needed to be and just didn't have enough sense to find on my own.

All this thinking about love and friendship and God and goodness ... all this sitting still. I feel a tension inside my soul I guess. I am certain that God doesn't ask us to be passive ... to spectate.

I'm still thinking about all the issues in the big 911 bucket. I thinking about the debates and what the contenders are saying ... and not saying. I am trying to see what they have actually done ... not that I believe that's a great indicator for what they might do next.

One of my kids is in a bit of stink with their dad. There is a disagreement with what was said about curfew. It's just a flash point really. Someone thinks they can handle more freedom ... someone else disagrees. An area where I have not been successful is negotiating the squeeze between the rock (aka Cat Daddy) and the hard places (aka 1-5). The kids ask me to speak up for them ... They know my mind is like a recorder ... I can regurgitate whole conversations months after the fact ... And yes, he did say 12:00. It's a bit of a mess. We all know the verses about submissive ... passive ... like a spectator.

Issues ... Little domestic house cat issues. Issues in the jungle for the big cats to sort out. Little dining room tables ... World stages.

I'm kinda glad my flower beds are weedy. Weeding I understand. Weeding is something that needs done but no one seems to want to do.

“Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, ''What would you do it you were suddenly to learn that you were to die at sunset today?'' He replied, ''I would finish hoeing my garden.''”

Monday, September 19, 2011


And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

~Pablo Neruda

Sunday, September 18, 2011

37 / 1000

37 sparkly nails ... The girls saw this paint technique on "pinterest" ... Overty gaudy, but not for here where women wear all kinds of nail bling ... So, for fun today ... Tips done in "Crown Me Already", the base coat is "Totally Fort Worth" ... I'm not kidding and that was totally coincidental! Love that. V chose these colors and while she was browsing, I did pick up two other Texas towns ... I think they were San Antonio and Austin ... One was turquoise. This polish is OPI out of the Netherlands. I secretly really like it. When I am flying I just wear clear coat, so this is a new kind of silliness.

36 / 1000

36one of the very best things I love ... A strong, hot, sweet, light cup of coffee. And if I pour a second cup I like to stir it up and put it in the refrigerator for later ... Drink it cold like the bottled Starbucks. I loved those bottled coffees in the cooler for charter flights ... Coffee is good. Sometime during college, after I started living by myself off campus in an apartment, my mother surprised me by giving me what remained of her set of Dessert Rose pottery ... It had been a wedding gift specifically to her from my daddy's mother. She had delivered her last child, Daddy's youngest brother who my brothers and I grew up with, and the way I hear it, she spent her last year in the hospital dying from cancer. Momma and Daddy looked after the baby and another Uncle who was a toddler at the time. Both of those uncles seemed always more like brothers to me and I took the blame for many a shenanigan gone awry cause they knew Daddy was a lot more indulgent towards his girl then one of those boys ... they woulda been in double trouble probably if the whole thing hadn't been my big idea that they barely got there in time to rescue me from ... I bet my Dad knew all along ... He was a softy. Anyway, the dishes. Momma used those dishes all through my growing up years. She and Daddy would frequently leave the dinner table with us kids finishing up ... Then Momma would check back to see everyone's plate was clean. Tommy would drink my milk if I would finish his vegetables ... Haha ... He's still like that, if it doesn't go in pico he doesn't want it on his plate! I can't remember ever getting caught burying vegetables in the kitchen trash can ... the possibility of throwing food away would never occur to my momma ... maybe growing up with those boys made me incorrigible. I was very very happy to have those dishes twenty years later. She had stopped using them and had them nicely wrapped up. There was just one coffee mug left ... and two cups with saucers. I drank my coffee from that mug ... it was comforting to hold those old memories right there in my hand. I felt pretty alone during those college years ... 'cept for Tommy, those boys were gone and Daddy passed during my junior year. That mug disappeared at church of all places ... The original Francescanware mugs were in short supply. A few years ago my husband, who knows I am sentimental about this set of dishes, saw the new run of this pattern and encouraged me to replace some of the missing pieces. I bought the mug. Every morning I drink my hot coffee from that mug ... and maybe tea later in the day. I'm thankful for my coffee ... Awesome coffee maker ... My dog hopping up on the window sill when he hears the grinder clicking on ... Quiet peaceful mornings to savor those first few sips ... and my mug that holds so many funny and sweet memories. I don't drink Folger's coffee, but their jingle "the best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup" ... genius.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The ear is still clogged ... and that side of my throat has a line of raw that I imagine begins at the euschasian tube ... I don't want to visit with the Ears, Nose and Throat guy ... not because I don't like doctors or because I am afraid of bad news ... none of that. I don't like sitting in a waiting room ... and then later, on a table with crunchy paper and sterile stuff in glass canisters. I don't like somebody inches away from me peering intently into my body collecting more information about me then I would voluntarily share. I just don't like it ... you go in there and next thing you know they need to listen to your heartbeat. I've been very fortunate in life to be so healthy. The appointment is Wednesday.
Last night I kept on waking up because of that silly ear. I have to go get it seen about ... This is the downside of floating on my back with my ears in the water on the lazy river everyday little miss wanted to this summer. I floated and watched the sky blossom with afternoon showers ... I estimated the tops ... til it was too easy ... they went up only so high before they started back down ... . Along with the ear, I have white ovals around my eye lids where the Oakley's wrapped and the rest of the front of me is "brown as a raisin" as my momma would say. I know from experience that this was the last summer that I can hope for unlimited play time with one of my children. This was the summer when the scales began to tip back in the other direction ... away from them being little. Eventually, one of my five or their multiplier, will be fussing over my sunscreen etc., and maybe holding my hand to help me up on to a table with crunchy paper.

Thich Nhat Hanh. Quotes

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, September 16, 2011

NASA's Kepler Discovery Confirms First Planet Orbiting Two Stars - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Kepler Discovery Confirms First Planet Orbiting Two Stars - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Tracking True North

From 9/16/11

... Just realized something about this (loop dream ... If thoughts of it keep on revisiting me, I may have to come up with a better name for it, because the loop, while super energizing fun, wasn't really what the dream was about) dream ... The GPS was programed with advice leading to that particular airport ... The intended landing spot and lunch at that specific place was the objective. Trust made this little dream flight possible. It's interesting to me, because I know myself, that I was able to fly to or really even towards an unknown location, and with a virtual stranger, is quite extraordinary ... It's amazing really, I woulda said impossible. Not being clear on an objective just simply doesn't fit with my personality ... I should note "how I rigidly used to be". I don't mind at all if someone else is driving, I even may tend to prefer it if everything is right, but ... me not believing I know where I am generally headed is ... just not me. Plus, the whole comfort with a stranger in this type setting is unlike me. And, I've had a lot of dreams where I was flying ... I've never let anyone else in my airplane in a dream ... Always single pilot ops. Here, in this dream, I was just flying &/or passenger-ing in the plane for the sheer unselfconscious joy of it ... I was flying to an unknown never before seen or imagined place and this morning the freedom and trust apparent there, makes me happy ... I smile at myself ... I smile at the dream picture of who I became in that airplane.
... How long ago was this dream? I can still close my eyes and see and feel this interior time ... it informs me. I sat there at that table and I did wonder what was up with my flying buddy. He programmed the GPS. The person I was wanted to sit down for a meal together ... That would have made sense to me ... We landed here to have lunch. The person I am now as I reflect on this wonderful dream is comfortable with not understanding the confusing parts of this dream. In the dream I sat ... Still ... without expectation, and waited ... unconcerned, completely at ease with all the unknowns.
Me, sitting still is a destination in and of itself. I have been trying to get here without knowing it. I am happy here. Still shelters my soul.
Over the years of remembering some dreams, I've learned that dreams like this one eventually make perfect sense. I like this spiritually still place. As for the dream ... What a wonderful place to sit and relax. This dream is gift ... one of my favorite treasures. To be in a sweet little plane, with someone I enjoyed sharing time and place with, to get to a lovely spot to relax ... it's good. I close my eyes and sit here ... drinking lemonade and enjoying the elegant simplicity of this shelter ... everything is perfect here. This is an interior happy place.

This morning during my quiet time I just thought of this.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday ... grocery shopping day. Before that I will clean out the refrigerator and pantry, making a list as I go, and thinking about meals for the week. Breakfast, lunches, dinner, snacks ... household items and seasonal things (like batteries and canned goods for hurrican season ... and s'more fixin's for a fire outside). This morning, after I got everyone off I sat outside and drank my coffee. This past Monday, on that field trip, I walked through an exhibit that had buttons to push to hear the call of several of the birds around here. I pushed everyone of them one at a time ... all familiar ... only a lucky guess could match the sound with the bird were it all up to me. I think I will start learning about birds now. I could hear probably ten different species from the front porch this morning ... and a Beech engine wooing overhead and a cricket clacking from deep in the pine straw ... a racing bike slicing by almost before I could look up. ... and I saw a seed helicoptering gracefully by just out of reach ... and a rainbow colored remnant of spider web blowing almost invisible between the columns. Sweet, light, hot coffee and a layer of white fluff filtering the morning sun. I sat out there last night to end the day ... almost a full moon. This morning I thought about the shrubs I will trim on Saturday and I thought about getting my flowerbeds ready for pansies ... and fresh paint for the front door.
Yesterday, after my walk, I noticed a hummingbird visiting the candle lantern I have hanging below the rose vine. Poor baby ... what a disappointment that must be ... a red lantern with a little citronella candle. I'm going to look for a hummingbird feeder when I go in to purchase the bedding plants.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This morning a man with an ancient face knocked on my front door. At first I couldn't understand his words, but he was patient with me and eventually I understood that his truck was out of gas and he needed help. I do not know how people know to knock here, but I am glad that they do ... we usually have a few gallons of fuel in the garage.

He knew he was low on fuel at the start of his day, and had planned to go right to the gas station after he finished his work ... yard work for the neighbors across and over a few doors. I do not know them. The slope of their driveway tilted the gas in the bottom of his tank out of reach for a restart ... I told him I knew all about that! I thought to give him the gas in its red container and just let him bring it back by, but I could see that he wished I would walk with him, and I'm glad I did. He was so winded when we reached his truck that he needed my help with the refueling process ... then he needed to talk.

This past April his wife died. I could already see the pain that death can etch into a face. He is ten years older then she was ... he wasn't prepared for her to go first. I stood resting my arms where the window rolled down into the door of his truck, listening as he sat in the cab fumbling with an unlit cigarette and remembering their time together. Two tall cups of coffee in the cup holder and lottery tickets littering the dash ... otherwise tidy as it could be. Slowly, oozing like a deep wound, he told the story of her last night. She had had heart surgery and was doing great on her coumiden ... then he noticed she was listless and hot all the time. She told him the doctor had taken her off the coumiden. He insisted she see a different doctor and she had. She had been back on the prescription two weeks before she suddenly passed. He had been fanning her when he decided to call an ambulance. "Tell them to come with their lights, but no sirens blowing to wake up the neighbors" she whispered to him, "Tell them to bring oxygen ... I can't breathe." He blamed himself. He said he should have been paying better attention. He said her heart pumping that too thick blood had taken her away from him. Big sorrow filled tears followed the trails of his face. Dark brown skin pulled tight over his skull before recessing in deep folds at his cheeks ... he had no teeth ... not a one ... I noticed when I got him to laughing a few times ... and he is a blue eyed man which is sort of unusually for an African-American. He told me about the last few minutes they shared together in the hospital and later, about her funeral when their sons sat on either side of him. I said I didn't disagree with what he had figured out about the hard work of pumping thick blood, but that I respectfully believe there is a time to be born and a time to die ... and that when it comes right down to it, men don't really have much say there. I told him he could torment himself in that place where he wished he might have made a difference ... but surely the love they shared would beg him not to. By then I was wiping my face too. Eventually he told me that they have four children and six grandchildren ... three boys and three girls ... he was looking off into the trees when he said they weren't legal married. They wanted to be. He said they had had 34 years together ... with good times and bad times made better because of being together. He told me her first husband disappeared leaving her with two babies, but no divorce. She never could remarry ... legal. I told him I didn't think he'd have to explain that to God and he said that's what their preacher said when they went to him asking for help about her first marriage. "She got me going to church in the first place," he told me. It made him so very sad that they couldn't make it right before God and man. I told him I thought where there was the kind of love that I could sense they shared, surely God was also there. He was worried that they wouldn't be able to spend time together in heaven because he hadn't figured out how to marry her. We might not be able to find each other over there because we didn't get connected right. He is afraid that God will be angry about that. He said he could bear this a lot easier if he felt like he could just see her again ... someday ... where he longs to be ... over there with her. Seaching for words to ease his anguish, I asked him if he believed we have guardian angels ... he does. "Y'alls guardian angels must know each other ...and if God had to look away because this wasn't a legal marriage (as he fears) then the angels could speak for you both because I know they had to see the love ... but myself, I believe God saw the whole thing and judges a man's heart with grace." He laughed when I said as ornery as he is he probably had to have five guardian angels and everyone of them could give a good account. I asked him if he could ever feel her near and he said he could. I said I didn't know for sure, but I thought you could only feel your loved ones if God gave them special permission to walk across the bridge of love built between here and there. I said, "God knows all about love ... Of that I am certain." I told him I think their love will draw him towards her over there same as it did over here. And I said she wouldn't want him grieving himself to death like he is doing.
Coffee and cigarettes. Nothing tastes good. I remember how that is.
Later, with the sun hot and high, he asked me what my name is and I told him, DeAnn.
"DeAnn, can I tell you one more thing?" he asked.
"Yes sir" I said.
"Don't answer the door when a stranger is knocking on it".
"I already know that" I said.
"Well then why did you open the door?!" He starting laughing again when I smiled and said I was sure I could take him if I had to.
"May I say something to you?" I asked him, and he nodded. "The whites of your eyes are yellow ... that means your liver is not happy with you ... you can drink what ever you need to and smoke those stupid cigarettes if you want to ... too late for them to kill you, I bet ... but you have got to start drinking at least eight cups of water everyday ... you work outside, you should have a cooler of water with you ... and you've got to start eating something". He was laughing again, and mentioned a donut waiting at home for his meal. "If you were my daddy I would say at least 10 glasses of water everyday ... and no sodas, and real food ... man food, not that sugary nonsense! ... Fill up a milk jug and make yourself drink that everyday." He didn't make any promises.

"Thank you for the gas and thank you for listening to me today ... I guess I jus' needed someone to talk to."
Anam Cara
By John o'Donohue

First of all, this was the perfect book for me to read at this time.

There are 6 chapters and I will note here with in that structure.  The book was checked out from the library ... It was so funny to feel my tension as I wanted to make notes in the margins as I have begun to do with some of my personal books.  I think it might be fun for my children to later see which ideas resonated or paused me ... This is a book which will be very hospitable to handwritten musing in the margins.  My idea is to make notes here, at True North ... Let the ideas sit for awhile then ask for a copy of the book for my birthday ... Re-read it with a pen in hand then compare that track through with these notes which will represent a second reading.  So many of the ideas expressed here feel whole ... They relax in to me and go directly to a place that has been waiting to hold them.  Some of the ideas I either don't understand, or I am less sure I agree with.  The book, as a whole, is ... very beautiful, tenderly, thoughtfully written with the authority of integrated mind and soul.  This was a smart, good-hearted man, willing to do some heavy lifting to arrive at these words.  The book soothes me.  Other then the Bible, I have never felt soothed by a book ... Yes, a poem ... a quote ... a passage or idea ... a story ... never the whole book.  You know what?  I think I am going to start looking for this as a used book.  I will like the feel of the old paper better then then new process.

Prologue (notes, 14 Sept. 2011)

"It is strange to be here.  The mystery never leaves you alone.  Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits.  A world lives within you. No one else can bring you news of this inner world."
" ... the galaxies dance out toward infinity ... under our feet is ancient earth ... in your thoughts, the silent universe seeks echo."
"you gaze into these word-mirrors and catch glimpses of meaning, belonging. and shelter."
"Their (Celts) sense of ontological friendship yielded a world of experience imbued with a rich texture of otherness, ambivalence, symbolism, and imagination. ... The Celtic understanding of friendship finds its inspiration and culmination in the sublime notion of the anam cara " 

...  anam = soul + cara = friend ... soul  friend.  Friend of my Soul, Friend to your Soul.

"The anam cara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life.  This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging."
People wonder about soulmates ... this seems to me to be a soulmate.  Maybe. by it's very nature, they are not able to be as big a presence in your life as you wish ... or maybe they are, I don't know.  As a spouse ... maybe this is just cynical, but I wonder if it is even possible to maintain a very long term intimate relationship with a Anam Cara.  It would be ideal, I just don't know if it is possible. 

1 The Mystery of Friendship
2 Spirituality of the Senses
3 Solitude is Luminous
4Work as a Poetics of Growth
5Aging: The Beauty of the Inner Harvest
6Death: The Horizon is in the Well

To be continued.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's the kind of Tuesday that feels like a Monday. Yesterday was spent chaperoning sixth graders through team building experiences. 7:30 to 5:30 ... then home to put dinner on the table. It was a long day, but a good day.
I'm at my favorite window drinking coffee and tapping out line items, "To Do" events on the yellow legal pad app ... The list is long ... longer then the day. This Sunday, I re-read the first third or so of The Goal ... A book essentially about constraints, flow models, critical path, productivity (it's actually an excellent book). My husband uses it in (I think) his senior design course ... or maybe project management. It is written as a novel which is a bit extraordinary as textbooks go. Anyway, sometimes I design his tests ... Writing questions pertaining to The Goal was how I spent Sunday after lunch. That and thinking about the sermon on evil. Today ... at my favorite window ... I see lush layers of green ... The last bits of green straining towards the morning light. Fall is coming up out of the ground. I can't see it from my window yet, but I know it's pushing this last bit of green towards harvest time. The pecan trees branches lean low with ripening fruit. In the rose vine the nests are silent ... Those baby birds are long gone. The golden garden spider is also done with her web weaving ... I have been looking for her all week. I'll blow what is left of that lacey lattice away when I get to the front porch part of that list today.

My checklist. My way of averting bottlenecks ...
... the black and white of today.

In a minute I will choose some music and I'll start checking off items while I look for the color between the black and white to do line items. Between the radials as my soul flys through this day.

While I typed this note a big red pickup drove by with big dogs barking excitedly. Sammy was happy to reply. I also saw a man running backwards up the hill ... People drive to this neighborhood to do their three or five miles inside this cocoon of green. It is beautiful here. H's dad just went by ... walking fast like he does ... and a very old lady walking very slowly in maybe her house robe ... I love that, she looked like a ghost floating by. That man on the scooter passed by ... sometimes he sings on his way home ... it makes me smile. Across the street, the lawn service that sprays chemical directives on their lawn did their thing and pulled away just in time for the mowing crew to arrive ... they will vacumn that stuff right up with the grass clippings ... the people who live there are not at home.

Time to get on with it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Missing ~ Gerard Van der Leun

Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know:
Within that smoke their ash still falls as snow,
To settle on our flesh like fading stars 
Dissolve into sharp sparks at break of day.

At dawn a distant shudder in the earth
Disclosed the flight of fire into steel,
The shaking not of subways underground,
But screams from inside flowers made of flame.

We stood upon the Heights like men of straw
Transfixed by flames that started in the sky,
And watched them plunging down in death’s ballet
Too far removed to hear their falling cry.

By noon that band of smoke loomed low
Upon the harbor’s skin and made us gasp;
A hand of smoke that in its curdled crawl
Kept reaching to extend its lethal grasp.

The harp strung bridge held up ten thousand souls
Who’d screaming run beneath the paws of death,
Like dusted ghosts that lived but were not sure
If they lived in light or only for a breath.

They’d writhed and spun within that storm of smoke
And stumbled out to light and clearer air,
To find upon the river’s further shore
No sanctuary other than despair.

The sirens scraped the sky and jets carved arcs
Within a heaven empty of all hope,
That marked its epicenter with one streak
Of black on polished bone where silver'd stood.

By evening all their ash had settled so
That on the leaves outside my window glowed
Their souls in small bright stars until the rain
Cleaned all of what could not be clean again.

We breathed that smoke that bent and crawled.
We learned to hate that smoke that lingered so.
We knew that blood could only answer blood,
And so we yearned to go but not to go.

Within that city shrines were our resolve.
We placed them where our grief would best anneal.
Upon our walls and trees their faces loomed
To gaze at us from time beyond repeal.

Their last lost summer faded into ash.
Their faces faded into name scratched stones.
Our years flowed into endless desert seas
Where warplanes prowled in search of bones.

In time their smoke and ash became but words
In stories told at dinner, told by rote,
Or in the comments made by magazines
For whom the "larger issues" were of note.

In time their faces faded with the rains,
The little altars thick with wax were scraped,
But still beneath clear plastic they endure
Reminding us that we have not escaped.

Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know.


The poet knows himself only on the condition that things resound in him, and that in him, at a single awakening, they and he come forth together out of sleep.  ~ Jacques Maritain 

Sometime in May this year, I read a Mother's Day tribute written by Mr. Van der Leun posted on his blog, American Digest. There was something special about it ... my favorite Mother's Day thing this year. I remembered another of his ... something amusing about Levi jeans. What might google turn up I wondered ... turns out, bunches ... but for the time I had for it, just this one story on hypertext caught my eye ... and I read it, and it wasn't what I expected. Well, maybe it was ... I wanted, and found, an interesting well written story ... it was the mystical quality that sat me still. The story, The Arrival, is about a creative process (tap this post title for a link to the story). Reading the story actually did make everything around me quiet ... I could feel it, maybe I was holding my breathe, I don't know. Well, I wondered if this was just yodaesque writing skills, or if this was really a real true story. I ventured a note asking ... A note came back which said basically ... Yep, that's how it happened. The story. I was happy to know that it is a true story.

"How can I know what I think until I see what I say?" ~G VdL
And this
"I am always suspicious of things that travel "into the mystic." Especially so when it involves my own experience." ~G VdL

I was happy because somebody who seems pretty normal wrote about this kinda weird stuff. I read it on a day when I was not feeling all that great. And ... I had been noticing that my notes here were telling me a sort of a weird story ... Hmmm, by that I mean, I can see what I really think when I read what I wrote. I can see a story here of my struggles ... and my joys. I can see me. I stay so busy being some precious ones momma, or an okay neighbor ... or whoever is under the hats that keep on showing up on top of my head ... .
I see a process here that moving through my days kept me from noticing. Not a creative process like Mr. Van der Leun is describing, rather ... I'm a bit self-conscious to say, maybe a healing process, but more too ... I see my soul better. I see my soul trusting God, and I know the miracle that is for me. And I have barely caught my breathe on that, and already I see that trust is just the foundation for some deeper mystery.

I see someone who had some disabling oowies, unfolding towards a more well version of her true self. I see someone who stretched a hand out towards the God bigger then words in a book ... hoping that my tiny hand could feel his touch. I really really like things that I can see. Feeling is a wilder thing then I have been comfortable with ... but I am relaxing in to it. Floating in the deep waters ... not fretting so much that my feet can't touch. It feels good most of the time. I know what mean.

So ... I was captivated by the story of an invisible process.

And then ... OMG ... These words. I like that someone said ... Okay, I'm up for it ... Let's see where this goes ... And hauntingly powerful words came to hold the place of the missing.