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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Today ... made a ton of these "pops" and a batch of lemony refrigerator cookies too
I really do not like to bake ... thank goodness the girls helped by cutting out and cooking the cookies last night ... I put the recipe together early in the day ... I'm just not as experienced as they are at rolling dough and punching out shapes ... it's the transfer on to the cookie sheet that gets me.  I was so so so happy to find them baked and awaiting the frosting when I got home last night. So ... these were for a party for one of the kids ... big hit.  Very messy to put together!
I would make them again ... and the cookies.  The serving platters came home clean!

Cowboy Church

I have loaded these pictures, and written notes on this experience ... ummm, three, maybe four times now. Each time when I went back in to edit it ... just correcting my 's ... somehow it deletes.  The iPad doesn't like this new blogger format.  Or maybe my fingers are straying ... idk.  Gonna try again.  The guest speaker asked us, the audience, to see this story through the horses eyes, and quite frankly, I have resisted going there.  It's that I look behind, before and after, the story he wanted to tell.   The story he wants to tell is one of restoration ... and I see that.  But ... at the end of the evening  the horse went home with the person under whose care he became messed up in the first place.  So ... the horse had a little "therapy" session ... then he went home ... and I wonder if his owner was paying attention.  I'm getting ahead of the retelling of the story ... but, the horse looked longingly after the man who spent just a few minutes with him.  I saw him turn and look several times ... it made me very sad.

Well, let's tell the story.  I can't be the horse though.  I'm just going to tell some of what I saw.

The covered arena is the usually setting for Cowboy Church ... I was a first time visitor to services there, though I've spent a little time at events out there.  The guest speaker had his truck and trailer positioned about mid field and it served as a back drop to the story.  I think the guy on top was filming and he had a support person on the ground who played cowboy songs at his request during the working of the animal.

There were four local cowboys ... on their horses who helped out at the guy's instruction.  I'll call them cowboys for this story and the speaker will be "Guy".
Here's the horse ... "Horse" for this story ... he is a three year old ... stallion/colt ... kinda in between.  I thought he was a beautifully sound animal ... elegant strong fine lines and an intelligent companionable disposition.  He was comfortable with the bridle (no bit) and was willing to be lead.  He did seem a little flaky to me at first ... maybe the crowds distracted him or maybe he just lacks self discipline.  He seemed like a fine horse  ... I liked his looks, brown with darker points ... .  I like horses though I have limited experience with them.
We were given the back story on the horse ... he had a bad experience when he was first saddled.  I was unclear on what happened, but the short of it was he wound up with the saddle around his belly and he went berserko kicking it off.  He doesn't like to be touched ... very resistant to any contact on his legs or back ... won't accept a blanket ... never been ridden.  Beautiful, but pretty much useless as far as his owner is concerned.  She walked him in and handed the lead rope to Guy (who was in the saddle when Horse first saw him) ... he exchange the lead for a longer rope and he and his horse began telling the story ... a story of restoration.  This cowboy said it reminds him of how God wants to help us towards relationship ... towards expressing our proper place in the scheme of things.

Horse and Guy, mounted on his horse 

 Horse, lead by Guy, who was on his horse began slowly, just making wide circles outside the corral.  He varied the pace and you could see Horse adapting to met the requested speed.  He baulked a little at first, but came around within the first fifteen minutes or so.  Guy told us that the arena represented "the world" and the corral would represent "the classroom".  He also kept the challenges coming as he worked with the animal.  He said he didn't want horse to have time to just lala around in his indecision ... most of what I saw was choices being offered and the Horse choosing well ... sometimes through trial and error, but I was surprised at how agreeable he was over all.  In general, I think horses have good people sense ... he was warming up to Guy and beginning to trust his intentions .  Guy directed his horse to basically annoy Horse ... one stepping in to his space ... backing him up ... here he is nudging him around with his nose. from this side by side position, Guy began putting his hands on Horse, first caressing his mane ... talking nice to him ... eventually rubbing his back with his bare hand.  Horse went from shying away to moving in for the touch.  Guy said it has to be the horse's choice ... he has to want the contact, otherwise there will always be hesitation.  I felt that meeting Horse and beginning the work with him from the back of his horse was an important part of the process.  Horses are herd animals and I'm sure this was the kindest and quickest way to get acquainted.  That his own horse liked him probably wasn't lost on Horse.  I never felt that Guy was trying to teach the horse who was boss ... it seemed like he went to special pains to give Horse opportunities to choose relationship.  The other men remained on their horses the entire time ... and when they weren't specifically participating they remained well away.  I don't have enough experience with horses to know this, but I imagine a man on a horse would be seen quite differently to a horse then a man not on a horse.  Guy was the only man not on a horse during the training session ... it made it easy for Horse to focus on him and his wishes I believe.
Here we are ... closed corral with Horse lungeing about.  He was scared I think.  Guy walked him inside the corral on the long lead rope and worked back and forth with the animal building trust.  At first he just let him run around in circles.  He said it wasn't hurting anything, and was wearing the horse out ... where he could be more in a frame of mind to listen.   Eventually he told the horse to STOP ... and it just did.  Horse stopped in his tracks and lowered his head briefly towards the man as if to say ... okay.  Seems like Guy then drew the slack out of the rope, and the horse took off again ... this went on for a short while leading up to Guy touching Horse very casually with a rag on the end of a flexible rod.  Horse would shy away and Guy would stop then horse would move back in nd Guy would touch him again ... Horse was fine with being touched around the head and mane ... less so on his back ... much less so on his tummy and legs.  Eventually he stopped being bothered by that.  So Guy worked the touch thing and the resistance to closeness between the man and the horse at the same time.  Pretty soon the horse was letting him touch him with the rag in his hands then with just his hands.  When the horse had settled in to walking close and stopping and moving about on request, the man walked across the corral and dropped two of the panels.
He went back to the animal and petted him some ... then walked back over to where he had his tack hanging on the fence.  The horse casually moseyed over to the opening ... swinging his head back towards the man, who asked him to remain inside.  "Come back to me" he said, but ... Horse stepped out ... back in to the world.
The cowboys were called in to offer assistance.  The warned the horse back in to the corral with their flags.  At one point a cowboy leaned over towards Horse and Guy instructed him not to, saying reaching towards him would only make him react by pulling farther away ... he wanted to direct the horses choices, but leave him feeling like he was making a choice.  Maybe I noticed that as such a strong theme because choice is such a big deal to me.  I do realize that choices are not unlimited, also that choices tend to funnel the range of choices in to particular subsets ... here I saw trust ... faith ... being restored.  The horse was never asked to compromise his dignity, in fact he clearly felt stronger and more confident as the evening wore on.  He started moving towards an excellent version of what/who he might be.  Guy worked at it by lassoing him around the hind quarters ... then just around the tummy (he had Horse step in to the rope and gradually cinched it up ... at some points the rope was around a hoof only and Guy steered the horse saying "give me your leg".  You could see the tiny steps layering up to Horse accepting this particular rider.  He didn't develop trust ... he had a reserve of trust which he felt safe to let Guy direct.  He placed his trust or faith in the goodness of Guy's intentions.  This wasn't a "headstrong" animal ... he was an animal who had learned to protect himself from pain and confusion.  Guy peeled back the layers revealing the animal to himself.
I think he is bareback in this photo ... eventually he made his way back in to the corral where he accepted first the blanket ... rubbed on him like the rag had been earlier, 'til Guy asked him to carry it for him ... and the horse said ... okay.  In pretty short order after that Horse was sporting the saddle.  He did take off out of the corral when the saddle was first secured ... a cowboy on a horse blocked him up as Guy put the saddle on and fastened it loosely ... soon as Horse could he moved away and started trying to buck the saddle off ... when that didn't work he bolted back outside the corral and ran circles, driven by fear ... bad experiences ... and confusion.  Guy asked the cowboys to run with him ... one out front who was soon setting the pace and slowing things down.  Redirecting.  Once they were walking Guy had the cowboys raise their flags to move Horse back to with in the corral ... time to tighten up the saddle and before long Guy was stepping up for a ride.  Horse didn't baulk at that at all, though I did notice Guy put his gloves on before he tried to saddle up.
They rode with the rest of the horses and riders ... all different gaits.  It seemed like to me that Horse felt good about being part of the group ... like he was in his element ... it all just clicked for him.  Here we are at the point in the evening where Guy dismounts and asks the cowboys to move away.  He had Horse step in to a rope and he pulled his hoof up, hobbling him and asking him to lay down.  Horse was somewhat resistant to the idea, but after maybe three attempts he just laid down ... his sides were rising and falling rapidly ... maybe from exertion, maybe from fear ... fear I think.  once or twice he rolled to his knees and looked towards Guy who said lay down buddy.
You could see when he relaxed.
Guy said this was extremely difficult for the animal and he asked the audience not to clap ... he said the horse sold out to him here and he asked everyone listening if we could sell out to God like that.
Then he went and laid down with Horse ... and praised him for working so hard and being such a fine horse.

Here he is encouraging him back up ... .

So ... a beautiful, but frightened to useless animal came in to the arena and ... gradually his trust and confidence was restored to a place where he happily carried this man ... and chose to submit to his every request.  Guy said Horse has it in him to be an excellent horse ... he will need to be handled well, but he is on his way to a useful and rewarding horse life.
Here's the sad part to me ... Guy presented the horse back to his owner.  I don't know how she felt about any of what she saw ... I don't know if she was taking notes ... I don't know anything about her at all.  What I do know is that the horse leaned towards Guy and as Guy walked away the horse strained towards him.  The owner pulled the horse out of the arena and several times Horse pulled his head back around looking for Guy.  The horse went home with the same person who helped him in to a confused ... hurt ... hurting state.
I know we came out to see a horse being saddle broke ... it's not broken, it's looking towards fixed.  This pony's destiny never was going to be to run wild ... he's a working horse or maybe a pleasure horse, but he earns his keep at his owner's discretion.  I like the idea of seeing the wild herds that roam the NW, and I like to see horses working with men ... and I like to ride horses when I get the chance to do so.  I'm saying, I know it's not all fun and games for a horse, and his life is enriched by his contributions I think.  I know my dog is happier with his life with us then he would be out in a wild dog pack ... horses may be a bit like that too.   But the way this ended ... the night ... there didn't seem to be any promise of better prospects for Horse.  No one asked the owner if she would step up to her part in the relationship.  It was sad, in a way, to see who/how the horse might be if his circumstances were different.  I think he is too much horse for the owner.   Guy asked her if she was going to ride him ... she declined saying she wasn't sure she would ever try to ride him ... and that seems to me to be a waste.  Now the horse knows ... and he has demonstrated to himself and the owner that he has what it takes ... and ... he swings his head back towards a worthy partner.  At very least the horse knows and that's got to be a relief for him.

I'd have a hard time walking away from a horse like that ... it bothers me that he and his circumstances were used to tell a story.  Cause ... we all filed out ... off to dinner ... .  But the horse is going to have to make sense of his story ... and it might not be one of restoration for him ... for him it may be a tiny taste of something that leaves him hungry for more.  Maybe I am being too sensitive here.  I do firmly believe the horse is better off now then he was.  And ... I know Guy can't load up every horse he "whispers" with.

Just saying there's a lot more to the story then what happened in those two and a half hours and ... I'm hoping things continue to go well for the horse.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tiny home vid

I'm still very interested in the idea of a tiny home.
I would wish for a smaller home for later  ... .  If there is an opportunity to "downsize" in a new way ... not as my mom and mother-in-law did, but actively engaged in how you'd like to see your environment ... I'd lean more towards something like this. Less bingo and blue hair ... more bordeaux and blue air.

I would live on one level with guest accommodations up the ladder ... or in another small cottage connected by a screened in porch.  I think a life may be lived larger from a smaller "nest".  A sleeping alcove like Jefferson design ... maybe a kitchen more outside ... I'm dreaming it up ... .

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be curious, not judgmental.

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” 
 Walt Whitman

“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.” 
 Walt Whitman

79/1000 thankfuls

For sight ... and help me look where I best might look and see the best there

Prompted by
the two bright red cardinals on the feeder this morning coffee time
and by
the white petals blowing in a shower free of the flowering dogwood drifts

in hopes that temporal eyes may inform those eternal

Yesterday I read an idea that I have thought is true ... that we are recognized as us because we remain ... in our souls ... us.  That we come as a seed of who we might be and make choices which tend ourselves as we grow towards who we are becoming.  so ... the idea of where we spend our time and collect our thoughts is pretty consequential .  Now I am remembering the very old lady saying (I paraphrase) I know of evil, but I choose to look for good ... 
Notes on angels as a means of organizing 
Not intended as a study of angels per se
From Dante's Paradiso (Gustave Doré)
Good Guys:
Gabriel                  Monday             Winter
Michael                 Sunday              Autumn
Raphael                 Tuesday            Spring
Uriel                      Wednesday        Summer

Sarathiel ...seraphim, head of eagle

Bad guys:
Asmodeus - Lust
Belphegor - Vanity and Sloth
Beelzebub (also Baal) - Gluttony
Leviathan - Envy
Lucifer - Pride
Mammon - Greed
Satan - Wrath

seraphim - the burning ones (like light, not fire), six wings
cheribim - four faces; man, ox, lion, eagle
Orphanin - thrones ... are closely connected with the Cherubim: "When they moved, the others moved; when they stopped, the others stopped; and when they rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures [Cherubim] was in the wheels." Ezekiel 10:17 NRSV.

Ephesians 6:12

 They are also the angels who preside over nations.
King James Version (KJV)
 They are also the angels who preside over nations.

 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Dominions ... regulate the activities of "lower" angels ...  Also, they "preside" over nations.

The Dominions are believed to look like divinely beautiful humans with a pair of feathered wings, much like the common representation of angels, but they may be distinguished from other groups by wielding orbs of light fastened to the heads of their scepters or on the pommel of their swords

Eph. 1:21 KJV 
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. 
Eph. 3:10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

Eph. 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Virtues ... supervise the movement of heavenly body to ensure order in the cosmos

Powers or Authorities ... bears of conscience and keepers of history ... distribute power among humankind.

Principles and Rulers (collaborate with P&A above) ... bequeath blessings, oversee groups of people, educators, guardians, said to inspire living things to many pursuits such as art  and science

Angels serve as messengers to mankind.
Cardinal Virtues ... 
For these four virtues (would that all felt their influence in their minds as they have their names in their mouths!), I should have no hesitation in defining them: that temperance is love giving itself entirely to that which is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of the loved object; justice is love serving only the loved object, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it. ~ St. Augustine 

  • Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time
  • Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others
  • Restraint or Temperance - practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation
  • Courage or Fortitude - forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation
Prudence ... book scroll, mirror
Justice ... sword, balance and scales, crown
Restraint or Temperance ... wheel, bridle and rein, vegetables and fish, wine and water in two separate vessels
Courage or Fortitude ... amor, club, with a lion, palm, tower, yoke, broken column

in addition, the Theological virtues which are Faith, Hope, And Love (or Charity)

Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Patience, Diligence, Kindness, Humility  (seven)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

collection of images for greenhouse/folly from old windows

This is my favorite idea image over all ... I'm thinking breezy and open.  This is appealing in that I believe I could build this with very little help ... and minimal expense.  I think it could begin with a pine straw floor and upgrade later to pavers or stained concrete.  I have 15, 16 maybe, windows to work with.  I know I will build the roof covering with this corrugated type material ... probably metal/tin rather then the opaque, because I like to listen to the rain ... a rain roof.   I image it to be about the size of a one car garage ... boathouse sized.

Here's one partially covered in vine ... it is a little bit more structured then what I think I want ... but appealing.

I like the stools here ... the slab style table and the vine.  I see the vine as an important element in the design I'm meandering towards.    I would like some of the panels to be "open" ... sized like the windows, but just the frame trellised for the vines.  I'm thinking about using copper pipe in some of the openings because I like copper and really can't use it anywhere inside the house except on my cooking pots.  I like the pendant lightning idea too.

twin bed swing ... I have a very pretty wooden day bed frame that would lend itself to this ... in storage in the attic, it wants to be used I think.
looking around for inspiration photos netted a brand new idea ... I'm thinking about it.  Kinda love it, but not sure I want visitors to know how eccentric (?) I'm getting ... perfect at the beach, maybe not so much here in smallville ... .

This is a "real" bathroom, but I saw a horse trough used as an outdoor tub several years ago ... I think it's pretty neat if there aren't any horses around.  I'd consider having the interior sprayed with a neat color of enamel paint ... love this one on the back porch.  I have never thought about a bath tub out in the woods ... I'm thinking about it now though.

front door check off ...

Front door ... Finished!  Back door is too.  I rubbed some of the house numbers off for this post so ... the house numbers are actually centered on the door.  Have almost finished yearly grooming of front beds ... back breaking, and I always ask myself why I made them so large ... and even as I soak the strain out I envision how very lovely a bed along side of the house would look with roses ... or oak leaf hydrangea ... silly.  This year's plans are in reality ... replace the dogwood and plant maybe three crepe myrtles over by the drive way where I want that little privacy screen ... old neighbor was a really old very sweet lady ... I liked her a lot ... new neighbors have five little daschund yappers ... they bark almost incessantly  ... I don't like them (the dogs) a lot, and hope that a few well placed panel of fence will calm their nerves ... well somebodies nerves.  slingshots do not good neighbors make, but I have recently wondered about my aim ... .
I am itching to plant some new things.  It's the back yard that would like some sprucing up, and now that we are really staying in this house, I think I will really get to it.  I didn't install the water rock last year, and I know it's not much more then a recycling pump and a basin.  The fire pit is high on my list, but I think early Fall will garner support there ... it's cleared with the fire marshall at any rate.  Three says he will help me build my little "folly" from our old windows.  I need to design that.  And ... I like the looks of the one I posted here last year.  Now I know I want it strong enough and large enough to accommodate a twin bed swing.  Ummm ... it's going to rock I'm sure.  And I am going to plant Confederate Jasmine on all four corners.  And ... I am going tp hang a big piece of stain glass out there eventually.  I love to see the light pouring through stained glass.  Maybe I will learn how to work with glass myself.  My buddy back home has made some spectacular pieces.  Yes, that is shameless ... ummm, begging actually.
“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life." ~ Walt Whitman

Four camped out with a group of friends last night ... raised in Houston, a group of kids out in the dark sets me on pins and needles ... at the same time I realize we moved out here to offer a setting where good clean fun is a possibility.  She sent me a text ... settled in and safe will sleep tight and a picture of their super cool little sleeping hammocks hanging in a cluster.  Phone pings in the middle of the night are rare, but when they happen I default to "now who is supposed to be where" ... I have five kids and I love many of their friends ... I sleep light.  Turns out the text was totally unrelated to ... well, in a way those guys are my kids too; they're kids and they are tucked in pretty securely in my heart ... picture from Vegas ... a bunch of guys I used to work with are using their jump seat privileges to met up for audacious acts of one up-man-ship in sin city.  I know they are not throwing money in to slot machines ... they're pilots.  My money says they had been drinking free watered down liquor of the golden type.  Note said "flying just got fun" ... yeah, I bet.  Wake up the little old lady in the middle of the night and send pictures while you're at it.  Hahaaha ... I was never that young!

taken this morning ... several have now opened scenting the air
... my favorite time of year ... hahaha

Last night I checked in on a blog I read, wonderWings ...
reposting part of his note from the book: Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

"In the second half of life, people have less power to infatuate you, but they also have much less power to control you or hurt you. It is the freedom of the second half not to need. Both the ecstatic mirroring of my youth and the mature and honest mirroring of my adulthood have held up what I needed to see and could see at the time; they have prepared me for the fully compassionate and Divine Mirror, who has always shown me to myself in times and ways that I could handle and enjoy."

This morning I ordered it from Amazon before I even got out of bed.  That and a box full of iPhone earbuds (and they are exactly what they say they are ... for like two bucks a pair ... huge wanna have in our house).  I am going to start finding a book on iTunes for my morning walk.  

This book ... I'm excited about reading it.  Mirrors.  I was talking about a look in the mirror just yesterday. And ... this past year I may have written a note here about thinking I was broken, but having the opportunity to see myself quite differently ... and it has been really just great.  Everyone has these things that are really crappy situations or circumstances and none of us wants to get stuck there ... How did I let this happen can bounce around in one's psyche like distorted images in a maze of carnival mirrors ... finally you stumble upon a hand firm enough to maybe trust ... yes you feel the safe on this hand ... and you're helped out.  You catch a glimpse of  to the true you again ... and your soul is relieved ... ahhh, not as messed up as you feared.

Well ... walk time.  I can hear Sammy pacing about.  Too bad he doesn't drink coffee.

uh oh ... seems that I really do like shopping!  Three was talking about this book yesterday ... I was looking at buying Moonwalking With Einstein (Joshua Foer) when I happened across this one.  Falling Upward is on iTunes, but I've already got it on its way in hardback ... .  A few months ago I had no idea what to read ... now I'm figuring out that letting someone else read to me while I do other things is the only way to get all the book time I now need!  There are two others by Jonah Lehrer that are on my short list.  I wonder how one shares audio books with buddies ... this could get expensive fast! (How Creativity Works and How We Decide)

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Spring Break here ... and the town is deserted. Deserted like we coulda skipped church yesterday and who was there would know we were at the beach.  On the drive over the kids were talking about how this street shuts down two way operations and devotes itself to cars coming in for tailgating.  Our town gorges and purges based on University scheduling.  They talked about how it might look from the air ... the traffic flowing like ants moving in single-minded unison towards the hill ... they laughed at the serious mindlessness of it all.
This morning I looked at myself in the mirror.  Looked ... really looked.  Do I look okay from the back, I wondered, because I'm getting ready for a long walk ... the dog draws more then enough attention, which he loves, and I don't mind as long as it's focused on him.  He is an awesome beast.  I'm wearing what I might normally wear only at the beach.  My hair is all on its own and other then a dab of sunscreen and dark glasses, my face will be bare.  Ummm ... it's the real me ... I'm feeling sorta suspended in the day and I would like to be as true to myself as possible for whatever it might hold.  I look at my eyes ... they are flat where they normally spark ... yeah, not sparkle, sparkle is reserved for laughing moments, which seem to be too few ... the lids are puffy.  And ... I remember I was crying last night.  Briefly, not with sorrow but  too near to the faint shadow of that bitterness that I run from.  Ah, bitterness ... worse then just plain ole sorrow, it cuts deep on a woman's face.  I shrug.  Can't be helped.  Not really.  I can, and almost always do, avoid the alcohol induced puffiness that swells my next morning eyes, though I understand why some women don't.  Not that kind of puffy ... good girl ... at least there is consolation in that ... I'm doing (and not doing) what I can.
And I think about yesterday, in the car with who/what will be an almost entire church pew full of my people, about those ant/vehicles each one a tiny little thought swarming towards what they value the most.  These tiny particles carrying thoughts of ... big and little daily "to dos" ... laundry, dishes, still leaves now that insidious pollen to blow from the back porch, and on the front porch, the rose vine with its first sweet smelling pink blooms of the season ... reminding me of my internal landscape and those others that I labor to tend ... . Front and back, under our roof, surfaces I polish for the souls supported there.

I'm thinking about the vine ... mostly vine ... supported by invisible lines, invisible like thoughts, guiding it where it should be.  And the horse on the video yesterday ... scared useless ... evolving from the image of what might be towards highly prized.  My dog running wild, unheeding could terrorize my old frail neighbors ... yet he makes tiny choices which vault him to highly prized ... he listens to my whispering voice ... he watches my wishes.  The horse and the dog supported by invisible lines like thoughts guiding them ... valued.

I do most of my serious thinking at the beach ... where the deep laps over behind and lines out ahead, I walk without "to dos",  I rest and refocus my "to be".
I do all of my serious not thinking in the air ... yeah flying is so engaging that it can entirely overlay the day to day like a cherished heirloom tablecloth on the Thanksgiving table ... when I sit in that seat, it's before a a feast ... every single time.
I go to those "there's" to leave my "here" ... just for a tiny while ... and now not lately.  Now I am very much, unrelentingly here ... here trying to figure out where/what this is and how to make the value of it most. The most that's better then good enough for now.

And I'm thinking about those soldiers. marching like ants ... from village to village ... carrying their stuff, their thoughts and their can't think abouts ...  about who they were and who they became within the invisible construct of the lives they inhabited where choice converged with chance and circumstance.

Hmmm ... lot'sa interlocking randomness ... makes perfect sense to me.  It's all about why is most important.  What is most valued.  And the price demanded as character looks for those invisible lines that support ideal outcomes within evolving perimeters.  Where is the hill?  What is the hill?  My thoughts scatter like ants lost their way.

“But where is what I started for so long ago? 
And why is it yet unfound?” ~Whitman 

I promise myself I will walk.  Walking will be the most important "to do" for the next several ... maybe many days.  I will walk to tend myself.  I will walk to find my way.

Here will be my shore ... here will be my air.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Samson ... waiting for me to come back outside ... ran in for my camera, cause needed a picture of how beautiful the sky was today, and where the trees are at in their blooming ... this is a great, great big dog.
The Things They Carried, a novel by Tim O'Brien ... I'm reading it now.  I didn't realize it was going to be about Vietnam.  I have been avoiding stories about Vietnam ... not exactly on purpose, just so many other things to read about.  Vietnam sucked.  I sat the overnight shift on a crisis hot line in the 80's and heard more of the horrors of Vietnam ... dark words in the dark night, different words wrapped around the very same story ... mindbendingly senseless horrors and then they came home and nothing made sense not there and now not here. Their stories never made sense to me ... the stories spilled out of their souls and piled up words that were too dark to untangle.  This book is  real treat though. Maybe because I hear the stories in my own voice as I read silently along.  I've heard worse.  I really dreaded those calls ... so hard to hear words that would come out only in the dark.  These stories barely make it in to my head ... certainly they don't make me run for the bathroom.  These stories are sanitized ... I can see the writing  ... so far I am not there seeing it through this guys baby blues ... this is a story only ... maybe just freshly invented.  I can read it because I can't feel it.  The style of writing is interesting ... he pings the reader back and forth through time and that's the way of stories ... a remembered story transports you back and I think forward in time as well.  Maybe I should be writing the stories I want to experience in a few years.  That is what we do ... just not consciously.  We do choose our joys and sorrows ... long before we come upon them.  To intentionally choose seems like a plan.

Different topic.  Today in church a video of this horse training guy who visits "Cowboy Churches" was shown.  He uses his knowledge of horses, working with an unbroken horse, he demonstrates the story of his faith ... yeah, in God.  I was pretty interested.  I like the telling or seeing of a bigger story packaged in a small story.  And, that is exactly what Mr. O'Brien does in his book.  It is a story ... our stories really ... set in his life in that war, and because of that war.
I've been thinking about this verse ... the meaning of the information provided by this verse:

Hebrews 4:15

New International Version (NIV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

... trying to imagine how in the world Christ really could have been tempted in every way.  I'm not saying I don't believe it,  I'm saying how did that all fit?  And, I guess I am thinking about that cowboy, and that soldier, and how we all deal with basically the same issues ... we have stories.  And the core of our stories are ... similar.  This probably isn't making any sense.  I am trying to figure out how to write stories, and I have only my own self to write them from ... how do I tell stories without being the kind of vulnerable that telling my own story would make me?  How do I tell a story wrapped in other symbols.  Cause I read those stories all the time.  This guy O'Brien is genius at it.  And I'm going to go see that Cowboy and some one's little wild pony and ... I'm going to see the story of salvation through his eyes.   I would like to learn how to tell specific stories wrapped up in made up words ... not the words that tell my story, rather the story that I'm sure we hold in common ... those stories.  I think, I bet someone has identified those stories.  I know I read the same stories over and over again told and re-told in different lives.  

Well, that's what I'm thinking about.
And, I'm thinking about exactly what I think of Mumford and Sons ... and of Goyte also.
this great day ... sitting in the back yard reading THE THINGS YOU CARRIED

Friday, March 23, 2012

As enthusiastic as I am about the National Infantry Museum, I think the IMAX movie of The Lewis and Clark Expedition was for me the most meaningful part of today.  The movie was beautiful, but it's the amazing coolness of the adventure   capturing my interest. Tonight we watched a program on Hulu about the trip ... now I see that there is a trail ride along the Lolo trail and it's easy to see why folks would want to retrace a path through a portion of the country side.  In the movie today seeing the Pacific Ocean was just really cool ... I could begin to imagine their joy at accomplishing the objective ... collecting treasures of information along the way.  It was a magnificent demonstration of collective human spirit.  
I have to learn more about these individuals and their journey.  So much of it seems remarkable ... admirable ... maybe even noble.  
i can only imagine the hardships encountered ... many which must have gone beyond distasteful or extremely difficult to   seemingly insurmountable.  I wonder did they despair?  I can imagine climbing to the top of a frozen mountain only to view an expanse of ... ice ... and bitter biting frost gnawing at their extremities as hunger gnawed within.  What fed the spirit to move forward deeper in to the unknown?  That ... and how amazingly cool is it that a key points "things" went miraculously well?  How did that happen?
I am going to learn about the lives of these people.  It's interesting from an historical perspective.  More so to me though are the personal stories of fortitude and courage.  The movie said Lewis noted that he was never happier then when he was blazing this trail ... I can easily imagine that.  What he was doing was so much bigger then the lives that we get rutted in ... and I wonder how is it possible, because I intuitively believe it must be, to live a life at this scale.  Not the names they made for themselves, but the reward of a stack of days well spent.  
Today ... a super fun day... field trip. Chaperoned the last field trip of the year for my youngest child's school ... and I have to admit, I was dragging my feet on a "yes" to doing this one. It was to The National Infantry Museum. I saw this collection several years ago, and while the "stuff" was definitely cool, it just wasn't presented in a compelling manner. I did the trip only because she said please. Lucky me!I didn't know that they had moved the collection to a setting which elevated it to jewel status ... seriously a world class museum ... built with private funds and open to the public free of charge, it was a day of discovering a little bit about the cost of freedom. Hmmm ... I say that, and it's sort of true ... this was a prettied up version of that truth. Their web page doesn't begin to do justice to the experience. I'm going back as soon as possible ... we had time for only three of the galleries and blasted through those. Here is a bit of what I saw, though they don't begin to convey the drama present in the multi-media presentation:

graffiti on the Westward facing side of the wall the Eastward facing side was bare  

Our guide said the Civil War Gallery is "growing"  and will open in full blown glory within the next five years.

All of the clothing and hardware is authentic ... he kept on emphasizing that "this was the real deal ... none of that Hollywood" stuff.  All the guides are veteran's, ours a Huey radio man.

This one was from the WWII Gallery ... I loved the actually footage captured by abbots on the ground camera man ... talk about embedded.  Black and white reel with sound screening in the canopy of this parachute.  Wow.  Footage like this was running in support of the documentation in each gallery, and it was creatively integrated enriching the telling of these events.

Here, footage is screened on the face of a cliff at "Omaha Beach".  The Figures in the exhibits were caste from servicemen returning from Afghanistan and Iran ... for me a lot of the story is expressed in the faces of the warriors, and their faces and the photographed faces were very moving.  In the Vietnam Gallery we actually walked through the jungle ... I grew up on images of that time ... the exhibit creators did a wonderful job of expressing the ambiance ... the resolve and the ambiguity with out the graphic images I expected to see revisited from the pages of LIFE magazine.

Special effects behind the Captain's bayonet made me jump at this  vignette !
After the "way too fast" look at several of the galleries, we saw an IMAX movie in the on site theater.  I love IMAX movies!  This one was the best ever ... Lewis and Clark: The Great Journey West.  I love the majesty of this great country ... and the audacity of this expedition and it's co-captains is an epic story that I am going to learn more about.  As a kid learning the facts, I was unable to appreciate the adventure ... the spirit and will ... the determination of these men and also those native people groups.  I wonder if this spirit still exists on the planet ... I think it calls to us.

Truly a wonderful day.  I needed a day like this.  It makes me proud to be part of the American heritage, and fosters confidence in the evolving story of our country.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

“The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.”  ~ John Locke

Today ... I believe the towel rack thing is solved ... and I have a load of towels running right now ... next week a couple of them will be hung, fluffy white smelling linen fresh clean, from this rack.  The rack I repaired.  I am happy about that.  Even if someone accidentally , unintentionally, boinks it down before it sets ... I know how to make it right ... eventually.  

The front door "put back together"  was ... difficult.  When I removed the door knob, it came apart and the locking cylinder fell into the flower bed.  I was unscrewing it from the inside and just didn't see it going that way.  Turns out there were several little pieces and one of them ... yeah, the main one ... was forever lost in the pine straw.  It was so frustrating ... I just want to make things nicer and ... nowhere to be found, getting dark ... another trip to Lowe's ... and they don't make pieces for this 1950's vintage door assembly ... and the door punch out is totally different then how door knobs are done now so even if we buy a new one it's no buéno.  Of course.  Last night we slept with the door not locked ... no lock, and I wondered if I would be door shopping today.  I like that door.  I like the door pull and the whole thing ... it's the right door for this house.  This morning I started going through the flower bed one piece of pine straw at a time ... and the contents of the vacuum cleaner as well ... just in case I inadvertently ran over it while I was cleaning sanding dust.  At 11:00 I called a locksmith.  He came out and fabricated the missing part.  Like a genius.  He said it'd be hit or miss and not to get my hopes up, but just having someone there to tell me for sure that a part was missing ... .  He had it together by noon.  Fifty bucks.  I wish I hadn't lost the part, but ... for a guy to come out and build the piece ... the door knob is older then him.  He sat cross-legged on the floor in the foyer and figured the thing out.  Wow. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yes ... it took some looking, but finally zeroed in on "the" replacement part for my little melt down ... ummm, project.  It is not an exact match, but very very close ... size and glaze color just slightly off.  I like it.  I'm not going to chisel the other end out and risk cracking tile or some other mayhem.  I'll make another attempt at this in a few minutes ... btw, hecho en México ... so the José assist is in place ... plan D is looking a lot like plan C ... hopefully without my curiosity kicking in and spoiling the dry time.
Front door handle/lock assembly came off fairly easy ... sanding and painting are so much easier with out the speed bump in place ...

... and this is an example of why you want professionals to do the handiwork ...idk what/how/when some industrious little critters have built a top secret hideaway behind/ under this plate.  Amazing really ... and a bit yucky. There are things that only the shadow should know.
Here I am ... early morning sun has me re-sanding ... repainting.  This paint goes on like tar ... have to say it's the perfect paint for the front door ... it drys to a very smooth satiny flat finish ... the paint guy recommended it ... makes my eyes burn and my tongue blister ... but it does look very nice where it has already dried.  Now to find the right product to polish the hardware with ... .

I am thinking about these cool pottery things I saw this weekend.  I still haven't signed up for that class, but I'm telling myself ... finish the door ... get that towel thing underway ... then go sign up for the class.  This looks like something I would like to make ... and it is one of my favorite colors.  At Sea Side, Florida, and also up in B'ham this weekend, I saw some very cool sculpture-esque pottery vessel hanging as wall art.  That's what I have in mind.  I want to make something cool for a wall in the dining room ... and I'm pretty excited about it ... and some pieces similar to these for the front porch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

UH OH ... playlist holds only 200 favorite songs ... I can't narrow my list down to 200 ... guess I'll have to work out a schedule for shifting them around ... maybe I need to think of the list as songs I need to hear every day ... ummm, 200 still seems skimpy at that.

It's not about the lawn mowing, though I do believe I shouldn't be doing that kind of work.  Maybe it's cultural ... maybe it's how my wrists hurt today, my frame just wasn't designed for that load ... maybe I am spoiled.  None of that really matters ... it's about the un-doing of ... what?  You know ... you see stuff all the time, everywhere cause it's just life.  You see stuff that is messed up ... in yourself and in the things that are important to your heart ... and you just want to try your best to make them better.

Around the house, just like around life, stuff wears out ... or is carelessly broken, or maybe just accidentally, but broken none the less.
Maybe it will be as simple as getting in the jeep and driving over to the DIY store ... finding something better to plug that gaping hole in the wall.  Maybe there is a towel rack that will fit just right, or maybe I will have to fashion something ... .  I'm thinking about it, and I know there are other ways to approach the thing.  Lotsa options ... some probably even better then what I was hoping for.

Let's see ... I am making too big a deal about this ... because this isn't about that.  This isn't even about fixing or making something right.  I was looking forward to a right place somewhere else.  At the same time, I am happy for the opportunities to "right" the little things wrong or not quite right ... right here in this ole house.  My house.  But ... I feel like I'm the working at it all by myself.  I feel bad about that ... and it makes me want to go somewhere else.  But, I don't want to that either.

Sometimes we rent a place at the beach for a week or two.  It's like a vacation from one's own life ... 'cept you don't know where the light switches are and ... the kitchen never has the pans you like to use ... sometimes the dishes aren't complete and the table looks a bit forlorn and you are so thankful for all the nice things waiting at home ... no matter how it's advertised, the linens are never as nice as your own ... the towels aren't fluffy just in case some stinker decides to steal them I guess.  You are so so so happy to visit ... but you know you're a visitor ... this isn't the home that your life has built.  This isn't even about the house you are borrowing/visiting/renting, cause you're really there for the walks along the beach and all the delightful little distractions from your own life ... you are there because you need a little break.

So ... you come back to your own house with fresh eyes ... and you notice that the junk drawer is way too junky and there's lint collecting on the wall behind the dryer, and wouldn't that whole area like a refresh anyway ... you notice that there is room for another row of shelves ... and how about getting rid of those old phone books and flower vases that you never use.  And ... you get busy ... carefully sorting through it.

Carefully.  Sorting, tidying ... washing ... sanding ... painting.

It's important to me ... not the new paint, the life ... the lives lived as the house is built and maintained.  Making your place be a good place to be ... a place where you want to be.

And ... I'm tired of the shit falling out of my very careful hand and breaking in to pieces that can't, no matter how carefully,  be repaired.  And ... as much as I would like to think I can fix everything, the truth is ... I can't.

I can fix the towel rack though.  Pretty sure.

Trying really hard to look carefully at what I've got ... and remove the few little bits that aren't optimal ... without crashing the whole shebang ... I should be better at this.  So many things in life have prepped me for this ... it's like pruning dead wood, refining a maneuver... just a breath less throttle there, like a smile that barely flits an ahhhh ... it's like the finishing brush strokes ... so tiny only you may see them, but they make all the difference.  

Exactly like this table game ... carefully taking away, carefully adding.  Carefully ... like full of care.