Monthly Archives: July 2010

tonight: all we have are these moments

“Loving draws us more to things than knowing does.”
-Saint Thomas Aquinas, quoted here (oh, Parker Fitzgerald, could you be any more inspiring?)

all we have are these moments that
compose our days
and mostly they happen just so without notice
occasionally we pause for reasons random or not
and that sticky little hand of my baby brother
disappeared and he doesn’t even walk beside me any more
he runs on ahead doing his own thing
and when he comes over I am asleep before he is
gone are those days when he curled on the couch
napping in the late afternoon lazy light
here are the days when he knows more than me
and he thinks the world was made for him
him? lose? never. (his losses
but stories to be told with grandeur)
and he is still a very little boy
and all we have are these moments where i remember
a toddler mispronouncing my name
and stare into eyes that mirror my own
and i am glad that we share a patchwork assembly of moments
that are our lives entwined, our days entwined (us plus some),
family, we notice. we are written
and i have this story a dozen times over
and so many moments that it seems to be far too much
because it is far too much many moments
but the full composition we (mostly) know: grace, when noticed

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today: who am i to pray

This is working me over today as I find myself aware of grace and tripping on words, endlessly tripping on words. God hears us, and somehow I think He, being Himself, loves to hear from us.

Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of prayer. What an extraordinary thing that we can pray to you, unburden ourselves before you, place our cares, woes and joys before you. I confess I find praying an awkward business. I keep thinking, Who am I to pray? But I know that to be false humility, hiding my prideful desire to be my own creator. So we pray a prayer of joy in prayer, asking that we become your prayers for one another. Amen.

-Stanley Hauerwas
p23, Prayers Plainly Spoken

tonight: summertime

“…I began to sense that the love that moves the sun and the stars was sustaining my life.”
-p252, Hannah’s Child, Stanley Hauerwas (who is currently rocking my world)

this is
as simple as
these days that sprawl out in response to the sun’s insistence:
it will stay up late these few months
and so will we
what else can you do with all this daylight
but find ways to remain in it
even if the constancy of heat and sweat and squinty eyes grows old
summertime seems to win almost every time
school let out, the pool gets warm, the garden feeds, vacation calls
what else can you do with all this daylight
but yield it is
as simple as
that.

today: we were beach kids

“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”
-Michelle Held

(photo in Mexico, not FL but it’ll have to do for now)

I had a micro-epiphany today. Bridge, Megs, Jaybo and myself, the eldest four of the baker’s dozen that is our family are a subculture of sorts, the older kids. Sambo being Sam gets his own category of Korean, adopted, larger-life-special goodness, and the younger eight (Holy cow, there are still another eight? It still startles me nine years into Jakey’s arrival as our baby bookened.) own their own category as well. I realized today, sitting on a Florida beach untouched by the oil crisis as of yet, that we older four share Florida as part of our identity. We grew up on the beach.

Sam came into our family in Florida, and life changed a bit, and then we moved to Texas where one-by-one, save the twins, we added to our masses.

Being beach kids, I thought today, emphasizes an abundance of my happiest childhood memories. My memory is famously foggy, and my sisters often help clarify events and details of our collective childhood story. The beach memories are not so much specific stories as much as a composite of goodness given to us by parents who had four young children in the Orlando area in the eighties. They wisely opted to take said children to the beach many weekends. I now suspect they knew that doing so would ensure quiet weekend nights due to four crashed out little bodies.

Mom packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and juice boxes or a cooler of water. The sandwiches were always soggy, and to this day, I prefer my bread toasted as a result of my dislike of bread compromised by sogginess, even if grape jelly is the culprit. That is not a complaint, just a nuance that stands out. She’d spread out a blanket and empty a laundry basket of buckets, shovels, balls and other necessities. I remember her building sand castles with me and burying my feet and taking me for walks. When Jaybo was a baby, he’d lay beside us on that blanket, and he grew into a toddler who joined our play and then a chunky-legged boy in a bright red speedo with orange water wings and goggles, always goggles, who ran out into the water with us.

Dad taught us to play frisbee and swim out past the breakers, and he never seemed to run out of energy or patience at the beach. We girls were skinny-legged and imaginative, and he swam with us and endured our silliness and threw us in the water. I remember laughter, and I remember occasionally flying a kite. I don’t know if it’s photographs or concrete memories, but I can picture Dad at the beach in orange swim trunks and an over-sized white polo shirt (He gave my sisters and brother who composed my whole sibling group at the time pasty white skin that didn’t necessarily love the sun… Mom and I go brown if we so much as think about going outside). Sometimes he ran. Mostly, at least as my memory serves me, my dad played with us. And kids need dads who play with them.

I kept thinking about this on the beach today and was sad for my younger siblings to have missed out on that seemingly endless season of weekends where we had nothing to do but be together in the sun and sand effortlessly creating a montage of memories of the good stuff of life given to us kids by parents who were doing their best to love us well. I was sad for them but relieved that we had moved away by the time the masses arrived over years that followed. The thought of the beach combined with the energy of the seven boys and Debo who’d join our family over time? That’s a lot to consider. Besides, they have Texas to claim, a claim I concede with gladness to my younger siblings. We older kids? We claim the beach.

today: maybe not much writing going on here lately…

Life is funny in the way that lulls that seem so utterly s l o w with an endless sense of nothing happening shift effortlessly to calm that is busy and full and attention grabbing. I guess I am not writing much here lately, because the ground beneath my feet, sure as it is, passes swiftly. It’s not that life is so busy, but it is pretty dang good. I’m not making time to write, but I will some time soon. At the moment, I’m a little preoccupied with just doing life.

I feel pretty aware of grace and the goodness of God most mornings when I wake up, and that awareness? I wish I had words to capture the sweetness of that reality. The byproduct of that awareness is a thankful heart, and all the days and weeks when I lose sight and perspective seem so foolish on the days I wake up feeling like I can really see and ponder and believe. So wisdom, then, maybe, is stopping and being. And saying thanks.

tonight: good. days.

under this canopy of good days
all the oxygen escaped
the room in the boon
of a soul diverted towards something new
ah, she f i n a l l y supposed
this is a story to be told
this is a story well told

tonight: as if your baby brother dressed your feet

“So we are diminished, and we forget that we are more than we know. The child is aware of unlimited potential, and this munificence is one of the joys of creativity.”
-p72 Walking on Water, Madeline L’Engle

criss-cross applesauce on the floor in the hallway
shoelaces tangled but not tied as if your baby brother dressed your feet
a sigh, a smile and a bit of relief that maybe there’s more to be seen
good days stacked on good days might be
(they are) remedying the need to have something to say
maybe just another day, please. or how ’bout this: camp out on today.
childlike, perhaps, in the way it’s okay.