in the daylight anywhere feels like home
-Matt and Kim (love this one)
with the quiet resolve of a determined child
with the rhythmic drumming of a tender heart
with the desperate stretching of a searching hand
with the easy releasing of air-filled lungs
let life with it’s seemingly ever-changing course
and increasingly ever-growing intrigue
let life define itself not on consumption of yet another thing
rather me be a quiet soul with a steady heart and reaching hands
let me know how to give and how to receive
when to hold on and when to let go
with childlike wonder, awakening, awakening
“Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow”
I take one look at these photos and rediscover the joy that is these two in my life.
How I love them (up to the sky and back).
How I am thankful for them (so very).
How I miss them (every day).
I headed to Dallas this afternoon to take some photos, as happens from time to time, and arriving early prompted a visit to the Drip in Highland Park, where I am currently seated on a red too-hard bench, ensuring that I will leave in four minutes’ time, which will leave me enough time to be on time for my photo session. That’s a lot of time.
As I drove down Inwood, I couldn’t help but think how familiar the Dallas roads have become. Five years ago I could barely stand the thought of living in Dallas beyond the end of my degree. And I barely owned a camera. I looked back, back, back all the time, wanting my past tense to somehow jump into the present and future tense and take me to all those Places I love.
The past tense shapes the present and future for sure, and it’s those places rightly placed in my heart and mind that opened all these doors for Dallas to become a familiar context for doing life. So much of who I am as a storyteller was defined back then. So much of who I was back then needed to get here now to learn how to do life like this now.
Crazy how our stories are ever evolving and being shaped. It’s like we’re intended to be ever moving forward. And when that is the present tense, the evidence of grace and God’s kindness is simply evident. Everywhere.
And it’s been five minutes. I’m out.
good night, Nana Blinn
in memory’s eye, I am still a little girl eating coffee cake at the table
and you are still regal, sipping your wine
my sisters running alongside
as you gave your wry advice
in my memory’s eye, you are still buying us ice cream
at the Graeter’s counter we did our time
my sisters dancing alongside
as you shared a cone alongside
us by the pool, at the beach, in the car alongside
and we were there in Florida by the ocean, at your side
and you were there in Texas, when the boys were little guys
and we didn’t have enough time
no we didn’t have enough time
your mind slipped before your time
so though we knew a while still arriving abrupt is this goodbye
I think this little grandchild I was can still feel the pull of your wrinkled hand
can still feel the brush of your Nana kiss
can still hear your voice telling words to us kids:
“please, thank you,” politely and proper, you wished
I do not want to say goodbye; for now, just this, good night
may you rest in heaven’s arms tonight
good night, please. good night.
In case you were wondering (which you probably weren’t), I still get terrible insomnia some nights (not nearly as many as before), hence the 530 occasion for writing down some words. I ought to be sleeping. I’d rather be sleeping. The past month or so has been busy, endlessly busy, and that makes insomnia something more than inconvenient.
I used to ask God about my insomnia and for help with it, and it seemed like an area He wasn’t reaching into and changing. I think maybe I got frustrated and quit asking. Tonight I am wondering if maybe He seemed or seems uninvolved because (in typical human behavior?) I forget or refuse to let go of things that ought not occupy the space in my brain or heart. They are meant to be filled with life-giving and good things. I am so ridiculously easy to distract. Oh dear.
How good it is to know that we are given new grace and mercy for each new day. God does not have unrealistic expectations of people. Not at all. He knows we are easily distracted. He knows I can’t sleep. He is not surprised. When Eugene Peterson interpreted the author of Hebrews in the Good Book, he penned some of the words about Jesus to recommend this when considering his story: “take the mercy, accept the help.
Maybe it’s time (again? seemingly ever.) to regroup a little. Help requires some open hands that once unclenched just might be in a better position to receive much needed mercy and help. And if received, it can in turn be given away. And that just might (I suspect it is) be the sweet spot for doing life in a way that is life-giving and good. And when all is as it should be, sleep comes easy (maybe?).
This, both a confession and hope. Yes.
and then i felt like a child opening up to the world
curious and wide-eyed and running hard
losing breath only to catch it again
and running away only to be caught again
and then i found my feet firmly striking the ground
as if the one-two count would take me away
only to find my way home again
because the world considered this way
yields wonder, yes, but mostly grace
(and then, again, i could see only this Love)
and then, again, as always Loved, i am
“‘Scared is what you’re feeling,’ says Ma, ‘but brave is what you’re doing.'”
-in the voice of Jack, age 5, in Emma Donoghue’s exquisite and intriguing Room
did you see the way the light fell just so
and everything changed
the shadows slipped to the edges
and what seemed hard trails to follow
became easy paths to take
with just this littlest notion: grace
when the light seemed to hide
it only just softened and all the colors changed
as the story dances this endless rhythm
so that even the dead seeming moments
always turn corners alive
as redemption is the truest truth of the tale we tell
seasons maybe change, grace
always, always, this way
this is the way