“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.”
This afternoon I ran, wishing I’d had my camera with me when I noticed spring had started coaxing green from the trees and a sprinkling of early bird flowers dotting the park. My feet begged for a few more miles when time constraints pulled me home to laundry and clean up to prepare for the week.
Collin picked me up for a date after that, and because it was a bit early for dinner (though both of our ever-hungry stomachs were rumbling), we headed back to the park for a walk. He indulged my need to take a few photographs, and I’m grateful he is that way: present in the midst of time, rarely rushed and usually up for anything. The annual newness canvasing outdoors started coaxing hope out of my heart. The events of this week on both the international stage and regional theater weighed heavy, and yet here is a world colored beautiful by a God who created it and called it good. Surely he is big enough to redeem it yet. I hope. Yes, I hope.
After our walk, we headed to dinner which included a rooftop patio, music, wine… we skipped out on the Oscars and sat outside in the warmth of an early spring night, very much alive. My heart begs for days like today and nights like tonight. For I hope. Yes, I hope.
the walls, the walls are coming down
the here and now is coming round
please, oh please
ever yield to this process,
of softening as growing
of releasing as holding
what matters close.
and please, oh please
take the coldness from my heart
with your eyes, beauty for ashes
dark corners see these splashes
light. this thaw cycles, seasoned
i’m still tuned to an instrument of greater and unknown design
–Still, Great Lake Swimmers (Buy this album. You’re welcome.)
day breaks and color pops that grand canvas sky
the trickle-down effect of rising sun: squinty eyes
only just awake to the chill of winter beckoning color to bare face
the upside affect of windy air: fast feet
the recognition bright and crisp as day, new:
I watch the stars from my window sill
the whole world is moving and I’m standing still
–The World Spins Madly On, the Weepies
once upon a time (one year ago)
a trip to toronto wrote some words
and noted on a piece of crumbled paper
they got pulled out of the pocket of an unworn coat
just the other day
and today from a stage the goodbye
foretold on that scrap
occurred, quietly, sadly, expectantly
and then (the “and then”)
a pause and a grin
the stories keep telling
a brand new one shoved in the depths of
imagination’s wide berth
what is seen will be told
what is told will be heard
echos of what was once
symphonies of what will be
everything changes; nothing changes
storyteller still, you remind me
it is not easy
and i feel like a child
learning something new
even though i could
with a change of hands
do this better
i catch a glimpse of
in the chaos of this
it is not easy
but it is new
and i love new
I took photographs of my left-hand writing and posted them before scripting out the words I wrote. And though they are what came to mind while I was writing with my left hand, I find some truth in them beyond the explicit meaning. I do catch a glimpse of beauty in the chaos of this handwritten mess. And I love new.
I also like how writing with my left hand makes writing slow to a scrawl of sloppy little kid writing. So often I feel like a perpetual two-year-old in the kingdom of God, really wanting to please my father but tiring quickly and resorting to tantrums. Little kid writing fits, then. My desire to be a disciple seems to stay at the maturation level that still requires a three-hour afternoon nap because I played myself out in the morning. How on earth will evening happen?
Maybe I will start writing with my left hand when I am trying to process and need to do so from a place of childlike wonder instead of trying to figure everything out.
Here is a (most random) assortment of photographs today including the ones I already posted.
I like how they are chaotic and don’t really go together and are all in my apartment. I love the way the light falls just so on Naty’s face then falls off.
It’s late, and I am tired. Maybe tomorrow I will feel like a child and learn something new. Maybe with a change of hands I will do things better. Maybe in this chaos there really is beauty. Maybe I’m just rambling because I’m tired.
That’s what I’ve got for today.
I think I’m tired. When I’m tired I forget to look around, forget to see, forget to tell stories. So I mope or navel gaze or talk on the phone. But I don’t write. Sometimes I even take photographs. But I don’t write. An occasional poem, a few hesitant thoughts, letters that need to be drafted for work– these get written. They come to mind, I jot them down, and that’s that.
When I’m tired I lack discipline, and though I love to write, writing requires discipline. Looking around, seeing and telling stories require a degree of intentionality. They require full presence. Sometimes being fully present is hard work. I don’t want to have to be involved in the lives of others. Heck, I don’t want to have to be involved in my own life. I’d prefer it happens to me.
I take that back. I think I’d prefer it happens to me. In realtiy, I crave truth. I crave relationship. I crave a reality that is not happenstance. Seeing a story, participating in it and coming home and writing about it… When I am at my best I love these things. When I am pursuing God and aware of his pursuit of me, I do these things.
Being tired is a weak excuse. Creating comes naturally to me if I turn off the TV and go outside and look around a little. Today I met a little boy at a day care I stopped by to drop off some photography stuff. “You’re not a teacher,” he said. “You’re a stranger.”
I liked our little interaction, a moment when his brown eyes, big as saucers stared into mine. His tone was teasing, his smile a friendly taunt. Our stories intersected. I have come home and written it down. I’ve now written a little more today than I have any other day this fall. It’s nothing amazing or revolutionary today, but writing feels like home. That is happy.