Tuesday, July 31, 2007

hangin' around with buster brown

i promised my daughter some pictures of what we've been up to
while she's been visiting grandma. here they are!
miss ya, bub! hope you're having a great time!
love, momma

just being artsy

i was lying on my back in the "ambulance" and this caught my eye--
i like the way it turned out. i hope it translates onto other screens as well.

the spirit of life

this was created by a holocaust survivor and sits downtown
by the river. check it out--it's beautiful.

a love of color

I've been saying for years I wanted to get some pictures of this thing
with the sun shining on it. Yesterday was the day!

Monday, July 30, 2007

doubtful anticipation (a mis-lined pantoum)

Cool breeze blows white cotton across blue expanse—
shushing through the tall hickory trees,
causing the sun to dance in the shadows
as I listen to the twittering of birds and the chirruping of crickets.

Will you truly meet me here?
Shushing through the tall hickory trees,
sweeping down to touch me
as I listen to the whirring of cicadas and the roar of the lawn mower?

Here, in the midst of your green glory—
will you truly meet me here?
Here and now, when I so desperately need you
sweeping down to touch me?

What is expectation without hope?
Here, in the midst of your green glory
I question why I have one but not the other,
here and now, when I so desperately need you.

My heart knows the truth: only you can save me.
Cool breeze blows white cotton across blue expanse—
I pray that you will show up,
causing the sun to dance in the shadows.

and a few haiku

freely and lightly
in unforced rhythms of grace
I will learn to walk

(Mt 11:28-30, MSG)

oh to grasp how wide
and long and high and deep—this
extravagant love

(Eph 3, MSG)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

and now, for a message from our sponsors...

Having grown up in the golden era of network television, my generation has collective memories centered around three to five primary channels of broadcast programming. We can sing to you what a conjunction is, tell you how to get to Sesame Street, whisper in your ear who shot JR, tell you the blues of a bill on Capitol Hill, and recite the ingredients of the Big Mac in rapid succession. While there were many programs that continue to be sentimental touchstones to my childhood, it is the commercials that come back the quickest, and at the oddest moments.

I must admit I have a warped nostalgia for the commercials of my youth. I can sing, in one breath, the entire Oreo cookie song, and do so pretty much every time I see one. My daughter asked me one day how I did something, and I told her it was an "ancient Chinese secret." She looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. And to this day, I cannot watch a sunset without hearing in my memory, "going, going, gone..." "Do it again, Daddy!" At a time when I was naive to the evils of advertising, commercials were fun ("No, silly, I'm talking to the toilet paper") and lighthearted, and I was easily and eagerly impressionable.

I don't feel that way any longer, now that a commercial has ruined my life.

Many of you are aware that, despite my childhood nostalgia, I do not watch much television at this point in my life. I wish I had not been watching this particular night, as well, as the images and ideas refuse to leave my mind and probably never will. This is why I don't watch television, I have reminded myself. But the damage has already been done.

For the life of me, I don't remember where I was when this occurred, nor do I remember what I was watching at the time. Someone was trying to get me to buy something, and then suddenly there was a woman in front of a mirror, gazing intently at her face. The woman raised one finger to each temple, and then very gently lifted up her cheeks. And then another woman. And then another. I cocked my head to one side. Another woman. My eyebrow went up. Another woman. I began to think about how I was going to get nonchalantly to the bathroom. Ten or fifteen women, all told, all around my age, examined themselves in the mirror in that 60-second, million-dollar spot. And then one more got up and excused herself to the bathroom.

Eyebrow still raised, lips pursed, I stood in front of the mirror, knowing I should just turn around and walk away. But like a dieter drawn to the buffet, I could not help myself. One arm lifted, then the other. I placed my fingers to my temples. I looked deep into my eyes. I lifted.

I gasped.

Today I turn 37. They tell me I will be at peace one day with the wrinkles across my forehead, the jowls around my mouth, the salt beginning to mix with my pepper--but not today. Today I am 37 in a world of 27 year olds, and I wish I'd started using the Mary Kay a whole HECK of a lot sooner.

And I wish to God I'd NEVER seen that commercial...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

when God speaks to me, he uses music...

(like freedom in spring)

She's alone tonight with a bitter cup and
She's undone tonight, she's all used up
She's been staring down the demons who've been
screaming she's just another so and so
another so and so

You are golden, you are golden child
You are golden, don't let go
don't let go tonight

There's a fear that burns like trash inside
And your shame the curse that burns your eyes
You've been hiding in the bedroom hoping this isn't
how the story has to go
It's not the way it goes,
it's your book now

You are golden, you are golden child
You are golden, don't let go
don't let go tonight

You're a lonely soul in a land of broken hearts
Your far from home
is a perfect place to start

So this final verse is a contradiction and the more we learn,
the less we know
We've been talking about a feeling, we both know inside
but couldn't find the words
I couldn't write this verse. I've seldom been so sure
about anything before

You're golden, you are golden child
You are golden, don't let go
don't let go tonight

You are...
(This world is a dead man down
Every breath is a fading crown we wear like some
debilitated king...
The earth spins and the moon goes round
The green comes from the frozen ground and
everything will be made new again
like freedom in spring)
(like freedom in spring)
(like freedom in spring)

Music and Lyrics by Switchfoot