Thursday, May 31, 2012

toot, toot

I've been sneeze-tooting these past few days.  And cough-tooting.  Lots of cough-tooting.  Who knew a little pipsqueak like me could be so gaseous? 

And not just gaseous.  Cantankerous, too.  Yesterday I was extremely irritable because it felt like someone was squeezing my head in a vice.  I was snappy with the children because I just wanted to be alone.

While I'm writing this I am cough-tooting.  If I do this long enough I can be like a one-person band, blaring my music for all the neighbors to hear (and smell).

Monday, May 28, 2012

matthew 5: reflections

stoop low
hold empty hands open
shed tears
kindle tenderness
ache for pure living
be merciful
match your outer to your inner
work for peace
emanate love and light
fend off your anger
use words to edify
love others deeply
and love some more
remember people are more than their bodies
uphold marriage
say only what you mean
don't be violent
give generously
love the ones who hate you

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the quiet song

An excerpt from Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts:

The moment I try to grasp for humility, she's gone.  Speak of humility, shine a light shaft on it, and she's shadow-gone in the dark.  "Humility is so shy," writes Tim Keller.  If I focus on humility, I look inward to assess if I'm sufficiently humble, and in the very act, humility darts and I'm proud, self-focused.  It doesn't work.  But what humbles like an extravagant gift?  And hadn't I felt that joy of small, child-wonder when I paused to give thanks?

The quiet song of gratitude, eucharisteo, lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give.

Again, always, and always again: eucharisteo precedes the miracle.  And you'd think I'd know that by now.  But I forget.  Father never forgets what I am made of, child of dust.  The Wounded Warrior is achingly tender with the broken ones and He has all the patient time to gently lead those who seek and He keeps leading me back to eucharisteo.

I forget a lot.  Too often, I think.  I want to learn to live a life of thanksgiving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I usually do my writing or art in the evenings after the children are sleeping, but tonight they both have been waking up, crying, so I haven't had a long enough stretch of time to work.  I'll share a video clip instead.  This artist inspires me and I can picture myself living a life kind of like hers.

Friday, May 18, 2012

curves and phantasms

I'm a textual being.  Oh, words and letters and exclamation points, I adore you.  I like it most when I imagine a scene of text.  It's usually a gently active and colorful, curvy picture in my mind that will spark some electricity.

But as actual life follows, it's like I'm rudely awakened from my textual reverie.  Therefore, often times I try to get back into my imagination rather than intimately live the inevitable reality which is much less romantic or creative.

Worse yet, if none of my imagined scenes has surfaced at all, it seems nearly impossible or else incredibly time-consuming to gain warmth, especially if quality interaction is dismissed in favor of, say, a black box with moving, tantalizing pictures in it.  And, I might add, nothing quells flames like a lack of mannish expressiveness or else an inability to fully relax and trust on my part.

What happens, then, is that I sacrifice in order to appease reality.  Sometimes I wonder what an actual miraculous, hair-raising event would be like.  I'd know if I experienced it, right?

Perhaps it would help if I were much different.  If, for example, I liked an activity such as manual labor.  Maybe then I'd focus more on doing rather than rolling around inside my imagination.  However, so far the idea only intimidates me and makes me edgy for reasons that are maybe buried in my subconscious somewhere.  Or my body's not made for it.

Anxiety.  It does a body bad.  I think when the emotional intimacy tank is too close to empty, nervousness or rigidness automatically ensues.  I'm not completely afraid of real familiarity—in truth, I strongly desire it—but I require plenty of reassurance and need my inner depths to be genuinely pursued before fully embracing it.  I'm at a loss as to how to realistically warm those embers.  So far nothing I've tried seems to have any effect and maybe that means it's not really my job.  I've begun praying out loud within masculine arms a couple times a week and that gives me hope.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

bare and submerged

It was Monday.  Mrs. Brustoff sat alone at one of the small, round tables in Rickety Missive Café and gently stirred her steaming corn chowder to help it cool.  Something was amiss.  Or rather something was present at the bottom of her bowl.  Something heavy and slippery on her spoon.  She lifted it out of her soup and watched it drip.

Her favorite waiter approached and said truthfully, “Madam, that’s a sock.”

“Yes, looks like a yellow one.  Would you kindly take it away.  Far, far away from me,” she said.

He nodded, picked up the soggy sock with his bare hand and flung it backwards over his left shoulder.  It whipped past a black-haired man, who was peering curiously over his newspaper, and it went splat against the café’s front window.  Then it slid slowly down the glass, leaving a wide and chunky smear for all the passersby out on the sidewalk to see.

Mrs. Brustoff smiled, then asked for a fresh bowl of chowder and received it promptly.  The heat from it warmed her cheeks and she enjoyed its comforting aroma.  But there it was again.  Something heavy and slippery upon her submerged spoon.  It can’t possibly be another—

“Sock!” said the other waiter, an older gentleman who smiled a lot and liked to talk about constellations.

“Why, yes.  It’s another one.  What is it with these socks?!”  She lifted it out of her soup with her spoon.

“Madam,” he said, “I do believe they are yours.”  Then he threw the sock against the front window, narrowly missing a distinctive spectacled man who ducked in nick of time.  He had been talking to himself, loudly enough for everyone to hear, but he paused and turned to watch the second sock descend the window pane.

No, no.  But I—they, uh—”  She looked down at her feet and saw that her socks were indeed missing and her shoes were nowhere to be seen.

Just then, the black-haired man put down his newspaper, grinned, and raised his eyebrows as he lifted a forkful of cherry pie.  Mrs. Brustoff looked down and nervously brushed some imaginary dust off her skirt.

Meanwhile, in the far corner of the café, a beautiful blonde girl sang songs about freedom while she and her father waited for their lunch.

“I’m sorry about the socks,” Mrs. Brustoff said to her favorite waiter, when he finally came by again.  She feared he was getting tired of her.  “Can we try for another fresh bowl of corn chowder?”

He nodded and returned swiftly with yet another bowl of hot soup.

“There’s a bunch of guys out there, looking at the mess on the window,” she said.  There were five of them wearing crisp, black suits and they appeared to be discussing whether or not they ought to eat at such a place.

“Mmm.  The mess from your socks,” he said, sympathetically, “Well, that’s what happens when your socks end up in your soup, I suppose.”

The bell over the door chimed as the five walked in and Mrs. Brustoff felt the color rush from her face when she realized they were headed straight toward her.  The blonde girl began to sing louder and all the more radiantly, like a bird with sunlight reflecting from her eyes.

The suited men crowded around Mrs. Brustoff’s table as if she were not even there and pretended they hadn't encountered the streaks of soup on the window.  Then they laughed and spoke jovially about how much they liked the cleanliness of their office and how awesome it was that their boss talked about sex at their staff meetings.  

Mrs. Brustoff suddenly felt lonelier and more humiliated than she had ever been.  She stood and lugubriously carried her soup barefooted across the café.  She parked herself at the table beside the singing girl whose words of emancipation hung delicately in the air for a moment then gracefully drifted down like feathers upon a passionate breeze.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

gustatory musings

I'm a blog monkey.  With cotton fluff in my head.

Every day I face the slobbery pink internet tongue with its millions of taste buds that promises to lick me clean and tuck me peacefully into bed.

Except it can't.

Yet its information bits travel into my soft little brain and, as if playing some kind of crazy game, it strips me of my comfort and stirs up the restlessness of my reason thereby provoking me to think about my faith—however imperfect it may be—until…

until fear has climbed to a mountain peak in a beautiful and toilsome journey, making me vomit into the kitchen sink for a week.  A physical manifestation, perhaps, of poisonous thoughts dispelling.

Yep, I'm a scrawny monkey.  I've been licked.  Now I'd like to do some licking.