Wednesday, June 27, 2012

composition 6

I will dance on the wind of You.
I will hope in Your love unending.
I will dance on the wind,
on the wind of You.  Your kingdom come.

Your kingdom come.  It comes.
Your grace come.  It comes.

Grace on my face
Grace, come in so deep--

I will dance on the wind of You.
I will hope in Your love unending.
I will dance on the wind,
on the wind of You, the wind of You.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

out & about

Yesterday my son, Trevor, and I went to The Big City.  The parking lot at the Skytrain station was very full, but amazingly we managed to find the one shady parking space under a maple tree.  The train ride was long and Trevor got antsy, but it felt good to see some new sights.

While we were eating lunch at Tim Horton's, a man sat down beside Trevor and asked me for coffee money.  He said he only had a quarter.  I gave him some coins and noticed that instead of buying coffee, he hurried out the doors and onto the street.

We didn't have as much time as I wanted for wandering around because we had to pick up Tamara from school, so I took some pictures and we headed back.  I'm hoping to go again soon when we can make a full day of it without feeling rushed.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

triptych: self-portrait


Thursday, June 21, 2012


My crazy mind sometimes explodes with creativity at the most inopportune times.  In the dark, at about one o'clock this morning my head was a hive, and in it the bees noisily went about their business and wouldn't let me rest until I got up and scribbled them out onto paper.

So now, you see, I have a very messy rough draft that I'm attempting to put into a second draft.  This is the hard part for me.  Tonight I've been procrastinating by doing the following:

1. Making a song
Because creating is fun.

2. Clipping my toenails
Can't have long toenails while writing.  No, definitely not.

3. Snacks! 
Specifically, nachos and salsa.  And pickles, the kind with 50% less sodium.  Every time I get myself a snack, I think I can write and eat at the same time.  Doesn't work.

4. Wandering around the house like a creepy burglar
I don't know why I do this.

5. Looking at the work-in-progress in my sketch book
I started it a few weeks ago.  I like it so far and will let you see it one day in the future.

6. Checking facebook.
What can I say?  I like words and pictures and friends.

7. Writing about procrastination
What better way is there to procrastinate?

Alright, I'm going to bed before it gets to be one o'clock and the bees come back.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

blind beggar

flickr Creative Commons: Fernando Branquinho
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.  They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."

He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him.  When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"

"Lord, I want to see," he replied.

              Luke 18:35-41

Friday, June 15, 2012


I want to get photoshop one day, but until then I'm gonna practice and practice some more.  I drive past the barn once in a while and I've always wondered how they got the ladder to bend like that.  The flowers below are ones that Kevin planted near our garage.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

windblown words

I admire a woman while she sits on a couch in the slant of sunlight.  I watch the lit up dust particles dance beside her head, and I imagine what it would be like to be her.  The background comes to the foreground and the music reaches its orgasm, the moment she stands up, as if all has been planned in advance.  The music fades again and the woman exits the room.

I'm alone, staring at dancing dust.  The music has died completely.  Silence begins its deepening.  I'm aware of my skin and breath, the itchiness at the corners of my eyes, and my ache for Truth's divine kiss.

There are many who fear the silence, but not me.  Within it, I let myself drop into colors and dreams and lands unknown.  I lift my arms to fly upon the exhilarating wind of creativity.  There's nothing but possibility and how is it that I ever thought otherwise?  Let not my hope disintegrate, lest I drown again in wastefulness.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bridget and Ralph

Bridget rushed through the corridor in her uncle’s Georgian Colonial style home toward his Study.  Her dark brown hair billowed like a blanket in a gust of air as she ran.  When she reached the double glass doors she saw him standing in the middle of the room, stark naked with his back towards her, donning only a pair of wireless on-ear headphones.  She felt as if she were unexpectedly dropping into a forbidden hole, so she shrunk back and leaned against the wall, covering her mouth.  Her fingers smelled like garlic for she had just finished concocting a vegetable beef stir fry, one of Uncle Wesley’s favorites.

Slowly, she inched toward the doors and peeked in.  Sure enough, her eyes had not deceived her.  Two round, almost luminous buttock cheeks stared back at her.  She opened one of the doors a smidgen, then hid behind the wall again.  Uncle Wes hummed off-key in monotone fashion, and the longer Bridget stayed there, the louder and more obnoxious became his humming.

It would probably do no good to wait for him because who knew where his clothes were and what his reaction would be if he discovered her?  He was ill-tempered and quite frightening on many occasions.  In the nine years Bridget had lived under his roof, she had come to know that she only had to do everything he wanted in order to avoid his flare-ups and, better yet, if she could anticipate what he wanted and do it before he asked then he would reward her with smiles and affection.

Bridget’s brother, Ralph, who was three years younger, had not yet found a way to earn their uncle’s approval.  He was freckled and rather plump for a twelve-year-old.  Uncle Wes didn’t tolerate chubbiness and abhorred Ralph’s obsession with pinecones.

Uncle Wesley’s maid, Eva, entered the hall and gave Bridget a curious look.

“He’s naked in there!” said Bridget.

“What?” said Eva.  She peeked in.  “Good heavens!”

Bridget laughed.

“He couldn’t carry a tune if his life depended on it,” Eva said.

“No,” said Bridget.  “I cooked his favorite, but it’s probably best not to bother him at the moment.”

“Stir-fry?” Eva asked.

“Yeah.  Come join me and we’ll eat.”

She raised her eyebrows, pointed with her thumb in Uncle Wesley’s direction and said, “I don’t think he’d like that.  He chewed me out for not putting his DVDs back on the shelf in the proper order yesterday.  I don’t wanna risk another outburst.”

When Bridget returned to the kitchen, Ralph was eating her stir-fry off the stove with a wooden spoon.  “If Uncle Wes sees you doing that, you’re done for,” she said.

“I know.  But he’s not here.”

“He’s in the Study.  Naked.”

Ralph almost spat out his mouthful.  “What?”

“I was going to invite him to eat with us, but he’s busy… being naked.”

He chuckled.  “Uh, okay.  All the more for me,” he said and plunked his chubby body onto a chair at the dining room table.  It was a perfectly varnished table made of maple wood that Uncle Wes had bought from Lodestar Furniture at the edge of town.  The elderly carpenter there, he said, knew how to make things properly.

Bridget set out plates and utensils and as she returned to the table with the stir-fry, Uncle Wes walked in, scowling, wearing a brown t-shirt and khaki pants.  She diverted her eyes and grabbed the juice jug from the fridge.

He sat down at the head of the table with an air of importance.  “Where’s my table setting?  Why’s my plate not here?”  His nose was getting red.

“We didn’t know if you’d be eating with us,” said Bridget.  She rushed to the cupboards.  He will want a spoon as well, and a crystal glass.  He’ll be choked if I forget the napkin.

“Ralph,” he said, “Wipe that smirk off your face!”

“Would you like me to make you some coffee?” asked Bridget, as she laid out his place setting.

“Yes, thank-you,” he said and his face softened.

He will want something sweet after his meal.  I’ll cut up fruit.

Uncle Wes ate slowly with precision.  “Why is there no salt and pepper on the table?  Ralph, go get it.”

Ralph, who had ferociously eaten three quarters of his plateful, mumbled something under his breath and snatched the salt and pepper from the counter.  By the time Bridget gave Uncle Wes his coffee and sat down, Ralph was already finished his meal.  “I’m going outside.”

“What’re you gonna do out there?” asked Uncle Wes.

“Pinecones,” Ralph said, and waddled away.

Uncle Wesley’s nose was getting red again.  “This floor is filthy!”

Bridget looked down at her feet.

“That woman is insufferably lazy!  A maid who doesn’t clean.  Preposterous.”

She wanted to say something to defend Eva, but knew it was better not to argue with him.  Change the subject.  “I chose the fabric for my bedroom curtains.”  Her current ones were a faded yellow.


“I chose the one you liked.  The striped fabric.”

“Excellent,” he said, impressed.  “It’s modern and sharp-looking.  That’s why you like it.”

Bridget looked at the small chandelier above and felt her eyes glaze over.  I don’t know why I like it.

After lunch, Bridget left through the backdoor and braved the winter air.  It was made less frigid because of the nearby congregation of Norway pine trees that served as a wind barrier, but it was nippy, just the same.  She scurried into the grove to search for Ralph and found him sitting at the base of a tree with a small basket of pinecones.

“More for your collection?” she asked.

Ralph nodded.

“What’re you doing just sitting here?” she asked, as she rocked side to side on her feet.  “It’s cold.”

“I don’t know,” he said.  “Just thinking.”


He shrugged.

That night, warm and cozy in her bed, Bridget dreamed she was back in the grove.  In her dream, a dark and faceless giant, three times taller than any pine trees, bellowed and reached for their trunks.  The ground shook violently as the trees uprooted themselves and fell all around her.  Then they rolled noisily, their branches cracking and catapulting, down a steep hill toward a massive lake of quicksand at the bottom.  They rolled further and further away down the hill, so she held out her desperate arms and cried out.  Then everything became blurry because the giant was upon her, and she woke up with a pounding heart.

The dream felt so real that after Bridget got dressed, she ran out to the grove.  The trees were still standing. all forty-two of them.

When she got back inside she climbed atop Uncle Wesley’s maple dining table and sat under the chandelier with her head tilted back as if she were tanning on the beach, except she was wearing a sweat suit rather than a bikini.  She raked her slender fingers through her dark brown hair and grinned triumphantly.

Her brother walked in, holding a glass jar.

“Ralph,” she said, “I think this could be the greatest moment of my life.”


“Because I’m breaking the rules and it’s glorious!”

Ralph smiled and gave her the jar.  “Look.”

It contained flakes of real gold as numerous as his freckles.

“But where?—"

“They weren’t no ordinary pinecones,” said Ralph.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I just got a new electronic friend and took my very first photo with it.  I'm excited about my new hobby!  More photos soon to come as I get familiar with the camera.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

much ado about almost nothing

I'm going to blab and ramble (maybe mostly to myself) as a way to avoid other writing I could be doing because writing means exposure and sometimes that makes me nervous.  I'm often a mystery to myself and that tells me there's most likely more to unearth than has already been dug up.  It rouses me.  It terrifies me.  Isn't it easier just to leave it all buried?  Easier, perhaps, but suffocating.

When I sit down to write I navigate under and over criss-crossed, seductive wires.  Sometimes they paralyze me altogether.  Stare at facebook again rather than write.  Have a snack.  Move books around on your desk.  You have to make the right decision about what project to start next.  Don't make mistakes.  Your writing is boring, so you might as well do something else.

Collaboration, I'm sure, would help stave off the self-defeating thoughts and it's immensely appealing, but I'm afraid of not keeping up or botching something that would otherwise be amazing.  Ah, yet that anxiety is only another taut wire to trip me up and send me sprawling. 

Fear–though it may drip, cold and wet, into the spaces between my ribs–is not meant to prove most powerful.  I have sparks of passion in my belly and I don't want to put down my pen.

x-rays and ladybugs

Emergency's waiting room at the hospital was full and I was told it would be a long wait.  Trevor's leg appeared fine, but he whined from the jostling as I carried him to a seat.  He had injured himself when he fell off our rocking chair around 4:30pm.

A male nurse gave him paper and crayons and a sticker with a red car on it.  He sat still, because of his leg, and colored contentedly.

I struck up conversation with the man beside us.  He was born in Vietnam and arrived in Canada when he was four (I'm not always adept at judging one's ethnicity; I thought he was Japanese).  I asked about his family and he said he and his wife had two children, a boy and a girl.

"I work at a mushroom farm," he said.  "It's terrible work with terrible pay.  I get paid by the pound."

I asked him if his family ate a lot of mushrooms and he laughed.  "No."

He was waiting for his Vietnamese friend who was being treated for an allergic reaction and he said he was mostly there because the paramedics needed a translator.

"My name is Leah, by the way."

"I'm Tommy," he said and shook my hand.  "That's my English name.  My Vietnamese name is Phung."

I tried to pronounce it and he said I got it exactly right.  "You're very nice," he said.  "Most people don't like to talk to me because of the way I look."  I think he may have been referring to his race.


"When I wait in line for the cashier, she'll say to the person in front of me, 'Hello.  How are you?' But when I get to the counter, she'll say nothing.  Then when the person behind me goes, she'll say again, 'Hello.  How are you?'"

I didn't know what to say.

"You know how they say not to judge a book by its cover?" he asked.


"That's not how it works, though.  People don't actually live by that."

"You're right, they don't."  I said.

He left to refresh his payment for parking and Trevor was called in by a nurse.  We were led to a small area in which sat a tall, rugby player in for a head injury and a woman with dyed red hair who waited for an IV.  They both smiled at their phones while texting.

I pulled a book out of my backpack called "The Grouchy Ladybug" and read it to Trevor a few times.

"I wish I was a ladybug," he said, enthusiastically, "so I can fly!"

"That would be fun," I said.  "Then you'd be very, very small."

"I grow big!" he said.  "Giant ladybug!"

When the doctor talked with us, he said Trevor needed x-rays.  Shortly after, a woman came over with a wheelchair.  The little guy said, "Ow!" as we put him in, then grinned broadly, pleased about going for a ride.

His body shook with fear while he sat on the bed in the x-ray room and I was transported back to the time he got chest x-rays done at 18 months of age.  They put him inside a vice-like contraption that looked like a torture device and I was forced to stand aside and watch helplessly as he screamed and screamed.  This time, however, I was permitted to lean over the bed and comfort him.

The x-rays showed he had a fracture, so we were sent to a tiny room where a nurse put a cast on him.  "He has a great disposition," she said, "Does he get that from you?"

"I'm not sure," I said, "Probably from his Dad."

On the drive home, Trevor said, "I'm gonna scare everybody with my BIG SOCK!"

Friday, June 1, 2012


water, soft and yielding
wears down the hard and strong
rises inside a tree trunk
sings its very own song
dribbles into cliff face crevices
onto windows
into me