Mar 28, 2014

Sizing Up the Highlights

Sizing up the month's highlights once again. These bits of thought come to mind... 

1. We all relearned the two faces of March. 

I remain partial to the fragile blooming, bright, crisp air version. And have risked planting flowers in the front porch pots. During the final days of the month I'll learn if that was a smart move or not. Fingers crossed.

2. I was just sort of visually stunned to peruse the Google data center . Take a look at the artistic  innards of what is basically today's version of the blended, global library and post office.

3. I'm discovering HGTV. {Geez, you're thinking, where have you been?} Never the less,  House Hunters International is new to me. I so admire the various motivations that people have for moving beyond their native country. One woman was a food blogger moving to a small city in France to immerse herself in local cuisine to better inform her writing. A couple, after years of working in the hospitality industry, was looking for an island resort of their own, to live in and manage. Making dreams like these a reality takes courage and creativity. Not to mention the fascinating diversity of design and architecture of housing around the world.

4. I hit a jackpot of good reads this month and was introduced to two authors. One, Christian poet Jane Kenyon wrote a delightful collection of essays that were published in A Hundred White Daffodils {must love that title!}. See a post about her writing and excerpts from her poems over here

Next up, I courageously ventured through Mary Karr's memoir, LIT. I will admit to skimming the harsh early chapters. It takes a stout heart to read authentic struggles. BUT, the remaining story of hard sought scratching toward survival through faith and her eventual conversion to Christianity was stunning. Her writing is gifted while shirking no realities. In an interview about her work memoirist Mary Karr stated:
"That’s what’s so gorgeous about humanity. It doesn’t matter how bleak our daily lives are, we still fight for the light. I think that’s our divinity. We lean into love, even in the most hideous circumstances. We manage to hope." The Paris Review, 2009.
Swan Thieves was fiction to curl up and get lost in. It wrapped me in the painter's life and art history with a compelling psychological mystery woven through two parallel plots. To be savored.

5. Encountered several beautiful unknown words recently. I favored this one: numinous - spiritually elevated, mysterious.

6. Walking in early spring twilight is heavenly. 
Even as solar beams slip low on the horizon the senses remember heat and light.


Venture over to What We Learned to share the humorous and the quirky of fellow writers in Emily's community. You'll think, "Really? I did not know that!"

Mar 23, 2014

A Poet's Holy Muse

Spring alternately bristled and curtsied this week. 
Cutting, crisp winds with rain and intermittent low temps one moment, 
upstaged by bold rays of sun the next day, 
teasing our trees and budding bulbs to release their fragile blooms.

Amidst the indecisiveness of the outdoors I ventured into the library 
where fortune blessed me with an introduction to poet Jane Kenyon
by way of A Hundred White Daffodils
a collection of her essays, interviews, translations,  and poems.
Pleasantly, as rain flooded the back ponds, I discovered a new favored writer.
Jane Kenyon is a highly regarded contemporary poet whose work is greatly influenced by her Christian faith. 

She writes,
“It was my habit to speak to Him.
His goodness perfumed my life.
I loved the Lord,
he heard my cry,
and he loved me as His own.”
From “Woman, Why are You Weeping”, p.207

* * * 

And later in reading an interview with  Bill Moyers,
Jane claims: There are times when I feel I’m given poems.
Bill Moyers: How do we cultivate that in ourselves?
Jane Kenyon: We have to get quiet. We have to be still, and that’s harder and harder in this century.     ...
Moyers: How did you come to write “Let the Evening Come”? So many people say that is the favorite of your poems.
Kenyon: That poem was given to me.
Moyers: By?
Kenyon: The muse, the Holy Ghost... I felt I needed something redeeming. I went upstairs with the purpose of writing something redeeming...this just fell out.

* * * 

This happens, does it not? In just this way. 
In our creative experiences, as one writes, strums, or applies oils to canvas, sensing a hand in union with eye and the heart, 
the Creator present in our inner musing 
to guide our efforts to record His creation.

A Hundred White Daffodils illuminated these early brooding days of spring, 
these expectant and watchful days Lent.

“It’s not just more flowers I want, it’s more light,
more air for flowers, more sun for cheerfulness...
and a hundred white daffodils that grow after dusk 
against the unpainted boards  of an old barn.” 
From “The Phantom Pruner”, p.50

Mar 16, 2014

Tomorrow's Promise

I venture forth into my days 
carrying snippets of scriptural readings, conversations, 
teachings, and musings tucked under my heart. 

Internal thoughts pondered haphazardly as I move through my days 
pausing intermittently as some slight bit of my fluid surroundings catches...
snags on some point of those numerous musings.  

Here, as tuned lyrics overlay a phrase I read, 
or there 
as a face streams against my passing current portraying human expression of inspired scripture, 
or another 
from the natural world branching out to display a figurative expression of a sacred story. 

If last season’s life were our Biblical inheritance,
If the branch were His chosen people,
If the suspended vessels were His divine life,
If the dispersed seeds were His spirit,
If nature reflects His promise...

Illuminated understanding rises, 
not grandly, but deeply.
Satisfying as only increased clarity or 
compelling evidence 
can illuminate.

Unspoken whispers of prayer envisioned as being released outward. 

"Thank you O my father,
for giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit
till the work on earth is done."
“There Is a Redeemer” 
Joseph Adkison

Mar 1, 2014

Spacious Place

Once we have experienced the saving actions of our Lord,
once we have been rescued 
and brought out to a spacious place,
that sensation is expansive. 

Our sense of finally existing with ample security to allow 
our heart to grow again, to fill with the power of love again,
to embrace qualities of trust and assurance once again,
the breath we take in is deeper. 

The chest widens in hungry inhaling of freedom's air
and Christ's promises.

Our face exudes a light that is only derived from the saving love of God.

Eyes glisten with tears of gratitude and humility.
Lips, once captive to pain, tentatively lift at the corners 
releasing the joy of a smile and the long dormant laughter that ultimately escapes.

Praise and prayer slip forth in an unending stream
to honor the Lord God for his abundant mercies!

He rescues.
He restores.
He redeems.

Put your faith in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord,
and with Him
is redemption in abundance.
Psalm 130:7 HCSB


Linking with these communities of 
writer's and photographers over at:
Still Saturday, 
The Sunday Community,
Weekend Brew. 
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