Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snowfull Entity

Despite the calm of the snow (our two cats are perched by the window staring, their mesmerized forward ears pointing, their backs Bingham-humped), I don't feel the calmest. It's a time where a need for a God, directive and informative, calms some anxiety that a good path will be snowed over. I know that one's own footsteps are exciting, yet when one is lost, a beaten path means rescue and safety. I'm not lost, just wondering about the wander in the snowfull woods. Again.

A perception of God, a real Entity, is essential for me to explore towards and be upon.


The big picture window to my right showcases it, reveals how many can fit into one frame. It shows how they swirl prettily to experience their fall, their purpose, their trek. If I were a measurement-taker, perhaps there would be per square foot, about 100, but it would be wrong and hard to contain their flailing merriment before they become bound to the ground. The ground is changing because of them. Life is becoming simple and quiet. I think of the Ingalls in the Big Woods, or Robert upon the sleigh before the woods. The ground holds their effort, holds their purpose, restores them during another season. The ground is becoming them, and they the ground. I would like to have a hat on and walk amongst them. The loveliest woods walks I've taken have been within their lacy friendliness and musical descension. It's right then to think about the day of death because living has remitted its best to you, its natural result of original creation, its amazing moist ingenious cycle of life. Our bald cypress tree now has a lining on its arms to enunciate itself to the looker. The dried monarda pods have a flaky stocking cap.

Slowly, surely, we open for the snow, all of us affected. We can think clearly of the worse now, death, because life has given us her best and shows us deep and lasting beauty.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Suffering compresses itself at times upon us at various points of our lives. Still, it does seem that certain people suffer at greater rates than others due to unfortunate situations. A young man was killed here recently on his motorcycle; his mother burned to death in a car fire a couple of years ago. The father/husbands stands alone, shaking. A tragic woman in my bookclub lost a son and a husband within a year.
Now my morning running friend is going through myriad difficulties. We walked/ran this morning (due to injuries), and she poured out some of these ills. Life is tough for her; she's resilient, yet things are definitely steep.

Please, Lord, be the God of care and receive her prayers for light and blessings.

Monday, January 28, 2008


One season, we led a women's ministry small group together. We decided to drop all pretenses, cutesy skits, dramatic readings (all of which I admit), as we presented our class to the 150 women before us who were listening to all class options. We might as well have been wearing our black turtlenecks, straight from an existentialist conference. Our study was on questioning God (of course) and hardships. She was reeling from memories of a pastor-father-inflicted-heavy-hand childhood, and I was breaking away from the mold a bit.

We laugh now as we remember our presentation, three years past. It was a wonderful class, although it didn't draw the flocks like my funny skits used to. Now, when I occassionally run into my friend, we chatter like wild birds landing on a safe tree in the fall. We decided to meet regularly, and so I go to her house, and we talk about heady things, about psychology, about faith issues.

We've decided to read Carl Jung's "Memories, Dreams, and Recollections." I've read it before, but I'm happy to mull with her because we have much in common. And, Jung, he is an honest reporter of inner experiences, and what's not to appreciate about that? I'm happy; a compatible friend is worth so much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eyes and Notes

We communicate with our eyes eventually, and so we stared at one another. Her eyes were an arch, they were a violet-blue, and they made her face still beautiful. She couldn't speak, or smile, but could grip my hand, and talk to me with her eyes. I wonder how the physical qualities of those eyes shaped her past, and the thoughts behind them, and the scenes that became and were. Who loved her eyes the most? To whom would she most like to set those eyes upon?

I'm sure it wasn't the mandolin player from the bluegrass group who just played at her nursing home. But, it's my favorite part of the gig ~~ moving around afterwards, shaking hands, smiling, talking silently or aloud, giving honor to those on the precipice. A pilot from WWII was in attendance, shaky with Alzheimers, yet he visibly brightened when the music started. He had been in three bands himself, said the recreation director to me.

Cody played with us for the first time. He was the most versatile player on the mirimbula, guitar, spoons, shakers, and sticks. My dad says to put a stint next to him musically, "the right kind of music" (i.e. bluegrass), and for the first time, Cody responds affirmatively, "This was fun!" A good day.

If music came with the light-in-the-darkness, then all was indeed very good on the day of creation.

Out of the Jar

Recently I took a short three night course at my church entitled "Do It Yourself Bible Study." (Our church is always about practical application taglines!) The idea is to begin a book (John); read the chapter over three or four times one day; the next day rewrite the passage and observe language clues (repetition, dichotomies, verbs, etc); the next session, write questions regarding the text and search for meaning; and finally, the next day, apply what you've learned to your life (ask the questions: what could this mean given the context? or, perhaps, why am I confused or bothered by what it says? in order to help it impact your life).

Today, I wrote questions about the first 20 or so verses of John 1. I wrote questions until I stopped believing in God's goodness and wondered why he withheld instead of gave. Why didn't he make it so people would recognize him? Why is the darkness more appealing to many? Even his own didn't receive him? Couldn't the heir be more apparent if the stakes were so high? These are "negative" questions, I realize, yet there they were.

I began to swirl and despair. But, I typically love questions. It's interesting that when you open the lid, they fly out like lightening bugs into a dark summer night. You can watch them take flight, you can follow them to a stand of alfalfa, or to peony leaves, or you can recapture them and put them back into your jar for the night, where they die before morning.

My questions led me into a bit of research about mythology. The light/dark motif, the god rescuer ... how is Jesus' entrance different?

I'm following the blinking light, and it's taking an interesting path. Where will it land?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Will It bite?

Saying you're a Christian homeschooling mom seems to signify a certain stance. I'm not so good at posing. For instance, perhaps I shouldn't be so enthusiastic when my son asked me, "Why should we pray for my sister during the tornado? I'm sure if someone is killed, they will have also had people praying for them. Why would God protect her, but not them?" Inwardly I cheered at his logic and smartness. The little tyke is growing up out of pat answers and needs to understand things for himself. I complimented him for his thoughts and then said something about hope and comfort being an important benefit for us and her, regardless of whom the swirling cloud of natural laws chooses to alight upon (and, unfortunately, there were two killed in this storm). And, I gave him my views that God doesn't create badness and that he cares. If Cody wants to question how much he cares due to his not intervening for those two southwest Missouri women, then I see that as natural; it is curious. Questions of faith ~~ ones that involve throwing out a line to see if possible a fish will bite ~~ are encouraged here, despite my responses from my own hard-won beliefs. Hardcore curriculum with all the answers figured out makes me wary. Search, young man, search your way to your own fitting statements of faith in God. Amen and amen.

D'em bones

The evening of bones. We rattled, we shook, we gripped them to make primitive music, instructed by "Dr. Bones" himself, who shook, rattle, clacked himself into a dancing jester, or a dancing tribalist, or a dancing freak. The boys of the jam-session home were bright-eyed, happy, unplugged, entranced. I couldn't get the hang of bone-playing, but the doctor said it takes time. He holds a convention for bone-players once a year. The internet, he said, helps to bring freaks together. A place to belong, I added. You're not alone, said the fiddle father.

I went on a good long walk yesterday with a friend on the trail. The sky was bright, the air crisp, the geese drinking, the favored bench facing the lake. I'm most alive outside. The hubby and I went out again this morning, and we heard the geese wings overhead, above the morning-misted lake. I could lie on my (her) bench for a duration just listening and soaking in what the earth says, what God whispers. Former girl woods-walker, yess'um, ah, life and death quite mingled.

Books I'm reading:

The Spiral Staircase, Karen Armstrong ~~ she adapts to "the world" after leaving the convent; she's one of my favorite writers, intellectually honest, attempts to stare at faith and figure out what it is really.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: how to quit school and get a real life and education, by Grace Llewellyn; her first chapter advises that organized school destroys essential, innate desire for learning by constant control. She advocates unschooling. I don't understand unschooling that much; however, I think I'd like to add some elements of it to Cody's school day instead of me planning and nagging him. What does he want to learn? How can I accomodate that? Less control, more trust in the learning process. We'll see. I doubt if I'm a total convert, yet she has some good points already.

A Saturday ~~ the boys are at a basketball game. I have empty space! The sky is blue, blue, bright outside my window. I wish I were on the trail again!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I know ... another tribute to a sports tribe, another yelp, another hoot, another chirp. But, I can't help myself .... we're so proud of the Missouri Tiger football team!! Part of my non-blogging activities involved wringing my hands on the couch on game day, or sitting with hubby on the hill (as pictured), or checking polls and stories online at ESPN, or sitting in the stands with my daughter with our old familiar chat n' laugh and cheer. The season was astounding -- we're not used to it here; therefore, giddiness is deserved. We ended the season being # four in the country. Wahoo! Yelp! Hoot! Chirp!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Going forth

We loaded up her treasures: a big male cardboard poster to keep her company at night; bags of fashion; photo albums of various states; her wicker bed frame, dresser, and night stand; her basket of cosmetics; Oatmeal, her small bear from her birth; her needed technology. We piled them into the truck, and she got behind her wheel, and we all pulled out of our cul-de-sac into the next world. She's gone. Her room is vast and spotless now.

I can imagine her apartment, her first day of school tomorrow, her ventures into college-kid budgeting, her disorientation of being in a different town when all she knows is 3.5 hours away. She called tonight, with a practical question, but her voice wavered some, and we talked for a while. She called me! Is this what wise women friends projected about the future? That there's a definite period of mother/daughter reconnection and need?

My husband just walked by and asked about her, sympathizing about her lonely and difficult plight, plopped in the middle of new. He's done so much for her, a godsend stepfather, 16 years ago, one who cares to be involved (unlike her real father), one who follows through and gives even during the difficult times. I love him for his loving and strong character.

But, back to my daughter, she's gone. It's quiet and empty here. However, I'm cheering for her to go forth and conquer. I know she'll make it.