A Simple Life

“Welcome to heaven” the trees seem to whisper as she plods along, oxfords crunching the cornflaked earth and wind rustling her heavy curls.

As nears the bench and looks out over the wide and wandering trees and meadows, her heart dies and goes to heaven, for she knows she is alone and this whole place is hers for the time. Interrupted only by the chatter of a simple sparrow or the crackle of leaves beneath her, she sits and breathes in the damp smell of earth.

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Goldfinches & Glory

Deliver me from the hopelessness of uncertainty; from the outcry of fear against my weary soul.
Deliver me from the grasping of wind; from the vain running after of rain.
It falls and I grasp, but find it slipping, slipping, slipping.

Deliver me from quick anger, hardened envy and wild bitterness that grows little nettles and thorns, fast as spreading wildfire.  It eats at life itself and grows, writhing, blackening, blackened; black.  

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A King & A Serpent

She listens. Quietly, carefully. O Mio Babbino Caro plays softly; the deep, melodic notes carry a strength of soul that touches her heart and her head and whispers quietly, carry on, friend, carry on. Outside it rains. Hundreds of miles away, fires crackle and smoke rises higher and higher above what was once green forest and sleeping homelands.

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Through no Mastery of Myself

buried under the voluminous gray skies, the quiet spirit of autumn lingers heavily;
it has come like a sudden shadow, opening up a new world and silencing the last echoes of summer;

winsome hopefulness soars on the tail of the wind and flies along with the black and gray feathers of the chickadees. with it, the world waits with baited breath. will we find ourselves wrapped in a blanket of winter without tasting the full glory of autumn? will the winter winds find their strength where the autumn leaves lost theirs?

we cannot tell, for we are only here to feel and experience and know what is given to us.
this world is free to come and go, and so I am not who I am through great mastery of myself;

I too am like the sudden shadow, sweeping across a world in a moment of time and lost again in another.

how can we grasp what is not ours to keep?

What a life. What a lady.

I had three months with her. Not just once-a-month worth of three months, but once-a-week’s worth of three months. I watched her live and I watched her die. I watched her sitting up on her little couch, watching tv and talking with me and I watched her laying down, breathing heavy and hard, eyes closed and hand limp as I held it.

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Even so, It is Well

There are days that feel like years and moments that feel like whispers of time. 

There are weeks that seem to wade out into oblivion and seconds that fly by with the speed of sound.  There are moments that I feel more and more like the weakest of John Bunyan’s characters who jumped at the sight of their own shadow.  There are times when I can only take the thing most precious to me – His Word – and hold it tightly and cry into it because I am so weak but wish I were stronger.  My faith, so feeble.  My courage, so faint.  My hope, so unseen.  My love, so weak.  

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The In-Between Place

I am in between the places of unknown and uncharted
the wild, wilderness land where the wind calls loudly 
the place where jackals run and the morning sun rises high and heavy 

to my right is the great and open desert
to my left is the saltwater ocean and there is no middle ground
at night the desert ghosts slide noiselessly through the broken thirsty ground
and the deep, unseen song of a whale calls from the black depths of the water

and here I am; in this in between place.  I cannot speak for my mouth is dry with fear
where, in this in between place, will I go? 
Is there a quiet refuge or a roaring waterfall? 
Is there hope even in the silent shadowlands?

Wishful Summertime

Rain falls like blueberries on hot oatmeal, leaving small wet slaps on the sidewalk and black tar. Far away, over the brick houses and glistening emerald trees, a quiet rainbow rises, spreads its color and then fades back into oblivion. Summer is here in all of her shining glory, and we sit and watch her come with glorious splendor and wish that she would stay forever. She’s subtle, contemplative, whimsical and mysterious. You cannot tell when she’ll touch the grass and sky one last time and whisper out her final breath. So you step out into the gleaming sun as long as you can, touch the raindrops and let them fall, laughing, unto your face, and run through the wet and wild wood as long as your legs can carry you.

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Blind Men & Wayward Children

It’s quiet outside now.  She lets down the black shades and twists them shut, but keeps the window cracked open so she can hear.  She flicks on the light above the stove, and starts cooking.  First, it’s beef chili, with lots of cumin.  While she’s cooking the meat and onions, she starts a pot of water for boiling strips of cotton.  Once boiled, she will make them into test strips for her dyeing experiment.  This time, she’s using blueberries, and hoping the color will turn out to be a beautiful, strong blue.  She settles down to stirring pots, sipping on wine, watching Friends, and checking her phone.  

Life’s been wild.  If it is not enough to have a crazy virus seeping through your land, closing businesses and churches and keeping you from the people you love most, there is the terror of murder and rioting and wild men and women.  If not that, then there is the burden of your own soul, watching all of this mess and wondering where you stand in it, and if you ought to be standing or if you should be apologizing for even being alive.  If not that, then there is the news of so called “Christians” abandoning the faith.  Why?  There were too many unanswered questions, they say.  Too many doubts.  I just can’t reconcile the God of the Bible with the evil in the world, they say.   At least they’re honest.  You sit, wherever you are, biting your nails (if you still have nails left) and wondering what is the next shock the world will experience.  What is the next evil that will come?  

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