Monday, September 29, 2008


This morning, for the first time since my arrival, I didn't want to be here. I didn't feel very "how", to quote Eeyore. (Someone asks Eeyore, "How are you?" Eeyore shakes his grey head sadly and replies, "Not very how.") I had fallen asleep while reading Tom Sawyer and awoke this morning with contacts nearly adhered to my eyeballs and no time to go running with Diana. The students and most of the VSers left to spend the day in Pittsburgh hearing Dr. J. Dudley Woodberry (a Professor of Islamic Studies) lecture on subjects most interesting and pertinent. So... it's empty and quiet around here and I wanted badly to go along but was too proud to bother anyone by asking them to substitute for me. Stinks when you have nothing but your own inhibitions to thank for your disappointments. I went for the mail, trying valiantly to feel neither sorry for, or entirely despising of, myself. And, lo and behold, sorting the mail with lots of packages and envelopes addressed to everyone else produced an envelope addressed to ME! A totally cute card from Barbara with lots of writing inside and an outside that said "You are fabulous... and if you ever forget that, read this again".

You're an angel, Barbara.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dryad Dance

Fingertips touching
Each one to her sister
Bending, bowing
'Round and 'round
'Round and 'round
Free in place
Over emerald rocks
And lacy ferns
To the ebb and swell
Of the rhythm of birds
Don't move
They know you're here
Hold your breath
'Til you're offered a limb
And swept along

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

powerful implications

Why does this picture seem so radical to us?

When are we going to return to the bloodied footprints of the Jesus Whose name we tote around?

When are we going to stop worshiping ourselves in the name of God?

Friday, September 19, 2008


I had communion at the Post Office this morning.

I'd finally finished stuffing, labeling, and sealing all one hundred sixty-four packages of catalogs. Manhandling the three tubs full of packages into the Taurus was another adventure. I was mentally dissing myself for being such a wuss and thinking they were heavy when I discovered that each package weighed 1.01 lbs. Do the math.

While I was making my second trip into the P.O. with a tub, another car pulled in. A rarity in this small town. The middle-aged lady stomped out her cig and slammed the door of her rust-spotted truck. We exchanged good-mornings and she seemed pleased when I commented on the two Jack Russels bounding around the interior of the truck, ricocheting off the windows and barking devoutly. Inside, she brushed off my apology at her having to wait so long to be waited on (my mailing took half an hour to process with the level of technology granted a Post Office of so little consequence) with "No, I don't mind. I have to stack wood when I get back home, so this is great." She grabbed another Sharpie and helped me write "media mail" on all the packages (a Post Office of so little consequence does not own a stamp of the sort). And we talked. She's trying to sue her credit card company. She canned tomatoes yesterday. I should never buy furniture from a company downtown because it's inferior quality. The lazy boy she bought from them keeps breaking down. She used to work in an office. "Thank you for calling me a lady! No one ever calls me that."

Friday, September 12, 2008

the agonizing

Oh, Father!
If it be Your will
Let this cup pass from me
I've tasted before
Its metallic wine of blood
This garden is familiar
The flowers I've watered
With abundant tears
You've ordered the universe
Since the beginning of time
Will You please look after me?
Spare me this

Not my will
But Yours be done

If it brings You glory
I drink this cup

Monday, September 8, 2008


black coffee. a blueberry scone. a card in the mail. helping her. him making me laugh. a hug from God.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

offering of penance

Forgive me for the days I've lived without Your abundant Life
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the chapters of my story I thought I authored
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the lies I've believed about myself
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the lies I've believed about You
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the times I've served others to salve my own conscience
Lord, I have sinned
To live today in wild abandonment to the vibrant Life You own
Lord, I need Your help
To gaze in awe at Your pen on my scroll
Lord, I need Your help
To believe the truth about myself
Lord, I need Your help
To believe the truth You've shown me about You
Lord, I need Your help
To touch with extravagant Love Your people I meet today
Lord, I need Your help

Thursday, September 4, 2008


A US Soldier looks at the sky as he sits atop of a Bradley Fighting ...
Thu Sep 4, 5:14 PM ET

A US Soldier looks at the sky as he sits atop of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during a patrol on the outskirts of Baghdad, in 2005. The US Army is on track to break last year's all-time record for suicides, a pace that would top the civilian suicide rate for the first time since the Vietnam war, army officials said Thursday.

(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

Stephanie Ulloa, sister of U.S. Army 1st Class Sgt. Jose Enrique ...
Thu Aug 21, 2:45 PM ET
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Stephanie Ulloa, sister of U.S. Army 1st Class Sgt. Jose Enrique Ulloa, killed in Baghdad, reacts as she leans against the coffin, covered by a U.S. flag, containing the body of his brother during his funeral service in Jima Arriba, north of Santo Domingo, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008.

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

U.S. soldiers walk past a woman sitting near the entrance of ...
Thu Sep 4, 7:30 AM ET
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U.S. soldiers walk past a woman sitting near the entrance of her house in central Baghdad September 4, 2008.

REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ)

US soldiers provide security during a vehicle checkpoint in ...
AFP/US Army/File
Wed Sep 3, 6:20 AM ET
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US soldiers provide security during a vehicle checkpoint in Baghdad, 2006. US forces killed six Iraqi security personnel north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said, in an incident which the American military said was a case of "mistaken fire".

(AFP/US Army/File/Staff Sgt. Russel Lee Klika)

Afghan villagers surround the dead bodies of two children who ...
Tue Sep 2, 7:09 PM ET
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Afghan villagers surround the dead bodies of two children who allegedly were killed during a raid by foreign and Afghan forces conducted by U.S. troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 1, 2008. The raid killed a man named Nurullah and two of his children and wounded his wife, a police officer said. First Lt. Nathan Perry, a U.S. coalition spokesman, said no American troops took part in the operation.

(AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

This 2004 US Navy handout image shows an explosion from an air ...
Thu Aug 21, 2:01 PM ET
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This 2004 US Navy handout image shows an explosion from an air strike during the opening hours of Operation Phantom Fury. A former US Marine ignored strict rules for handling detainees and ordered the killing of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners during 2004 fighting in Fallujah, a landmark trial in California was told on Thursday.

(AFP/HO/File/Lcpl James J. Vooris)



By Almighty God
To mirror Himself
In all His beauty
His complexity
His diversity
Capable of giving
And receiving
The magic
Of Love
We chose
To revolt
We hate
We inflict hurt
We murder
Our fellow image-bearers
Stalks us
Keeps us alone in crowds
Makes us lock our doors
My God!
We are fallen
And blindly

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I believe in Unicorns

I believe in unicorns
Though I've never touched one
Never tangled my fingers in glacial mane
Never savored thundering muscles through my legs
Never met iridescent horn with my fingertip

But sometimes I hear thundering hoof beats
Sometimes sense I'm being watched
Sometimes misty curtains part
And I think I see a tossing head
White against vaporous white

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm rich

This post is dedicated to those of you who read this site to see how and what I'm doing rather than what I'm thinking. :)

This past weekend was great! Julie and I left FB soon after supper on Friday evening and headed for Ski Denton. Due to the not-so-tragic tragedy of Janelle's impending hitching ceremony this weekend, those few of us who remain from the "Seven from Heaven" deeply felt the need for one last party. Getting to Ski Denton was almost a feat in itself because of sundry detours and poorly-marked exits. Hey, we did very well! We only turned around twice. Oh, it was good to see those girls again! There is nothing like telling jokes that no one else would think funny, drinking beer and watching movies (as Janelle would say, "henk-henk"), being with Amanda again after her long sojourn at Hillcrest, rolling around on the floor laughing, crying and praying with each other, chiding Bessie for her need to periodically drop everything she's doing and gaze upon pictures of herself and a very blue-eyed recent development (it's so good to see her in love again!), getting Bessie to tell how Jesse asked her to date him, getting Janelle to tell how Joe asked her to marry him (I can NOT believe we're this old!), and being un-apologetically uncouth and honest. I can't really put words to how my friends bless me. You guys are the best, and that's that. (Oh, and in case you, the reader, are scandalized over the whole drinking beer and watching movies bit, don't worry. It's an old joke involving birch beer.)

Getting back to FB was great, too. We walked up to Brubakers' on Saturday evening and helped them landscape. Doing some manual labor and getting dirty for a chance felt so good! I am really very fortunate to be in this place with these people. They're pretty incredible, in my opinion.

I'm rich.