23 November 2008

"I can tell by your eyes exactly what you mean"

Jennifer Knapp, some pretty good lyrics.
"Lord undo me, put away my flesh and bone..."

I have not understood the many facets of prayer, though I have seen its power shaping me to the Father's will. I have feared to pray for brokenness, knowing that I would soon find myself deeply confronted (once again) by my own weakness and sin. I have both refused to pray, knowing His answering would hurt, and prayed with every fiber of me yearning for His presence in the humbling.
I cannot tell you that if you pray, your mother will be healed or your cousin saved.
But I do know that the God I serve is mighty to save. And I know that prayer is a part of your recognition of being in the presence of this Mighty One.

"The eighteenth-century Hasidic Jews had more sense, and more belief. One Hasidic slaughterer, whose work required invoking the Lord, bade a tearful farewell to his wife and children every morning before he set out for the slaughterhouse. He felt, every morning, that he would never see any of them again. For every day, as he himself stood with is knife in his hand, the words of his prayer carried him into danger. After he called on God, God might notice and destroy him before he had time to utter the rest, "Have mercy."

Another Hasid, a rabbi, refused to promise a friend to visit him the next day: "How can you ask me to make such a promise? This evening I must pray and recite 'Hear, O Israel.' When I say theese words, my soul goes out to the utmost rim of life...Perhaps I shall not die this time either, but how can I now promise to do something at a time after the prayer?"
-Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

28 October 2008

Your Story

Tell me once again your story
the pieces of glass jagged as
your morning routine when
we have no milk.
I lay table-top my confessions,
colorful mosaics, dull mishaps
next to yours—
no glass-cutter in sight the edges
are rubbed, fitted, never perfect
But neither are mornings without milk.


Job lay his hand upon the lamb’s
head, familiarity with this
sacrifice not dulling the sobriety
of his face. This life spilt for
his offspring’s seven days of sin,
if indeed they’d sinned.
And the crimson melded with the altar.

Job’s servants came a’runnin’
yelling of the gory raid, and the slave
did report the death of all
the sons.
Job’s knees did bend,
crackling with age, as he fell.
His crimson, beating heart did cease
for half a beat, the breath
of a young man left him
for a breath of humid, choked weeping.
The dust around his prostrate body
turned grey with sorrow, acting
as the humble veil of man’s dishonor.
Shook, Job’s hands, with anguish,
as he tore his robes.
The knife was still embedded in the sacrifice.

“Then Job arose…and worshiped” (Job 1:20)

Sunrise, sunset

Written the second week of school

Sep. 14

Fiddler on the Roof-they sing the mournful rhythm sunrise, sunset. sunrise, sunset. An inhalation, an exhalation. A breath, a moment, a day. The circle of the planet sailing forth without Your blessing. Ten days did something to me. My friend, sallied forth from primal recess are the instincts base and strong. Temptation is not to be pushed aside -it is to be knifed in the heart. Sometimes I confuse this with my heart itself. I have laid it on the table, only to have pieces of my heart strewn instead of this or that temptation. But I think my heart returns.

27 October 2008

jar of clay

"It's in despair that I find faith
Summon the night to bow down to day
When ignorance is bliss
Save me from myself" Jars of Clay, Fade to Grey

The second line here is my favorite. I don't like people to know what I'm thinking, often. With this thought in mind, I often find the (literal) darkness comforting, because there I don't have to fake things. I can cry out to God in, as one may say, "brutal honesty." But in despair, in the discomfort I have of letting people really know me-- "Summon the night to bow down to day". A glorious thought. A glorious thought indeed.

I'm going to try to write a poem soon. I need to.

08 October 2008

Annie Dillard

"It is hard to desecrate a grove and change your mind"

-from Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk

01 September 2008

time's travesty

"Ain't that the curse of the second hand"  (mark heard song) 

minutes, minutes, minutes. 43 minutes to a tv show. (minus commercials, for surely you do something profitable during commercials? fold clothes, brush teeth, sew a hat for your dog?) Time's travesty--that minutes make no hours, that hours make no days, and most importantly, that days make not our lives. 

You know what "the curse of the second hand" is? 

That it moves. This second hand moves, while we sit still, silently watching its progress. The curse of the second hand is this--that when a person watches time's progress, this person is indeed wasting time itself... such irony.  

24 August 2008

a rough poem

I didn't realize that my last post about Ukraine was my 100th post...interesting.

A very rough poem about a scene in Gilmore Girls...yes, I'm addicted, but yes, the show makes me frustrated.

She kissed him, the legitimacy of love versus loyalty
splayed in my head, as a butterfly--
pinned, but still fluttering.
She told him not to speak-my mouth opened
closed knowing silence is best before wisdom.
She ran, saying "welcome" she ran away
and of course the sun shone unpolluted.
A shame too, because I wanted only
warehouse light--you know, the warehouses
with trapped sparrows in the rafters?

If her life was like a warehouse, I 
would see real love acknowledge pollution--
the opening and closing of wisdom was
better for meeting me. 

08 August 2008

July 23

I'm fading, fading. The trip is become a portrait in my head, one amongst a collection of sights. I am lost, I am lost,I am lost, the glory of God seems to have left.

Is it better to recognize my condition?

Or wold it have been better to "go silently into that good night?"

Why dead and why silently In our weariness, do we dare give the devil a foothold?

He who prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour?




We feel the part of weary victors returning from a foreign war. We shut the war out of our minds--it does not engage our entire soul here. We are blind, we are blind!

We fight not against flesh and blood, "but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12) Do we dare think that whatever weaknesses were discovered across the ocean will not be exploited at home?! How much more so! We are comfortable--how ever little we'd like to admit it. We are weary, let us not fall into laziness. We are weak-the devil can only afford to hit us in our weakness--for too soon have we forgotten that our Saviour says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:10)


July 21

Kurt says, "This is the longest shortest trip I've been on" and "the week is as eternity, the days a breath"

Yes, my brother. Those were deep words for 11:30 last night after a long long flight. I reflect so that I may not forget. I write though remembering pains me in its lack of clarity--I am in America. It is too easy, too soon. 

I want rice and rusty tacks again. Simplicity and trial. I desire the past to be a part of my future, but not in America. I have hands and feet, send me--But '"Woe is me! For I am lost; I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"' (Is.6:5)

05 August 2008

July 20

Okay, so I tire of writing about past days. Here is today, and here is where I find myself...
I am on a plane from Kiev to Amsterdam. To my right is a window, to my left sits David F. and then Jon D. 

Life goes on and I don't know. 

(well, I stepped on a rusty tack the other day-it was unexpected. There was a bit of worry about infection. The anger the other day was like the rusted tack-unexpected and humbling)

Some of the kids:

Dima- I gave my Bible to Dima. He has a Russian one but wants to learn better English. He pleaded with David C. and I to stay. He didn't understand how we could not know if we were coming back to Ukraine or not. (How it hurts! I would have stayed if it were possible and if it were beneficial. I pray that if I ever get a choice like that, I wouldn't selfishly choose to stay if it is merely possible--but that I would choose to stay only if beneficial as well.)The look on his face with that Bible-he wanted to read John 3:16 and Psalm 42...we also read part of 3 John because he thought that 3 John was John 3. There exists no kinder kid. He bought candy on multiple occasions and shared it with the Americans. He was so very generous. 

Sergae-The cutest boy ever. He is about 13, maybe? He loves playing basketball and anything else active. He is patient with English-speakers...

Achoom-Good English. He is sweet and desirous of our attention.

Oxana-very quiet, but a good listener

This is why we came. 

(and I connected more than @ Mexico with kids-is that because I stepped out of my comfort zone, or because of the way the camp was set up? Or perhaps the difference in culture? Any way one looks at it, it was a blessing from God)

Yet, I find myself distracted. 

July 18

We made t-shirts. Got people to sign them. Played River to the river at midnight with the Ukrainian counselors. 

I'm sure some important things happened this day...but, they are not written about here. 

July 16

actually, I'm writing this on the 21st...
I think today we did the Olympic games-very fun and it brought us closer to our Ukrainian teams-Fiesta, Smile, River of Love, and Areishky (Nuts)...
games included:

-volleyball, over head and through legs relay
-water balloon throw (at Tim and Meisha)

29 July 2008


A strange day--ironic, this was the day about repentance (or forgiveness...)

It started with me shutting off the alarm and laying there for a minute (or ten)... I took a shower, tried to study my Bible (outside), but came inside because I could not concentrate. I think I must have tried at least four different spots, trying to settle my mind. I was overanalyzing once again...
And Gene and I were asked to lead the Ukrainian Bible study for our team...an honor, but frustrating...for the previous lessons hadn't been translated into English, so we had little idea about how to lead. I asked to go for a run in the forest during some free time...I got a bit angry/frustrated with some things and later apologized to my team...

Let's just say, "holy" "sanctified" and "humble" were not descriptive words I would have used for myself...by the end of that day, I felt first-hand repentance and forgiveness...

A wacked out day? Indeed. 
Yet the Lord allowed several more things to happen.

During evening chapel, David C. began to be quite sick. He had a spreading numbness in his legs and feet, along with a headache. That was a bit scary.

And for small group that night, I was the only American there. I believe it was a complete God-working (not that other things are not) for the girls opened up for the first time. I was able to (with my weak musical ability) teach them the first verse of "Beautiful Scandalous Night" and tell them the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her forgiveness of the Nazi guard...I was also able to share with them my own sin that day and how I needed forgiveness. And I asked if they had any questions. And they spoke, asking how to evangelize to a friend angry with Christianity.  I asked a blunt question, "Are you all Christians?" Two kids said no. 

23 July 2008

the American Team

My 5:30 AM thoughts, sitting outside the chapel

Been working on memorizing Psalm 86. It seems very very applicable. 

"Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
 Preserve my life, for I am godly. Save your servant, who trusts in you--you are my God. 
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.
 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you do I lift up my soul. 
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who cal
l upon you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer, listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble, I call upon you, for you answer me...."

I was thinking about it. How strange, the first verse recognizes my poorness, my need. O Lord, pay attention, because I am weak and helpless. It is a recognition of the Lord's mercy and my dependence. Yet the next verse, "Preserve my life, for I am godly"--the only way I can be godly is because in the previous verse, he answered me. I am poor and needy, and I am godly because of God--"you are my God"

"I call upon you, for you answer me..."--I am poor and needy. You are good and forgiving. Here is my soul. Gladden it once again.

July 15th

So yesterday, we had a finely ground porridge for breakfast, potatoes (boiled) and chicken broth soup for lunch, and noodles with some form of meat-like substance for dinner.

we were kinda tired.
we all went to the river.

we did a talent show-
david f.--double jointed or something
team americanski-a skit making fun of morning excercises

my hip was hurting quite a bit for unknown reasons. 

July 13th

Just woke up, took a shower. It's 6:05. Well, okay, I've been up for nearly an hour. When the sun rises at 4:30 and roosters crow even earlier...

It seems to be going well. Emma and I talked to Alina the other day...she stayed after chapel because she "wants to become closer to God".

Some of the kids know "hello" and "my name is"
Some are very eager to introduce us to this culture. One boy, Dima, is a mess. He's wonderful. He pulls us in and teaches us the song/motto of he camp, gets into mischief, you know.

Food equals: kashi, soup (chicken broth), rice, and salad. Yesterday we got sausage/hot dog/unknown substance on top of the rice!! Maybe that's because for breakfast, we had a tye of porridge--warm milk and about 20-25 grains of rice...hot sweet tea the staple drink.

Went to the river two days ago. We didn't know what to expect--not many of our team wore swim stuff, but the camp needed help watching the kids--80-90 kids on a public beach! There was that incident with Josh...

Last night a group of the American team went downstairs to the chapel and talked and listened to Reid play guitar and played Super Scrabble...until 1 AM.
A group of girls went around pointing at things with Emma and I--they'd say it in Russian and/or Ukrainian and we'd teach it to them in English.

21 July 2008

The Other Longest Day

July 11th

The longest day of my life, for real. We lost 8 hours over the Atlantic and other areas...pretty much awake for 32 hours...if you don't count that few hours of "sleep" on the plane.

We ate a fruit salad/coleslaw/green onion thing on the flight from 
the Netherlands to Kiev. I tried very hard to eat it. (mayo and onions and mandarin oranges and apple...)

I cannot believe that we are here. The people seem wonderful, sweet, and patient...

Me, Mrs. Kestner, Cammie, and Brit are in rooms above the chapel. The other girls are in the colorful building across the 
way. The guys are in a 3rd room above the chapel...

                                                     One bathroom.

We had a layover in Amsterdam. Got to see some airport stuff. Saw rabbits in the airport field.

Dinner at camp was rice sprinkled with corn, bread, and salad from cabbage. Snack was a welcome banana.

The Longest Day

July 10th
Flight is boarding for Amsterdam. It's kinda crazy. I'm on the trip. 

I was thinking about Icarus today, that picture I have of unmistakeable beauty, a sunset with a man who, standing at the water's edge, has wings of exquisite fabric. He will not fly, this is certain. There exists a passionate tragedy, a grievous desperation. One cannot be certain that foolishness lacks wonder, but one knows the fate of Icarus. And one cannot be happy. 

still pre-Ukraine

July 6th

There's a great fear in my heart. the trip is in 3 1/2 days. I feel more aware than I've been for the other trips. This one I know I must exhaust myself, must leave it all there, hold nothing back. And I cannot help but already fear "mission trip withdrawal" that most certainly will come when we return.

Dear Lord, I am afraid of failure. I have not trusted Your ways.

Psalm 86:11b "...unite my heart to fear Your name."

A Time to Plant...


July 4th

Does everyone commemorate their 4th of July experience by tearing up because of Gilmore Girls: Season 1? I'm assuming not, and as I seem one of the last people in the world who would do so...
It's the tragedy of their lives, the worlds' lives. 
It's grief over ideals held as truth, but that being no greater than trash, so much talk.
It's seeing the love as portrayed on the screen and then being horrified that I could want any part of it.
It's hearing the "I love you" but no seeing it.
It's hearing the question "Why would you spend your life serving someone?" and getting the same answer-- "You wouldn't. That's crazy"

The Poet with His Face in His Hands
"You want to cry aloud for your mistakes, but to tell the truth,
the world doesn't need any more of that sound..."

because it has enough of its own to last awhile. 

Ps. 143:8 "Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."

03 July 2008

sweetly broken and united

Psalm 86:11 

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

No, we cannot serve both God and Mammon. 
But even choosing God, oh how divided, distracted we are, swayed by temptation, shaken by sin. 

"At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered."

-"Sweetly Broken" 

29 June 2008

Overheard...in prayer.

Here are 40 souls, no more than clay....only through You will they become vessels of blessing.

Language of the people. My people.

"Have you ever wondered-the language of your birth is not the language of your soul? The language of your knowledge is not the language of your people?"

"I have not," replied the farmer, "for my language groans within the land, the loch, the glen. My language gladdens with the sunrise hearts made heavy by night's dew. My language is the peoples' longing." 

"Teach me," I said. "Teach me the language of your people."

24 June 2008

Some thoughts on a Shane Claiborne book

Some Irresistible Thoughts

“I come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). These words of Jesus hound me with bafflement, though at a point not too long ago, their meaning was a little more settled in my mind. The casual glance over this text would have led to a deeper contemplation—usually yielding the general salve of “this is true because living for Christ satisfies you.” Did it never bother me that “living for Christ” was such a nondescript charge of the church for her people? Oh, this phrase shook me up enough to prompt more thought—but most of this resulting contemplation stopped at the following considerations about the dynamics of a full life: “living for Christ is being an example for Christ where you are at right now” and “according to Scripture, my intimacy with Christ should be fulfilling, but ‘fulfilling’ sounds exciting, and I’m not sure excitement is welcome in the church beyond the occasional ‘Amen, pastor!’” Employing Shane Claiborne’s book, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, I have found words to prod my convictions’ formation and the reworking of such statements as the examples given above.

The first statement reaches not far enough. Why stop at living for Christ at the place in which you presently find yourself? Claiborne says “We live in a world that has lost its imagination” (132) and no wonder, for even the Christians cause not a stir—the stereotypical Christian owns a few Bibles, goes “dressed-up” to a church on Sunday, and may cringe when a co-worker cusses during the week. Where is the Christian who gives bread to the poor, much less “when he gives bread to the beggars…gets on his knees and asks forgiveness from them”?(164). The breaking of the Christian stereotype with acts of tangible grace may be the most imaginative, Truth-filled experience this dead world has seen. For when, foreign to the constrains of fallen humanity, an incomputable action such as love takes place, it could be possible that “a…land of people who had forgotten how to feel” (89) could be taught.

Introducing feeling to the world-gone-numb requires people who know how to feel, in this case, Christians who know how to feel—a people passionate, a people ignited with a full life, a people not afraid of going beyond the accepted “Amen, pastor!” One of the phrases Claiborne uses in his book is “reckless, unguarded worship,” (44) and it presented a new dimension to Christ-following. Christians don’t necessarily need to sing solely from a hymnal, but worship can be imaginative, unguarded, yes even reckless? As reckless (by the world’s standards) as giving away one’s possessions? As reckless as asking forgiveness from beggars? Truly such questions should at least provoke thought among society’s religious, and at most should revolutionize the thought- and action-life of those who “…believe in a God of scandalous grace” (207).

Because of the difficult issues discussed in The Irresistible Revolution, it is a book that should be read at different points in one’s life, to see a progression in one’s thinking. Yet when reading, one should strive, not to align one’s thoughts to those of Claiborne, but of Scripture—which indeed will take much research and meditation on one’s own. However, I am confident that the results of newly formed or stronger convictions will be worth the effort expended.

A type of post-script:

Along this line of thought lies the phrase in The Irresistible Revolution that most unsettled me and upset my worldview. Quoting a pastor’s words as an example of incorrect teaching, Claiborne says, “‘Now this doesn’t mean you have to go sell your rollerblades and golf clubs’” (102-103). I too have had reassurances such as this—and been relieved that I am not commanded to dispose of my comforts. So now I can cease my worry, for no harm comes to those possessions of mine, Jesus only meant that He requires the right heart attitude of us and of the rich young ruler of the Gospel. (Luke 18:22 “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.") There indeed lies value in the correct heart disposition, and the heart that sighs in relief when told that not every material possession is demanded may not have the right focus. But what is the fulfillment of this command to man of the Gospels? Is this command to be the same for each Christian? The Pharisees gave much money to the temple, yes, even to the poor, yet insisted on an explanation when Jesus sat with the unclean. “When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. “But go and learn what this means: 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:11-13). And if this compassion is best done through the sale of rollerblades and golf clubs, may they be willingly offered. (However, the question remains—should all that we possess be offered up before we see that these items are needed? Should there be a general move toward distributing all that we own to the poor, for we know the poor are plenty? These questions must be wrestled with at a future time).

22 June 2008

222mission: Speaking the language: Interpreting Tongues from Acts

222mission: Speaking the language: Interpreting Tongues from Acts
Last night from our study on Pentecost (Download message here) I told you how important it is for you to let Acts 2 govern your understanding of the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. I primarily got my points from John Stott (The Message of ACTS). I said you’ve got to start with Acts 2:1-13. If you don’t, you set yourself up to read your experiences back into the Bible instead of vise versa. What I mean is that it could be easy to go to a charismatic church (or watch a service on TV) and assume what you see is biblical because they call what they’re doing speaking in tongues. It can become easy to rationalize to yourself, "I don’t see this in my church, so they must be afraid of the Holy Spirit" or you think they're ignoring passages like Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 13-14.

Don’t do this. Instead just begin with Acts 2 where the Bible actually portrays what speaking in tongues looks like and use that as a grid for understanding the other New Testament references. Stott makes a big deal over the fact that the Greek words for “Tongue” and “Interpret” are the same throughout the New Testament. So though there are some functional differences between Pentecost and 1 Corinthians 13-14, we’re really talking about the same gift. A New Testament tongue is always either the organ/body part or a known language and the word for “interpret” is always in concert with known languages (Stott).

I’m not saying that by first reading Acts 2 and then reading Paul in 1 Corinthians 13-14 that these debates magically disappear. But at least Acts gives you some sure footing. You choose - do you want to start with TBN, Benney Hinn, Kenneth Copeland or Joyce Meyers? Do you want to start with personal anecdotes like the late night spooky stories you swapped with dorm buddies around microwave popcorn by a desk lamp? Or with the Lord’s inspired story from Acts? I choose Acts.

This forms a couple of presuppositions. First of all, I understand that the gift of tongues for the early church was a revelatory gift. A gift designed by God to communicate truth to his church during the Apostalic age as the Bible was being written. In this way, it makes sense for me to read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 to say that this gift was going to fade out when the Apostles did. When 1 Corinthians 13:8 says, “they will cease” (literally “[tongues] will cease themselves”), I conclude they did, and that they did before the “perfect” comes (1 Cor. 13:10). This is how it seems to play out in the storyline of Acts and why this gift is found only in one of Paul’s letters which happens to be the earliest epistle written in the New Testament.

So, not only do I see that it “ceased” with the Apostolic age but I also believe the gift served a distinct purpose for that distinct period. It was a significant a sign. Every time this gift happened, it was a sign of cursing on Israel for rejecting Jesus and of blessing to the church for accepting Jesus. Paul makes this very clear when he cites Isaiah 28:11-12 in his argument in 1 Corinthians 14:19-22. Pentecost marks a dramatic shift in God’s kingdom program – the church was now born! God’s glory was manifested as a pillar of fire for Israel and now was manifested as “tongues of fire” hovering over his new people. The church - a multi-language, multi-nation, multi-culture people - was suddenly seeing, experiencing, and speaking “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11). One last challenge for understanding tongues from 1 Corinthians 13-14 is to remember that Paul’s main point was not to coach the early church to speak in tongues. He was rebuking Corinth for not being a loving church (1 Cor. 13:1-13). Paul was telling them to stop showing off which was turning believers and unbelievers away from truth. Understanding Paul’s intent puts many of his sarcastic and instructive points from chapter 14 in context.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest let me say I’m no expert on the spiritual gifts. I recognize that there is a spectrum for where you can fall in terms of being a cessationist and/or a continuationist. You obviously can believe revelatory gifts are for today and be theologically strong (i.e. Wayne Grudem for one). In fact I recommend Grudem's "4 Views" book where Dr. Robert Saucy takes a “cautious but open” position. I may actually find myself more in his camp when all is said and done. For a quick and clear Bible study on these issues I also recommend the notes from Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 13-14 from The MacArthur Study Bible. For a more detailed recitation from John MacArthur go to his book Charismatic Chaos.

21 June 2008


"In one word, the great pillar of the Christian's hope is substitution." Charles Spurgeon

16 June 2008

Under the Harvest Moon

UNDER the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

by Carl Sandburg

Posted by Picasa

15 June 2008

I can pretend it's Ireland

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
"I didn't go to the moon, I went much further--for time is the longest distance between two places" (Tom, in "A Glass Menagerie")

Is time the longest distance between opposites as well? oye. perhaps not. that gets complex or unintelligible.

But opposites in pictures can speak louder than...alot.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

The Poet with His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn't need anymore of that sound.
So if you're going to do it and can't
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can't
hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets
like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you
want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched
by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
~ Mary Oliver ~

22 May 2008

Posted by Picasa

–Alfred Lord Tennyson

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Obituary for Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened Common Sense’s condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer paracetamol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; police forces became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally died, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

22 April 2008

Posted by Picasa

08 April 2008


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 07, 2008 is:

luftmensch • \LOOFT-mensh (the "OO" is as in "foot")\ • noun
: an impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income

Example sentence:
I worry that my nephew, who has several advanced degrees but no practical skills, will be a luftmensch all his life.

Did you know?
Are you someone who always seems to have your head in the clouds? Do you have trouble getting down to the lowly business of earning a living? If so, you may deserve to be labeled a "luftmensch." That airy appellation is an adaptation of the Yiddish "luftmentsh," which breaks down into "luft" (a Germanic root meaning "air" that is also related to the English words "loft" and "lofty") plus "mentsh," meaning "human being." "Luftmensch" was first introduced to English prose in 1907, when Israel Zangwill wrote, "The word 'Luftmensch' flew into Barstein's mind. Nehemiah was not an earth-man. . .. He was an air-man, floating on facile wings."

02 April 2008

“What have we been doing all these centuries but trying to call God back to the mountain, or, failing that, raise a peep out of anything that isn’t us?” (Dillard 71).

29 March 2008

C.S. Lewis
The Four Loves, "There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken ... The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

18 March 2008

Do Hard Things - Amazon Book Bomb