Tuesday, December 30, 2014


My niece handed me a teeny tiny tin. "Could I...Would I?"
Of course I would!

Doesn't he look startled? His eyes were just getting used to the dark I bet.

He has a little yellow pillow, honey yellow, and a fluffy white blanket with the outline of a bear on it.

He looks pretty skinny but hibernating is sort of like a diet run amok.

Bears like to sleep.
Bears know how to sleep.
Bears sleep.


An oncoming bus pulled to the curb and a message scrolled above the windshield. "Sorry......not in service."
It seemed a profound summary of my state of mind.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

quite a crowd

Photographs can outlast memory.
I suppose that is why some of us have old black and white photos of complete strangers.
At least, they are strangers now.
Someone used to know who they were.
Someone used to be able to point and smile and nod.
Then time galloped by.
Lots of time.

I'm glad this photo made the cut when households were condensed and dispersed.
I'm glad it evaded the great Cull that happens when the baton of life is passed from one generation to the next.
Now I can let this lovely family wish you a Merry Christmas for me.
I'm pretty sure they're my relatives.
The photo belonged to my grandfather and is from the twenties or thirties.
I think it was taken in Norway.

Dozens of cousins.
Well, nine anyway.
I wish I knew them.
Aren't they dressed so smartly in their woolens?
And isn't the tree a wonder to behold?
Somewhere out there, the children of these nine children live and move and have their being.
And the grandchildren of these nine children too for that matter.
Could be quite a crowd.
There are probably enough of them to spell We Wish You A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year, Good Tidings To You, Where Ever You Are, Good Tidings For Christmas And a Happy New Year. Fa la la la la, la la la la.......

Friday, December 19, 2014

good will

I had watched her spread icing on a gingerbread man so carefully,
absorbed in her work,
choosing the colored candies,
placing a halo of gumi bears round the paper plate.
The teacher called to them, her little flock of chicks, and they fluttered and scrambled obediently out of their chairs to join her at the front.
A kindergarten choir.

I blinked and tried to look away but the sweetness of their faces, of her face was so captivating.
She sang earnestly, her head bent down slightly so that she looked up with large, shining eyes.
Such eyes and I felt my own begin to fill again.
It's the contrast.
It's the contrast between dark and light, between love and hate and sweetness and all that is good...... and all that is not.

Especially at this time of year.

This precious child.
These precious children.
This precious world, filled to the brim....
It needs a Savior.
It needs peace on earth, good will toward men.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

with feathers

Birds come and go in the city.
Not eagles though.
They remain lofty and austere.
Wheeling above country roads.
Gazing down from towering tree limbs,
their triumphant cry on the wind....
You don't expect to hear that cry at your elbow.
You don't expect to glance up with startled eyes, into the steady, level gaze of an eagle.

My friend was reading.
Really reading.
She was gripping the book as she tensely read.
There were monsters lurking.
And then, just at her elbow,
beyond the glass door,
with mighty talons gripping the balcony rail,
an eagle.
A Bald Eagle, monstrous and shrieking.
Fiction with feathers.

Friday, December 5, 2014

always loved art

There are just so many ways to embarrass yourself.
And aren't there so many mistakes a person can make?
Sometimes after thrashing and struggling through the swamp of life, I stagger out onto solid ground convinced that nothing I've learned so far is a transferable skill.

It seems that the math of life predestines us to trouble.
Human being + life = trouble.
I never liked math.
Maybe I should start thinking of my life as an art project.
Something unusual, but creative and if you turn your head and squint, you can see the beginnings of something lovely.
I always loved art.
I am discovering that math has patterns and rhythms that I have been embracing all of my life, without even realizing....I love patterns and rhythms. Does that mean I love math?  

Monday, December 1, 2014

very illuminating

I dreamt my life was an Excel spreadsheet and I couldn't get the formulas to work.

We hunkered down in front of the computer.
We started by studying Word and then PowerPoint, but for some reason, when we began to work in Excel, I began to dream at night, to toss and turn and mutter in my sleep.
Click once, click twice.
Drag by the corner.
Dusty corridors in my brain are seeing the light of day.
It has been very illuminating.


The sky is blue.
The sun is high.
The air is crisp.
Well, crisp might be a bit optimistic.
It likely is cold, plain and simple, and my rhapsody really has very little to do with the weather.
The hooray isn't so much about looking out as it is about looking ahead.
Ahead to end of semester.
Not all endings in life are delightful, but end of semester is one of the golden few.
Finals beckon.
Beckoning is fine.
I prefer to think of my final exams as 'beckoning.'
It sounds sort of inviting that way.
Friendly even.
Far better than thinking of finals as looming, dark and brooding.

I am allowing myself a learning curve.
Strange, how at times that learning curve has felt a lot like a traffic circle.