Walking the Sea

Walking the Sea: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Giving Myself Margins

I have been thinking a lot about rhythm and balance. In my life, I have an internal rhythm I am learning to pay attention to. For example, I know two hours doing something is about my limit before I need a break. This may be working on a project at home, at work, or even going out for a coffee with a friend. After about two hours, I start fighting it and need to do something else. Without a formal job and flexible time on my hands, I have been thinking how I would like to arrange my time so I get what I need to done but also keep my body and soul nourished. This morning I tried something new. First I woke up at a decent hour, put in about an hour and a half working on the Pentacle photos, then went swimming for a bit. I like swimming in the mornings because no one is there, the pool is in full sunlight, the sky is the deepest blue you have seen, and I like the exertion and time to think at the beginning of the day. Whether it's swimming, writing in my journal, walking, or reading, I like the idea of putting in work first and then taking that time for myself. It's kind of like a farmer doing chores at dawn and then coming in for breakfast. I think there may be something to that rhythm. From there, my schedule is going to vary a lot from day to day but when I got home from working as a personal assistant in the afternoon, I took a nap before going to tap dancing rehearsal. I had been "on" the whole afternoon and I could feel I needed that time to just take time and rest.

I tend to work on a project full tilt until I'm done but I can't do that and sustain myself. I have to give myself space, margins. I'm also learning I can't leave the truly important things for when I'm done with the things that are due. If I keep leaving the important things for when I'm done with everything else, if I don't make space for what I am really called to do, I will never get to it. This is what I'm working on now.

365-09 #180

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nourishing My Soul

Today I wasn't allowed to label a single photograph on the Pentacle's flickr site. I tend to work on a project until it's done, only taking breaks when I really need them. But I needed a more relaxed day, I need to have that still place inside me to anchor myself to with the dance show in the afternoon. So without labeling one photograph, I went swimming and wrote in my journal instead. I found that place inside me and it did make the rest of the day better. I was able to handle the emergencies and when we messed up a whole lot better with a lot less stress. I had a clearer mind to deal with it all and a clearer mind to remember all the other steps. In the book I'm reading right now, "Handbook for the Soul", many of the authors talk about meditation or being out in nature as a time to nourish their souls. I think what nourishes our souls is different for each of us. It may be swimming, taking a walk, sitting in silence, meditating, or writing poetry. I am now thinking that whatever it is, it is vitally important to do. We NEED that time. We need to calm down and clear things away. We need time to let our minds take a thinking walk, wandering and free. Our souls need to be nourished. The questions I'm left with are: what does that nourishment look like for me, what is my rhythm, and how can I nourish that rhythm in my own life? Those are the questions that are now on my mind, wandering and free.

365-09 #179

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Saturday, June 27, 2009


This afternoon I went down to the World Beat Festival here in Salem to watch Stacey dance with the Molly Malone Irish Dancers. She devotes herself to what she loves. It's obvious. It's in every step and every smile, so though the show doesn't change that much, and I've seen them perform many times, it's fun to watch for that reason alone. That and I'm in amazement over their skill in hard shoes.

It's always fun to watch someone do what their heart desires. They are lit up like the sun. Watching her, I was and am reminded how important that is and how things can get so muddled up when I don't do what I am meant to do. I have this picture in my head of God looking at me and saying, "Sarah, you are not doing what you are created for. Why?" I have yet to come up with an answer that doesn't sound lame.

But that's alright, it's going to change. For now, I'm going to enjoy watching her dance and smile. Here are some of the photos I took this afternoon. I got to tell you, it is so much fun to take pictures of photogenic people. It's one of the reasons I love working at the theatre. Free photographic reign. Though not my highest calling, it does come close.

365-09 #178

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Me For Now

Good morning friends! This week I have been focussed on getting all of those Pentacle photos posted, labeled and organized on flickr for all of the Pentacle Theatre cast and crew. I'm getting there! I'm now onto Death of a Salesman, the show I was in, which is actually the hardest as I'm working with someone else's photos for the production shots. I'll probably be spending another day or two holed up in the theatre offices next week as they have faster internet than I do. Last night I finished labeling the Enchanted April production photography. That was a fun play to photograph, a lot of good photographs came out of that show. The next one is Comic Potential and should be quite good as well. This weekend, though, is foucssed on the World Beat Festival here in Salem where our On Tap Dancing Troupe is performing tomorrow, rehearsing today. Let me tell you, performing in a dance show is more stressful for me than performing in the theatre. So that's me for now. Enjoy your day!

365-09 #177

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Remember

On our drive out into the country tonight, my friend and I took one of my favorite roads. I love it not because it's beautiful, though it is, but because of the spirit and aura it holds for me. My spiritual director I had for many years lives on that road and on the occasions I drive on it, I am aware of that deeper real that goes past simple sight and hearing. I believe places can hold things we cannot see and this place holds that for me. Driving along part of the road, I feel I am leaving the shallow world behind me and entering a deeper world I always felt welcomed into. Then, on another part of the road, I feel more myself than I feel anywhere else. After our times together, I usually took a drive through the country to think about things we had talked about, verbally or not, and let myself sit with the depths we had explored. On that part of the road, I felt like my soul had just been cleansed. It wasn't always a light feeling, sometimes it was really hard, but usually, I felt more accepted and at peace with myself and who I was and utterly loved than anywhere or at anytime else. It was as if I felt lost and then someone walked with me for a time and said, "You are not lost. You are exactly where you belong. You are in the precise and right place and time you are meant to be in." When I was afraid I'd crossed a line, I was told there aren't any lines. When I was afraid I'd gone too far, I was told to keep going. When I thought I was in trouble, I was told I am free. Her voice and these truths are with me wherever I go. They are a gift of value beyond naming. But when I drive that road, I sink into them and I remember.

365-09 #176

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Turning into the Future

What? Did everyone blog tonight? I have a dashboard full of blog updates of friends I want to read! Usually, there's a whole lot of nuttin'. While you were all writing, I went with a friend to see a movie and then we took a drive in the country because we needed to get out of town and walked around Independence. It was a nice time to loose myself in my thoughts and wander across the still water. It's strange, I have childhood memories from that town. We used to join my mom's cousin's family for July 4th every year. They lived in the country and my sisters, cousins and I would run around the property, climbing the tree house, riding the four wheeler, shooting bb guns, finding the nettles (yuck!), playing Nintendo, and hide and go seek. We would have a barbecue potluck there and then drive into Independence to go see the fireworks. The funny thing is, I remember then and I've spent time there since, but I can't put the two together. I can't look at a window and remember going into the store but I remember going into a store. Isn't that how it is though? The past we remember is clearer in our memories than it is in the world around us.

I've been learning a lot about letting go of the past and looking into the future. My sister, Megan, and I talked about holding onto things because of emotional attachment. I have a lot less of that than I used to. Bit by bit, I'm going through things. Earlier today I was looking at the bulletin board above my desk and looked at what has become a collage of various photos, ticket stubs, and various other items. I like keeping things to remind me of where I've been, to remind me that I've done something with my life. But is it not more important to think about where I'm going? If I keep looking back and holding onto what I've done, I suspect I will be missing out on all kinds of things I could be doing now or reaching for in the future. As hard as it is, every time I let something go from the past, the easier it is to look into the future. I'm understanding this more and more as time goes by. MaryKate told it to me quite some time ago, that truth was planted in me then, I've always remembered it, and I am beginning to really understand what she meant by it now.

Usually, I delete the really blurring photos I take for the theatre but I really like the artistry of this one.

365-09 #175


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

#300 Post!!!

Though I have been participating in the blog challenge of blogging every day of 2009, my blogging dashboard tells me this is overall post #300!!! YAY!!! Who would have thought? I hope in all those blogs I have said things worth reading, that you have taken away with you and enjoyed, or at least thought more about. I have loved keeping this blog and it's been a fun challenge to do it every day. If a post is short, it's not because I have nothing to write about, it's more that I'm really tired. I need to remember to write earlier in the day sometimes.

Tonight I have several things on my mind. I spent time tonight going through books and so what to do with all those is one thing on my mind. Anyone interested in Jane Austen, Shakespear, or the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books? I also have a pile of textbooks from college I doubt my local used book store will take. It's going to take a while to find good homes for it all with people who will appreciate these piles of books more than I do.

Tomorrow I get to have coffee with a friend I am really looking forward to spending some time with. I could use some grounding and perspective right now. The other good news is my roommate and I both have gotten our hair cut now so we have stopped wandering around the house complaining how long our hair is which would look absolutely ridiculous to anyone with hair longer than your ears. Even with my short hair, you would be amazed how much of it ended up on the floor this morning.

Here is a quote for your pondering mind tonight: “The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy.” Eudora Welty

365-09 #174


Monday, June 22, 2009

Seeing with Divine Eyes

Tonight I took the rehearsal photographs for "Comic Potential" which opens in about two weeks at the Pentacle Theatre. They certianly have me laughing! Since the first night I walked into their rehearsal hall to start photographing their head shots for the program, there was one actress that stood out to me. From the get-go, she made a point of learning my name, saying hello, and sincerely asking how I'm doing- every time she sees me. And I can tell she really means it too. She looked at me and didn't just see someone with a camera, one of the crew, she saw a person, a soul. She treats people as who they really are, not just their labels. She sees with Divine eyes of love and it clearly comes across in even casual aquaintance. She stood out to me so much in fact, I asked the theatre director about her and heard a funny story in return with confirmation she is indeed, as kind as she appears to me.

It may not seem like much, but for those who have experienced that unexpected joy of an unknown friend among people you barely know or don't know at all, you know it can make a world of difference. Such sincerity can brighten an entire day, or more. It certainly makes my job of photographing them something I look forward to instead of something else on my list to get done. Her smile and the smiles of others in the cast make it a whole lot more fun and it warms my spirit everytime she does.

My prayer is for that kind of sincerety and love to grow in me, that I may look at the people around me, see who they really are, and treat them as such. What a gift that would be to give.

365-09 #173

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I've been busy working on reorganizing my website. After working on Stacey's last week, adding oodles of photographs to the photo gallery, now I am working on updating my own. Her website was a lot more fun because you could see the results. The organizing on mine you'll never see but it makes it much more streamlined for me and easier to find things. I already did a lot of that with Stacey's a while back, now it's my turn. A warning though, you might find some errors or broken links while I work on moving things around. It feels a lot like the book "The Bearnstein Bears and the Messy Room". I have to create places to put things, throw things out, and reconnect all the links. When I'm all finished, I think I'll erase everything from the server and upload it cleanly from my computer. Though it's a bear to do, it will be better in the end. And it is nice to have the time to do all these things that have been clamoring to get done but that just got thrown off the side of my to-do pile. It has all certainly been keeping me busy. Even though I'm without a full time job, I feel like I have a job just the same.

I'm reading a book right now called "Handbook of the Soul". It's one of the books I found at that awesome bookshop in Milwaukee. I am really enjoying it and just like God has a habit of doing, it is exactly what I needed right now. I tend to do so much, I neglect the time I need for my soul, mainly the time to write. It seems nearly every author in this book, a collection of essays, mentions writing poetry as a way to care for the soul. I've started playing around, but lets admit it, warm-ups often suck and certainly, that is the case here. Still, I feel that if you open the doors up wide, good things will come. I'm counting on it.

365-09 #172

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where Do You Even Begin?

I just arrived home from the theatre where "Retreat from Moscow" closed. I had been given this show off, I didn't have to take the pictures, so I knew about as much as anyone else about it besides already having seen the set. It was nice to just go and see a show there without having already seen it a few times over. Many of the theatre folk came and it was fun to see them, including two of the women I acted with in "Death of a Salesman". I've done enough shows where people know me and appreciate my photographic work but I have a harder time placing them. I really do enjoy getting to know these folk, they are a fascinating bunch.

The play was about a marriage in the midst of divorce and the child caught between them. The last speech belonged to the son and it felt like it just tore the carpet out from beneath the feet of the audience. The play brought out some really good questions. It can be so hard when the communication lines aren't open or one person doesn't feel heard. Or even worse, when a person behaves badly toward the other person and they are trying to figure it out but struggle with it every time. Then you go away feeling bad because you know it's you, not them, and you are left trying to find the words to say to them past the "I'm sorry." Harder still, where do you find the way to change? I think those are the hardest words to say, the hardest things to do, what to do and say past the "I'm sorry". Especially since you would never want to hurt them in the first place, when they deserve far better and you can do better than what you've done. Where do you even begin?

365-09 #171

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Island Life

You got beat out last night by a walk on the beach and time in the hot tub. Can you blame me? Aunt Sharri and I spent the entire day doing pretty much nothing but sitting out on the deck enjoying the view and talking the day away. It was wonderful for us both who are so habituated in our lives to get things done. It was so nice to slow that down to a measly trickle and simply enjoy the day. We took a walk on the island in the morning. People there still wave to each other and a neighbor will stop in their car to talk with you while the other cars occasionally coming by just wiggle past. The island has a calming affect on me, especially since my Aunt and I got to talk so much. I love sitting outside and watching the water. This morning we saw two seal pups swim past and there is always the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore. Aunt Sharri reminded me how important it is to see the beauty that is all around us. And it is, beauty is pervasive. Beauty and a reason to smile can always be found no matter where we're at.

365-09 #170

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Family Time

This morning my aunt and I drove over to my grandparents. I no longer wonder where I get the reading gene from. Or the puzzle gene. My Grama cleaned out her library and my aunt and I hauled bags and bags of books out of there to give away or take to goodwill. It was inspiring. I want to clean out my own library. It seems so many in my family are cleaning things out.

Aunt Shari and I were standing in the hallway looking at family pictures. Particularly, the one most of us have a copy of somewhere. It's my great-grandparents surrounded by their children. As I recall, there were seven in all. My great-grandfather, Brother Hoggatt, was an evangelistic preacher. In fact, when you drove with Brother Hoggatt, you prayed. He looks like a fun guy. My aunt says that when we die, he and my great-grandmother are going to coming running toward us. I really like the idea they know me and are looking forward to spending time with me. I'm looking forward to spending time with them.

We're going to watch a chick flick now that Aunt Shari has been saving to watch with me. My uncle who is out of town right now, is very grateful for this. So long!

365-09 #169

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Safely Arrived to Fox Island

I arrived here last night to the island safe and sound. Like I told my aunt, the drive was smooth and uneventful, just the way I like it. It was even still light out when I got here. I got to do a lot of thinking along the way about the season of my life and what I want to accomplish within it. And yes, that includes the next poetry book.

Looking out over the water, this is probably the prettiest place I've ever written my blog from. For those of you who found it odd I have to have my toenails painted when I come up here, my aunt thought I hadn't but I assured her, it was just a light pink. :) This morning we're going over to Grampa and Grama's house. As the song says, it is over the bridge and we have to go through the woods... two bridges in fact. One of them I can see from here. When they were building the second span, the bridge looked like a diamond necklace in the dark. I got a beautiful picture of it which I would post but it's at home and I am on my cousin's computer here.

The other day I was listening to a song on my ipod by FFH that said Jesus did not go around telling people who they weren't, he told them who they were. He didn't say what a sinner they were, or how deprived, or how far away they were, (there are probably exceptions like the pharisees for whom he never minced words), but instead he said you are my daughter, my brother, my friend, my beloved. He told them what they meant to him first. Wouldn't it be amazing if we told people first how much they mean to God? Would we even need to say the second. I don't think so either.

365-09 #168

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Good News

Last night I went to a church meeting that was actually more like a Bible study. A more conservative group, they were talking about how to get the gospel out to others including what the gospel was. Their beliefs are similar to the ones I grew up with so it was refreshing in that way and what also made it fun, was when I thought about saying something a little more liberal, someone else said it first. But it made me think. The leader asked what you start with for the good news and his answer was the death and resurrection of Jesus complete with Biblical reference. In my mind, I thought, "Well, I would start with love." I'm not interested in leading someone through the sinner's prayer. I want to help them really know that God loves them. Passionately. Deeply. Irrevocably. That's my good news. God, the above all, in all, mystery, unfathomable God speaks personally, fervently, compassionately, fiercely, and gently with power and that that God has something to say to us all. "I love you." That's the good news. Even better, is we can love God back.

365-09 #167

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Lessons Learned

I received this e-mail as a forward and while reading through it, I realized many of these were things I have been learning so I am passing it on to you.

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for ______________'.

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a College kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. agree to disagree..

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. you'll be smiling before you know it.

365-09 #166


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberry Picking

They were not kidding about the amount of time it takes for jam to sit boiling on the stove before it thickens. If I don't get work tomorrow, I am going to the store to buy pectin before doing the other batches. Oh yes, and mix corn starch with water before mixing it into the jam. I figure if anything, I will have some really good strawberry syrup for pancakes.

The strawberries I'm using are fresh from the field. I picked them myself, all fifteen pounds of them, this afternoon. We had a great time doing it. My friends Julie, Shawn, and Deborah drove out to Olson Farms. It's so beautiful out there. Their farm overlooks the valley below and if you pick them, strawberries are $1 a pound. We picked about 45 pounds in all. We worked our way down the rows with a wide variety of containers to put the berries, occasionally showing off particularly beautiful ones to each other. And yes, many got eaten along the way.

The first time trying to learn how to make jam, though not a roaring success, was a success in that I'm trying and I'm learning. I think it's important to stay in touch with the earth. Stay in touch with the fields, the trees, the making of our own food. It's important to keep our hands close to the ground, to get the dirt under our nails and the mud on our shoes. It's important to know the feel of the earth.

365-09 #165


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Food For Thought

At the workshop today, we had to draw pictures of how we saw ourselves, how we thought others saw us, and how God sees us. One of the men in my group commented on my picture, the "how others see me" one. He said I had drawn the same way his students have in a similar exercise. I had drawn my nose ring on the side of my nose as it appears in the mirror, not the side other people see it on. We draw ourselves one way but the exact opposite is true. Food for thought.

365-09 #164


Friday, June 12, 2009

To-Do List Day

I spent much of my day at the Beanery Coffee Shop working through some of my to-do's. I wrote letters to two friends, wrote my June newsletter on my website, balanced my checkbook, it was a productive afternoon. Now, I'm even catching up on my blog. Woohoo! Tomorrow I'm going to a Dangerous Quaker conferece where my friends Wess and Julie are going to be as well. It will be fun!

365-09 #163


Coming Out of the Closet

It's time to fess up. I'm coming out of the closet. I am a fan of Miley Cyrus. I don't care a bit about all the materialistic crap that has her face on it but I really like her work. I watch episodes of Hannah Montana on youtube. It has a good story line and she and her father both have a lot of talent. So Just a little self conscious, I went to go see the movie at Northern Lights tonight. I loved it. I thought it was fantastic. Good acting, beautiful scenery, good story, and great music. It also had a lot of truth in it. Here is one of the best of those songs. I'm going to get it from itunes.

365-09 #162

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mercies are New Every Morning

Her mercy and grace are new every morning. When it says that in the Bible, or something close, the words the original language uses is for the baking of bread. Like bread baking new every morning, that is God's love, grace, and mercy for us. It very much reminds me of the scene in The Shack (which you should all read) where Papa is baking while Mac talks to Her. I love the honesty and the realness and the play in that scene. I love the picture of Papa baking with flour all across her face.

In my exploration of personal finances, I came across a recipe for baking bread from scratch. I was intrigued, I had never made bread before but I had all this flour Katie left me when she moved and I wanted to try. The only thing I needed to purchase was yeast from the store: the ingredient that makes the bread rise. This afternoon, I set to work and made my first loaf of homemade bread. There is something about eating bread you make yourself. You know your own hands kneaded the dough and that your own hands shaped it into the pan. My friend offered me a bread maker if I wanted it, but I have to say, there was just something about the process that I loved. It's not only the bread itself I want, it's the experience too. It's very contemplative and helps me feel more like the person I want to be.

So how did it taste? Fantastic. Half the loaf is already gone. I think I may need new mercies in the morning.

365-09 #161

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Jesus, Take the Wheel!

The night I wrote the last post, I prayed to God a version of "Jesus, take the wheel!" I asked Him to take me in hand, take charge of me. I turned myself over to His far more capable hands. God will often take me in hand whether or not I ask for it. I can tell it's Him when I'm near the breaking point and my schedule suddenly clears, creating the space I need. When this happens, I feel cared for, taken care of. I know I am not alone. I know He's there watching over me.

After praying the prayer, I promptly fell asleep and didn't wake up until 8 am. Usually, if I get called to a school, I get a call by 6:30 am. It made me smile. I had the space I asked for. I took a shower, put the dishes away, got the laundry going, and cleaned my room. I always feel a great deal better with a clean room and clean house. For most of the rest of the day, I laid on my bed and edited Peggy's book for typos. It was quiet, it was peaceful. It was good reading. It was exactly what I needed.

Today I am only working four hours. I'll get to go home for lunch and work on other projects like websites, Natalie's quilt, and repainting my toes. I also need to watch the Zodiac dance on video to figure out how we did it. Then I get to reteach it to Stacey who I believe has it in muscle memory after a refresher, (I am hoping this is true of me as well), and to Shari if she wants to learn it. Stacey and I did it as a duet two years ago and are working on reviving it.

I might even go throw myself in the pool again- this time with a bathing suit.

365-09 #160

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Slipping Away

I'm really tired emotionally tonight. I enjoyed my weekend but it was internally exhausting. The next two weeks promises to not be much better at a time when I really need the inward quiet. It's one of those times when I wish I could just slip into another reality for a time and come back when I'm feeling ready. It will come.

365-09 #159


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Frozen World

365-09 #158

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Falling In

Today has been one of those full and fun days. Tomorrow promises to be the same. However, a lot is on my mind and I wish there was some kind of outlet where I could quiet it down. After this morning's tap class, I came home, went to the pool, and threw myself in. Fully clothed. It felt really, really good while it washed away some of the intensity in my body and mind so I could focus on the rest of the day. Too bad the pool is now closed. Sometimes I just need to throw myself into a place where I can't touch the ground. It feels like falling into the hands of God.

365-09 #157

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Friday, June 5, 2009

I "Know" What I Need

I just got back from watching the movie, "Knowing", with a friend. It is extremely rare for me to EVER go see a scary movie. Adria once recommended I see "The Village" which I did and I actually liked it and got things out of it just as she knew I would. I saw "The Shining" in college with 15 other people crammed into a dorm room like sardines and got deliciously terrified, but for the most part, I stay away from them. They terrify me too much and the images stay in my head haunting me. However, I liked this one too, but man! I shrieked. I admit it, I shrieked in the movie theater. I can just see now the nightmares I'm going to have. It's exactly why I usually don't go!

These last few weeks, two women in my life have taken turns coming to me in my dreams. Every few nights, or during the day if I'm taking a nap, I find one of them at my side. It's been one of those quiet and holy things. I can't even describe in words what I feel when they are there and why I think they come. But it's deep and full of love. The closest description I can come to is found in 1 Kings 19. It feels rather like that.

"Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God."

Tonight, with that movie in my head, I think I'll need them both.

365-09 #156

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thunder Storm

Tonight I've been working on newsletters for my website. It is now updated as far as May and I'm working on writing the one for June. When school gets out, I'll be tweaking the website a bit. It's one of those things that have fallen under the category of "when school gets out..."

Today we had a thunderstorm here in the northwest. The emergency radio announcement came on while I was driving to let the dog out where I was house sitting. Laying outside with her, I felt a raindrop and noticed the wind had picked up but by the time I left, I stood in the doorway stunned while watching TORRENTS of water falling from the sky accompanied by loud thunder claps and bright lightening. I wanted to get home and I figured it wasn't going to get better so I hurried to my car getting the trash to the curb on my way. By the time I climbed into the car, I was soaked through and dripping with water. I could hardly see through the rain while I was driving the three minutes it takes me to get home. That was some crazy, crazy weather. I always love thunder storms as they remind me of how overwhelmingly big God is. I remember one time while house sitting for Christine, Sasha, her dog, and I just sat on the back porch and listened to the thunder in majestic awe. Later in the evening tonight, I looked out my bedroom window and saw the streak of bright pink clouds lining the horizon. I looked at God, smiled, and commented, "Nice touch." It's amazing to see such an artist at work.

365-09 #155


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reaching Out

I had a conversation with someone tonight that made me think more about a theme that has kept coming up lately. Do you have someone in your life you love but who does not make the effort to have a good relationship with you? If you do, you know how much that can hurt. It hurts our sense of worth and I think deep down, our sense of lovableness. It feels like shit to be treated as trash, to know you are being pushed aside. Every day at the schools I see kids who claim their parents don't care about them. I am sure this is not true for all of them but I am even more sure it is true for some, even many. I was grading journals one day when I read an entry that said, "I wish my mom wanted me." It broke my heart.

How stupid can we be to completely forget how important it is to tell our family and friends that they are wanted, enjoyed, beloved? How hard is it to pick up the phone, write the note, send a message? How hard is it to say, "Hey, I miss you. Could we go out for a cup of coffee or tea?" Or to say, "I've been thinking about you, how are you doing, really?" We all have relationships in our lives that are not what we would like them to be. Instead of blaming it on the other person, "They don't call me" or "They never say hello", let me ask you, have YOU called THEM? Have you said hello to THEM? Maybe you haven't talked in a while, maybe there are even hard feelings between you. Have you bothered trying to make that first step instead of waiting for them to do it? Maybe they are waiting on you. Have you told them you care? I can tell you we tend to build our own prisons, we create our own realities. We convince ourselves it's their fault when the trash is in our own yard. Perhaps it is shared, but we need to clean up our own yard before we point out the trash in someone else's. No matter how it happened, or even if it's a good relationship but a tiny bit distant, every person needs to know they are valued by the ones they love.

The value you place on people is shown by your time and effort. And if you're too busy to express that value to them? The time and the effort? That's shit too. What you spend your time on is what you value. The only thing we get to keep from this life is our relationships with each other and if you don't invest in that, you can be rolling in riches and still have nothing. Don't get so wrapped up in your life, you forget what life is for and the important people in it. It breaks my heart to watch people throw away the most important relationships in their lives because they are too busy and don't realize how important they are.

You have no idea the power for good you hold by even the smallest act. That conversation tonight taught me all over again how powerful a sincere "how are you?" can be. You might be the only one who asked. You might be the one who breaks the wall. Who will you see on the other side?

365-09 #154


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quilt and Ponder, Quilt and Ponder. Next.

Tonight it felt like home. Allie had some friends over to play cards and while they played, I worked on a quilt and helped Stacey get the web server switched over. I didn't want to seem unsociable, but I am on a very tight deadline for this quilt. Most of my unscheduled time here at home will be devoted to it. As they wanted to use the table, I moved my sewing machine to my desk in the living room. I love where my desk is placed. It's in the far corner underneath my bulletin board and the window. Looking out, I can see the flowers on the deck to the left, the swimming pool and green lawn below, and a wide sky open before me. It's a wonderful place to work, to meditate, to let my thoughts flow over themselves like a river shifting around stones and sand. It's one of the reasons I like to quilt. In a repetitive pattern like this one, you don't have to think much. You pick up one purple block, one yellow block, and you sew them together. Next. This goes on for a very long time, especially with this pattern. But I'm enjoying the quiet time, the time to ponder, to mull, to just be where I am right now with no demands to pay attention to anything further than a yard away. What a gift of space to let myself fall into.

365-09 #153

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What a Great Time!

I got home late last night safe and sound. It's a good thing my friend, Julie, offered to talk me home on my cell phone, I was tired. She did most of the talking too, formulating coherent thoughts and voicing them was a challenge for me so I am most grateful.

Yesterday morning my sister and I got up and were out the door by 9:30 to go enjoy the Harley-Davidson Museum. I now know a lot more than I ever thought I would about motorcycles and Harley-Davidsons in particular. My favorite parts of the museum were the hands-on exhibit where you got to play with various parts of the engine to see and feel how they work and the room with all the motorcycles of different ages you got to sit on. A third favorite was the motorcycles through time display where you saw how they changed through the years. I understand the museum is pretty new and already a Mecca for Harley-Davidson riders.

In the afternoon we headed up the street from my sister's apartment the Miller Brewing Company. The tour includes a video, "Miller Time", somewhat informative if heavy on the propaganda side, a tour though the brewing and packaging rooms, the historical caves underground, with time in the drinking house for samples. Let me tell you, they don't give out little paper cup samples either, these are three full glasses of beer one after the other. I am told you do NOT order Budweiser in Milwaukee. Miller all the way. They eat and drink a lot in Milwaukee. It's a good thing we did so much walking because I might otherwise have gained some weight with all the fried foods.

All in all, I had a great time. It was great to see Megan, to spend time together and have fun. Most of the places we saw: Madison, the zoo, and the Harley-Davidson Museum were places she had never been before either so it was new for both of us. I also loved going to Mo's Irish Pub, it is not only an awesome building architecturally, but I loved all the signs, the decor, and especially the food and drink. We had a fun time there.

Now I will be working on completing all those things I knew I would need to be attended to when I got home. Fun, fun, fun!

365-09 #152

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