harry and betty

as i was looking through old photos of my paternal grandparents, i found this pattern in them, where my grandfather is always kind of tilting his head toward my grandmother... somehow i never really remembered him being so much taller than her.

and really, there are so many things i don't remember about them, never knew about them. i knew that they were amazing people, world travelers (to all 50 states, many times, all the Canadian provinces, and 77 foreign countries, as shown on the map in their basement) and that they overcame some pretty incredible challenges to do amazing things - my grandfather was blind, yet published a book and made great advancements for those with limited eyesight in the early days of computers.

but there were (and still are) so many things i didn't know about them. i never understood their desire for peace and justice... my grandfather's spirituality and longing to be a part of change in society, my grandmother's interest in micro-finance and great desire to see peace throughout the world, both of their involvement in their church, especially around issues of peace... and what i have really learned most about since their passing, what i most longed to believe in but had begun to give up on in the past few weeks, is that it is possible to love a person back to health... and not only is it possible, but it is necessary for all of us to have someone there to listen and take us in when times get hard and help us figure things out and love us unconditionally, even when we aren't making sense. and this is my longing, and this is my calling, and this is how together our lives are still unfolding.

in closing, the passage chosen for my grandmother's memorial service, that rings so true to my heart, and so i hear, so true to hers:

In the last days
the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths."
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
Isaiah 2:2-4


wearing black

Rest in peace.
The meaning of your lives
is still

Rest in peace.
In me
the meaning of your lives
is still

Rest in peace, in me.
The meaning of your lives
is still

Rest. In me
the meaning of your lives
is still

Rest. In peace
in me
the meaning of our lives
is still

-alice walker

with love, goodbye
(for grandma betty
july 31, 1924 - june 14, 2007)


God, i feel so cluttered. cluttered body, cluttered heart, cluttered life. i am in need of a serious cleansing. but what to purge? there is so much that really must go. i can't live like this any longer.

as i lay with my head on the floor, my ear to the hardwood, i hear the fan beating in the room underneath me, and i like it. all things are interconnected, forever.


life = sigh

there are too many people to catch up with, to keep in touch with, to show love to. and i am so blessed to have all of them in my life, but also, i am exhausted. i am sorry to those people i have left behind for too long. i am trying.

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
- The Alchemist; Paulo Coelho


live frugally on surprise (my version)

washing dishes in the kitchen after a successful house meeting,
listening to nickel creek, i think,
"this is what life is about."
just taking joy in the small things, seeing beauty in
the people around me and the little actions
that make up everyday life.

i am incomparably happy, and i find
excessive happiness in each day.
the weather helps.
but mostly it's people
and trees
and poems.

i am glad to live fully,
being completely present,
desiring no more than
my daily bread
(and of course God's Kingdom on earth).

and there is nowhere else i'd rather be,
although perhaps there are people i wish could share life with me-
especially my sister
and women who are like sisters
and many who i don't know yet but share my dreams and visions and
frame of mind.

because it really is a great place,
this city where i now live-
ripe and longing for community
and new life
and you.


not nice

i realized this morning that i am really not a very nice person. i do want to learn to love people fully, but doing good deeds randomly is just not my thing. i long to be authentic; to be a part of healing and bring wholeness, but i very much dislike making small talk. i want real, lasting relationships, not to be fake-nice to lots of people i don't know. and for me, it would be fake. so i am perhaps not so nice, but i think i like that about me.


midwest evening

a perfect night, rainy and muggy
the blue that opens up over cornfields onto a backdrop of trees
a thousand lightning bolts dazzle the sky
that stretches out for miles in all directions
and lightning bugs fly past like shooting stars
as headlights reflect on the street, dancing with rain.