“music” 2.21.17

a sports pub friday night

an arena sunday night

about 50 people

about 2000 people

after work crowd drinking

believers praising

there were those moments that bothered me at the bar even though I was there because my husband was singing and playing

and enjoyed myself

there were those moments that bothered me at the concert even though I was there as a believer at a Christian concert

and enjoyed myself

we live in a fallen world

filled with fallen people

we are all looking to feel something real

from pub revelry

to concert emotionalism

all were there to feel something

all were affected by the experience of the music

in a world gone numb

tunnel visioned by scrolling screens

tumbled vice in a  glass

the music still plays

and God still speaks

always

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I can’t play a thing.

I can sing okay…when I have a stronger voice and a melody to fall behind.

But I married a muscial guy and we made musical kids.

I have come to appreciate the flowing power of music to make one feel and remember.

I am better for it.

Cheers!

sing

 

 

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HERE_five minute friday

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One-thousand tasks to be done & zero plans fulfilled

Four children who need now & a single dream still fuzzy in the horizon

A do-er who needs to be a fighter

Right here

Right now

Invisible battles

Hints of somethings

Half-true phrases

Spinning around;right here

“doing is not the same as fighting” He says

Doing finds just the right stride and propels forward

Fighting finds the accurate stance and stands firm

Right where I am.

Right here.

Stop.

stand your ground

Linking up late in the day at Kate’s Place for another Five Minute Friday after a full day instead of part of my usual quiet morning routine.

But I am here.

Cheers.

things pile up_shadow shot sunday_poetry

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Things pile up

As things often do

 

The lumped the clumped

The unrecollected and the neglected

 

Piles on the chair

Wet towels on the rail

Bills unpaid in their envelopes

Letters yet placed in the mail

 

But never ever let

Me with you & you with me

Be a task shrugged to the corner

Pitiful pile I’d hate for others to see

 

God help us and help us swiftly

The day you and I become

That task we must sort through

And be done with quickly

 

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Linking up with the international crowd at Shadow Shot Sunday

& the sensitive souls at Emily’s Imperfect Prose

I have long noticed that photography and poetry seem to feed off each other in my brain.

It is the light touch, the capturing of ideas without saying a word-

that I want to make more room for here at my spot.

Emily’s spot {the imperfect prose link above} is highlighting Lisa Jo Baker’s and her wise, wise words on motherhood.

As always, I forgot its mother’s day weekend. {not a celebrator of commercial holidays I also forget my anniversary}.

But since writing this poem on marriage, I have been reflecting on the truth that I discovered long ago:

the best things you can do for your children is stay in love with your husband

{and its harder and takes more work than keeping a clean house, or sending your children to school with clean, matched clothes}

So enjoy!

It is after all, finally May, my favourite month, the month of light, color, and joy.

I always think of Guinevere belting out “the lusty month of May” twirling with flowers sewed into her gown and in her hair in Camelot.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

light through a crack_ shadow shot sunday

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this, the shortest of months

is the darkest of months

but into the dark a little light will shine

a reprieve of bitter when i awake to optimistic sunshine

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february sun most often brightens the eye but fails to warm the head

but sometimes, only sometimes, it spreads and fills the house, fills myself, in warmth like a wool hat on my head

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i long to feel this distant furnace poised in the outside sky for myself

but dust that piles & bedrooms stale, beckon me, knowing they will be cleaned only by myself

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it is the only mama, and oh, how at first she complains and laments the task is hers alone

who scrubs, makes domestic war, and airs out- but the pleasure of it slowly fills her, like the sun, on her alone

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light pours and pours on rooms familiar, objects dear,

dust dances in brokah shots, but i think it rather adds, seems to endear

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dirty finger- smudged glass reveal winter clouds are gathering up again

the sun, that fleeting winter furnace in the sky, disappears for good, but I know it will return again

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and the hope of it rises-stubborn as passing time

knowing each day it marches closer, stronger in its stride to spring time

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and i feel it, it bursts out slivers of powerful comfort…

Like Light Through A Crack

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Linking up with the international photographers at Shadow Shot Sunday 2, after a long, long absence.

Photography and prose makes me slow down, notice, and be thankful in that simple way.

And that is a good thing.

You should look in or join in because we could all use some more good things.

Cheers.

some fridged photography, some okay prose, and a sarcastic book review of Wuthering Heights

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  it is half passed 7am and school is under yet another two hour delay because of windchill deemed too dangerous for children walking to school to face head on

mine sleep in and I hunker down with mug and pen

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the sun: its shocking brightness lifts the soul, even as it is incapable to warm

gray shadows diagonal on blue-white snow still cast a pretty frame out my window that is freezing to the touch

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the lady of the snowy lake that is now my sidewalk garden

stands vigil in weathered patina cracked base  sunlit silhouette

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my soapstone birdbath capsized before Christmas and remains a permanent frozen fixture to the yard

unlike the wood ash that scatters and swirls as soon as it is thrown under the lilac

hopeful nutrients for the bush when the ground thaws

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this clean slate of a month that forces us to slow down when the year is new

it has been cruel in its coldness brutal its restless arctic winds

but this season of desolation is good for the soul because somehow in a way i am not all together sure

the season enables Spring to be sweet Summer to be too swift and Autumn to be a jewel in a crown

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It has been far too long since I ventured out for some photography.  Far too long since I tinkered around with words, for the sake of tinkering around with words, and far too since I have spent so much time on a goodreads book review, for the sole reason to get a laugh.  If you go to this social media site for bookworms and read other reviews on “serious classics” you will get usually one of two types of reviews.

Review type A going something like:  “it was long and confusing, and I did not finish it. {Please note, that in a nutshell, this is how my reviews of any Charles Dickens book I have ever tried to read have typically read…so do not write me off as a book snob…yet}.

Review type B then reads something like a collage term paper peppered with lots of snide remarks, akin to something the spin off character,Frasier Crane from Cheers, in his show Frasier would say. { I still watch the reruns on netflix} Oh, and they always write “protagonist” never “the main character”.

I had such mixed feeling with Wuthering Heights.  But it was the first book I was to read on a facebook book club I recently joined so I made sure to give it due diligence. But since some people in the group have not finished book, I did not want to discuss too much, and ended up with a very sarcastic commentary about The British and classical literature and the all the annoying characters in this depressing book, especially the protagonist in particular.

Enjoy

wuthering heightsone of the best illustrations out of the old vintage copy that I own

Wuthering Heights has long been one of those classics that I should of read long ago,and causes everyone who knows me to become instantly outraged upon learning I have not in fact read it, long ago. It took a book club for me to finally accomplish crossing “read Wuthering Heights” off my life list. Two chapters in I was vividly reminded why I never muscled through this British Literary Romance Classic {see it sounds so good, so ME!} For those of you not familiar, this entire book it is told from a minor character who happens to become acquainted with the famed “Heathcliff”, a Mr. Lockwood. After an awkward meal, a strange and horrible night encountering a ghost, Mr. Lockwood happens to meet the old housekeeper of the rude, unruly, and altogether surly, Heathcliff. She is the only nice one in the whole book: a Mrs. Dean. Heathcliff’s only friend, whom he regularly verbally abuses. From this point on nearly the entire remainder of the book, except for the last few scenes, are told from Mrs. Dean’s perspective, as she relates the sad, twisted tale of Wuthering Heights to the now stricken and sick in bed Mr. Lockwood. {NOTE: most characters are sick and stricken, weak, and prone to fever. Some eventually succumb to a slow drawn out death because they foolishly walked in the dew as it grew chilly…they should of known those fools! But the Brontes were a sickly, depressed lot, so I suppose it makes sense that Emily Bronte’s one and only book is full of weak sick characters.} A-a-a-nyway.
Getting passed the confusing way this novel is told, and once one gets a handle on, that like most British classic writers, the narrator will call one character about seven different names. {even the narrator herself is referred to as “Mrs.Dean, Ellen, or Nelly, and one occasion, Guster!
No not really. I just wanted to see if anyone read my rambling { }s. }
What I did enjoy was that you find yourself rooting for a character, then being only sympathetic because you feel so sorry for them, then maybe a little disgusted, then you wish they would die, then you think, “oh okay, I guess they can live, they are not that evil, they just have issues”. That is hard to do, and Bronte does that with nearly all of her characters. Obsession is portrayed, in all its dramatic insanity-driven proportions. At one point I truly wished “The Grange” would collapse and wipe out the entire cast of characters, except for Nelly/Ellen. I wished she could of ran away with a nice, honest milk man. I enjoyed the writing and the phrasing, especially the descriptions of the moors and nature and night. And lastly, Wuthering Heights portrays some redemption and closure in its sad tale, as those family members who have had to bear their parents sins and Heathcliff’s vengeful obsession, choose to rise above their supposed destiny. The end of the book leaves the reader with some delightful interpretation as to what some of the final scenes really mean, which always make for a good book club discussion.

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The book was not this sexy, or I probably would of gave it four, not three stars.

Cheers

 

Untidy

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she seldom will pick up

she rarely puts away

she often knocks over the paint brush cup


she forgets immediately what i say…

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dusty & smeared & stained

a housewife's great regret & pain…

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but to the photographer such a colorful display of untidy

grabs the eye & waves a hand & says howdy

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Linking up with  again with Shadow Shot Sunday 2.

Yesterday I was reading Robert Louis Stevenson's picture book of A Child's Garden of Verses, {an old vintage edition with illistrations by Gyo Fujikawa my favorite illustrator}

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to the babe and was reminded how much I like little poems about everyday life.  This post is a humble contribution.


Check out more shadows from all over creation by following the link.

Cheers.

Sending them to school on Monday after the Sandy Hook shootings on Friday

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I was enjoying dinner with my sisters and Mother, a once a year Christmas treat, on Friday evening.  That is when I first heard about the shootings in Newtown, CT. 

The waitress interrupted six women imagining the worst thing that could happen to our children, wanting to know if we were ready to order.  I felt empty, sad, and guilty shopping at TJMaxx afterwards.

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with my husband's family. 

It was everything that Christmas is supposed to be with family.

And yet.

The heaviness.

The hushed quick conversations between the adults about the tragedy.  Not wanting the children to hear.  Please no, keep the ugly evil out of their mind a little longer, please.

I found myself hoping that my own six-year-old would tell me her throat was sore again, so I could justify keeping her home. I did not want to put her on that bus. 

Maybe it is a coincidence, but many children and their mother's were not at the bus stop this morning.  For a moment the idea grabs holds of me that like me they kept their babies home.  Irrational yes.  I feel a sting of something akin to guilt in a split second:  should I have done the same?

It makes no sense.  But neither does Friday's shooting.

But she ran up to the bus, idling and flashing its extended stop sign. She was excited because "everyone has to wear green today, cause its grinch day". She chose the velvet green dress her grandmother made years ago for a sister whose grown too big to wear now.

All this weekend images in my mind bobbed to the surface of my mind as I enjoyed family; enjoyed the Season of Hope. It would stop my breath. The tiny world before my eyes slowed its pace in front of me, and it seemed so pointless, so profane to be celebrating and happy right now.

But what exactly am I supposed to do?

So I shopped. 

Eat, drank, and was merry.

Today my babe turns 4 years old and she wants to celebrate.  I want to celebrate with her.

Late Friday night after Tim and I talked and cried till the fire was low I slipped in bed with each sleeping daughter and wept.  I thanked God for the breathe I could feel filling up quietly in their lungs.

I wept for the parents of twenty dead babies. The others who lost spouses, sisters, brothers. I knew I should pray for them, but no words came. 

What precisely could I pray? Every thing seemed again, pointless and profane.

I did not even what to post anything about the shooting.

I am a 32 year old housewife.  I know nothing.

And yet, I know what it is to be a mother.  I am certain millions of mothers in this country and around the world are sharing a mutual messy muck of emotions birthed by grief, fear, and unanswered questions. It is with them in mind that I reluctantly strike these keys, trying to get what wants to get out of my head and onto a screen, as simply and gently and honestly as possible.

Self-indulgent.

That is the other side of the penny.

Talking heads with suits and microphones are addressing all the usual suspects:

Gun control, mental disorders, along side theological explanations of an angry God: neat tidy sound bites that attempt to explain the thing that no one wants to say:

Evil is real and among us.

Will legislation on guns stop its spewing?

Will increase shuffling of money to psychological institutions remedy darkness of the heart?

Even the religious rights' chants of our need to teach intelligent design instead of evolution, will not slow down the march of evil.

Yeah, alarming rates of increased violence needs to be addressed.

Mental sickness is real and complex and needs to be brought out to the light even more.

Instructing children they are designed with purpose and therefore matter, and not a random mutating accident would provide a much needed foundation of divine value to a child's mind.

 None of those debates dominating the news and internet right now are extending any comfort to the grieving today.

That is why I use the word self-indulgent.  It temporarily soothes the ones who just like to be heard, or the ones whose heart is so torn he or she can't delve in deep because it hurts too much.

A band-aid for gangrene.

No, as I cried in my daughters' darken rooms on Friday none of those things came to my heavy mind. What filled my mind's eyes was,

The image of Christ crying out:  O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, how often would have I gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.                                    Matthew 23:27

 

The baby we celebrate at Christmas, the dying man we remember and give thanks for on Easter is all that can stand before, explain, and defeat the disturbing evil of 20 children dead.

But, like a ping pong ball in my head, all I could then refute in my mind was:

" But if that was my baby I would be just as angry at that same Jesus as I would be heartbroken for my child"

And yet, it is this Jesus, this God-Man that on Friday at 9:30am at Sandy Hook Elementary seemingly was either not around, or incapable of stopping a twenty-year-old, that those parents, the whole community, our entire grieving nation needs right now.

And that is why experts will keep on talking about guns laws and mental sickness as their own offering to explain and hopefully solve evil acts like Friday.

It is easier to explain evil on human terms, because the divine alternative seems so out of reach.

Yet, kneeling on their quilts I was flooded with the truth that God is near the broken hearted. 

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep" wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem Christmas Bells.

{Mark Hall of Casting Crowns made this into a song titled I heard the bells, and it is one of the most beautiful moving songs I have ever heard and recommend down loading it}.

The poem's stanzas before state eloquently:

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men !

And in despair I bowed my head:

"There is no peace on earth" I said,

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!"

The Wrong shall fall,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will towards men!"

 

The question of why does God let evil things happen is as old as religion itself. This lady will not attempt to sound theologically smart or offer trite simplistic answers.  Yesterday I came across the written words of David Platt.  His book Radical, I consumed a weekend I spent away, by myself last March.  It altered, set my mind spinning, yet put it at great peace all at the same time.  I, my husband, and my children are not the same because of the simple, humble truth of his book.  He wrote such sensitive, sound words about Friday's shooting.  A thousand times better than this fool. If you are grappling and feeling heavy and unsure please read his article.  It blessed me. 

And of course, the lady who I consider a modern day prophetess. That Canadian, pig farmer's wife and mother of six, Ann Voskamp, wrote in her blog post today, a Holy Experience  words beautiful, true, and sure. 

Wavering, fearful one read her spirit-filled words.

Lastly, you mothers who are being crippled with fear because it's unsafe, but you can't keep them locked at home.  Because everyone is saying the killer's parents were good people and had a good home, and you find yourself stopping mid stream in your day and staring, and imagining and you hold your breathe and want to cry…

Breathe gratitude for what you have right now.

God lives in the present now.  Be present and thankful now.

Banish the "what ifs" and "how comes".

Chose to enter in instead, in the real grief of others right now, not coddle your own imagined.

Pray God will comfort hearts broken.  Christ will tenderly gather up his children who are confused and hurting like a hen with her chicks. We posses the ability to step into and be the real spiritual healing balm of Christ when we pray for others in Christ name. That is one of the greatest and amazing gifts of Christ to us.

Do this every time you get gripped by your own thoughts.

It is not natural, or easy, but it is healing.

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I have been so blessed by Ann Voskamp's words in her book One Thousand Gifts .  She has recently put out a devotional . Mainly writing about the topics of pain, hard questions, and finding joy and light in a broken dark world.  I feel a sure whisper to head on over to Amazon, put several copies of her devotional in my shopping basket and purchase those books.  Any one who would like to read her words, all based on Scripture and what Christ taught while He walked this earth, need only email me and supply your own mailing address and I will send it out for free. A gift, to those in need of the lifting power of the gift of true humble words bound in a book.

leahbeecher@hotmail.com

Cheers