Monday, April 27, 2009


So I am strolling through the park on a beautiful warm lunch break and come across a young man, drawing with sidewalk chalk on the pavement.

Shortest Race Ever

it says. About six feet apart, two lines are drawn and labeled “Start" and “Finish.”

Oooo can I do it? I ask him.

Of course. That is what it is for! I position myself at the start. Ready. Set. GO!

I take off and two steps later cross the finish line.

You won! he says. Yessssss what an accomplishment. Why does the world love me so much? Sometimes I just do not know.

This post is part of the Blue-Beta Blog Coordination, a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Confuzzled of I Keep Wondering, Gromit of The Dancing Newt, Redoubt of Redoubt Redux, Third Mango of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Yarjka of Sour Mayonnaise, and Xanthippe of Let’s Save Our Hallmark Moment. This week's theme: 'finished'.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reflections on the Season

Love is born
with a dark and troubled face

when hope is dead

and in the most unlikely place
Love is born:

Love is always born.

God help us to live slowly:
To move simply:

To look softly:

To allow emptiness:

To let the heart create for us.

(A prayer, from one of my new favorite books). The theme for this time of my life seems to be grace. Grace, in a transcendent, transformative sense, not just the opposite of clumsiness, though they are likely related.

As I find myself reflecting recently, it seems that life - love - is so very much about the connection between sorrow and joy. Like in the cycles of nature, the decaying of old organic matter provides nutrients for new life to emerge. These tender green plants, nurtured by the sun's warmth, grow forth from the dark moist soil of life that has passed.

Anyway, that same process occurs within us. Over and over, sorrow wrenches from us that which we clutch. Over and over, loss increases our capacity. And grace, love as a force in the universe, restores and replenishes when we are certain we have run dry, each time, as we allow it. My focus during Lent was to empty myself, to allow the process to happen, to not hold back and to not push forward. Each time I denied myself (dessert or candy or cookies) served to remind me of this focus with which I entered the season. In many small ways, I learned to experience love - fierce, terrifying, joyful, surprising LOVE - at a greater depth and breadth.

A couple friends and I attended the Easter Eve service at Trinity Church. The ancient traditions, gently blended with modern sensibilities... the sacred decorations on the walls, windows, arches... the candles, the standing, the sitting, the kneeling at the altar and being blessed. The symbolism of the service truly resonated through my soul and body as we, strangers and friends, made the collective, symbolic journey from darkness to light, death to life.

The next morning, at my own faith's Easter service (LDS), the volunteer choir performed many carefully and sincerely prepared songs, and a few different members of the congregation shared their thoughts and feelings on the season. The final hymn was for the entire congregation to sing. For some reason, I wanted to stand to sing it. I wanted to feel the notes of praise and reverence coming from deep within me. I looked over at Julia and could tell that she wanted to stand up too. So we did. We stood up and began to sing so loudly and so joyfully and motioned to Rachel, who was sitting between us and stood up too. Nobody else joined, though.

For several lines of the hymn, at least. Then, out of the blue, the stake president and one of the members of the bishopric who were sitting at the front of the chapel, facing everyone, stood up. Then the rest of the bishopric. I don't know why they did it, maybe because they didn't want us to feel like we were standing alone. Since they were standing, though, everyone else in the entire meeting stood up as well. Feeling, seeing everybody rising up around us, joining together in this familiar song, made me feel so much a part of this congregation, something I had not felt in an LDS congregation in so long. So many things (doubts, questions, struggles with gender roles or gay marriage and other "official positions") make me feel separate from these brothers and sisters. That is not the point, though, for anyone to feel alone or separate, but to become whole, as individuals, and unified, collectively. And I know others struggle with these same things, but for once I felt a beautiful sense of belonging and support. Standing together, whole, different, unified. This is Zion.

I hope that I may continue to allow emptiness, to allow myself to be filled. I hope that I may continue to see small glimpses of the face of love which leave me trembling and blessed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh Gosh

I may need some intervention at some point. Too much fun. Too addicting.

"Just a Dream"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Apparently I am like a month behind the awesomeness that is text-to-movie animations. My debut.

"Pardon Me?"

Seriously, though, what else am I going to do on a Wednesday evening while my sister is sick/disappeared?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do you know what I don't like?

People hating on leaders.

I didn't like it when people, oozing moral or intellectual superiority, would say - or think - smugly, "I told you so" about Bush's decisions, secretly rejoicing when things went poorly as a result, and I don't like the naysayers who whine about how Obama's policies aren't going to work at reviving the economy, who just sit around with their precious money and bad attitudes.

People, if the policies of our nation's leaders fail, everybody loses.

If the economy still sucks in four years from now, are you going to be glad because you were right?

Can't anyone be positive about anything anymore? AMERICA - the America I love - it is better than Republicans or Democrats. It is creativity, innovation. It is pushing forward the dignity of every human being. It is the underdog. It is complicated, certainly, paradoxical even. But at its core it is more than what we're making it out to be.

Where is patriotism? Can we only be patriotic when our party is in power? I'm actually not even sure we can do that. No, because, by patriotism, I mean the love and dedication to your native or adoptive homeland, your people, that inspires you to work - with your hands or your mental energy or whatever you have to offer - to build it up. It is not a warm and fuzzy feeling you get when your party is in power which disappears suddenly at the next election leaving you standing by, bemoaning the current conditions.

Everyone is guilty of this - both sides.

Aren't we all Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Republicans? Why can't we do what is in our capacity to heal and rebuild our own communities, support those with the power to make broader decisions (and yes even constructively criticize, which is part of supporting but different from whining, in that it involves actually contacting them), and have hope and faith that things will work out? Are we just a bunch of lazy, pansy whiners who want somebody to read our minds and fix all of our problems for us?

Pleeeease, people.

Maybe I'm insufferably idealistic. I don't even care.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It Came

This little volume arrived in our lobby the other day:

I just love everything in this book. It is a collection of prayers and poems by an Australian comic artist. Every one is so freshly tender, each opens up your understanding in small and profound ways. Thank you ju for sharing the tiny bell poem.
God help us
If our world should grow dark;
And there is no way of seeing or knowing.
Grant us courage and trust
To touch and be touched
To find our way onwards
By feeling.

(Michael Leunig)

This post is part of the Blue-Beta Blog Coordination, a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Confuzzled of I Keep Wondering, Gromit of The Dancing Newt, Redoubt of Redoubt Redux, Third Mango of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Yarjka of Sour Mayonnaise, and Xanthippe of Let’s Save Our Hallmark Moment. This week's theme: 'touch'.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I saw you all, dozens, hundreds - stretched out across the sidewalks, driven forth by a day's worth of rains. Slivers of flesh, glistening under the streetlights as you flee from the puddles.

Oh holy ones who return dead matter to life!

And now, every step home, I watch the ground, avoid even the narrow twigs that have fallen, even the stray piece of string. Every stride is measured, careful. For to tread on these delicate creatures, even by mistake, would be a grave trespass against creation. Better to err on the side of caution and avoid slender terrestrial objects altogether.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Goals for Today

Goals for today:
1. Drink enough water.

Hm. So far so good.

Also, I've got a couple little joys currently in gestation (i.e. I haven't uploaded them). Soon. Soon.

That's not a goal though.