Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just a test

Seriously. I just wanted to see if I changed my time settings correctly. Not that I minded looking like I was hanging out in California.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Day Over 26

I had a great day yesterday, complete with surprize gifts, cards, wonderful food, and impromptu "Happy Birthday" songs from both my brother and my dear friend Hidi. (And, yes, David, you better believe I saved the phone message - I'll just celebrate my birthday to near-rhymes and laughter for the next 14 days). Thanks to everyone who made me feel appreciated!

It is a little funny to think just because that day a mark another year on earth, I should expect extra attention and free desert at the restaurant of my choice. In other words, those that forgot or didn't know, you are forgiven. (Besides, you likley didn't get a card from me on your Birthday did you? But now you're reading my blog, so you are subject to the dwellings of my minds, as selfish as that may be.) And I'm announcing that I am considering taking the focus of of myself. That is after Bible study, where I expect just a bit more hoop-la about my day.

Really, it's my mom's fault that I think that Feb. 26th is a special day. Part of me wishes I could have awoken in the house I grew up in and run down the stairs to a dinning room table featuring the Birthday Girl chair at the head and a modest stack of blue-and-yellow-wrapped packages.

But this year, the whole focus has shifted, and I am just greatful. For family. Memories. Love.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Tall Stone

I apologize for being so long in blogging. A lot of healing has taken place. I've been looking what I've written in my physical journal over the past couple days, and it did feel like I was building the Biblical altar. You know, when Abram received his promise from God, when Moses made it so far in the desert, when David stopped in his fleeing from Saul to praise, they made an altar. They made a pile of rocks so they could look back and remember that time when the Lord helped them. So here are some of the stones from the past few days...

"Mom called to fill me in - tell me the family 'had been called in' - though David and I are not. Fifteen minutes later he was gone. I don't know if I've ever talked with my dad before when he was that emotional...
...Paradox: pain is real, hope is eternal. Hope can look like callousness. Pain can look like faithlessness."

"The family decided to help out with David's airplane tickets, so he can come for the next few days. I pick him up in the mo[u]rning...
...[There was confusion that I was to take my brother's place as a pall bearer if he couldn't make it.] What a terrible thing to have family have to do. I know it is supposed to be a syumbol of respect - caryying a love one on your shoulders. Bearing them high... Something I thought I'd never have to do - a perk of being female? But right then I felt that convoluted mix of emotions of wanting to play the role for my family, but not wanting to go through the emotional journey...

...For the Night
Feather heavier,
bags packed. Clocks set. Flight arranged.
and joy commeth."

"Viewing today. Cousins I haven't seen in decades. Family I never met... It can be so hard to count on eterninty I cannot see - but the simple fact that I have not seen it is enough to tremble in awe of that which is greather than I can know."

"It is for ourselves we mourn - for the seemingly unbearable task of living while you are inaccessable. For the task of sharpening old memories in place of forming new ones. For the burn in muscles having to learn a new way of accepting your love. It is for oruselves we mourn - because we cannot be where you are...
...when the pastor said it ws time for us to pass by the casket 'for the last time'... How my brother did exactly what I wanted to do, and then I followed in turn, squeezing his arm in love liek we had so many times. (He felt so small.) And then hearing myself say 'See you again, soon, Grampa,' which forced my body into the mourning I had up to then tamed. and it was David's turn to hold and cry with and be strong...
...An Altar
I've saved you a stone,
dark and tall, to look back at.
Today you walked on."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Elmer Jacob Yoder
April 24, 1918 - February 17, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Deceptive Sunshine

Cold today in South-Central Indiana. But the sun makes me want to run outside in barefeet.

Why is it I gravitate toward writing about the weather?

There's so much more going on in my life, really. Think I might just be a little shy, not being able to see you. Not being able to know who you are, reading my thoughts. Though I only sent the address out to friends and family, there's the chance of a passerby. And why do I care that a "stranger" would know as much about my as my college buddies or my mom?

So. Here's what's on my mind, minus my mis-placed, though nearly consuming, desire to make it all poetical and insightful...

I will soon be sharing my home with my brother. After living counties and then state away from each other for the past nearly 8 years, will we... well... do the door-slamming, hair-pulling shout-it-outs that we never did as teens?

This month is my birthday. And I want attention. My grandfather may not be breathing on this earth to see me turn 26, let alone be in my wedding, hold my first child, or tell me any more stories about his life. He may not even remember me now.

Today I am closer to my dreams than I have ever been. Today is the day I dreamed about when I was 12.

Poetry books are composed of more than three poems. I need to write more.

Love is a decision. Decisions are the result of emotions and logic. Decisions form habits, which produce character. Love should be such a natural decision that it is just what I do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thanks, Old St. V

I just have to say that I'm decideding that today is a good day. I think that Valentine's Day should also be declared "National Contentment Day." A day to consider what love you have in your life. Yeah, a bit like Thanksgiving-Part 2. But an excuse, thanks to persecutions, love rituals and the coming of spring for me to take a look at what's good in my life.

So here's my self-reminder list that I am sharing with you today, just in case you end up in the 10-items-or less line with your single-serving microwave meals, scanning the store to see good-looking people buying roses and chocolate and stuffed bears for someone whose not you.

* I am loved by the Creator of the Universe. I am seen deeper than any human can see me by the one who has given everything to show me what value I have.

* My family rains down love on me everyday - their phone calls, letters, visits and emails, are sweet postings in my memory of what love without condition looks like.

* Dear friends, you make the mirror for how I see myself (be kind with your powers). So many of you have been the voice and hugs of Christ to me. Thank you.

* A church family that reminds me of my place in the body. The graciousness and encouragement there is nearly overwhelming to my soul. Thank you for loving me.

* And my cat loves me, even if that's mainly because I change her litter and give her tuna.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Wowing the Masses

Comments from yesterday's blogging made me take off and find out if a haiku can really be 7+9+7. Dicitonary.com has three entries.

One, a Japanese lyric written in three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables (stemming from Japanese/Middle Chinese words that mean "amusing" and "sentence"). Two, an epigrammatic Japanese verse form of three short lines. (Yes, I had to look up "epigram." It means a short, clever thought or expression. Talk about googling in circles.) Three, a city in Maui County, Haiwaii. And did you ever think about Haiwaii as the state with the longest coastline of the U.S.A.?

Shock and thrill your next dinner guests.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Inspired to do Math

First of all, I have to say I am so impressed with those of you who keep up with blogs everyday. Today (errr, this week), a blog from the WordNerd has inspired me to number crunch. Citing 250 words a day for a year, the WN calculates an annual linguistic out-put of 90,000-plus words. And I pondered, what would happen if I took that syllabically?

My Haiku-A-Day project began last summer, meaning an 5+7+5 written syllables a day. Thirteen x 365 = 4,745. Barley as many syllables as the average woman uses during her lunch break.

If nothing else, this little exercise sent me to Roget's Thesaurus to find another word for the noun "word" to use in sentence #3. Funny to me that we don't have another way to express that thing that is a single written word.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Shine the Snow

Saturday morning's window made me breathe deep - to breathe like a child in Narnia. Snow, like what we hadn't seen for weeks stood on porch, ground, roof, and bench. The secrets the trees had been hiding for weeks were displayed brazenly in heavy, reverse outlines. As if they remembered what standing on February ground felt like. Pine trees with new pride in their full skirts and maples reassured of the beauty of their nakedness, all accentuated by a world wiped clean of midwinter dirt.

And with the white-on-white speckled sky, the purity of Christmas expectation woke from the coma this past actual season seemed to induce. It felt right to be standing in wet snow, looking for stars and the nativity.

Then a sunshine today warms me back to Easter's promise.

Lest I forget the magic in Indiana weather.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Counting Chickens

Words written about words. I was so captivated by this concept, I stood and perused the New Non-Fiction section at the library for half an hour. And now Christine Ammer's The Facts of File Dictionary of Cliches has enriched my knowledge of tired English phrases.

For instance, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" is from an Aesop fable I never read about a milkmaid who, as she carries a full pail of milk on her head, starts dreaming of selling the milk for eggs that would hatch into chickens and make her rich, so that she tosses her head at imagined offers of marriage. And "Crying over spilled milk" says about what you'd imagine.

The expression "To aT," which always made me think of crumpets and little pink cups, is believed by some writers to date back to the late seventeenth century and allude to the T-square, used by draftsmen for accurate drawings. Other's think the idea comes from shortening the dot-your-i's-and-cross-your-t's expression.

And "More than one way to skin a cat" turned out much more animal-friendly in it's origin that I thought. Several writers claim the expression instead discribes a child's maneauver in getting into sitting position on a tree branch. But does it have something with being frustrated with the cat being up the tree again?

Mark my words, you'll be glad you got off your duff and picked it up. And you're sure to knock the socks off your friends in high places with your fresh-as-a-daisy knowledge of all things cliche and passe. Or simply by asking the question: Do chickens count skinny cats at tea time?