Thursday, May 29, 2008
i was curious to know what shuggie would say, so i asked her.
"do you remember where you were before you were born?"
"where were you?"
we don't usually use that phrase, "in Jesus" so this startled me a little.
"what was he like? was he nice?"
then she giddy-upped down the hall.
Friday, May 09, 2008
here is a video we made for our moms called "ladybug"...
here are some quotes that inspired us about moms...
"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. " -Tenneva Jordan
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."
An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. - Spanish Proverb
"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?" - Milton Berle
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
- Ambrose Bierce
The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
~William Goldsmith Brown
"There's nothing like a mama-hug." - Adabella Radici
"Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
"I cannot forget my mother. She is my bridge. When I needed to get across, she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely." - Renita Weems
"Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not." - James Joyce
"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
- Abraham Lincoln
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
i lived across the street from a girl named amy when i was a little kid (age 4-9). she was 4 or 5 years older than me (and much taller than me), so the kids in the neighborhood called her called her "big amy", and called me "little amy".
just a couple weeks ago her angry unstable ex-husband drowned their three beautiful children in a bathtub at a hotel room during his visitation period with them. he then attempted suicide himself but he survived. he made threats in the months prior to the murders that he knew killing her children was the worst thing he could do to hurt her. he was right.
here is more of the story:
i really can hardly even go there in my mind.
my heart aches for you tonight, amy.
may those kids come to you in a dream and let you know they are just fine, with the Lord.
i am welling up with tears in my attempt to connect with you about this. i know if i plug into the reality of what amy is going through i will just break down. i am afraid....
Lord, thank you for giving me courage. thank you for keeping your hand on amy during this time of grief. thank you for providing the comfort and the peace that seems so unbelievable during a horrific tragedy like this. you give us the peace that only you understand. thank you for helping us have faith. thank you for helping us forgive. thank you for helping amy forgive the man who dragged her though hell and murdered her babies.
thank you for helping her forgive you for allowing this to happen. thank you for helping us all trust you, and know that you are able to bring awesome things from horrible situations and deep pain like this. we really can't understand how you can let things like this happen, but we trust you, Lord, and we know you are with us. we are so grateful for you.
thank you for using my family in any way that we can be used to bring comfort and peace to amy's heart. thank you for helping me get my tears out. i just am so sad. it's just so awful. i'm just so sorry, amy.
(weeping... sobbing... can't type)
thank you for hearing me, Father. i love you. i wish you hadn't let this happen. but i trust you and i love you. thank you for helping us all learn what we need to learn from it.
in the name of Jesus i pray. AMEN and amen.
please give to the LOVE fund for amy: http://www.edison83.com/lovefund4amy/
Monday, February 25, 2008
this issue came up again over the weekend. i had to wade through a bunch of video footage, and i'm in a good bit of it. i've had to make some decisions as to what parts to include in the videos. yesterday, as i watched my excited little girl and myself gallop like "little horsey and mommy horsey" toward one of those big moon bouncers, i felt that cringe again, and i had the urge to delete it. just then, a clear, resounding thought filled my eyes with tears:
i choose to be free. i am what i am, and i look how i look. some days i look better than others. and, as morrissey sings, "some girl's mothers are bigger than other girl's mothers". and that's just fine.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
hold a mighty power
to build up
and to tear down
of the spirit
gives the strength
to control the impulse
so the gifts
in a harmful way.
we can give
with our words
(thank you God.)
photo: "road to heaven" by john watson
Thursday, January 31, 2008
(a poem for mary,
we're no longer
then one day
that "those others"
are really "our selves"
so we embrace
and are embraced
and are judged
and are attacked
and are forgiven
and are Loved
and all parts
of our selves
photos chosen especially for shuggie, artists unknown.
- lone horse found here
- mommy & baby snuzzling found here
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Author: Miguel Ruiz
Thursday, January 24, 2008
sometimes i'll go a while without stretching, like my tension is somehow serving me. then i remember the glo-stick, and i stop what i'm doing to stretch a bit. there's nothing quite like that feeling of being all lit up inside.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
If you do lack in wealth be not grieved. You have with you the wealth of contentment. You can remove every shortcoming of yours with this wealth. The discontented heart knows no peace. Every gain, no matter how big, is too small for it. From the empty branch to the leaves, from the leaves to the flowers, from the flowers to the fruits--all these are different stages of ambition.
Gulam Rue Zamin (Servant of the Earth)
"The First Rays of Dawn" Daily Devotional
January 20th, p. 8
Published by Priya Nath Metha; 1973
photo: "laura flowers" by laura
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
poppy is one of shuggie's three grandfathers. he is a brilliant, accomplished, and dignified man. i'd never seen him so fun and playful until shug came along. it's funny how little ones do that to us. it's wonderful actually.
"children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children are their fathers." ~ proverbs 17:6
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.
Dwell not on the past - only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.
Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.
Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.
Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.
And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength.
"God Calling Journal" recorded by Two Listeners,
Edited by A.J. Russell; Barbour Publishing Inc. (c.1996)
Monday, December 31, 2007
...and some words of Love from a dear soul...
"May this year
and the coming year
from all sorrows,
and may thou live
in peace and happiness
forever." ~ Nath
Gulam Rue Zamin (Servant of the Earth)
"The First Rays of Dawn" December 31st, p.209
Published by Priya Nath Metha; 1973
Saturday, December 29, 2007
the video pasted in below is a note for shuggie in the future.
it's dedicated to my mom's side of the family. after years apart, we met up over the holidays. it was awesome.
we all talked about how much we miss the lake house that's featured in the video. it's where we used to spend a lot of time together. my grandaddy built it by hand, along with the stairway and the dock. when he died we scattered his ashes off that dock.
we couldn't afford to keep the house, so we sold it. we took the pictures of it when we visited recently for the first time in many years. as soon as i saw the house i burst into tears.
i want to send special thanks and love to grandaddy and grandma. we miss you guys. we'll see you in our dreams...
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
picture credit: this lovely stained glass creation was not made by me, but i am sadly unable to give proper credit as it's just a picture i ran across one day and loved. if anyone knows please leave me a comment here.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
i learned a couple weeks ago that my contract at school would not be renewed. they're getting rid of a bunch of adjuncts, and i've been there the least amount of time, so i'm pretty much out. it's no big surprise. adjunct work is temporary by nature. and it's good in many ways. i'm ready for a change.
i wrote a farewell note to my students on a course blog i created. i wanted them to know that they have touched my heart and changed my life for the better. i also wrote a list of some things i've learned since i've been there. i thought it would be nice to post it here for posterity...
- i love making people laugh, especially groggy eyed students in the morning
-i made some good friends that i love and trust
-people sometimes get confused between studying war and studying peace
- the faculty and the administration could work together better
-the town and the university could work together better
-some of us hold back our creative energies because we're scared
-there are many challenging professors and not as many caring ones
-it is extremely stressful not to be able to find parking before having to do any kind of public speaking
-it's very challenging to be a substitute teacher for any length of time
-it's tough to teach while people in class whisper to each other, and it takes effort and strength to stop it
-this job didn't pay nearly enough
-some of us could believe in our students more than we do
-there is racial tension that could use some attention
-i find topics like prejudice and racism very hard to teach, and have come home to shed tears over it many times
-there are many students and faculty who could use some love
-when people have problems they are afraid to seek help through formal channels
-lots of people trust me with their secrets
-i've gotten pretty good at public speaking
-i'm not very good at grading people (too many A's)
-i am good at telling stories
-i truly care about my students and my colleagues, and many of them seem to notice and appreciate it
-i have truly enjoyed teaching
-i love improv comedy, like asking people to write questions and then answering them on the spot
-sometimes when i'd tell a joke i'd hear crickets, but i always kept trying
-my husband is awesome - he always helped me when i needed it
-i needed a lot of help
-we all need help sometimes
-i have a big stack of anonymous mental health questions from the beginning of this semester that i intend to answer and put on a blog for everyone to see
-most students are challenged by and worried about the same kinds of things
-there's always at least one person in class that doesn't dig me or my teaching style
- i was always early for work
- even on the days i dreaded teaching, it went ok
-even though i had a whole bunch of students, i learned many of their names
- it feels good to call people by name
-i love making videos and sharing them with people
-a bunch of people at school seemed to enjoy our videos
-i'd rather stay at home with my girl when it snows then brave the roads
-i really miss my little girl when i work a lot
-i miss my mom too
-it was surreal coming to work after the incident at tech. i was glad i did, but i'm not sure i'm completely over it. i look around and pay attention more than i used to.
- i am much less self conscious about my appearance than i used to be (which makes public speaking much easier!)
-i enjoyed the identity of "college instructor", and am not sure what to call myself now
-i said a prayer for all of my students during my last minute in the classroom
-i cried on the way home that day
-i'm getting choked up typing this
-i'm not sure what's coming around the corner
-i have faith it will be something great.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
if you had to carry me around in a backpack all day, would you love me anyway? if my lips got blown off in a plane crash, would you love me anyway? if i suddenly turned into a squirrel, would you love me anyway?
(that last one came from a student of mine... turns out he'd be a talking squirrel, which makes a huge difference in the "would you stay with me anyway" version of the game.)
of course, this game usually arises from silliness and a touch of insecurity, but it challenges the importance of our appearance (the look of our "meat suit," as we say). it asks about a deeper kind of love. it also asks questions about beauty: what is it? how important is it? what does it look like? what does it feel like? where does it come from?
with this in mind, and in the silliest of moods, i took a potato and drew a face on it, pretended it was me, and asked "would you love me anyway?"
(i invite anyone who writes or makes videos or whatnot to send me some of your own "would you love me anyway" stories. i'd love to see what you come up with.)
the idea of beauty always reminds me of a young woman i saw on oprah once. she was what anyone would consider physically gorgeous, until her entire body was badly burned when a drunk driver hit her car. her little face looked like it had almost melted away, like the way one of those really fancy detailed candles look after they've been used a few times. there was something permanently damaged about her eyes, though now i can't recall all the specifics. she had lots of health problems as a result of the accident, as you can imagine. honestly, she almost didn't look like a person anymore. it was so so so sad.
if i were burned from head to toe in a terrible accident, would you love me anyway?
i can't seem to locate a picture or any info from that show at the moment... (if anyone has info on this please pass it along) but i do remember that she wore a big sweet looking hat. i remember being horrified at what happened to her, naturally, and thinking, wow, she was so beautiful. that's so sad! what an awful awful thing....
then she spoke. and giggled. and giggled some more. and smiled an electric smile.
everyone in the audience that day was deeply affected by this young woman. she talked about the ups and downs. her story made us weepy. but with a joke and a chuckle, she made us laugh and feel good again. by the end of the show we all boo-hoo'd while she embraced the person that made the terrible choice to get behind the wheel that night.
that person (the "drunk driver") ... my heart goes out to them as well. it must be a tremendously hard thing to live with, much less to talk about openly. for some reason i can't even remember if that person was a he or she. there's just a blank spot in my memory there. (maybe that's a blessing.... maybe it's a good thing to let people start over again. let it be a mystery...)
even though much of the details elude me now, i will always remember the feeling i got when i saw that young woman hug the person who did this horrible thing to her. i remember thinking, now THAT is beautiful. SHE is beautiful. now i get it.
if i had a few drinks and hit your car on the way home, causing you to be burned from head to toe, would you love me anyway?
... oh my.....
picture credit: michael osborne, designer of the 2002 Love stamps
you can read more about the love stamps here:
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
these are things
i can't photograph
but it's all right
my broken heart
it breaks again
almost every day
over some thing
and then heals again
my love for some one
love is eternal
my anger toward my mother
my tangled emotions
are captured in
poems that flow through me
of my sister
a rainy day
isn't as important
as that last talk we had
before he left
or what he said
when he called me
in a dream
lives and breathes
in every thing i create
as for the sunshine....
it does feel good
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
there's a pain
that the artist
it's like the pain
or a kidney stone
or some other
on easier days
it's like a splinter
in your finger
or a knot
in a favorite necklace
is not actually
of the job
is God's Peace
it is real
from the inside-out
and it's available
even during childbirth
are part of your calling
we don't need
any of those things
to create miracles
we just need God.
Photo: An artist's impression of Supernova 1986. The newly discovered nebula around the black hole or neutron star in the center is shown in blue,and is in the center of the expanding, fragmented shell of material thrown off in the supernova explosion, which is shown in red. CREDIT: Norbert Bartel and Michael F. Bietenholz,York University; Artist: G. Arguner
Thursday, November 01, 2007
and it's name is Love
there's a creature in my mind
and it's name is fear
i invite Love
into my mind
Love Lives Forever
Love Conquers All
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
"yes, the many unite into one." then i said "what's the phrase? united we stand..."
divided. it's so obvious.