Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coffee with Madeleine

Madeleine L'Engle was one of my favorite authors growing up. As I devoured her stories, I would insert my own character into them and make up new adventures with Meg and Charles Wallace, with Vicki and Zachary. Her skeleton of quantum physics gave my world a structure and power that finally made sense, and explained my impossible reality.

Then I heard her "adult" books were "Christian". I still rigidly tied Christ together with the Church, and wanted both of them as far away from me as possible. Rather than taste for myself, I trusted my intellect (bad move!) and moved on to other authors.

Perhaps, had I trusted her enough to follow through uncomfortable places, I could have short-cut my own journey by 17 years.

Mama D. gave me 3 of Madeleine's books for Christmas. She is my brother's mother in law. Does that make her my mother in law in law? Any rate, January's stolen moments with Madeleine are bringing delight, recognition-- and challenge.

She reminds me so of my Grandmother. Granny was still of the "children should be seen and not heard" camp when I was growing up, and my ubersensitive personality inflated that and carried into young adulthoood before she died. Yet after death, she affects me daily more powerfully than ever in life. I wish I'd been smart-loving-brave-presumptuous-WHATEVER enough to chase that down while still she lived. A powerful woman, a powerful Christian-- but that which I now see as worth pursuing chased me off as a child.

So too it is with Madeleine. I mourned her death but now she's with me as I ponder, or recognize myself in her words, or snarf coffee out my nose in hilarity.

I wish I hadn't wasted so much time. I wish I knew enough then to grab hold of what I know is important now. Bu I am sooo grateful that long after their deaths, these two extraordinary women are still dancing in my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saying Good Night

If the only reason the truck fried and we needed the flatbed was so the stranger staggering down the side of the road didn't freeze to death, it was a night well spent.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shield sheltered, foe facing
Astride alone, aloft in a saddle
Strongly stitched, skins stretched
On wood felled and fashioned
To tame a tireless tide
Buoyed by winter’s wool
Warmly woven, colors clashing
Cinched snugly, buckles bright
By singing smith-strong strokes
Leg leathers, lightly laced
Wrap the war steed’s snorting surge
Rebellion reined to reason
With the horseman’s weird whisper
Weapons waiting, formed to feed
Arrows quiver, fletched to fly
Sword’s sharpened shine unsheathed
Seeks to silence, lethal loyalty!
Banner breaks on skysurf
Snapping sea of stitches
Singly sewn, my clan's commanding
proclaims my presence
Lone in a lake of rivals rage
Shield sheltered, foe facing
One warrior battlebound
The vast village, ahorse in its arts
Rides unseen alongstride

Burst the Bounds

I start Madeleine L'Engle's "the Irrational Season" this morning, book 2 of Mamma D's Christmas gifting. As the sun groggily staggers above the horizon, I once again whirl and revel, agree and question L'Engle's luscious prose.

This sentence sparks a pyrotechnic WAHOOO! that blows me off the sofa!

I saw creation bursting the bounds of daily restriction, and stretching out from dimension to dimension, beyond any human comprehension.

Bursting the bounds of daily restriction... I recognize in that my Wild Joy. THAT is the way I want to live!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Morning Mare Check

Between the bitter wind and the burning cold, I expect to find a newborn foal, just out of principle. But the pasture status is still quoing. Luna's still standing in the hay, happily getting larger as the round bale disappears down her gullet.

The young-uns are keeping her company. Grace marches right over for attention. SkySong was sleeping sunbathed in the hay--she takes a little longer to wake up.

I find myself singing "In Your Eyes" as the horses' glossy orbs reflect our world-- and me--into the iPhone camera...

"...In your eyes, I am complete...."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bend

I hate that corner.

Its a 90 degree bend in a country road, close enough to town for convenience, far enough out to keep dirty secrets. The parking area is littered with rotting garbage, tattered sofas and silenced torments.

Jeannie's son was driving home late one night. As he rounded the bend a car screamed out of the darkened pull off behind him. The driver seemed crazed, honking and trying to run the young man off the road.

I don't remember the details of the rest of the story. It ended up with Jeannie calling the cops and her husband grabbing a gun and joining in the car chase. The cops cornered the psycho in the parking lot of a local hotel. As they were cuffing him they discovered a small boy-- his stepson-- frozen, silent, and bloodstained in the backseat of the car.

I hate that bend.

I use that shortcut this afternoon, racing home from town on the misty fringes of the icestorm. Something catches my eye about an old barn, makes me want to pull over and play with photos. I remember with delight I'd thrown my camera in my bag that morning. I look for a pulloff. My heart sinks and my hackles rise as I realize where I am.

I maneuver my Subaru through cast-off Christmas trees and decaying deer carcasses. I can see the barn through the mist. It reminds me off the cover of the book, "The Shack." I shudder and start praying over the area.

As I walk along the road away from that dreadful parking area, I slip into that amazing place-beyond-words between the camera and the world around me. At some point a man comes out to check his mailbox. "Looks like that barn could use a fixer-up," I laugh.

"Or a strong wind," he replies ruefully, "we hear it creaking and groaning at night...."

The low battery warning leads me back to the car, back to the Bend. Praises and prayers again flow freely. A powerful Peace washes over.... I climb into the car.

view complete gallery...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year 2009

The New Year. Perhaps it's just placebo, this annual rebirth we step into each January. We turn a calendar page which marks a made-up measurement of imaginary time and call it a milestone.

Placebos may be counterfeits, but their results are really real. I say, bring it on!

I've been chewing on this year's resolution for a few days now. I wished everyone a New Year of wild joy, and realized this was my resolution. To live every moment with Wild Joy.

I smile, remembering that long ago realization and accompanying commitment that who I am is Bold and Sparkly. Why is it, I ask again, that we need to constantly remind ourselves what we already know?

Wild Joy is my birthright as a son and heir of the Creator and Lover of EVERYTHING. It's the food that charges my body, jazzes my spirit, and ignites that Love that glues me to everyone in my world.

And it's also a choice.

It's not conditional joy: my circumstances are perfect and the stars harmoniously converge and so I'm joyful. It's not a rebellious joy: I'm joyful to spite my circumstances. That would still define and limit Joy by the parameters of circumstance. It's a Wild Joy, outside of circumstance, generated moment-to-moment by choice rather than cause-and-effect.

A commitment anew rather than a new commitment.

I haven't yet put 2009 planner pages in my Ta-Da Book. The year stretches untouched in front of me, the open space welcoming Wild Joy with an wide embrace.