Thursday, July 14, 2016

Montana Meandering

Vacation week for me and hubs. The beauty of this place is astounding. 

Glacier Poem
by Jacob

You can think you are big, strong, powerful. Really though?
As you look up the mountains,
That sense of pride falls away.

Maybe the screech of the eagle nips at your ears, 

Read the rest here.

Today's round up is at A Year of Reading

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A New Center

Spiritual Journey Thursday. Thoughts to consider.

We need a new center;
not a transformation but a transposition
We need the completion
not of the soul but of its radical change
A new order of life and love
A new order born of the spirit.
   --P.T. Forsythe

There is a Center in every man in which and through which God works. To that Center He speaks; through that Center He acts. When a man discovers his own divine Center, he stands at the gateway to powerful living.
   --Fr. John Gaynor Banks, The Master and the Disciple

There are three blocks to discovering one's true center. The first two have to do with the forgiveness of sin: either our failure to forgive others, or our failure to receive forgiveness from God. The third has to do with one's own inner vision of oneself and the failure to acquire the virtue of self-acceptance. However much a person lives out of diseased attitudes and feelings toward the self, to that extent he will fail to find and live from his true center where God dwells, speaks, and empowers him.
   --Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Give Me Words

I am so thankful today for the sweet Summer Poem Swap gift of homemade art, joyful words, and creativity that arrived on my doorstep from Margaret Simon. It has been a week! One that needed  some happy, settling thoughts! 

I'm in the process of assuming a role in my in-laws' finances. That, in an of itself, is a scary thought since I have a hubby who does the personal stuff and a bookkeeper daughter does the business stuff. But dad is 92 and blind, and mom is 90 and forgetting things, important things, like paying bills.

I began the afternoon by calling the retirement office on my cell phone. There was a twenty minute wait, so while I was on hold, I called the insurance company on my home phone. They needed permission from dad to talk to me over the phone, so I walked next door with both phones, forgetting that my home phone could only go so far before the signal cut off--which it did while dad was talking to them. I called them back on dad's phone and got that straightened out. Cell phone is still on hold, so I called the cable/phone provider on the home phone. While she had me on hold, the retirement office finally answered and we resolved that very quickly after my forty-five minutes of standing in an invisible line. The cable lady came back and we resolved another one.

Then I headed to the insurance office. I walked into the State Farm building but they had no record of mom and dad in the computer and told me I was probably at the wrong office. Seems there's another State Farm office less than a mile down the road, so I turned around and went back to the other one, who also had no record of them. I looked down at my notes and realized I was supposed to be at the Allstate office, which by the way was two doors down from my first stop. Finally reached the right place, talked to the right person, and checked another one off my list.

Good grief!

I prefer words over numbers. Words, give me words!

And that's just what Margaret did. Hooray for the Summer Poem Swap!

The quote at the top is from Emily Dickinson: To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

Margaret was my swap partner and I sent my poem to her last week. She posted it at Reflections on the Teche. Then, feeling very serendipitous, she took four words from my poem and used them in her poem to me. What fun this was to receive--a handmade card, a hand-lettered poem, and a tiny little book of quotes, called Living a Joyful Life.


Easy smiles
Roads are long
Every midnight
     becomes a
New morning
Dripping grace
Invitations arrive
Peace bubbles
In water's
Time hears
Your gratitude

© Margaret Simon, 2016.

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, who masterminds these poetry swaps and also hosts today's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

The Real Problem

For Spiritual Journey Thursday, I'm sharing a few quotes from C.S. Lewis that I've been meditating on this week.

What is concrete but immaterial can be kept in view only by painful effort.
       --C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

Christ says, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you."
     --C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking the other point of view, letting the other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day...
    We can only do it for moments at first. But from those moments the new sort of life will be spreading through our systems because now we are letting Him work at the right part of us.
     --C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Song

Photo by Neal Simpson

Summer Song
by William Carlos Williams

Wanderer moon 
smiling a 
faintly ironical smile 
at this 
brilliant, dew-moistened 
summer morning,— 
a detached 
sleepily indifferent 
smile, a 
wanderer’s smile,— 
if I should 
buy a shirt 
your color and 
put on a necktie 
where would they carry me?

Hoping this summer day carries you to grand adventures.

Visit Diane at Random Noodling for today's roundup. 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Add caption

Lane Smith is a wonderful illustrator with many recognizable titles. Visit his website and take a look.

There is a Tribe of Kids opens with our body decked in a costume of leaves hugging a kid (the goat kind), but left alone the the tribe of kids climbs a mountain slope too steep for our hero to accompany them. Through the book, we follow our hero on his adventures through the natural world. Perhaps he's looking for his own tribe of kids, but along the way, he struts with "a colony of penguins," flaps his wings with "an unkindness of ravens," and crawls with "a turn of turtles."  

Gorgeous illustrations add layers of delight to this lovely lyrical text. 
This is my favorite spread from Lane Smith's new book There is a Tribe of Kids
Visit Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for a study of Smith's sketches from idea to finished manuscript.

For a review and excellent interview, visit Shelf Awareness

Be sure to stop by Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday roundup!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Earth's Crammed with Heaven

It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, so I'm sharing these bits from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I especially like the "lily-muffed hum of a summer bee" and the idea that even something so small is a reminder of the grandeur of our spinning universe and the one who created it. So much here to contemplate!

from "Earth's Crammed with Heaven"
(excerpt from Aurora Leigh, Book VII)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

....Natural things
and spiritual,--who separates those two
In art, in morals, or the social drift,
Tears up the bond of nature and brings death,
Paints futile pictures writes unreal verse,

...Without the spiritual, observe,
The natural's impossible;--no form,
No motion! Without sensuous, spiritual
Is inappreciable;--no beauty or power!
And in this twofold sphere the twofold man
(And still the artist is intensely a man)
Holds firmly by the natural, to reach
The spiritual beyond it,--fixes still
The type with mortal vision, to pierce through,
With eyes immortal, to the antitype
Some call the ideal,--better called the real...

...Nothing's small!
No lily-muffed hum of a summer-bee,
But finds some coupling with the spinning stars;
No pebble at your foot, but proves a sphere;
No chaffinch, but implies the cherubim:
And,--glancing on my own thin, veined wrist,--
In such a little tremor of the blood
The whole strong clamor of a vehement soul
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
More and more, from the first similitude.