Monday, September 30, 2013

annapolis: our new home

our neighborhood consists of an illegal garbage dump, 5 deer - one with small antlers, and one fawn with no more spots, woods with a creek and a path that leads to a quaker meeting house, a prayer labryinth, and a praying mantis.

our household includes dozens of fruit flies, a part-time papillon puppy, and new ivy that is beginning to root. 

our window overlooks a parking lot, and the sill is decorated with a happy candle that reminds us of a sad break-up of friends. 

our bed is book-ended by the coolest little nightstands i've ever seen (they each have their own pull-out trays, perfect for a laptop or whatever else can't be crowded on the top), and in the bottom cubby of seth's nightstand the 4th harry potter book awaits the arrival of the 5th (which we are waiting to buy until seth completes and submits his paperwork for the ministerial fellowship committee!)

our fridge has plenty of adele-art, chicago magnets, and a silly chinese take-out menu that says things like "gift certificafe" and "food panty available". oh, and much more important than that, our fridge is stocked with enough, but not too many, groceries. although, the cheese drawer seems to empty so much quicker than it ought...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

my family...

is so darn photogenic:

*drew, getting ready for the mud run with team Y (these are much prettier than the "after" pics)*

*margot (3) and adele (7) holding logan and jackson (4 mos.)*

...and i miss them all (including those not pictured)!


seth is my "new" family, and as much as i love him, there's no way he can fill all those shoes. and the uuca is quickly becoming my new church family, which is a little weird since we are only going to be here for a year. but i'm thankful for them all the same.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I also went for a walk in the rain last night, and decided I want to do that more often. I spent some time at the prayer labyrinth here at the church. And I saw several toads hopping around in the rain, right after it got dark.


This poem was very timely for Seth and me last night, after a long day of struggling with the difficulty of being newly-married, and in a new place, and he being an introvert starting a new job and me being without a job as of yet....

Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)

The spirit
  likes to dress up like this:
   ten fingers, 
   ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
  at night
   in the black branches,
     in the morning

in the blue branches
  of the world.
   It could float, of course,
     but would rather

plumb rough matter.
  Airy and shapeless thing,
   it needs 
     the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
  the oceanic fluids;
   it needs the body's world,

and imagination
  and the dark hug of time,
     and tangibility,

to be understood,
  to be more than pure light
   that burns
     where no one is --

so it enters us --
  in the morning
   shines from brute comfort
     like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
  lights up the deep and wondrous
   drownings of the body
     like a star.

And this one, for first thing this morning:

Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange 

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again 

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands 

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails 

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it 

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging --- 

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted --- 

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray. 

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver 
© Mary Oliver

Thanks, Mary Oliver, for writing these. And whoever's behind this for sharing them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Don't be fooled into thinking that the gift you bear is a burden. Though the blessing you have may at times feel like a curse, that doesn't mean it isn't meant to be given, to be shared.

Your gift doesn't look like what's popular? Like what's sensible, or proper morals, or a smart investment, or enticing to a world that judges by appearances and seeks to silence the dissenting voice, to suppress the truly creative act? 

The dreamers who dared to speak, dared to live, may have fought hard battles, may have faced unjust deaths. But is that worse than living in the realm of the unreal, enduring the torture of insincerity, submitting to fear, perfecting conformity, perpetuating numbness, forgetting who we are? 

And what is the way? What is the way to open the treasure chest of the true self, to nurture the soul of a blossoming child, to honor the wisdom of eternity, to uncover and see again -- or for the first time -- who it is behind the faรงade of the enemy? The way is love. The way is acting in mercy, withholding judgement, relinquishing control... the way is bending low to serve, choosing forgiveness, practicing hospitality... the way is extending a hand of help, a gaze of wonder, a word of praise... and it is called love.