Sunday, April 9, 2017

Literary whirligigs

I think it must have been the lighting of early April days, because Friday morning was filled with brief moments of de ja vu. Mostly fictional and nostalgic, as if the angles of sunlight reminded me of certain days--childhood days filled with books. I was contemplating black sesame seeds and was suddenly in the world of Wodehouse: reminiscing, laughing to myself, and planning to grab one from the library and relive all that humor. As I stretched out in yoga, chilling in supta baddha konasana, hands behind my head, I inexplicably thought of the Melendys, and was transported to Then There Were Five; not reliving a certain memory, or even replaying book-scenes in my head (which I am perfectly capable of doing), but more, I was just enveloped in the atmosphere of it for a moment. And then it was gone. There was another that I wanted to share, but it seems to have slipped my mind for the moment. Perhaps it will return.
Also, I suddenly recalled the name of someone who gave a boring speech about ten years ago. Where do these nuggets of information hide? And why can't I delete them and make room for some present material? Or the geography of the earth for instance?

Also I found an excuse to wax (in)eloquently about Lorna Doone on Thursday. Any excuse is a good one, when it comes to John Ridd.

I've been reading in all the corners of days, Louise Penny and Ellis Peters. Cadfael especially restores and inspires and deepens my mind in a way that few books can. I look forward to getting back into Lewis and Chesterton as well, and I have several books on hold through the library that are brand new and haven't even arrived at the libraries yet. The second installment of N.D. Wilson's Outlaws of Time, as well as Wilson's prequel to the 100 cupboards series 😱, and Meghan Whalen Turner's fifth book in the Queen's Thief series!!

Driving through the country last week, I wrote a sort of poem, using the voice memos on my phone. So it's a little rough, but the joy of springtime must out. The glory of this season of Easter pervades these days, pouring sunshine through curtains and lifting our hearts.

Fingers of light across the sky
Misty billows hung clear-shadowed against the blue
Young hawks find freedom and fly
Robins and chickadees sing from every branch. Their song is true.
Joy brushes across my shoulder and crinkles the corner of my eyes
As sunshine opens up the day, creating light and space, like love
Purveyor of change, in beauty undisguised
April's touch in dancing sunlight on my cheeks. It is enough.
The kiss of spring to melt each heart
And comfort every bone inside your chest, awakening a thaw to every marrow
Breathe in and refresh every part
Open your arms to the brightness ahead and laugh for tomorrow

Spring rises now, laying aside his winter garments
And wrapping hope around his waist
Lingering at your feet to bathe, cleanse,
And wipe away fear with hope



And speaking of poetry, here is Malcolm Guite's sonnet for Palm Sunday

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturdays are for...

rest.

There is something very special about days-off falling on Saturday. As a barista, this is often not the case for me. But when it happens, there is a child-like, sabbath-quality to that rest. The grey-skied March weather is very conducive to this sort of day. Not the assertive and outwardly-productive kind of day. But the kind that is refreshing, peaceful, and rejuvenating to mind, heart, and body.
I started off the day looking at airbnb's in London, just because. Because I was curious, and because I love London, and entirely plan to visit someday. Perhaps sooner than later. And yes, I'm definitely going that route when I visit. Who wouldn't want a little slice of a real London home, along with a handy local to ask where the nearest tube entrance is, and which curry is their favorite?

I went on to watch a couple of documentaries I found on youtube. Brilliant ones on bridges, which I found utterly fascinating. I got a complete history and science lesson, not to mention engineering--I learned how a suspension bridge actually works. Mind blown! Here they are if you are at all inclined:
Bridges of New York City
Construction of the World's Tallest Bridge: the Millau Viaduct

Saturdays are also for crossfit. Every day is my yoga day, but Saturdays, especially if I don't work, are the perfect time for a WOD. I'm starting very small. I don't want to give up on this, so we're not going big right away, and for now I don't have much equipment. But I'm using the crossfit style and mindset (and my bro is kindly writing workouts for me). So here we go! Lifestyle of health, fitness, strength, mobility #bemorehuman

Then I tackled all the bookmarks on my laptop, edited and organized them all, deleting a large percentage of them. What a refreshing reboot to my electronic world. And I found some things that I'd forgotten about: this great music, this totally tear-worthy youtube of Amy Pond clips, and so on.

I came downstairs to find Will tuning the piano. I made curry and a pot of tea, and hung out with the familiar 'ting, Ting, TING' of tuning sounds. I ate food, called my other bro, waxed eloquent to Will about bridges and my day in general, looked up Jenna Coleman hairstyles (I need a trim), and now I'm writing this.

Soon I'll clean the kitchen, and do yoga before bed. Maybe start another book. I finished Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead last night. Absolutely brilliant. I also found my copy of Mere Christianity finally, right where it ought to be...

There's so much going on in my life that is new and beautiful, and crazy and full of the goodness and bigness and surprisingness of God. I can't relay it all now; but it's really cool. New ministry opportunities, commitment to community--some expanding, some focusing. Pouring hearts out into speaking life and living love, and living in the truth of the power of prayer. The eye-opening and mind-blowing glory in the every day.

Did you hear the robins? I've known they were back but I just saw my first one the other day, singing his heart out in the tree outside work. It made my day, let me tell you. And the mud is spreading, and some days the sunshine is truly warm! I refuse to wear a coat most days now.

Yes, I'm sorry I haven't gotten to write more on my blog here, but I wouldn't trade the active, social, and very present life I've been living instead. I'm learning to juggle the bookworm in me with the people-person in me. My heart for chatting over coffee, and laughing over pizza, for trading of ideas and sharing of days... with my art, yoga, reading, writing, and thinking soul.

Life is just crazy, you know? I'm all lists and plans one moment, and spontaneity and freedom the next. I always think I'll figure it out one day. Or not, you know. Life is glorious anyway, its heights and depths. Sometimes I just need days like this to step back, explore the city of my mind, and see this beautiful, spinning world as a curious, blinding whole. Like a scout climbing the highest tree to look out over the canopy, I come down grinning, to tell the others 'It is good'.

Monday, March 6, 2017

i want to know if you can see the stars tonight


I write today from the peaceful and inconvenient bonds of convalescence. Having quite abandoned decent self-care in the form of healthy sleeping and eating habits over the weekend, I have come down with a thorough cold and flu that's been making the rounds.

I consider it to be my own fault, with no bitterness. I don't know whether I shall ever become that one kind of responsible figure I know myself capable of being: who wears flannel about her throat during all inclement weather, and turns down a dance for a nap that would do her health good.

For now I am content that I know how to be "good" and employ this knowledge in good earnest on days like these. Since I came down with the wretched thing yesterday, I have dutifully cancelled engagements, taken naps and vitamins; made soup and porridge, and drunk honey-lemon water in quantity.

I have occupied my time, when not sleeping, with Dorothy Sayers' magnificent volume Busman's Honeymoon, which I needn't tell you is delightful in every regard. Last night as well, I enjoyed 'You've Got Mail' at the brilliant suggestion of my roommate Amy. I'd forgotten how visually beautiful everything was, especially Kathleen's flat. And I about died with joy over the streets of New York City, as usual. And I think we can all agree the soundtrack does the heart good.

Today the March sky remains cloudy, and birds can be seen tossed about as they try to fly against the wind. But the mercury is in the lower sixties and the air entirely agreeable. I was able to avail myself of the weather momentarily as I ambled out to administer brief ablution to my car in the form of pine sol and ground coffee.... one doesn't want spilled chili to languish in one's principle mode of transportation.

Having finished there, one's thoughts naturally stray to the long and hot bath. But I was able to stop off at the mat for today's yoga, not wishing to make one concession where others might follow. And I was able to move carefully and with awareness (which is, after all, the point) so as not to over-tax the body while still moving breath and muscle.

But now, yes, I am ensconced in a bath, doused liberally with four-thieves oil. That hot and fragrant steam doing wonders for the head. Very necessary too, as I have already employed pseudoephed in minimizing the pain to my spine induced by sinus pressure. I'm now contemplating soothing suppers and an evening movie.
~

As for my appalling lack of blogposts of late, I can only say that as days stream busy by, it can be increasingly difficult to write about them, or to find time to write about anything else. And the more heart-filled and full of glorious moments they are, the more I don't want to belittle that swirl of living, by one quick line of a post, attempting to sum up what a week has held. Impossible.

So I shan't try. Little bits that make it in here--like Tuesday morning drives to work when the ducks are flying over in pairs and you know spring is on it's way in: the ducks are back! And looking for nests (Wednesday morning it was geese)--when little bits make it in here, you know that there are a hundred other moments it would be impossible to share here. Inspiring quotes, and enlightening conversations; words of wisdom, love shared, fellowship over food. Fears and joys, and giving to God. Ministry opportunities, and prayers answered; and nights when your head hits the pillow and you have no idea how you're going to face tomorrow.
And then the sun rises
and the birds are singing to you
and people smile
and music moves you
and God is closer than your breath
and suddenly all you want to do is live and love well.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sharing

I haven't been posting much again... Difficult to find what I want to share sometimes. Busy days, swirling thoughts, dancing feet, learning heart, tired eyes, moving fingers, coffee and tea and a thermos of soup. Books and movies, friends and conversation, catching up with Mom, chasing children. Birthdays, sickness, work and exercise.
The cold is back. I'm dreaming of summer in good earnest now.
I'm still here; finding here; finding stillness.
Missing my brothers and friends who are away; wishing them the best there is to enjoy, but also wanting them to come back and share this space, and talk with me about life and hearts and things that matter.
Excited for the days ahead and what they will hold and bring and teach. What I can see, notice, appreciate; light to bask in. I want to speak life and love well.

I'm back here just to share a thing or two...

A spring poem by CS Lewis  on a favorite blog of mine... someday I'll see Addison's walk at Magdalen myself. Until then...

"still everything happens for a reason is no reason not to ask yourself: am i living it right?" - John Mayer

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Out


Sorry I've been pretty out of it in the posting realm these days. Juggling work, life, gorgeous weather to appreciate (keeping an eye on that forecast for tomorrow, since I have to drive...) and driving out to my parent's to spend a couple of days with a bunch of crazy kids. It's good, I'm good, are you good? oh, good. Back soon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek."
9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!  - Psalms 27

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

unseasonable warmth




one of these days I'll get back to posting properly...
First teatime outdoors of 2017
enjoying the sunsets and sunrises lately

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I am called Liv

(called to live) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Isn't Love Cool?

If you haven't been bowled over recently by the realization of God's overwhelming love for you, know that is what I want for you, and more than that, it's God's heart for you as well.

As I journey through these days, growing exponentially, processing the enormous work of the Spirit through our weekend retreat... the seeds planted, the walls broken down, the plowing begun... I'm just giddy with the glory of it.

Grace upon grace... there's just been an outpouring of prayers answered, and new joys, and reasons to rejoice with gratitude. Just want to mention a few things that I just love to death.
Friends. This isn't an accurate representation of course, but I don't have a good photo: we're always too busy being our hilarious, busy, and conversational selves

I'm just crazy about my city. Love this place. When the day clears up, and I see it gleaming before me... or when I get home after the weekend and look out my window to the lights glowing through a strip of trees, and the moon shining brightly above...
Early morning sunrise. Even when you've been up for three hours before this happens, it's a great view to have from the workplace.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sing for your Heart

So you want to be free
See an end of the walls
He will take them all down
But it hurts when they fall

Lift up your head
You are loved my friend
You’re surrounded; give up
Only love can win

You’ll carry it with you
This safety and space
Wherever you go - love
You found in this place

Walk like a Narnian
Deny fear a hold
Open heart, open arms
Let your steps become bold

Fill your lungs with laughter
This crazy spinning world
Is yours in faith to wander
So leap with hope unfurled

Warm your hands on the cup
Find a place at the table
You are never alone
He is willing and able

Sharing minds and mealtimes
Opening your eyes
Morning rhymes with coffee
And so we arise

Souls in murmuration
Lives ahead to roam
Lifting up each other
And reaching for home

Let the hope in your days
Put a light in your glance
Let your shoulders swing free
Breathe in and just dance

Let’s see the world
Just get up and go
Don’t worry about it
We’ll go with the flow

Caffeine and constellations
Patterned city lights
Swirling concentration
Strolling busy nights

Lift up your voice
Step into your part
His Spirit is in you
So sing for your heart.

all rights reserved to this blog, January 2017