Friday, July 8, 2011

i'm cute! seriously!

Well it's about time; someone has finally recognized my cuteness.  Su at Cheekyness gave me the honor.  I love Su's witty sense of humor and her reflections on various topics.  Her post re: this award is hilarious and definitely worth your time.  Thank you, Su!

This award asks you to list (yeah!) five books, movies, or TV shows you've enjoyed in past 12 months and to pass the award on to other bloggers.  I can't even remember what I did last week, much less 12-ish months ago, but I'm pretty sure I've seen/read:

Harry Potter and one.  My brother and I have seen all of these movies together - I love this tradition of ours.  Would someone please make Ender's Game?  And don't screw it up!

I'm racking my brain...all my stuff's packed up and I'm coming up with nothing here.  Hang on...

Modern Family - the funniest, smartest show on television. Period.

So You Think You Can Dance - I came late to this party.  I thought it was yet another amateur night talent show with diamonds in the rough revealed 10 weeks or so into the season.  Dummy.  These dancers are good, as are the choreographers.  I love watching this show.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.  Technically this is a children's novel.  I'm reading it to see if any of my students would enjoy it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  This is the book with the line I quoted a couple of posts down about the girl wearing "her own personal fog bank."  (A very poufy dress, as seen by an eleven-year-old boy.)

ASVAB for Dummies by Rod Powers.  I don't know what "ASVAB" stands for.  I could look it up, but I'm too lazy.  It's the military entrance exam; I'm helping my cousin prepare for it.  Don't worry - he doesn't need my help with the spatial/mechanical part of the test.

I've chosen five blogs to pass this award to:

Letters from the Past - my friend Jennifer's grandmother passed away recently.  When Jennifer and her family cleaned out her grandmother's house, they discovered an old scrapbook hidden behind the dresser.  In the scrapbook were 365 letters that Jennifer's grandfather had written to her grandmother over the course of a year.  Jennifer will be posting these letters on this blog.  How can you resist?

Danielle at Yeah, I said it. has a witty, funny, insightful blog that I love to read.  When I discovered I found even her comments on mundane issues riveting (okay, interesting), I knew I was hooked!

Ada at Of Woods and Words writes of living in rural - real rural - Minnesota with compassion and insight.  I have to pace myself when reading her blog; otherwise I'd be packing up my stuff all over again and heading north.

It's OK to be WEIRD! - I liked this blog as soon as I read the title.  Raylene celebrates life and weirdness in a way that makes me glad to be weird, too.

Karen's Thotful Spot - Karen also writes with perception and love and always makes me think.  And she likes Pooh, too!

Thank you again, Su, for this award!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

funny moment of the day

I've moved in with Mom & Dad to help care more for Grandpa.  When I last left aunt & uncle's house, I had a handful of boxes and tubs packed and ready to go in my room.  When I returned few days later to continue packing and move a load of stuff, this sight greeted me as the garage door slowly went up:

Aunt & uncle had (truly helpfully) packed up the remainder of my stuff for me and moved it to the front of the garage.  I think I'll caption this picture, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"  (Now you see why I added "and bring me back" to the Scotland pic on the right...)

writers' words that make me smile

"Don't draw a smiley face on my sludge day." 
Mike Lupica, Million Dollar Throw

"I swear, Hannah. Put your brains in a jaybird and he'd fly backwards." 

"...aint no gun made can do what love can." 
Rebecca Wells

"If it was unpleasant to feel so different from the other children at Stonetown Orphanage, how much worse was it to be seen as an oddball by a green-haired girl wearing her own personal fog bank?"
Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the divine miss m

So the other day my four-year-old niece, M, visited a new church with her family. M. is...not shy. :) She's a ray of sunshine, although sometimes you feel the heat more than you see the light. This past Sunday she was her bright and cheerful self, and when the pastor called the children in the congregation to the front of the sanctuary for a special lesson, M. cheerfully went up. A new church? Full of strangers? How fun! The lesson continued from the previous week and had to do with the parable of the man that built his house on sand and the man that built his house on a...

"Rock!" M. said, finishing the pastor's sentence.  When he asked how things turned out for the man on the sand, M. answered, "Not so good!"  The pastor laughed and said she should do the preaching.  At the end of the lesson, the pastor led the children in prayer.  When he finished, M. piped up,

"Well that was short!"

"They tell me that's how they like it," the pastor replied.  He gave the kids a ring pop and told them not to eat it now, but to wait and ask their parents if they could have it after lunch.

"Hey Mom!  Can I have this after lunch?!" M. called from the front.  She was assured she could, and M. cheerfully walked back to her seat and reclaimed her family.  They happily claimed her back.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

waterfowl in my life: july synchroblog

I was delighted to discover the existence of the Wild Goose Festival last month!  It also amuses and intrigues me to think of the Holy Spirit as a wild goose.  I'd never heard of that symbolism.  This month's Synchroblog asks participants to write about their experiences of the Festival or, if they did not attend, to share how the "wild goose" has made herself known in their lives.  I was unable to attend the Festival this year, but I really want to do so someday!  I do have some experience with the impact of ducks and swans on my life, however.  Swan symbolism has some Celtic roots as does that of the goose, so I'm expanding this month's topic to waterfowl for my purposes.  :)  I'm sensing the Goose doesn't mind...

A counselor once told me that I needed to "find my ducks."  "Huh?" I said.  She explained that participating in some sort of community with like-minded and like-spirited people would help with my depression.  "You know," she said, "like the ugly duckling story.  I guess I should say you need to find your swans."  Either way, her phrase stuck with me.  Just as the "duckling" in Hans Christian Andersen's tale discovers that he is not ugly, he just isn't a duck, I needed to figure out the ways in which the religious beliefs I'd grown up with were and were not true to the person I am.  And I needed to find my swans.

After that conversation I was more attuned to ducks and swans and enjoyed watching how they popped up in my life.

I enjoyed the silliness ducks sometimes seem to have, and that helped me enjoy my own silliness.  I watched ducks live in community, and I reflected on swans' fierce loyalty to each other.  On my one-day retreat last December, I learned more about the symbolism of swans and their representation of transformation, intuition, and dreams.  A few days after that retreat, while driving in town, I saw a swan sitting by the side of the road, in the grass between the curb and the sidewalk.  She was just sitting there serenely, as swans seem to do, all alone, as if swans always sat in urban areas with no water immediately nearby.  I took that as a totem, a symbol of the liminal space in which I've been living for several years.  A sign and a promise that transformation is taking place.  Perhaps a community is on the threshold.

And now I've been goosed.  Canadian geese live with the ducks in the river which flows through the center of our city.  When I watched the ducks I watched the geese as well and enjoyed how they also followed their leader everywhere, honk honk honking, waddling, gliding.  Geese live by the motto "Leave no goose behind."  When they migrate, if one goose becomes injured or ill, another stays with the first until he/she either heals or dies.  I love that.  What has the Wild Goose said to you lately?


More Synchroblog posts, including some from people who were at the festival:

  • Anna Snoeyenbos – Wild Goose Festival – A Spirit of Life Revival

  • Lee Smith - Goose Bumps: Opportunities Everywhere for Offense. A Fair and Objective Review

  • Ryan Hines – 30 Years Later – “Controversy” at Wild Goose

  • Karyn Wiseman – Flying With the Goose

  • Kyla Cofer – I went to the Wild Goose Fest and came back in love

  • Brian Gerald Murphy – Born Again (Again) at Wild Goose

  • Chris Lenshyn – Chasing the Wild Goose

  • Cherie at Renaissance Garden – Wild Goose Return

  • Deborah Wise – Wild Goose Chasing

  • Custodianseed – “every day they eat boiled goose”

  • Will Norman – Back from the Wild Goose Fest

  • Martin at Exiles in NY – Greenbelt and the Wild Goose

  • Kerri at Practicing Contemplative – Waterfowl in My Life

  • Allison Leigh Lilley – Chasing the Wild Goose and Catching the Wild Goose: Thanks and First Thoughts

  • Abbie Waters – Jessica: A Fable

  • Steve Knight – Why Wild Goose Festival Was So Magical

  • Tammy Carter – Visual Acuity and Flying

  • Michelle Thorburg Hammond – I heart Jay Bakker and Peter Rollins

  • Matthew Bolz-Weber – Remembering Wild Goose

  • Paul Fromberg – Celebrating Interdependence Day

  • David Zimmerman – Wild Goose Festival: A Recap

  • Dan Brennan – U2, the Wild Goose, and Deep Freedom

  • Mike Croghan – The Wild Goose is Not Safe

  • John Martinez – The Table

  • Callid Keefe-Perry – Gatekeeping the Goose

  • Eric Elnes – The Inaugural Wild Goose Festival: Recovering Something Lost

  • Shay Kearns – The Power of a T-Shirt, Apologizing to Over the Rhine, and Public vs. Private (Part One)

  • Glen Reteif – Duck Duck Goose

  • Peterson Toscano – I’ve Been Goosed, What I Carried Into Wild Goose, and What I Blurted Out at Wild Goose

  • Seth Donovan – About More than “The Gays”

  • Exiles in New York – Greenbelt and the Wild Goose

  • Tammy Carter – Visual Acuity and Flying

  • TSmith – What I’ll Take From Wild Goose

  • Dale Lature – Wild Goose Reflection

  • Steve Hayes – Wild Goose Chase?

  • Minnow – Grace Response

  • Christine Sine – Encounters With A Thin Space

  • Jeremy Myers – Giving Up the Wild Goose Chase

  • Robert – Thoughts On the Inaugural Wild Goose

  • Anna Woofenden – Slippery Slope Reflections

  • Wendy McCaig – Loosing The Goose

  • Joey Wahoo – Into The Wild

  • Rachel Swan – goosed

  • Patricia Burlison – I Called Life

  • Jason Hess – While At the Goose

  • The Bec Cranford – Wild Goose

  • Anthony Ehrhardt – Chasing The Wild Goose on Independence Day

  • Unfinished Symphony – #5 – The Last Post … for a while
  • Friday, July 1, 2011

    a river of stones

    This month beholders around the world will participate in the River of Stones challenge to write a "small stone" every day in July. On their blog the hosts for the River of Stones use this quote to describe small stones:

    "I have my students keep a journal in which they must write, very briefly, six things they have seen each day—not beautiful or remarkable things, just things....

    "Their journals fill up with lovely things like, 'the mirror with nothing reflected in it.' This way of seeing is important, even vital to the poet, since it is crucial that a poet see when she or he is not looking—just as she must write when she is not writing. To write just because the poet wants to write is natural, but to learn to see is a blessing."

    ~From The Art of Finding by Linda Gregg

    Learning to see in this way is indeed a tremendous blessing. I often feel like a child again, delighted by all the discoveries the world has to offer. It has been a life-saving practice in my times of deepest depression and a cheerful walk with God in my brighter days.  You don't have to be a traditional poet to enjoy this practice; you just have to be aware.  I will post my small stones at the top of the left sidebar. I hope you will join us - online, on paper, in song, in dance - in this practice to see, record, give thanks for, and be in the presence of the Holy here on earth, in the evidence that God, or whatever you call her, is staring us in the face all the time, if we will only look.

    "Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places." Roald Dahl