Thursday, July 31, 2008

love this...

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

May you live all the days of your life.
--Jonathan Swift

Indeed life is much like a game - both a deadly serious one and one that demands laughter, relaxation, and the ability to play. Either way, life demands attention.

There is much of life that is truly exciting and fascinating - are we watching for it? There is hilarity and humor - do we see it? There is that in life which is touching and full of heroism - are we open to seeing it?

All these are not only present in some general, nebulous way about life, but about our lives! Right here where we live, in our lives today, there will be the hero and the goat, there will be disappointment and reason for wild celebration, there will be the beautiful and the horrible. The soap opera is not out there; it is right here with us, in us, all around us. The task is to be present in our own lives, to get our heads out of others' reality, and to find the enormous meaning and vitality of our own.

Life is precious. Today, I will not take my life for granted.

You are reading from the book:

Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have been in an odd place in regard to writing and living these days. It has been hard to pinpoint what is going on or even what to name it. I have not been motivated to post anything or really even write in my journal and last night I realized that I had not even considered visiting my favorite bloggers yesterday even though I spent some time dinking around on the computer. It was not until this morning when I read this post at Mind Sieve that the word came to me for my current state. I am “drifting.” It is something slightly different, I believe, than that to which Sunrise Sister refers which is more akin to being 'adrift.'

When I use this word, drifting, it does not feel like a moving away from anything (although I have been away from my ‘normal’ routine). It feels more like a liminal space—something in between. I was first aware of this space a few weeks ago when I had opportunity to spend several uninterrupted hours alone in nature. I had a “job” to do which was to listen to my surroundings. I took my journal along with a good book, but as I lay there in nature I found that I had no desire whatsoever to open my journal and record the amazing things happening around me. Lying there with bees buzzing, grass blowing and clouds gently swaying in the sky everything was absolutely perfect. I did not need to do anything else.

And so, that feeling has stayed with me for several weeks now. I have thought I was experiencing writer’s block. I have wondered if it is exhaustion or mere laziness, but I realize now that words like liminal and drifting seem to pop out at me when I hear or read them. It is a gentle shift. A slight rocking motion like the wind moving a hammock with an island breeze. I feel cared for and caressed even though I am not following my usual routine of morning reading and writing. God’s presence is abundant even (perhaps especially) without the need to record my impressions on the page.

Hmmmmm. I believe I have written all that is in me for now. Time to drift ☺!

Friday, July 25, 2008

"no bird can fly
without opening its wings,
and no one can love
without exposing their heart."

--mark nepo

here's to having the courage to open our wings, expose our hearts and look at our own "stuff"!

just a little note of gratitude for all those who stop by here and especially those who choose to engage with me through your comments!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

this showed up today...

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Most of us make trouble for ourselves by over-reacting to what others say or do. We have conditioned ourselves to see everyone else as "the enemy" rather than look within ourselves for the real cause of our distress.

If we can pause long enough to uncover our own hidden discomfort and distorted attitudes before we react with harsh criticism or vindictive silence, we can change our destructive first impulses into a loving interchange between individuals.

Today let me not be quick to criticize or condemn another. I will look at others as friends, not as foes, on my journey toward self-discovery.

You are reading from the book:

The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am indifferent. At least that is what I have been labeled. So, let me ask you this: do indifferent people experience anger and hurt? Do they spend days or weeks (or months or years) considering how to fix someone else’s hurt even though they know it is an impossible task? Do they awaken feeling unrested from a nighttime of grief? Do they consider ceasing to do what they love most to pacify someone else’s needs? Do they measure their words and weigh the cost of speaking from their heart? Do they think about little else than the one who has been hurt by their "indifference"?

How does one adequately respond to such a claim? It feels like a huge bind, because to say, “No, I’m not” appears to dismiss the importance of the feelings of the other. It also feels like justifying or trying to excuse the indifference that did not exist in the first place. And, to not respond only seems to indicate or prove that indifference does exist.

I am tired. I am exhausted from years of challenging relationships. It appears, however, that if I am not meeting the expectations of someone else (even unspoken and/or unknown expectations) then I am indifferent. I am tired. I am angry. I am hurt. Is that what you call indifferent? If so, then that’s me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gardening for God

Whenever I hear someone make the statement, “There is no proof that God exists,” I am immediately drawn to the image of a newborn babe. Particularly from a mother’s point of view (someone who has carried a little bundle inside her body for nine months), I cannot fathom how someone could believe that birth “just happens.”

As my children have grown older and I fortunately am not yet to the grandparent stage, my point of reference has shifted to images of the garden. As I sit outside after a good day of digging, mulching and pruning, I am in awe of the glory that surrounds me. While I am proud of my own handiwork that is not to what I refer.

There is so much rhythm in the garden even during this time of quiet. Bees work busily to re-pollinate the catmint I trimmed yesterday. A tiny spider spins a minute web between two flower stems. An ink black crow slowly strolls across the green grass looking for an afternoon snack. My golden dog sniffs with nose in air and ears pricked high for smells and sounds I cannot fathom. The water in my fountain gently trickles in the background and I find myself renewed, refreshed and grateful to be alive.

My muscles are tired, my hair needs a shampoo and my limbs are slightly more tan than they were a few days ago. The garden glows in the afternoon sun. How can one imagine that all these things “just happen”? It has become clear to me this spring that when I am frustrated with the world around me all I need do is walk out my door and witness the abundance that awaits me in the garden.

A gentle breeze blows an “Amen” in response.

Reminder to Self: Read this on days when you are grumpy and the skies are gray. Written on 6/18/2007, but still applicable today.

photo by lucy

Saturday, July 12, 2008

me, a heroine?

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

cover to cover

"...if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, (God's) purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same." from The Shack

I can't remember the last time I read a book cover to cover in a single day, but that is exactly what I did today. The book? The Shack.

While I had heard popular buzz about it around the internet and seen it in a couple of bookstores, I found myself steering clear of it for some reason. (I like to do things my way, don't ya know?) Speaking yesterday with a friend, she mentioned how she has "been off of Christian fiction" for quite some time. I agreed. Oddly, it did not dawn on me that sitting under the seat of my scooter was this book which I had just purchased at the local book store. Hmmm.

And so today I opened up the pages around 9:00 a.m. and finished it off sometime around 5 (with a few minor diversions throughout the day). It will take me awhile to process and possibly another read, but I found it to be a very compelling story and the depictions of the Trinity resonated deeply with me. My reading recommendation: Two thumbs up!!!

I am a little brain dead right now, so there will be no book review today. However, I am curious to know whether you have read the book, heard of it, steered clear or now recommend it to all of your friends. I would love to hear what you have to say once you do read it...cause I know you want to now . Cheers!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

so who's the kid here? part 2

Reading the replies to yesterday’s post, I viscerally recoiled when I read Tess’ words, “I do not like the feel of sun on my skin.” Oh horror of horrors!!! How can that possibly be? It is so hard for someone living in this Northwest climate (where even the seconds of the day when the gray lifts momentarily have been named “sun breaks”) to imagine!!! Not like the feel of the sun? Impossible!!! (Now Tess knows I love her dearly and she is equally appalled when I complain about the downside of winter, so no worries that she will be offended I have drawn her ghastly comment into the forefront ☺)

Yesterday afternoon I sat on my deck in the sunshine; cool breeze blowing over me; surrounded by blooming flowers—some freshly planted and others older than time; the sky amazingly blue and clear above me; book in hand; cool drink by my side; old dog happily sniffing the breeze; and the main thought that ran through my head (at least the one I remember today ☺) is “I love the feel of the sun on my skin.” For a few gentle moments I reveled in it and just let myself be.

And then I heard the warnings: Skin cancer. Aging. SPF. And my recent favorite, a quote from the Gilmore Girls…“You know-- "convertible people"—too tan. Bad hair.” Yikes! Can’t be having any of that!! So, I got up out of my chair, put on a little more sunscreen, filled my glass of water one more time, considered getting my hat or moving into the shade, but…in that moment life was all too perfect.

I was warmed by the sun deep into my very soul. I was once again the young girl whose grandmother called her “Little Brown Bear”. I could sense the joy of a child and feel the tickle of sprinklers and the splash of the ocean. Not much better than that in my book.

So, who’s the kid here? ME. No doubt about it ☺ !!!

'bermuda waves' by lucy
'my little girl' by h3images

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

so who's the kid here?

There is nothing like a teenager to cramp your style. Let me begin with this. I love my daughter AND she makes me crazy. I know. I know. No one can make you crazy, but teenagers (and I will be more specific here) teenage daughters certainly give it their best shot.

I have nearly survived my son's adolescence and believe me
when I say that was no easy feat!!! (He turned 19 in May and is
living on his own and supporting himself. Hurray!) My daughter was always the "easy one" but now she seems to be making up for lost time.

Now not to sound melodramatic, but who in their right mind refuses to drive with the convertible top down on a perfect Seattle day? Or uses statements like 'I'm not physically or emotionally ok to play today'? Who then stays on the phone half the night only to complain she's too tired to get up? Would you like to take a guess? Have you ever known anyone with similar symptoms?

I understand these are "normal" and minor infractions, but jeez louise I am finally learning how to play again and now a KID is trying to rain on my parade. Isn't that supposed to be my job?

Hopefully in a few years we will look back on this era and laugh together. In the meantime I think I'll finish this little rant and go ride my scooter or run through a sprinkler or something equally as appalling and childish. I mean, someone's got to have some fun in this family!!

So who or what is cramping your style these summer days?

Wishing you freedom, joy and play!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

my dog & me

who says dogs don't have moods and expressions? i felt a little bad yesterday for curry's birthday when i did not have a current picture to represent him well. i realized he much prefers natural lighting over flash photography and so as we spent the day outside together, i snapped a few shots along the way. not bad for 91, huh? (that's 13 in dog years)

Happy & Content

"Yea, whatever." (Frog Dog)

Noble One

and, since this post is entitled "my dog & me", here's the latest little quiz i came across. check it out and let me know who YOU are! wishing you glorious days of summer as they have finally arrived here in seattle. yippeee!!!!!

I'm a Talent!

You're a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You're determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You're not afraid of a fight, and you're not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you're already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you're not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 72%
Lifer: 21%
Mandarin: 44%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Today is the 13th birthday of my wonderful companion, Curry. He is a wonderful old guy who has lived a very full life. His back legs don't work very well and he sleeps most of the time. When he chooses to give a hearty "Woof!" it sounds as though his vocal cords have been scraped with sand paper. In spite of all of this, his attitude remains good and he seems quite happy to be alive. This can be evidenced by his enthusiastically waving tail and the smile on his face when the sun shines to warm his golden fur. Happy Birthday, Curry!!!!

Today is also my 350th post at this site. Hooray for me. It's only taken me about four years to do what some do in one (or less)... Many thanks to my wonderful readers and faithful commenters!!!

Celebrate a little today. I highly recommend it!

photo of "younger" curry


I never cease to be amazed at how we are always moving toward ourselves. How can we be “moving toward ourselves”, you might ask. Aren’t we already us? Yes, of course, and I believe, No, absolutely not. In Christian terms, one could say that the journey is becoming more like Christ. Does that make more sense? My point this morning is not to have a theological discussion, but rather to comment on the journey and how so many seemingly small things begin to come together and, if we are paying attention, there comes a point in time when they begin to converge and we can see the larger picture. It is kind of like taking varying pieces of paper in collage work and while the individual scraps don’t look like anything significant, when you stand back and behold a larger more significant image has been constructed out of the scraps.

Take for example the tiny scrap of a word, “but”. For me it has become a significant part of how I choose to articulate myself (more accurately it is the absence of those three little letters--b-u-t--from my vocabulary.) Several years ago my family was participating in some group work and the facilitator suggested that often when we use the word ‘but’, it seemingly negates everything that comes before it. For example, "I love you, BUT you really make me mad." The receiver of those words very likely only hears the second part. What if, however, you were to say, I love you AND you really make me mad? It’s both! See?

My next progression in this particular awakening came when I was in graduate school and I was introduced to the concept of both/and. It took awhile to sink in that this was in contrast with either/or. By working on my personal issues and having the privilege of facilitating dozens of people through their own work, I have been astounded by how ingrained we are with being good or bad and right or wrong. This way of thinking often clouds things so much that we simply can’t see what IS. Does it have to be one or the other? Perhaps it is neither and perhaps it is both. Usually it just IS.

For the purposes of this discussion , I refer back to my recent post which speaks of my paradoxical nature. ("I know God and God knows me AND I must continue to press on to see who God is and who I am.") Which leads me back to where I started here with the amazement at always moving toward ourselves. It’s the journey. Can you see it?

For quite some time now I have been drawn to the concept of paradox. Such as, how can I KNOW God and still be searching to find out who God is? It is both/and…that’s how ☺. So, a couple of weeks ago when I was at my birth chart reading and near the end, the astrologer said, “It is a good chart. It is a hard chart. Everything is BOTH.” I had to smile and say, “Of course” for in that moment I got to understand my personal journey just a bit more clearly. To me it brought more light onto my aversion to using the word “but”, my being drawn to the concept of “both/and” and my continued fascination and need to live with the idea of paradox. My life is good. It is hard. It is both!

Now the cool thing for me is that while I knew all of these ponderings have been stirring around inside me, it was through two comments on my last entry that today's post came into existence.

Tess wrote, “What really struck me about this post was your use of the word AND. "...fully engaged... AND I cherish my solitude." You didn't use the word 'but'... Perhaps part of your work is to continue showing others by your example that deep and enduring balance in life is a creative thing.”

And from Maureen: “entirely 'unique to you' words and thoughts AND words that speak to the searching longing discovering journey of so many of us...given that God desires us to know ourselves that we might know God i clap my hands loudly celebrating your questions and the answers you seek..i want to know more”

I was struck by Tess’ encouragement to share the example of “deep and enduring balance”. I must admit that terrifies me just a bit, AND something about it resonated deeply with my paradoxical nature ☺. We’ll see what happens. Also, Maureen’s connection to the journey and questions invites me to “want to know more” and share more.

So, what do you think? But? Both/and? Paradox? Moving toward ourselves? The floor is open...

lucy's chicks from the bermuda botanical gardens 6.08

Thursday, July 03, 2008

what is my work?

Much of my ponderings these days is around “what is my work?” What am I called here to do? “Here” being the world of my space and time. I am uniquely created just as each of us is. A few weeks ago I had my first birth chart reading done by an astrologist. (I can almost here the audible gasps from some of my more conservative readers ☺, but I hope you will hang in here with me. This is part of my unique journey…to test, to ponder, to find my own path by pushing the boundaries of convention and be able to proudly say, “Sorry if you disagree, but this is Me. Take me or leave me”. Again...I hope you will choose to stay.)

As I write this morning, I realize this is why I have not stepped into this territory. It feels like there is so much to be covered…explained even…because I still live with so much desire of not wanting to be misunderstood (particularly by those I love.) And so it feels as though this post will take a slight turn from where I started with my ponderings of “what is my work?”

The birth chart reading was not done by Madame X in a heavily veiled, candle lit room with a crystal ball. It was instead done in a bland office park by an average looking middle-aged man with a theology degree from Notre Dame and a masters in marriage and family therapy from Seattle Pacific University. I had scheduled my appointment only two days before, otherwise, I might have been suspicious he had hired a group of detectives to research my background to come up with the information he related to me.

It was both confirming and a little freaky as he spoke key words that I have used for my life and other phrases that resonated deeply with me. It was like reading or hearing a passage of scripture and having it speak deeply to my heart. Abbey of the Arts had an excellent post last week on “Landscapes, Maps and Pilgrimages”. She articulates beautifully my experience as she speaks of her own birth chart reading:

“I accepted for the fun of it but was surprised by the complexity and beauty of what the reading offered to me in terms of understanding my own longings and the directions I felt called to go. Suddenly I imagined a God vast enough to have offered these archetypal symbols to me at the moment of my birth as one possible map, as guidance from one much wiser than myself. Astrology is not about your life being pre-determined, but a template that provides an invitation to go to the places that nurture your soul most deeply. “

And so I circle back around to the longings of my heart and the directions I may choose to go. My life is abundantly paradoxical. For example, I desire to live life fully engaged with the world AND I cherish my solitude. I have cried rivers of tears and am willing to enter the darkness of my soul AND I am one of the most joy-filled people I know ☺. I know God and God knows me AND I must continue to press on to see who God is and who I am. I need to share my gifts with the world AND I am called to rest and be still.

And those words are just the tip of the iceberg ☺. So, if you have hung in here with me through this longer-than-normal post, thank you. I shall end with a few words from my morning ponderings with more thoughts left for another day.

what is my work?
what can I do?
how do I create a picture of a thousand words?
how do I put onto paper what no one before me has done?
how do I what?
bless this space—my hearth—my home
how do I live here? now?
being present to the life I have
feeling my home. tending my hearth.
bless this space.
this place of beauty.

Blessings to you and your space today. I would love to know what this post has stirred in you.

lucy's photos from bermuda

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

mornings by the sea

"morning is a time of promise and possibility spread out in the day before us." --Christine Valters Paintner

one of my favorite "companions" during my week away was this lovely zine by Christine Paintner, "season by the sea: a contemporary book of hours." it is lovely in both verse and image. i hope you will choose to support Christine's work and give yourself a special treat by ordering your own copy here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

day break

day spread out before me like the fresh sand upon the beach
no footprints yet to mark this day
night time clearly gone

the golden orb fully taking her place in the sky
spreading outward
at the center almost too brilliant to observe
then…broadening, widening, turning softer
layers of color…ringing, moving, spreading

watching me
capturing me
being me
who am I to be?
who will I be in this day?

am I the one who plays in the surf and dives from the cliffs
laughing and roaring with the thrill of the risk,
the freedom,
the joy?

or will I be the one who silently,
thoughtfully ponders the art

through the halls of life’s museum?

I want it all!!!

photos by lucy 6.27.08