Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going Ahead Anyways

A long time aquaintance of mine is in the middle of a project worthy of a mention. It isn't merely the dreams that she is seeing come to completion, but the timing of it all. Her blog is an intriguing follow.

Jeri and her husband Kurt are expats living in Abu Dhabi. He is retiring from BP. They bought a piece of property on the shores of the Mediterranean in Kas, Turkey a while back. They dreamed of refurbishing and repurposing this derelict estate into a home to invite hungry, weary pilgrims to "come and rest a while and learn the unforced rhythm of grace".

Many of us have been following the progress of the structure as laborers - craftsmen all - breath three dimensional life into the one dimensional blueprints Jeri drew up. They saw what she dreamed...

The astonishing thing is the time in which it has been happening. Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan. Political turmoil in surrounding countries. Dictators falling. Oil spills. Floods. Famine. Sex trafficking ramped up. The economic meltdown keeping pace with the possible fallout of another Chernobyl.

It is hard to fight the instinct to dig into a dark bunker, hunker down and live off the stash we've cached. Some desperately pray for escape by rapture - taking us to the heaven we hope is true.

I got a lump in my throat when I saw the latest pictures this week. It took me awhile to process why it filled me with jubilation. I wanted to stand and applaud this family who isn't caving into despair, but fighting valiantly with all their energy to create beauty on a tiny bit of dangerous earth. A place that is hospitable - inviting the creative encouragers from all over the world to receive  refreshing. Laura said the other day that she wanted to be a beauty activist. I loved those words. It fits in with this story of this home.

A home with no agenda. No programs. No stipulations. No drawn lines of separation across creeds or gender. No price tag. No strings attached. No gimmick. Ugly isn't invited.

It will be a home with lights on. A home with food shared around a common table with stimulating conversation. A home with chairs catching the breeze on a veranda looking towards the sea. A home lined with good books, lovely music. A home with a welcome mat always out.

Jeri and Kurt redefine and reframe the word retire into inspire. [Deep curtsy]

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Can You Hear the Flowers Sing?

I'm linking this today as I don't have any words of my own to offer. Hopefully, someone needs it. It isn't as hard to read as it seems. :) Cheers.


Saturday, March 26, 2011


When you observe a man who has a wife that glows - you see a lover who has studied his wife well.

When you observe a man who has grateful children - you see a father who has truly loved.

This man is kind in public or in private. In his home and outside his home.

This man uses his strength to protect instead of hurt.

This man cares accurately for his wife and children's heart, their wounds, their joy. He breathes air into their dreams.

This man is generous secretly.

This man has a wife who responds to physical intimacy and affection with matching hunger.

This man's words are congruent with the way he lives.

This man believes the best about people.

This man is comfortable with who he is, giving him the wherewithal to be a good friend.

This man is mine.

Once more, I'm grateful beyond words for the gift of living with a man who shows me the face of God, over and over again.

(Yes, whenever I come home from a trip I appreciate my life with greater clarity.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's a Hole

We own a coffee maker that I am willing to exchange for a $17.00 Mr. Coffee soon, and very soon. It has a thermos carafe which needs pre-heated with hot water if the coffee is to be hot. For the three years we have owned it, I did not know the plate it rests on is heated. I assumed it was the thermos holding the heat in, but not doing a very good job. (I like coffee and I like it hot.)

Yesterday, Loverby told me the plate was heated. I was incredulous. I didn't believe him. When I put my hand on it - sure enough - it was. I apologized for contradicting him. He smiled so big that I 'fell into his dimples'.

I had to adjust my beliefs ~ to truth. Every time this happens, I could jump with excitement.

The reason is this: what else might I have been wrong about for years and years? It opens doors, windows, and holes in the galaxy when I can change my mind and adjust to the truth. I'm clicking the iLike button on it. :) 

Monday, March 14, 2011


The final scenes 
in "Chocolat" roll through
frame by frame
enticing me with
desire for the same happy
ending, but we are different 
names in a different script.

My story doesn't 
play out the same, or
end with a chance
to offer a glass of
soda to the man 
who needed to 

This story doesn't end 
with a soft look 
across a dish of ice cream ~
unspoken, but
grateful ackowledgement
of grace received and
mercy given. 

But He asks me, "Am I enough?" 
 "Yes. You are. Enough. 
Always enough," I spirit groan, 

If He isn't enough, any scene 
I could imagine to assuage this
grief wouldn't be enough,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beauty's Promise

drops behind 
bits of blue
rain's grey

open with apricot
mixtures of pink and gold.

One last touche
pierces prisms
straight through 
leftover rain drops 
whose colors 
wink flirtatiously
 at the tip of each 
pine needle. 

I imagine
John O'Donohue's
on the western
shores of Ireland 
luring artists with
pinkish gold light
turning off and on 
each day ~




He makes me
long to be there
instead of here ~
until I see the rainbow
 canopy covering
my neighborhood ~


Ireland and the Pacific Northwest have much in common. Rain, ocean, green, and nicknames with Emerald in them. The green can become almost heavy, overwhelming, and claustrophobic at times. It is just too much with the unrelenting rain. But, when I'm gone from here, I miss the moisture and the greenery. 

Ireland's green  is a bit different because they are missing our forested acres of evergreens. Their fields are broken up with rock walls. It is a surreal green all the same, the sort that almost hurts your eyes. The rain softens the neon of it ~ as does the golden pink light. 

Once in a while, we get that same light. It feels magical. It can't be captured, only experienced. Tonight was such a night. Anyone and anything is lovely in such complimentary light. Pausing to be drenched with it is the only response. 

I have finished savoring John O'Donohue's Beauty and Anam Cara. There were parts that made me think he endorsed Marxists and Druids. [Smiling] It seemed like he believed that we are our own source, like a car putting gas in itself. But on the whole, I loved his whispy, mystical, Celtic way. I think he is bringing much pleasure to all of heaven. He didn't speak 'the lingo' which made me think creatively.

He also made me want to sell everything and move to the West Coast of Ireland! I think we'll stay here and perhaps learn Gaelic instead? 

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Biting Edge

bites chewed slow
between numb buds
taste no pleasure yet
intense desire begs
 between whispers
and hiccoughs 
to name the 

It only 
crackles like 
a bad connection
leaving me to wonder 
if I'm looking out the bars 
of a padded pastel crib or 
behind stark prison iron 
waiting for the key
to unlock lost
 parts of 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Artist at Play

Last summer was the first time seeing Kathy Hastings' encaustic photos. I posted about them, but had neglected to get up close. How could I have missed reaching out and touching them? We have been taught not to touch, but Kathy invited me to feel and see the layers and in between. 

She has a few heavy lines on her life's personal timeline. One marks before and after David died.

The other is before and after beeswax. The after, that came after both ~ changed everything. 

Beeswax resting hard. Beeswax melted warm. 

Below is a box of old mounted photos from the early days, before she started adding the encaustic process. 

They are nice, these orphaned and ignored first children, but Kathy's work has gone far beyond merely nice.

These textures and layers, seeing through them, under them, beyond each one to what lies on top ~ takes them from being nice, to alive. 

It was uncanny how warm the beeswax felt to my fingers. Perhaps it's the organic nature of the material ~ a living creature manufactured it. Silk, and Mexican sun-baked Saltillo tiles, give the same kinesthetic pleasure. My nose and camera lens got up close to the edge, where the action is. 

Kathy is a scuba diver and world traveler. She had/has a conch shell obsession. The symbolism, colors, and never ending variety of brokenness meet where her "insatiable curtiousity" (as Kipling would say), lives. This toppling tower of conch shell photos printed on deckle edged water color paper captivated me. She has a series of her favorites as finished encaustics. 

A photo is printed, cropped to size and mounted onto a prepared panel. 

Melted beeswax is applied. 

Torched smooth, melted on.

Another layer of beeswax.  

In between each layer, more texture and color is added. 

Everywhere I looked were collages of tools, and streaks of color. Odd bits of things were stacked and piled together ~ waiting to be picked. Noticed. Used. 

A stack of her Crossings series boxed and labeled, ready to be shipped. A church had ordered them in time to enjoy during Lent. 


Kathy has an astonishing array of musical instruments. The collection covers the map. 

Her jewelry collection also covers the map. 

She mostly loves paddling around in her kayak, meeting the big boys in the Seattle harbor at their own waterline. The rusty hulls of mammoth working ships give her fodder for her photos. 

She allowed me inside the drawers and colors of her home. Kathy has a hospitable heart. So does her art.

Kathy Hastings' maker's mark. It left an impression. Deep. 

Check out her website to see her new series ~ Waterlines. She says, ...."I'm literally (shooting from) where the water line touches the hull of the boat. The hull is hard. The water yielding. The surfaces touch, hard and yielding. The boat displaces the water. The water cradles the boat. If I'm the boat, who/what is cradling me? God's love, the love of God through others. I'm fascinated with the play of fluid next to the hard, the boundaries of the surfaces, the ship being held by the water."  

 When I first saw them I immediately thought of the chorus of Held, by Natalie Grant: 

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was, that when everything fell
We'd be held

Another new series is the Frio Suite, capturing the unique shades of green found winding along the Texas hill country near Laity Lodge. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Old Wound

Blood colored tears  

(call it amber if you want
to stay cushioned from seeing
pain's trail) 

drip down
sticky with memories
her rough barked skin 
where season by season
 tries to cover the 
wounded place
where the