Friday, April 09, 2010

Cottonwood Hot Springs, Buena Vista, Colorado

Momentarily we'll be hitting the road for Buena Vista, Colorado, where we'll be spending two nights and enjoying the therapeutic waters at Cottonwood Hot Springs. You can check out our accommodations here and get more info about the resort here.
There are eight of us sharing a nice cabin (pictures here).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Favorite Blog

Every now and again, I discover something so good, so moving, I just have to share it. Not too many months ago, I discovered this blog, and I've been addicted ever since.

It's not just the ideas, which are thought-provoking, novel, rich, and profound.

It's not just the raw emotion that sometimes jumps up and grabs you.

It's not just the creative use of words and poetic devices.

It's not just the life-as-lived, human interest, real-people realism.

It's not just the sense of wonder, sometime exhiliration, and frequent yearning.

It's not just the playfulness nor the seriousness nor the profundity.

No, it's all of these things and more, much more.

We briefly met the author at the airport as we were arriving and she was departing. If I had known then what I know now, I would have said, simply, "Kate, I love your blog."

Below I have excerpted small bits of various posts, some of my favorites, but you should really follow the links and read them in their entirety. They are well worth it.

(Click the title of each to read the entire post on Kate's blog.)
break-up, compliments of the letter H
Hold it...enough is enough, Harry! You had my heart, you huckster, and you fed it to the hamster and hid the hull under the Hamilton's house. Maybe I was hypnotized by your heavenly hips and healthy hamstrings, but both hell and high tide have hit and I'm not hearing harmony in your hymns from here on out.
Check out this huge, hearty, heavenly handful of h's here.
My mood is pressurized as I walk the hall checking on my patients. We are all passengers tonight, flying through the night, hanging on the silver balance. Hoping to make it home safely to the comfort of our own beds.
A moving account of the overnight duty in a hospital...
Catherine Barkley would've cried too
She sets her bag on the floor and walks closer to her husband's bed, tucking the edges of the blankets deeper under his still body. Once she's satisfied, she walks to the head of the bed, leans in close, and cups his face with her hands. I'm here my darling and you're doing just fine. But these kind nurses must be confused, because they say that you're very cold. But that just can't be, can it? You can't be cold because you are the one who always keeps me warm at night. All these years you kept me warm. Show them how warm and good you are, my love.

Love, medicine, a lifetime of taking orders from his wife? I don't know. But our man got warm and got stable while I bawled into the pile of unneeded blankets.
Man or woman, I dare you to read this post without being moved to tears. Read the rest on the blog.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how much living without going crazy or numb depends on our ability to walk the fine thin tension lines that run through our common experiences, marking out for us what it really means to be human. Individuals have infinite inherent worth yet our single lives are a mere drop in the bucket of human history. All the frailty, gravity, fleetingness held up against the body’s drive to survive, the brain’s ability to compensate, hearts that go on. I know my beginning, my undeserved resurrection, the ending. But it is the moments, days, years between that can drive me to distraction. Say it to yourself, Kate: There are things we can know and things we should not hope to know. Now mean it, believe it. Proclaim it.

This is what I know. Their baby was beautiful and loved by so many people. She looked like her dad. She could not have had a better mother. She changed all of our lives and now we are heartbroken & somehow still grateful. The rest? Why? When and if it will ever make sense? I don’t know.
That's just a taste of the entire piece. Check out the rest here.

Ash Wednesday
T. S. Eliot wrote a poem called Ash Wednesday and in it is a line I go back to again and again when I don't know how else to pray. Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still. Only a handful of words and yet they are strong and broad enough to hold all my questions & inadequacies. I need to be taught to care for my neighbor better - how to love that woman, how to love Tim, how to love people who hurt me. How to love like Christ, because of Christ's love for me. I need to stop caring about the things that don't matter, the voices who really won't have a say in the final count. Thank God for these 40 days to learn to sit still, to turn, to listen, to change. Thank God that His grace is not limited by merit, time nor space.
This is a Lenten meditation in which she uses the words of the following confession, breaking it up and interspersing it with life experiences. You really must read it to fully appreciate it. It can be found in its entirety here.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed
by what we have done
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us,
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Please remind me that clouds
are a shaky foundation, of the danger of
drowning in a pool of my own whimsy
This is a larger composition. I just love the imagery here.

answer & some sentences
I was born in this small, scrubby town in the part of Washington that is never green. The air is very dry, the river is very wide, the sky is very big, and everything else comes in shades of very brown. The county fair is still a big deal. There are no good restaurants or traffic jams.
"There are no good restaurants or traffic jams." Brilliant.
absit iniuria verbis
Nursing school has made my hands useful and I am thankful for this. In college, I hopped around between disciplines, trying to find the right balance of poetic & practical, a way to meld an inclination toward language with a compulsion to make a tangible difference. Chemistry was too academic, English too indulgent, so I settled on politics and its implicit room for negotiation. After college, I slowly drifted back towards words, burying myself in paper. I could look beyond my computer screen and see how the sentences might rise off the page, walk up the Hill, and maybe someday change things for someone somewhere. It never seemed immediate enough, though, and left me fidgety and empty handed at the end of the day.

When you don't know what to say
how to string the words together
and then match them up
with your own roiled thoughts
if too much time has passed, sorry
sticks in your throat, or the nervous
syllables shrink and retreat
back down to the safety of your belly
sometimes it's best, the only
way really, to go with that
tried and true old standby
As an inveterate lover of words and a sometime Latin scholar, the title alone of this post was guaranteed to get my attention. It's well worth reading in its fullness.
Real things are not always simple.
Simple things are rarely easy.
Easy things are never real.
Tick tock
goes the clock
and here
I sit
with writers'
WE are paired first by our eyes.
Buy me a pear, say aye.
You say bye and I am pared.
no doubt
Do you doubt that I love the things you think are funny?
Or that I think the things you love are funny?
Or that I doubt your love for funny things and thinking?
Or that I love your doubt and think you're funny?
No doubt, I love you and think most things are funny.
Love and Doubt...what funny things to think about.
Funny things indeed and wondrous and inspiring and beautiful.
Check it out.
Just do it!
You'll love it.
but I don't think so!
Apologies about the formatting. I tried to approximate the original formatting, since that is part of the beauty of the composition. Blogger didn't cooperate, despite my best efforts. As I have often stated, it is WYSINNWYG (what you see is not necessarily what you get)!!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bonnie!

Our daughter, Bonnie, marks another milestone today. Living at the Antipodes, she is thousands of miles away from us, so we cannot wish her a happy birthday in person.

So it has become somewhat of a tradition to wish her a happy birthday in cyberspace by posting pictures of birthdays past. Here she is on our first tour in Spain, where she was born. The rug was a birthday gift that she still has.

We think this was her 7th birthday. It's in Maryland at our Severn house before moving on base Fort Meade. Her birthday was on Easter that year, and our neighbor made a cake in the shape of a cross because of the holiday.

This was Spain, our second tour. Likely Bonnie's 11th birthday, seen here with friends and her sister, Hannah.

Spain at the end of our second tour, just before we left for Canada.

Now her world travels have taken her to Australia. We love you, Bon. Happy Birthday, and in honor of the country of your birth we say...

Previous birthday posts:

2007, 2008, 2009