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Hand over hand

March 7, 2018

Day after day

year after year

I stood by the well

and lowered my bucket into the depths

I’d watch it go deep out of sight

until I felt the rope begin to tug with

the weight of everything that

replaced the emptiness that minutes ago

filled the bucket

Then hand over hand

I would pull the bucket up from the deep

out of the dark

and each time as it inched into the light

I would stand slack-jawed in amazement

at the overflowing treasure

that dripped over its brim





They all breathed fire and fancy

as they danced and twirled

and rearranged themselves

into impossible sequences

of beauty and wonder

But now I lower my bucket

into that same well

until I hear the clank as it hits dusty bottom

And I wonder how such depths

become so dry and depleted

I miss the anticipation of discovering

what mysteries each bucket held

I miss the heat and the heart of the fire

And I long ago stopped hoping

anyone would understand

the longing and grief

inspired by an empty bucket

But the bottom line is that

a thing need not be understood

in order to be felt.




Spray paint and whoopee cushions

November 8, 2017

It’s time to rethink rebellion. It’s time to reconsider defiance.

This may scare you, considering it’s coming from the purple-haired chick with the tattoo.  But consider that my hair isn’t solid purple, and I only have one tattoo (thus far), and hear me out, please.

I spent a lot of my life being a follow-the-rules sort of person. In some ways, I still am, because I believe in honoring order and proper authority. But as I look around me, I see systems and cultural habits of brokenness, and frankly, I just don’t dig playing along with that sickness. It’s the dastardly plan of darkness.

And darkness is not the boss of me.

I’m not talking about engaging in denial. Truth is, we have so much to grieve, worldwide. The shootings, the bombings, the violence…the loss of innocence and the cultural upheaval. These are just a few of the painful realities that surround us and demand our attention.

But I’m over it. And I’m weary of the implication that choosing joy is offensive to those who are victims of sadness, whether by choice or circumstance. The whole idea is laughable, but most of us are too confused by the whole thing to dare crack a smile. We can still “weep with those who weep” without losing the perspective that life, even when hard, is good.

It’s time to rebel against the expectation that we live immersed and dripping with negativity. It’s time to stop creating space for hopelessness in our minds and then feeling justified when it shows up at the door and moves into our personal attic space, pooping in the corners and spray painting graffiti on the walls.

It’s time to rebel against the notion that the bad things that happen are more powerful than the good things that happen, and those bad things are worthy of our energy in the form of anxiety, fretting, and Chicken Little-ism.

It’s definitely time to rebel against the notion that we’re powerless against the dark pressures of life.

Because we can fight back. We can fight back with joy.

Joy is a weapon. It’s powerful stuff. It has substance and weight, and in an instant it can snap a chain that was too heavy to move just moments before.

I’m talking about real joy, here. I’m talking about finding reasons to entertain light thoughts, higher thoughts. Refusing to entertain joy-sucking people and situations. And by situations, I mean 90% of what is on your TV and Facebook newsfeed.

The people posting all those cat videos aren’t so far off, really.

Laughter is holy defiance of a subtle but very real evil agenda.

So find some funny stuff…and lighten up, Francis.



Things unsaid

August 16, 2017

Side by side we sat

swinging our legs and kicking our feet

not a word passing between us

I munched potato chips

while you watched ants scurry

around an anthill

Sometimes you would elbow me

and I would lean over to see

a tiny ant carrying a crumb as big as it was

across the ant-miles of the tiny mound

Sometimes I would elbow you

and offer you my bag of chips

You would reach in and pull out a few

And we’d sit and kick our legs some more


I never minded our wordless visits

I heard the birds

I heard the wind in the trees

I heard you breathing

You were there

and it was enough


But I confess

I like the sound of your voice

and sometimes I need to hear it

I know you’re here

and it should be enough

But my ears ache from the silence.







Not just your eyes…

July 19, 2017

Rock the bock

May 6, 2017

Today Mr. Sparky and I got to do something so amazing, I’m still in awe.

See, it goes like this: after decades of dreaming, we’re finally remodeling the kitchen. Got a great contractor, and he brought me some granite options from The Home Despot to consider. Except me no likey. Kinda boring, the whole lot of them.  In fact, one looked like a speckled chicken.

Exhibit A



Exhibit B










See what I’m sayin’?

I understand that speckled chicken granite is all the rage in some places, but I just wasn’t feeling it. And it was awfully expensive for something I was going to have to settle for. All the samples were. So he offered to take us to a stone yard to check out some granite slabs, since the prices should be lower there and the selection much higher. And that is how we ended up at a local granite yard today.

Y’all…it was amazing.  Slab after slab of stunning beauty.


























This one had pieces that glowed like the tears of a unicorn…

…but in other areas it glowed like the tail of a mermaid. This slab was obviously meant for people who dig Lisa Frank notebooks.

This is a closeup of one of the runners-up. All black and white. It was so reflective that every picture I tried to take of the entire slab just looked like a mirror. The golden areas are just reflections.











Another one of the runners-up. Totally breathtaking.












There were slabs of every color imaginable, none of them artificially colored. One expects rock to be gray, black, white…but blue? Not gray-blue, but BLUE? Purple? Green? Pink? Striped? Swirled? Iridescent?

Here is what totally blows me away about these slabs. They are made from amazing, stunning, gorgeous rock that God hides underground in the dirt and HE DOESN’T CARE IF A HUMAN EVER SEES THEM.

I mean, who does that? He creates beauty for the sake of beauty, with no need for the admiration of others…because that is what kind of person He is. Seriously…wow.

Wandering through that granite yard, all I could think of was Proverbs 25:2: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

In other words…God is amazing and He hides things for us, not from us, and we get the joy of searching out the things He hides for us.  Like…He hides incredible rocks for us to dig up and cut into slabs and polish and put in our houses. But He’s just fine if all they ever do is hold up dirt and trees.

So what did we end up choosing? I wouldn’t have been sad if we’d chosen either of the runners-up. They were beyond gorgeous, full of veining and movement. But in the end we agreed on this beautiful slab of White Ice granite, which is going to totally rock with the other color and style choices we’ve made. And it was less than speckled chicken granite from The Home Despot.

Winner, winner, NOT-A-CHICKEN dinner!








And here is the cherry on top for me: this granite was quarried in Espirito Santo, Brazil. Literal translation: Holy Spirit, Brazil.


Sorry, Henrietta.








The marveler

May 6, 2017

The marveler stood in a field of glass flowers, each one bobbing its head in the van Gogh wind and singing with a crystal clear voice a tune unknown to any but the flower itself. It was a wonder to behold, but the marveler barely noticed.

He stood very still, eyes closed and face slightly lifted. To any who might have noticed (although no one did) he probably looked to be enjoying the afternoon sun. But just as with the chimes of the flowers, he was unaware of the delicious light and warmth pouring down from the sky. His feet were planted on the earth, but the rest of him was long gone, having slipped into a realm of which few even dream.

Only he could see the crowd around him that pressed and danced, moving to some ancient choreography far too complicated for his marveling little brain. He heard their voices and felt their breath. He knew that some stayed close, leaping and twirling around him, making the air smile with their exuberance. Some swiftly moved past him, paying him no mind. He reciprocated. He also felt the dark dancers, their pressing shadows bringing shivers as they wove and slipped around him, their voices both enchanting and repulsive.

With his eyes closed the marveler beheld the agony and the glory of war, invisible wounds that hemorrhaged incessantly. He tasted a grief that no earthbound soul would ever understand, and he knew that when later asked the reason for his tears, he would have no reasonable explanation to offer those who can only see when their eyes are open.



Language barrier

April 11, 2017

I see the words but you hear the song

And I wish I could sing so that you’d understand

My paper and pen have no melody

They mumble a tune with no key


Once I could sing, once I could fly

Once I could leap ‘cross the blue of the sea

It seemed so easy to ride the great wind

Open my lungs, breathe it in


When air grows still and daylight fades

I slip off my shoes for to walk on my knees

The deep night exhales the faintest of tunes

I follow the sound and the moon


With twenty-six letters I’ll paint you a picture

With some colors foreign and some that you know

My broken lines may make little sense to you

Yet your heart nods in time with the view.