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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.

 

 

 

Evergreen

April 10, 2017

It’s a hunger I can’t explain

To reach beyond the finite

and grab eternity by the beard

pulling it closer for a kiss

Desperately longing to be loved best

Better than shiny stars

Better than the dripping sweets

If you loved me best you might forget

my awkward beige attempts at conversation

and perhaps instead uncover an unplumbed charm

Something irresistible and funny

Something to make you always want to stay

And never watch another over my shoulder

while you are holding me.

 

 

Of thin places

April 6, 2017

I stepped out of the storm

and found myself on an unfamiliar shore

The calm waters before me

unfazed by the violent roar gnashing at my back

the serene blue gently kissing

the sand and pebbles inches from my toes

while lightning still reached for my heels

I closed my eyes and shivered

and told myself I was safe

My head knew it was true

but my heart still pounded

as the thunder echoed in my ears

I was soaked to the bone

dripping with a fury not my own

and as I lifted my face

rivers ran down my cheeks and

I could not tell if they were made of

rain or tears.

 

Armed and dangerous

March 2, 2017

 

 

It was war

and I don’t know how I found myself in the battle

but once I saw the enemy advance

I could not turn my back on my comrades

guttural screams

metal against metal

the grinding sound of combat

close enough to feel

the breath of the adversary

And yet I seemed to be hidden

as I grabbed an arrow and swiftly aimed

and released it

watching it hit the mark while I reached for another

and another

and another

a steady rhythm of

reach

aim

release

over

and

again

so swiftly yet

so calmly

that it felt odd to consider this fighting

And yet the deadliness of my aim

made it clear that this was not play

and that sometimes we fight battles

that are ours only because

we are a we.

 

 

When Crazy turns into Amazing

February 28, 2017

Six months.

A lot can happen in six months. It can feel like forever, and it can feel like the blink of an eye. It can also feel like both at the same time. I can’t explain that; I just know it’s true.

About six months ago a Big Can of Crazy opened up in my life, one I barely survived. I’m not being dramatic when I say that. I had been a person of relatively few health issues, and out of the blue the electrical system that makes my heart work properly went on the fritz in a really bad way. You can read about it here, or a bit about the post-processing here. It’s a wild story. I’m still amazed.

A month ago I had a visit with the electrocardiologist who took over my care when I was transferred to the hospital in Pensacola. It was the first time I’d seen him since I left the hospital.

“Ok…what was THAT?” I asked him.

He just smiled ruefully and shook his head. “With as far as research and technology have come, we’re no closer to being able to predict who this will happen to than we were when I was in residency fifteen years ago.”

So strange. Apparently if it’s gonna happen, you want to be in an airport (defibrillators installed all over the place), a casino (cameras installed all over the place), or a hospital (medical personnel installed all over the place). I was, of course, in the latter.

The specialist did an EEG at the office and he also did a read on my ICD.  Both showed totally normal function, and the ICD showed no history of wackiness since it was implanted. The doctor took me off the one medication I was on to help keep the heart calm. It was never a long-term solution anyway, and we were all glad to get me off of it.

In the big picture, I had a normal heart before this happened. Then it happened, and nothing was normal and my heart kept going into lethal rhythms (which is pretty much the same as stopping, because there’s no real pulse and it can’t actually pump blood during those rhythms, and death is imminent without intervention). And now…I have a normal heart again, albeit with a few burnt spots from the ablation and a computerized watchdog sitting a few inches away in my chest.

Big picture: The visit delivered even better news than I knew to hope for. Everything is really good. I’ll have occasional follow-ups with a cardiologist and the electrocardiologist, but that’s because something happened and not because something is happening. I don’t have to take any medications for this.  The Long QT Syndrome that showed up after this happened is no longer present. I will always have an ICD in my chest as a safety net, but the battery on the one I have is currently projected to last 12 more years. There are certain medications I don’t care to ever take again because they may have played a role in setting this off (I’m looking at you, Zofran), but otherwise there are no hard and fast rules about what I can take, although I’m pretty conservative about that stuff anyway.

And hey…I still have my gallbladder! It’s not bothered me a bit since then.  Just one more thing I can’t explain, but for which I am grateful.

God has been so incredibly good and faithful to me. So many people have prayed, checked in on me, driven me places, encouraged me, reminded me of the good future before me. It is humbling to be so cared for.

This whole event, the entire six months of it, has raised many questions and also many answers. I don’t know most of the whys. I probably never will. But I know a lot more about Who, and about His heart, and the hearts of His kids.

And really, what more could I ask for?