Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Solomon and Hopkins

Untitled poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which can't help but bring to mind warnings in Proverbs about the way and the end of fools and their foolishness.

Glimmer'd along the square-cut steep.
They chew'd the cud in hollows deep;
Their cheeks moved and the bones therein.
The lawless honey eaten of old
Has lost its savour and is roll'd
Into the bitterness of sin.

What would befal the godless flock
Appear'd not for the present, till
A thread of light betray'd the hill
Which with its lined and creased flank
The outgoings of the vale does block.
Death's bones fell in with sudden clank
As wrecks of mined embers will.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Saturday

Sometimes the day is just the sort of day it should be. Maybe you don't have an epic adventure, discover a new world or a cure for caffeine addiction. You might not get a long letter in the mail or win the lottery or even find a quarter under your couch cushion.

Today has been actually nothing out of the ordinary. I got a good amount of sleep, had banana bread for breakfast and eggs and sausage for lunch, did laundry, errands and trash emptying. The sun is shining and it's probably in the 75-80 degree range, which it has been for a while - some clouds, cool wind, birds singing, the roosters crowing at ridiculous hours... But somehow it has been special.

The wind blows in the wide-open window and touches my feet, and slams my bedroom door shut. I go outside and bits of cotton and tree blossoms snow down on me. We went in to town for the Farmer's Market, with the windows down and music up (so cliche, but oh so fine). I meant to spend no money, but of course I had my wallet with me, and worse than that, my little sister who hadn't had a proper breakfast. We got caught with chocolate chip cookies and homemade ice cream. And then I got snagged at all the jewelry booths where there were 2.50 racks, especially because I'm short on earrings these days. And of course the booth with beautiful photographs of the Palouse, where note cards are only $1. We ate homemade ice cream from one cone while sitting on the edge of the fountain in Friendship Square and listening to a rendition of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison. We smelled and coveted Greek sandwiches and fresh tacos and cinnamon rolls and fresh cherries. We admired baby dresses and necklaces that cost more than we'd spend on a whole outfit of clothes, and paintings hung in NSA for the Artwalk.

The afternoon has included Jack Johnson, which I'm slowly getting able to sing along with, and the Wailin' Jennys, a new favorite. I've written a letter, made a double batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (best.cookies.ever.), given decorating advice in 3 rooms of the house, sorted out my library books into renew and return piles, and read a good portion of poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ted Kooser (how's that for variety?).

For some reason, all of these things have contributed to a peaceful and happy and productive feeling day. The past few days have been encouraging and delightful. This evening looks promising - dinner with friends and sister-date at Bucer's. And a change is coming - I am going home tomorrow, for the remainder of the summer.

God is good; happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Those around me show Him to me, and I am to mirror Him back to them; we all need God and every human relationship He has given us. The world is beautiful, and it metaphors and carries Him in every leaf and stone and blue jay's feather; the world is charged with the grandeur of God.

Let me not be as the onion woman Ted Kooser wrote about. Let me be a solar panel. Let me be a mirror. Let me be an organelle that turns beams of sunshine into green and sugar. Let me be a tulip that turns toward the life of the day and opens, and whirls on the breeze, and throws pollen to the wind, and is used to color a feast of fine and fat things. Let my colors be those of blood and of sunshine, like the tulip - ardent yellow, hungry red - and my shape be a bell to ring His praises.