Thursday, December 30, 2010

winter moments

through the ice-sheeted windows

landscapes move by,

frozen watercolor paintings


somewhere a dog is barking

at the early morning silence –

the cold so intense just before dawn

and the world one dark silhouette

to the grey sky

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brief Poem

In Waves


All night the little whitecaps

of stinging saltwater –

silent laps around your dreams


Then the weary grey morning

and the tide returning –

breathless, blue and cold

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A good kind of review

Doug Wilson reviews Dawn Treader (and tosses in some thoughts on the previous Narnia films at the same time). Grading them fairly according to being adaptations of Lewis, or as 'just movies' is something I've been trying to do myself.

I also appreciated this review from Touchstone magazine, which brought to the light a major theme of Lewis that has been mangled in the movies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Name Gourmand"

A poem that has some really splendiforous lines!

"...the susurrous

and rattling runs of consonants, the shallow
and broad bellow of vowels, all that music..."

You should read it yourself on Poetry Daily:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pre-writing, or What *AM* I doing after graduation??

One of my professors' assignment was writing a 1250-word paper, due week 7 of our term. But the method meant starting back around week 3: multiple paper drafts, each one written in at least two sittings, printing and proofreading before typing the next one. Confusing? Yes.

The best thing about this plan was stage 1, which we call the Zero Draft. It's seriously the least-intimidating, least-stressful kind of writing on earth: brain-dumping. You don't have to have a thesis statement, an argument, even complete sentences. You just start typing about anything remotely related to the subject, plopping in block quotes from sources, brilliant and idiotic statements from you, questions to self... yes, stream-of-consciousness brain-dump.

Of course, once you've done the gathering-of-stuff, it's time to take up hammer and nails and actually construct something out of the mess of materials. But this pre-decision, pre-building, is not to be underrated: you need it to check inventory: what you have, what you need, what you want, what you like, what is a possibility and what has absolutely no basis for inclusion here.

I'm pretty sure this is time for Zero-Draft inventories regarding my life, and the pages aren't pretty at the moment. I don't have a strong thesis statement yet, but I know I need to eventually: decided, supported, printed up and stapled with a satisfying click. Maybe graduation would make a nice deadline for this plan to be complete. For now, I have a lot of random thoughts, likes, notions, dreams, all bumping around in my noggin, that aren't formed enough for me to pick out of it a direction to go, a blueprint to build on, a paper to write.

But I'm grateful for the time I have for zero-drafts and rough-drafts and red-pen editing of my life's plan. Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Life is busy. Life is tired. Life is happy. Life is stressful. Life is insane. Life is confusing. Life is God. Life is life.

I've been keeping plenty busy. And for some reason I can only attribute to God's grace, my attitude has been keeping pretty much at an even keel. Of course I have moments like last night around 10pm (when I look at the paper I'm supposed to be writing and scroll up and down it and have no idea what to write on it next and lean back on the couch and let my eyes unfocus as they are wont to do and realize that I am ultimately TIRED and decide I will just go to bed), but mostly, it's been a doable thing, this Living.

Lots is on my mind. Here is some of it in its kind of messy glorious randomness:

-We're reading Bunyan, and discussing things like whether he should be considered one of the greats of English lit, and the theme of sight in his book.
-I like Mat Kearney's music.
-Today one of my classmates told us about the movie The Tempest coming out. I'm not sure what Shakespeare or his diehard fans would think, but I'm excited.
-What passage of Greek should I memorize for my final?
-I really, really, really want to play Balderdash lately. Does anyone have it that I could borrow??
-Lots of people think Milton was unfair to Eve. I think Eve and Adam had the exact same problem in Paradise Lost. Hopefully my paper will prove that.
-I love having new studded snow tires on my car and actually being able to stop at a light and not slide into someone in front of me.
-I lost one of my driving gloves. Yeah, that's annoying. Hopefully someone will run across it at school and I can get it back. It might have fallen down behind the candy machine.
-The other day I went to the dollar store and had way too much fun. I love the cinnamon-apple candle and the pencil-case I now have.
-Wake Awake has been playing in my head today. Beautiful Christmas song!
-Paychecks are awesome.
-Seth T is hilarious. End of story.
-It's just about a month until I go to Montana for Justine's wedding. This makes me very happy.
-The juniors put at least 4 trees up at school (I haven't gone into every room, so maybe more). Nice job! Although I wouldn't say they did better than we did, the Commons tree = fabulous.
-I have two finals for each class I'm taking. ***freak moment*** Okay I'm back. At least that's only 6 this term, plus my thesis being due. Only.
-I have no facebook account right now. I think I'll be back in a few weeks; taking a little hiatus.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Somersaulting and Submission

I wish my back felt flexible enough to make somersaulting fun.
But I'm pretty sure I've never been able to stretch and touch my toes, even as a kid, and don't even try anymore. The last time my sisters watched me attempt it, I was practically hooted out of the room. Apparently my hands reached about to my knees.
It's not that I have a weak or painful back; it's just got almost no curve to the spine. Perhaps it is too rigid and needs a bit of oiling.

My neck could use some help as well. It is sore, and it is stiff. Sometimes I think I can blame it on the scapegoat for everything - studying: all that leaning forward to type at a laptop on the coffee table, carrying a heavy book bag on the right shoulder, and all the jerking awake at painfully sleepy moments.
A massage would be really nice right about now. It's amazing how kind hands can soften stubborn muscles, and firm hands can loosen bound ones.

God, give me strength and submission, contentment and courage. Soften me with your hands, mold me with Your hands, direct me with your hands, support me with Your hands. And turn and return me to that old wonder that is obsession and duty, obedience to Love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Seven Years Ago

This picture was not taken 7 years ago, but more like 3.

Seven years ago this evening [01/02], I was standing by the bookshelf when my mom called me, and I glanced at the page number of the book in my hands before slipping it back on the shelf to come back to in a few minutes. That didn't happen.

It was a cold day in early December, and Mom was going into labor, which wasn't supposed to happen until the middle of February.

But the next morning, two little persons said hello to the light of day at a hospital in Spokane, and their tiny premature faces with the tubes and wires stuck to them, the skinny legs and the wrinkled toes, began to cheer our lives and mend our hearts. Baby James was given and taken not so long before, and these two new souls in frail pink bodies filled up the emptiness of arms.

Of course, it was a while before we could hold them in our arms, literally. I remember Mom being so happy when she could sit in a rocker in the NICU with them in her arms, albiet still connected to their life-supporting paraphernalia. We made trips in the van, we took turns washing and dressing in yellow hospital gowns, we touched small feet and spoke cooing words and had pictures taken. And six weeks after their rather abrupt arrival, they were released to come home.

These little dudes are going to be 7 tomorrow. They love bacon and sausage and hot dogs, and eggs of all kinds. They like Cars and Toy Story and Narnia, and Planet Earth DVDs. They are as heavy as their big sister, 9 year old Naomi. They have bright blue eyes and buzzed blond hair, and huge toothy smiles. They read short words and write letters to their big sisters away at college and carry the firewood in every day. They ride bicycles and saucer sleds and the miniature horse.

Sometimes it's hard to see them as the same kids who were in those rectangular beds with "Dahlin Baby Boy A" and "Dahlin Baby Boy B" above their heads; the boys who were named Andrew and Peter, for about 5 minutes, then quickly switched to Abel and Seth; the babies who drank such tiny amounts of milk when they first came home,that we had to wake them up to feed them every 1 1/2-2 hours; the jammied babies sleeping in the cradle together; the fat 1-year-olds cruising the living room in their two little walkers.

They are seven. But they also love to ask for a story when I go home, and to sit on my lap and get a back rub. They still ask for the Minotaur story, and for me to read the big book of fairy tales. They still take naps. And they still give spontaneous hugs and ask for piggy back rides. They are our kiddos.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Little" brother turning 18

-I'm still trying to believe he's old enough to drive, and he's out plowing snow in my dad's pickup, earning money for the family.

-The earliest picture I have of him is at about a day old. I'm in an ugly brown and orange fuzzy sweater, he's in a soft blue blanket, and it looks like he's staring up at me.

-I've never seen someone eat as many large piles of pasta or pieces of bread as Jonny. I'm sure he eats 7 or 8 times what I do, but only rarely touches dessert.

-His other great appetite is for books. The first place to look for him if you haven't seen him in a couple hours is up in the library, standing by the bookshelf, perched on the window sill/seat, or on the edge of the desk, a western or a history or a book on planes in his hands.

-We've had a few emergency-room visits over the years, but he's the only one who needed one while still in diapers. Fence staples are not healthy things to teeth on, and especially not good to try and swallow.

Happy birthday to little brother!