My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
Perhaps it is there in His gracious rhythm and merciful pace that I find my answers.~Journal entry during COVID-19
Even amidst the stay-at-home order, I've struggled with exhaustion. Mentally mostly. I've felt pressure to continue to be productive and create routines inside my sequestered environment. Yet often, I've merely wanted to collapse on my bed and lament, "This 'new normal' is overwhelming and I have no beacn for the struggle."
One of the coping tools I've used in my daily routine is to listen to several podcasts throughout the day. One of my favorite resources is Brilliant TV where I listen to Graham Cooke and Allison Bown. There is a format where listeners can make comments. On one of the podcasts, I became attracted to a phrase that Mr. Cooke used, "the weight of His mercy." I was especially attracted to this expression, because I have felt "weighted" during the pandemic--not by mercy, but rather by depression and dread, anxiety and lethargy.
I ventured to write a comment stating how much I identified with the phrase, and this is how Allison Bown responded...
The butterfly effect is an idea that is more commonly used in chaos theory. It shows that a small change can make much bigger changes happen; that one small incident can have a big impact in the future. The idea started from weather prediction.~From Simple English Wikipedia
Today I pulled out the box where I store the love letters Giovanni has sent me over the last twenty-two years. Things started so quietly, like the whisper of butterfly wings. I penned a letter in the days before email was the norm, and social media hadn't yet evolved. I slipped the letter in the mailbox, heard the swish of the envelope dropping down into the box with all the hundreds of other pieces of mail. No plan on ever hearing back. No expectation. An exercise in purging old feelings. Nostalgia released.
Then by some tsunami of chance, there was a reply echoing across the ocean. "I am here."
God remembered us when we were down...rescued us from the trampling boot.~Psalm 136:3 (The Message)
The flawless spring day lured me outside. No one about, so I could honor social distancing. How could a day be so glorious in such dark times? If only I could drink a cup of that sunlight.
Then they appeared. Had I been so lost in thought I'd not noticed the pair? The girl trailed miles of finely plaited hair down her back, bright purple, red and golden beads threaded through the braids. When she smiled at me from across the road, perfect white teeth seemed to be synonymous with the sunlit day. A blond puppy danced at her feet. The young woman and I both stopped and turned toward each other, like we needed to. She laughed when the puppy bounded toward me, not scolding her. I could see the pink inside its ears, like the subtle color of a seashell. I wanted to pet the dog's round belly, but didn't, not risking that my touch could somehow hurt this striking individual. Then the puppy ran back to its owner. "Her name's Pearl," she shouted. "Pearl helps me not be so afraid." The girl and I lingered a moment, making eye contact, Pearl now sat panting. I could see the sharp puppy teeth, and I noted her gentle eyes.
"Courage, dear heart," said Aslan.~C.S. Lewis (From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
I didn't want to leave. Couldn't tear myself away. For the millionth time I walked to the tidal creek in an attempt to sort through my thoughts and feelings. And for the millionth and one time that terrain welcomed me into its embrace, like a friend who listens and says just the right thing. So many times that landscape had heard my longings and witnessed my melancholy. My joy.
Today was no different. The walk down the road allowed me to observe banks of pink azaleas and a cerulean sky. When I reached the tidal shore, the breeze grazed the gray-green waters, creating such enticing currents, that I yearned for a boat that would take me where they led. I listened to classical music on my headphones, the sound elegant, almost royal. Here, I could open my palms and receive the majesty of the day.
I turned and found a bench tucked away, facing the landscape. It had the last of the sun and an unusual aspect, one private but yet with an open, panoramic view of the country. A good place from which to look out, I thought; a good pace to hide; a good place to cry. I sat down and hoped no one would remove this bench; that it would remain there till the end of time.~Hisham Matar (From A Month In Siena)
I kept going back to the dream. A man I did not recognize came to me and said, "The baby is yours." He held in his arms a little girl, maybe about three months old, dressed in green and pink. Barefoot, her infant feet plump and soft. Blue eyes gazed at me, serene. The man gently placed her in my arms, and without any fretting, the baby relaxed on my shoulder and promptly fell asleep. I ran my hand over her vulnerable head. At her temple, I could see faint blue veins under the surface of her perfect skin. I bent to kiss her forehead, inhaling her fragrance. Her newness. Her warmth.
When I awakened, I felt as if the child was still in my arms. What could I make of this, other than the sheer pleasure it brought to me? I remembered my own children, when they'd sleep on my shoulder. When I could have gone on rocking them for days, just to listen to the surrender of their gentle breathing. I could remember thinking how nice it was to take a break and simply hold them. Let the list of to dos fall away. Allow the stillness. And then, after a while, they'd raise their heads, rub their eyes and scurry down from my lap. I could remember those brief moments of relaxation and how the peacefulness made a difference in the day. Calmed me.