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.
I keep scraping at the world trying to find something.~line from the BBC series, Marriage
I got locked out of a new phone, because I created a pin and couldn't remember it--didn't record the numbers anywhere. All my fault. I Googled to see how many four-digit number combinations there are between zero and nine. Ten-thousand. Hopeless. I'd already attempted about a hundred. The customer service person at T-Mobile scolded, "You created the pin. That's a personal thing. There's no way I can help you retrieve it." My husband said (not in a mean way), "Priscilla, that phone's a brick." I laughed (a little).
I had tried so hard. I always try really hard. I scrape around attempting to do what's best, do the right thing, make the prudent decision. Sometimes, though, all that trying is not enough. So I prayed, "God, I feel guilty that I screwed up the pin. I surrender. If the phone remains a brick, that's okay. I will trust your leading, your provision, whatever that looks like. Above all, I have so much to be thankful for. For You in my life, for my darling husband who is smart and has good ideas, who's a great trouble shooter." I'd just read the the parable of Jesus feeding the five thousand. I continued to pray, "Lord I don't have any idea how to fix the phone, just like the boy with five loaves and two fish had so little to offer that vast crowd of hungry people. I'll trust you to multiply the meager supply in my hand."
Something in my heart flared.~Anthony Doerr (From Four Seasons In Rome)
I forget, sometimes, how safe God is. I share a few sentences from my book, The Light By Which We See, Love, Art, Marriage. This day in Barcelona helps me remember.
When I traveled to Europe, self-consciousness about how I looked rose to the surface. That day in Barcelona, in 2009, in April, I observed a woman board our train. Her dark hair gleamed, and her skin reflected no flaws. She had pink, full lips and gloriously white teeth--shiny natural nails. She wore a silver ring. I wanted to be her. Giovanni held my hand, his thumb gently rubbing back and forth over my freckled skin. The woman glanced briefly at us. She looked at our hands. Her glimpse wasn't even a second, but I saw a flicker cross her face--that expression that let me know she'd seen something intimate--something that wasn't a commonplace occurrence. Then she quickly looked away. If I hadn't been watching her so closely, I'd have missed it. Maybe she wanted to be me--sitting there with someone, connected to someone.
I could hear the rushing of the train, its loud rumblings, the clattering. My thoughts howled as loudly as the train. I cried out, my voice blending with the clamoring, thundering train. "Please stop. Please stop. God what is it? Let me want to be me."
Sometimes I push my thumb into an orange just for the scent of it, and it takes me there; the peace, the spaciousness of an unhurried afternoon, the quality of attention to small things.~Katherine May (From Enchantment, Awakening Wonder In An Anxious Age)
I am often distracted. My focus spins out of control. I get enamored with brightly lit concepts and ideas that steer me off course. Instagram images, video games, movies with too many episodes that I am tempted to spend hours and hours watching all at one time. Scrolling on linked in. There are so many authors promoting books. There must be thousands. There are actually tens of thousands. It is easy to compare myself with others who appear to have much more success. I am squinting into the brightness. I do not pick up my pen in the blinding glare.
One of my sisters taught me the phrase, "pick up my pen." She says, "I decided to 'pick up my pen' and write a book." She writes two pages every day. She is building something. My other sister just graduated from seminary. She is packing up with her husband and moving to Washington state to begin a ministry there. She is building something, too. Step by step. My sisters manage distraction well.
The bright side of the planet moves toward darkness
And the cities are falling asleep, each in its hour,
And for me, now as then, it is too much.
There is too much world.~Czeslaw Milosz (From The Separate Notebooks)
I dreamed last week that I saw a white arrow pointing forward. I wasn't sure what to make of the dream when I awakened. It was not an ominous dream.
Then yesterday, I was a greeter at church. A strong wind blew. Rain pelted the sidewalk. People began streaming into the church, some faces familiar. Some not. Then I looked up at the sky, and I noted patches of blue, the sun peering through. Two weather systems in the span of fifteen minutes.
Another parishioner greeted people with me. During a lull in people arriving, we began to talk about our lives.
This ascetic cubicle of regret...you couldn't go back he understood that now. You had to press on. You had to forge ahead.~Elizabeth Brundage (From The Vanishing Point)
I've been thinking about moving when you don't want to. When you are forced to. A good friend of mine had to pack up and move quickly. Rent a truck and find boxes. Boxes are hard to find. You have to scramble. So much tape. So many emotions that must be pared down along with all the things.
His mother came to help, kept things flowing. "You probably won't use that. Leave it here." She wrapped the oriental vases carefully, her hands strong. Capable.
And so a picture here, another there removed from the wall. You can see the outline of the frame, the paint slightly darker where the picture once sat, the hooks exposed. A naked, vulnerable space.