Sunday, July 1, 2018

Everything



Everything, it seems,
is like every other beautiful thing.
Though there are some mysteries
unlike any other mystery.
And in each one of these
individual beauties
Your essence is the common
element - making each one
both unique and akin.


Running is like life, and life is like a box of chocolates. Missing home is like missing being gone, and missing you is like a forgotten simile. So often we can only describe things by using other things as a point of reference. 


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Heart - too big


Oh my heart, my heart
It’s too big
For its still drawn to shiny things
and deep eyes.
Distracted by the temporary
and the partial.
Clinging to the hopes stored
in jars made by other men
Cut away that extra
So I can love
You.


The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your children, SO that you may love him with all of heart and with all your soul, and live. Deut 30:6

Thursday, June 14, 2018

8 years


It was a big duplex house - we had the downstairs.

Through the glass doors, that let in all of the heat, (or all of the cold) was the sunroom. It became my office - my classroom. Through that door, and to the left, was my desk. Covered with papers and books and highlighters, there was just enough room for my laptop and a mug of coffee.

In the fall of 2010, I logged on to the school’s website and started to finish my undergrad. During the winter, hunched over the heater, listening to a lecture, I would sit out in that room and dream of my career to come. During the summer, sweating without an A/C, I would write research papers mostly concerning children that I hoped I would have the chance to work with. 

We moved from that house. Then I finished undergrad and started grad school. Then we moved again. Then we became I. I took a break from classes. Then I went back at it. And then, a couple of evenings ago I got an email:


 I knew it was coming. May 19th was a while ago. But still.

Almost 8 years after I went back to finish my undergrad, and almost 6 years after I started grad school, I’ve finished.

And it feels really good. It took way too long - a ridiculous amount of time. But, also just long enough.

I think back to the person I was in 2010 and I am glad that it took me so long. I wouldn’t have had much of a chance of being a good counselor if I hadn’t lived through both the difficulties and joys of those 8 years. So, I can only be grateful.

And excited for what’s next. 

Head down, heart up, hands out. Here we go!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Bark Mulch


I’m sitting at Starbucks. I was given a gift card and I’m enjoying an Italian roast. Just outside the window of the chair that I’m sitting in is a flower bed. In that flower bed is mulch – bark mulch.

I started thinking about the owner of the bark mulch place, and how excited he was to receive word that the St. Petersburg Starbucks wanted his mulch for all of their stores. And maybe when he got into the bark mulch business all of his friends and family thought that he was ridiculous. But, he stuck to his dream of having the best barkmulch in the bay area, and here he is, just seven short years later – the barkmulch king of St. Petersburg, Tampa, and maybe all of Florida. “That risotto you’re eating?” he says to his children, “That risotto is barkmulchrisotto.” And even though it’s a lemon spinach risotto, and not barkmulchrisotto, they understand that everything they have in life is due to their dad’s persistence that barkmulch was profitable. And it’s true.

And I so often forget that life isn’t about mulch, barkmulch or any other variety, but life is always about the mulch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

#SeeYouWhenISeeYou


I’m looking at my hotel room’s wall.

When you get the kind of deal that I did, the walls are usually devoid of art. These ones are. And an artless wall is just fine with me, because I’m 2 kilometers from the airport, and in less than 12 hours I’ll be flying out of Thailand – no time for hotel art.

 When I bought these tickets back in June of last year I added on 6 days at the end of my internship. The thought was that maybe I would want to travel a bit before leaving the country. Also, there was a chance I would be leaving Thailand and not planning a return trip.

I was wrong on both accounts. Oh well, this is why my fortune-telling gig right after college never took off. When last Friday came around I was ready to be home –where I will have a hard time breathing with Bernadette, Belle, and Phil’s fur clogging up my sinuses. And, I am planning on returning to Thailand…

You know those people who always say, “It changed my life!” in regards to everything (including my famous green beans (which are good, but not that good))? I’m going to borrow a line from them.

This time changed my life.

Being in Thailand was so good. Being at Cornerstone, with some of the best people ever, has been incredible. Counseling, nearly full-time, is difficult - and I love it. Working with cross-cultural workers in a counseling environment is emotionally draining – in the best way possible. But, most of all, counseling children? I have come alive.

I don’t know, this might sound pompous, na├»ve, or misguided, but I feel deep in my bones, that God wired me to be a counselor. And even deeper, I believe life has happened how it’s happened to equip me to sit with children. So, I can’t wait to get back to it.

If I had imagined my best life for myself, I couldn’t have imagined as fulfilling of a life as the one I believe I am entering into. I had dreams. Oh, I had dreams! But, they weren’t this good. And sometimes, I had no dreams at all - other than to survive the workday, the workweek, and the worklife. But in all of those, I couldn’t have imagined this.

So, thank you. Seriously. Thank you. If you’re reading this that means that in some way you were a part of all of it. So, to nearly everyone in my world: I’ll see you when I see you, and hopefully I see you soon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Hazelnuts and Fat People

I was going to wait to show you this until I got this framed, but I'm too excited.



My friend, Erika, asked if I would like a painting done. And, immediately I knew what I wanted. Not only did Erika do an awesome job with the painting, she did an incredible job of taking my 3 separate ideas and combining them into one thought and painting. 

Here they are: 

Two Giant Fat People
God and I
have become like
two giant fat people
living on a tiny boat.

We keep bumping
into each other
and laughing  
                                         - Hafiz


The Seed Cracked Open
It used to be
that when I would wake in the morning
I could with confidence say, 
"What am 'I' going to do?"

That was before the seed
Cracked open

Now Hafiz is certain:

There are two of us housed
In this body,

Doing the shopping together in the market and 
tickling each other 
while fixing the evening's food.

Now when I awake
All the internal instruments play the same music.

"God, what love-mischief can 'We' do
for the world today?" 
                                                 - Hafiz


The Hazelnut
And in this he showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed.And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, 'What may this be?'
And it was answered generally thus, 'It is all that is made.' I marveled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothing for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God.
In this little thing I saw three properties.
The first is that God made it.
The second that God loves it.
And the third, that God keeps it.
                                                                   - Julian of Norwich

So, in response to what I am learning of, about, with God, or what is on my heart, I would go ahead and show you this painting. 










Friday, April 6, 2018

Those Grand Glories


Those Grand Glories
Yes, of course I want them

Those Grand Glories

Admiration
Adulation
Affirmation

Or were you referring to the other
lesser known glories

Friend’s laughter
patio sitting
a simple, quiet life

Those would do too



I’m more and more convinced that there is no such thing as the right way to live a life. Sure, there are wrong ways, and there are better ways, and some dogmatically inclined folks might say that there is God’s way. But, I just can’t be sure that there is one perfect way.

Maybe I am saying this because I am at a crossroads. And maybe I’m trying to pad the possible fall – limit the potential damage – soften the proverbial blow that would smack me in the face.

Or maybe, after all this time, I'm actually getting there.