Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More from Richard Wilbur

These make me laugh... what incredible wit.

From "Opposites" # 31

The opposite is fast is loose,
And if you doubt it you're a goose,
"Nonsense!"you cry.  "As you should know,
The opposite of fast is slow."
Well let's not quarrel: have a chair
And see what's on the bill of fare.

(sketch of two men sitting at
a restaurant table)

We should agree on this at least:
The opposite of fast is feast.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I miss my grown up reading time - bedtime stories with a two year old is a wonderful, blessed delight-and because my brain feels like jello and I am too tired to wake to big words and consuming thoughts - there is a lot to be found in good stories for babies. Tonight we started with Noah's ark and ended with The Very Hungry Catepillar.  C. did not care for the story of Ping, cried through some of Where the Wild Things Are when he figured out bedtime does mean bedtime, and settled in as I read a full third of the Richard Scary Copendium. Lessons learned...God blesses is fun to eat your way through from catepillar to butterfly (who doesn't like chocolate cake, pie and ice cream in the very same day...and good friends often surprise you, even when you think you know it all.
Later this evening when following a trail of internet poetry, I remembered I do so miss poetry.  I opened my collection from Richard Wilbur - skipped and flipped around landing on a dog tagged page...

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there,
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Domesticity and Gratitude

Our little house is bustling with people. A people house is a lot of work - and I am now transitioning from the slide into the empty nest - to full fledged mothering/mentoring with schedules and all. I am running to catch up.  It is a happy transition, but a lot of work.  At day five, I see my need for repentence, from selfishness and slow mode to organizing and encouraging the troops.  The biggest need for this has come in the delightful addition of C. to our home, he is two, full of energy, loves books, and beams when his Uncle "Eggy" walks in the room.  They have gotten the routines down of praying then slaying laundry room monsters, taking the little tikes truck out to pick up the mail, and that all important male job, of taking out the trash and organizing the recycling.
We had our first Saturday breakfast, it consisted making and devouring Fannie Farmer's pancakes with a few additions - chocolate chips,  sprinkles, and the ageless and might I add "easy enough for me" Mickey shape. Did I mention, the making started at 7:30 and took a full two hours to complete.  The delight and thanks on a little face was more juice than a second cup of coffee, and when he asked for another at snack time I had to laugh and concede.
E. and I was watching a talk by Susan Hunt on the role of the christian wife and mother. It was such an encouragement and admonishment - I ended up sobbing.
Anyway, this is one of those time when I feel overwhelming gratitude and awash in the knowledge I am completely unable to meet this task without the Lord's strength.  
It is funny to me, that this time last year, my expectations of what this year would look like was so very different.
TO HIM who able to do exceedingly, abudantly, above all the you think or imagine - be praise and glory...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

He has no equal...

HE has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks

From all that is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
And cries,
``Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.''

Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,

``Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.''
-Richard Wilbur

Four more days until our new additions to the "under this roof" family arrives.  Three rooms have been reallocated and are almost arranged - everyone has a space... the study has moved into the corner of the dining room and most of my books have moved to storage bins, the back of the truck, or Mc Kays ( a local bookstore - and one of our favorite haunts).  In the end, each girl has her own room with a personal bent, tans and neutrals with an artistic flare, black and cream with grown paisleys, or lime green with brilliant colors and polka dots... so fun- amazing what a little paint, a few ideas and good 'ol elbow grease can get accomplished in a week.

This poem reminded me of my heaping laundry room, it will inevitably be the last room tidy-ed up as ... it gets the bits and piles that has nowhere else to land.  Although I admit - I love when most of my house passes through it in a solitary week - this is the spring cleaning that didn't happen this spring.  Better late than never... better a purpose than just because...

Thursday, August 11, 2011



I returned home to them in full bloom.

Gotta love how God sends us pictures of His truth through the beauty and goodness in the small but incredible gifts of life.

A blooming lily - in blush pink...
A child's laugh - and peanut butter sandwiches....
A daughter's discerning dialogue about "crap" college literature -  ok - garbage is nicer, but doesn't hold the weight this literature deserves.
The knowledge that He is in all and through all.

Praise God from whom flows ALL blessings.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The story...

"This life therefore
is not righteousness
but growth in righteousness;
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not what we shall be
but we are growing toward it;
the process is not yet finished
but it is going on;
this is not the end
but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory
but all is being purified."

~ Martin Luther ~
"God doesn't start where we should be, He start where we are" - Pastor Wilson

Isn't lovely that God in His kindness gives us what we need instead of what we deserve.  I love this Luther quote, I had read it at a friend's house- she had it framed and she sent it to me this morning.
The Lord is gracious to give us His body to encourage and love us along this path.  He is good to us.
Blessed be His name.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Better than Books...

I closed my cherished online bookstore today. It wasn't very big and not at all lucrative - after expenses, I made  some hundred bucks (for the year)! However, I have enjoyed it to the point of collecting, reading, browsing, leafing through and categorizing a heaping 1000 volumes of mostly older books with occasional homeschool odds and ends. I had a grand time and it kept me busy when K. wasn't around. I would definitely do it all again, just for the opportunity to salvage through book bins.What fun!

Here are a few life lessons I've learned:

1. If it doesn't make a couple of Benjamens in a month - it's really just a hobby.
2. Hobbies are a lovely form of relaxation especially when you have lots of down time.
3. I LOVE old books more now than ever.
4. My daughter really loves to browse good old books - that tickles me!
5. Books, and particularly many books, take up a lot of room and time to organize.
6. Books are a great use of space.
7. People are the best use of space, even better than books (OR any stuff for that matter).
The permanent things matter, the temporal things only matter to the degree that they are connected with permanent things. - Thomas Chalmers
One of my favorite books of Dr. Suess is "In a People House", don't ask me why, I can't tell you objectively. Maybe it's nostalgia that grabs me...I read that book to my Mom, she read it to me and I like it. The fondness lies not in the content but rather the connection.  People, bustle... I love people in my house. Somewhere in the mix or people and bustle magic happens ... laughter and love just grows and grows. It is my greatest and daily reminder of God's grace in and through our lives, and how His sweetness seeps through the meals, and the laundry, the talks, the stories and yes, even the movie times.
We've decided to limit our library to our several book cases instead of a whole room and a half and I am not minding at all - if fact, I'm ecstatic.
One very important last detail...
K.'s cousins are coming to live with us, and this little hill cottage surrounded by trees is getting cleaned out and making ready to make room to recieve more people. What fun....what adventure! Did, I mention, I just love a people house-or is that a house full of people - or is that both or either or whatever?
So, what's...
Better than books?... a bustling, busting home with, ahem, .... just one bookcase in every room.