Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Need to Tell

One of my bestie blogger friends sent me this link wondering if these words were meant for me. Erin knows my deep places and my story. The fact that she sent them to me with a "thought this might be for you" and a link made me gird up my loins before I read them.

"Most writers, like most children, need to tell.

The only problem is that much of what they need to tell will provoke the ire of parent-critics, who are determined to tell writer-children what they can and cannot say.

Unless you have sufficient ego and feel entitled to tell your story, you will be stymied in your effort to create.

You think you can't write, but the truth is you can't tell.

Writing is nothing if not breaking the silence."

--Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers

She was right. Words have been very far way from me this past year.

The book is on order. Thank you Erin.

via Jen Lee

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The problem with certainty

"Ignorance does not result from what we don’t know! Ignorance results from what we think we do know—but don’t! Most ignorant people are, in fact, quite certain."

Richard Rohr

Thank you Mike Todd!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Leaving our guns at the door

Longing for this today:

When we are free from the need to judge or condemn, we can become safe places for people to meet in vulnerability and take down the walls that separate them. Being deeply rooted in the love of God, we cannot help but invite people to love one another. When people realise that we have no hidden agendas or unspoken intentions, that we are not trying to gain any profit for ourselves, and that our only desire is for peace and reconciliation, they may find the inner freedom and courage to leave their guns at the door and enter into conversation with their enemies.

Many times this happens even without our planning. Our ministry of reconciliation most often takes place when we ourselves are least aware of it. Our simple, nonjudgmental presence does it.

Henri Nouwen

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Miracles are a retelling
in small letters
of the very same story
which is written across
the whole world
in letters too large
for some of us to see.


C S Lewis

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Free the Bumble!!

Just got invited by my friend on Facebook, Chris Coyle, to correct one of the greatest injustices of our generation - please read on to join our cause:

After seeing a show aimed at children in which a noble creature was taunted, baited, captured, tortured, maimed and mutilated and then used for slave labor and entertainment my daughters turned to me, horrified. I promised to do something, and I'm asking for your help.

A beautiful white ape-like creature with eerily human features and expressions once lived off in the wild frozen tundra of the polar region keeping a respectful distance from the nearest man. His icy eden was spoiled by a crazed capitalist prospector known as Yukon Cornelius who was determined to strip the area of its resources, be they gold, silver or peppermint.

Wary of outsiders following his encounters with Yukon, the gentle giant was understandably curious and terrified by a subsequent invasion by a sadistic elf accompanied by a sweet but confused reindeer. The reindeer was afflicted with a bright and shining nose. The presence of these two triggered our polar ape to give vocal warning and to follow them out to the perimeter of his territory along with the cunning Yukon.

A brief aside about the elf in question in case you doubt his character: some defect in his nature caused him to reject a life of bringing joy to children and to instead secretly delve into a fascination with inflicting pain on mankind of all ages.

After leaving the Yeti's stomping grounds the group went on to join a gang known as the Misfits who lived in colony much like Major Kurtz's. (editorial comment: have to admit, a gang led by a flying lion wearing a crown would be tempting. Moonracer, you are the coolest).

Conflicted about his 'friends' the reindeer returns to his turf, er, tundra but finds that his herd has strayed into the Yeti's domain. A natural prey of the beast, this was a foolish choice. At this point the story takes an ugly turn. Rather than allowing the Circle of Life, the the prospector and Hermey the creepy elf take advantage of the moment to bait the bumble into an ambush. Not content with rescuing the should-be meal, the twisted little Hermey pulls every tooth from the animals head and then he and Yukon mock the poor animal before attempting to push him to his death off a cliff.

In his attempt to kill the now harmless creature (who, having had his teeth pulled, unfortunately completely forgot about his fierce claws and his ability to deliver crushing eye-rolling blows using ice stalactites as a club) the penurious prospector also went over the edge.

As we find out later, the mutilated and humiliated so-called 'abominable' uses his own body to save his tormentor's life.

How is the benign benevolent Bumble rewarded for self-sacrificial act? Slavery. In one of the most blatant shockingly imperialistic quotes of the show, the treatment of the bumble is explained away as "I've reformed this bumble. He wants a job." Sick. Colonialism much? Maybe he wants his land, his teeth and his freedom!?!

I don't know what we can do but at least now you're aware.

Join Our Cause


(Thank you Chris - you have definitely missed your calling - OpEd for the Tribune is in your future!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

From Away

This was a piece I did for my friend Idelette for her Advent Adventure series. I haven't written anything substantial in awhile, so I thought I'd include it here too.

“We’re pretty underwhelming” the voice said on the other end of the phone.

I reassured him, that stuff isn’t what we’re about.

He’s the director of the Masters program my husband and I are interested in. We were planning to visit the University to see if this was a place we could raise our family. We already knew the program fit our DNA, we had no idea what New Brunswick would be like though.

When we told people we were considering a move to St. Stephen we were told by our Canadian family that people don’t move to New Brunswick, they move from New Brunswick. It’s an area of the world that has been hit hard by progress, the brain drain and muscle drain of the lucrative western Provinces with the oil sands and industry stripped much of the able population from it’s shores.

One of my mentors in Pennsylvania, upon hearing our plans looked me in the eyes and said “Oh Heidi, you don’t want to move to New Brunswick, it’s barren.”

As a woman who struggled with infertility for the first nine years of her marriage that word created deep fear in me.

And yet it still called to us, we knew deep within us that this was the direction we were supposed to head.

We packed our trusty 20+ year old Volvo station wagon and headed on an East Coast Fall Foliage tour like we could have never dreamed of. It ended with Hurricane Wilma hitting the coast of Maine as we drove up the small two lane highway getting blasted by rain as the logging trucks sped past us.

Just a small town, a tiny University, that, from our perspective, had only existed for about a month, coupled with a sincere welcome deeply soothed our ministry trodden souls. This place felt more like home in one weekend than any of the other dozen places I had lived up to this point.

We had no idea how it would happen, but we knew that this was where we were supposed to be.

On our drive home we finally got to see the scenery we had missed on the drive up. Mountains, rivers, ocean, color, blue skies - a place pulsing with life, growth and richness. There was little sign of the scary barrenness we were warned about.

We packed everything we could (only half of what we owned fit into the moving truck) sacrificing many precious possessions we knocked the dust off our feet and prayed that the predicted blizzards would not delay our arrival.

Very early in 2006 we moved into our rented home and landed in a culture more foreign to us than any of our previous moves.

How could it feel so familiar?

Why did it feel like we’ve returned?

In the end those questions didn’t matter.

All we knew was that it did. It felt like home.

In conversation with the locals while we changed our drivers licenses, plates and set up our utilities we found ourselves in similar conversations. “Turner? Oh, you must be related to the Turners out on Little Ridge?” “Nope.” We’d answer. “Oh, then ones out in Oak Bay?” “No. We’re not related to anyone around here.” “Then why’d you move HERE? They’d ask, the same quizzical looks on their faces.

We’d talk about the University, how much we loved the ocean, how warm the people were and how we needed a change. Most of the time the expressions on their faces would deepen instead of ease. We found the quickest answer in an expression they use for tourists and interlopers. “Oh, you’re from away.” they’d state as if that explained everything.

From away.

How could that be? I finally found someplace that felt like home. Even more than the place I was born. No, I wasn’t from away, I’d think. This place knows me. This place is mine.

During one of the administrative tasks of changing over documents and registering utilities we ended up at town hall. They had the New Brunswick flag hanging with it’s white sailed ship and the Provincial motto written in Latin “Spem Reduxit”. I wrote those words down on a scrap of paper in my purse and googled it when I returned home. When I found out it’s meaning I wept.

Spem Reduxit - Hope Was Restored

That’s why this place felt so much like home.

The local joke is that your family can live here for generations and still be considered “from away”. They only consider those born and bred on the Bay of Fundy as locals.

Last spring I was celebrating with friends at a local tradition called a kitchen party - lots of instruments, singing and laughter. A friend had written a song using the motto, it is deeply moving to me. It’s called New Brunswickers Arise. I leaned over and whispered to one of my professors that I am going to begin calling myself a “New New Brunswicker” and he smiled, shook his head and said “Oh, you think it’s that easy, eh?”

Last August we finally bought our home here. We are putting down roots. Deep roots. Our family has begun to discuss how we plan to decorate our new home for the holidays. It’s exciting to know that where we decide to put the advent candle wreathe and the Christmas tree will begin a tradition that could continue for the rest of our lives. We are settling in. And no matter what the locals might think we are not from away anymore.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Captured

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”

~Hafiz

via swirly girl

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shane Claiborne in Esquire Magazine

"To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Best ever yeasted waffles recipe

I'm posting this recipe here because I was glorying in the aroma the morning I made these on Facebook and friends have asked for the recipe.

These are the most amazing waffles - we got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated Holiday 2007 magazine. The difference from chemically leavened (baking powder/soda) waffles is that they crisp up so beautifully and are light and airy. You make the batter the night before and let it rise in the fridge (some yeasted recipes call for leaving out on the counter, but the yeast moves too quickly and then baking soda needs to be added and the batter gets a bit tangy).

I doubled this recipe with great results and got 10 square waffles from my Black & Decker Griddle/Wafflebaker (this was rated "best buy" both Cooks Illustrated and Consumer Reports - and it's affordable - I dream of the Kitchen Aid Pro, but this one makes really good waffles (better than the Krups Belgium Iron I have too - it does look like it was made in the 80's though).

Here's the ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 8 tblsp. butter (calls for unsalted, but i didn't have any so I didn't use the 1 t. added)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (they go into long description of flours tried, all purpose was the best for this recipe)
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (I used Fleishman's Rapid Rise)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
The night before:

Heat milk & butter in small saucepan over medium low heat until butter is melted, 3-5 minutes (I used pyrex measuring cup and the microwave at 30 second intervals until butter was melted). Whisk flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl to combine (make sure this bowl fits in your fridge and that it has enough room for the yeast to double the batch overnight). Gradually whisk warm milk-butter mixture into flour mixture; continue to whisk until batter is smooth. In small bow, whisk eggs and vanilla until combined, then add egg mixture to batter and whisk until incorporated. Scrpae down side of bowl with rubber spatula, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for at least 12 (up to 24) hours.

The morning:

Heat waffle iron, remove waffle batter from fridge and iron is hot (batter will be foamy and double in size). Whisk batter to recombine (batter will deflate). Bake waffles according to your waffle iron instructions and INHALE one of the best fragrances known to man - oh my heavens - it is glorious!

Serve waffles immediately or hold in 200-degree oven (baking sheet w/ cooling rack to hold waffles, cover with clean tea towel - but remove towel for a few minutes before serving to re-crisp the waffles). It also recommends room-temperature syrup as the hot syrup soaks into the waffles too quickly and softens their texture (CI thinks of everything!)

Oh, and a side note - single ladies - if your man enjoys looking at Cooks Illustrated better than Sports Illustrated put a ring on it - you won't be sorry!

Enjoy!!!

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Butterfly Circus

20 minutes & a box of kleenex. You won't be sorry. Beautiful.



Thank you Matt!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Subtle Illness

Afraid of Being Hurt

We may need most to pity persons who have had no problems too big for themselves. Such persons have no remembrance of pain and loss and a crying in the night which will let them hear this in the life of another. Perhaps of all people they are the most lost---lost to self and to a world acquainted with grief.

Somehow we keep our lives so well hidden from one another that we do not guess that we are not alone. Distrust is among our subtle illnesses. We were given hearts for "reciprocal trust," but fear has built high walls. We are afraid of being hurt, and when we talk, we make ourselves vulnerable. What we say can be used against us or betray our loyalty to another, and so we add isolation to our own burden and the burden of others.

Elizabeth O'Connor

Source: Journey Inward, Journey Outward

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Timely Prayer

Bring us home, O Lord.

When our bodies ache, our minds fail, our cells turn against our very being---bring us home, O Lord, to your perfect healing of our mind, body and soul.

When we are angry and impatient with our brothers and sisters, when we are unfriendly to the stranger, when we harbor fears and resentments---bring us home, O Lord, to your perfect love.

When our money runs low, our homes are lost, our children go hungry---bring us home, O Lord, that we might have life and have it abundantly.

When we tolerate human suffering, ignore the plight of the foreigner, allow nation to rise up against nation---bring us home, O Lord, that we might live in your perfect peace....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stable?

Oh Brian - you made me laugh out loud this morning at 6:30 AM! (Atlantic time!)

From today's StoryPeople:

stable as long as nothing else in the whole world shifts
(so don't get your hopes up)


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Narrative law

Provocative thoughts from Donald Miller on his blog this a.m.:

"Many people are moral for religious reasons, stating their morality comes from the Bible or a sacred text (which, while these books can influence morality, are not written with the intention of defining a moral code. If they are, they are terribly written and the authors couldn’t land their point.)"

More here: Donald Miller: On Morality and Narrative Law

Friday, October 09, 2009

Surrender


If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison

image taken at the Oregon coast - summer 2008

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Best snack evah!

Mmmmmmmm....Pepitas!! I have talked about roasting pepitas in my facebook update so often, and I get so many questions about it that I thought I would document the process, ala Pioneer Woman (but without all of the beautiful bokah photos and humor she is so well known for) so that others might be able to enjoy them too. So easy!



Take raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds w/out the shell) - I get mine at the Bulk Barn. If you're not in Canada you won't know what that is, but it's a lovely little chain of bulk stores across the country - their dried (unsweetened) mango is the best ever!



Toss as many as you can eat in a pan, no oil - just like you'd roast pine nuts or almonds. DON'T WALK AWAY - this is important as nuts roast quickly once they decide to roast and you can have a big smokey mess on your hands if you learn this the hard way - trust me! :]



Keep them moving - they are green to start, will toast up nicely and begin to talk to you in the pan. Rice Crispies have nothing on pepitas!

Once they start to shed their skins a bit you'll hear them snap and see the floaty bits of skin start to rise in the steam you'll know they're almost done. The smell is almost as good as the CNE nut carts in the Ag Building, almost (and it won't set you back $7.00 for a tiny bag of nuts!)

Put sea salt (I had to use Kosher Salt as I'm out of sea salt) into mortar & pestle and pulverize to a fine dust.



Sprinkle on nuts



Enjoy!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Dirty laundry

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

from my dear Anj

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Out of Tune

All music jars when the soul is out of tune.

Miguel de Cervantes

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautifully obvious

"It all looks so beautifully obvious--in the rear mirror," wrote the novelist and social philosopher Arthur Koestler. "But there are situations where [one] needs great imaginative power, combined with disrespect for the traditional current of thought, to discover the obvious."

(From Koestler's The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe, quoted in Thomas Homer-Dixon's The Upside of Down.)

via my friend Mike

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Building Blocks of Storytelling - Ira Glass

Ira Glass from NPR "This American Life" talks about the Storytelling - so good.

Available as a four-part series on YouTube: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 and Part 4

via Putting Things Off - The Importance of Abandoning Crap

An invitation to the future


this is an invitation to an amazing future & I can guarantee it because most futures are & even if they aren't there are better things to do than blaming me about it

via StoryPeople

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Words fall in

As we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts.

So we place them on top of our hearts.

And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks, and the words fall in.

Source: Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Add your thoughts at inward/outward

image source

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm sorry

Great article on the difference between true apologies and apologia - based in the political arena, but useful as a metaphor for teaching in all areas - what is the real difference?

Joe Wilson, Obama and the Clintons: The Dance of the Apologists

Friday, September 11, 2009

Every pull


From the urgent way lovers want each other
to the seeker's search for truth,
all moving is from the mover.
Every pull draws us to the ocean.
-Rumi

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I made a mess of me

Ya'll know I'm a huge Jon Foreman/Switchfoot fan - he posted this picture on his blog the other day and it made me smile.

Just got an email this a.m. of a video they put together of their new song "Mess of Me" - I love it already:

I am my own affliction
This sickness is myself
I am my own disease

I want to reverse this tragedy

I made a mess of me
I want to get back the rest of me
I want to spend the rest of my life ALIVE

Glorious! You really are beautiful on the inside Mr. Foreman!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Two Middle Schoolers!

First Day of Middle School
Grade 8 for Alinea
Grade 6 for Jacob
 
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

MY new library!

 

 

 


I was offered a job a few weeks ago to be the new part-time librarian at the Milltown Elementary School - I accepted and got to see my new library today! Isn't it pretty? You can't even imagine how incredibly excited I am to have this opportunity. Helping kids fall in love with words, stories and books - what an honor.

Libraries hold a special place in my history. They have always been safe places. To be in charge of creating a safe place for young minds gives me great joy.
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Twins at heart

One of the most beautiful things the internet has given me is the understanding that I am not alone. I don't know if everyone feels this way, but I spent much of my life not fitting in, feeling odd, unique or really different in so many places I've lived. One of the great things that the world wide web has going for it is that it is self-sorting. Like finds like. And I have found some amazing people, kindred souls and realized that while I am different I am not unique or alone.

One of the most surprising connections I have made was getting to know Chris. We were born a world apart, 2 months and a few days in age, but grew up in such similar, but very different ways - I read his thoughts and words and feel such a deep pull. With his red hair he had as a boy we truly looked like we could be twins. I adore him and find deep meaning in his words and thoughts. We have never met, and may never meet, but my heart has a deep connection.

I noticed one day on a facebook update by Jon Foreman of Switchfoot that they were playing an unplugged show for a free donation to a foodbank in Boise Idaho - where Chris lives. I knew that this wasn't his music, but I fb'd him and said something like "go and record it for me, I sure wish I could be there" - not really thinking anything at all about him really going, but more just a cry from a heart that lives far too away from civilization to ever be able to do anything like that again, not complaining, it's just one sacrifice we make living on the edge of the world near to all of this beauty.

I didn't think much of it until I got a note from Chris asking for my address. I gave it to him, we were switching craft projects for a fb meme we did and I thought this might be that - what he did for me was so way better. He went to that square little coffee shop for me, waited an eternity, didn't even get near the concert, but stood in line forever to get Jon Foreman to sign a book that Chris knew I'd love. He'd done some research on Switchfoot and found that they did the soundtrack to Prince Caspian, and knew that I was a Lewis fan. He bought this book for me, and after he waited in line for hours when he neared the front they turned him away. Chris begged to have Jon sign the book for me.

It's one of the most kind, intuitive, thoughtful gifts I've ever received. The book is called From the Library of CS Lewis - selections from writers who influenced his spiritual journey. Thank you Chris, my twin brother from a different mother. I adore you, you are so sweet and thoughtful and I pray some day we will be able to meet f2f. This was one of the best house warming presents I could have ever gotten.

 

 
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Home is where the art is

My Aussie friend Kel left this as a comment on my last post and it was too cute to hide there:

home is where the heat is
oops, the heart is
no, the art is

Thanks Kel - it is our deep hope that this home truly is where the art is and that we can touch the creative parts of ourselves here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

House Warming

Two godsends in the Turner family house - our lovely wood stove kept us cozy the other night when the temperature dropped, and our brand new wall oven got installed yesterday. We are happy, happy.


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Friday, August 21, 2009

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it's a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

by Portia Nelson

via Inward/Outward

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A friend indeed (and need)

Many of you need no introduction to my beloved friend Claudia Mair Burney - better known to many of us in the blogosphere as the Ragamuffin Diva.

There is NO ONE in the world, (yes, even Annie Lamott) who writes my soul like this woman. She has wires and words into the heart of God like no one I've ever read before. Her story is one of pain and triumph and at the base of it all is a heart of a lioness that beats to an awesome drummer.

Mair has been through the ringer of roller coaster land these past few months - with the highest highs (her novel Zora & Nicky nominated for a Christy Award) and the lowest of lows - their old Eagle Spirit got stolen a few weeks ago.

Claudia, Ken & family are saving all their pennies to get down to Lexington to an incredible intentional community there - think Will & Lisa Samson - and she'll be doing work with women who have been trapped in human trafficking. They need to get out of Detroit ASAP and get down to Lexi so their babies can get into school and start their lives surrounded by a strong, beautiful community.

Here's Claudia's post: Will You Join Me In Love?

Life in Inkster, Michigan (think Detroit) has been rough and I really want to speed their progress if at all possible. So many of us support amazing causes and families overseas - I thought maybe, just maybe that generosity might help a little closer to home. Lots of small donations can make a huge difference online - if this could go viral we could really get that family a real start in the deep heart of Dixie. Are you with me?

Will you help?

Here's how:

1. Please use your blog, twitter account, facebook update - any online social networking you use to draw attention to this. We need to love on this family - Claudia is about as discouraged as discouraged can be right now - she needs to feel the love more than anything.

2. Pray - This family needs every level of support - this is a huge move with lots of details on both ends that need to be put in place and tied up - can you please ask God to prepare a place for them and a way to get them there?

3. Give - even tiny amounts online can help - lots of people giving small amounts can change everything.


Click ChipIn to donate

Trust me, this woman has already begun to make a big impact on the world around her - a strong community supporting them could make everything change.

Here's just a small sample of why she's stolen my heart:

The Naked Prophetess

For the Journey


Incarnation

Monday, July 06, 2009

A House Blessing

My house blessing from Kel (I love it SO much! Thank you Kellie!)

May you listen to your longing to be free

May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering to your heart that something good is going to happen to you

May you find harmony between your soul and your life

May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place

May you know the eternal longing that is at the heart of time

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within

May you never place walls between the light and yourself

May your angel free you from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you and embrace you in belonging

~John O’Donohue

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

of kale and catastrophe, greens and grace

My blogger/chef/poet/friend Milton took my breath away this morning. Enjoy:

If you were speaking in parables
this afternoon, would you still talk
about seeds and birds and trees?

You see, what we know of farming
are supermarket shelves of Costa Rican
bananas and Peruvian asparagus;

a flower box of basil in the yard,
summer trips to the farmer’s market.
(Why is it so expensive?)

In our world of uniform tomatoes,
our apples sit, shiny and stacked in rows,
our Blackberries know nothing of time.

We fly so fast down the highway
we fail to see the clusters of muscadine
on the fence line, wild onions in the ditch.

I’m answering my own question. True
theology isn’t thirsting for a technological
upgrade: it’s still God 1.0: Christological kudzu.

Tell me the story again, in this summer
of kale and catastrophe, greens and grace;
and I will do my best to see and hear.

Peace upon you Milton, please keep linking thoughts, phrases, food, theology and grace together - you are a master blend of Wendell Berry and Ted Loder and a true Guerilla of Grace for me today! Thank you!

Enjoy Milton's blog here: Don't Eat Alone

Friday, June 26, 2009

Of roots and foundations - An Invitation

Can't stop thinking about the house, and it's rendered me totally ineffective until our appointment with our lawyer at 4:00 today (we're signing papers today, transfer of $ happens on Monday - yikes!)

One of the things that I want to do echoes something my blogger friend Kel did as they built their glorious artist retreat/home, Anamrae, in Australia these past few years. They built from scratch, and so we can't do exactly what they are did - but our version will be very similar.

Kel asked all her family and friends (even those of us who were from far away) to contribute prayers, blessings, poems and notes that they could write on timbers and beams, drop into the walls before they were closed in and say over their home. Our basement in our new home is high and dry and one of our first projects will be to insulate the walls. Before that happens I will be letting our community loose with markers to christen and bless the foundation of our home here in St. Stephen. Words, art, smiles and prayers will literally be written upon the bricks and mortar of our home.

It has been 14 years since we have owned a home. 14 years of moving, transferring communities, leaving friends and family behind, 14 years finished. We, all four of us, long for roots. Deep roots, good foundations in this community that we call already call home. We truly love it here and it suits us well. It is not perfect, but neither are we, and it is real. We long to establish ourselves here to grow and work and live our lives.

We invite you to share a story, blessing, poem, joke, photo or anything you can think of that will add to the foundations of our lives.

You can email me at heiditurnerATgmailDOTcom or write me for our snail mail address if you'd like to mail your contribution.

We have also been wracking our brains for a name for her. She is an 85 year old craftsman/arts & crafts home with lovely woodwork and tons of character. Kel's Anamrae takes two celtic words for Soul Space and links them together. So far I haven't gotten that creative, but would love a name that speaks of roots and growth. My dear friend Anj calls her craftsman Sojourn. A prize will be awarded if a suggested name is chosen.

Thank you for celebrating with us!

There's no place like home

The SOLD sign is up and we close on Monday!

I can hardly believe it's true. I haven't blogged about it because I just couldn't stand the thought of having to blog about it falling through. There have been few things in life I have allowed myself to admit I wanted - a home was one, and when this process started to move forward THIS HOME was THE HOME I longed for. It hardly seems real.

I am going to document the process because it has been so amazing, but really need some mind space (and quiet) to do that in. With the kids home from school now that has been hard to find this past week. I know it will come, but this morning isn't it.

I have created an online photo album if you want to peek inside:

20 Queen Street East

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Love Story

God made man because He loves stories.
Elie Wiesel
US (Romanian-born)
activist, novelist (1928 - )

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bay of Fundy - Wonder of the World

UPDATE #2 - Vote My Fundy.com

UPDATE: Vote here for the Bay of Fundy

Did you know that more water passes through the Bay of Fundy in ONE DAY than goes over Niagara Falls in a year? Niagara Falls powers much of the eastern seaboard & Ontario - can you imagine if the tides could be harnessed (with total respect to habitat)? Natural energy just waiting to be resourced.

Living here in New Brunswick, 3 blocks from a river that is a tidal estuary we see the affect of the tides here two times a day. It's magnificent. 20-30' in 12 hours - two times a day, every day.

I just found out that the Bay of Fundy is in the running (again) to be listed as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World! You don't have to be from Canada to vote, so show your support and take a look at all of the places you need to add to your travel dreams. You really need to see this place at least once in your life. It's like nothing else in the world.

Here's the update email I got from my friend Jude at Culture Pass:

The Bay of Fundy is back on the international stage in the New7Wonders of Nature contest. In an unprecedented turn of events the Bay of Fundy, which placed 2nd in the first phase of the contest that concluded January 7, 2009 is now representing Canada!

The New7Wonders of Nature organization, based in Brussels, reinstated the Bay of Fundy this week. "We can confirm that Dinosaur Provincial Park did not meet the Phase II participation requirements" said Tia Viering of the New7Wonders. "Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we announce that the Bay of Fundy is now officially Canada's national representative.”

“As 2008 came to a close, we knew we were in an extremely close race to represent Canada in this phase of the contest,” said Terri McCulloch, Manager Bay of Fundy Tourism. “We were honored by the incredible number of votes the Bay of Fundy received in the first round of the contest. We are very passionate about the Bay of Fundy and believe it is truly a beautiful wonder of nature. We are privileged to represent Canada and we hope everyone will be as enthusiastic again and vote for the Bay of Fundy. We only have until July 7th to get as many votes as we can for this next stage of the contest.”

The Bay of Fundy is best known for the highest tides in the world and has been compared, in marine biodiversity, to the Amazon Rainforest. The Bay is the summer feeding area for half the world's population of endangered North Atlantic Right whales and 12 other whale species. It is home to the world's most complete fossil record of the "Coal Age” (300 million years ago) as well as the world’s oldest reptiles and Canada’s oldest dinosaurs. UNESCO recently recognized the upper Bay of Fundy as a Biosphere Reserve and Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a World Heritage Site.

Go online to vote to place a vote before July 7, 2009, when the top 77 international sites will be short listed. Between July 7 and 21, an independent committee will select the top 21 to continue into the fourth and final stage of the campaign. These top 21 sites will also be part of a 2010 New7Wonders world tour bringing tremendous international attention to the selected sites. Phase four is the last voting component of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign until the final announcement is made on who has been selected the New7Wonders of Nature.

“We only have a few weeks left in this phase of the contest so every vote is important and interested voters can go to Votemyfundy.com. We are really excited to be back in the running and we hope we can succeed in getting Canada’s Bay of Fundy into the next international phase of the campaign,” said Terri McCulloch. (Sending with thanks to Maureen for forwarding from Terry.)

Vote, vote, vote!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Redemption in the form of a bobby pin

Remember my friend Nicola, the girl riding the elephant and thinking BIG thoughts about redemption in Thailand? She was on a bus trip with a columnist and he writes about his interaction with her here:

Nicola Gladwell gave me a bobby pin.

During a long bus trip this April, I got out the handwritten draft of a short story and my AlphaSmart Dana word processor.

I balanced the Dana on my lap, then realized there was no comfortable--or even uncomfortable--way to prop up the sheets so I could type them. On the back of the seat in front of me was a tightly screwed-on strip of plastic that held the chair cover in place. I tried forcing the edge of a page under that, but had no luck.

Bother.

It was then that Nicola, seated across the aisle from me, came to the rescue. She removed a bobby pin from her hair and handed it over. I was at a loss what to do with it.

"What do you suggest?" I asked.

She took the flat prong and worked it under the strip of plastic, creating a clipboard. I slid a few pages into the bobby pin and they held.

Brilliant.

Read the rest here - John Governale

Thanks John - and btw - I LOVE MY AlphaSmart too! :D

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reading List

I have scads of little pieces of paper, index cards and emails I've sent to myself with books recommended or talked about by people I admire, I try to toss those little tidbits on my desk and then regularly do amazon searches and add them to my wish list so that at least somewhere I have a searchable record of those books. I began doing this when one of my favorite people in the world made his recommended reading list. I grabbed a few of those books and they changed my life forever. Nothing I had read up to that point had touched me as deeply as those books. I guess that's because the man who recommended them touched me more deeply than anyone else had before.

His name was Mike Yaconelli. He is no longer with us physically, but his writing and talks still pay forward in my life, and since I was only graced to see him once a year, it's almost like he's still around practically influencing my life.

I was doing some research for the talk I'm giving at church on Sunday and saved a transcript for the Bill Moyers Journal he had with Parker Palmer back in February - 17 minutes you will never regret - but don't listen until after Sunday if you go to my church! :) (Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak was the first book I read on that list and things shifted so dramatically within me that I will never be the same again) When I saved the transcript I found Mike's book list and I'm going to copy it here so that I don't forget again - there are so many books on this list I still get to read and I thought you might enjoy a couple of them too.

Here's Mike's Recommended Reading List (with a bit of advice thrown in) The only thing I'll add is Mike's own book Messy Spirituality:

  • Read like a madman.
  • Most youth workers don't read. Yet reading is absolutely essential to your spiritual growth.
  • Ask people you admire and respect what books they read. If you're drawn to someone, chances are they have the same reading interests you do, so trust them to get you on the right reading track.
  • Note those authors you resonate with, then get all their books. I have my own group of authors, who through their books have become my reading-world friends: Eugene Peterson, Barbara Brown Taylor, Walter Wangerin Jr., John Claypool, Earl Palmer, Henri Nouwen, Calvin Miller, Frederick Buechner, Alan Jones, Will Willimon, Evelyn Underhill, Philip Yancey. I read everything they write. Somehow, they know me, they name what I am struggling with, they put into words what I have been unable to find the words for. Put those few books that have really affected you in a bookcase close to where you work. In my study I have all my favorite books——my friends——just to the left of my desk, in arm's reach. I have lots more books in my study, but my friends are right next to me.
  • Interact with your books. Mark your favorite passages, make notes, mark then file the quotes that grip you. Books are made to be marked——and stained with tears, too. Reading is more than gathering information——it's a relationship.
  • Don't worry if you take a break from reading now and then. Sometimes your soul needs space and time to process what's going on in your life. At such times reading can actually distract you from soul work you should be doing.
  • Whatever you do, don't limit your reading to religious books. Read recent novels, old classics, biographies, short stories, essays, articles. Christians aren't the only ones speaking truth. Truth is truth, regardless of who says it.
  • Stop impersonating yourself.
  • For what it's worth, here's my recommended reading list. Let it start you making your own book list.
  • Robert Bensen, Between the Dreaming & the Coming True (HarperCollins)
  • Bob Benson, Disciplines for the Inner Life (Word)
  • Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination (Fortress)
  • Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews (Doubleday)
  • Christopher DeVinck, The Power of the Powerless (Zondervan)
  • Jacques Ellul, The Presence of the Kingdom (Seabury)
  • Suzanne Farnham and others, Listening Hearts (Morehouse)
  • Arthur Gordon, A Touch of Wonder (Jove Books)
  • Thelma Hall, Too Deep for Words (Paulist)
  • Abraham Heschel, Man's Quest for God (Scribner's)
  • Abraham Heschel, The Prophets (HarperCollins)
  • Alan Jones, Passion for Pilgrimage (HarperCollins)
  • Alan Jones, Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality (HarperSanFrancisco)Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion (HarperSanFranciso)
  • Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits (HarperCollins)
  • Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies (Pantheon)
  • Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude (Noonday Press)
  • Johannes B. Metz, Poverty of Spirit (Paulist)
  • Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith (Riverhead)
  • Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk (Riverhead)
  • Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus (Crossroad)
  • Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love (Doubleday)
  • Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak (Image)
  • Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak (Jossey-Bass)
  • Parker Palmer, To Know As We Are Known (HarperSanFranciso)
  • Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor (Word)
  • Eugene Peterson, Living the Message (HarperCollins)
  • Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (InterVarsity Press)
  • Eugene Peterson, Subversive Spirituality (Eerdmans)
  • Barbara Brown Taylor, The Preaching Life (Cowley)
  • Barbara Brown Taylor, When God Is Silent (Cowley)
  • Evelyn Underhill, The Spiritual Life (Morehouse)
  • Evelyn Underhill, The Ways of the Spirit (Crossroad)
  • Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines (HarperSanFranciso)
  • Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew (Zondervan)
  • Philip Yancey, What's So Amazing about Grace? (Zondervan)

Are there any you'd add to this list?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Real advice for how to sell on eBay - Part One

I have sold on eBay for nearly a decade (although not recently) and a friend wrote and asked me for some advice. I realized that since I was typing I'd blog it and others might benefit from what I've learned.

I used to teach a class on how to buy & sell at the Sewickley Public Library in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. I'm not going to tell you how to make TONS of $, but I will give you tips you might not find from others trying to sell you on selling on eBay.

I can tell you everything I know. First of all it's the hardest season to sell as people are away from their computers enjoying outside. The fall is better, but if he doesn't care it's not a big deal.

It's work for you no matter if he sells anything - so most of all you want your time covered. Especially if he thinks that his stuff is worth more than ebay buyers think it's worth. That is the biggest problem selling for friends. If THEY think that THEIR Precious Moments TM figurines are priceless you have a problem. One of the things that eBay did was let everyone know how NOT RARE their special items were. The one or two antique stores you had in your town could claim something was RARE because how could you know? Now we all know that beanie babies are worthless and most 45's hold very little value.

The biggest thing I learned selling in eBay was that something is only as valuable as a buyer tells you it is with their bid.

Secondly - you can only sell something that can be searched. A precious green, glass dish made in the 40's is no good on eBay unless you know that is is an Hazel Atlas Depression Glass Compote - then compote collectors, depression glass collectors and Hazel Atlas collectors can find your item. Green & antique will never be a searchable description. It if has a tag, name or you are an expert you can sell it - if not making your item "findable" is KEY.

The things that actually have the most sellable value on eBay right now are the mid-century - 70's decor. It's not the antiques so much, but the Brady Bunch kind of decor that is the most collectible.

Anything that is hand made should be sold on etsy.com instead of eBay - handmade items and crafts are undervalued on eBay and have never gotten the foothold and respect they deserve there.

Auctions end on the same day as they begin - so timing the end of an auction is important. Do NOT close an auction during the final episode of American Idol or LOST or something with a huge fan following. Your buyers will be watching tv instead of shopping on eBay. Time zones are also really important. West coast shoppers seem to be more generous - so timing auctions to close well on Pacific time instead of while their stuck in rush hour traffic makes sense.

If you have multiples of items to sell DO NOT list them at the same time. Let your buyers think your item is RARE. I purchased a case of 50's restaurant ware creamers from a yard sale and sold them over two years. I paid $2.00 for the box and sold them individually for up to $25.00 each. Every buyer thought theirs was THE ONLY ONE.

The strangest items have value on eBay and you will rarely ever know what will hit. I listed a lot of postcards I bought at an auction once and this tiny little 70's motel from Anaheim started to soar into unheard of prices for me - had NO idea why. Little did I know it was because there was a tiny corner picture of an old, demolished baseball stadium on the card. Little did the buyers know that I had SIX of them - and each sold very well. The buyer is king on eBay - if you have something that two people want things can get very out of hand - which is very good as a seller.

In Part Two I will talk about listing your items.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Red Energy

“Someday, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the human race, we will have discovered fire.”

Pierre Teilhard Chardin

Friday, May 08, 2009

She hath wings










Be Like the Bird

Be like that bird
Who, pausing in flight,
Feels the bough give way
Beneath her feet
And yet sings,
Knowing she hath wings.

Victor Hugo

Thursday, May 07, 2009

To hear the things ye hear, and heard them not

Pete Rollins is having a parable writing competition - very cool:

To mark the US release of my latest book, Paraclete are running a writing competition. The idea is to get you, yes you, to write a parable dealing with pretty much anything. It should ideally be between 100 and 1000 words in length. Oh, and you can enter as many times as you like.

First prize is a beautiful limited edition print entitled ‘New Life‘ by the artist Jared Robinson (Jared is currently collaborating with me to create work inspired by my writings). You will also receive $100 worth of Paraclete books of your choice and the adoration of your friends and family.

Second and third prize will receive $50 worth of Paraclete books.

My desire in running this competition is to help people rediscover the importance and power of parable. So, if you attend a writing circle, church community, youth group etc. you might want to take some time to explore the theme of parables (suggested reading below) and then encourage everyone to write one.

So what are you waiting for? Send your entries to Carol Showalter, no later than 1st August, 2009. 

The entries will be judged by myself and the winners announced on 1st September, 2009 both here and at Paraclete Press.

Tips:

A parable can be loosely described as a short, fictional narrative that draws the reader 
into an insight concerning some aspect of faith and life. Parables often work best when 
they challenge commonly held attitudes and unmask the poverty of some widely held value. Parables are generally structured in a very simple and stark way, with a narrative that avoids any unnecessary detail that may detract from the central, evocative message.

Some books, apart from my own, that might help get you in the mood include,

The Song of the Bird

Parables of Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard’s Writings)

hat tip to Adam at Pomomusings because I read his blog post even before I read Pete's :D

image credit: ‘New Life‘ by the artist Jared Robinson also at Eye-Catchers Media

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hoping to Fall


Leaning out as far as she can, hoping she'll fall soon, so she can stop worrying about whether it will happen or not.

Storypeople


Image taken Summer 2008 Penobscot Bridge, Maine

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elimination Fast...

Argh.

There, I said it. Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh.

I hate when I find out information that I don't really want, that I wasn't ever looking for and that could, dang it all, change everything.

I was doing some research for ADHD children and came across The Feingold Diet. I read about it and found that there is a part of the diet that eliminates all foods with salicylic acid - and as a side note mentioned that people with allergies to N.S.A.I.D.S. (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories - asprin, ibuprofen, etc.) should probably avoid these foods too.

WHAT!?!?!? How did I not know this? Don't you think this would be something an allergist (who told me I was allergic to NSAIDS) might mention this say, a dozen years ago when he told me I could die if I ever took Motrin again?? Do you know how extensive this list is? Can you imagine never, I mean NEVER, EVER eat a peanut butter & berry jam sandwich again? Never enjoy another raspberry (my favorite of all time) or a fresh picked strawberry, or living in wild blueberry country, never, ever, ever have blueberry pancakes again? No more almonds, no more avocados, red grapes or cherries.

How 'bout trying to give up cantaloupe, raisins, dates, olives, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes - I will never have pizza again? COME ON!

I almost hope that it doesn't make me feel better when I give it a try. I can't even imagine how I could live like this. I am the girl who lived on highly refined sugars, chocolate and fast food for most of my life and gave that up, lost 14 sizes and enjoys a life filled with amazing fruits and vegetables now. I haven't had chocolate in 9 1/2 years - and now I have to give up peanut butter & raspberries too? DANG!

Shall I keep going? How 'bout mustard, dill, curry powder and Garam Masala - I'll never get to have Indian food again.

This is brutal. I've been avoiding it for over a month now, I don't want this information and I want to give it back. But deep inside me I am suspicious that I am affected by this and my body needs to find out if it feels better without these foods. So I am praying to be willing to be willing to attempt a fast. I can't even imagine what I could eat, there is just so much that I love now that I will lose.

As someone with an eating disorder, messing with my food is a scary and overwhelming prospect. This will take a lot of intense prayer and dedication and I just am not sure I'm up to it. I just really want to know if it makes a difference. I know that I feel better without all of the junk I used to have in my life. And yes, there are times that I miss chocolate, but I don't miss how crazy it used to make me feel. So this will be a journey, and I don't know when it will actually begin.

First I have to find some alternatives, good alternatives for my standard meals and snacks. I have found that creating a vacuum is not healthy for me and impossible to maintain over the long haul, unless I replace what I am reducing with real, live options. If you have any recipes or suggestions I am open to them. And any prayers and encouragement would really be appreciated.

UPDATE - coffee & carbonated beverages too. Is life worth living without all of these amazing foods? I really need an expert - anyone? Maybe Jake's nutritionist can help me here. I'm really getting frustrated.

The Lower Deep


"...every action admits of being outdone
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn;
that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning;
that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon,

and under every deep a lower deep opens."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles


I took this picture while on the beaches in Oregon, Summer 2007

Friday, April 24, 2009

The business of redemption

One of the best things about living in our community is rubbing shoulders with the undergrads. One of my favorites is a young woman named Nicola. She just returned from the semester travel study in Asia that the 2nd years do here. It changes them all. They depart as North Americans and return and citizens of the world. The travel program at SSU is spectacular. As part of the process the students are asked to write blog posts - one before, one during and one after the trip. I have loved the chance to read their thoughts along the way.

Nicola wrote today about redemption and she said it was okay if I let you read too:

Mind-held Thai expressions tease my tongue. Each essay determinately engaging with the SE Asian sex trade…

I have had a line ringing in my mind since our return, mingling with the leftovers of Asian dialects:

In the business of redemption.

What does it look like to be in the business of redemption?

I am reminded of: plant pots made from painted car tires in the Philippines; a Malay man’s obsession with mundane rocks allowing him to find a wealth of value in his collection of unique stones: singing boulders, growing gems, and petrified wood; in eating meat, Asians use the whole of the beast: even if this meant finding pig snout on my plate in the Philippines and chicken feet in a Malaysian curry; a dollar-store toy that we would scorn in the west has found new value in the hand of a Filipino girl, as does the scrap tin finding its place in the sea of huts within Manila or Bangkok.

In the business of redemption. what does it mean?

Perhaps it means finding value in imperfection- in another’s garbage, setting it free from judgement and compartmentalizing snobbery.

I loved Thailand; I could live in Chiang Mai. I would ride to work on an elephant and guide rafts on mountain rivers for a pitiful living, seeking wisdom from aged monks and taking a master’s in sustainable living or linguistics at CMU. However. I have a problem. I can’t get it through my head- you have to help me.

There are over 2 million prostitutes in Thailand; in Chiang Mai all of them are brought from destitute Burmese villages and trafficked through the village of Ma Sai on the border. I was in Ma Sai. I bought a pen. And a necklace. All Burmese teen girls traveling through Ma Sai leave without their virginity and thus their hope for a future and marriage, and almost half leave with an AIDS death sentence from their first few weeks in the industry.

What does redemption mean to a sex slave in Japan, in Bangkok, in Kuala Lumpur? If I see so much of what we call garbage being redeemed throughout Asia, isn’t there a way to redeem the consequences of societal chastity, idolatry, obligatory merit-making, hierarchical systems, and poverty?

In the business of Redemption.

Thai vocabulary, redemptive ideas, thoughts of the summer, and efforts to summarize my year at SSU swirl around my mind. I feel reminiscient of a Hogwarts student awaiting the next school year, or Arnold buckling his seatbelt in the Magic School Bus. I feel like all my life I have been taught to stand on a gymnasium line or sit quietly without being told why, and now my experience has set my mind free from dictated learning. Let me ask questions, don’t break life to me gently, let me dive in and let me experience both the joy and the pain of humanity. What will I learn next year?

I think redemption would be a good business to get into.
via SSU Travels the World

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boys (Lesson One) Jars of Clay

I just downloaded the new Jars of Clay The Long Fall Back to Earth mp3 from Amazon. It will take a bit to grow on me, the sound is new and very 80's. Not a lot of lyrics and I don't know if anything could have been good enough for me after Good Monsters.

So, it's only my first listen - but the song Boys (Lesson One) stopped me dead in my tracks. Raising a son is an education for me. I didn't have a brother and am finding walking through this has brought a lot of new realizations and learning.

This song is so beautiful and full of grace -

Lesson one, do not hide.
Lesson two, there are right ways to fight
and if you have questions we can talk through the night

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
it's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
you get there in time

Lesson three, you're not alone
But since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run
But this will still be your home

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time, get there in time

In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling, bad things come undone
If you ever love or loose your innocence

There will be liars and thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence, but you are not what you do
And when you need it most I have a 100 reasons why I love you

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time, you get there in time

If you ever love or lose your innocence,
just remember....
Lesson one....

~~~~~~~~~~~

If you have a son, you need this song. It is so beautiful it makes my heart hurt.

Not all soul music comes from the church

Say what you will about Bono, he is a man who used the platform he has been given for others. His latest Op-Ed in the NYT is a challenge to look at the financial crisis as a time of lent, carnival is over:

The preacher said, “What good does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Hearing this, every one of the pilgrims gathered in the room asked, “Is it me, Lord?” In America, in Europe, people are asking, “Is it us?”

Well, yes. It is us.

Carnival is over. Commerce has been overheating markets and climates ... the sooty skies of the industrial revolution have changed scale and location, but now melt ice caps and make the seas boil in the time of technological revolution. Capitalism is on trial; globalization is, once again, in the dock. We used to say that all we wanted for the rest of the world was what we had for ourselves. Then we found out that if every living soul on the planet had a fridge and a house and an S.U.V., we would choke on our own exhaust.

Lent is upon us whether we asked for it or not. And with it, we hope, comes a chance at redemption. But redemption is not just a spiritual term, it’s an economic concept. At the turn of the millennium, the debt cancellation campaign, inspired by the Jewish concept of Jubilee, aimed to give the poorest countries a fresh start. Thirty-four million more children in Africa are now in school in large part because their governments used money freed up by debt relief. This redemption was not an end to economic slavery, but it was a more hopeful beginning for many. And to the many, not the lucky few, is surely where any soul-searching must lead us.
ht to Bob Carlton

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Creating space

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.

Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Retrenched?

My friend from down under Kel has been retrenched and has turned what she has learned through the process into a resource to help others - brilliant & creative Kel!

My favorite was her post on redundancy:
You were not made redundant - the role was. And despite how you might feel right now, you are not the role. You are a person. And you are not redundant.

Resources 4 the Retrenched

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle - The Beauty that Matters


(image credit)


Just in case you've been hiding under a rock you need to watch this, it can't be embedded here by request of the show but trust me follow the link - it is a gift. The blossoming of a rose:

Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent


Here's a bit of history:
But then ridicule is nothing new in Susan Boyle's life. She is a veteran of abuse. She was starved of oxygen at birth and has learning difficulties as a result. At school she was slow and had frizzy hair. She was bullied, mostly verbally. She told one newspaper that her classmates' jibes left behind the kind of scars that don't heal.

She didn't have boyfriends, is a stranger to romance and has never been kissed. "Shame," she said. Singing was her life-raft.

She lived with her parents in a four-bedroom council house and, when her father died a decade ago, she cared for her mother and sang in the church choir.

It was an unglamorous existence. She wasn't the glamorous type - and being a carer isn't a glamorous life, as the hundreds of thousands who do that most valuable of jobs will testify. Even those who start out with a beauty routine and an interest in clothes find themselves reverting to the practicality of a tracksuit and trainers. Fitness plans get interrupted and then abandoned. Weight creeps on. Carers don't often get invited to sparkling dinner parties or glitzy receptions, so smart clothes rarely make it off the hanger.
...
Susan Boyle's mother encouraged her to sing. She wanted her to enter Britain's Got Talent. But the shy Susan hasn't been able to sing at all since her mother's death two years ago. She wasn't sure how her voice would emerge after so long a silence. Happily, it survived its rest.


and now read the whole article here:

The Beauty That Matters

God please keep her from being preyed upon by greedy, heartless souls.

Thanks to Wes for the article in my mailbox this morning!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Caving in

Caved in to twitter a few days ago. Alinea wanted to sign up and I don't like to give permission to things I haven't investigated, so I am now twittering... I know I've been a vocal opponent to it and feel quite like the hypocrite, but you can follow my fairly mundane life at @redemptionjunki if you'd like...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

In quietness

Found this morning at Julie Unplugged and wanted to put a pin in them so I'm marking them here:

Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all that we see is beautiful and attractive. This is undoubtedly part of the reason we flee silence. We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy, our phoniness. We see how false and fragile is the false self we project. We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self. It is a harrowing journey, a death to self—the false self—and no one wants to die. But it is the only path to life, to freedom, to peace, to true love. And it begins with silence. We cannot give ourselves in love if we do not know and possess ourselves. This is the great value of silence. It is the pathway to all we truly want.

--M. Basil Pennington

Silence is the measure of the power to act; that is, a person never has more power to act than he has silence. Anyone can understand that to do something is far greater than to talk about doing it. If, therefore, a person has a plan or idea and is fully resolved to carry it out, he does not need to talk about it. What he talks about in connection with the proposed action is what he is most unsure of and most unwilling to do.

--Soren Kierkegaard

(image taken at Sommes Sound on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, September 2007)