Saturday, December 30

Not a Monty Python Sketch

Driving through Arkansas today, a very large Dodge Ram pickup zoomed past me. In the bed of the pickup truck were two (2) male goats. Banjo music instantly played in my head.

I laughed for 30 miles.

Thursday, December 21

Thought to Ponder

Is will the opposite of faith?

Monday, December 18

...and now I give you The Virgin Mary

I had every intention of sending an annual Christmas letter and then I read this article in the local paper. It's clear I mustn't burden you with the trivial events of my ordinary life when news like this is breaking:

What I enjoyed even more was the postage stamp sized ad below the Virgin Mary sighting...a notice that reads:


Prescription Eye Glasses

Somewhere around Ashland City. Rims are dark and ear piece fits across top of ear.

Call WQSV Radio 615-792-6789

"Ear piece fits across top of ear." Have I been living in the woods too long? Has there been some sort of scientific breakthrough allowing eyeglasses to hover in place on your face so as not to fit across the top of your ear?

These are questions I have. Do you have answers?

Friday, December 15


A bag of fritos, 1/2 a can of bean dip and 1/2 an avocado later, I feel like I'm going to hurl...ugh.

Thursday, December 14

On Being Still

The solitary life from the outside looking in can appear foreign, frivilous, even disconcerting. Many who come on retreat at Penuel Ridge will eventually ask me (while looking at their feet), "How can you live alone, deep in the woods without compliment of modern life?" I usually smile warmly and tell them I intentionally chose this life, a life of oneness with nature, self and the Creator.

I admit there are times of loneliness and a desire for connectdness. In hindsight, those feelings are strongest when I am pushing away from myself...times when expanses of silence reveal wounds in need of examination, understanding and healing, shortcomings in need of growth.

The gift of silence and stillness is difficult to conceive in today's world. One has to experience it first hand, over an extended period of time to truly feel the resonance, the vibration of oneness that is born out of being quiet and still. I have been called to this practice after many years. The restorative, healing power I experience today harkens me back to my early childhood when my siblings and mother would lay down in the afternoon to take a nap. I remember lying on my bed, feeling the vibration of hush as it fell over our house and hearing the collective breathing in and breathing out of my brother and sister exhausted from play and our mother, equally exhausted from tending to her children and home.

This morning, the benches surrounding the lake were covered in ice, but I braved a frosty posterior to take in the silent morning that broke gracefully over the eastern ridge. The world in silent stillness are the words of a well known Christmas hymn.

Silence and stillness are gifts one can give to ones self. I am gifted each day by the wonder of it peaceful.

Tuesday, December 12

There's No Place Like Home

This week, I received a Christmas letter from my Aunt Cheryl in Texas. It was as I about the kids, antics of the grandkids, right of passage for two of them shooting their first deer this hunting season and news from the farm. Hearing about their lives tugged at me in a place I thought was dead...or at least sleeping heavily.

I grew up in a farming family. My mother was the only sibling to leave the farm...a whopping 20 miles away in another small Texas farming town where rice was king. Every Sunday after church, we piled into the 57 black and white Chevy with my mom behind the wheel and flew down country lanes that were once nothing more than dirt trails to move the cows and farm equipment between pastures. Our destination was my maternal grandparent's house, where aunts and uncles and cousins would await our arrival for a hearty lunch. This ritual transpired every Sunday and it was magical...eating food that was grown right outside the back door and then playing with my cousins all afternoon to the point of exhaustion. Grandma would usually find us sleeping in the hay loft or under the satsuma bushes next the swingset. She would dust us off and take us into her kitchen where there'd be homemade ice cream, cake, pie, dewberry cobbler, lemon jelly roll or any one of her infamous confections. We'd sit around the counter, dirt covered legs and feet swinging from high oak chairs and refuel on Grandma's love.

After the grown ups finished their domino and card games, mom would pile us back in the car and we would drive another 10 miles to my paternal grandparents house for a vist and Sunday night supper. My dad was the oldest of 9 in his family and as my mom tells it, she and my grandmother were often pregnant at the same time, so my aunts and uncles were more like cousins. After supper, we'd play in the pastures, along the creek, in the chicken house. We pretty much roamed where ever we wanted to until it was time to go home.

This happened every single Sunday in my childhood. I never once questioned who I was or where I belonged. I was part of a big, salt-of-the-Earth, hard working family and it gave me a strong sense of being at a very young age. No, it wasn't perfect and I learned just how imperfect they were in my late teens, but I wouldn't trade those Sundays for anything in heaven or on Earth.

Wednesday, December 6

Be A Candle of Hope

Last night was the season finale concert for Nashville in Harmony. The music we performed was challenging and diverse, from an English madrigal to an African processional march and 'it' happened. Something I've been waiting for since I joined this chorus. We brought the house lights down and the entire chorus spread out around the perimeter of the sanctuary holding lit candles singing, "The Size of Your Heart." The words speak so eloquently of how we can touch each others lives:

The size of your heart is the size of your life
for out of your heart comes the kind of your life
The way you reach out
to the world all around
is first in your heart to be found

Toward the end of the piece, 'it' happened. The blending of our voices rose with such perfect harmony and volume and pitch that it created what I call an angelic divine that when you finish singing, 'it'...the sound continues and the audience is afraid to applaud for fear they will break the spell. When 'it' happens, my breath is taken away and I cry. So there I am, singing...feeling 'it' coming, holding my little candle, lending my voice to the divinity with crocodile tears streaming down my face. I love this chorus...

Friday, December 1

Catching Up Is Hard To Do

A LOT has been happening in my world and I haven't been able to blog about it.

The coughing and the sneezing and the blowing of the nose and the fever and hacking up foreign objects that look like jigsaw puzzle pieces from my lungs and the constant drinking of tea and taking of pills and taking of temperature and the good God I have been SO SICK! Today was my first full day out of bed since last Sunday. Anyway...all of this to say I've been too sick to blog...can you imagine?'s short list of what's been going on and when I'm feeling better and have more time, I will expound or not because I'm sure more stuff will have happened that I want to blog about and the stuff from last week will seem like...well, stuff from last week.

1. Had a wonderful visit with my ex-husband before Thanksgiving. I think we are actually going to be able to be friends now...that's nice.

2. Performed in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra Gospel Choir for a Thanksgiving concert. The guest artists were Wynonna and Donna Summer. Seriously...Wynonna and Donna Summer. One's a true diva and the other...well, let's just give her the benefit of the doubt and say she was having an off day!

3. Looked up from the stage of the Symphony Center at the boxes (you know, where the loaded people sit) and there was my entire ex-family!!!! I had no idea they were going to be there and it was more than a little off-putting to see all those people whom I haven't seen in like 4 years.

4. Entered 3 writing competitions for cash prizes and publication!!!!

5. Applied for a two year writing fellowship at Stanford University...omg!

There'll be photos and links and all kinds of bells and whistles to add to this later, but wanted to get it all down before I lost it the next time I blow my nose.

Back to bed.