Monday, March 3, 2008

Last Post

Sorry for any panic. The last post here.
Chalk it up to a pre-surgery need for distractions or part of the developing of my own voice in the blogosphere, but I've made a change.
I'm leaving both Written Wind and Faith to be Strong.
I'm moving to WordPress and For the Means of Grace.
Ultimately, it's time. I think I'm ready to meld these blogs together. And I think liked some of the options WordPress offered. I have no plans to take the Blogger pages down--I want to preserve the comments. But new posts will be on the new site.
I've already moved all of my posts over. The formatting is a little odd in some cases, but not to the point where it challenges understanding. (I hope, let me know if I'm wrong.)
So far, the changes I've made to this blog have been steps forward and opportunites to learn more about what I'm doing and what I want to be doing. I believe this move will be similar.
I look forward to seeing you all at For the Means of Grace.

(I'm cross-posting this on both of my Blogger sites.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rippling Words

I love words. I love playing with them; I love the challenge of finding the right word; I love the power words hold--to shape and define the world.

Rippling Words

sad, hard words that repeat
over and over
filling my mind, my heart
my soul

words whose meaning
I know only through pale
past ripples of the same

words which threaten
all the futures I have dreamed
words, repeating even still
repeating and mutating as I
dream nightmares of the
futures they could mean

words I cannot change
words I could not prevent
words that will define who I am
words repeating, rippling out

words already rippling out
into the future, my future
the sad, hard words

written 1/3/08

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have put an announcement here.

Oh, and I hope you enjoy the new template which shall also be known as 'useful distraction'.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I've walked here before

Sometimes life is just unfair.

I've walked here before
this trip past the edge of the cliff
trusting in skilled bridge to carry me across

I've walked here before
the uncertain approach
the tedium of waiting
waiting for the edge
waiting for the other side

I've walked here before
I've seen these looks,
of fear, bewilderment, and
misunderstanding placidity for courage
misunderstanding courage for faith
misunderstanding the fatalism
which I cannot stop
but use to inform my response

I've walked here before...

written 2/10/08

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a move to a life lived

There was a headline in the New York Times earlier this week, but I didn't see it until today. The article was about people who live with muscular dystrophy and how research has been unable to find a cure so people living with muscular dystrophy were without many treatments. I read this and started thinking about how true this is for so very many health conditions. We don't know so much about our bodies and so we try not to talk about that. We focus instead on those things we do know and are learning. And so many of our lives are caught on the other side of that line, where we don't know. Know how or why something happens; know how to change something; know the other effects of a treatment.
We live here, not knowing. Struggling. Struggling to figure it out. Struggling to make do. Struggling to live a life.

To acknowledge the chronic illness,
to acknowledge those daily choices
____yes, these pills;
____no, not that activity;
____yes, this balance;
is to reveal the creeping bite of mortality.
To embrace things often hidden
it is to cede a victory
and a move to morbid compromise.
To accept the freedom of definition
and avoid the limit of demarcation;
a move to life lived,
a defeat in which we can
then decide
yes, this is me.
Yes, I want....
Written 2/20/08

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Because we aren't. Enough that is. There is so much to do, so much that is needed, and so much that we could do, and we just don't quite manage. I've talked about this before, but it's something that is never too far from my mind. Because there is so much that I can't do--lack of time, lack of skill, lack of energy; and there are so many problems we talk about. Especially now. Especially when I am trying to figure out what the future should look like. Nationally and personally. There just isn't enough, of me, of time, of space, of options, of something.


It is never enough
These small things we do
Acts of compassion and love
A smile, a gift
A house built, a life bettered
A law changed, a sentence commuted
Help extended, debt forgiven
Actions of love
The world still bleeds, and weeps, and dies
People are still sick, hurt, lonely, and hopeless
It is never enough
To end every pain, each sorrow
There is too much we cannot change
Each action, each bit of love
Changes us
And that is

written 9/14/08

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I don't care about your politics

I really don't.  I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat or a Hilary or a Barack or a McCain or Huckabee fan.  

Regardless of any of that I think you should listen to this:

Better yet, go to and read Dip-finition.  This is good writing.  (The song and the Dip-finition.)  This is good preaching.  This is good poetry.
It's about the cadence and the way the layers are woven together.  
And someday I'll find someone who helps me express this better.  
In the meantime, listen.  Think about the quality of the speech and the music.  Listen to the poetry.  

Oh, and vote for someone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Ash Wednesday. The press of gritty ashes on my forehead in the smeared shape of the cross. The words "You are dust and to dust you shall return." I love it. I love the fact that the tradition in which I practice my faith has a day and an entire season for us to consider our mortality, to ponder those things in our lives, our world, and our selves that we ought not be complacent about. Lent, the season which follows Ash Wednesday, is an invitation to wrestle with our faith, to take on the hard struggle of reconciling our world and our God.

the cross was once for all
suffering lifted high
Death's chains broken

this exclamatory mark
held up in and out of history
and still, and still

I see in the eyes of one
laying next to me, suffering,
and mirror back my own

written 12/5/07

Sunday, February 3, 2008

we laughed

This poem was easy to write and is nearly impossible to lead into. I think it's because, the poem, the day, none of it was about me. So there is little I can say here. It was beautiful and I am delighted I was there.

We laughed,
in air made, however briefly,
thick and sweet.
Solemn words were spoken;
truth given voice and voices.
My friend with her friends knelt,
change indelible to be solemnized,
and then rose, different
and all the same.
And there,
in celebration of the journey,
in a moment stretched thin,
with the joy of the Spirit,
there we laughed.

written February 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

tomorrow morning

One of the things I love about reflection is that time becomes more and more of a construct. The actual sequence of events is less important than how or why they are connected. The story that is important today can have happened yesterday or 5 years ago; what matters is that now it is important. This, though, is actually about tomorrow morning.

tomorrow morning

on tomorrow morning
two years ago
I barely had to wake up
the excitement
had kept me from sleep
it was still dark and quiet
as I gathered my things
and left for work
the outfit was new
and I had to learn
how to move in it
the work was new
and strange with
odd things I handled clumsily
on tomorrow morning, two years ago

tomorrow morning
I will rise early once more
the outfit is not new
and I find it comfortable now
a second skin, another identity
the work is familiar
the things common
the patterns beloved
and it will still be dark and quiet
tomorrow morning

and the morning after that,
it will be someone else's turn
for new clothes
and new patterns
and odd things
on the morning after tomorrow
someone else will rise early
while it is still dark and quiet
just as it should be

written 1/30/08

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

every now and then

Blog for Choice Day

So I'm actually not that big for 'causes', but this one I'll make an exception for. This isn't about morality. It isn't about when life begins. Morality and when life begins are important topics that are related to abortion, but Roe v Wade was about privacy and the right to choose. So today, for this post, I did something I never thought I would. See I have several folders for my writing. One is things I'm working on, one is things that are done, one for things I've posted, and one is for the poems I don't plan on sharing. This is from that folder. Every now and then we do things that surprise us.

every now and then
my arms will ache
for babe never cradled
my hands will stray to stomach, not flat
but not to swell with new life
I watch parents cuddle, chase, chastise
and think, "Not Me"

How empty the consolation
of another's child
How different the love for child
carried, caressed, tucked in
How I still love them, even though
I lack the chaotic clutter of parenthood

I can love every child
and see in them my hope for the future
I can go home to a house, empty and still
and not hear the clatter that isn't
I can know that this is right
and still wish for that other life,
every now and then

written 9/13/07

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Coming Home

I don't know what to say other than, this is not a bad thing. It was time. It needed to happen.

Coming Home
I was coming home but found
a house not my own
familiar people, places, things
but not where I belong
not my room,
not my kitchen,
not my church,
not my town
home had moved
though all else stayed
I came home and found
just another place
beloved, fondly remembered
but just another place
so I'm still
coming home...

written 1/15/08

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The question I most often ask myself is why I started this blog. I know the cause. I just don’t know why that poem needed to be shared. I never saw myself as blogger: too private, too much of a perfectionist, too scared about who might read it. But then I was. And not only was I blogging, I was posting poetry—something I’d almost never shared before, with anyone. Poetry, so often the expression of my deep fears and least hopeful thoughts; out on the web, where I can’t guard them or explain them (without naming myself). The truths with which I most often wrestle on display, veiled in suggestion and metaphor, the only way to speak of them, leaving them open to all interpretations.
So I still wonder why. I think I will for a long time.
Reading through what I’ve posted, I am often amazed at the note of hope, the vision of a better world that continues to be there. It’s just not how I would first characterize my work. I’m also amazed at how much I’ve written about writing/language/communication. I think most people who know me would read what I have posted and see ‘me.’ But there are aspects of my life that aren’t here, yet language is recurring theme.
More than anything, I’ve been shocked at how much I’ve been willing to post. I never really thought I’d be able to post something every week, which I pretty much have. There are one or two poems I still wonder about posting, but overall, I’m really happy with what’s up here. Before this I’d rarely revisited my own work, so I think I mostly recalled the situation and emotions that were behind the poems. The chance to go back and read and rethink the poems as they fit into the larger arc of my life has been a wonderful gift to me.
As for what happens next, I don’t know. Which is pretty much true of everything right now. My life holds some fairly significant changes in the next few months, with graduation leading off the list. I may not know why I started this “side project” but I don’t think I’m going away anytime soon. I have found I like it here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Final word count from last week was over 16,000, or about 32 pages. And the good news is that now I'm done.
Some reflections about the blog are still upcoming. I have a draft sketched out, but some serious revising is called for. Also, I'm still considering Christine's Invitation to Poetry this week. We'll see.
So, until then, here's a poem about truth, which is almost always appropriate.


words that strip bare
my heart, my soul
full of fear and doubt
fear of how my
weakness will be met
doubt that I can ever be
whole or strong

words that rattle in my mind
challenging how I know my world,
my self
seeking out the fire
in my bones
sounding out the skeleton
that compels me to act

words I let fall reluctantly
words of pain and fear
words of joy and hope
words grounded somewhere else
words that must be spoken
passing between
you and I

Written 12/5/07

Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is a week of a lot of writing for me. Over the last 7 days I've written over 11,000 words and I'm not done yet. Which means that this week's post is not going to be long or overly theological or heavy or deep. This week is also not going to be the reflection on 7 months of blogging here. I will write that post because there are things I want to share, but not this week. Sorry.
This week is going to be about words, and thinking, and creating. Specifically about how much I appreciate your comments. I know what I think about my work and there seems to be a small, but (amazingly) a growing, group of people who enjoy what I write. However, your comments give me different insight to what I have written and help me appreciate and think about things in new ways. Thank you.


building blocks of thought
come together with another

ity born
then we meet people
complexity sprung to the world

By turns
each other
Exchanges new though
friction rubs new patterns in us

forward through us both
creation in old wineskins

written 11-19-07