The sights and sounds memorable of a place that has shaped my soul
cave my heart to the craved comfort of home.
My eyes closed, I can still feel the breeze whisping over the hills,
around the bend, across my face.
The fog drops, sticks to my skin like frosting.
The blue bus arrives on schedule bringing new people, new faces, another lovely, seeking, broken, humble soul-- another friend.
Through the village the donkey wails, the locals build, the land rests. The mountain tips burn like amber coals, the sun sets, the day ends, my heart beats with life life life, i'm alive alive alive, i'm in love love love with this moment.
I'm pricked, my eyes shocked open, I'm here, not there.
I'm restless, foreign, homesick.
My heart moves my mind moves my hands to inspire creativity, to unfold hope
to unveil the beauty that must be here...there must be beauty here.
I reach for hands to touch my hands,
my skin to feel, my eyes to see you, to see you again, to find you, to love you, to hold you...
My hand stretches to the sky, holding on to love that must never expire.
I walk on, my footprints left exposed, then abandoned, then covered by dust and I soak in the hope that I will return.


thoughts from bertrand russell

Sorry, I don't mean to flood my pages with other people's words, as if I'm stealing their heart and genius. But lately I am feeling so connected, so united, with people like me who live their life in search of truth...of beauty....of purpose.

The Prologue to Bertrand Russell's Autobiography

--What I Have Lived For--

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) won the Nobel prize for literature for his History of Western Philosophy and was the co-author of Principia Mathematica.


from the book of common prayer

For the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.

Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



some things just never change

So yesterday I went to the Soup Bros. for lunch which is practically my favorite downtown lunch spot. In the pick-up window the guy has placed a few random items like Coca-cola bottles from around the world, foreign currency, and strange beverage containers from different countries. He also has this weird little juice glass, filled with something that's sort of orange-ish with a foamy top. Covering the juice glass is a glass dome. Every time I see it I always wonder what is in the glass.

So yesterday as I was taking my soup I asked, "What's in that glass?"

He said, "Orange juice. I'm dehydrating it so it becomes hard. It might be done now, go ahead and check it and see if it's solid yet."

So I did.

I pulled out the glass, flipped it over, and sure enough it was solid!

I said, "Wow, that's so cool! I mean, it's really solid and you even got the foam to turn into a solid!"

He looked at me and said, "Cool isn't it?"

And as I stood there with the glass flipped upside-down, my finger poking at the solid OJ inside the glass, he looked at me with this pathetic expression and said,

"Honey, I'm just kidding. It's a joke. It's polyerthane. You couldn't ever get orange juice to go solid like that. Dehydrated orange juice wouldn't turn into a solid."

And then I laughed. I was really embarrassed. I suppose some things just never change, specifically my gullibility!


good times with luz!

Last night I got this really great voice mail message from my friend Luz(pictured below)--I stole the picture from her blog b/c it made me laugh. You should check out her blog at www.fiatluz.com

And she re-capped some fun Swiss/Italian adventures that we shared...stories which made me smile really big, and then...you know what? I freakin cried!!!!!! I'm a freak!
But Luz, you forgot one! Remember that time when we were traveling back to Bellevue from Italy and we got off the train in Brig and then we realized we were supposed to stay on all the way to Aigle? That was crazy! We had to call home and tell them we would be late. Kenton answered the phone and told us of a great bus stop to sleep in :(
So what did we do? Well we bought salami, little cheeses, and sat on a bench on the track and listened to Barenaked for the Holidays while we waited FOREVER for the next train.
Good times Luz, good good times!


single at the supermarket?

I seriously think Milwaukee is one of the coolest places to live!! What do you think? Should I cancel my plans for Friday night, dress up really HOT, and stroll on over to the Supermarket?
This article is posted in the Milwaukee Paper today and it made me laugh a lot. You should read it, it's pretty funny. Please also refer back to an old post where I was having some trouble in the toilet paper isle. Maybe this event could redeem that experience!
Top-shelf tips for singles night at the supermarket
By KATHY FLANIGANkflanigan@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Aug. 15, 2006

The "check-out" line will take on a whole new meaning when Metro Market, 1123 N. Van Buren St., hosts its first Singles Night from 10 p.m. to midnight Friday. That means that during after-hours (the store is usually closed at 10 p.m.) shoppers can pick up phone numbers along with a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.
It will work like this: Just show up. It's free. Each person gets a number to wear and a nametag. A disc jockey will play tunes while you wander around and pretend to shop as usual while sampling chocolate-covered cherries, pastries, shrimp mini-kabobs, baked brie and sparkling wine.
If you see someone you like, you can add the opportunity to connect to your cart by telling the video date wrangler to post a message on a large video screen near the windows of the liquor store. Here you'll also receive messages from those who have a hunger to meet you.
All of this means you'll need more than a grocery list for this expedition. So we've come up with some tips to make date shopping fun.
Line 'em up
Skip the melon references and deep-six the inclination to say something about a meat market. Of course it's a meat market. Here are some near-great opening lines to get you started:
• "Nice wheels."
• "Any idea what kind of wine goes with ahi?"
• "What is ahi?"
• "How can you tell if these are ripe?"
There's a way to say no to unwanted attention without actually saying no. These lines can make the unwanted disappear in a hurry:
• "Where's the pickled herring?"
• "How many boxes of extra large, instant macaroni and cheese do you have in stock? Mom and I eat that every night."
• "Which way to the pharmacy aisles? I need something for this rash."
• "Oh, darn, that's the last bottle of Beano. I need at least two."
Make an impression
If you usually grab a T-shirt out of the dirty laundry to run errands, think again. This trip requires going above and beyond:
• Women, try a cute little summer dress. Men should consider nice jeans and definitely a clean shirt.
• Forget the flip-flops (unless they're adorable) and go for heels. It's not like you're really shopping for food.
• Consider wearing something that will make you stand out. A feather boa isn't standard-issue wardrobe for the market, but it will make you identifiable.
• Don't forget the non-verbal cues that demonstrate your interest - the lingering stare over the grapes, the flirty toss of the hair in front of the fresh fish, the pouty lips in the cereal aisle.
Be smart with your cart
What you put in your cart says nearly as much about you as your smile. Load up according to the type of date you'd like to land or the image you want to project:
• Looking for a dinner date with swanky overtones? Skip the gourmet cooking aisle, but make sure you've tossed the uppity lines of canned goods into your cart. Just to be clear that you have expensive taste.
• Fresh ingredients, seasonings and specialty items along with some candles and a tablecloth indicate you may want to cook for the first date.
• Organic cereal, bottles of sports drinks and bags of lettuce say you're athletic and outdoorsy.
• Be careful: A cart full of frozen pizzas and beer screams "I live in my parents' basement." And even if kitty is out of Whiskas, tonight is not the night to load up on cat food - or Lean Cuisine.
Vikki Ortiz, Lori Price, Mary Louise Schumacher and Jan Uebelherr contributed to this report.
From the Aug. 16, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel



Thoughts about being lost...inspired by Rebecca Solnit.

This morning I lost my voice. It took me until mid-morning to answer the phone without sounding like I've smoked cigarettes for 50 years. I lost my voice....what does that mean?
I've been reading Rebecca Solnit's "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" and she's making me rethink the way that I see myself within this world.
At one point, she talks about different types of "lostness". I can lose something, an item...like my voice, or my wallet, or my dinner:)...or I can BE lost.
The world doesn't end if I lose something like my hat, my purse, a friend, or a dog...although sometimes I act as if I'm quite disoriented. But when I am the one that is lost, lost in the middle of a forest, then my world is lost too, because I have lost direction within it.
Now I've been thinking about this, because I wonder how much our actions actually push us to be more disconnected from our world, actually seeming to make ourselves the center of our own world. If we believe that God is indeed breathing within nature, within the wind, within other people, and within the laws of science...then it shouldn't matter how many things get discarded along the way. We should be standing firm within the fact that we are part of this larger, inter-connected masterpiece. We should act as if we are all touching, all sharing...me and the trees, me and the wind, me and the energy everywhere. I'm not trying to be all-wholistic and trippy, I'm merely expressing the thought that maybe it's just not always about "me".
In her book she talks about a certain native tribe called the Wintu. These people identify themselves completely within their surroundings. For instance, if they are standing facing North, then they have a West hand (left) and an East hand (right). But if they turn to face East....then they now have a North hand (left) and a South hand (right). These people see themselves in relation to their world, they identify themselves by first identifying their world.
Do we live that way? At all? Even just a little? I wonder.
Finally, a quote from one of her essay's in the book.

"Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train. Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery."

(photo by Sabrina Ward Harrison)



I am thankful for friends.
Sometimes I feel so disoriented, like I'm living the same redundant life, stuck in a wave pool, going nowhere. And sometimes...I just don't feel like sitting back to enjoy the ride.
Sometimes, I forget how special certain people are.
Thank you Friends, all of you!
You make the seasons carry meaning. You remind me that I'm not alone. You remind me of who I am. You remind me that the ride is worth it.


thoughts and wonders

I've had a few things on my mind lately.
A. W. Tozer said, "What comes to our mind when we think about Christ is the most important thing about us". Stop for a minute, think about that for a minute.
What are the acceptable thoughts?
Are there unacceptable thoughts?
And more importantly, why is it so important what my thoughts are?
When I wake up in the morning my thoughts are...."uh....shower?"
When I call home to my parent's my thoughts are...."what's cooking?"
When I start my work day my thoughts are probably..."yumm, this coffee tastes good! or hmmm, who emailed me today?"
I suppose these first thoughts describe a little bit of who I am, but are they vitally important to my identity? Maybe. But why are my thoughts about God so.....so much more significant?

Let me interrupt here to say that I don't have an answer to this quite yet so don't expect some profound ending to this blog post:)

When I'm angry with God, it's hard for me to accept the fact that those are "bad" thoughts. Nor do I believe that this mars my soul. Anger is an honest emotional reaction isn't it?
When I'm confused about God, I believe that's okay too.
I suppose I'd like to say that ANY and ALL thoughts about God are important because they are thoughts extending beyond yourself and reaching towards a bigger picture.
I was twisting the question around and asking myself a different question: "What would I want my first thoughts to look like?" Gosh, I'm not sure I have an answer. No matter how long I toss the question around, I come back to this simple rule.......I HAVE TO BE HONEST!

I wonder if maybe these thoughts ABOUT God are actually directly connected to the way that we view God. And if this is the case, then my irritated thoughts are only reflecting a faulty perspective. Am I wrong to own this faulty perspective? Or should I rather disown it immediately and adopt a better view? But how can I do that if I don't understand?

What if Mr. Tozer is not suggesting that any of these thoughts are necessarily "good" or "bad" but rather a straight honest reflection of the soul, and identifying them is the first step towards connecting with God on whatever level we are able?
What if God actually takes joy in the fact that I'm sticking out my tongue at him...just because I'm being bold enough to rebel?
What if my insecure thoughts about faith and truth are actually treasured in God's eyes because I'm trying to find something solid and lasting?

I'm curious to know what other people think, and very curious to hear answers from people who would disagree with A. W. Tozer.