Monday, May 7, 2012
Thursday, April 28, 2011
"Lord, we pray we never find ourselves without hope, without a glimpse of the empty tomb each time we happen upon a cross. Help us begin our daily journey expecting both crosses and empty tombs and rejoicing when we encounter either because we know you are with us."
So since I've been absent since...December...I give you some of those empty tombs throughout the past six months:
Thursday, December 9, 2010
(This poem still enchants me...especially now.
Thank you, T.S., for encouraging my imagination)
by T.S. Eliot
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I have yet to climb this mountain or even walk through the pass (though many of my friends have conquered such a feat), but its story has always fascinated me and made me that much more fond of the mountains nestled in Glacier. Perhaps it's because I recognize a similar story within myself. At this point in my life, I am aware of three great locations that have garnered great affection in my heart for somewhat completely different reasons. When emotions or ideas or desires enter my heart, it's most likely that they travel to three different destinations: Nepal, Tennessee or Glacier. Just as the three destinations of Triple Divide's precipitation vary in climate, location, and culture, so the greatest recipients of my affection seem to differ far more than they relate.
Whether it is the children at Harka in Bharatpur, Nepal, the trails and mountains in Glacier, or the communities resting in the urban cultures of Memphis and Nashville, my heart is equally committed to these destinations for the means in which they quench my spirit. I am thankful for the myriad of ways my story has been shaped and impassioned by each one.
My July writings were entirely consumed by the children at Harka, the photos following are testimony to Glacier and the Canadian Rockies where I spent the first three weeks in August with my folks, and presently I am in Memphis...once again. It is here that I will, by God's grace, become a nurse. (I don't exactly know how often I'll be able to write considering that I am already overwhelmed and just started University of Memphis' nursing program last week.)
And so it is that I have been so sweetly reminded of my three great loves and the ways in which my heart yearns for each.
Morraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta
Canadian Pacific Railway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia
View of Lake O'Hara from the Alpine Circuit, Yoho
What a camera can do while balancing on loose rock
It takes ten years for this flower to blossom and another 100 years to grow the size of a dinner plate. Watch where you hike, indeed.
Still Lake O'Hara
Dr. Seuss characters
On the shore of Athabasca River in Jasper National Park
Lake Peyto, Banff
View of Grinnell Glacier from part of Mt. Gould
The glacier up close...
Down from Ptarmigan Tunnel
The greatest place in the States: Polebridge, Montana
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
(a short reflection):
Childhood slumber parties with Nannie and Dappie were always filled with certain expectations. would be played, would be watched, ice cream would be offered so that Nannie would feel that much more justified in satisfying her sweettooth, and Nannie's warm bed and presence would comfort me to sleep through the night.
It wouldn't be until the following morning, however, that my child-like anticipation would be fulfilled: toast with butter and jelly, eggs, cereal, fruit, orange juice, milk, and water. Perhaps it was because Pop Tarts were my usual morning staple or maybe it was that three glasses to drink from felt satisfyingly indulgent--either way, breakfasts with my grandmother will always be a treasure of my memory.
I am thankful that she slapped too much butter on bread and that she scrambled eggs to perfection. I'm thankful that she taught us as if she had lived in the South her whole life. I'm thankful that she wrote letters by hand until she could no longer. I'm thankful that my grandmother's memory covered a century. I'm thankful for her loyalty and discipline. I'm thankful that her eyes were open to the light and life of Christ, and that such grace has permeated through her veins and into the hearts of her family.