Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Well, 2006 has been quite a year, and I'm not entirely sad to see it leaving. This time of year always seems so filled with possibilities and regrets. Resolutions to start us out on the right foot implying that until that moment I'd been on the wrong footing.

As I type this my children are oowwing and aahhing the fireworks, that explosive celebration of life. And as an aside; We've added two new members to the household: Lola and Blue, our very first hermit crabs. Blue is very reserved but Lola goes, goes, goes. She's a hoot to watch scuttle about the floor.

My hope is that the new beginnings which were started towards the end of this year flourish, grow, and deepen.

Update: my son informs me that Lola has moved out of the elmo shell and into the brown stripey shell - that would have been cool to see. I took some photos of Lola and Blue, and if they turned out I'll post them.

Happy New Years!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Some Poetry

Here's two poems I've written within the last six months:

Light moves through my eyes
Open filtered, closed starkly contrasted
Particles bombard my body
Whirling nipping depositing chaos mind mines
Traversing my psyche on tiptoe
Not yet ready for another nuclear blast
of thought

Walking through today as a chameleon
Morphing into whatever is needed by proximity
Skin raw from instability (of self)
Closing the doors of avoidance
my shield, I dropped my spear by choice
Travel weary

Chasing my cosmic tail in circles
Any progress made becomes uncharted
No landmarks back, dizzy confused, I pause
only for breath, resume again
to collapse
A whisper in my ear I barely hear
Off again in circles
I haven’t left port
No ships have sailed
Gusting seas - gail winds
Coastline deserted
What am I doing here?
I do not want this prison
I seem always to return
My wife and I get together with a friend once a month to catch up and write together. So the above was my attempt to write like poets I admire. "Spinning" was my attempt at Margaret Atwood, while "Port" was my attempt at Emily Dickinson. Though these aren't anywhere near their quality, hopefully the poems are still alright as themselves.

Some more photographs

If you ever visit San Antonio there are two places that nearly everyone will take you: the Riverwalk and the Alamo. I don't have any really good photographs of the Alamo; otherwise, I'd post one. San Antonio also has some beautiful Missions which I need to photograph. I really like photographing places and people.

This photgraph I altered in Photoshop. I like the effect - the image itself is just ok. I'll have to get off my behind and scan in some of my more recent work.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's all Greek to me

I've decided that I'm going to teach myself New Testament Greek. I've gotten two books from the library, one by Mounce and the other by Macnair, to see which one I like better before I buy one.

I decided this after a few Sunday School classes where the Reverends teaching the class discuss how the meaning of Bible passages change based on what is and isn't translated, or is translated in certain ways.

The other thing I'm in the process of doing is reading passages with a commentary open. As well as trying to get a grasp on the history of the times and the geography. Macnair gives a "starters kit" for references as well as a bigger list of books to consider as one progresses.

It feels daunting but at the same time very exciting. I've just gotten tired of feeling like I'm only getting half the story or in many ways half the meaning. And I've gotten tired of having to depend on someone else to provide the context for passages.

I worry that I am running the risk of removing myself from community (learning and growing within a group). That I'm putting myself back in my head...I suppose I should ask my Pastor about mentors or Spiritual Directors...and I suppose I haven't because then I feel like I can't do this at my own pace. And if this makes sense...I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a race. Breathe, I'll get there - the desire to know won't go away.

So I've narrowed my "tugs" (or consistently loudest inner naggings) down to spiritual study and photography, which has helped immensely. I don't feel quite so inwardly disjointed and disorganized. I was struggling with trying to do a great many time consuming tasks, like writing (this need is sated here in my world of blog), and drawing which I enjoy but I am self teaching which a very slow process.

My first Macnair lessons where learning the Greek alphabet by "translating" Greek letters into English words like God, psalms, bag, well you get the point. Macnair suggests going through his book quickly twice, and not worrying about mastering everything at once - it'll come, then go through it more slowly the third time. I like that style. I haven't cracked open Mounce yet so I can't speak to his approach.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hmmm...that's what I have to say about this Christmas

Well, let's just say I've had better Christmas'. We went up to Tyler to visit my wife's family and returned late to San Antonio Christmas Eve (11pm) to find water gushing like the rapids down the street. So the plumber arrives around 1:30am and shuts the water off with this meter value thing. He then suggests that perhaps he should turn the water back on until we've finished filling up buckets and jugs because he won't be able to fix anything until the morning due to darkness and the cold temperature.

However, at least the kids were pretty oblivious to all this - the only change to their Christmas morning was "Don't flush without asking first".

Now I'm hoping the water company works with me since the pipes broke due to someone driving over them. The meter is at the curb and only about a foot and a half down. So to prevent this from happening again (at least I hope so) I'm going to pick up some cinder blocks and place then strategically around the meter and surrounding pipes and come Spring plant flowers.

Then I had to go yesterday and get new eyeglasses since the dog chomped into the lenses (luckily not so bad that I can't wear them, but still annoying). I won't say where I went but it's a well-known chain...Four hours later: this includes the exam and waiting for the very late doctor to show up, the initial one hour wait, and then 3 tries to get lenses without horrid scratches and mystery smudges that don't come out, a "we have to send the whole batch of lenses back and re-order, so we'll call you in about a week - oh and you can take the glasses to wear since now it's only the left lense that's smudged" (ah no - I did take the glasses with me because at this point I was afraid they'd lose them). These oh so special lenses are the light-weight, anti-glare, UV protective lenses. Since computers are my primary tool at work [besides my brain :-)] and I have really light senstive eyes...I didn't want to go with different lenses. I'll be surprised if this doesn't turn into a pain in my behind.

I'm hoping to leave this little bit of the untidy in 2006 and therefore be able to enter 2007 challenge free, fresh and excited about another year. Ok, it was worth a try :-)

Sometimes you just have to smile because the other alternative leaves you bald.

Friday, December 22, 2006


The image above is one of myself at nineteen. I don't look anything like this anymore. The hair is way shorter, the face more lined, the skin less taut, I wear my age now. The woman in this photo is me and isn't me. There are so many things I wish I could have told her, but I'm not sure she would have listened, and I'm not even sure I would have wanted her journey to change.
But I do wish that she would have appreciated herself. She didn't think she was beautiful, nor good enough, she didn't see value in herself. I do admire her though, she survived and she lived on to thrive even in the continued midst of floundering for her sense of self and her sense of worth, her sense of identity.
I post this for a friend who is feeling I think a little lost, and I want her to know that our journeys may take us to places we don't think we want to go but sometimes it's not the journey that counts but the destination.
May Peace Find its Way to Your Heart
May Peace Find its Way to Your Mind
May Rest Find its Way to Your Heart
May Rest Find its Way to Your Mind
May Grace Fill Your Heart
May Grace Fill Your Mind
Peace be with You.
For L.L.

Monday, December 18, 2006

See-Saw Photos

I don't really know why I like see-saw art - I don't photograph it often but maybe one day I'll create a whole big collection...'s alien and ducky...

Ducky I took when I didn't have a clue how to manually expose a photograph, and alien doesn't have enough selective focus going on. But I like them, my yin and yang.

Friends of mine have been really great about encouraging me to "get my photos out there". Two of the best presents I've gotten early this year are a co-production chapbook with our combined poetry and my photographs. I can't really express well how much that means, a heart felt thank you to T. The other gift is from A, I can now put my photographs on tiles - it was an awesomely thoughtful gift.

If I don't post again before Christmas...Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

An Anglican Rosary Prayer of My Own Creation

I comprised this prayer from information I received during a quiet day retreat two weeks ago.

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila

Cross In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Invitatory Bead The Lord doesn’t look so much at the greatness of our (my) works as at
the love with which they are done.
Let us (me) desire and be occupied in prayer not for the sake of our (my)
enjoyment but so as to have the strength to serve.
In the measure that you (I) desire him, you (I) will find Him. Amen.

Cruciform Beads Christ has no body now on earth but yours (mine),
no hands but yours (mine), no feet but yours (mine),
Yours (Mine) are the eyes through which is to look out
Christ's compassion to the world;
Yours (Mine) are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours (Mine) are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

The Weeks Let nothing trouble you (me),
Let nothing affright you (me),
All is passing.
God alone is unchanging,
Patience attains all things.
Who possesses God possesses everything.
God alone suffices.

(Last time through)
Invitatory Bead The Lord’s Prayer
Cross Let us bless the Lord (or I bless the Lord)
Thanks be to God.