Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So swiftly arriving...

I saw leaves falling for the first time other day, caught up in the breeze and illuminated by brilliant rays of the rising sun as I drove to work. It took me aback, considering the weather has been a little warm for my taste lately. When I walked outside today, I felt a familiar chill in the air and wiped the dew off my car. I breathed in the air deeply, searching for the scent of the oncoming fall. It was there, somewhere.

This is the time of year that I put on moody/folksy autumnal music like Death Cab for Cutie, Nickel Creek, Jon Foreman and the like. I grab a pumpkin spice latte and go for evening walks in jeans, flip flops and a hoodie (my favorite clothing to wear). I find myself remembering more readily how big the universe is and how very small I am when I look up at the clear sky and breathe in the crisp air. I have come to enjoy fall more than I used to, not just for the brilliant colors of the leaves and the cooler weather, but for the rhythm in nature that reminds me of our Creator.

Creativity is central to my life, especially lately. As the season changes, I find that I am changing too. Putting down roots and drawing from the soil in which I have been planted. Learning how to rest, even if I have a lot going on. Planning for the future with open hands and a willing heart. And most of all, enjoying the community and life I find myself in the midst of here.

[And with that, here is a short poem...from me to you]

The season is upon us
Fall, so swiftly arriving

We kindle fires and hearts
We gather wood and memories
We set aside our summer fancies
And stretch our legs before we rest

We breathe the air and feel it
Fall, so swiftly arriving

//

What does Fall mean to you?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Songwriting

[Thoughts by the oh-so-clever David Crowder]

"Songwriting is like trying to/listening to a conversation through the wall. It's like you're trying to make out one word and then you make out another word and you have to make sense of the sentence out of those couple of words. So you've surely got to be quite perceptive/quiet. Usually the melody comes a split second before the vowels and the sibilance. You kind of see them. Or feel them rather, like climbing down a ladder at night. You put your foot down and there's another rung. Well you put your mind down and there's another meaning and a sense of what it is. Then you put them all together.

There's a trick to it like focusing your eyes. Like talking to someone, only you can't quite hear them, and you feel kind of stupid because they're so much more clever than you. Sometimes the ideas just hover and shimmer in the air so delicately, like a soap bubble and you dare not even look at it directly in case it burst. But you're familiar with the way of ideas and you let it shimmer looking away, thinking about something else. And on the slightest of breezes/breaths it floats down glistening all the way into the palm/most tender part of your outstretched hand/heart."

//

I apologize for the silence as of late. I haven't much excuse but for the fact that it is a busy season of life, and I'm loving every bit of it. More on that soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Afternoon Banter...

I got inspired today and thought to pose a quite, um, hard-hitting question to a random selection of my friends. Here is the question, in all its splendor:

How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could Chuck Norris?

And the replies:

John
About 3 bushels an hour.

Kitt
Chuck Norris would roundhouse kick the woodchuck. It would never chuck again.

Kevin
More than some but less than others.

Matt
None. No one could chuck Norris.

Simon
Oh my, that's deep. I can't just give you an answer just like that. I'll have to ponder it for a while. Perhaps pray about it.

Amber
Endless amounts.

Megan
Absolutely none. Chuck Norris would more than likely chuck the woodchuck.

Rhema
The whole Red Wood forest!

//

[Update]

Here are a few more to add the mix, as seen via my Facebook note of a similar nature.

Larry
?norris chuck could chuck wood a if chuck chuck wood a would wood much How

Ben
No wood chuck could Chuck Norris, it would break its teeth on his sinewy goodness.

Jessica
I don't know, but I did eat squirrel meat once.

Rhema (again)
And I ate quail eggs once.

James (currently living it up in France)
You can eat kangaroo in France...

Matt S (favorite!)
It depends. If the woodchuck got on a train heading west from New York at 9:52am, and Chuck Norris got on a train heading east from Chicago at 12:42pm, and both trains were traveling at 52 mph (average), then if the size of the woodchuck's train (the cargo amount of wood to chuck) is inversely proportional to the velocity of Chuck Norris' fist upon arrival, and...and...ohh...

[I have the best friends! ha ha]

//

So tell me...what would your answer be?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Positive Post Tuesday [the triumphant return]

The cool kids over at ...in case you were wondering are at it again, and today, I decided to rejoin the bandwagon and pen a positive post. This Positive Post Tuesday is dedicated to none other than my mom and dad.

Photobucket

I could write a million words and still not have enough to say what these two mean to me. To me, they represent constancy, fidelity, strength, beauty, perseverance, legacy, love, wisdom and soundness (to name a few). And although I know they are mere humans and that we all have our flaws, God has used them so mightily in my life, my brothers' lives, the lives of our family members and in so many other peoples' lives. It never ceases to amaze me at how active they stay in the church and in the community. They are always reaching out to someone, be it as simple as having lunch and praying with a friend, or giving away things like cars and computers. They aren't extravagantly rich (by the standards of this world). They just have willing hearts, and they pay attention to where God tells them to give.

I love how my dad sends me pix and text messages every week and his silly jokes that he makes in the process. I cherish the time my mom and I spend on the phone every Tuesday talking about a book in the Bible we're reading together and catching up on life. I love the way my dad throws his head back, squints his eyes and squeaks a little bit when he laughs really hard. I love the way my mom tears up at the happy endings of a movie and the way I realize how alike we are, more and more every day. In other words, I am grateful for the healthy, life-giving relationship I have with my parents, and I realize how rare it is this day and age.

I cannot even count how many times and ways they have been there for me, and I hope to be even half as good a parent as they have been to me and my brothers. I miss them and wish they weren't 850 miles away from me sometimes...but, in the words of my dad, "There's no distance in prayer." And top it off, my dad even reads my blog from time to time. He's pretty Google-savvy and managed to find me without my knowing! All that from the guy who sometimes refers to the computer as "the confuser." Whatta fella. So Dad, if you're reading this...I love you! Show this to Mom!

Happy Positive Post Tuesday, folks!

[Want to see more Positive Posts or even do your own? Pass it on and link to your post here!]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abide.

I stepped outside this morning to a gentle rain. I love this weather.

//

Photobucket Image Hosting

Recently, I launched a new photography site and also a new photoblog (for those of you who don't have Flickr accounts). Some of you may recall that I originally launched my photography under the name "Oklahoma Sky." Upon reconsideration, and after some thought, prayer and inspiration, I settled on the name Abide Photography. I plan to tell the story of that process in the near future.

All this is quite exciting for me, actually! There is still a lot of design and content in the works...but stay tuned and feel free to peruse what I have posted so far on both sites.

Cheers.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Breaking the Silence

I find myself peering out the window, waiting for the relentless clouds to yield something more than shade. More than a drop in the temperature. More than a change of the day’s ambiance. I want so badly for it to come, because I know it marks the changing of a season. I feel it coming, moving around inside of me. And therein lay my daily frustration, wrapped up in the absence of something I know I need, but am unsure if I truly want.

Rain.

While I wait, I have recognized that I am caught up in a familiar game, oftentimes repeating things over again.

It is a game of give and take. Catch and release. Fight or flight. Stretched out behind me are endless lines I have drawn in the sand, then crossed, then drawn again. Something has to give. And I know, without doubt, that what must give is me.

Give. Take.

I caught a glimpse of what it could be. There was something in his eyes. In the composition of a photograph. In the sound of a friend’s new song. It was more than just his song. It was a song for all of us, because we are as family. But if I am to truly thrive and learn to abide with the community around me, I must be willing to let it go. In truth, it is obedience that brings the release.

Catch. Release.

Some days I fight. I approach boldly the issues I with which I wrestle. I set out with the best of intentions. But so often, I give into the very human reaction of flight. Full tilt in the opposite direction. Except I am hardly flying, because I feel my feet firmly bound to this earth. They drag against the momentum we worked so hard to gain. And although progress is not entirely lost, it is slowed. Sometimes I fall forward. Sometimes I fall backward. Sometimes He just holds me in place. And every time…there is grace.

Fight. Flight.

I intently watch the horizon, waiting for that ominous cloud to make an appearance. I am out of words. Out of excuses. Tired of the sound of my own voice asking questions and the finite sayings inside my head. In my restlessness, I hear You speak.

You’re waiting, but are you really thirsty?

I need salt on my tongue. Something to jar loose the block between Him and I. But it comes back around to the place where He leads and I obey. He moves and I respond. I try so hard to make myself change that I forget that He is the Creator. The unmoved mover. The maker of my dreams. The mender of my heart. The lifter of my head.

And so I wait. Patiently. Impatiently. Quietly. Imperfectly. All the while, growing closer to His heart. With every passing hour, I feel Him drawing closer. I sense deeply the change that is afoot. I feel it coming, and obediently stay where I am.

I am waiting for the rain.