We are not your God

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“I asked the sea and the deeps, and the living, creeping things,
and they answered, ’We are not your God, seek above us.’….
I asked the sun, moon, stars, ‘Nor are we the God whom you seek.’
And I replied…’You have told me of my God, that you are not He; tell me something of Him.’ and they cried with a loud voice, ‘He made us.’” – Confessions of St. Augustine

 

This week I was confronted with such diverse thoughts concerning God’s creation.  At school yesterday, I showed a PBS video called “The Whale Detective”  that made me once again marvel at the way God, in His infinite wisdom, created animals with such variety and with marvelous features.

Psalm 93:4 – The Lord on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea.

 

Later, in another class, I talked to a girl about an article she had to read about Greta Thunberg. It was very hard not to give her my full opinion. I don’t want to sound like I have my head in the sand, but I know whatever climate change is actually going on is ordained by God. I don’t plan to be wasteful or foolish, but I just don’t understand how sane people can vote this screaming, obvious emotionally impaired young girl as Person of the Year. 

Thoughts?

Avetts in October #3: The Beach

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April, 2016

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I am writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

“The sound of the sea is the most time-effacing sound there is.”                 E.B. White

I grew up minutes from the beach in Jacksonville, Florida. White is right. The sound of the sea brings me a peace that takes me back to childhood. There is nothing like the salty air blowing your hair, the ebb and flow of the tide, the calling of the gulls to each other.

At the Beach is one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs.

Now they’re under, under, underneath a big umbrella

Summer, summer, summer time to help us forget, nine to fives

We have got to leave all that behind

 

So…

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So I bragged on facebook about my winning poems. This is the first time I’ve ever won anything for my poetry, so I’m pretty encouraged. I joined the ASPS – Alabama State Poetry Society and submitted about 15 poems in different categories/contests, and three were chosen.

 

Category 9: Thelassic Poem – 3rd Honorable Mention

 

 

Starfish  

that July morning

at Siesta Key

a delegation of starfish

drew us all together

as we dipped our toes

in the warm gulf waters

beachgoers laughing and squealing

pointing and talking to each other

splashing and swimming

among the starfish that day

we formed a temporary friendship

over the joy of the ocean’s offerings

years later across the land

“Remember when” will be heard

and tales of the starfish

will be told

 

Category 2: The Mary (Mickey) Cleverdon Memorial Award – 3rd Place

 

 

Music of Creation  

 

The music of the woods

Is not just the song of the bird

But  the beat of the brook

The harmony of wind and leaf

A twig, a scamper, layers

 

The music of the ocean

Is not just the cry of the gulls

But the crash of the waves

The melody of wind and water

A splash, a scrape, laughter

 

The music of the snow

Is not just the hoot of the owl

But the patter of flakes

The rhythm of wind and white

A crunch, a frost, whispers

 

The music of the world

Is not just a song, a cry, a hoot

It’s beating, crashing, pattering

It’s harmony, melody and rhythm 

A symphonious creation

 

 

Category 3: A Spiritual Journey – 1st Place

 

 

Instructions  

 

Are there only ten instructions?

I can do that

I believe in God

You know, GOD

No way!

I don’t have any statues in my house

Football trophies don’t count, right?

OMG- that’s not really saying it, right?

Yes, I call myself a Christian

I go to the early service

(Doesn’t interfere with the game)

Yes, sir/No, sir

That’s so old fashioned

Murder in my heart? My thoughts count?

Honestly, I only buy it for the articles

It’s not plagiarism if I change a couple words

Little white lies don’t hurt anyone

Who in the world are Ananias and Sapphira? A rock band?

No, I don’t want my neighbor’s truck

I want my own

What? I thought you said ten

There are only really two?

Why didn’t you say so?

With ALL my heart, soul, and mind?

That’s a tough one

I like my neighbors – I always wave

I even put money in that kettle every December

Love them as much as I love me?

I’ll get back to you

Califoregon Day #4

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

 

Mr. Kohlah (after losing an eye) said that was all right. “One eye is sufficient for the hings I am looking forward to seeing,” he smiled, touching his wife’s swollen belly. Whereas, he added, the ugliness of the world would  now trouble him only half as much – from  A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

I am thankful for the two eyes I had to take in the beauty of the redwoods. Pictures just can’t do justice to the sheer hugeness of these gentle giants.

We drove back north a ways to begin the day at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Here we got upclose and personal with the big guys.

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I always love when I stumble upon something someone else has made or left behind, such as a cairn.

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

After enjoying the redwoods, we headed for Crescent City. Although we were able to find some pockets of beauty, this little town was a disappointment as far as my expectations went. Perhaps it would be better to visit this area in the summer.

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Crescent City, CA

 

The lighthouse I was hoping to explore was unreachable. I should have read this:

“Visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides. Extreme care and caution should be used when crossing the two hundred feet between the mainland and island anytime wave action may cover the crossing area. Sneaker waves at any time can threaten visitors standing on or near the rocks and the shore of Battery Point Island. ”

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Battery Point Lighthouse

 

I did read more about it after the trip and there is a fascinating story HERE about the time Crescent City was hit by a tsunami in 1964.

 

We still had fun exploring a bit …

and I spotted Sasquatch near the lighthouse!

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Crescent City, California

 

We also went to The Trees of Mystery, but I’ll save that for another post.

April in the South

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The PAD prompt  for Day 14 was the word “report”. Here’s mine.

 

April in the South

Canceled plans for the day

Checked radios and batteries

All day long the weatherman predicts

But no one really knows

Just when and where

In the backyard cardinals gather

Do they understand?

Where will they shelter when the storms arrive?

A breeze belies what is to come

A brief reprieve in the heavy air

Pressing all around

A pale haze under darkening skies

Waiting, waiting

 

Boots

Last year  I wrote  a poem a day  for PAD, Writer’s Digest’s Poem A Day challenge: the prompt for day 23 was “footwear”.  I instantly thought about the excitement of my first winter in Birmingham when I got to wear boots day after day. And then I thought of 2015 when I was hiking in Montana. After a hard trek to Iceberg Lake, I took off my hiking boots and plunged my feet into the water that was about 40 degrees. Needless to say, I barely lasted 15 seconds.

Once again it’s boot weather here in Alabama and I still love the look and comfort of all my boots!

 

Boots
I was so pleased to move
to a place
where I could buy boots
and actually wear them
That first boot winter
was so much fashion fun
Those boots gave me
warmth and style
Gray, brown, black –
I loved them all
But by month six
My Florida feet were
longing to be set free

 

A Walk in the Woods

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Moss Rock Preserve – 5/17/17

 

A Walk in the Woods

there in pieces of sunlight
through pieces of shadowlight
cardinal swoops down, takes flight
filtered memories alight
anchored by sound and by sight
lifted by a breeze so light
scamper of chittering squirrel
dreams unfurled are not finite

This poem was written in response to a Wednesday Prompt , pieces, by Robert Brewer, using the Cyrch a Chwta poem form. Cyrch a Chwta is a Welsh poetic form which involves both end rhyme and internal (or cross) rhymes.

You may also enjoy this “pieces” poem by Sarah Lea:  The First Mr. DeWinter .

 

Creation

 

God has left His footprints in creation.. He is not contained in creation or equated with it, but He is revealed by it. – Steve Harper

Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created.      –Psalm 148:5

A Little Less Tech

 

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Oak Mountain – Pelham, Alabama – November, 2015

 

Way back in 1954, E.B. White had this to say when speaking of Henry David Thoreau:

“In our uneasy season, when all men unconsciously seek a retreat from a world that has got almost completely out of hand, his house in the Concord woods is a haven. In our culture of gadgetry and the multiplicity of conveniences his cry, ‘Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!’ has the insistence of a fire alarm.”

Oh, if Thoreau could only see us now! Talk about a culture of gadgetry! Yesterday, one of my students told me he was tired because he was up late.

“Homework?”  I asked, though that was purely wishful thinking.

“I was texting,” he replied.

I wonder what Thoreau would have thought  if he’d seen an irobot self-propelled vacuum cleaner. Or a Keurig. Or a Kindle.

I am not advocating for a house in the Concord woods, though a nice little woodsy retreat would be nice. And I don’t think we need to live like the Amish. But, I do think we could all do with a little less tech and a little slower pace.

Develop a Thick Hide and a Deer

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I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee

Her advice is spot-on. I am still working on developing this hide as I develop my novel.

The problem with us writers is that we get too attached to our own words. We know what we want to say and sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are getting our message across when we aren’t.

I went to a writer’s conference a few years. I was able to spend two days with a group of writers who were all working on young adult novels. Before the conference, we were able to email each other a section of our manuscripts. Our teacher was a published author who was an enormous help to me. This is her website if you are interested: http://kristinharmel.com/

Anyway, the advice I received was very good. It made me rethink some things. I’m still working on distinguishing my two main characters more. That was the biggest piece of feedback I received – that my two characters were too much alike. The thing is I want to show, in the end, that they ARE very much alike deep down inside. But, I clearly have more work to do in giving them very definite personalities. And I’ve had to go back and add to the beginning of my story.

I’ve loved ABC books and A-Z lists for quite a while. This post is one in a series on writing, with the subtopic of poetry. For my poetry focus I’m including a Deer Sestina I wrote a while back. A sestina is a poem with six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet, all stanzas having the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern, and with all six words appearing in the closing three-line envoi.

The Deer

Mist above the meadow in the spring

Breaks open to reveal a deer

Where green grasses grow

Bending in the breeze so soft

Sweet clover scents the air

The morning stirs with life

Streams of water giving life

Slaking thirst in the spring

Pond rippled by the air

Beckons “come and drink” to the deer

And she comes to lap softly

As the fawn within her grows

A morsel of warmth in the air

Wildflowers blue and purple grow

Yellow and orange petals soft

Among them the honeybee lives

Busily flitting all the spring

Working to make honey so dear

Sun rises in the still morning air

Warming earth, unfurling leaves to grow

In the shaded forest rests the deer

Quiet and still now her life

Noonday resting in the spring

All nature resting in the soft

Butterfly with its wing so soft

Slightly stirring the afternoon air

All the colors of the spring

From a caterpillar did grow

A wonderful plan of life

Beckons “come and play” to the deer

In the cool of the evening comes the deer

Quiet feet treading softly

Full of refinement and life

She stops; sniffs the air

Feeds on the rich grasses growing

In the meadow in the spring

Exploring in the spring goes the deer

Her fawn inside grows, her heart is soft

Love in the air awaits new life