Crossroads

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Friendship Fountain

 

“It isn’t as though we were simply standing at the crossroads wondering what path we should take. It is more like we’ve been grabbed by the ear and dragged down a road we had never meant to travel.” – from On Reading and Writing Books for Children by Katherine Paterson

creek

Mandarin Park

 

I can’t say I’m exactly standing at the crossroads. It’s more like I’m looking down the road and wondering what’s over that next hill and thinking, will this road lead me back home? And I (we)  weren’t exactly dragged down this road in the first place, but more like told this is where you are going and tried to go with great expectations. Perhaps those expectations were too great, or perhaps we have failed ourselves. I think it’s a bit of both. And so many deaths, some expected, some swift and unforeseen, have taken their toll on my heart. Now, I just want to go somewhere that feels like home.

 

They say that home is where the heart is

I guess I haven’t found my home

And we keep driving round in circles

Afraid to call this place our own

And are we there yet?

Are We There Yet? – Ingrid Michaelson

 

 

 

Guilt and Going On

sunset kw

Key West – 2008

…my faith is so frail and flawed that I fall away over and over again from my God. There are times I feel that He has withdrawn from me, and I have often given Him cause…

So I struggle with my theology of failure and the Noes of God.

from The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle

These words resonate with me. But, I have to think that it isn’t that God has withdrawn from me but that I have withdrawn from Him. That’s not to say He doesn’t have reason to withdraw and leave me in the dust. There is no reason to keep pouring into me. But He does. He gives me more grace. And sometimes I don’t even realize it.

Grace comes to us at different stages in our spiritual pilgrimage, and it accomplishes different effects and evokes different responses. But it is all grace. – Steve Harper

I not only struggle with failure but with guilt and doubt. I long to know confidence. That No from God, His holding back of my confidence, must be for my good. I need to use that No to stay humble, but not to doubt. To draw near and to go on.

I’m a Little Like Tex

tex

“Mace, did you ever think that all those people in those cars have a whole separate story to them, that it’s just as important to them as our stuff is to us, and we don’t know anything about it. Maybe sometime we’ll run across somebody and two years ago they were driving past us on the highway and we never knew it.” – Tex to Mason from Tex by S.E. Hinton

I often find myself thinking along the same lines as Tex. I look at crowds of people and I wonder what all their stories are – where they are going and what they are doing and thinking. I think about what little specks we are. I even have these thoughts about old buildings. I wonder about the history of the building; what it was originally and what changes it’s been through. I think about all the people that have passed through its doors. I am curious if there is something hidden behind the walls.

I also think about how cool it would be to go back in time. Oh, the things I would do differently. But, sometimes I’d like to go back as a bystander – to see how what I remember really compares to what transpired. And I’d have a notebook to record all those wonderful stories that have slipped away forever from my mind.

 

 

 

 

S is for Skills

 

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art by craftyjoe

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.

One of my favorite movies is Napoleon Dynamite. One of the most quoted lines from the movie is when Napoleon tells Pedro, “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!”

A writer must have numerous skills. Besides good grammar and spelling skills, a writer must be an entertainer. A writer must be able to keep his reader’s attention. After starting with something that hooks the reader, he must build up his story with a good plot, and then be sure to have a satisfying ending.

A writer must be able to choose the best words. Sometimes these are simple words, but they do the job. A big word isn’t always the best word.

Patience is also needed. He must be able to write under various circumstances, and he must be able to wait for others to decide if his work is publish-worthy.

One final skill a writer must have is budgeting. Besides budgeting time, he might also have to budget money. At least until he sells his manuscript or article. Until then, he may also need bean cooking skills!

The poetry focus is a Septolet. The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.

Here are two of my attempts at writing a Septolet:

UNKNOWN

The unknown

stretches out

in the

deepening dusk

 

with wonder

at the vast

expanse

 

THE KNOWN

The known

stays close,

warm

 

like the breath

of a mother

over

her young