Tag Archives: life

Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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Small places in a large world

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket. The stories we tell ourselves and each other are for pleasure and refuge. Like gardens they are small places in a large world. But…we must never mistake the stories we tell for truth.” – Alexandra  Curry Over 30 years ago in a Bible class, the teacher …

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So much faster

“They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.” – Jodi Picoult Drew and Grady flew in to see us on Matt’s birthday. I had not seen Grady in nine months, and during that time he went from a somewhat precocious four year old to a very mature five year old. His birthday is …

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Like a handprint on my heart

You’ll be with me Like a handprint on my heart… — Stephen Schwartz Many of you will remember my earlier post about going to visit my “other Mama and Daddy” on the first Christmas after Jeff died. My siblings and I were blessed to have a second set of parents who provided us with another home …

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Such beautiful lessons

Another morning and I wake with thirst  for the goodness I do not have. I walk  out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,  I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your …

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No endings

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” ― Hilary Mantel “…life is eternal And love is immortal And death is only a horizon Life is eternal As we move into the light And a horizon is nothing Save the limit of our …

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Mostly standing still

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.  — Mary Oliver Bereavement, grief and aging are slicing through much of what once seemed inviolable …

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Hopes rise blooming

Our sweetest hopes rise blooming And then again are gone, They bloom and fade alternate, And so it goes rolling on. I know it, and it troubles My life, my love, my rest, My heart is wise and witty, And it bleeds within my breast. — Heinrich Heine Recently, several of you asked me to …

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Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

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Linger in the beautiful

“Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” — Okakura Kakuzō Exactly five years ago tomorrow, I published the …

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A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

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Vast and awesome

“Once we lose our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe…” – Carl Sagan It’s easy to forget how tiny we are in the great scheme of things, until something reminds us. Often, these reminders– disaster, illness, aging, death, or simply being treated rudely or with …

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A mosaic

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” —Stanley Horowitz This quote captures the appeal of the year-end visual landscape, as dark lines edge and define the deepening colors, and the waning sunlight washes over everything with the impressionism of a watercolor. Autumn is a …

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Just before you

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the …

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Whoever you are

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on… Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.    — Mary Oliver …

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The metaphor holds

“It has become cliché to talk about faith as a journey, and yet the metaphor holds. Scripture doesn’t speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God. This is a keep-moving, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, who-knows-what’s-next deal, and you never exactly arrive.” — Rachel Held Evans The metaphor does hold, on so many levels. I could talk …

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How else

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone…” — Vita Sackville-West I agree with Sackville-West that writing enables us to capture …

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When we fully understand

“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains…it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other.” — Clarence Darrow The photo above was made at Drew and Megan’s Atlanta home, just ten days before Jeff checked into Walter Reed Bethesda with breathing problems, never to return home …

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More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

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Open to the day, 2016

Hello friends, I’m still treading water, but thinking of you. Please keep those thoughts, prayers and comments coming. They truly brighten my day, and I look forward to responding to each of you when I get a bit of a break – hopefully soon, as fall semester ends a couple of weeks before Christmas. Meanwhile, for now, another re-blog …

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The strength

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” —Helen Keller I’m not exactly sure how we’ve gotten through the past three weeks, but somehow we have. Some days are much worse than others, but all of them bring small reasons to be grateful. I can acknowledge that in my mind without feeling …

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The wise will know

If we call for the proof and we question the answers Only the doubt will grow Are we blind to the truth or a sign to believe in? Only the wise will know And word by word they handed down the light that shines today And those who came at first to scoff, remained behind …

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To arrest motion

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”  — William Faulkner I could really identify with this quote, because even without being an artist, I’m always …

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Great acceptances

“Contentment, and indeed usefulness, comes as the infallible result of great acceptances, great humilities—of not trying to make ourselves this or that, but of surrendering ourselves to the fullness of life—of letting life flow through us.” — David Grayson I couldn’t help but find some comic relief in what I learned when I looked up the …

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At this time and this place

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” —Azar Nafisi Now that Jeff is retired, we can sell our Alexandria townhome …

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