月曜日, 9月 10

Had I Known

Had I known that a Photographer
could read my Emotions
through a flickering of the eyes,
a curving of the lips,
a sigh of contentment or frustration.
A instant critique of my person
such as he captures on film...
Immediate, certain, and captured.
Had I known of this curious trade.
Had I known.

金曜日, 8月 24


These faces.
Waiting for one I recognize.
Realizing this unlikelihood
In a lifetime of changed faces.
For what and for why?

Voices from Afghanistan

木曜日, 8月 9

Lost Communities

How do we rebuild Lost Communities from generations of societal formation that has pushed 'individualism is supreme', one must be capable on their own to be successful, and fear in creating ties with your neighbor, your community, your lifeline? 

  "Everywhere I go, people tell me that community is what’s missing most from their lives. What happened to it is that community got converted into money. I mentioned how gifts create ties, they create a bond. If you live a highly monetized life, there are no gifts, there are no bonds. You don’t need anybody. So we had our neighborhood mixer and everybody knew, “I don’t need you.” Unlike an Amish community where you need people – if your house burns down you need them to help you rebuild your house. Now we pay for that kind of community support. It’s called insurance."
"Maybe some of you would like to get rich, so let me tell you a business plan that’s worked for thousands of years. What you do is you find something that people do for themselves, and you take it away from them. Or you find something that people get from nature, and you take it away from them. And then, you sell it back. So for example, you can pollute the water and then sell bottled water. Or you can scare people into not drinking the water, or you can add chlorine to it, and sell them filters. This isn’t something that people consciously are doing, but you can create a climate in which people are afraid to send their children outdoors and value safety above all else. And then, children can’t have adventures anymore."
-From Transcript of a Speech on Sacred Economies and Beyond by Charles Eisenstein

木曜日, 7月 26

Familiar Cabin

Familiar Cabin.
In the dark I know
the way.
Burrowing love--
waking into
Sweet Dreams.

日曜日, 5月 20

The Thoughts of Men

"These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands,
they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing,
or next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe."

-Walt Whitman from Song of Myself

水曜日, 9月 7


"Fighting for the poor, you forget your own pain." -Sr. Silvia

金曜日, 4月 1

"The Song of the Shirt"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread —
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work — work — work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

"Work — work — work,
Till the brain begins to swim;
Work — work — work,
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
Oh, men, with Mothers and Wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
Stitch — stitch — stitch,
In poverty, hunger and dirt, 30
Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

"But why do I talk of Death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own —
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear
And flesh and blood so cheap!

"Work — work — work!
My labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread — and rags.
That shattered roof — this naked floor —
A table — a broken chair —
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

"Work — work — work!
From weary chime to chime,
Work — work — work,
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumbed,
As well as the weary hand.

"Work — work — work,
In the dull December light,
And work — work — work,
When the weather is warm and bright —
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

"Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet —
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet;
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

"Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
But only time for Grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread —

Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch, —
Would that its tone could reach the Rich! —
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"

By: Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

火曜日, 3月 8

Simple Gifts

Hymns, glorious incantations to God...
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight
'Till by turning, turning we come round right.

-Elder Joseph Brackett Jr. (Shaker, 1797-1882)

日曜日, 2月 27

Battling Angels

Battling with Angels.
Calm + Chaos.
Pure thoughts + Stigmas.
Wakefulness + Blind rage.
Floating on Wings.
Through this Life.
Suffering + Happiness.

月曜日, 10月 18

Eyes of glass

Distress signals
ebbing to the edge of me.
What am I asking,
A need?
Or simply looking for
that don't yet exist.

I see you among recognized strangers.
You talking, expressing, smiling, laughing.
Me with hopeful eyes on you,
behind glass.

日曜日, 9月 19


Fat Americans are
Sweating, consuming,
wearing poorly fitted clothing,
sitting on a throne.
How are we seen?
Are you surprised?
(From glimpses of Wuxi, China, 6/2010)

土曜日, 5月 1


Voices, radio, intrusion.
A boat rumbles.
A Jeep perturbed
by sand.

Produce fear,
for only being a man.
Me, a single woman.
Anxiety shifts to

土曜日, 4月 24

Wake-up call

Sun rising over a hazy city
with palms sprouting
from disheveled sidewalks
of filth, brokenness, and hope.
Dirt, trash, deterioration
outlined in soft, worn pastels.
A couple grinds flour,
school uniforms glide past me,
all with shy smiles
and opened eyes.

(From journal, Rangoon, August 21, 2008)

火曜日, 4月 20


the person you expect.
so i was not perfect
to fit your every need,
you with more expectations,
more criticisms of not my own inward struggle.
aren't unmet expectations saying,
not good enough?
what do you expect?
with too many expectations.

i am, me.
good enough and more,
to exceed all your
but indeed perfection
is not my truth.
expect imperfection
and truth.
i am,
not an expectation.

火曜日, 3月 23


i thought once
was enough,
but once only comes one time.
twice or thrice.
bridging the gap in time.
time that it takes
to hold back that anger,
that fleeting memory,
that once there was love.
twice or thrice.
wouldn't it be nice?

土曜日, 1月 2


made surely, firmly.
of character, convictions.
for me, for him.
Blooming and
into me.

日曜日, 12月 6


of adventure.

金曜日, 12月 4

to be

to be the couple--
that he puts on her coat,
she reaches for his hand--
to steady her.
they laugh in deep tones,
to be.

水曜日, 2月 11

would i, if i were?

sitting in a chair,
why am i more
than him?

because i have $,
because i don't carry
my belongings on my back,
because strangers don't
at my presence?

am i privileged?
or do i live in my own hell,
because i can't help him.
because i could be him.
because i feel guilty,
that he has to struggle
for everything.

would i live
if i were in his hell,
or would i?

木曜日, 1月 8

i want to be

i want to be...

the couple still clasping
when they are gray and stooped.

the mother who calls
her kids

the explorer trekking through
the outbacks of
Montana and Mongolia.

the girl that
pounds the pavement
training for a marathon.

the lady with the cat
who all day sits in the window
awaiting her return.

i want to be...
oh, heck
a pastor's wife!

水曜日, 12月 3


is frightening.
Bigger than
my grasping

Churning, faint shadows
of faces--
Amo las sombras,
aunque ellas que
no me conozco.
Don't fade.

日曜日, 10月 12


pictures of my reflection,
my shadow.
always lurking
beside me.
waiting, my soul,
to meet
my Spirit.

日曜日, 9月 21

Garrison sunset

i hear malted milk
in the waves,
locusts frenzy,
gulls like angry whistles
on the breeze,
lackluster caresses,
the sun
cutting through the ripples,
softly piercing
the horizon
of malted milk.

木曜日, 9月 4

sign language

sign language is...

full of expression,
amazing and...

月曜日, 9月 1

afternoon innocence

Mountainside soccer game.
Unexpected laughter.
Fleeting innocence.
Heho, Burma

木曜日, 8月 14


my perspective,
they were


grey, billowing
the earth,

with their


水曜日, 7月 30


gentle stillness.
in tranquility.
my being.

日曜日, 7月 27

cuatro cuartos

cuatro cuartos.
waiting for


yo y él-

estar aspirando,
comienzando en
cuatro cuartos.

金曜日, 7月 25



air conditioner
heavy night
vibrating locusts
into the sunset.

outlined in
yellow haze.


the same
same smells,
same sounds,
same outlines
of my

along with
crisp, white

it's 5am.


火曜日, 7月 22


Heavy, basement
Seasoned with

Of wood.
late into the night.

The Moaners

Auntie Mae's

日曜日, 7月 20


i thought i lost

a friend,
but i gained 2.
8 years ago,
seems like 8 days.
kindred spirits,
gentle creations
of God's earth,
molded into
compassion and joy.
i found a friend
i thought i'd lost.
and there are 2.

土曜日, 7月 19

a box

sometimes i think that pictures are memories- pent up, stored up- in a box. waiting to be remembered.

金曜日, 7月 18

A shadow story...

the metallic,
waters of the present.
my Soul,
a reflection
of the deep Unknown.
Lake Michigan
Chicago, IL

木曜日, 7月 17

I am

Between giving and withholding.
Frustrated unknowing.
Grasping for,
craving for-
Anger from
questions without
actions without assurance.
in simplicity.
Warm tendernesses.
And laughter.
Free, uninhibited
Because my own humanity
creates boundaries,
for undiscovered
I am torn.

水曜日, 7月 16

there are

there are these couples
with blank,


火曜日, 7月 15


i saw it outside myself.
on tippy toes,
it was there.
cupped in delicateness
that washed down my arms,
from the sky
i was reaching towards.

palms burning,
deep ravines.
massive brown paper bags,
from gluttony.

his hands-
his eyes shone-
behind hallowed
of God.
Bryant Park,

didn't exist.
on that street,
where the Sun was shining.

at midnight.

i was there.
with palms burning.

月曜日, 7月 14

In that place

In that place
where dreams overtook me,
and fought within me,
under the covers, under my pillow
this song haunts me,
rich, powerful, distraught patience.
I'm reminded there is a difference
between "toughness" and
I am both.

Regina Spektor, "Samson"
(Samson means "of the Sun" & was a Herculean figure, who is granted tremendous strength through the Spirit of the Lord to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats unachievable by ordinary men.)

日曜日, 7月 13


Forever is like a moment that stretches unseeingly into the hazy future. How does Forever decide that Now isn't enough, can Now be part of Forever? Does my Forever end with the Forevers in another's life, or will my Forever continue long into the future-- forever? Forever seems so permanent, stable, terrifyingly distant-- exhilarating. Is God the only source of Forever? My path stretches forever before me, God is Forever with me, I can't change parts of me to be Forever, it's what already exists in me that is Forever...

From Wave Watcher by Craig Johnson (my 9th grade soccer coach & encourager of life's experiences): "Forever" is an important word in my family. We use it only when we mean it, and it can mean so many things. I've learned a lot about the word this year by reading a few of my father's love letters to my mother. Dad always signs his notes with a stroke that reads "Forever." In turn, Mom signs her notes "Sempre"-- that's Portuguese for "forever." Recently, I've learned how so many things are forever.

木曜日, 7月 10

Summer 夏の俳句

lightning bugs ignite
a calm, restless radiance
in the thick, night air

deep earth echoing
venerable cicada
resonates desire

火曜日, 7月 8


“some day”

sounds like –

a Sunday sundae,

my dreams,

a long time,


my mind

my mind
changes like blinking eyes,
one moment never begins
because a beginning has an end.

土曜日, 7月 5


construct a dream
existing of reality.


i want to cherish it
in my heart--
until Certainty

水曜日, 7月 2


Today this quote was called to mind by a conversation I had...

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.
Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.
It is a question of experiencing everything.
At present you need to live the question.
Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer,
some distant day."

-Rainer Maria Rilke

For years this quote has very likely been
the answer to many of my questions.
Not so much answers,
but sentiments allowing me
to continue on God's path.
I like the thought
of distant days.
I like the thought
of living
in the present.
I don't like the thought
of living in the
except as incentive to
enjoy today,
and tomorrow,

木曜日, 6月 26


some form of restlessness
is overwhelming me.
not so much restlessness,
but excitement.
yes, that's it.
for life.
with joy
for blessings,
poured out to me,
with each

木曜日, 5月 22

Cycling the summer away

so this summer i decided i'd bike to work every day. this might not seem like such a challenge in the bike-filled asian countries, or the hot-paved streets of new york. but in little manhattan, ks, the city isn't planned to accommodate, get this, a bike. 3 miles across town. 730am. several pot holes later, i cross the mammoth 4-laner + turn lanes. passing by the local wal-mart, sonic, quiznos, big bumbling trucks, gas $3.79, waiting at the light. i'm in the turn lane. sweet love, the straight-away is all mine. on my bike. in manhattan.

火曜日, 12月 25

Christmas traditions

(A Kansas sunset in December)
Many of you are blessed with innumerable family traditions during this holiday period. The Conyer's have a Swedish tea ring breakfast, The Elliot's- sushi at midnight w/ root beer floats, others gather around the tree, Christmas Eve services, hot chocolate, enjoying each other's company. For many reasons, I have a hard time enjoying Christmas time. I would rather not have to be dealing with old problems, family silences, overlooked words and stifling feelings. Today there are no presents or a happily-lit tree. Perhaps it's even harder to see other's families who at least appear to have a sense of togetherness.

However because I've been able to experience so many wonderful places and friends, I've always been included in celebrating with others and I have a clearer view of what joy, thanksgiving, and love should look like during this season. I suppose over the years I've also amassed many traditions that I hope to have with my own family and friends.

So my hope, joy, and thankfulness comes from so many people who make this time special for me. Myron's family- for the salmon Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Eve service w/ Althea at the Lutheran church, pizza and the Hairspray musical at the Reynold's, coffee and a bagel w/ my mum and making pies w/ her, helping at the Christmas community dinner, Meagan- wine and The Office, helping Amy and Emma wrap presents, visiting w/ Jess at her store... I have so many friends for which to be grateful, God does provide His love in ways we don't even realize.

So my own traditions... what will they be? Well for a start: Cinnamon rolls, Mexican hot chocolate, reading my favourite "Peace Begins with You" book, Midnight Service, making cookies to decorate the tree, serving at the community dinner, and so many others... but especially seeking out other friends who may not know that Christmas can be a very special time of sharing God's love and life, even if you have to walk through the valley of shadow and death to see it.

月曜日, 12月 17


So it seems like eons since I've posted on my account... it has been. I thought I'd give that Facebook thing a go, but it wasn't for me!!! I couldn't say anything meaningful on it like I can here. And I think it just sucks you into distractions... I have ENOUGH of that in life, right?

God has been working miracles in my life since June 2006 when I last logged on here. I also have been running from God at times as well. Running and not even realizing it, 'cuz I didn't wanna face what He had to say. So I tried the good old diversion tactics, not good. Recently, I found myself standing smack dab in front of Him, but the good thing was... I didn't wanna run this time. I just waited for His embrace, which He gave undeservedly.

So what does all this mean? I don't exactly know. But I can say I feel so much better waking up in the morning having Him to talk to. My Bible is FULL of lovely highlights, notes, and wisdom that somehow I temporarily forgot, or only listened to when I wanted, and now I feel like diving back in and knowing more. To me that is the nature of life and spirituality... to go through peaks and valleys, but to always end up on top-- a renewed spirit. And the top is a bit higher each time, like you gain just a bit more understanding of life and your innerself.

金曜日, 6月 23

A snapshot of my memories with Mom

Ok, well there's no way that I can recount all the different adventures that my mother and I had....so I'll just let you enjoy a part of our days during her trip here. She mastered the "doomo" or thanks in Japanese. So much in fact that she kindly told a little girl at the park "doomo" instead of "konnichiwa". But regardless of that....she moved onto the more formal thank you, "arigatou". However, this one never came out so well...it was always "aribato". This caused many chuckles by me and probably some confusion to the receiver of the thanks. We then tried to move on the very formal thank you very much, "arigatou gozaimasu". This one never went down. But I love my mum and all the great memories we had together...she was definitely a up for doing anything and everything. I think what she enjoyed most, though, was just being my mom (and I treasured up being her daughter ^_^)!!

土曜日, 6月 10

Mamà さん arrives...

I spent Thursday running down to pick up my mum from Tokyo... it began at 5:00am with a one-hour drive to Aomori City. Then a 4-hour train ride to Tokyo Station. As recommended by Steph, I diverted my time there cruising around the grounds of the Imperial Palace. As the gates and bridges were well-guarded and closed to the public, there was no means for me to scale the rock walls and cross the moat...but it was amusing never-the-less.

God blessed me with a wonderful mother and she arrived safe and sound with luggage in tow. We also had many more miracles in the travel back home...besides lugging 2 massive suitcases (not what I would recommend in Japan), we made a 10-minute transfer in Tokyo Station to the shinkansen. I would have loved to get the look on our faces when we spied the 2-stories of steps we had to carry her luggage up...but the happy ride back up north made it all worth it. She's one brave traveler...and so cute when she says "どうも" or "thanks" with her little practiced bow ^_^! To be continued....