Category Archives: relationship

our goodbyes


I went to a service yesterday
a celebration of life
of a life well lived
in imperfection and struggle
he built bridges
so others could cross over troubled water
to meet in agreement
now he
has crossed over a bridge
we remembered who he was to us
some did not speak of it
some spoke very well
and there were tears
there was silent wailing
turning from there
and going on


max aud
bridge builder

buttermilk clouds




he once said outloud
with a strong
“those are buttermilk clouds”

i did not doubt him
for i loved the sound
of the words
that i heard

his voice is weak
and barely heard
above the sound of the
oxygen machine

he is hooked-up
in a solitary way
the food
the tube
entering through skin
into his stomach

no more hunger
only death can
release him
from the pain

the thorn
in his side
is breath



Photo ~  taken just outside of St. Libory, Illinois, on the way back from Indiana. Which was a trip to see the man that told me of buttermilk clouds..  The grandfather of my daughters and my ex-husband’s father. May 2, 2016.




the rest of the story . post 7

Every time i went to the dining hall for a meal, i would sit with someone i had not sat with before to be able to meet more of the people who were attending. My roommate and i would walk to meals together and then split up. It was something we did without any conversation about it. Our relationship was very easy and comfortable. On the last night we did actually sit together though.

Later on Saturday evening, i made my way to the studios thinking that it would be nice to hang out there awhile. No one was there, i went in and spent some time opening the cabinets, looking at all the supplies. After that i cleaned up around the sink a bit washing some brushes out. I spotted a pile of cd’s, so i put on some music. It was relaxing just puttering around. I found some pastels and some paper, and found a space to play, and did a little piece about a vessel and light, and then cleaned up what i had gotten out. I was going to turn off the music when a younger man came in for a few minutes and then left. I was pretty much done, washed my hands, took my paper, and turned out the lights. The studios are on the far side of the Cody center, and i decided to go through the center on my way back. Going into the entry, i put the pastel on one of the stone wall shelves. The wall is made of stone and there are a few stones that are part of the wall but stick out a bit like a shelf. Leaving the pastel there was one more little art surprise to add to all the others, that had appeared over the weekend, before going home in the morning.

As i headed out the other side of the Cody center i saw the lights of the fireplace area through the trees and could hear some music and voices. I had not joined in on the late night gathering yet, so this was my last chance. I started up the path about five steps and the lights in the trees around me went out. I couldn’t see my feet, i couldn’t even see my hands. It was really dark. I thought…well maybe if I’m careful i can make it down the path. Two steps and i ran into a big rock. At that point i started to consider plan B. I turned around and there were still lights on in the entry area of the Cody center so i carefully made my way back there and went in.

Then it came to me…sticky tack! When i was looking for the sticky tack on Saturday i opened every drawer and looked all around the office. I remembered seeing matches in a drawer and a candle in a little vase on a desk in the office. The door was unlocked, so i went in and got them, brought them out and lit the candle. I started for the path and the light was in my eyes, so i held the candle up above my head and could see down the path just far enough to take about three steps. Perfecto. I walked down the path thinking…this is not my light, but, it is my light.  Ah…this is shining my light, that is not me. This is seeing just far enough to take a couple of steps. This is holding up the light that i am given…my Light that is Jesus.

I followed the path to the clearing, joined the group, put the candle on the table and enjoyed the company and music, until it was time for me to hit the hay. It was good.

And that’s the rest of the story.

I left Laity, to travel back to Oregon, refreshed and with new thoughts.

Thanks to all who planned and worked and cooked and made beds and were just plain caring.

here and there

We are still in the throws of grape harvest. It takes a lot of time and energy for several weeks. When the harvest was just getting started, i left.

I went to a place called Laity Lodge in Texas. Other people on-line are connected to the place as writers, so i often saw photos, and read about others gathering there. I waited. I wondered. Finally i decided to go and check it out.

They called it an artist retreat. And it was. I was there with a gathering of other artistic types. Mainly from Texas, but there were a few from other states as well. There were speakers that spoke on art life and Spiritual life. There were creative young musicians, the attendees, and the staff. All zeroing in on a lovely place in the Texas hill country.

It was a long way to go.  But it was a good trip. I met some awesome folks and left very refreshed.

I have a story to tell from my time there.

to be continued…

just thinking

#6 from the list of seven changes

think creatively instead of not thinking

I have been thinking about this list that i called seven changes, and writing about it. And, yes, they are things that could be positive. I don’t really know for sure. But, the one thing that i do know for sure is that is that without God, all that i do comes to nothing.

With that said, i would like to continue on with thinking creatively. To me, to think creatively is to think of something in more than one way.

If someone comes to me and asks me an either/or question, i should use my brain to think of more than one way. And that leads me to answer, why not both, or why not something different than those two options.

This is a reason that i have a hard time with personality tests. The answer i would give is not usually listed in their stupid multiple choices.

People can think creatively, but then there’s no fitting into the boxes. And that can either be seen as a problem or an advantage, or both, or something else all together…depending on how someone thinks.


photo via flickr

talk to the face

#5 from the list of seven changes


talk face to face instead of using a device

I wrote this one because i have become dependent on the devices. And i know that i’m not the only one. I think that i have this sure and instant connection to another person. And it’s pretty easy to believe this, until the person is not here anymore and all i have left is a name on my cell phone, or a picture on facebook.

Another reason is because i find myself distracted from those around me. But, if i’m speaking to people face to face, then the people around me and the people that i am with get first dibs. The phone and computer will be second in line to the face to face.

It’s great to have the convenience of the devices. But, convenience should not turn into continually having priority on my attention.


photo via flickr


My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27


{ Thankfulness for Matthew Kreider bringing this subject to his post. }

I need the guidance of God. Brokenness is all around me as well as within my self. It is a very overwhelming thing to look at. When i am shown the brokenness, i can try to cover it or fix it, be angry about it, be frozen by overwhelming fear or guilt; …or i can look to Jesus, …in Hope, Faith and Love.

I should be aware of brokenness, but, have my main focus on relating with God; giving over and asking and listening. He will change my heart and tell me what to do.

Listen to Him and do it.

Sometimes i hear, and i don’t do. His voice is soft. So soft and clear to my to my heart. My mind overrides and makes itself busy thinking about what i want to do.

Listen to Him and do it.

There is nothing wrong with His form of communication. It doesn’t need an update or to be repeated. There is no break in the connection, …i can hear Him clearly. He tells me what He wants me to do. There is no question about that.

Am i going to do what He tells me to do? That is the question.

Or am i going to focus on the brokenness?


“Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”
~Henri Nouwen


photo via flickr


#4 from the list of seven changes

Speak softly instead of loudly

I have found that speaking louder has never helped me get anyone’s attention, nor has it helped to get a point across. A loud voice reminds me of all the colourful balloons and flags that a store puts out on the sidewalk when business is not good, trying to get folks to notice. The store is soon out of business anyway. The loud flags are a last-ditch effort to gain attention, but not good attention.  All the flags in the world won’t change what’s inside the store.  It just screams “going out of business because no one wants to shop here.” It’s a way of making everyone that goes by feel like they are cared about only for their money.

Now, to speak-up when a crowd of people are trying to hear me, is a totally different story. I’m thinking about looking at my tone and my timing, allowing for a softer voice in my daily conversation.

I need to fight the urge to interrupt and speak-over people to say something…because otherwise i forget what i wanted to say if i wait. And now i am thinking that perhaps what i have to say is not as important as continuing to listen. Because how a person is spoken to matters just as much, if not more, than what is being said. What is powerful, is how the other person is made to feel. How one is made to feel can, by itself, wipe out anything that is said, can take the place of words, or can make a person either want to hear words or make them not want to hear them at all.

I think that waiting until a time that a softer voice can be used is a way of showing respect toward another person. A soft tone can express caring to the other person. And i think that the other person can feel this care very deeply.


photo from flickr


# 3 from the list of seven changes

Experience live music instead of recorded.

I put this one down because i don’t often go and see a live performance of any kind. My husband has gotten into the Portland symphony lately. I go with him to some of them, but i don’t have an appreciation for all of it.

When i was at the artist retreat, there were musicians there as well. I realized how much i liked hearing and seeing someone play and sing. I just like a small venue. And it doesn’t need to be someone famous.

I can’t even imagine how music was regarded before one could play recorded music. But i realize that it’s a social event. I think that i’m missing the more personal connection that local live music can offer.

I spend too much time in my own little circle and could make an effort to get in touch with more things in my own community. Live music will be one good way to do that.

photo from flickr