pondering my role in a bigger story

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

deep thought of the day

Most of my journaling the last few weeks has been around the following question, which was posed to me by the spiritual director I see once a month. I've not got the gumption to post my musings here for all three of you to see and comment on. But what are your thoughts on this?

"Which are you most afraid of? Writing yourself into a life of faith, or writing yourself out of one?"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

breaking news from my weekly hometown newspaper

Wafford Hopper is pictured with a whopper of an ear of corn that he said is just a sample of what he has growing in his front yard garden. The ear, which measured in at more than 18-inches long, is the largest Hopper said he’s ever grown, “and I’ve been growing corn my entire life.” Hopper said he purchased the corn seed at Farmer’s Supply in Henderson, but has done nothing out-of-the-ordinary to this year’s crop. Hopper lives at 145 Parson Lane in Jacks Creek.

for the living of these days

this just in. kate campbell's latest work. love her. because we do need encouragment for the living of these days. groovy cover art. even groovier arrangements.

i keep saying i want to host a kate campbell house-concert for my fortieth birthday. the time to start planning is not terribly far away, y'all.

my favorite person

My favorite person in the world. A bit puzzled that the plane she saw disappeared. Today it is hard to live so far away.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity

Having long been one to always have a creative project or two going on the side, I was glad to find 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity, by Jeffrey Yamaguchi. At only 175 5x7 pages, this book makes a quick read, or even better, a handy addition to a growing library on creativity.

The author begins the book with an explanation of 52 Projects itself. It actually started as a website as Yamaguchi chronicled new project ideas as they were created. He also spends a fair amount of time talking about what value he gains from creating projects. While they are all valid reasons to create, I found them to be less life-changing than I believe the author would hope.

The meat of the book is composed of the 52 Projects themselves. As one who colors outside the lines, I love the fact that there are suggestions for variations on many of the projects, and that Yamaguchi stresses the importance of creating something of your very own. The back of the book contains a link where folks can send in their own projects for possible inclusion on the www.whatsyourproject.com website.

I have long thought that stories are the language through which we relate to each other, and you will find encouragement for that here as well. Likewise, there is excellent counsel on photographs, the importance of capturing our lives, and compelling arguments against hiding the fruit of our labors in storage bins. Good ideas abound on making time for project-making and how to squander less time, thus granting more time for said projects.

Yamaguchi ends the book with a list of fifty-two sources for creativity, and encourages the reader to make his or her own list. I’ve already started mine. What’s on yours?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

tidbits from leaving church

I'm working on a book review of Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. As one who tends to live closer to the edge of the map than the center, it really resonated with me. Here are a couple of my favorite passages from the book:

"By the time I resigned from Grace-Calvary, I had arrived at an understanding of faith that had far more to do with trust than with certainty. I trusted God to be God even if I could not say who God was for sure. I trusted God to sustain the world although I could not say for sure how that happened. I trusted God to hold me and those I loved, in life and in death, without giving me one shred of conclusive evidence that it was so. While this understanding had the welcome effect of changing faith from a noun to a verb for me, it was an understanding that told me how far I had strayed from the center of my old spiritual map."

"If my time in the wilderness taught me anything, it is that faith in God has both a center and an edge and that each is necessary for the soul's health. If I developed a complaint during my time in the wilderness, it was that Mother Church lavished so much more attention on those at the center than those at the edge."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Finally, a few pictures of Marge. Scroll down below the pictures for a few details.

Photo #1: Marge takes a rest while she gets her belly 'podged'.
Photo #2: Yes, we created the still life behind me. A picture of my Dad when he was a kid, a vase he gave me for Christmas, and a red plastic fish that was a bathtub toy when I was a kid. Just because.
Photo #3: This one is of the marking on the inside of Marge's left front hoof. I got kind of obsessed with this mark - photographing it, doing a rubbing of it, dreaming of someday having a studio called Studio 1567.
Photo #4: Roxann mounts Marge in my driveway. I met new neighbors that day.
Photo #5: Marge's mooves outside. I'm thinking I could use this photo as a moving announcement. Caption: I've MOOVED!
Photo #6: Marge rests after a rough day of Mod Podge.
Photo #7: Rox & I with the finished product. Yes, she is standing on cans.......of green beans and chicken broth! For good hoof coverage.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

journal ritual

Each time a begin a new journal, I have a ritual of sorts. There are some certain pictures and a quote that I always include. A few years ago I went to a writing conference lead by Ken Gire. On the first day, he gave us a handout, with what follows on it. I don't think it has been published in any of his works, but it is one of my favorite pieces of his. This goes on the first page of my journal.

Apprenticeship for a Creative Person

The best apprenticeship for a creative person is to become like Christ.

For like Him, we must enflesh our words in such a way that they reach people where they live.

Like Him, our voices must be full of grace and truth.

Like Him, we must resist the temptation to deflect from our calling, regardless how stark the wilderness, or how seductive the food offered us.

Like Him, we must not be afraid to touch subjects that are shunned by others.

Like Him, we must speak the words that in some way raise what in dead in all of us, heal what is sick, calm what is storming.

Like Him, we must try in out own work to give rest to the part of the soul that is weary, food to the part that is hungry, drink to the part that is thirsty.

And like Him, if our work is to be reborn in the hearts of others, we must experience something of His struggle in Gethsemane, something of His suffering on Calvary, and something of His stay in the grave.

Ken Gire

farewell, marge

After nearly 4 weeks of working on her, Marge is gone. Friday we took her to the holding pen (aka, warehouse) for the final touch-ups before she is placed at her new home, Denver International Airport, later this month. There were already around one hundred finished cows there, and some were quite impressive. It was cool to look out over a herd of that many creatively decorated cows. As I understand it, the cows will all be put into place around the city of Denver under the cover of night on July 21.

It was a fun gig, but I have to say I'm glad that it is finished. Hopefully the fruits of our labor will be enjoyed by throngs of folks passing thru DIA in the next few months.

And, hopefully, this will clear some time for me to work on some writing projects and my photography portfolio.