Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Is Sprung


I have some random thoughts about Spring to weave into a nice tapestry of a post. I will probably end up with a ragged throw rug, but, what the heck...

Baseball season started for the boys last night. It was their first game as the Red Sox – I am a Reds fan. Little League makes for strange bedfellows. I mentioned last night, right?  Thursday, Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday.  For at least the last four or five years, we have gone to the service - you know, the one where the priest washes feet - and we have washed feet as a family.  It is humbling and sacred and really quite touching.  We missed it this year for a baseball game, one of twenty-some.  A lackluster game that we won, but, that doesn't matter much.



I missed washing their little feet.  I missed their trepidation and giggling and wonder at the whole thing.  For a baseball game.

It is also a great time of year to go camping.  However, there is a baseball game every weekend, so it is difficult to find time to go.  The boys love camping - the fires and endless loops on their bikes and staying up late and hotdogs and chili and real, uninterrupted family time - and ask often when we are planning another trip.

That's a birdhouse in the foreground... for scale, I'd guess.

I love camping with them, it is something I am good at, something that shows them skills that can't be really shown other than at a campsite but, we won't get to go until the heat of summer is upon us.  For a baseball game.

It is truly difficult when you have twins to miss sports games, I mean we are usually a sixth of the baseball team or a fifth of a soccer team and it causes a difficulties for the coach if we can't make it.  I understand that the boys need the kind of bonding that sports teams can offer.  They love baseball, they love scoring and running and laughing and they need to know the thrill of victory and the pain of defeat.  They need bruises and sore muscles.  I understand that.

But, I need the long languishing that is camping.

I need to wash the feet of little boys.

Memories are made a million different ways.  I get that, but, I sometimes regret that we emphasize the recreational sports so much, as a family, and, in my opinion, as a society.


From Marci's  "...... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

Nick:  My coach, he can still talk and see, but a couple of years ago he got turned into a wall.

Zack:  Yes, I played for him a couple of years ago when he was first a wall.  He is a good coach.

Nick:  It was actually really convenient since, when he was a regular player, he was so good everyone called him "The Wall."


I knew nothing of this...


Thanks for stopping by again, I am glad you could.  Have a sacred Easter, remember what it is about, even if you do not celebrate.  Forgiveness, resurrection, suffering, and purity are not only Christian themes, they are universal themes that live in the collective soul of humankind.  Own them, ponder them, dance, sing, pray, give thanks, rejoice.

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Sentences I Wrote About This


1.  "Ninga" is actually spelled 'ninja.'

2.  When Chuck came home in Nick's backpack last week, we spent a good fifteen minutes pretending to throw ourselves through the air, as in chuck  ourselves.

3.  Chuck ties very nice bows around his waist, his ankles and his wrists.

4.  Although he looks angry, that is his "warrior face and he's actually a pretty nice guy."

5.  Chuck is so good he covers his hands and feet and is still a ninga  ninja, either that or he didn't do well in the sword portion of the training.

6.  The classwork that Nick drew this on the back of took him "like, two minutes... what else was I suppose to do?"

7.  For want of a comma, Chuck is destined to be thrown for the entirety of his ninja career.

8.  He, Nick, got all the answers right on the sequencing worksheet this is on.

9.  I secretly love that Nick is a poor speller, it lightens my heart, somehow, and makes me think about the nature and necessity of words and language.

10.  I really, really dislike the trend to make postings into lists because, in my opinion, they forgo storytelling, are easy, make clever transitional writing unnecessary and seem to me to be lazy, meaningless clickbait.



From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

I really should start a Top Ten List of things you don't expect to say during Mass ...

 "No jazz hands during Lent."



Let's face it, it's the Fosse equivalent of a Halleluiah... 


I've been a bit serious this month, I can't really say why.  I am glad you stopped by and peeked into a book-bag with me, it was fun.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If I Had A Dream... (A Future's Perfect Post)


I tell the boys stories I make up about a blue kid-size teddy bear in a yellow polka-dotted purple bow tie. He's mischievous and a little excitable. Chu-Chu is his name and he is my imaginary friend and I frame the stories about him around my childhood misadventures growing up in rural Ohio. In the most recent one Chu-Chu got caught stealing apples and was reprimanded by a farmer who, in truth, just wanted to be asked for the apples, he had plenty, he reminded us in the end. Oh, and there was pie.

I finished the story and Nick asked me where Chu-Chu was now. I told him that after a long career as a loving companion to several children, he retired to Arizona.  I flippantly remarked, "He'd always dreamed of that."

Tuck, hug, bathroom, hug, tuck, "three pats," lights out...

"Dad, what is it you've always dreamed of?"

"Whaddya mean?" I asked through the dim, quiet room.

"You know, if you had a dream what would it be?"

"For you guys to grow up happy and healthy. Now, good night," was all I said. But his words keep echoing through my mind, through my heart, through my soul.


If I had a dream...

We walk together along the stone walkway that marches from our screened-in porch and winds under the maples towards an outbuilding which sits about midway back in the yard, just beyond the tall locust tree, there, where the tomatoes and the roses once grew and the oak saplings still struggle upwards. The building has windows on the side facing the house, shuttered at times, and the siding is the whitewashed wood of an old barn, baked for decades, in the unforgiving Midwest summer sun.

The shadows of two boys and a man float in the speckled light and seem to crouch on the roof which is not peaked but slopes from the opposite, higher wall, at a slight, easy angle. A low, unrailed deck comes off the front of the building which sits somewhat skewed on the lot so that you see the windowed wall and the front facing as you approach it. We stand quietly. Behind us, on the front, wide wall, a pair of barn doors wait and a another window hides behind shutters. Our eyes are drawn, as always, to the stained purple, red, pink and burgundy glass window that sits magnificently, triangular in the space formed by the sloping roof above the barn door and the shuttered picture window.

One pair of hand reaches out and opens the doors as the other set pats my shoulders and then swings open the shutters of the front window. The interior is revealed. The place is dreamy, the floor is recycled wide wood planking, butter toned, and extends to the back wall perhaps twenty or so feet. A circular window is nestled high in the angular space, mirroring back the front one. We step in and gaze through the familiar light. The restored rose window - saved from a church long lost to tears and time – is back-lit in glory from the setting September sun. Below that window, the wall is weathered wainscoting up to a stick brown chair rail. The rest of the wall, and the windowed wall to the right are painted a yellowed, parchment beige.

Just below the rose window, a score of sconces hold candles of every size and description. My two companions light them with wooden matches and the sulfur smell mixes with the wood and incense infused into the very essence of the space. Lit daily for years now, they provide the backdrop to a simple wooden trestle table maybe four by six feet. An exquisite white porcelain plate, oversized and oval, sits gracefully, contrastingly smooth against the rough work table. On this day a dazzling geode sits, split open, shimmering in the candle and stained light of the back wall, seeming to hover just above the simple plate.

“A geode, nice...” A soft voice breaks the silence.

To the left, the high wall is covered in shelves and cubbyholes handcrafted by an old cabinet maker, installed flawlessly. A row of lights on the deep blue ceiling showcase old books and watches and jars of marbles and new books and photos and, well, a bit of everything, really. Hands reach out, six now, and eyes flit from this to that, breaths intaking, hearts breaking, memories soaring at every stop of each mind's eye. Beautiful things, warm things, stuff you want to hold in your hands or against your breast. Towards the front of this wall another work table sits, waist high, the kind of table you tinker at. Two lamps string down from the ceiling to illuminate it. Two hands reach out to turn them on.  Papers and music and pencils and cardboard and notepads wait. Two guitars hang on the wall, also waiting.

Below the picture window, an old-timey teacher's desk sits in the ruddy evening sun. A laptop, a scanner, and a printer are hidden under the papers and handwritten notes and finished and unfinished manuscripts. An unlit candle and a smoke-stained desk light and a cold cup of coffee sit, temporarily abandoned in the paper chaos.

I sit down at the now ancient desk.

“Dad, I remember you designing this, in the basement. Blue tape and, like, manilla card paper.”

“Yes, but it didn't turn out that way...”

“Yeah, life's like that,” the third man offers with a wisp of a smile.

“...it turned out better.  Life's like that, too.”

What is this place? It is a shed. A shed where I go to dream at an oaken desk. A shed where I go to pray at a wooden table of an altar. A shed where I go to find peace, serenity and solitude in the paper words of poets and saints. We built it, we three. Someday, some-time-ago, some-time-to-come, now, never, always. We built, are building, will build, this.   A father and his sons – we three.

It is my Prayer Shed.


If I had a dream...

A retired architect, famous once but now just another guy sitting at the local coffee shop, asked me what I did as I sat tapping away on a laptop one cold winter day. I laughed and told him I was "just a dreamer." He said he was once a dreamer, now he was just tired. He went back to his mug of coffee, black and strong and hot.

"What do you dream about?" He whispered it, almost as if he didn't want to say it, didn't want to bridge the sanctioned gap between our tables, between us. I trusted his eyes so I told him about my Prayer Shed. I told him it was hard to write and think in a cold, dank basement and that I wanted to be in a space full of light so I could dream bigger, hope harder, pray more reverently, think longer, more involved plots and characters and narratives. I told him it hurt my heart to dream of something I knew I could never have.

His eyes were full, both tears and understanding fell from them, and he looked inside me and, trusting me, he said, "I'll design it for you." And he did. The blueprints are rolled up and stacked in a cubby just there, next to that Mason jar of my grandfather's marbles.


If I had a dream...

Once a month, when the weather is good, the front porch of the shed is filled with people, singing songs and laughing and telling stories. It is a hootenanny where anyone can play, children, old-timers, old rockers and bluegrass pickers. A simple sound system, a couple of small Peavy amps, some mics and a good friend at the mixing board. A fire in a fire pit, beer and wine, hotdogs, friendship and music - inclusive music, sacred music, raucous music, good and not-so-good music - fill the evening air like prayer lanterns lifting up and out of sight.

People come from all around and there is never anywhere to park, but, the neighbors don't care - one's a fiddler and the other is stoking the fire. There is an atmosphere of love and acceptance, and memories are made, a lifetimes worth, evening after summer evening. Sometimes, when the weather is bad, we all shove into the shed, close, happy to be so, the amps turned off, the guitars and singers just feet away from the glad, expectant faces of the crowd.


If I had a dream...

The dreaming-once-again architect calls his cabinet maker buddy and finds out he could use some work and, for nearly cost, he puts in the shelves and cubbies and, from his own workshop, "lends" me the table that becomes the focal point of the space.

I meet an old hippie at the farmers market, and, liking his chest length gray beard I comment on it, he laughs, loud and strong, and wonders how he still has it because he works as a stained glass artist. I ask him about the work and we stand, talking comfortably, as he explains a recent project. He found a rose window in an old barn, covered in dirt and grime, and decided to restore it. Chuckling and shaking his head he says that he can't imagine why he did it - no one wants that kind of thing anymore.

"I do," I say quietly. 

When I go to his shop - a jumble of color and glass and lead - a vintage Martin guitar stands in a corner and a even older Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer sits open amidst the glass fragments, neither are dusty, neither neglected.

I tell him where it will go and he is pleased and offers to design another window for me, the window above the front door, the window facing east, the window he calls "Sunrise Prayer."


If I had a dream...

I wouldn't stop there. No. The building inspector would have a son who was a graduate film student and needs a thesis project and comes and documents the whole process from architect's office to glass studio to shingles and front deck. He would come to deeply understand why the shed must be built by profoundly understanding why dreams must be dreamt. He will edit and filter and score and narrate and he will manifest his dream as I do mine. And, his documentary will be beautiful.

He will help me explain my dream. He would listen to me say things like: "I think it is important for children to dream, it is important that adults dream, it is the stuff that moves us toward God. More than that, though, it is important, urgently so, that children see adults dream. Even if that dream ends in failure, which it may, we must give our boys and girls permission to dream, to dreamy crazy, to dream big." And, he would make me seem credible and decent not flaky and misanthropic.


If I had a dream...

The sound of hammers and saws filled the backyard for weeks and weeks. I remember pouring the foundations, framing the walls up and hoisting the rafters. My sons helped me. They helped me build my dream, board by board, nail by nail, blister by blister. They are just nine - or twelve, or twenty, I know not, really - and they learn a lifetime of skills, good skills, hand skills, heart skills. They will forever tell the story about the hammer Nick dropped and Zack caught, miraculously, just before it crashed through a window, a rose window. They will learn, finally and forever, that their dad is crazy and beautiful and earnest and humble and holy and full, so full, of the kind of love that is so hard to place, and, and, he built a place for it - because, because... he needed to.


If I had a dream...

I would dedicate my shed to my work. I would finish my novels there. I would have a website, theprayershed.org. I would ask others to send me books, prayer books and bibles and poetry and memoirs and my shelves would swell and bow from the weight. I would ask for things to place on my makeshift altar and people would send feathers and stones and baby socks and acorns and geodes and flowers... and hopes and dreams and fears and failures. I would pray for it all. I would take a photo everyday and post it on the site, "from the table" I might call that, and years and years of images would be forever saved in simple, prayer-like zeroes and ones.


If I had a dream...

People would come to see me, some might want to pray with me, others might want to pray alone. Some would come to argue with me, tender arguments about God and gods and saviors, warriors and souls. With some I would talk about writing and music and the nature of Art and we would sing songs and form bands and laugh freely and gather around an old wood stove off in the corner by the door and tell stories on a cold winter's night. And, we would dream together of sacred journeys and holy places and basement boats and backyard sheds. We would call ourselves "shedheads" and we would show others how to dream impossibly big and crazy and hope-filled dreams.


If I had a dream...

I would share it with you.

If I had one...







Thank you for listening to me dream my little dreams.  I hope it helps you to remember to dream yours.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Blue As The Moon Without A Sun"


You may remember I've mentioned the songs Nick and Zack have been writing before, in a post called "Memorise This Moment" and a another, Wright A Country Song.  Well, they are at it again.  In all honesty, Z does most of the hard-lifting in this duo.  He types them up and formats them, does most of the rewriting and curates them in a nice binder, along with the handwritten original.  I think N is the idea man, and you know how flaky they are.  Here is their latest:



"The sun and the moon rotate around us, Just like me with you.  When I'm not around you'll be blue as the moon without a sun."  That is a good lyric, right there.  Hell, I might steal it...


Zack came out of bed the other night, late, and asked me if he could leave a note to remind him of something.  He's done this before, and it is usually pretty cute, so I said he could:


"Create snake palace in cop world."  Clearly code.  I still have no idea...


For as long as the boys can remember, we have read books to them before bed.  We never talked baby talk, or dumbed down our words for them, either.  Consequently, I think, Nick has a very good vocabulary and a strong sense of story and Zack uses words poetically, sparingly, as a good lyricist should.  It's been a long journey from repeated readings of Seuss after Seuss after Seuss, through the entirety of The Magic Treehouse series and a wonderful trip through all of Narnia to where we are now, on the fifth book of the Harry Potter series.

Reading is important to me, to Marci, and now, important to the boys.

I am glad for that, words have served me well in my life, I hope the same for them.


Zack drew this the other day.  He continued the sun and moon imagery from the song to this wizard's fantastic outfit.  (That is a sun, not a circular zipper there on his pants.)  Wait, perhaps those are just moons for scale...



In my opinion, we live in a world where it is difficult to raise kids.  Oh, I know, it appears easy, there are endless opportunities in sports and extracurriculars.  There are marvelous movies and great games and good television and baseball games and, well... there is too much.  So, around here, we default to paper and craft-boxes, dirt and green balls, words and songs.  You know, the childhood essentials.

I hope you enjoyed coming around today.  Some new folks have been able to start visiting and I'd like to give them a special thanks today.


Oh, yeah...

From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

"When you have maracas, you need a saxophone."
(discussing the music at Mass)


Yes, the classic duo of saxes and maracas, foundation of liturgical music...


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Green Ball of Gratitude


I was going to do a lot of other stuff today.   I had great plans, long meaningful lists, spellbinding, heartfelt stories.  Perhaps a retrospective piece hot-linking popular posts here, assembling a beautiful collage of whimsy, hope, dreams and tears.

You see, this is my 300th published post.  I was gonna drop some whopping numbers on you involving average word count per post, say a thousand, and how that would be about three good sized novels worth of words.  I was also going to self-servingly mention the novel I wrote, and, well, basically, I was going to brag, "humble-brag" I think they call it these days.

I would have, too, except today is a windy day.

I am sitting in the dining room, my candle lit, my swollen head ready to impress you.  I put my fingers on the keypad, look out into the yard to collect my deep thoughts and, well, this blows into view:



I stop typing, hang my head, sigh, and remember.  I bought it in a whim, I doubt the boys were even two.  They were with me at a grocery store, up there in front - in the double wide - and I wheeled them past, not even noticing the giant bin of "made in China" balls.  The boys heard the siren sound that is a ball to boys and I got two, this green one and a red one, which met an early death at the blade of a lawn tractor.

But this guy... I would say this was the first ball they ever kicked outside.  I know it was the ball I used to explain soccer and kick-ball.  I know it was an integral part of the first game the ever invented on their own which involved two plastic hockey sticks, this ball, a fence and, oddly enough, a hickory nut... or was it a feather?

This ball has been imagined into everything from a cannon ball - basically any weapon ammo, honestly - to a damsel in distress high in the pine boughs in which it was stuck, the tree they eventually climbed, enticed by this little ball.  I think I may have put it in the shed or the garage the first couple of years, but, for the last several it has been the only toy I have let just stay out.  One spring I found it safely wedged in the opening of a tunnel under the shed, where Woody, the gopher/woodchuck dude is alleged to live.  The boys imagined he used it as a door to keep out the wind and snow.

Imagine a back yard full of boys chasing, kicking, throwing this ball gallantly taking them all on.  I remember four boys once throwing sticks like spears at it and the falling down laughter that followed as it blew across the yard seemingly trying to escape their unheeded assault.  I've seen it fly over the fence and taunt a boy too little to climb a fence to, well, climb a fence.  I talked him through it with tears in my eyes as the metaphorical fences fell and the future seemed bigger, because of one brave little ball.

After the assault of memories that flashed in the instant I saw the ball, I knew.  I knew what I had to do.  I wander out into the yard now populated with three and five and seven and two year-old boys, dancing, running, singing, kicking, growing and learning, and I look down on it and take the a picture of it from above.  The color is off, there is no banana for scale, it seems lifeless, inert, and I know it is not.  I kneel down in the muddy yard and I snap the picture with the playset and the rope-swing and the fence and the maple tree in the background.  The ball is covered in a patina of dirt, slightly deflated, but somehow noble, decent, stalwart, proud.
 

I pick it up and it seems to sigh.  Instantly I get it.  This ball, over the years, through snow and rain and drought and mud and wind has done one thing, a sacred thing, an act of profound love - it has been available.  I realize, choking back the familiar sob of deep understanding, that that is precisely what I have tried to do for them.  I have tried to be available, weather the storms, be ready, be strong, be brave... be there.

So, there I am, standing in my yard of dreams, tears washing clean a dirty green ball and I do the most natural thing, the one thing the ball wants, the only gift of thanks I can give it... I kick it.  It soars up and the wind embraces it and it sails much higher and much farther than it should have, over the fence, into another yard.

I go get it...


Thanks for being with me here, on this journey, I appreciate it.  Be available for others today, everyday.  Be a green ball, be the hope that is in the eyes of children and the truth that is a at the soul of every hard-working toy ever made.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beyond Bossy or A Thesaurus Of Sorts


Let's move beyond bossy and ban some really annoying words.  Nick brought his ideas home from school, I real place of learning - not the internet.

This thing, this, uh, thesaurus of sorts, is pritty pretty interactive, sort of gadgety.  I'll try to explain.

Here is how I found it:

It opens onto this page:


And then, if you close it and open it from the middle (I'm not sure how that actually works, a sort of fold that goes one way and another way, Jacob's ladder it is magical, or cursed) a hidden list of synonyms behind each worn out word is revealed.  It's pretty very incredibly comprehensive:


Let's look a little deeper at this, I mean, why not?  It's what I do.

Behind the word 'happy' are "extstremley (extremely)  glad, joyous, bursting, joyful, cheerful."

'Sad' reveals "melancholy, unhappy, misrabel (miserable), gloomy, blue, depressed."

'Big' has some useful replacements such as "spacious, colossel (colossal), enomis (enormous), immense (immense), vast, hummingous (humungous)."

I use 'cool' too much, let's see, "amazing, interesting, spellbinding, spectauler (spectacular), inchanting (enchanting), fasanating (fascinating), stupendis (stupendous)."

I definitely overuse 'pritty,' I mean, who doesn't?  I should use "glamoris (glamorous), equesit (exquisite), enchenting (enchanting),  cute, butiful (beautiful), lovey, loveley (lovely), attrative (attractive), stunning."

The suggestions for 'small' are "littel (little), tiny, miniature, minute."

I need some help with 'verey,' too.  "exstremley (extremely), unushaley (unusually), gretley (greatly), apsalutley (absolutely), dredful (dreadful), affley (took me a second, but, awfully), marvalstley (marvelously)."

Finally, for 'great' he suggests, "remarkebele" (remarkable), wonderful, terrific, superb."


Listen, when I first decided to put this here today, I wanted to do it because I thought it was funny - the misspellings, the way it's folded and crafted, the whole notion of putting away worn out words - cute stuff, perfect for what I like to do around here.  But, you know what, Nick thought of all those words himself (I asked and it is pretty fairly obvious he didn't copy them from the board).  Honestly, I am impressed with his language skills.  He knows words, he gets words, he loves words - who cares if he can't spell them, that'll come.

I am extstremley glad he has a strong sense of words I am not misrabel that his spelling needs work.  His enomis vocabulary is spectauler.  His littel  heart is marvalstley butiful  and his soul is indeed remarkebele.


From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

"My favorite onomatopoeia is clunk ... or kablooie ... but you don't get to say kablooie often enough."

It is very apsalutley true, kablooie is definitely underutilized...


Thanks, as always, for looking over my shoulder today.  This journey - everyone's really - can get lonely at times, I am glad you come around as often as you do.  Peace to you and yours.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Family Portraits, A Dog(Sled) and Faith Explained


This came home from school the other day:



It's a family portrait Nick did in Art Class.  That's me under the great green sun, sporting a inaccurately un-gray beard and a green sweater.  That was nice of him.  That's Marci next to me, smiling as always, wearing a scarf that matches her outfit.  I don't remember that flapper hairdo, but, it's nice.  Nick is smirking a bit there and his hair is the color of straw.  That's Zack there, far right, he doesn't look so thrilled, and his hair is also the color of straw.  I like his Reds shirt, it is red with, uh, a shirt on it.  Well, that's clever...

Zack did one as well, although he says he didn't have time to finish it:


I can only guess that the nerdy fellow is me.  Somehow, it looks like someone drew a face on the back of a bald man's head.  Man, I really need a new look...


And Zack made this:


The boys have been studying the Iditarod - I can only assume they know how to spell it, I just got it wrong, like, three times - at school.  It's pretty cool how they sort of link things all up these days in elementary.  They studied geography - Alaska and all that, and math - word problems and percentages and such, and science - weights and measures and the metric system and states of matter,  and reading - remember Balto, saved Nome by bringing the needed serum to thwart an outbreak of something or other.  It's all very well executed.  Zack distilled all of this knowledge into a dogsled - a sled, get this, with a dog image on it... with ears.  Isn't learning fun?


And then there is this:


Nothing pleases me more than the sight of a table strewn with supplies, works in progress.  It is a comfort to my soul, and a fodder for my blog.


And finally, this:



I've been carrying it in my pocket for a week or more and I realized today that it was about to become unreadable, so, I scanned it.  It says: "unquestioned faith" followed by "unanswered doubt."

Why would I write such seeming nonsense?  And why would I shuttle it about from pocket to pocket, not even reading it, through five or six changes of pants.  What point  is it trying to make to me, and why, you may be wondering, have I hung it on the wall of this space, this place that is present and past and future?  For whom is this message?

I know.  I just don't want to say.  Shame doesn't keep me from saying it, nor embarrassment, nor fear.  Mostly, I am think I will be misunderstood.

I am terrible at faith, honestly.  I doubt, and believe, and then doubt again.  I understand and then  misunderstand and then understand, better maybe, ebbing back and forth from piety to selfishness sometimes in the same hour, the same minute, the same heartbeat.

I was thinking and watching a fire late the evening I first jotted this note.  I was thinking about Lent and sacrifice, Paschal lambs and bunny eggs, and two opposing types of people came to mind.  Those I meet - strong and upright - who seem to have a faith so strong in their hearts that it appears, appears, mind you, unquestioned.  And, there are those, in whose trenches I imagined myself, who seem to have a doubt so firm - strong and upright as well - that it seems, seems, to go unanswered.

The piece of paper I carried in my pocket softened into almost tissue paper, it faded, and the lead smeared as the writing, words folded against words, rubbed a faint of echo of one over the other.  Today, when I looked finally looked at it again, it occurred to me that actual faith is between the two, in that upheaval of heart, that dishamrmony of soul, there, there is where God sits, waiting, understanding, forgiving.  For me at least.

So why put that here?  Someday, perhaps, the boys will need to hear that doubt and suredness, hope and despair, fear and comfort, balance each other, eventually.  There is a holiness in doubt, just as sure as there is a sacredness to faith.  I guess that is nothing new really, but, what I want you to know, now, later, whenever, is that your heart, my heart, our heart, can take the pain of that struggle, withstand it and even nurture it and that that turmoil and connection is indeed our very soul.


Instead of the usual backseat thingee, I give you:  "...pictures of our boys Marci put on her Face Book page..."  (It just doesn't roll of the tongue as well, does it?)


 Yes, our home seems very crowded sometimes, as full as our hearts...


Thanks for coming around again, I apologize if I got too serious there at the end.  I think too damn much.  See you again, right?