We sat in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, probably less than 800 square feet. One of my colleagues sat on the floor with me and one joined the pregnant mom on the sofa while her two children played in front of us. The mom’s friend and partner who are currently renting the apartment perched on chairs in the room as well.
This tight knit group of young adults are all caring for these children. When we asked questions to the mom about the boys routines and activities, all of them chimed in about what the boys ate, what they liked and didn’t like to do. Other adults from the apartment community wandered in over the course of the hour and half we were there, one of them settling in and eventually changing the diaper of the older one on the floor while we chatted.
Two children under the age of two and another on the way. No highchair, no crib, a dozen toys, no board books, the clothes on their backs, a borrowed stroller, food stamps, WIC, Tanf, DSHS….
and loads of love.
I’m glad the government can’t take away the love.
Everything on this desk is dusty;
everything propped on the windowsill near by,
the lampshade hovering to my right,
the photos on string against the wall,
How does life disintegrate before my very eyes
and then collect into a substance so unsubstantial
Looking at dust makes me tired.
I will sleep
and make more dust,
maybe enough to persuade me
Exploring with a camera lens in hand is a creative outlet for me. With my camera cupped in my hand I look around more and bend over to see what is on the ground or to view the world from a different angle. Because I am seeking to see, I usually come upon unexpected finds.
On my last walk on a beach in February, I stuck close to the driftwood at the top tideline stooping to look through holes and root balls, between logs and into protected cavities. I was intrigued by focusing my lens in and around holes. Little altars of carefully placed rocks on the surface of logs caught my fancy as did the collections of stones, shells and other debris in old knot holes. Two unusual findings were a root ball wrapped around a great stone and a dead blue heron.
Coming home and playing with the photos on my computer is the next step in my creative process. I am always surprised by the art I can create.
Is there something you are waiting for? More than waiting but anticipating with eagerness? It seems like the first day of spring is something people anticipate and are happy to see arrive whether or not the actual day is spring-like or not, just the realized date is enough to say winter is in the rear view mirror.
I’d forgotten today was the first day of spring but all my colleagues mentioned it. I started thinking about other things I look for to arrive. It seems to be a past time I experienced more in my growing up – waiting birthdays, for sleep overs, summer vacation, going to high school, college, weddings, births, special visits.
Now that spring has come, what am I waiting for, anticipating with eagerness in the same way I delight in the coming of more daylight, warmth and sunshine and flowers? How about you?
Betrayal – pretty heavy topic for anybody, but especially for kids. I’ve been asked to lead the children’s time in church tomorrow, something I do about once every two months. It is fun, it is challenging, it makes me think.
What I love about our church is the willingness to take on big topics in an intentional way – to look deeper into scripture and examine historical context and then be challenged to make it meaningful today. This Lenten season before Easter, there are some members in our church participating in an all-church read of the book, The Last Week. Each Sunday we explore one of the days in Jesus’ last week. So we began with Palm Sunday – strange to be waving our cedar branches a month early. Tomorrow we will be up to Wednesday and “betrayal.”
I don’t have to follow the scripture for children’s time but I try to at least think about it and how I might talk about the themes with children every age from 1-16. There are many ways I feel betrayed as a grown up right now but I am not going to try to get into personal or national or global matters in this venue; I want to speak to instances of trust and betrayal that come from what children move through and think about on a daily basis. I’m glad I have enough contact with children to stay in touch with some of that.
So I’m at the drawing board, thinking of stories to share that tell of trust and betrayal, of hurt and healing, and hope.
when it rains it pours
a phone call from my son that has me worried about him
a text from my daughter as she tries to figure out priorities
dinner with a friend whose husband has DACA status but they leave tomorrow to visit a sick relative in Mexico and are worried about their return
taxes to do, lawyers to talk to about wills etc.
it’s supposed to rain for awhile I hear