September 12, 2008

Nature's Whisper... yum.

My son - eight months old with gusto - likes to lick the wall. He has access to all the cheerios and applesauce mixed with mashed peas that his little heart desires, but he still likes to lick the wall. That semi-gloss (or is it satin), textured, "Nature's Whisper" white rental-duplex paint is his second-favorite thing to lick. His favorite thing to lick is the toilet. When I once committed the mortal mommy sin of glancing away for an instant to wash a fork he found his way to the toilet base. Guess it feels cool on his little tongue on a northwest summers day. In the midst of such discoveries, a poem by my Mom reminds me to pray for this great and mighty man.

Every Great and Mighty Man

Every great and mighty man,

Each man accomplishing so much,

Displaying his artistic touch,
Inventing wheel or tool or crutch,

Every great and mighty man,
Each man who dares be first on wings,
Expressing wonder as he sings,
Maintaining, honing, fixing things,

Every great and mighty man,

Each man who tills his field of wheat

Preparing food for friends to eat,
Encouraging whome'er he meet,

Every great and mighty man,

Each man who breathes,
each man who lives

Began with what his mother gives

Each mighty man was born.
What great and mighty man is this
Who nestles safely in your womb?
And making his appearance soon
Be nurtured with the rising moon?

Upon your breast and in your care

He will be wholly contented there.
Could greatness be in one so fair?
What great and mighty man is this?

© 1997, Mrs. E.

September 11, 2008

Talisman of Power to Wichita Kansas

Guy 2 started college this fall. Between a more than full load of freshman classes, a phone-a-thon job asking alumni for money and listening to their sob stories, a graphic design job figuring out how to make the college newspaper look way cooler than last year, midnight till 4am games of Texas hold'em, and microwaving frozen lumps of spaghetti sent by Grandma, he rarely calls. That's why we're glad he writes... so we'll know what he's thinking.

John Brown University is home to a talisman of great power. Three times a day, hundreds, if not thousands of students and faculty make the pilgrimage through the café to catch a glimpse of its marvelous power. The conveyor belt may be small and unassuming, but it has a unique characteristic. Plates, cups, chicken bones, power aid, half finished mostly melted ice-cream sundaes with two spoonfuls of chocolate topped with nuts and cherries all slathered in ketchup; all these and more are loaded on and sent chugging down the belt and into a portal. Where the portal goes is a mystery. Does it open into the cold of deep space? Does it warp to the clammy depths of the ocean? Antarctica? Midway? Wichita Kansas? Some say that there are a hundred gnomes that stand up on tiptoe to grab the load, wash it all, and carry it back to the café, listening to rock music and shining it with their beards as they go. The next day, clean plates, cups, and utensils show up in the café and a thousand souls make the pilgrimage once more.

I have always been curious; how does a material-dimensional portal transmit sound? Maybe you should try sometime: say thank you through the portal and listen for the gnomes.

September 9, 2008


A guest post by the one who instigated this whole staying-up-till-2-in-the-morning-writing-furiously habit, our mom.

(with U in the middle, something seems wrong)

The earth is round.
But if you say 
The earth is flat,
Well, that's o.k.

And two plus two 
Is four, unless
Your view of it
Is more... or less.

And apples may fall 
On your head,
But some apples
Fall up, I've read. 

And did you hear
That water'll freeze,
Now and then,
At twelve degrees?

Oops, Did I 
Mispel a werd?
Aw, that's alrite,
The thawt waz herd.

No imputation 
Need I make
Because I believe
A mistake.

I just try hard, and
That's enough.
I sometimes quit
When life gets rough.

And there are times
When I am right
To lie, to cheat,
To steal, to fight.

For after all,
When life is o'er,
I win, because
I keep the score.

It simply is
The natural end
When absolutes
Begin to bend.

For when the truth
Is set aside,
The first guest to 
Arrive is pride.

When pride convenes
With human reason,
Justice becomes
What is pleasing.

Lust and logic,
Hand in hand,
Construct a life-house
On the sand.

In knowing what 
Is right or wrong,
We cannot trust
The human song.

Good and evil,
Wrong and right,
Still battle on
Throughout the night.

Yet don't forget;
The victory's won
O'er the lie
That Satan spun.

The truth is not
In me, you see,
But rather in
The Trinity.

Are only found
Where Grace and Truth
Share common ground.

Reality is
Soft of voice.
The truth demands
Only one choice.

The time will come
When God will say,
"What have you done
With My Son today?"

He who caused
The earth to be,
Who loves each one

He spoke.  It was.
And it was good.
He is the "I am."

© 1995, Mrs. E. 

September 4, 2008

Keep Her on the Line

"Hi, could I schedule an abortion?"

Deep breath.
I'm supposed to have a well thought through response to this, but I don't.
Keep her on the line. Keep her on the line.
It's the mantra running through my thoughts.
Keep her on the line.

Short, power-packing words dance by.
"I was drunk."
"My husband doesn't know."

Stories. I tell stories... about my friend Lina* who has a pair of deep blue baby pajamas hanging on her bedroom wall to remind her why she's living in a cramped apartment downtown, sent away from her parents' home, kicked out of her boyfriend's house... and Lina knows her little Blazen will be worth it.

Adoption. I talk about adoption...
"Oh, no" Resolution in an otherwise quivering voice, "I could never do that to my child"

But mostly, I just listen.
Not the patient listening of a wise, removed counselor.
The frantic, praying, pleading listening of one who doesn't know which words will hurt and which words will bring tiny shreds of hope.

Every idea is a step onto melting ice. If she listens, I take another step out, feeling my way with numb, shaking toes. If she pulls away with her words, I...
Deep breath.
I'm supposed to have a well thought through response to this, but I don't.
Keep her on the line.

"I just want to save my marriage. Marriages are supposed to last longer than a year, right?"
"I lost a baby at 2 1/2 months last year, and my husband is still upset about that.
"I just want to save my marriage. I just want to save my marriage."

Would she come in to the pregnancy resource center to talk more?
Not a chance.

Would she like to meet for coffee somewhere? Just hang out after work tonight?
And texts flew back and forth from my little flip-phone to a satellite in space to her little flip-phone. And a few awkward phone calls interrupted loads of laundry. And when we met for dinner one week later she told me how excited her little brother is to be an 8 year old uncle and how the ultrasound picture pinned on the office bulletin board looks like a gummy bear. And the sense that I am just a bystander watching the hand of God at work washes gloriously over my soul.

Sometime I'll write about the next time the telephone rang. I'll write about Ashley* who demanded an ultrasound to see if she was "too far along" to rid herself of the baby. Apparently 4 months along wasn't too far, for her baby disappeared last week Wednesday.

But not today. Today I'll write from a rejoicing heart about the beating heart of a single baby.

*Names changed for privacy.

How are You? I'm Snuffy.

Dear Aunt G (girl 3),

How are you? I'm snuffy. Mommy's snuffy too. Are you snuffy?
Even though I'm snuffy I still like to get inta stuff. Today my favorite stuffs to get into are... ummmm... the computer cord, and the computer, and the kitchen. I'm not disposta go in the kitchen, but I just go anyways. Me an' my lizard. Mommy keeps sayin, "You and your lizard get out of the kitchen!" but I just grin. 'Cause I'm cute. Cute and snuffy. The lizard doesn't grin 'cause he's made of plastic. But he would if he could.
So, do you like bein' on a big trip? Do you have to stay strapped in your carseat the whole time? Do they give you Cheerios? Oh wait, I forgot, you're a grown-up. Sort of.
Mommy wants to know where you are in the Bible readin'. She's in Exodus 6.
When you get here I wanna read stories with you, and eat stories with you, and eat Cheerios with you, and show you my cheesy monkey-face, and, ummmmm, we could go in the kitchen!?

Half-year old