27 February 2007

prayers and thoughts

God, you are that friend who secretly picks up the tab for the whole party.
And it gives you joy to say to all of us: Don’t worry about it; it’s on me.

And some thoughts on music: New Orleans Style

There’s nothing like a person pouring their heart and soul into the keys of a piano—
especially that one young man, that one brilliant night.

“I’m going to play you some New Orleans style blues,” he said with that charming, shy drawl, a hint of a mischievous smile and a glance out from under those long eyelashes toward the rapt audience.

What it sounded like to me was sort of strange: Like ink running right out of a pen and onto the page in that scratching way. But I happen to think that sound is a comfort and a satisfaction. It means you are coming to terms.

Or maybe to you, it sounded like a warm meal on a rainy winter night: fork scraping plate, the smell of garlic and herbs, the glass of red wine for health.

Somehow, that night, in that snug room, what came out of that young man was just Soul Food: satiation, warmth, joy. It rambled raucously, trembled on that top end—the right hand repeatedly teasing out a flirty taunt that waited impatiently for a response.

There’s no telling what people are going to hear when someone really plays from their heart. It had the character that reminded many of us of the angels doing that famous number (you couldn’t miss them--these are the ones with their eyes closed, nodding their heads from side to side, looking a little eccentric and sensitive)—the one they played when God made everything. Let’s assume he made them first so that he could have some accompaniment for separating light from darkness, and just the right cadences for molding a giraffe, and designing the veins on each leaf that would ever grow, and even planning all of the particulars for that young man to play us a song so reminiscent of our lost home, of Eden. Well. I haven’t exactly heard that specific number yet—just hints here and there—but they say that when you hear it, you just know, and there’s nothing quite like it.

a little behind

I've been a little behind. Here are some highlights from the L'Abri roadtrip & conference.

Walking & talking with Heidi H
differing perspectives
Indian food & fellowship
Mexican food & fellowship
coffee & fellowship
Psalm 107 in the warm sunroom, 7:45 am, coffee,
friendly dogs romping in the snow
a walk through the woods playing fetch
happy birthday to me (it wasn't actually my birthday, trixies)
snowball attack
the retaliation
reading Winter's book on the way home

13 February 2007


When you get the blues it’s best to start baking right away. You'll have serious regrets if you wait too long, so push up your sleeves. Late afternoon, that first crack of an egg against the metal bowl gets you going. Measure out the cups of sugar and oil, the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder. Scooping pumpkin out of the can makes you think of pies cooked for the holidays, hissing radiators, clear cold nights. You’ll decide that you can never go wrong with a warm orange. It’s the color of afternoon napping on the best couch in the world with the love of your life. But don’t get all sad thinking about that. There’s a job to be done. Get some flour on your hands and say a prayer of thanks.

See, you’re feeling better already. Turn on some jazz now--Miles made music for afternoons like this--and stir. Keep stirring. Don’t even think about getting out the electric mixer. Make your arm tired with the stirring, the scraping of bowls with that one perfect spoon. Today, do everything by hand.

Put it in the oven, and in about twenty minutes your house will start to smell like spicy sweetness. Really, you can imagine that if you were outside right now, peering in the windows of your own life—-this warm house, the clanging of pots and pans, the opening and shutting of cupboard doors--you can see that one might even feel a little jealous of how wonderful it is to be where you are at this moment.

It will start to get dark—-dusk falling outside, the metro speeding by on the tracks behind your building taking tired commuters out of the city, home. Look out the window and you’ll see those empty armed trees waiting for spring, just waiting. You’ll guess that they know what life is about. Your plants there on the windowsill, they could use some care.

It will take a while for it to be ready. While it cooks, do the dishes by hand, letting that warm soapy water get all the way up to your elbows. Make some coffee and drink it black, peel and eat a clementine slice by slice. The combination will knock your socks off—-if you’re wearing any. I guess I should mention it’s best to wear socks when baking. Don’t wear your winter boots, and for goodness sake, don’t go barefoot. That has to be some kind of heresy.

Tomorrow you can take one of those loaves over to your friend, who has just had a baby. You can hold that baby and smell her soft, clean head, you can continue to pray that you would be patient: patient enough to enjoy stirring by hand, to enjoy passing the time it takes to cook something sweet and spicy in the oven. Patient enough to wait for that African Violet on the windowsill to bloom again, for spring to come so that you can smell the soil and get your hands dirty and plant something new. Wait. Pray. Today, that is the recipe.

09 February 2007

Christianity Today article

This is cool. Court's photo (above) and an article by Chris Heuertz are in the new issue of Christianity Today. I live with a famous photographer--but you already knew that! Awesome! Read the article here, although the online version does not include the pics :(

07 February 2007

Household. Common. Winter Day. Yips.

Yips. I've got a band crush. Music just in time for spring walks. I. Can't. Wait.

p.s. Does anyone else get creeped out by that little microcoft paperclip guy with the over-expressive eyebrows who's like "do you want to save?" (eyebrow raise, eyebrow raise, eyebrow raise). Yeeg. And am i way behind the times here? Was there some kind of anti-paperclip guy movement and I'm the only one with the old version of windows still? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

05 February 2007


Hey, my booties got published on a cool crafty blog. How fun! This pair now belongs to Charlotte Buerge.

If you haven't checked out Dassler's post about melancholy/beautiful songs, it's a fun conversation.

Last night I got to talk to April as she drove home from Seattle. She is encouraging and thoughtful and an all around great person. She did a wonderful interview with Lauren Winner for The Other Journal a while back. Check it out, it's thought provoking and insightful.

Digging on Mindy Smith (give a listen to "Out of Control") and Rosie Thomas(give listen to "Much Farther to Go").

01 February 2007

Check it out. Sari Bari's site is up and running.