"Here is your ice cream cone," he declares. Satisfied and soapy, he hands me a cup full of bubbles. He eyes me intently, underneath wet curls. "What flavor is it?" I know to ask. The joy sparks: she sees it, too! "It is chocolate-ish strawberry vanilla. It is served in a cone and a dish." "You are KIDDING," I gape. "That is my favorite flavor in the world." I slurp and snarf, devour the whole airy nothing in front of his damp beaming face, which dazzles into delight. "Ah-ha!" he shrieks, splashing. "Yes! We will make some more." He is three years old. He knows what adults have forgotten. Make-believe and truth are both sides of imagination's coin. Creation is our work of everyday. Here we are at bathtime. The Spirit still hovers over the water. Faucets are waterfalls, bubbles are beards, cups splash with soup, anything becomes a boat. Too often adults are mere spectators, flimsy facsimiles of what it means to witness. Distracted by phones, anxious … [Read more...] about childhood & creation: this sacred everyday
Here are watercolors, she said. Paint. Here are pastels, she said. Draw. Here is clay, she said. Create. A gathering of mothers. A time and space set apart. A whole afternoon to ourselves, to pause and pray and ponder what it means to approach pregnancy and childbirth as something spiritual. At Peg's retreat, I thought about birth and babies and becoming a mother all over again. But weaving between these weighty meditations were simpler sensations: the chalky smear of pastels on my fingers, the ghost-white trace of clay under my nails, the wavy curl of paper as watercolors dried. When was the last time I let myself make art for an entire afternoon? Sometimes I sit down with the kids at their small table in front of the sunny window and I doodle while they draw. Or I dip a brush and make soft strokes while they paint. Or I roll playdough into long coils while they squish and smash their creations. But I never make art. Not on my own. Why? Because I'm too busy. Because it's … [Read more...] about when did we decide that we were bad at art?
Give and take. Sacrifice and compromise. The exchanges we make in love. Our December has turned into a microcosm of our marriage, a portrait of our partnership. First I was gone for five days of meetings, and F had to scramble to stay home with the boys when the babysitter was sick. Now he leaves for a week-long business trip, and I'm the one scrambling to rearrange my schedule. This month we're both juggling child care and work responsibilities and housework and errands. We're sharing dinner duty and diaper duty and sending a zillion emails a day between home and office to coordinate the caring, cooking, cleaning. One feeds the baby and the other washes the bottles. One makes dinner and the other scrubs the dishes. One does the laundry and the other buys the groceries. One stays up late with the baby and the other gets up early with the toddler. The next day - or week or month - we switch. And the cycle of sharing starts over again. Sometimes we're tempted to keep track or keep … [Read more...] about the trinity of family life
You know the days. You've had them, too. (I've been having too many of them lately, hence the lack of recent postings 'round these parts.) The days when all you see around you are piles of dirty dishes, heaps of laundry, stacks of bills, messes of toys. The days when email and voice mail and children are all whining for your attention. The days when distraction and disorder reign supreme. The days when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you shudder at the wild-eyed, disheveled soul who glares back. It was a day like this when I stumbled upon a beautiful website while doing research for work. Picturing God: Faces and Traces of the Divine is an oasis of calm amid the internet's frenzy, a place of prayer amid the online babble. The website, run by Loyola Press, is exactly what its name suggests: a collection of photos submitted by readers that illustrate glimpses of God. Many are stunning landscapes or skyscapes; other are places or people with spiritual significance. … [Read more...] about inspire your spirit (great websites): picturing God