Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: But now I am mostly at the window watching the late afternoon light…

1000px - Barefoot on a wooden chair, Late Summer

1000 px- Looking out the window in late summer

“…You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light…”

-an excerpt from Billy Collins’ On Turning Ten

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: In the afternoon, over lunch

Today, on this Friday-which-doesn’t-feel-like-a-Friday, I’m trying to get back into the creative groove. I’m taking pictures of everyday things for a Day in the Life series of photographs I’ll post here later.

They are bright photos, of food and of laundry and of unmade beds.

But a few moments ago during lunch, I turned around and saw this. She looked me right in the eyes and straight through to my heart (which is now a melted puddle).

February 2013 - Aveline after lunch

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: It’s all (mostly) black and white

Aveline - January 2013 - Aveline on couch in black and white - Photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Top of the bookshelf - photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Colander, calendar, and stars on white kitchen wall - photo via Oaxaacborn dot com

Inside the closet, with a paper star and a painting - photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Black and white Kawaii Panda Bear plate - photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Aveline - January 2013 - Aveline reclining on couch in black and white - Photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

“In returning and rest shall you be saved;
in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

These words keep coming back to me. In the midst of frantically getting this and that done, in the midst of the bowl of macaroni & cheese dumped on the carpet, in the midst of the screaming fits which two-year-olds are wont to do from time to time, in the midst of lists and laundry…in the midst of it all, these words echo.

And I know I need to stop, and truly listen.

In rest. In quietness. In confidence — a kind of calm assurance, free from anxiety.

This same Lord also whispers in my ear,
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30)

How foolish I am to refuse!

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: I don’t have to be able to see clearly for it to be beautiful

She was desperate to look outside. She pulled at the shades, tangled herself in the curtains, and whined, impatiently dancing on her tiptoes.

I understood. I understand.

I swept the curtains aside and tied the gauzy fabric into a loose knot. Tugging the braided cord downward, we watched as the slats slid upward, pouring sunshine over us.

She was instantly silent, instantly still.

She rested her fingertips on the wooden sill, the wooden sill which has seen more tenants than just us. It’s buried in coat after coat of sticky white paint, and not all of them had been evenly applied. She doesn’t notice this.
Toddler looking out of apartment window - Black and white photo via Oaxacaborn dot comShe is still, transfixed, mesmerized by what’s beyond those two panes of glass.

For a moment I feel sorry for her. She looks at the grass and barely knows it beyond something that’s labeled “Keep Off”, “Pesticides Applied mm/dd/yy”, “Clean up After Your Pet”.

But this does not trouble her. She is quiet and calm, lost in her own little world of thoughts.

In this moment, I feel that her world is much deeper than I can begin to imagine.

She places her small hand on my arm, and my precarious camera-toting, nearly-kneeling balance is lost. She pats my arm reassuringly, and looks up at me from her squatting position.

I click the camera button, and glance at the screen.Toddler in Black and White - via Oaxacaborn dot comYou can’t really see her face clearly.

And then it hits me. That’s ok. I don’t have to be able to see clearly for it to be beautiful. I don’t have to have a perfect exposure, a perfect view.

I just have to be here — here in this quiet moment, kneeling in front of the low window with my daughter, quietly watching the trees and the sky, washed in His redemptive Grace and Peace. Here in gratitude, here in thankfulness, here in the kind of perfection that I can’t create, but can receive, with arms open wide and eyes fixed on my  great and wonderful God.

My arms of full of blessings; my heart is full of peace.

“So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. … In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” -James 1:17+, the Message version