May 31, 2012


A new kind of reflection--response to a picture:

Fiddling with new tools and gadgets is always a grand adventure. There are trials and triumphs, challenges to hone courage with. A fancy camera for my mom's business is the latest machine I have been learning to cooperate with. While photographing my new blog header, I also captured this beauty.

I don't think I have ever taken quite such a lovely picture, but I cannot take all the credit. My parents and grandparents, my grandfather especially, have cultivated a fondness for old things, glass in particular. Even more particularly, inkwells.

The fascination with inkwells is rather obvious...writer, feather pen, inkwell. They just simply belong together. The glass is so beautiful and there are so many different shapes. The cobalt blue one, the one I focused on, is one of my favorites, its bubbles seeming almost as though they might rise from the glass and float away in the breeze.

It is a striking color, and among the other blues that I love, it stands out proudly. I adore the deep shadows, the rich mid-tones and bright reflections of light. Altogether it captures a spectrum of light few inkwells or bottles do. It seems to have a depth rarely displayed.

And so 'tis with people. Everyone is deep, whether they dig to find their depth or not. Some stand out, proudly displaying their depth, going against the shallowness so encouraged by society. Others simply remain shallow and colorless, accepting what they are told to accept and rejecting what they are commanded to reject. Still beautiful in their own humanity, but never coming close to the deepest cobalt of a thinker.

May 24, 2012

Scoop, scoop...

{To a poet, nothing can be useless.}
Samuel Johnson

Moose Tracks ice cream is arguably among the least romantic flavors of ice cream. (Cookie Dough is probably the first on that list.) Even the name is positively lacking in eloquence and grace.

Yet who realized today the lesson, the poetry of Moose Tracks ice cream? Yes, I confess. I am guilty as charged, and plead as such. I have been learning from ice cream for years now.

But before you stop reading, keep reading.

Think of a fresh carton of regular old Moose Tracks ice cream. A rough texture created by the strangely adhesive quality of the lid, but purely white in most cases. When you carve out your scoop from that perfect iceberg of frozen creaminess, the possibilities are endless. There could be four peanut butter cups in your scoop, a prize indeed for some. Or even better, the biggest swirl of chocolate fudge that ever was tracked into Moose Tracks. On the other end, there could be just an endless vanilla avalanche. (always a tragedy)

All sarcasm aside, every time I dig into a carton of Moose Tracks, I wonder how many people are like that? Beneath their frozen skin, is there a swirl of intriguing qualities? Is there a peanut butter cup of humor or joy?

There is so much we cannot see beneath the frosty vanilla outside everyone presents. Vanilla is the default, very few people hate vanilla. But some people don't like chocolate or are allergic to peanut butter. So we cover our colorful insides to please a majority.

We only have one to please, and He is the one who gave us chocolate swirls and peanut butter cups. It is we who frost ourselves over avalanche style, making me want to dig deeper into people, find out who they really are.

I am tired of vanilla everywhere. Show me your chocolate swirls, your dreams and don't let people fool you into thinking they are all vanilla. Face value is worthless to me. True value is what I seek.

May 9, 2012

cloudy mountains

I am at a loss for a name, but I suffer from a syndrome of sorts.

Staring down the road ahead through the glass, I am lost in thought. my eyes wander to my left, always the left, and shadowy forms rise from behind the forests of trees or buildings. Deep within, my soul stirs for a moment, a flash, as my heart sees mountains. I am left with the bittersweet reality that my eyes merely see clouds.

What is it about the mountains that captivates my heart? In sorrow, it is to the mountains I long to flee. If I could but sprout wings and fly there, I think.

The reality of the clouds is not heartbreaking, however, for the clouds are beautiful themselves. Though they are not what I thought them to be at first, they are still preciously lovely.

And so 'tis in my life. My expectations are not always parallel with reality, but it makes reality no less enchanting. I think he is going to be the one, but he turns out to be a friend. A beautiful friend whose love I needed. I think that this might be a great opportunity, but it turns out to be a great lesson.

My expectations are not half as glorious as His plans. So I trust that the absence of my expected mountains detracts not from the beauty of this place.

{But as for me, I trust You} Psalm 55:23b