I ran across some things I wrote in a notebook last month and, these things pleasing me, decided to write them here.

bird in cage

bird in cage


Bird
to fly
you must quickly grow wings
grow feathers
be strong
the moment to soar is here
and you are still polishing the bars of your cage
Beating heart
naked wings
wild eyes
and fear
Now the cage is closed again
Take up your work again
And calm and close your eyes
Waiting
Another chance may come
Will you be ready
or busy?

***********************

After all this time and getting experience–AKA wisdom–
Peace of mind, sunny autumn
Yet comes winter and the lonely, icy, comfortless chill of despondency
Where are my accomplishments?
How can I go on? I’m stopped by all all all I would like to do.
I’d have wanted to have a name, a genius
And discontent is what I seem to have two hands full
George says it isn’t what it seemed it would be
Doesn’t satisfy
And, anyway, I have a name, THE name, and have no need of genius–
What would I do with it?
Don’t have it but can detect it,
Like a dog watching a human dance, or use her hands.
Oh, why don’t I feel a little marvelous?

Does God? Does He feel content? Is He amazed at what He does? Or does He still shake His head and say, “I wish I could do more”?

******************************

I watched two biographical movies: one about Thomas Merton and the other about George Harrison. These are my notes.

Moments of despair are renewals. Funny–Thomas Merton originally wanted to be a famous writer. Later he reluctantly became one, only to find it was not what he wanted. His readers wanted to keep him as he was–an eager, discovering monk; they wanted all problems solved for him because he became a monk. (No doubt he did too.) But entering Eden with eyes open reveals one’s imperfections.

Faith is overcoming doubt, not not-experiencing it. Overcoming the world is overcoming our deepest self. We have to develop a stronger ego in order to overcome it.

The gate of heaven is all around you. The world is your book (outside the monastery).

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton


One thing I’ve learned from these films about Thomas Merton and George Harrison is that what I’m going through is NOT UNIQUE! They went through it too. Those who lead contemplative lives will find that life does get harder. Even the things we thought were easy now, we think we’re “over that,” can come roaring back fiercer and stronger than we ourselves are. Perhaps it is so, as Thomas Merton suggested, that overcoming the world means we must overcome the deepest aspects of ourselves–EXPERIENCING our doubts and difficulties with faith. The temptation (maybe even the need) to completely withdraw screams at one, shrieks loud and clear. It is one more thorny field to traverse, supported, sustained, and carried by the Word of God.

George Harrison from Martin Scorsese film

George Harrison from Martin Scorsese film

It’s been a fabulous month. Last night, Kevin Eubanks (Channel Five weather man) said it’s the coolest Utah August in ten years. There’s nothing like cool weather–instead of the usual Utah summer fare. It’s made my month.

A sample of August's cool weather.

A sample of August’s cool weather.

(Wish I had a photo, but I don’t. If I can get one later, I will.) The month started with Kerry frantically getting ready for a week at Camp Maple Dell. Amend that, I was the frantic one. Even though I wasn’t going anywhere, the furor still got to me. It was a relief to finally say goodbye for five days. Well, almost five days. With the help of Pam Zepeda and Matt Misbach AND Heather Bullough’s cupcakes, I planned and participated in a Scout Camp visit on Kerry’s birthday. He seemed so much to appreciate it and he was very happily surprised.

I got a bonus from that visit too–a story idea. This story will take some time and research to write, but I think it will be a really fun one.

I haven’t done much writing, yet I’ve done some. I’ve mostly been planning out stories and still having lots and lots of ideas. I love those crazy wake-up-from-a-dream ideas that turn into stories. Such plans I have!

Some of my work and a book I sometimes use to prompt my writing.

Some of my work and a book I sometimes use to prompt my writing.

I wrote a letter to Angela–Sister Angela Bateman–on her mission. It always makes me feel good to send a letter off to her. Such a simple act, yet so rewarding.

I’ve spent a good deal of time sewing dresses, and learning about it, for an organization called Dress a Girl Around the World. Of all the sewing projects I’ve worked on, this one is my favorite. I can’t say why. I also can’t express the pleasure I’ve felt in providing pretty, new clothing for those who may never have any other than this dress I’ve made.

My first two dresses.

My first two dresses.

My second two dresses.

My second two dresses.

Additionally, I’ve worked on my Angel Outfitters assignment as well as cutting out liners for Days For Girls. I’m planning to hand my cut-out Teeny Tears diapers to a lady who will sew them. I’ve turned scarves and blankets and my Teapot Dome quilt over to a homeless shelter. I was also excited to discover that I have enough leftover teapot fabric and quilt backing fabric to make two more dresses. What fun to come.

Watch out September, I’m on fire!

Teapot Dome quilt

Teapot Dome quilt

Some of the liners I cut out for Days For Girls. I now have callouses on the fronts of my fingers.

Some of the liners I cut out for Days For Girls. I now have callouses on the fronts of my fingers.

Willow and Stream

Willow and Stream

I didn’t plan to be an artist this summer. I planned to write.
Got to love how plans change themselves.

Funny thing is, I keep thinking about writing. My stories keep playing in my head, but I don’t seem interested in putting them on paper.

I’m actually not much into anything right now, but art’s the thing I do the most. Can’t consider reading and watching movies as “doing” things. They’re more like stuff that happens to you, that you submit to. Lots of submitting going on these days.

Does it make sense to say there’s too much sunshine? It’s too hot outside?

I’m in a blue funk. Wandering around at the bottom of a hole in my life. Not especially unhappy. Definitely unmotivated. Feels like pretending sometimes. Around others, I pretend to be the person I usually am. And I guess that’s all right for now. I expect to be back some day.

There's a couch in there somewhere.

There’s a couch in there somewhere.

So, I’m messing around with a lot of stuff right now–crocheting (which is a staple in my life), sewing, reading, writing a little, drawing, painting, studying. Maybe not feeling a lot of enthusiasm, but I expect it’ll come back . . .

Come fall.