Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Christmas is hands down one of my favorite times of year. One of the major reasons way is because Pearl and I check out of normal life and hit the road for a week or so to see family. We rotate each year between heading south to Georgia to see my family or North to Michigan to see hers.

This year was a year to go north, so after 2300 miles, 7 nights away, 4 different homes visited and lost of laughter, stories, and good time with family we're home.

Here's a video of the road.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Creative experiment 11.03.11

I was inspired the other day to photograph something I've never photographed.

Water. Oil. Kinetic energy. And a dance of color and light.

Here's how my experiment turned out.

What Creative experiments have you done lately? How did they turn out?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow, Stacy, Shame

Today I walked from our apartment to Prince Street Café to meet Pearl. As I walked through our city the crisp fall air was life giving and some of the old familiar sites, such as the record store and central market were like old friends saying hello along the walk.


But there were also some new sights for today’s walk.

Like fall leaves encased in snow! Yes, like 4” of snow in October! I guess there’s a first for everything.


The other new sight, and also the source of motivation for this post, was found not in excitement or adventure, but rather in shame and embarrassment.

Here’s the story.

Today was a full morning at church, a great morning, but as I walked to my car my feet moved a little slower and my energy was not at its highest point. I crawled in the car, used the wipers to knock some of the snow off the windshield that had slid from the sun warmed roof, and drove to the apartment. As I pulled into the parking lot, I planned to park the car, grab my computer bag from the back seat, and walk to meet Pearl.

As the car pulled into the spot, I could see in the alley at the end of the parking lot a local man working his wheel chair up the alley. His head hung to the side like someone hung over (literally), his movements were slow yet jerky. He appeared to be homeless or near to it. He had frizzy long blond hair and looked like he needed a bath.

The car pulled to a stop, and so did his movements. I could see him from the corner of my eye. He paused his inclined climb and looked at my car. I felt like he was looking straight into me.

I decided I was tired, I was already dealing with a tough conversation I knew was on the horizon, the weight of the afternoon's school work was on me, I was tired, moody, and just frankly not in the mental place to deal with a homeless man looking for a hand out, a cigarette, or some cash. I just wanted to be left alone.

So I decided to ignore him. To just sit in my car acting like I was busy. I returned text messages, looked at home emails. I noticed he was no longer in the alley but actually rolling towards the car! I hoped he was simply rolling through our parking lot to the main street on the other side. So in my attempt to avoid and ignore him I decided to check my church email, surely there was an email there I could work on as my Sunday afternoon annoyance rolled past.

He rolled to the car.



I ran out of emails.

He was a persistent little man.

I decided I would just have to face him, say no to whatever he wanted from me and then be on my way…to do my seminary homework.

I opened the door and forced myself to smile at him and say good afternoon.

His voice made my soul cower in shame. His voice shared he had a head injury of some sort. Whether from life or birth, either way he spoke not as the 40 year old weathered man he appeared to be but as that of a simple child.

A child who heard a car with a whistling sound coming from it.

A child who knew good deeds were done by telling strangers it sounded like their tire had a hole in it.

A child who knew his good news would be worth the sacrifice of his time to patiently wait to tell this hurried driver about his tire.

This man child’s name is Stacy. We shook hands. Talked about the weird sounds our aging car now makes. Then talked football, how his team is doing, if I’m watching the Eagles vs. Dallas game and other football talk.

He then wished me well with my school work and that the team I’m rooting for would win.

I did the same for him.

I turned to walk towards the coffee shop and he rolled back to the alley.

So today, as I walked past unseasonably early snow banks with fall leaves mixed within, I was reminded that God has unseasonable ways of reminding me he loves all, accepts all, and expects me to do the same.

God thank you for the Stacy’s of the world who surprise us with their life, their love, and remind us of your love for us.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

half.... glass

DSC_7704I'm realizing that life has a way of throwing nasty curve balls at us all. But if an experienced hitter is at the plate and sees the signs of the coming pitch soon enough they can adjust their swing and turn a nasty curve into a beautiful hit.

I think I see a nasty curve coming my way. "I think" being the key word. I'm not sure what the pitch may be, I just know something's coming. Something that I'll either adapt to in time to hit or swing at miserably for a strike.

Yesterday we got a phone call...

one of those calls.

A call that deals with the health of loved ones.

Some test are in, some options are starting to be on the table, something is about to happen.



and how the heck are we to adapt to play this game called life?

I general call myself optimist. I generally naively see the glass half full, I generally believe it will all be ok and will all work out. I'm generally confident enough to believe we can adapt in time to read the pitch and to stay in the game... even if our hit isn't a homerun.

But this time I'm nervous, I'm scared, I'm starting to guess what's next and there more questions then confidence.

At this time when my optimism in myself is clouded with uncertainty and I'm paralyzed with doubt, my optimism has to turn from myself, cause I fear I can't do it, I can't read the pitch in time, I can't analyse this game called life cause I'll go crazy trying.

At this time my optimism in myself goes from me to God. I have to look to Jesus and say "I don't have a freakin clue what to do, how to respond, how to pray, how to play, but you do. You know. You've got a clue. So do it, I can't!"

So this morning as the Sun warms the day and my coffee cups gets emptier, my metaphorical "glass" is still half full, it's just not as full of myself, it's being thrown at Jesus and pleadingly begged to be carried (or should I say filled) by him.

Have you had these times? If so, what did you do?