Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm No Expert...

...but all signs seem to say Our Bubbs is one happy guy. 

(Either that or he's deeply disturbed...)
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Bronze Bow and Our Big Guy

Our Big Guy is in the middle of reading Elizabeth George Speare's The Bronze Bow.  And I've kind of been on Cloud 9 since.  The first time I read this book was in 6th grade - just like him.

If I could list my Top 5 books - The Bronze Bow would be #5.   

Our discussions these past few weeks have been wonderful!  And I have watched with delight as Our Big Guy's eyes have lit up with enlightened understanding after each chapter. 

Paragraphs like the following are very dear to me -  

"At night Jesus too looked weary.  His brilliant flashing eyes were dark with pity.  Yet he never turned away, never refused to speak to them.  While he talked, they all forgot for a while.  You could see their faces, turned upward to the light that streamed from the open door.  And you could see that his words touched their minds and hearts like some healing ointment, and that the scars on their spirits that came from being beaten and kicked and turned away all day long, lost their smart and for a short time did not matter.  Often a man's body was healed, and he leaped up, full of strength; and then a new hope coursed through them all." -pg 164-

Maybe Mrs. Speare was like Handel and heard a chorus of angels singing while she wrote - or maybe it was a small presence that whispered to her about certain circumstances.  Either way, I find Speare's descriptions of the Savior to be some of the most direct, truthful and moving passages in literature.  This is realism in ancient Judea - with all its anger, corruption, sweat and poverty.  And into this picture steps this unexplained, miraculous, compassionate God. 
Even those who didn't believe the Savior - those who were skeptics and fought against it - they couldn't deny the inscrutable sense of peace when he was near.  This burning push of light inside to become something better.  To follow Him.
Just like me and Our Big Guy. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the Light of September

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground
but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later
who fly with them
you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night
perfect in the dew

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sun Valley

Our annual family reunion... where we rub shoulders with both the tattooed carnie folk and the mega rich, multiple-house-owning, children despising elite. 

(To be fair, the celebrity who happened to eat breakfast with us in the same location, wearing the same clothes on both mornings was very cordial.  And the management staff made him wait for his table just like the rest of us.  See the photo of him in the background - sitting behind my cute little nephew. 

We're hoping he doesn't think we're stalking him - esp. after my brother started talking to him.  Dear Spencer, couldn't you have stayed quiet??)     

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Brian Kershisnik's Climbing Mother

If you visit the LDS Church History museum before the end of this month, you can see their current exhibit, "Practicing Charity:  Everyday Daughters of God".  Specifically, you can see the painting that made me halt in my tracks and do a double take - Brian Kershisnik's Climbing Mother.

Why does this painting speak to me? 


Notice the youngest one in tears, the second-to-youngest trying to hide her tears and the two over-excited, over-stimulated boys who are seconds away from jumping out of the photo?  Notice the terrible job this photo does of actually capturing the painting in question?  Yeah. 

Can you see the woman's weary, worn out profile?  This is a tired mother - stretched thin and exhausted.  And yet in spite of her fatigue, she's not unhappy and she's not complaining either.  She wants this life and she dearly loves both the baby in her arms and the one climbing on her back.  She's providing the physical back-bone (literally) under that ladder and never discourages him in his ascent.  What she lacks at this moment is strength. 

I know these moments personally.  Frequently.

And then there's the angels above.  The mother's not looking at them - and yet I can't figure out if she knows of their existence or not.  Another gem - one of the angels is a man, the other is a woman.  I don't know why I like that so much, but I do.  Angels of both genders are watching out for her, blessing her.  Lifting her. 

In spite of the usual craziness surrounding me that day, I stood there for a few blessed moments of uninterrupted silence and cried.  Bravo Kershisnik!  You have captured one of those divine inarticulate pieces of motherhood.    

And now it compliments our family room nicely. 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Zion's Subway

This was our second time through the Subway - and it was just as exciting, just as thrilling and just as amazing as the first! 

I realized this time around how much this place zaps your strength, regardless of fitness levels.  It's all about the cold.  Hiking through a sunless slot canyon with sopping, ice cold clothes makes limbs shake and slow down.  It's 11 miles of intense hot and cold temperatures, rappelling, water over your head, sharp rocks, narrow cliffs, sand filled shoes, slippery surfaces and a steep, vertical ascent out of the canyon.

Oh yeah...

This time around I tried to go slower and absorb the view.  It is so beautiful.  I am constantly amazed that I am blessed to witness landscape that is otherwise hidden to the rest of the world.  What a great place to hike with my family! 

And PS - Next time I'm taking my two oldest boys.  They'll be ready.