23 August 2009

the fathers' house

I've been house sitting at the Fathers' house next door. It has been a grand experience.

For one, they live in a real house, like with real furniture and real door knobs. I, on the other hand, live in a somewhat disheveled house, with walls that have been painted white at least 6 times and appliances that take about 2 hrs to explain exactly how to get them to work. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my quirky hill home. They also have flowers, and a balcony....which make me love my house just a little bit less. :)

So yes, our neighbors (two priests), happened to ask me to water their plants and look after things while they were out of town for the past two weeks.

Of course, I dived into Merton. They have all of his writings sitting on their bookshelf (!!!). I was introduced to Merton by a dear friend in college, and I have been constantly intrigued by his thoughts on faith and God ever since.

On my 2 week bedside table sat a book of Merton's poetry with brilliant commentary to follow. Below is a sample of one that instantly pierced my soul, surprised me with its relativity and soothed me nightly as I re-read it over and over again...

"Probably the earliest of this group of poems, this poem presents a series of natural “emblems” that are called upon to function as meaningful signs in a season, if not of fury, at least of emptiness and apparent deadness. The barren natural landscape with its hidden vitality serves as an analogue for the inevitable and necessary winter periods of the human heart and spirit, which are summoned to undergo the detachment and purification of naked faith, “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1)

Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing

O little forests, meekly

Touch the snow with low branches!

O covered stones

Hide the house of growth!


Vegetal words,

Unlettered water,

Daily zero.

Pray undistracted

Curled Tree

Carved in steel

Buried zenith!

Fire, turn inward

To your weak fort,

To a burly infant spot,

A house of nothing.

O peace, bless this mad place:

Silence, love this growth

O silence, golden zero

Unsetting sun

Love winter when the plant says nothing

Fire, turn inward

To your weak fort,

To a burly infant spot,

A house of nothing.

(note on Stanza #4: "Here the paradox of the “weak fort” (from “fortis”—“strong”) combining protection with vulnerability, both contrasts with the “steel” tree of the previous stanza and suggests St. Paul’s statements, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). It is identified with a contrasting paradox, in which the “infant spot” is characterized as “burly”, a site of new beginnings, a lif-generating womb, that has unexpected strength and substance. This “fort” and “spot” is finally identified as “A House of Nothing”—apparently the opposite of “the house of growth” hidden in the opening stanza, but properly to be identified with it. Recognition that “the house of growth” must also be “A house of nothing” is the essential insight of the poem, the point at which the lessons of winter are revealed as a paradigm for authentic spiritual development: only by being reduced to nothing, by dying to autonomous, self-generated aspiration, can genuine growth take place. The concluding lines of the poem provide the context in which such a recognition can take place.")

I want to be a house of growth.
I want to be a house of nothing.

God, give me naked faith, “the evidence of things not seen”.

15 August 2009

tour del sur :)

road trip

hilton head island, SC--beach, best dog ever, elliott
savannah, GA--paula dean, candy, talking streets
birmingham, AL--urban cowboys, tip top grill
daingerfield, TX--family love, romeo, b-laire, watermelon, rodeo, jesus

So long D.C. South, here we come!

my co-pilot

Mr. Elliott Daniels


Best pralines I've ever tasted.


Why, hello there Ms. Paul Dean.


....almost home

Welcome to Texas, thank you Blue Bell :)

Just in time to go tomato pickin'


just a doll :)

yes, I know. It is upside down.

you know, just petting the deer.

playing cowboys.

momma loving

gurl, we are canning!

We LOVE Robin :)

sweetheart. :)

the gang headed to the watermelon festival~

yes, the hillbilly express made an appearance.

somebody was a little excited about the beads...


rodeo time

mis padres/themostamazingpeoplei'veevermet.
i hope to be like them when i grow up.


family :)

ahhhhhh. dairy queen.


04 August 2009

His Holy Pillow

It is here you birthed me
My flesh, my breath, my self
To unassuming parents; broken, healed, redeemed, called children of yours

It is here you filled me
Your spirit, your longings, your purpose
Penetrating every part of me, infiltrating each moment, thought, and heart’s desire

It is here you changed me
Watched me continually, and continually still, bounce between
holding tightly and letting go
struggling and freedom
weary songs and joyful melodies
arrogant perspectives and broken revelations
empty, desirous of everything and overflowingly full

you are before and after and in between it all

It is here your voice came alive to me
The experience of love manifest
I saw your face in my momma’s selfless grace
I witnessed your mercy in my sister’s constant care

I heard your whisper in silence, in laughter, in daddy's bear hugs

It is here you invited me
to breath in and out slowly

to rest

to relax

and to fall deeper into your holy pillow