God-Forsaken Place

He said ‘You’re never going to lose my love’
‘go ahead and try’
so you drank from the river
until it all ran dry

and you run from your conscience,
fast as you can
‘cos you’re going to Hell
again and again

but oh,
even then,
there is hope, there is grace:

even Hell is not a God-forsaken place

– Andy Gullahorn, Fault Lines, ‘God-Forsaken Place

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Interview: Of Darling Wrens

You know how there are some people you talk with for a few moments, and you inexplicably feel like you’ve known them all their lives?  That’s pretty much how my friendship with Annie Hawthorne (my petname for her is Cinthy, since she reminds me of hyacinth flowers) started: we clicked right off the bat.  Since then, we’ve exchanged writing and talked on the phone, I’ve adopted her as my dragonkeeper, and we ramble on about all sorts of things.  And now, at long last, she’s launched a blog!  EEEEEEEE!  I’m delighted to be able to introduce her to you guys today, and to point you to a lovely new site soon to be filled with perusals and things. ^_^  So, without further ado, read the interview and bookmark her blog!

Continue reading Interview: Of Darling Wrens

Monotony

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

excuse me while I kiss the sky

yesterday was a pale day, full of the rain drumming down into invisible barrels and gossamer webs drenched with cold.  today the world is blue, not quite azure but full of February.  the trees are cold and bare, gleaming against the sky with only the sparsest brush of pine.

I am ignoring a screenplay, because constructing visual scenes is hard when things are figments of dreams walking among so many thoughts.

my room is full of Christmas lights and papers, and roses that smell like old books, with maps along their petals.  a can of cranberry sauce remains unopened, because the hinged metal used to open it is broken in the kitchen, amidst a lot of laughter.  I cooked last night with some of the boys down the hall from me, and felt unskilled until I saw people eat and smile.  we ignored the football game while I borrowed pots and pans to cook soup, and we blasted the Lumineers and laughed hysterically and groaned over film takes.

Continue reading excuse me while I kiss the sky

Less Alone, More Awake

I’m pretty emotional, so I was always looking for something that would evoke some strong feeling—whether loneliness, sadness, joy or peace. A great song could transport me, and as a teen I fell in love with songwriting because I was fascinated by the possibility of composing something that might move someone else. It wasn’t until later that I heard Rich Mullins’s music and I understood that there was something more important than just emotion—there was truth, and poetry, and longing. A song can help you to feel loved, less alone, more awake. What other art can change your life in four minutes?

– Andrew Peterson

Just Like Killing Dragons

A sound, too, began to throb in his ears, a sort of bubbling like the noise of a large pot galloping on the fire, mixed with the rumble as of a gigantic tom-cat purring.  This grew to the unmistakable sound of some vast animal snoring in its sleep down there in the red glow in front of him.
It was at this point that Bilbo stopped.  Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did.  The tremendous things that happened afterwards were nothing compared to it.  He fought the real battle in that tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Everyone is surrounded by dragons.  Not the brilliant, awesome, friendly kind: the kind with hissing voices that love to hoard every square inch of your life that they possibly can.

It’s not an accident that there are stories of dragons in every culture.

Continue reading Just Like Killing Dragons

i couldn’t help but ask for you to say it all again

I am visual, with a right-brain and a right-hand. Photography eludes me, but I still see pictures.  I am a writer.   I inventory concepts, words, faces and sounds that I wish distilled into words.  I collect snapshots.

Perhaps it is that I have been given the curious non-accident of glimpsing souls.

I’ve always thought I had a knack for seeing people, because I am good at drawing people out of their shells. Well, younger children, that is. My track record with my peers is fraught with mishaps and broken constellations. Still, the ability to treat people as people has been a strong suit of mine.

So I fancied.  You can feel the pretension in those first sentences.

In just these past two weeks I have been humbled three times, two of those times in the last two days.

Continue reading i couldn’t help but ask for you to say it all again

Art Bewilders

Art, if it can be ascribed value, is most valuable when its beauty (and the beauty of the truth it tells) bewilders, confounds, defies evil itself; it does so by making what has been unmade; it subverts the spirit of the age; it mends the heart by whispering mysteries the mind alone can’t fathom; it fulfills its highest calling when into all the clamor of Hell it tells the unbearable, beautiful, truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. None of these songs and stories matter if the beauty they’re adding to isn’t the kind of beauty that redeems and reclaims.

– Andrew Peterson

Becoming Real

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit