Thursday, December 31, 2015

rain , rain, rain

A History of Rain
Marc Hudson
So you arrive in the old country of rain.
The road sign says Mist, Jewell,
Vernonia. Woodsmoke
is rising against the rain
so slowly, you wonder if time
is passing, and did the alders
have leaves this year? Walk on
through a covered bridge and the sun
pours through a thousand knotholes
in lasers of smoking light.
When you emerge it is raining
as it only rains in the first chapter of Genesis,

a rain without ambiguity and guile
a rain with pointed arches and high clerestories
where the aquiline features of saints
are smoothed away like a child’s
in sleep. You discover
your vocation: you will write
the history of rain, you will set down
on usnea and moss the lineage of mist,
the martyrdom of clouds. You will record
the resurrections rain accomplishes,

its infinite extension and seeming absence,
as if it fell to no purpose
but to elicit meditation,
the pause of the scribe before the window,
transparence of a mind
given over to rain
From Afterlight (1983)
(photo from here)
Some images from the poem:
Mist, Jewell, Vernonia. Woodsmoke are in Oregon

 high clerestories
(The nave wall is divided into three stages: the upper stage with windows is the clerestory. It is a high section of wall that contains windows above eye level. The purpose is to admit light, fresh air, or both.)


God's Glory is on Tour

Welcome to the New Year: 

( photo from here)

Psalm 19The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
    Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
    their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
    unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
    for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
    leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
    racing to the tape.
That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
    from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
    warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
    and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
    and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
    showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
    and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
    with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
    down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
    Keep me from stupid sins,
    from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
    scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
    these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
    on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
    God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

best news at Christmas

He surprised her by driving up to West Virginia on Christmas Eve  where she and her family are celebrating Christmas. 

She said YES!

Fall wedding...

Friday, December 18, 2015


All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
–W.B. Yeats
From Yeat's poem on Easter but these lines are very apt for the week before Christmas. 
Spot on.
The Murmuring Cottage ( photo link to original source was not available)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

coming home tomorrow

         ... done with exams yesterday and jumping for joy in Bryant Park, NYC behind the                                                        NY  Public Library...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

let the holidays begin

It is a deep down feeling of joy and relief to be done.

Here are some of the books in my Christmas baskets and stacked around my house:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

reap in mercy

Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap in mercy;

break up your fallow ground;

for it is time to seek the LORD,
till He come and rain righteousness upon you.

Hosea 10:12

Friday, December 11, 2015

more from Terrain

Not just for the doorstep, wreaths are making appearances in every corner of the house this season

Trim Toppers for Holiday Sweets
This year, our ornaments are heading from the tree to the kitchen as toppers for festive cake


Our Very Best Gifts

This tea towel on instagram and sold here at Anthropologie's garden store

watching the video

 on Lynn Bruce's ( of Ambleside Online) blog: Because You Tread on My Dreams.

Sir Kenneth Robinson

Lynn writes : If nothing else, you'll get to hear an Englishman read Yeats.  Which is loveliness.
( which is at the end and the title of the blog)

Here is my daughter (#2  from the right with her hair pulled back which now has been cut short 
and looks so cute) at Ted Talks this fall in NYC. She won free tickets for college students. 
( she composed a poem)

 Who she heard on a panel: ( I only knew Sal Kahn= Kahn Academy 

November 2: The Education Revolution

Co-hosted by Baratunde Thurston and Sara Ramirez, featuring:
  • Paul Cantelon, film composer & pianist
  • Anna Deavere Smith, actress, playwright and professor
  • Sam Kass, former White House chef, NBC senior food analyst & MIT Media Lab Fellow
  • Sal Khan, educator & social entrepreneur
  • Nadia Lopez, Mott Hall Bridges Academy principal
  • Meshell Ndegeocello, musician
  • Andrew Mangino, CEO & co-founder of The Future Project
  • Victor Rios, sociology professor & author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
  • Dena Simmons, educator at The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • John "Scrapper" Sneider, trumpet

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I was just thinking about....


 Just standing in the kitchen tonight  looking at two tables set for 13 students 
and 6 moms ( Christmas tea) and thinking. 
It seems like wisdom has the answers.
It seems like it might help me see what is going on.
 It seems like wisdom has to be gotten through living through days and relationships. 

So my thought was I need wisdom. 
Maybe it will come with the new mercies in the morning. Mercies definitely will. 
Maybe I need to read a Billy Collin's poem. He tucks wisdom in the sleeves
of his humor. 

Well, those Middle Schoolers are a-coming tomorrow and one sent me this: 

We will be there! I will be playing Holy Night on my guitar. Might do a poem!

See you in  21 Hours! See Link for more info!  

WELL, he is to bring a poem.

He made my day! 

                                                    tea tomorrow

            Cake by sevphoto2 on Flickr.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

think every one is busy

Been in all day today.I have gotten much done. Doesn't it feel good 
this close to Christmas to get much done. 

Now listening to Eric Metaxas interview Makoto Fujmiura. 
I can listen to them over and over again, even the same stories. 
Love learning from both of them. Have met and hosted Mako at a conference 
but haven't heard Eric Metaxas in person but have read and watch his
" Socrates in the City." They talk about the slowing down in Advent but also always.

" without imagination one cannot have faith..." Mako.

                                                Mako's studio in New Jersey

Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent arrives

with the opening of wonderful devotion books and a few Christmas things out.
We don't decorate in November nor this early. This stems back to family traditons,
We got our tree on Christmas Eve and it stayed up through Epiphany. We 
will put our tree up when our girl in the Big City comes home for Christmas. She will do the decorating.  Christmas arrives slowly at our house. It started last night 
at The Getty's Irish Christmas concert. 

We have a neighbor who keeps adding Christmas lights out in the yard and bedazzles us!

You can read my students writings here on Raphael. What I was writing 
during Thanksgiving break and several college recommendation letters due 
by tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

how to make a wreath

Here in an old post by Susan Branch:


Isn't this pretty:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Jamie Oliver starts his LIVE  ( Nov. 24, 20150 Christmas Q&A with " How to make a juicy turkey?"

from my favorite store

onto the next holiday as Advent begins on Sunday:

                                                          make it here