Monthly Archives: January 2013


My soul is restless.
Waiting for a prodding, a call.
I wonder what exactly I’m waiting for.


I can see it in the distance.
I know it’s there.
I just need to focus.

I took the toys. All of them.

photo (21)

Saturday brought one too many whine.
One too many tears.
Way too many sour words.

So I took the toys.
All of them.

I let them keep the books.
Because I just can’t take away the books.

Stashed in the closet, they may have one back at a time.
If they can prove that they can handle one toy each, they can get another the next day.

I feel like the
But their behavior has been fantastic.

They spent hours playing outside yesterday.
I didn’t take those toys away.

And for their first toy to get back?
They all chose something they could share: Legos, the car track, the fairies.
And though I am still frustrated that I had to do it,
It makes my heart smile that they picked something to share.


Just One Peek

I am a fairly open person.   I don’t keep a lot of secrets.
And if you want to know the honest truth, I’m probably your best bet.
(If you ask me, you better be sure you want the truth!)

But there are things, out of respect to others, that I don’t mention here.
And there are things, because they just cut too deep, that I don’t mention here.
And there are some things that are too big to be contained with words.
And other things that are so unimportant that it almost feels cheap to waste words on them.

But writing is, after all, the way I process things.
And so there are notebooks full of disjointed phrases, words trying to capture the emotion but simply unable.
And there are shreds of paper lining trashcans and carefully covered up with apple peel or coffee grinds.
And there are stories that play in my head when I close my eyes – so vivid sometimes that I’d swear it were real.

But they are not all my stories to tell.
At least not all of each story is mine.
And tip-toeing on the edge of my story and theirs is tricky.
You see, I’ve learned the hard way that words are more powerful than we think they are.
And once they are written down (oh, especially on the internet) they are there forever.
They can always be found, always be referenced, always be brought back up.
And they can cut just as deeply the 100th time you read them than they did the first.

I have a box of cards hidden in my closet under a pile of shoes.
It’s full of little notes and long letters and sweet cards that I’ve gotten here and there.
Almost all of them are happy, or at least pick-me-ups meant to make me happy.

But I have a terrible, horrible habit.
I also save the worst ones.
The ones that hurt the most.
The ones that were most unexpected.
The ones that I still don’t understand.
And I know that I shouldn’t.
I know it and yet I do.

Just one peek, I tell myself.
And the ache starts over; the punch in the gut steals my air.
The pain of the memory washes over me, but this time the balm of time has stolen some of the sting.
Thank goodness.
My eyes no longer prickle with tears.
Thank goodness.
And without the tears, I can see clearly.
Thank goodness.
I don’t second guess myself anymore.
For the first time I read it and I don’t wonder what I could have done differently.
I don’t question myself, my motives, my response.
I do still wonder where truth ends and harsh emotions take over, but I supposed I always will.

I close it up and pack it away.
I should just destroy it, I tell myself.
Maybe I should burn it.

But I’m just not there.
Not yet.
Soon maybe.
I hope.


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
~Kurt Vonnegut


A few months ago, I took an online course that Karen was offering. Several years ago I fell in love with her photography before I really knew her name. But let me tell you this: her spirit is even more beautiful than her art. Through both her words and art, she shares such intimate parts of who she is that it’s hard not to be captivated by her. The online course offered guided exercises to help each participant delve deeper into their own lives and hearts and ideas.

During the course, we were encouraged to pick a word for the year.  I like things to start in January, so I picked my word back then and have slowly eased into it. Now that 2013 is fully here, I’ve really tried to fully embrace it.


To capture this illumination, I am spending time reading and researching and learning about things I’ve been interested in but put on the back burner too long.  I’m spending more time on mediation and digging deeper into my own beliefs and faith. We tell our children to “let your light shine”, meaning that we want them to be kind and let others see the love of God through them. That one is often easier to preach and teach than live, but I’m trying.

Photography-related, I took the word both literally and figuratively. I’m really focusing on working on lighting in my photography. The key to great photography really is light and how you use it. Also, most people are quiet lovely and don’t even know it. Sometimes it takes seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes to see how beautiful you are. A master photographer knows the mechanics of how to get the shot they want, but is also able to make a connection with people that brings out the best in them. That is the kind of photographer I want to be; the one who makes you feel really resplendent.

Another definition is “to decorate with brilliant colors”. I promise I will not wear black all the time!   *gulp*  I’ve gradually added more color to my wardrobe and hope to continue.

And I may get the painting bug and paint a room or two in the house. A colorful room is a happy room, right? (Marshall, if you’re reading this…I’m just kidding.  No, really.  I wouldn’t even dare consider it…)

So instead of resolutions, I am embracing my word of the year: ILLUMINATION.
What about you? Do you have a word of the year?


Karen is offering a new course starting next Monday called Create.2013, if you are interested in exploring different types of creative outlets including journalling and photography.

This post is in no way sponsored. As a matter of fact, Karen doesn’t even know that I’m writing it. I really enjoyed PathFinders and know that some of you would love this type of opportunity.