Archive for the ‘Books And Reading’ Category

Sunday, March 20, 2011 (1:52am)

  

I have always loved books. Some of my earliest childhood memories revolved around reading. I became a believer in Jesus after reading the Bible by myself without a big whop-de-do. After that I had an insatiable urge to get to know the Jesus I found there better. I was fortunate to find great authors who acted like signposts to point me in the right direction. I found so many quotes that inspired me and encouraged me in the faith. I was thinking that it would be nice to share some of those voices here on my blog and to share some of the things that have been meaningful to me over the years.

I thought I would start with a few quotes from a woman named Elizabeth Rooney. Many years ago I read a book called Bright Legacy. (I believe the book is out of print now but I have found copies of it used on amazon.) In it, several well-known Christian women wrote about another woman who had deeply touched their lives. One of my favorite authors, poet Luci Shaw was one of the contributors. She wrote about Elizabeth. She was a woman she met at one of her poetry workshops. Over time they struck up a friendship and Luci Shaw wrote about her surprise at finding a woman with an amazing talent for writing poetry which was something she began fairly late in life. In the book they included some of her poetry which was very moving to me. They also included some of her journal entries that I loved. She wrote about her growing love for God and her desire to be with him, and the awkwardness at trying to share that with others. Being a night owl I could relate to her late night encounters with God when she was alone with him. Elizabeth passed away several years ago, but her legacy continues through the books of her poetry that her daughter published after her death. Several years ago I contacted her and ordered the poetry books. I was able to tell her how much her mother’s writing encouraged me over the years. You can find her family’s website at Bingham farm by typing her name into google or follow the link here :http://www.brighamfarm.com/index.html

 

On the website you’ll also find examples of her exquisite poetry. Here are just a few quotes from her journal I appreciated:

“God intends us for himself and with our eager cooperation or with our rebellious reluctance he works to achieve this. He respects the reluctance; he will hint and then wait, ask and then wait, urge and then wait. And wait and wait!”

“This evening my heart and veins and arteries and my whole system have been filled with a joyousness I can hardly contain. I want to pray or read but feel as though I shall explode. I need to tell someone how wonderful God is!”

“Four A.M. I got up and found it had stopped snowing, leaving about a foot of new-fallen snow in great white billows under a full moon. Mike woke up and asked what I was going to do and I said, ‘Go to the bathroom,’ which was a deception, since after I went to the bathroom I was going to pray and write and wander about as usual. I have to stop lying to people about how much God means to me, just because I’m embarrassed by it or think they won’t understand. What if Sts. Peter and Paul had acted like that? Stroke victims have to practice and practice speaking in order to learn to speak again. I need to practice speaking about God, his love, his immanence, his active presence, his willingness to participate in our lives if we’ll only let him.”

Here’s one of her poems:

Wild Geese
Barking and calling courage to each other,
The singing skein sweeps south across the sky.
We hear their legendary cry
Saying goodbye to summer swamps and sweetness.
They know some ancient mystery of weather,
Of daring and of caring for each other,
Which we have lost.
Shrouded in sheets and city streets,
Our stifled hearts half waken at their sound.Something within us trembles, flaps its wings,
Falls back against the ground.
We dress for breakfast, start the daily round
And wonder, why we must know only fenced yards,
And shelled corn, until we die?

10/16/78

©1978 Elizabeth Rooney

From Storing September

Thursday October 28, 2010 (4:23am)
 
Things I Think About Late at Night…

It’s the middle of the night. I was asleep for a few hours and now I’m awake again sitting here again in front of the computer. I am still such a night owl. I love this time of night. It’s so quiet and peaceful. My days are filled with so much noise and busyness. I love that too. I love getting the chance to spend my days with so many different people with so many different stories, one on one. There is a lot of learning to play music and learning to live life going on. At the end of each day they leave me with a lot to think about.

There are a lot of things I would like to blog about if I get the time and the energy. I would love to hear from others about some of the issues that keep coming up again and again when I talk to my students. I would love to tell some of their stories. There is so much to learn from them. I would like to talk about how the educational system is failing them and how the adults are failing them by not raising hell at their schools, with the school boards and at the national level to reclaim their chance for an education… about how “no child left behind” is destroying their education and at how much stress they are under. I’d like to talk about how as a generation we have over sheltered them from things that could have made them stronger and then left them to fend for themselves in areas when they really need us to step up and be the adults and the parents and care for them.

I would love to explore more how much having a creative outlet can be so healing for our lives. About art and faith and beauty and how they can go hand in hand. I would love to explore what we could do to encourage that creativity in each other.

I would love to have a deeper discussion about the huge cultural divide between the Christian community and the LGBTG community and what to really do with it… how to build bridges instead of walls.

I would love to look at why there are so many of us who have a passion for Jesus who feel so disenfranchised from the American church, and what we can do with that longing for something more real and authentic with each other.

It would be great to discuss what books and music have had a real impact on our lives. I can think of a list of several great books that have totally effected my life and faith that you’ll probably never see on the shelves of “Christian” bookstores. … and with that why it is that with so much music and so many books published every year, so little of it really has much substance or makes much impact.

Those are just a few of the things rattling around in my head. What about you guys? Are you interested in discussing any of those things? What do you think about late at night? Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of the discussion, and maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to sit down more often to write.