Wednesday, May 29, 2013


{image captured from our backyard right after a severe thunderstorm}

 In search of the epic, I have failed. The cliche and continual pursuit of the "like" button bereaves me. I am finding the more I pursue my word of the year, the more I find myself obscure.  Perplexed for a spell, I have felt a sadness for the pep rally of empty bleachers and unused megaphones.  I have lamented over the basketfuls of unspoken for party favors and the unclaimed cupcakes of me still freshly made and waiting.

But, then real & good decided to set in. They brought all that was needed to make this yearly commitment to myself worthy.  They offered me the gift freedom. Unaccounted for in all ways that matter not; present in all ways that matter most.  I shied away from the words on screen and dealt with the words of my heart.  I simply unplugged and underachieved in the world of accountability to the stranger who reads.

I've still kept my journals and posts.  I just found myself at peace with but one set of eyes looking them over.  Privacy has been a fit I have most enjoyed wearing.  For climbing inside myself has been beautiful & perplex. My thoughts-turned-words have deemed themselves precious.  My mind took the notion to wind around who I am and why I do.  My time at rest was really what it should be.  The rat race of me is slowly under construction.  And, it feels good.

As I creep slowly back into this space, I do so with hesitation.  Part fear & part fret of giving justice to just what my words mean to me exists within.  Their worth along with the images they are entrusted to hold a validity in my heart.  Their place in this world is not mandatory; their place in my life most definitely is.

So, see through me.
Obtain my image, but not my form.
For the details of each of us really are the real & the good.
My soul seeks it.

.mac :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Time weaves stories.  Stories with beginnings so boisterous you simply cannot wait for the middle to get here.  Time weaves people, too.  Intertwined like the threads of friendship bracelets made on the playground at recess.  Little fingers twirling colors as safety pins secure the start.  This precious and most beautiful soul you see here has been woven into the lives of so many. Woven by a Maker who loves her immensely.  I am honored to be counted a thread in the story of my sweet friend, Brooke.  
When I think of Brooke, I think of a strength peaceful & gentle.  My mind rests upon her smile.  She has the ability to listen with a heart fully intent on making yours stronger.  She has a kindness that so many people cannot even begin to muster.  When she loves you, she loves you forever.  
God crafted a woman rock solid in the foundation of Him.  Her storybook tells of a faithful soul in search of realness in people and in the hope of Him.  Her book covers chapters on love and on diligence.  On heartache and hiccups.  On giving and getting on, too.  And today, her life awaits the penmanship of a new chapter.  This chapter is entitled Stella Grace.  
My hands took great delight in writing the fabric prologue to Stella Grace's chapter.  Brooke chose crisp, bright colors for Stella Grace's nursery.  Colors that transcend vibrance and radiate a happy light.  I wanted this quilt to honor this sweet little girl's story of life.  The pursuit of her place in this world has had many twists and turns.  Not all the pieces seemed to fit at times.  The pursuit for her place in Brooke's arms never faltered through it all.  With that same sweet smile, Brooke rested in Him.  She held onto His hand of hope.  And, when that happens, pieces find a way of fitting together.  Even better, they create something spontaneously beautiful and magnificently profound.  In Him, through Him, Brooke and Russ await the birth of their Stella Grace.  
Through a friendship forged on some ferociously good times & unforgettable memories together, we have watched this miracle unfold.  Stella Grace is loved.  She is loved by an entire slew of sisters who have been in prayer and in praise of her makings.  She is loved by a Mama devoutly defined by the hope He provides.  She has a Daddy jonesin' to protect her from now until infinity.  And, she has a Creator who knows just how to weave.  Stories and people make beautiful things. He twirls all us together for a reason.  We cannot wait to meet you, Stella Grace Hardy.

.mac :)

I made cake.

Ineptness frequents me this time of year.  I find myself clinging to the intangible.  I struggle with the ordinary.  I whither within myself, too. Truth sneers into my heart leaving it ramshackled & rummaged to a state entirely out of proportion.  There are years I allow this incessant ineptness to completely break me.   Like a poor choice of a plastic spoon for ice cream thick & dense, I snap.  Popping off right at the base, I leave behind only the rigid white plastic shaft of myself as a reminder I was there.  Last year was one of those years.   Then there are years when the numbness includes me.  Gosh, I love the invite, too.  The numb years may be the best ones of the lot.  No huge shockwaves of memory.  No jigsaw puzzles valiantly assembled only to realize that out of 1,000 pieces, you only have 999.

This year I made cake.  I don't know why.  As best as I can see it, my hands are the vocal cords of my heart.  Gravitationally speaking, I had to.  My body pursued a movement busy & task oriented before my mind could offer up any stamp of approval. I operated with a quasi-level of consciousness.  I drifted in only to find myself so far outside the entire production.  Coconut oil replaced vegetable oil because its healthier for you we were out of vegetable oil. I semi-measured.  I didn't time its baking.  I just assembled with the intentions of completion, yet with little conviction of flavor or finished product.  To beat it all, I made coconut cake.  1 out of 4 members in our household like coconut cake.  

I made it the day before.  Anticipation of the dreaded 24 hour reminder always makes me antsy.  I'm never best at facing a train heading straight on.  Particularly, when I am reminded of how many of us stand on these railroad tracks.  This train will pass faster this year; you make cake.  At least my innards thought this to be a truth worth clinging to.  

The icing. I made homemade buttercream.  I felt the anguish welling wildly within me.  I knew all too well that real butter makes the best buttercream.  I used margarine.  The sugar crystalized pudding was a poignant reminder of my state. Runny.  Fragmented.  Grainy.  The color.  I couldn't remember her favorite.  I wanted to say it was green, but then I remember our home having a lot of blues.  Damnit, what was her favorite color?  I swelled ridiculously with mayhem; I had to leave the dripping concentration for reflection.  Moreover, to avoid the inevitable.  Tomorrow was the day.  And, I knew not her favorite color.  

One hour later, with my composure somewhat regained, I worked to create turquoise.  My over mixed human altered fat source margarine could now claim a color.  I sanctified my ineptness with smears of blue-green onto a cake half heartedly created.  Lumps pooled at its base; cracks of cake rejected its covering.  I am those cracks every year.  Every year.

A loss was before me.  The unwanted, unpopular coconut flavor found itself saturated with soups of the equal parts turquoise mixture.  I couldn't remember her favorite color.  Spontaneously charged with emotion, I bounded out to right this wrong. Grasping at whatever it took to visually create an outside unscathed by the damage already done internally, I would save this cake.  I tried to do this exact same thing 17 years ago.

With new bowlfuls of real butter infused frosting made, I moved to mask the disaster.  I smoothed and rounded the sides with purpose.  Placing the knife aptly so, my tears fell.  Alone in my kitchen, I grieved her.  I charged on with even more tenacity to cover and to conceal the cracks.  

I could do this.  
I could do this.  

I could not.
Tomorrow she would be gone 17 years.  Tomorrow I would grieve her all over again.  I would remember her smell.  I would feel through the hours each & every one.  I would wait for the rain, too.  Numbness did not send me an invitation this year.  Half heartedly this cake became.  Cracks, substitutions and corrections are my reminders.

1,000 999 pieces.
I made cake.

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