I was made to be wide-eyed all the days of my life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I signed up to be a face painter at the "Harvest Festival" at my church tonight.
I've never done face painting before, but, I figure I'm fairly good at doing my makeup everymorning and I like to paint, so ...
why not merge the two?

So, in preperation of this, I wanted to dress up. You know, for this "Harvest Festival".
When I was little, we would always go to events like this, but my mom would never let us dress up. She didn't want us to get too into it.
So, this year, I wanted to dress up.

Like a butterfly.

I started painting on my mask, a beautiful purple, a lovely pink mask across my face, distinguishing myself as someone who has arrived, changed, not a worm any more.

While painting on my lovely face, I thought about masks, about cover ups, about growing and changing from wormhood to fluttery flight. And how
despite it all.
Lets face it. I'm totally still a worm.
I'm totally still not there.

I can put up a front, I can pretend, pretend, pretend that I've matured completed , that I can just fly away, but I'd be lying. That would be a facade. That would be a mask.

I can't live this New Life promised while wearing a mask.
I won't be able to breathe. 

I ended up wiping off my bohemian butterfly mask.
I can't pretend to be something I'm not.
(plus, my mom said I had too much eyeliner on)

Instead, I wore a hat. My favorite blue hat.
To keep my head warm while I paint the faces of little smiling kids dressed up like harry potter and ninja turtles.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


Keep it real. Keep it Rolling.

Life cannot stop just because we want it to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faith and Sight

 If Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, 

Faith is in the eye of the blind man. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gold, Crimson, Spice

Big things come in small ways sometimes.


All week long I've been going to a seminar on resolving basic youth conflicts int he home and man....
its been wearing me out.  The "Work all day and then the seminar till 10:00 to get to bed late to wake up early to do it all over again" routine wasnt working out for me.

So, this afternoon after work, while driving home after work, I wasnt paying much attention. You know, dazed driving.
Whipping around country roads and up and down surly hills, I went unaware of what was going on around me.

The world was changing before my eyes.
Dazed, I did not see.
Tired, I was unaware.

Until I hit a bump.Water from a passerby puddle splashed up onto my windshield, waking me up.
Rendering me aware.

I pulled my classic car on to a small side street lined with trees, parked  and sat in my car.
Eyes opened and rather stunned.

Gold, Crimson, Spice. In plush, ripe tones.  

The world was changing before my very eyes. I shut off the car, turned the volume knob to the left and listen.

It was silent, yet not quiet. Still, yet moving at incredible speed. The delicious sound of of wind and and earth blending. Like some ethereal sound from a story book.  The smells of smoke from nearby chimneys and  exhaust from my still warm engine filled the air around me. The kind of smell that reminds you of being young.

The leaves and the wind and the Earth had surrendered themselves to the consequences of time. The changing of things, of seasons.

I thought about the changing things in my life. Housing, and Finances. Our Country. My Relationships.
All these things changing, changing, changing.
And I know. I know that things are always changing, morphing, becoming better or worse.

Life is steady in its changing ways. 
This, I know.

 Right now, though  it seems as if life is throwing at me a different kind of steady.
A different kind of change.  The leaves of my life are turning from chlorophyll green to a rusty red, I do believe. Different from what they used to be.

My heart is changing. My desires are changing.

 And yet, I tend to keep a watchful eye on that rear view mirror of seasons. I keep wanting to turn around, go back to my eco green lifestyle of not ever needed anyone and living out of a backpack. To my own, private poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement's sake, to unsettle everything that God has ordained.

I struggle with looking too far ahead and too close behind.  I struggle with change. Its pretty dumb.

Last year, at about this same time I wrote in my journal:
"...Usually, I would keep going, crunch the leaf and continue on my way…. By for some reason this time it was different.
Maybe it was the way this piece of summer gently floated off the tree down to my feet. Maybe it was the color that caught my eye, a brownish red, the color of change- of different things coming. Whatever the reason was, I stopped and stared at this little leaf for a while.
This solitary leaf.
This first soldier of winter.

I thought about change in life.
Change is seasons, in our season.
In my life.

I wondered if the leaf wanted to fall.
Or if it had a choice.

I wondered if the leaf wanted to stay up on the tree, where it was comfortable, and how even if I picked it up and glued it back to the tree -it would still be out of place. Even if it went back.
I wondered if the leaf would even want to go back now- back to the easy way of life- because maybe … it was supposed to fall, to change

As I stood there on the sidewalk staring down at my feet and this strange phenomenon before me, I thought of this summer. This season of the sun now winding down, falling into rest. . The ending of something beautiful. I gave a September sigh...."

A year later and I'm still battling this monster. A year later and I'm still uneasy about Fall, my fall and The Great Fall.

They say, at the Conference, that God isn't so much concerned with what we go through as our attitudes and reactions to the events.

I think thats probably true.

Its how I react to the change around me that matters more than whats going on.
Its if I keep driving, or if I pull over and open my eyes.
Its if I choose to remain dazed and tired or if I shut the car off and listen.
Its if I choose to engage in now, in RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting once again, to go somwhere else.
Its if I live today because He gave it to me.
Its if I realize that Gold, Crimson and Spice are sometimes far more exciting than green.

Its if I pray, like Thomas Merton, that "instead of merely wiring something, I may be something. So fully that the mere fact of being what I ought and doing what I should would be more elloquent than many books."

Its resting while yet pressing on.

Its knowing that He won't lead me anywhere I'm not supposed to go.
Its being ok with taking this road.
Where ever it might go.


big things come in small ways sometimes

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Will You Marry Me?

Life goes on. People still get married, all the time they get married, start new lives together, start something big.
I had the pleasure of shooting this wonderful couple Sunday, in downtownish Mineapolis.
We had a grand old time.
Engagments are ussually easier and more fun for me. Being in Love helps out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I spent all morning Sunday in Minneapolis with my sister, Allison. An engagement shoot and a nice breakfast of Panera bagels with toooons of cream cheese made the fall day quite... refreshing.

I love my city.

Come see me [us] in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Some one once told me that  
What is most personal is most universal.
The pain of depression, feelings of inferiority, love, excitement about love, samll things that are big things.

So then, I write., I pray, truthfully, personally with Merton:

Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on my darkness, my weakness, my confusion.
Have mercy on my infidelity, my cowardice, my turning about in circles, my wanderings, my evasions.
I do not ask anything but such mercy, always in everything, mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Make me want again to be holy, to be a man of God even in desperateness and confusion.
I do not ask necessarily for clarity, a plain way, but only to go according to Your love, to follow Your mercy, to trust Your mercy.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Fall is here. In fact, in greater Minnesota fall is nearly over.

But when the leaves fall, you know what that means.
Senior Portiats.

You know, graduation stuff.

So, this week, I had the honor of photographing my younger sister Emily, who obviously, is a babe.
Oh, also, she is a senior this year.

Woot. Woot.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All my Righteousness


  But we are all like an unclean thing,
      And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
                        We all fade as a leaf,
      And our iniquities, like the wind,

      Have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor
a door of hope.

There she will sing 
as in the days of her youth,

as in the day she came up                               out of Egypt."



She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One of October's many unsettled prayers

 A friend bought me a book by a Monk named Thomas Merton. I've been reading it everyone in a while.You know, the days that are especially grey. They seem to be coming more often than not.

The way You have laid open before me is an easy way,
compared with the hard way of my own will which leads back to Egypt and to bricks without straw.
If you allow people to praise me, I shall not worry. If you let them blame me, I shall worry even less. If you send me work, I shall embrace it with joy. It will be rest to me because it is Your will. If You send rest, I will rest in You.

Only save me from myself. Save me from my own, private poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement's sake, to unsettle everything that You have ordained.

Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for your glory. This is what I live for. Amen, amen.

snow and other sundry items

This morning, I woke up with light streaming through the window of my room.
The light, like most mornings, makes its way through my window on the east side of our house, this time though it was different.
The west was pouring in a soft light, illuminating the stacks of books and bundles of papers waiting to be read.
At first, I wondered what it was, this phenonomeon of light from the west in the morning,
then, as quckily as I wondered, it clicked.
I remember this light. This soft, quiet glow that seems to hush everything into silence.

Knowing, even before I came to the window, what I was about to see. I cringed. Snow? Already? But its only the beginning of October. I'm not ready for 6 months of this. I crawled out of bed to check it out anyway.

I was surprised.

It was beautiful.

White manna, falling down from the matching white sky, reminding me that everyday brings new gifts.

Covering the green, the brown, the orange, the reds. White, redeeming white covered the front and back and side and all around of our Minnesota yard. A frosting, a reminder.
Change is coming.

The cats, curious, seem to have to be reminded as well, what this white stuff is. Catching the snowflakes as if they were fireflies on a summer night.  The same concept, a different medium.
Change is coming.

It wont last through the week, in fact, even now its dripping off the roof, melting into the grass, making puddles in the driveway.

Its a reminder though,
I might like it or not

but change is coming.

A reminder.