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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Gerard Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
     As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
     Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad it’s name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same;
     Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
     Selves – Goes itself; myself  it speaks and spells, 
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
     Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is -
     Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
     To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black March

Black March 

I have a friend
At the end
Of the world.
His name is a breath

Of fresh air.
He is dressed in
Grey chiffon. At least
I think it is chiffon.
It has a
Peculiar look, like smoke.

It wraps him round
It blows out of place
It conceals him
I have not seen his face.

But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March, and heard him say:

I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.

Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.

(Such a pretty time when the sky
Behind black twigs can be seen
Stretched out in one
Cambridge blue as cold as snow.)

But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:

Whatever names you give me
I am
A breath of fresh air,

A change for you.

"A good poem ends in clarification of life- a momentary stay against confusion." [Robert Frost], Laura

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nothing snow can stay

For my southern friends, 
its been warm for months. 
A spring of breezy days. 

For us? Oh no!
Spring's been real slow.
Time's up.
Nothing snow can stay.

( A snow man Allison and I made in the middle of the town square. Is there such thing as apocalyptic hope?)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


It's a goal, a focus of mine this year: Steady

It's a verb, an action word. But it's also a description: direct or sure in movement : unfaltering
 firm in position : fixed, showing little variation or fluctuation: stable

"To know God is to know Him in every facet of our being. It is to know him in our mind, heart, emotional life, in our private world at home and in our public world, in worship, in Christian service, in the arena of ideas, in the conflict of world views, in the competition between religions. Because it is the same God whom we know in each of these ways, through the same Truth he has given us, a person of integrity will be the same person in all these arenas. The point about hypocrisy is that a person is different in different contexts. That person creates a pose or an image, to gain some advantage with some audience. The person and the pose however, are two different things.
 The point about integrity is that a person is the same, even when audiences may not be pleased and when there is, as a result, some cost to pay. "

I want to be steady:

In my sanctification- being conformed into the image of Christ. 
In my worship- Christ in the 10,000 moments of my days.
In my art- making true and beautiful and good things that show the way the world really is.
In my studies- thinking right thoughts about God and this world.
In my theology- God as center, Christ as glorified.
In my emotions- purifying my perceptions, aligning my feelings with the truth of reality
In my relationships- Christ as the subject of my conversations, the object of my thoughts and affections

I want to grow, steady. 

What are some actions and expressions of steady people you know?        


Patience is the capacity to wait and endure
 without murmuring and disillusionment.
To wait in the unplanned place and endure the unplanned pace.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Love and Marriage | Benjamin+Savannah- Preview

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a wedding in Fargo, ND. 
Benjamin and Savannah are a breathtakingly beautiful couple with heart for people the size of North Dakota. It was a lovely wedding. More to come soon! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beach and Reality

A few weeks ago I accomplished one of my goals for this year: 

See the ocean again. 

My sister Emily and I took the Amtrak from Minneapolis to Portland to visit friends and help with the Beneath the Surface  girls conference. The conference was one of the best yet. The time spent with with friends, the moments, the coffee shops, the conversations- all like 100 dollar bills being stuffed in my box of memory-treasures. 

And I got to see the ocean again. 

I like going to the ocean because it reminds me, if even for just a moment, who I am.
I like the ocean because it gives me a smart slap of reality.

I topple over the wet rocks to get to the beach- balanced- and am reminded that I am movable, a person. A body with a beating heart wrapped in skin.
 Fearfully and Wonderfully.

I run my way to the water and meet the sea foam with an introduction. "Hello!"  
I extend my hand to scribe the sand, the ocean boldly washes up, wets my hand and touches my boots. 
Hello indeed.
I am made devastatingly aware that I am weak. This is the ocean. I cannot stop it.

I look up and out, trying to decide where the water ends and the sky begins. Is that a whale? a bird? a ship? My eyes crossed from trying to see the end. This water tosses too far.   I am reminded that I am small. 
A child in an ancient land made wild for the glory of God. 

I walk down the beach, loving the details of life on the coast and am reminded of Clyde Kilby's resolutions.  With a pastoral heart and a poet’s eye, Kilby wrote a list of 10 things to help remind himself of the burning moment that is now.  I stand on the beach and go over them in my head, wondering how I had been so blind all my life....


1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.

2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle, and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death when he said: "There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing."

3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence, but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.

4. I shall not turn my life into a thin, straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.

5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.

6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their "divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence.

7. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the "child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder."

8. I shall follow Darwin's advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.

9. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, "fulfill the moment as the moment." I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is now.

10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

Love you and the beach and this picture of my sister,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beneath the Surface Conference

Confession: I think I'm a conference junkie. 

I've been suspicious of this for a while, but this past February I had the remarkable privilege of being a part of the Beneath the Surface Conference in Portland, OR and it was confirmed.
I'm practically addicted.
It doesn't help that Portland is one of the best places on this spinning globe and that some spectacular individuals who love God like it's serious business were putting the conference on.

So folks, Beneath the Surface is a girls conference for for 13-18 year-old girls and their moms. But it's more than just another girls conference. Beneath the Surface has a vision for girls to start living their lives in light of eternity. The real lives and stories and examples stir up a desire to walk worthy of the calling of Christ today, pulling all areas of life under the light of eternity.
 The vision catches. And spreads. And soon, before you know it, you have all of these girls running around radically committed to living a life that makes a difference.

A life that walks in the Light. 

See? This kinda stuff is addicting. 

The Beneath the Surface 2011 Spring Conference, Ladies and Gents: 

The talented Leslie Reavely lead us in Worship. 

 "Now unto the Lamb who sits on the throne be glory and honor and praise."

Sarah Harris's dramatic Interpretation of "The Room"  

Speaker and co-founder Elizabeth Knopp spoke with passion on beauty and the lies we believe.

 David Knopp brought a compelling message on family relationships and holiness in the home.

Rowan and Jocelyn Gillson held us all captivated during their session on boys and romance.

 Walk in the Light,