i am trying to remember that song i think it was a duet before all went wrong maybe in a minor key a slow tempo a slow dance a sparkling melody it definitely had harmony how did that song go or more to the counterpoint where did that song go i touch a note play a chord i rise and fall each day like a wandering tune not quite on the beat trying to see trying to find do re mi trying to find you and me the lyrics started out so sweet a story of promises a promise to keep maybe the strings had too much tension maybe the strings became unwound wounds have a way of making their own sound telling their own tale and they set sail on an ocean of i just don’t care to sing anymore i put too many quarters in this silent jukebox never going back to the shore three four four four six eight i thought we would top the charts with each take and now the page is just dots and lines i’m looking for my entrance for my cue i’m looking i’m looking for me and for you learning a new song signing a new line counting us in not counting us out like an endless fermata you waited for me we had to rest there is music in that silence it’s not the best is yet to come more like holding on holding hands auditioning again finding the perfect blend of our beating broken hearts let’s start by humming a sweet gentle hum a wordless song that tells it all holds it all believes it all and still loves the story it tells
this surprise quiz called life
it feels like it’s just out of my reach just beyond my grasp like a black and white ocean through sad glass the swells and sighs of the sea capture my gaze for a moment time is as endless as the white caps on the waves that parade across the horizon the answers to the unspoken questions on this surprise quiz called life the sadness that always seems to rise inside failure songs refrains of shame all that i don’t know or see of the ocean depths in me oh spirit swept waves of grace drown me in your peace let my countenance be raised my fear assuaged my longing engaged in the rapture of your ways i surrender helper comforter to your ways
so much love
i suppose that when in your 90’s that the road behind you has more to tell than the road ahead and instead of the worry and the hurry to get where you thought you should be you listen to that long long road i hear my mom as she walks that road and stops along the way she pauses and wonders what can she say to give thanks to God for her family what can she say to give thanks to God for all the love that surrounded her journey in one story she laments her losses then as the tears are flowing a moment comes to the surface and suddenly she laughs sorrow harmonizes with joy laughter sings with tragedy but still still gives thanks and on that road she remembers all the gifts without number that she has shared with family with friends now she’s tired her most frequent visitor is pain here eyes are dim but her voice doesn’t wane as she skips down that road picking memories like a beautiful rose she holds in her hands the important things that somehow we forget but she knows and her wisdom falls like sweet silver snow on the hearts of all who listen bringing light and it just glistens in your soul she recalls the years with pride and with deep lament she speaks of her mom and dad her sisters her brothers with thankfulness carried by her tears she speaks of their love so much love there is a power in her spirit that pays no attention to her age or the sheer exhaustion of each day her diminished frame is a sanctuary of strength and love i hope i have passed along the smallest portion of her love to my family for even a fragment of that love would fill the world would flood a soul would help mend the wounds we all carry thank you mom for speaking truth for remembering to laugh for lamenting all the sadness for all your love so much love
i sang along
i heard some music today the rhythm section of a little girl skipping behind her mom a gentle touch from a medical sage as he sang - you’re going to be okay - the pale brown dried hydrangeas shivering or dancing to the melody of this damp winter wind i heard the horn section of one member of the bumper to bumper traffic play a long steady tone no doubt the driver was in the fermata lane and rules are rules even the gray sky somehow drew it’s bow across the horizon a deep ostinato boasting of its power to tame the light it’s all music to me a chaos of simplicity a pale beauty a human connection a reason to dance when there is no reason to be found so i sang along
what if today you stopped and decided to be and not just to do stillness instead of the illness of this or that can you be with yourself can you open your heart to the presence of He who made all of the stars and thought of you before your first cry before the first time you opened your eyes just close your eyes breathe He knows your name breathe He loves you just be take time to remind your mind that you are loved you are His just be
november rose i wonder if you know that there is snow that the cold and chill and wind will still your crimson petals will fall and tumble your proud will will be humbled i wonder if you know that the season will bring death but in the midst of dark cold air and icy nights there right there new life and so we all must wait through the winters of our days we all must breathe the cold air surrender what we fear and let the clear icy skies revive restore and make us alive and help us remember that there is more that needs to die surrender in order to be alive once more alive
say goodbye and set aside the troubles that are storming inside at days end now it's all a remember when so feel the sads the mads the glads but more than these give thanks and see the treasures the pleasures that were yours remember the sum of them all is the story of you the unrepeatable you a treasure created by your Maker who paints the sky a masterpiece be at peace you unrepeatable you be at peace and have a nook night
what do i see
what do i see when i see me let's see i suppose i see what i want to see and at times i see what i long to be at times i'm such a selfie self is proud and can be so loud i can push away by the words i say those i say i love why am i that way if my attitude or my words hurt you please forgive me i hope you can see a way to forgive me i suppose i need to see through eyes that are not mine but belong to the One who makes me whole and sees all that makes me me and when i'm known by the One who knows all that's inside i can decide that i won't hide anymore Lord help me see my wife and kids the family my friends my neighbor too and say no to self and live to serve Lord help me let go of me and be free to love to give to be alive to others and die to me and be free
Scene 1 fades in from black: I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my two daughters. Eleven months before I said, “Her mother and I do,” at my oldest daughter’s wedding, and like the refrain of a song, I just said the same words at my youngest daughter’s wedding! My oldest son is already married. Three down, one to go. I pull out my phone and capture… this… empty room. I guess I was hoping to capture the conversations, dance parties, tears, Christmas mornings, laughter, prayers… capture all that happened in that room. The phone displays an empty room. But I am filled with gratitude as I remember that grace brought me here and will continue to lead me…home. I am crossing the vast Canyon of Parenthood, which is followed by the great Canyon of Fatherhood and the Canyon of Where Did the Time Go… and I realize that I am at the beginning of that time in my life where I will be remembered a bit less, and less. And that is what will be. And it’s ok. Scene 1 fades to black.
Scene 2 fades in from black. I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my youngest son. I pull out my phone… you know the rest. Now, the emptiness of the room is a bit more final in my heart. All four of our children (can I still call them children?) are gone. Now I watch our children and their families, and I see them and the 6 little ones that are the new generation in their “rooms” praying, crying, laughing, enjoying dance parties, creating moments to remember and one day say good-bye to… one day let go… one day to try and capture on a phone. And I know that the new generation will forget more than they remember of their papa and nana. And I know that is what must be. And it’s okay. Scene 2 fades to black. One more scene.
Scene 3 fades in from black. I am being held by my mom in an impossibly strong, firm embrace. Impossible because my mom’s 96 year old body appears to be so frail, brittle and fragile. I see her connecting to my dear wife in a hushed conversation filled with memories and love. She can’t really stand up straight anymore. It seems like she is always folding in on herself, like she is ever seeking the fetal position. I tell her, as often as I can, that I love her, and her frail, thin voice tells me the same. My mom is a stranger in this world. She has lived long enough to bury he mom and dad and all of her siblings. The neighborhood is filled with strangers, for all of her friends from the old days have passed as well. She is, in so many ways, alone. Few remember who she is. And as I have had the opportunity to watch her in these late years, I am grateful for all that she has taught me. She has embraced her reality, and it is okay. She has taught me to welcome your emotions and the reality that you are in, but to not let it steal the grace and love that you can, at any moment, give to someone. She is frustrated, but not angry. She is sorrowful, but not bitter. She feels forgotten, but is not resentful. I want so badly to take away all the pain, heartache and struggle that makes up her days and nights. But I can’t. It must be this way. And that is okay. If I could take it away, it would diminish her and also diminish me. It is okay. This scene will fade to black. I am not sure I will be able to navigate that blackness. But, it will be. And that’s okay.
the sad sad shadows
so i think that we should sing about the sad sad shadows why do i keep remembering their darkened glance it seems that they want to dance into the story and at any moment the sad sad shadows fall on me so about those sad sad shadows inside those weathered picture frames a broken promise here something undone there framed fractures and failures each one calls my name and the struggle starts again with one word oh the shadow of shame falls on me so listen sad sad shadows i remembered today that you don’t have to stay you’re not the whole story Light and Glory can rewrite your songs mend all the wrongs and scatter the darkness not just for a moment but for eternity all these parts of me will be restored once more oh sad sad shadow the final say will not be yours the Light will end the night and all the sad sad shadows will go away and there will be only Light
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