Blather · collage · Februllage

House, Home, Property

In America the word “home” is a synonym for “house“; it is a traveling concept, one which you carry around with you — your home is wherever you happen to be living. One might speak of a “development of new homes” in America; in England, such a phrase would be nonsensical, because a house, in England, is merely a “house”; “home” is an altogether broader concept, implying rootedness and long residence.

Ruth Brandon, A Capitalist Romance (1977)

I guess I’m not as American as I thought.

My parents bought an old farm in 1967. At that point in my life, I had lived on four different army bases and I have memories from two of them. My roots, however, are here, on this piece of property.

And they are deep.

When I first heard the concept of “thin places” — that Celtic-Christian idea of physical locations where the distance between heaven and earth is barely perceptible — I immediately thought of this place, from the river to the crest of the hill, where I am rooted and from which I draw strength.

It goes beyond my parents’ property. It’s this community, the streets in this town, the shores of this lake. It’s the seasons here — the rain, the snow, the blaze of color in autumn, the long days of summer, the short days of winter. It’s the fog that covers the road some mornings. It’s the whitetail deer. It’s the peepers in spring.

I move away. I come back. I move away. I come back. I’m here to stay.

“I worry about you,” my sister said to me the other day, “all alone in that big house.”

No, no — don’t worry about me.

I’m home.

23 words · collage · Februllage


Row-row-row a boat
It’s good exercise
Since Santa struggles with his weight
This option might be wise


collage · Februllage · Life

Teeming vs Teaming

[Ix-nay the 23 word rule for today.]

I made this collage a couple of years ago as part of a stop-motion video.

We were to choose a word from the Doxology and illustrate it. We submitted them to a person who was going to gather them all into one marvelous production of art and story and music.

I chose “CREATURES” as my word. You know, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all CREATURES here below…”

My chosen art style is collage — quirky, weird collage — if you haven’t noticed.

I started cutting out different animals for my submission. Before I knew it, I had downloaded some app on my phone to make a stop-motion video that was teeming with life. Birds flew across in one direction, while alligators danced across in the other. Rabbits kept popping their heads up. At one point, I had a cow jumping over the CREATURE sign. I even cut out two Lil Critters, one with his back to us so he could walk into the picture, and one with him turned around, sign raised.

Here’s another iteration of that collage:

What happened to the stop-motion movie? I have no idea. I don’t think I saved it. Sad, but true.

I submitted it, and then technical difficulty prevented the final collaboration. I don’t know if the final piece ever came into being because life sort of stopped for me.

I struggled.

Can I be honest here? I really struggled.

Can I be really honest here? I still struggle.

What I need to focus on is TEAMING with life, slipping my arm through life’s arm and walking forward. Because LIFE IS GOOD is more than a t-shirt brand. It’s a truth.

Today, someone brought me a beautiful painted heart-shaped cookie. It was so unexpected. And delicious.

Yesterday, I got to spend some quality time with my youngest daughter.

The day before that, we had a guest organist at church who made the little organ in the chapel — not the big fancy one in the sanctuary — the little rinky-dink organ in the little chapel where we meet to save on heating oil — he made that organ sing. That, in turn, made my heart sing.

Each day holds some goodness, some beauty that’s just waiting to be noticed.

When you team with life, life teems with goodness.