Sunday, February 7
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Ultimate Problems
In the Aztec design God crowds
into the little pea that is rolling
out of the picture.
All the rest extends bleaker
because God has gone away.

In the White Man design, though,
no pea is there.
God is everywhere,
but hard to see.

The Aztecs frown at this.
How do you know He is everywhere?
And how did He get out of the pea?
 - William Stafford
running after my hat



Saturday, February 6
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"We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously."
 - Frederick Buechner



Friday, February 5
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words under pressure bleed original sense
The trouble with paradise is you never want to be away from home.

I make what calls me out.
All gone before you know it.

Words may drop passing color yet seeing you here now are born again, and again.
Closing a word in the mouth feels the sound until the tongue can't stay still.

To unmask is to go silent.

Language makes no promise to communicate.

An articulated sound has its own dream in the ear.
Her presence in the room gives aroma to the syllables I voice.

Now she's ready to draw eros from foreign bodies.
It starts by focusing on the sounds beyond hearing, still felt.

By she I mean who speaking animate configures.
This is the time of alternative obscurities to see through.

Through thoroughly, as a word weighs.
 - George Quasha
speaking animate: preverbs
jacket 2



Tuesday, February 2
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"As the pen rises from the page between words, so the walker's feet rise and fall between paces, and as the deer continues to run as it bounds from the earth and the dolphin continues to swim even as it leaps again and again from the sea, so writing and wayfaring are continuous activities, a running stitch, a persistence of the same seam or stream."
 - Robert Macfarlane
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
beyond the fields we know



Monday, February 1
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One Way In
This is how I hold my place in the world:
one line at a time, counting beats until
they come out right, chasing the sound of words
the way a dog chases cars to get her fill.

And this is how I fill my days: I slip
the ink across the page - a second skin -
and leave behind the color that my lips
print on the glass, a way of coming in.

This is how I stay in view: I take down
everything exactly how I see it,
I say it one way then turn it around
to see if there's another way it fits.

I hollow out a page to make a nest,
I stretch the pen out like a branch and rest.
 - Joyce Sutphen
Modern Love & Other Myths



Sunday, January 31
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"To bless whatever there is, and for no other reason but simply because it is - that is our raison d'etre; that is what we are made for as human beings. This singular command is engraved in our heart. Whether we understand this or not matters little. Whether we agree or disagree makes no difference. And in our heart of hearts we know it."
 - David Steindl-Rast
Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer
alive on all channels



Saturday, January 30
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"The original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out of all the other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world's weather."
 - Frederick Buechner



Friday, January 29
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Sending These Messages
Over these writings I bent my head.
Now you are considering them. If you
turn away I will look up: a bridge
that was there will be gone.
For the rest of your life I will stand here,
reaching across.
If these writings can bring a turn
or an echo that touches you - maybe
a face, a slant, a tune - you will stop
too and bend over them. When you
look up, your thought will reach
wherever I am.
I know it is strange. and there is no measure
for this. The only connection we make
is like a twinge when sometimes they change
the beat in music, and we sprawl with it
and hear another world for a minute
that is almost there.
 - William Stafford









  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov