Sunday, August 24, 2014

What's New

Good days. Little troubles. (Is there such a thing? I guess so.) Here's some happy stuff. Bo-Beau, loving on his daddy.
He was staring intently at Adam, the kind of stare that says, "I'm really into you. Can we play?" As soon as I picked up the camera, he switched his gaze.
But soon they were back into deep daddy/doggie conversation.
A few nautical pics for you. A friendly dock welcome!
Boating brings lots of reflection.
On Saturday I met a friend-of-a-friend, Tom. He's a boatish type. Loved his cool sandals. He buys them at Renaissance Fairs. Did you know there's a whole swath of people out there who spend their lives traveling from one Renaissance Fair to the next, living a medieval life?
My friend Kip was sporting this fun t-shirt.
"You could get hit by the boom and die.
You could fall overboard and die.
You could capsize and die.
Or you could stay home and fall of the couch and die."
I'm well into a knitting project I've been anticipating since the spring -- making Adam a sweater vest. He's the dapper sort who likes sweater vests, bow ties, and old-guy hats. All his sweater vests are much too big now.

It's coming along nicely. I'm on the back panel. I'll keep you posted.
I took some sky shots this afternoon because the clouds were emotionally overwhelming for a tiny human.

Adam longs to make us "adult pizza," rather than the boring cheese or pepperoni we ask for. So he made this twice recently:
No red sauce -- it's a cream based sauce. Chopped basil (perfectly in season now) and various cheeses give it a delicious, mellow flavor. We're not missing the pepperoni.
(Okay, now I get wordy, and if you prefer a picture-blog, please click away now.)

The change of seasons, heavy in the air, produces in me a pensive spirit, an expectancy of leaden but cathartic thoughts. It's troubling, but it happens each year as my heart anticipates cooler, darker, melancholy days. I find summer wearying. I find winter invigorating. Autumn is winter's harbinger, and my soul longs for the spiritual sleep, the soul's still rest that winter offers.

I'm bemused lately about death. When we see death coming from afar, we brace ourselves, arm for the battle, and engage heartily. We think we look death in the face, but maybe we look only at the dying days, the process of dying. We cross swords using surgery, medicines, treatments, specialists, prayer, and optimism. We feel we've looked death in the eye and given our best fight.

But when death thunders in, unexpected? Recently I've heard of two sudden deaths by drowning. One was a boy, adopted after 17 horrible years in an Eastern European orphanage. At last, he was loved, nurtured, taught, cherished. God answered yes to the impossible for this child. He was brought halfway around the world to a new life. His parents, siblings, and caregivers were well-trained; there was no neglect. But in a matter of seconds, he drowned in a bath tub. Why?

A lovely Christian family, friends of friends, lost their husband and father in a shocking, bizarre drowning at the beach. My heart has ached for the wife who watched her life ebb away, knowing that God had planned this moment, planned it for her. Why? Why take him so suddenly? Why not allow them to say good-bye? It's the horror we all dread -- that death might snatch one away, not giving the usual warning. No battle. No crossed swords. We are fooling ourselves to think that we defeat death when we only extend our lives by a decade or two.

How do we mourn with hope? How can that grieving mother console herself, in spite of the horror of finding her precious gem of a son dead after all he'd been through before, that his death is only a comma in the ongoing story of his continuing life? That she simply watched a passing, a transition? That the moment which feels like a horrific mistake -- (Please! It's a mistake! Can we go back and relive those three minutes? Please!) -- is no mistake? That the moment of his death was set from before the foundation of God's world?

How have we defined death? It is the ultimate surprise. It's over before we are prepared. We don't face it at all. We try to face the process of dying. But death itself is always wrong. I'm ruminating about something I've had little experience in. I've skirted the edges of death several times. I try to remind myself what death is to God. He is never surprised by our deaths. Is it helpful to know, in the midst of chaos, grief, horror, agony, regret, and guilt, that one Person watches death every time and is neither surprised nor bemused? It is an essential part of His plan. How do we soothe the pain of that deliberate wounding?

I don't know. God is a surgeon, sure. He performs many repairs on our souls, and the death of a loved one is a cutting with inadequate anesthesia. But in His intricate system the pain itself is important for us somehow. We're horrified to watch death snatch someone. The boy, the husband ... is it a horror to them? I don't think so. For us who observe the flash of a soul's disappearance, the shattering loss and loneliness, our inner screams are evidence that we have insufficiently considered the transition from this brief world to the next. It's excruciating -- we know how long the years will feel -- like an eternity, we say. We struggle to consider this present trouble in balance with true eternal glory and being-together-forever. I'm not certain eternal life feels very real to those who mourn. I wonder if I will grasp it. Some have glowing faces that evidence they've seen a holy event. Some have the broken eyes of only grief. God help us all.


  1. Wow ~ what a post! Your photos were great. I loved the boat reflection in the water. The pizza looks oh so scrumptious. I would love to know how Adam makes his white sauce for that 'adult pizza'. It looks yummy!

    Your sweater/vest for Adam is looking good. Great yarn.

    Your thoughts on death really touched my heart.

    Have a great week


  2. Death is a horror to us because he have the eternal within us- we are made in the image of the living God and death is something he does not, he has promised more to us- so it is a horror.That said, knowing that doesn't make it any easier when suffering- it takes work and belief otherwise we struggle in the awfulness of what and who has been taken away from us.

    Your sweater is lovely- so snuggly-looking! Lucky Adam!
    Mmm, nice looking pizza- yes please!
    Beau is adorable!x

  3. I loved the photos. The vest will be wonderful for Adam!

    God values and loves us more than we can imagine, and I know that it will take ALL OF ETERNITY (wow!) to fully realize all that He is. I believe in asking God about these matters when they concern us. I know that Christ came so that we could have abundant life and that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. No other thoughts at this time.

  4. You say it so well, to thoughtfully, MK. Thank you.
    I love the vest you are knitting! He's going to LOVE it, too! It will be his favorite, I'm sure!

  5. So much to see and take in here. That little dog is just as darling as can be. Beautiful photos of the peaceful water. Your thoughts on death and dying were insightful. I guess as you said we never fully understand it.

  6. Beautiful vest you are making, and grown-up pizza sounds delicious.
    I just had a cancer scare that had me thinking a lot about death. Thankfully, I am fine, and so thankful, but really, some day it will come. It comes to all of us. So heart-wrenching though in the case of a child, or in an accident. Then we can only bow before God and ask for His help to get through.

  7. I enjoyed (not the right word, but I'm at a loss to find one better) reading your thoughts on death.

    Beautiful sweater and doggie! :)

  8. You had much to enjoy here today.
    Your photos were beautiful of the sky, I very much enjoyed them. And that pizza... wow!
    Death... that is quite the topic, and many go through it in different ways. We just had a horrific auto accident near our home this week taking the life of a 23 year old young lady who had her whole life ahead of her. The driver, a friend, was doing 100 miles an hour in a sports car on a winding mountain road, what was he thinking?
    So many questions... But God... He gives life... and He takes life... in His perfect time.
    Enjoyed my visit here tonight.
    Blessings to you! Debbie

  9. So sorry to hear of these losses, MK. I know you are a blessing in your community because you and Adam bring Light and Love to it. Lovely photos and doggie. And now I want some of your beautiful, delish-looking pizza. (I joke with my family that I need a food photo blocker on my computer because I see it I want to eat it. haha.)

  10. Thank you for the deep thoughts on death. I've felt only joy for my husband since he took his last breath and his spirit broke loose from that wreck of a body and soared off to heaven. My daughter (22 years old) who was with me said she was so happy, moments after. How can this be? Our real mourning was watching him suffer, now he's perfect and in God's eternal presence. Sure we have tears, but those are usually for ourselves. Death looks so different from this side. We see a loved one leaving. God sees a loved one coming home, now safe. :)
    I would LOVE to go to a Renaissance fair! Sounds like fun to follow the circuit! :)


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