Reconcile with Scarves and Wine

a ball of yarn

We are broken, You and I.

You caused the heart ache.

I caused the bond break.

And sorry just doesn’t cut it.

The past that once was filled with joy is all pain now.

The present empty,

The future, inconceivable.

And still there is that small faint voice

Insisting that I mend it.

But, how can the ripped-up fabric of us ever be beautiful again?

Or healed, or whole?

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a ball of yarn

Reconciliation is like the woman who longed to make a sweater.

She searched and searched and found the perfect yarn.

She knit and knit for hours and hours,

And made herself a sweater.

But, the sweater lay untouched in the back of a drawer,

For, though the yarn was beautiful and the stitches perfect,

The collar was crooked and the fit was bad.

She couldn’t wear it and she couldn’t bear to throw it away.

So she took it out from time to time,  felt the smooth stitches and frowned over the way it had turned out.

One day the woman realized that the yarn was still wonderful,

And she believed that it still held great promise.

So she unraveled the sweater and rolled the yarn into a ball,

And started over.

She knit a brand new thing, a scarf.

“Better a scarf that can be worn than a sweater that is of no use,” she reasoned.

She soon forgot the sweater that once had been her dream,

Because the scarf was remarkably beautiful.

And even though it was not what she thought she wanted, she realized that she had something of great value,

From the same material, by the same hand,

Into something new, for something new.

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a ball of yarn

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

Filter me

I have downloaded some pretty cool apps that transform pictures from my iPhone into a plethora of new images.  They make for a creative wonderland, especially when one discovers how to move photos from one app to another. The final picture has endless possible combinations and outcomes.  There is an app for adding stickers (glasses, hats, and ties) to faces.  An app for drawing in a little extra something or adding a dash of color. An app for putting in dialogue, changing a photograph into a sketch or putting them all into a collage.

For the most part, I navigate these options fairly quickly, knowing weather or not I want my granddaughter to wear a crown or my grandson, a funny nose.  The difficult decision comes with the choice of filter.  There are so many.  What impurities do I want to remove?  What feature do I want to backlight/highlight?  What do I want to communicate?  I try them all.

Filters eliminate unwanted material.  They soften, enhance, fade, focus, color, alter the image in subtle but dramatic ways. I remember a picture I had taken a few years ago when a well-intentioned photographer “smoothed” away the wrinkles in my forehead and around my eyes.  The result was a bit frightening. Who is this strange woman? I thought.  “Put my wrinkles back.”

There are other kinds of filters besides ones used for photography.  Sunglasses filter the harmful rays of the sun.  Cigarette filters soften the blow of nicotine –  think Camel vs Salem (from back in the day). Coffee filters keep grounds from ending up in your morning cup of joe.  Filters are what the grandchildren don’t have when they say things like, “eweeu I don’t like it,” in front of Aunt Agnes when opening her gift.  Filters are handy and often necessary.  The challenge comes in not using too many filters to the point of altering an object beyond recognition, unless you want the result to be like carefully filtered answers from politicians on difficult questions.

Time is its own peculiar filter.  A woman goes on and on about her glory days in high school and you remember how she could not wait to graduate.  The picture you once wanted to trash because it made you look fat and old is now your Facebook profile pic because it makes you look so darn good.  You want to spend time with an old friend who really hurt your feelings, but for the likes of you, you can’t remember what happened.  Death often mercifully filters out the unimportant, negative perceptions one once may have had of the deceased.

A photograph captures a moment which when altered by an artist becomes uniquely his or her own.  One’s life is also a moment captured in time.  A moment which has the potential to be filtered through the dynamic love of a merciful creator.  How, where, and when The Artist applies the filter is worthy of much thought.   Stunning possibilities!

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REMEMBER in SEPTEMBER a full cup

In songs, September has always been linked to remember, not just because it rhymes, but because there is something about the promise of fall and the beginning of a new school term that prompts memory and romanticism. Contrary to the proverbial bucket-list of things one might want to do, see or accomplish before they die, I purpose a cup list (as in my cup runneth over) of precious moments one has been given.

My Personal, ever-expanding Cup List –(In no particular order)

I’m so much richer because I……

Watched the sun come out of the ocean on an island in the Abacos, and watched it sink back under the waves.

Mastered a bike, drove a car, pushed a stroller.

Kissed a boy, caught a Marlin, won a raffle.

Wore saddle Oxford’s, converse tennis shoes, high heels and flip-flops.

Survived parents, siblings, high school and heartache.

Rode a ferris wheel at night in Paris, and at the State Fair in Virginia.

Watched a bird build a nest, feed her young. Planted a garden, pulled weeds.

Lost my way, my tonsils, my appendix and a ring I got for Christmas.

Found a gold watch, a four-leaf clover and some good friends.

Was captured by the love of Jesus

Skipped out of a formal function to go to a movie, ran away from home (for less than a day)

Danced barefoot, saw a falling star, had a poem written for me.

Swung a tennis racket, made a foul shot, ran a 5k, sang in a choir.

Zipped-lined in the rain forest, jumped out of plane in Ga, gambled in Vegas.

Beheld the Pietà, David, the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel.

Heard my grandchild call my name, listened to his earnest prayers.

Walked where Mother Teresa walked, viewed Gandhi’s tomb, saw a double rainbow.

Sang at the top of my lungs in the car with my kids.

Witnessed love and hope in the House of the Dying.

Bartered at a market in Kathmandu, published an app.

Wore a white gown, walked with my Dad down the aisle, said, “I do”.

Conquered gravy and pie-crust (not biscuits).

Sang along (quietly in my seat) with James Taylor, BB King, Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley, Bruce Hornsby, Anita Baker, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Allison Krauss, Deja Bluegrass Band and Keb Mo.

Sipped wine in a vineyard in Napa Valley, drank tea in South Africa.

Rode a convertible up the Pacific Coast Highway and down route 5.

Watched 42nd Street on broadway, Les Miserable in London, and 101 Dalmatians in Atlanta (staring my grand kids).

Looked into the eyes of a lion, held a baby Cheetah in my arms.

Dined in a garden with a Cardinal in Rome and in the home of a “sweet little brown-eyed preacher” whom I love.

Celebrated 17 of May in Norway and my mom’s 88th birthday.

Attended the US Open, The World Series, The Olympics, NASCAR, and my grand daughter’s soccer match.

Wept at the sound of a violin (more than once).

Remember my grandfather’s love and my grandmother’s cooking.

Nursed three children, watched them grow, shared their pain, celebrated their triumphs.

Got just what I wanted for Christmas.

Fell down and got up (many times).

Really, really, loved a man.

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A related great read on bucket lists from Debby 

What’s on your cup list?  I’d love to know.  Why not Leave a reply?

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