dwelling in possibility

October 5, 2008

Had a great conversation with one of my roommates this evening.  We were discussing the need to embrace limitations and our own finitude, in order to walk in the way of wisdom.  My roommate made the observation that, Emily Dickinson (that poetic genius who “dwelt in possibility“) spent most of her fifty-six years living and breathing in one (same) home.

My roommate went on to tell of an exhortation she heard several years ago during a high school commencement speech: Live Poetically.  Poems, she reminded, best showcase their themes through the distillation of thoughts, ideas, feelings …

What might it mean for us to embrace limitations (in commitments, in relationships … in our daily activities), in order to live poetically?

I’m committing anew to the question …


work without hope

September 22, 2008

My boss, Jon, launched his sermon last week with this poem (Work without Hope), by Samuel Coleridge.  Both (the sermon & poem) made me grateful for the meaning I find each day in my work.  Quite unlike nectar disappearing through a sieve … I am often overcome by moments of significance in my day.  To believe that my work can contribute to the Gospel “going public” and that one day it will be positioned (however transformed) inside of Christ’s consummated Kingdom is an incredible gift (given to me by both Leslie Newbigin & N.T. Wright).  It’s a gift that ought to be realized by every Christ-follower (whatever her vocational arena).  I’m only beginning to tease out the implications …

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair –
The bees are stirring -birds are on the wing –
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.

–Samuel Coleridge, Work Without Hope

It was an amazing day.  (Lord, may I manifest such spunk & sacrificial service at 78!)

Over lunch, John introduced me to an old Chinese poem–one of his favorites.  (I loved it too.)

Go to the people
Live among them, Learn from them, Love them
Start with what you know, build on what they have:
But the best leaders, when their task is done
The people will remark, “We have done it ourselves.”

freedom school poetry

July 26, 2008

Sometimes I feel happy like the yellow summer sun
All jolly and cheerful just ready to have fun
At other times when I’m hurting I imagine I look red
Because of what people have done or even said
I usually feel green; I’m not jealous, but I’m smart
Of all the things about me, I know you can agree with this part
So when I look at all these colors, all so different as can be
When they all come together they help me to be me!

Lyndsay Hughley, Colorful Me

I have dreams of being a rapper not a drug dealer.  Some nights I cry because people die.  I live on 28th and Park where people die in the dark.  I never dreamed of someone on Fox 4 saying our population is getting lower and lower and lower.  But my dreams are joining the Kingdom City and spreading the word of our Beautiful King.  Some people are not doing the same thing but I will keep pursuing my dreams.

Evan Lewis-Thompson, Dreams

tonite it smells like summer
i feel back at camp
loving (longing for) days past …

–jt, full moon inverted-haiku

great fortunes i seek
so far away draw distant against my horizon
my back to you as my hope falls through
and further away
to imagine
by the time i get back
the efforts you have put to the edges
of all we own
how the grass has grown and faded
i will have never known
except by the eyes of you
the dew that slipped gently to the soil
and your lips having sipped the rains
–all passing
left to mist the clouded skies
–to taunt
the memories of all i’ve missed
forgive the abandon
should the leaves turn
darken, dampen and ache
falling only to nurture the foot of their making
returned green at the point of rebirth


American Idol, that is.  And the reason?  Contestant, Jason Castro, inviting us to listen once again …