Friday, March 13, 2009

the Peace that burns.

Written Sunday evening, March 8th, as I hung out with my family, both immediate and extended:

I couldn't bring myself to answer the phone. The little electronic device buzzed and vibrated on the table, but I closed my eyes and ignored the flashing screen like a saint resisting sin. I was reclined in the wooden glider, swaying gently back and forth, and wanted only to focus on the wind as it drove through the slender pine trees, over hill and gully, to caress my relaxed face, to rustle my already tousled hair. Wind chimes of various note and pitch were singing to me as they hung from the eaves of the house, a peaceful melody that reminded me of a garden. This vision was made even more vibrant as the scent of honeysuckle wafted up from the bushes beneath the deck. That coupled with the unmistakable aroma of a campfire burning was enough to intoxicate me on the mild Spring evening.
The laughs of my family members echoed from inside and I opened my eyes, a contented smile on my lips. Light poured from the windows, a pale yellow in the twilight, and figures moved beyond the panes within. Dessert was surely being served, a decadent chocolate truffle cake that begged a glass of milk upon mention. Still yet, I couldn't summon myself to stand, afraid that the peace of the moment would flee when I walked across the deck and closed the screen door behind me. That peace that rested on my mind and in my heart was that special calm that comes with being with family. And being outside in the nature of the Carolina woodlands made it seem to me that much more real and alive, as if the breeze itself bore testimony to the divinity of my blessings and the wonderful family I have; as if the tinkering chimes were themselves hymns of praise sung from the lips of angels, which altogether filled my ears as an ethereal rhapsody descending from on high.
As now I sit in the warmly lit living room, belly and heart full and surrounded by my very own angels, that peace remains and will surely burn through the night.

Monday, March 2, 2009


"Flight 325 to London, now boarding."
The woman's voice echoed ominously throughout the terminal, and Tristan jolted awake. He was sitting upright in a row of black chairs, a one-way airline ticket that he didn't remember purchasing clenched tightly in his fist. He blinked slowly, bringing his free hand to his forehead and groaning slightly. The bare skin beneath his hairline was swollen red and throbbing relentlessly. It seemed the more he came to the harder it pulsed, so he tried his best to clear his mind of any thoughts other than breathing. The wound was sensitive to the touch and he winced, closing his eyes tightly.
When he opened them again, he realized the presence of a rolling suitcase at his knee. Glancing around and finding himself alone on the row, he assumed it belonged to him, though he had never seen it before in his life; he didn't even remember packing it. But upon closer inspection he discovered his full name, street address, and telephone number inscribed on the the tag that hung from one of the zippers.
He furrowed his brow, quickly regretting it when his inflamed forehead erupted in a fresh bout of pain. His eyes watered and he clenched his jaw, trying as hard as he could despite the throbbing to remember. Something -- anything. He fought beyond the wall that seemed to have been raised around his mind, pushing, prodding, groping for a memory.
The lair was the last place he recalled being. Glimpses of Griffin crouching over a bleeding Elliot, tightening a tourniquet and barking instructions at him to switch back and find Ava. Some flashes of the Kennedy assassination in full color, and then blackness.
"Flight 325 to London, final boarding. One-way to London, final boarding."
Tristan ran a hand through his matted hair and let out a shallow and shaking sigh. He stood up slowly, deliberately, and gazed around the terminal. Foreign faces, glazed and indifferent, blurred as they hurried by. There was a steady buzz, a chorus of noise as people conversed, suitcases clicking as they were dragged along the tiled terminal floor. Tristan let his eyes comb the busy scene, trying to make any sense possible of his circumstance, when they fell upon a familiar face.
Fear struck him immediately. A biting, raw fear that permeated even the current numbness of his mind, shrieking, tearing, and suffocating -- and it all came back.
Without a second thought, he turned and ran, any survival depending solely on his escape.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Boating (how I long for it)

I think this was spurred by the fact that Mother Nature has been teasing us so cruelly lately! I'm ready for warm weather, for summertime -- and yet, it's oh so far away. Here's how I escape:
One warm tranquil evening in the latter part of summer last, I was out on the lake with my familly, aboard our much loved ski boat, Daisy. Each of us were taking turns being pulled through the water, which was smooth as glass but for our towering wake which formed a peaked "V" behind the yellow and white craft.
There are six of us -- four kids and the parents -- and there is always ample seat space, especially when one of us is being towed. We sit and lounge, engine humming beneath us and wind flowing freely through our hair, as we watch each family member take their turn either skiing or wakeboarding. Cries of encouragement are shouted through the spray, and cheers of victory and congratulation echo across the water when a trick is landed or a good run completed. The skier will then climb in, first onto the stained teakboard then up onto the padded back seat, smiling and half-exhausted, laughing out of joy or exclaiming in excitement at the thrill of some certain feat. All of it shared with the family members, all of it mutual joy and enthusiasm. This fades only briefly before the next rider straps up and jumps into the water.
Such is the manner of such outings, and such was the feeling of this particular evening. We'd all had great runs, and were conversing contentedly with each other as the day wrapped itself up, the sun setting gold behind us. We idled in a cove, waiting for nothing; only savoring the stillness, the peace, the emanating joy.
That was the last time we'd go out that summer. But we need not worry, for the one to come was sure to hold many such memories -- and more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter shall not escape my pen.

A Snowy Scene
Snow flurries fall
From a gray slate sky that hides the sun
(Shining somewhere in the universe),
Making white-capped rooftops
Look like marshmallows melting in a mug
With children in snowsuits and hats inside.

A set of footprints
Through fluffy, downy drifts of snow
Marks someone's lone passage across the yard,
While kids free from school
Frolic far across the pond at the park
And rejoice in being together.

Sledders up the street
Race fast down the chuted hill,
While snowballs fly, fired like powdery bullets aimed in play.
A pure, pristine blanket
Has been lain across the neighborhood,
And angels fall from the sky to stamp the sheets.

Snowmen appear alongside the sidewalks --
How long before they melt?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

another Go.

Happy 2009! Another year has past and the one to come is sure to hold many blessings for each of us.

Tonight I pull something from an old journal of mine, one I was keeping this time last year. The following is an entry for New Years of 2008, and I echo the words this year.


Time truly is an amazing thing. On one hand it seems to stand still and on the other it clearly leaves the impression of flying by. I've stood as witness to this remarkable phenomenon over the past year. It's been an incredible roller coaster with all its ups and downs, twists, turns, and loops. There have been good times and bad times, solemn times as well as times of great joy and laughter. This is the way life goes. It is the enduring disposition in which life's great story plays out. And we, the characters, must trust in the Author to lead us through our lives, that we may cherish each memory, each good time -- every laugh, every smile, every tear shed in happiness.

Here I sit with my family at the end of another year. The wheels of our cart squeal to a halt on life's tracks, the fading adrenaline marking the end of another ride. And now, with light hearts and eyes set toward the future, we pull the bar back down -- ready for another go around.


Happy New Year, and many more to come.