Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Winter & February 2019

porch stories icon 2019

winter 2019 summary

February 2019 desert spirit's fire

• Meteorological winter is over for the northern hemisphere; Porch Stories host Kristin writes about her full...

Stories from the Porch in February

• Just as at the conclusion of every season, I'm linking to Emily P. Freeman's quarterly reflection.

• With spring on the way, this blog post doubles as a winter summary:

here's December 2018;

• and January 2019.

• I'm still doing my best to deal with more unexpected disappointment along with envisioning future possibilities; part of dealing means finding interesting activities.

• LA Metro has been holding a series of Transit Workshops around town; I enjoyed the one in nearby Inglewood City Hall, and also appreciated a tasty free meal.

• Santa Monica Church in Santa Monica, The Vital Worship Grants Program of the Calvin Institute of Worship, and the Lilly Endowment has been sponsoring Honest to God: Encountering the Psalms.

ยช On the third Saturday of February, I had an amazing opportunity to be Ecumenical and Reformed with the Geneva Psalter and its metrical descendants with ultra-renowned John Witvliet from Calvin College and Seminary. Participants even received a copy of Psalms for All Seasons, with several musical settings of each psalm.

• Another stellar presenter, Paul Ford, told us more about Psalms and the Lectionary that I'd previously known on February's fourth Saturday.

• On Oscars night (here in LA, yay!) a couple dozen of us watched Occupation 101 at the judicatory offices and received a Live Generously Thrivent t-shirt—what a great color! We savored a yummy middle eastern dinner, as well.

winter 2019 Emily Freeman

porch stories button

Friday, February 15, 2019

Five Minute Friday :: Confident

Around a year ago and counting backwards, I used to play Five Minute Friday almost every week, but quit when the going got tough. Oh, not the suggested one-word prompts and not my imagination; everyday life in general kept presenting itself to me with too many overwhelms. I barely could crawl, and for sure couldn't add anything more. Maybe you've heard or read about someone doing something "on a lark?" That's what I did this evening when I realized it was another Thursday and larked over to the FMF site. And realized I might like to write about confidence or confidence. BTW, some of the resources for writers FMF host Kate Motaung offers might interest you.

five minute friday confident

Take five:

It's been raining in southern California—not sure if the storm that tapered off then ended this afternoon was the sixth, seventh, or another this calendar year. I didn't need an online resource to figure out confident combines Latin words con=with and fi=faith, trust, belief. I didn't need to think hard to realize i trust my abilities because God gave them to me and provided opportunities and experiences that developed them well. I don't need to think long or tall to remember my confidence the sun will shine again.

It's been eons longer than a day since I've seen myself around town. Am I confident I'll see myself again? No. Not at all. Sometimes my body reels with grief as I sit at the computer working on a client design. Often I get up, go out, take a walk, distract myself any way I can.

I'll be waiting right here for myself until the day I'm home. Back in Previous City, the first time I heard Phillip Phillips' "though this wave is stringing us alone, just know you're not alone 'cause I'm going to make this place your home" moved me to want to search for home again. It was at a Blue Christmas service, and then the song kept playing everywhere I went. I can't make my own home. Will anyone anywhere make a home for me ever again? Waves stringing me along? These waves are triple overheads! I know the sun will shine again, but I have no confidence I'll ever be home again.

five minute friday confident five minute friday new button

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Dusti Bowling :: 24 Hours in Nowhere

24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling on Amazon

24 hours in nowhere coverAs a lover of middle school novels, I enjoyed this adventure that's short in elapsed time, long in lives transformed—though the dense kids in the cave descriptions that completely bored me probably would interest or entice most middle-school kids.

Long ago the Sonoran desert in Southern Arizona claimed my heart. I've passed through Casa Grande that's a named landmark for the book's characters; I've seen urban and remote rural Arizona nowheres. I know all indigenous Arizona-born people aren't from the same nation, and I wonder around the phenomena of the current state of Arizona being and acting both Old South and Wild West, so I easily placed myself in the southwestern geography.

In Dusti Bowling's 24 Hours in Nowhere, European descent White, Indigenous, and Latinx kids all reside somewhere in the tiny place called Nowhere (tiny, yes, yet this Nowhere has two bars); all have experienced fractured and scattered families of origin; all need a future. You don't need to have spent many hours as a parent of teens or tweens or whiled away much time online to realize how mean both girls and boys can be; if you've been on Facebook much, you've likely encountered more than a few chronologically mature adults that chronically personify meanness. Those unfortunates just may be what happens when kids grow up with unchecked meanness.

Especially shared difficulties that necessitate finding a solution together can create understanding and compassion between people of any age, and these kids found themselves in exactly those circumstances. To an extent the narrative plays through in expected ways, but Bowling redemptively brings both flawed and graced humanity into a chronicle that concludes with all the kids knowing each is incomplete without the others, resolving friendship and togetherness during the next school year.

"Our table has an open-door policy," Tohono O’odham girl Rossi said. "Anyone is welcome." [page 256]

my amazon review: a desert adventure in friendship