Monday, December 24, 2012

On Christmas Eve

when I realize
God breathed
said yes
these are mine, my own –
no matter what.

and my love for them
(for you)
goes on and on.

just to show how much yes meant
He threw stars so bright
that night
into the vastness of the midnight sky
and said,

breathed, here;
and heaven’s child was suddenly

flesh interred in flesh
entered in flesh
and breathed.

that night when innocence cried out,
and cried some more
when she beheld
her son – the Son – and knew she held
the heart of God
in her hands.

at first breath
the host of heaven erupts
and o, holy night echoes
from canyon to crag.
and who’s to fall on their knees,
but shepherd boys
humble in the cold of the night,
but soon on their way to
the little town.

from long and afar
wise and weary men come
reading stars;
that which follows;
discovering an answer
on their knees
and giving thanks in their quiet hearts.

from night to night
and on to a thousand, thousand nights after,
He still breathes yes,
still comes quiet and humble.
despite kingship,
despite lordship,
despite authoring all that we are,
it is just love that reaches out,
love that comes down and says,

Friday, December 14, 2012

when hearts break as one

there are no words.
but all you have are your words
when tragedy strikes – even if it’s not close to home –
it still strikes
and you feel it like the burning brand

of a searing hot poker:
iron on flesh.
because for five aching long seconds
(or more)
you live in the “what if” –

imagine how it would be
if it was you on that crowded, terrible, freezing street
packed full of terrified, unknowing humanity
all surging forward; desperate with hope
that yours will be one of the ones running out safe and sound.

imagine how it would be if they weren’t.
and someone all solemn and in blue
came looking for you –
official; draped with sorrow
like spanish moss drifting off the trees above the bayous.

imagine breath not coming;
hearing a keening howl –
not realizing it’s your own.
seeing that last bit of cereal left in the bottom of the bowl from breakfast and thinking –
that’s the last time.

how do you not cry out?
how do you not rage in agony?
how do you not fling helplessness
wild into the wind
and demand change  – any change – now, now, now.

where do you turn
in grief and in sorrow
whether our own – or on borrowed time?
who can comfort the heart that has lost
the one thing that it could not bear to lose?

i know the things i thought were driving me mad:
wasted toothpaste and shampoo, lost pictures, and ripped jeans
do not seem as significant as they did
just twenty four hours

it’s not that i’m giving up on giving the best,
and raising the best,
and expecting the best.
i’m just being reminded – in the hardest kind of way
about delicacy, and transiency, and fragility.

thinking long and hard about
holding tight; holding on
breathing deep when i see her.
inhaling the gift of grace and
another chance to get it right.

tears come. and they should. they keep coming.
i don’t want to not feel;  don’t want to forget;
don’t want to lose sight of what i cannot bear to lose.
yet in the midst, don’t want to forget either
what and where my hope is anchored:

that still, small place – that voice in the silence – that cleft in the rock
(not in the thunder, not in the mighty wind, not in the shaking of the earth)
Jehovah Sabaoth be near now
hold us, and hold those we cannot,
when our hearts break as one.

I don't know that a school shooting has impacted me like the one today has. Perhaps its because now I'm a mom and the parental gene kicks in with empathy so strong. Maybe its that our school was in lockdown earlier this week while the police chased a robery suspect - when we got the call, there was a flutter of fear when I heard "lockdown." I've spent the day watching the news, watching the posts, watching - between trying to do my job. And crying. And wondering about my tears. And this is what I do to try and make sense of it all. I write.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Discovering the Miracle of Eucharisteo

A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything — or destroy it!  It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it.*

This is the truth – and I know it all too well. My family knows it all too well. My daughter knows it all too well. Why is it, that with all my best intentions, the ones I love the most inevitably bear the harshest brunt of my worst failings? Tensions and my temper – already primed like a flash grenade – have not always done well in these past several years as we have struggled in and out of stability and in the ever-looming face of the unknown. They run high and on a hair trigger – ready to detonate at the slightest provocation. And like a flash grenade can impair vision, cause hearing loss, disorient, and upend balance for long, aching moments.

But things are changing. The tides are turning. The Spirit is moving.

A friend’s Facebook post led me to the discovery of Ann Voskamp and her book 1000 Gifts, and the Joy Dare. Which led me to her blog: aholyexperience, which led to the writing community, Allume; which led to the online community, (in)courage; which led to oh my word – a re-thinking, a re-focusing – a re-imagining if you will – of my own writing, my own blogging, my own living. And me starting to make my own list. And counting. And thanking. And discovering Eucharisteo – which is giving thanks and grace and joy all wrapped up together. And trying to live fully in the midst of my unending inexplicable mess and my desert wanderings. Striving to remember what Ann writes: “thanksgiving comes before the miracle.” And then …

One night after work, instead of a sweet, happy grin peeking in through the window to pick me up, there was the saddest little face, all full of tears and woe. I walked out into the cold and dark and she was stricken and torn, and could barely talk about it. I tried to coax it out and puzzle out what was wrong, but she kept crying pulling away and saying: but you’ll be so mad. And I don’t want you to be mad.

By the talented Ursula Abresch
And then my heart broke again. Because I know what I look like (what I sound like)  – what I’ve looked like – when I go off the rails and get mad and blow up and my tongue loses control and I send the whole world up in smoke with my anger. I know. So I just pulled her close and said, tell me, just as soft as I could. And she did.

And then there was the miracle.

Because maybe three or four weeks before, I probably would have sparked mad and gone off the rails over nothing; turning harmony to chaos. But somehow, I just held her close. And loved her. And said that it was okay. And that I wasn’t mad – really – could she really see that I wasn’t mad. And that I loved her and that it was going to be okay. And there was grace pouring down and I said thank you again. Breathed out thank you again up into the deep blue of the night sky to God who was working and mending. And prayed that it wouldn’t just be this one time. That He’d keep fixing the broken bits of me.

And He is. Because the miracle happened again. Just this morning. When she decided to put every bit of the whole new tube of toothpaste down the drain. To see if it would clean the drain. Maybe that will make no sense to you – why get mad about toothpaste? (Because it’s wasteful. And pointless.) And when you’re living on the edge of stability and cutting every corner’s corner, every penny counts. A new tube of toothpaste is supposed to last for at least a month and be one less thing you have to spend your tiny bits of money on the next time you’re at the store. And yes. I probably would have gone all flash bang grenade on that one too. But I didn’t. I actually laughed. Out loud. Tweaked her nose, made her smile, and said, silly girl, what did you do that for? Breathed oh, thank you Lord again. And that was a grace note of joy all in itself. 

*James 3: 5-6ish MSG

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Way Through Wondering

It came. Another phone call with not good news. Not devastating news. Not life threatening news. Just not good news. In a long, long line of not good news. I felt it like a punch in my gut – stronger than a catch in my throat. I wanted to freeze time right there so I could crawl under my desk and just sob. And to be honest – kick something. Very hard.

A friend had recently sent a passage from the Psalms to me and the verses immediately sprang to mind:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

That’s what I would be crying out from under my desk: How. Long?

There are times in our lives that God takes us on a path that makes no sense to us. We can see nothing. The way is not clear. And then things are resolved, and in retrospect – with the clear view of hindsight – we can see the orchestrations of His hand. I’ve been there. I’ve been through. I’ve seen.

But right now, I’m in the midst of a path I cannot discern – it’s the longest one He’s asked me to walk so far in this life. And it hurts. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of a miracle; a fleeting glance of something amazing revealed. But so many times, I just struggle along asking, “how long?” I write about this path as my desert. My journey of dryness. My discovery of dependence. My revelation of dying. Because there’s so much in me that needs to be stripped away. I need so much to be pared down to what Christ will reveal in me. So I can hear Him speak clearly. So I can become what I am meant to be.

God speaks in so many ways, and in my devotional this morning were words that were meant for a day such as this – a day with not good news:

Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in My Presence. This entails being satisfied with much or with little, accepting either as My will for the moment. Instead of grasping and controlling, you are learning to release and receive. Cultivate this receptive stance by trusting Me in every situation.

That would fairly cover so many of the things I struggle with. The things I need to let go of. The friend that sent me the Psalm reminded me that our God is large enough to bear our cries and our laments. He is large enough to survive our inconsistencies. He is large enough to carry our frustrations – and oh, help me – even our anger. If we remember to come back to Him with thanksgiving in our heart. Because we do not thank Him or Praise Him because of what He give us or does for us (although we can and surely do), but simply because of who He is. And so we can say with David,

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me

I am trying. Trying and learning to counteract bad news, heartache, frustration, and anger with thanksgiving. This is a tough lesson for me. And yet, the truth of it is in there: it is harder to remain angry or sad with thanksgiving in your heart.

Psalm verses from Psalm 13 (ESV). Devotional excerpt from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Trick of Transparency

Lately, I’ve been challenged to be real. To be authentic. To be transparent. To be honest.

I’m laughing.  In that painful, reality-smacks-you-in-the-face kind of way.

I could have stopped that first sentence at “lately, I’ve been challenged.” And that’s exactly what makes the rest of it such a challenge. Or to not be so polite - so damn hard. Authenticity. Transparency. Honesty. Being real. It’s what so many of us want; what we're encouraged to strive for in our lives. But what happens when reality is too real. Too authentic? Let’s be honest – too scary? Can it be too real? Do you ever wonder, "will I be understood (accepted) if I let people see what really is real?"

It’s much easier to try and simulate real. To give an illustrious illusion of what real is – a measure of how much of our reality we think people around us can handle. Or me, speaking from my core – how much of my reality I think people can take before they take a real good look and run screaming from my presence. Because sometimes, I think that’s what would happen if I let everyone around me see what the real me actually looks like.

Am I willing to let go of this fa├žade that friends and family have? I know what some think they see – I’ve played with the word brainstorming; done the exercises; tagged friends in the online games. Lovely, descriptive, admirable words come pouring back upon me like a shower of gifts: creative, loyal, driven, peaceful, resourceful, calming. You could almost imagine that I’m a nice person when you look at them. But I have hard time owning those words in their entirety. I don’t disavow them completely – because I’m striving to reach them. But I see others intertwined in their midst: darkness, frailty, brokenness, fractured incapability, lightning-fast impatience, and above all, a consuming anger that could set the world to flame. Would I still be loved and wanted if everyone around me could see the darkness that overwhelms me at times? It makes me a little bit mad to say, “Yes, I would care. Yes, I still want to be loved.”

At times – so much of the time. Lately – it’s all I can do to keep my head above water – to keep on breathing. To keep smiling. To keep going on. And so I’m trying to keep going. To keep moving forward. Because that’s what you do. You can’t stand still because then you just start sliding backwards. And the last place I need to go is back. In going forward, I am making intentional steps towards something more; something better. Taking my mess and making it matter.

I read recently that we need our messy stories. We need to write them and we need to share them. Because sharing them allows the Spirit of God to bind up our wounds and the wounds of those who read them and are impacted by them. But it's a risk – that trick of transparency – being brave enough to show your mess to the world. So I'm choosing to be brave – a little braver each day – a little braver each time I write. And trust that in revealing my own mess, somewhere, the Spirit will bind up a wound, and spill grace abundant into someone's life. Leaving them just a little bit less alone in their mess.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


All this time, I’ve been thinking of it as stuck – as standing still.
As going nowhere.
Fussing and fretting and being so ANGRY about going nowhere. Not realizing in my own ignorance
that maybe going wasn’t what I needed.
Maybe it was deepening.
And that maybe I’ve been “standing still”
because I have roots that needed to sink in.
Making their way down into the depths of my foundation.
So I can stand.
So when it’s time for action again,
I will be growing – not just going.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

a cry in the desert

is it a whirlwind?
is it a sandstorm?
or is it
just another
gust of wind in the desert?

thought i'd left the desert behind.
starkly bleached plains stretching to empty skies above
given way to
industrial soot. smog. Londontown.
the very dregs of survival.

so much so that my heart ached
and longed and called out for the desert.

its clean bare sweeps
more home than
towering darkening pyres.
iron. metal that rusts and grates
on my raw nerve endings
and fragile, fragmented heartstrings -
already worn parchment thin from being

drawn out again
i find myself at the edge of the daily grind.

there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
but that light leads back to the desert.
the empty.
thirsty desert.
where lessons in humility blister on my heel
and need is raw
and rich
and real
and alive
and neverending.

in quiet moments
i learned to love the desert.
found grace in the desert.
found the heart of my God in the desert.
found the voice that spoke to my soul
in times of need
and painful want.

there is so much want.
i want. we want. she wants.

i want to divest myself of all the wants
and simply be.

to discover the purity of
my mitochondrial existence
that comes
when want dies
when i die
when it is no longer i who live.


it's that simple.
so simple.
letting go.

unfolding. unbending. unclenching. unwinding.



or is it won't.
and until i do - then what?
more storm? more vortex?

there's no going back now.
it has begun.
the choice is made.

it is the desert
and the still small voice
in the midst of the storm
that will quiet me
and sustain me
through whatever's next on this passage.

this journey
into the heart 
of letting go.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Step Two

And so it begins again.
The joy and terror of everything being new
and fresh.
But really just new.

To you.

Square one
will always be
square one
no matter where you land.

There will always be adjustments:
the might have beens;
the things we miss;
the things we left behind.

But truth –
(and a wide open door)
are not something to pass up
when all signs point in that direction.

So here we are

(inhale – exhale – repeat as necessary)

Signs of life are returning
where there have been none
for far too long.

I can hardly wait.
There is more to come.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Legitimacy of Words

During a downtime or lunchtime - I'm not sure which - this past week, I skimmed an article on new words that had been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this year. I love that the process is described almost as a hunting expedition; something exotic and slightly forbidden. Like a safari. Merriam-Webster's Peter Sokolowski speaks of reading through various materials just looking for new words. Or better yet, looking "for words in 'their natural habitat for real evidence of the language in use.'" These words are selected for their frequency and new meanings and show how our language and the meaning of words evolves from the concrete to the abstract; from the literal to the metaphorical. So what fierce, fearsome, and worthy trophies did this safari of words return this year?

aha moment n (1939) : a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension [Oprah Winfrey's signature phrase] She's conquered television, magazine publishing, is a national and international icon. And now she has her signature phrase in the dictionary. I guess this answers the question, "what do you get for the woman who has everything?"

earworm n (1802) 1 : corn earworm 2 : a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind ["this summer's example being the inescapable Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen."] — You'll notice 1802 listed in parentheses here. That would be the original entry in the dictionary. You know, when it actually referred to an actual bug. It was curious that it took several "next" pages on a Google search to get to a description of the earworm bug. As in ugly hatching larva bug. Prior entries introduced DJ Earworm and information on how to get earworms (that awful repetitive song) out of your head. Take your time. And when you figure it out. Call me, maybe.

f-bomb n (1988) : the word fuck — used metaphorically as a euphemism — What can I say about this that was not captured in my August 14th Facebook post? And on the emo coaster it's time for a brief, but steep dip into the "want to kick something" territory. Looking to rebound soon on this roller coaster ride. Am somewhat cheered to learn that Webster has officially added f-bomb to the dictionary. It really bothered me that I wasn't official while being inappropriate. What would Dr. Horrible say? "Sarcasm - how original." Yeah. I know.

flexitarian n (1998) : one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish — I "love" (oops! sarcasm again) this one because it's so America 2012. What is this? "I'm totally committed to being a vegetarian and everything is stands for. Except when I want bacon." What? We want it all and we want to commit to nothing. Or is that we want to commit to everything, but we want nothing? We're afraid to be accountable. To be pinned down to one thing. To say, yes, this is what I believe. I look around and I see so many people (nameless, faceless people - don't worry, I'm not talking about anyone I know personally. I wouldn't do that? Would I?) who want everyone to be equal and happy and to believe the same thing and do the same thing and think the same thing and hug the same thing and eat the same thing …. Do you get where I'm going? I believe in taking a stand and making a stand for things you believe in. In your politics. In your spiritual life. In your morals. In your eating habits. Whatever. But pick something and stand for it. And allow other people to do the same thing (even if you don't agree with them). But stand. Don't flex. If you don't stand, it doesn't mean anything. And then, what's the point?

life coach n (1986) : an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems — Mainly I'm curious to know if being in the dictionary legitimizes this profession enough that I can get business cards that will allow me to coach life. Ask around. I'm fairly experienced. In numerous areas of life that require serious survival skills. And I haven't seen much else beside that and gumption that allows someone to be one, so ….

tipping point n (1959) : the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place — I've had a few of these in my life. And I love them because they are serious game changers (btw, also another entry in this year's word list). The tipping points in my life have always taken me away from something or someone that was crushing my soul; wringing the spirit from me; and sending me into a spiraling tailspin. They have always been difficult. There have been points in the tipping where I have felt that I was thrown (not tipped) down the side of a ravaged cliff and that I was hitting every rock, bump, and bramble on my way down. And yet there has never been a tipping that has not eventually right-sided me as a stronger, sturdier, smarter person with more faith and endurance than before the falling down.

Interesting words on the list this year. There are more, of course. These are just a few I'm offering up. You can find more here at The Atlantic. Don't forget. Words matter. They follow us. Live with us. Grow with us. They tell our story. Go on a safari to find some new words. Words matter.

PS - Although I am of age. Well above age. I still feel the need to write a brief and public note of apology to my mother for the whole f-bomb thing. For including it. And admitting that I actually say it. Out loud. I love you mom. And I love that you love me. Anyway.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Step One

I'd been holding on so tight
I didn't feel it at first
when I started to let go.

The release was -
at first -
nothing more than
being outstretched
feeling nothing at all.

I expected so many things:
a rush of pain
a smattering of tingles
a symphony of needles
an overwhelming deluge of -

what was I waiting for?

(inhale - exhale - repeat as necessary)

It was nothing that I expected.

Only the first sign of life returning
where there had been none
for far too long.

Hold please.
There is more to come.

As a side note - or in this case - a note along the bottom. This is not necessarily part of the Desert Road series, but it is certainly not unrelated. So that makes it, what, a parallel road? A tangential journey that's part of the other journey? Don't know, but I would not be taking This Step without being on The Road. So there.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Road - Part 2 (She Comes Alongside)

The road in the desert is nothing if not relentless. This vast, aching emptiness where I see nothing; hear nothing; feel nothing - but the pain from my wandering.

Then out of the nothingness: she comes alongside.
A breath of air - without which I could not go on.
A sparkling shimmer of water - without which I could not go on.
A prayer when I cannot utter a sound -  without which I could not go on.
A glimmer of hope for the future - without which I could not go on.

I am not one given to many friendships. I do not give myself easily or willingly. Befriending me is sometimes like putting a bow on a porcupine. Or conversing with a mad hatter. Or asking a cat to come and sit with you. Right now. I am careful. I am tentative. Don't let the fact that I can speak easily about things make you think that I'm telling you lots about myself. I'm probably not. Not even like this - in my writing - where I'm likely to slip and let something through. All I'm saying here, is I'm not easy. And that's on a good day.

But it's not been a good day has it?
You might have picked up on that.
It's not been a good day - not in that sense of the word - for a really long time.

And I'm trying to find a way - and there really just isn't any good way (but I'm trying)
to pay tribute
to these amazing women in my life
(oh you have no idea how incredibly amazing)
who are, with God, carrying me through this desert time in my life.

They call.
They write.
They email.
They like my silly Facebook posts.
They ask how I'm doing.
They make me beautiful handcrafted things.
They pick out wonderful cards that say just the right thing at just the right time.
They let me cry in restaurants.
They send me salty seeds.
They love me even if I can't cry.
They send me crazy Axl Rose videos.
They set themselves aside for me.
They set their pain aside for me - and some of it is some really big-ass, gut-wrenching pain.
They move on with me.
They rekindle friendships with me.
They grow with me.
They swear with me.
They feed my body.
They feed my heart.
They feed my soul.
They pray with me.
They pray for me - that's a huge one - HUGE.
They cry with me.
They laugh with me.
They never seem to laugh AT me - which I just don't understand.
And they love me.
Which I really, really, really don't understand.

This road is relentless - yes it is.
And it's teaching me a lot.
Some of its good.
Some of it - I don't get.
Some of it I may never get until I get to ask God face to face.
Some of this relentlessness is just killing me.
And maybe there are parts of me that need to die.
So they're dying here on this long desert road.

But then there's the part that's moving on.

And the part that keeps going on down this hard, relentless, unfounded, undiscovered desert road
is going
because of
the ones who came alongside.

And I'm not going to try and list you
because I know I would forget one of you.
And then I would feel like a weed on top of everything else.

But if you have.
You know you have.

And I will
that you did.

The Road : Part One

This road is a long one
Longer than I had foreseen.
It's a lonely road;
a desert road
where the silence echoes -
rebounding along the shadowing cliffs
that hunch like imprecise omens
clustered together; brewing malice.

In other places, the silence streaks across the endless expanse
of nothing less
than nothing else:

empty land;
empty sky;
empty road;
empty hand;
empty heart.

It may be a large circle
or for all I know a meandering path -
a crooked trail of dust and tears -
but I've long lost sight of the beginning
and I fear I'm losing hope
of finding the end.

I should have - long ago -
dropped to my knees
refused to go on.
lain down and surrendered
to dirt and dust and time.

Because it's not direction I'm losing.
It's hope.
The clear, clean, beautiful thing
that is hope
shimmers in the distance
and vanishes into nothingness.

And once again,
the silence echoes.

The Desert Time

I realized that it's been a long time since I wrote anything here. And at once felt guilty. And then felt completely annoyed at myself for feeling guilty. Things have been a little rough and it's not as though I've been traipsing around doing nothing - or doing lots of things other than writing. But I haven't been writing enough.

Then the other day, I started - what I hope will become some sort of series - of writings that are parts of what I'm just calling, "The Road." Because that's what this whole journey through being at a job that finally became untenable (to the point that it was affecting my physical health), to leaving that job, to being unemployed, to being on unemployment, to suddenly for the first time in my life not being able to get another job again (this has never really been a problem in the past). And now sitting here looking at our situation - that from any perspective looks pretty dire - and wondering, "how did we get here?" With our resumes, our education, our experience, our work ethic? How did we get here? How did we become the people about the fall off the edge of the cliff; the people falling through the cracks in the system that's supposed to help; the people that we never imagined that we'd be.

But The Road has been about far more than that. It has become the biggest spiritual journey of my life - and significant in the fact that it's the biggest spiritual journey that my husband and I have been on together. And the changes that are happening in our individual lives and our collective lives are the things that are so important. We've been through, what I would call some pretty significant struggles and challenges so far in our eighteen years together. We've had parent issues. Money issues. Custody issues. Health issues that became near death issues. But somehow, this one is different. And I don't want it to be "just another thing" I go through, or we go through. It's too important to be just something we survive.

So all of this is an out-of-the-blue preface to me deciding to add the pieces of The Road here. And maybe deciding to flesh it all out at some point and make a coherent story out of it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ash wednesday - before service

let me lay down my sword
(must everything be a fight for me?)
and surrender wholly to your lenten season.
surrender my order and control -
chaos in actuality -
for your peace and plan.
let my release be my salvation
as i turn once again to you.


tears fall

i have no more
which were never enough to begin with.

i said
once that
words matter

and now
the echo of their passing
is madness.

i am held
in place

by small strips
of glassine
with razored edges.

you wouldn't know
for all my tattered charm

intact and unwilling
to validate the outcome
of injustice.

bleeding hope
seeking restoration
solace leaks

through unfiltered frames
b roll
fragments unrelated.

quiet now
thoughts gather
waver softly

whispers follow with
daunting regularity
not clarity.

bound and rightly so
i am given to
fits and starts

more to come
there always is
in the end.

it may be a bit difficult, I'll admit, but it's a snapshot of one day. that's all.