Ode to the iPhone

I didn’t have a phone with a camera in it until Miles was born. Then, as a “thanks for having our baby” present, Joe bought me an iPhone 3GS. And I fell in love! I really feel that this phone is the best purchase of the past 10 years! As I look through my pictures and videos alone, I realize that because of this phone, I’ve been able to capture hundreds of moments otherwise lost to the cumbersome nature of lugging out the camera or video recorder. I have to laugh because most of my pics and videos are of Miles or food, clearly two of the most important things to me:) here are some recent ones:

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Soul Food

Sometimes I am coherent enough to write down notes when I read things that are inspiring or beautiful or reveal something true. I usually write just a few words, to encapsulate the gist of whatever it was I read that moved me. This makes me very bad at using quotation marks and also very susceptible to think that I, in fact, wrote the eloquent nugget of insight. Apart from the ego-thrilling plagiarism, the joy of stumbling upon these “quotes” is that I am reminded of something true all over again without having to reread a book.

Such was my luck today.

Doodled in my sketch book were these words:

My soul is the part of me that longs for more of God than I have right now. It is the very essence of me that God knew before he brought me forth in physical form.

Wow. That’s good stuff. And it made me think about my soul. The willowy, wispy, intangible part of me that is most real. The part of me that can be as beautiful as I feel after getting all dolled up for a fancy date and can also be as ugly as I am when I wake up after sleeping with my make-up on.

The part about the soul being the part God knew before he bought you forth in physical form, gave me chills because I thought of my son. He is such a new physical form. And God knew him first, brought him forth, and shared him with me. God gave this world the ability to meet my son’s soul and he gave me the honor of nurturing it and watching it grow. I am over the moon thankful for that.

Before I close up this blog post and my son, soul and all, get up from his nap, I think I should mention that I happen to remember that those words were from a book by Ruth Haley Barton called The Soul of Your Leadership. The only reason I remember that is because she was Mrs. Barton to me growing up because I was friends with her daughter, Charity. You should really go read this book because there are more amazing nuggets of insight in it.

For the Kirvens

I read a book in college that chronicled a father’s grief after losing his son. He said that what he most wanted from people, more than cards, sincere and clumsy, or flowers, pretty and temporal, was the simple gesture of sitting with him on the mourning bench. I was not sure then, and I am not sure now, what that translates to in practical terms and I am in need of an answer.

My friend is losing her mother to cancer. Any time now. We are all just waiting.
I feel frozen in knowing what I should do. Should I call, cook something, email, text, send something, or just pray? I end up mostly crying. I cry at my kitchen sink, while updating my husband, while driving, or after receiving texts regarding how she is doing. I don’t know what to do for my friend. She is not without people who love her, friends closer than I am, but still I want her to know I am sitting with her on the mourning bench. Just sitting and crying. I don’t understand her grief or know how she feels. I guess, even if I have known death in my own life, I could not understand it because each death is as unique as each life.
The man in the book I read in college talked about a poet who wrote about “inscape.” Something had inscape when it put it’s stamp on things, when it had a particularly unique quality to the way it interacted with the world. Each of us has inscape. The way we shake hands or say hello when we answer the phone. The way we put on lipstick or get ready before bed. As each life has inscape, the man wrote, so does each death. There are things about the grief my friend feels that I will never understand, but I will sit with her nonetheless.
And I am not alone. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people sharing a seat on this mourning bench. We sit together with you, dear Jane.