Thursday, January 21, 2010

...the reflection of His face...

Deeply moved by Amy Carmichael's words this morning...

...The picture of the Refiner is straight from Eastern life. The Eastern goldsmith sits on the floor by his crucible. For me, at least, it is not hard to know why the heavenly Refiner has to sit so long. The heart knows its own dross.

"How do you know how long to sit and wait? How do you know when it is purified?" we asked our village blacksmith.

"When I can see my face in it," he replied.

Blessed be the love the never wearies, never gives up hope that, even in such poor metal, our Father may at last see the reflection of His face.

- Amy Carmichael, I Come Quietly to Meet You, ed. David Hazard (Minnesota: Bethany House, 2005) 31-32. See it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise

By Jerrold H. Zar

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

Title suggested by Pamela Brown.
Based on opening lines suggested by Mark Eckman.

By the author's count, 127 of the 225 words of the poem are incorrect
(although all words are correctly spelled).

Published in the Journal of Irreproducible Results, Jan/Feb1994, page 13. Reprinted Vol. 45, No. 5/6, 2000, page 20.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

That really is my name, really...

What does it mean when you try to order something online, and the error message you receive reads, "Please enter a valid name"?!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Bought Some Pear Nectar Today

Below is my offering for the January writing prompt at Poets Online.

Perhaps you might also care to try your hand at writing a poem about... fruit.

That's the prompt. Really. Write about fruit.


God, how I love this store
It is too pricey, I know, but still it whispers to me
of provincial European bakeries
and of bloody butcher blocks
and of vineyards dancing with a world of bees
Things I’ve never seen
but have lived for a lifetime

I remember when your sister
said she loved the smell of our pantry
“Like a health food store,” she had opined

But I call the pungent smell of fresh herbs
and whole grains
and dried fruit
mingled heaven

Today I walked the forbidden aisles
like halls in a memory
and lusted
not for things I wanted to buy
but for a memory just out of reach
yet powerful
and nearly lost

The walls come down
just a little
when I think of him
and of the she that was me
that day

(How does it feel to be called “him”?)

Dancing around the discomfort
of feeling naked, fully clothed
I remembered
the feel in my mouth
(thick and full and sensuous)
and the taste on my lips
(sweet and voluptuous and urgent)
and I heard his words – your words – in my ears

And so, silliness of silliness,
I bought some pear nectar today

And thus she finds him in the halls of memory
and lets him in, with dim eyes
and hunger
and hope

© 2010 Laurie Sitterding

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Earth Shots

Recently, we bought our daughter a camera. She is developing a love for photography, and a desire to study it, that has outgrown our little digital click-'n-shoot. She has a great eye, and I love some of the things she captures on film* precisely because of the way in which she captures them.

*[Well, actually, what do you call it now that it is all digital?!]

So I've found this website that I think will greatly interest her, and it might interest you, too. It has a daily photo that is usually a beautiful nature or landscape piece... something that is neat to look at... to reflect on... to force a pause in the middle of a busy day... to stimulate a moment to breathe deeply and pray briefly and smile...

This was today's "Photo of the Day" contest winner, entitled "Mesquite Dunes at Sunset" by someone named Chris.

You should go see it onsite at to do it justice.


Monday, January 4, 2010

European Capitals

Nathan Stark is a teacher whom I do not know but wish I did. He reminds me of my husband, who writes these kinds of songs for our kids sometimes. Mr. Stark, it seems, has written a song to help his students memorize the European capitals. I'm reposting it here so my homeschooled sweeties can benefit from his generous sharing on TeacherTube. Thanks, Mr. Stark!

Here are the lyrics, to help you in your memorization:

Oh yeah, Lisbon is in Portugal
Madrid you’ll find in Spain
And London is the capital of jolly old England
And Dublin is in Ireland
And Paris lies in France
Edinburgh, Scotland
And Warsaw, Poland

You’ve got Reykjavik in Iceland
And Berlin in Germany
Brussels is in Belgium
And Rome in Italy
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Bern in Switzerland
Prague, the Czech Republic
And Kiev in the Ukraine

Sofia, Bulgaria
Tirana, Albania
Chisinau, Maldova
Bratislava, Slovakia
Vilnius, Lithuania
Riga, Latvia
Tallinn in Estonia
Belgrade in Serbia

Oh, Vienna is in Austria
Zagreb is in Croatia
And Budapest in Hungary
And Oslo, Norway
Sarajevo, Bosnia
And Skopje, Macedonia
Bucharest is in Romania
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Oh yeah, Copenhagen, Denmark
And Athens lies in Greece
Helsinki, Finland
And Stockholm, Sweden
Oh, Valletta is in Malta
Vaduz in Liechtenstein

Luxembourg in Luxembourg
Monaco in Monaco
San Marco in San Marco
And the Vatican’s in Italy

And that’s all the capitals there are!

Friday, January 1, 2010

As we bid farewell to another year...

Here is a link to an Estonian New Year's song. It truly is such a beautiful language.

In true Estonian form, the lyrics are deep... spiritual-in-a-nondescript-sort-of-way... reverent and celebratory concerning life and relationship... and strangely worshipful of nebulous ideas like "the new" and "the love we share."

Estonians, I think, are having to re-learn how to worship the God they knew before their Soviet occupation. They remain deeply "spiritual," yet they are fiercely proud and independent and Eesti-centric, and their spirituality is often not directed upward but inward.

So while I reject the idea to, "Let all the new be our guiding light," I love the idea that, "The mystery of the new is tender and gentle when we greet it with a warm embrace."

Who knows what this new year will bring?

But I know Him who holds my future in His hands, and so I can lean into my unknown future with hope and trust.

The day we see today is new
As we bid farewell to another year

We let our memories be good and true
Celebrating the moment, embracing the new

The bright light of the new shines for all of us
Filled with hope, promise, and the unexpected

The mystery of the new is tender and gentle
When we greet it with a warm embrace

A Happy New Year we wish you all today
Let all the new be our guiding light

Happy New Year!
The love we share will find a way
To fill each new day through dark and light