Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Window from Inside the Earth

I was sorting through old pictures today and ran across this one. It was taken from deep inside the earth--Marvel cave at Silver Dollar City to be exact, and my camera was zoomed in to capture it. I was standing on a deck-like platform and this sky was high above--completely inaccessible.
"What would it be like to live down here," I wondered, "damp and quiet and all shaded in brown, dank air without breezes, except for the periodic wing-flutters of bats headed out?"
I could see the green and yellow overhead. From far away I could even hear the strains of a lively music and the excited voices of children playing--or was that only imagined? For now it was gone.

This is our life on earth, I thought. Up there is our whole understanding of Heaven. We see so little, but even that's enough to make us want to look for a ladder.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Wonders of Algebra

While I was working diligently in my classroom after school today...(well ok, it wasn't altogether diligently. I was finishing a biography of Clara Schumann that I was afraid would spoil if I left it in the room over a three day weekend but was too close to finished to tote it all the way home and back) I heard excited little feet and voices in the hall. My grandchildren had come to pay me a visit. With them were their two little cousins, whose mother was coaching volleyball in the gymnasium. After my usual bribe of candy, they all embarked on an exploratory whirlwind tour of the room, not missing anything.
Zaya wanted me to explain, in great detail, the synthetic copy of the Rosetta stone hanging on the wall to which it was delegated a few years ago to make room in the library for the much more educational "Drink Milk" posters.

Where was I? Oh yes. I explained about Greek and Demotic and Egyptian hieroglyphics and how important the stone was to interpreting the latter. When I paused and said that I couldn't remember why it was called the Rosetta stone, Zaya put in, quite confidently,
"It's because they found it near the Rosetta bank of the Nile River. I read a book about that."
And all along I thought I was enlightening him.

Well. Meanwhile, the three little girls had discovered the chess table and were playing busily. I slipped over just in time to hear Mim say as she picked up a piece.
"Hi. I'm a queen and this is my little pawn son. Can we come over for a visit?"
"Sure," replied Jaida
So the black queen and her little bald son took the knight/horse and they all made a procession across the squares over to the white manor. Chess re-invented.

Zaya borrowed my camera and took pictures of items around the room for a while. Then, while Carina and I were visiting, all four children decided to play at the blackboard.

First, they dipped their fingers in the chalk dust and made comet trails as high as they could reach . Then Jaida and Mim began to write words like hat and all the rhymes to it while Zaya did math problems for fun. After he did an addition problem and a simple division, he wrote Y x 4=6 and asked us to solve it. We did, which led to another serious explanation of what a variable was and how you didn't need to put an x to multiply it; you could just put 4Y=6. We showed him a simple equation that he could do: 3X=9.
"Now wasn't that fun?" I asked
He smiled a huge smile and said happily, "The wonders of algebra!"

(If you think that's amusing, you should play a game of pictionary with them.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

This morning's sky was all blue, white and pale--an optimistic bursting through the clouds. By noon it was blazes and heat.

When I stepped out into the hot yellow sky this evening in order to contemplate a walk, my skin felt a couple of raindrops--and I almost kept walking. In fact, if I hadn't seen lightening nearby, I would have done it, because the idea of being soaked to the skin with warm rain is a delicious one after so many days of watching dry skies and hurting for the parched grass. If I had, however, I would have missed seeing the sudden formation of a bright rainbow over the church. It was huge--too large for the camera. I took a few random shots of right, middle arc, and left, then Turtle and I jumped into the car and headed to the edge of town so I could get far enough away to capture the entirety. Alas. By the time we got far enough west, the rainbow had faded.

The sun, however, in a radiant spurt of sparks low on the horizon cast flood lighting on an approaching storm of cloud circles. It was truly majestic.

This last month has been an emotional whirlwind for us and for our church. In the space of thirty days I've attended three weddings and three funerals. We have been through loss and disappointment, and our souls are weary of trying so hard. Yet there are still hungry hearts and lonely people who need us. They need the message of hope that Christ offers. So we carry on. . . and God sends a rainbow to cradle his church. Joy and Sorrow.

Break, Negative, Surface

Eyes watch the water
Empty hands break the surface
It's a negative.