Big Sailing Ship Magazine Cover

Scribnership

I found this nifty magazine cover. Sitting back from my computer screen, but wearing my glasses, first all I thought was that I liked the colors and the setting of the picture. I love the swirls in the water. The sails flapping and the flags making pretty curls of art.

Next you see the title, and you wonder. ‘Captain Mahan? Who is he?’

So of course, I refer to Wikipedia. (I always do, I admit.) I learn this:

Alfred Thayer Mahan [məˈhæn] (September 27, 1840 – December 1, 1914) was a United States naval officer and historian, whom John Keegan called “the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century.”[1] His book The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 (1890) won immediate recognition, especially in Europe, and with its successor, The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (1892), made him world-famous and perhaps the most influential American author of the nineteenth century.[2]

Also, I learned this:

Scribner’s Magazine was an American periodical published by the publishing house of Charles Scribner’s Sons from January 1887 to May 1939. Scribner’s Magazine was the second magazine out of the Scribner’s firm, after the publication of Scribner’s Monthly. Charles Scribner’s Sons spent over $500,000 setting up the magazine, to compete with the already successful Harper’s Monthly and The Atlantic Monthly. Scribner’s Magazine was launched in 1887, and was the first of any magazine to introduce color illustrations. The magazine ceased publication in 1939.

For any who don’t know me, I can tell you that I’m a curious sort of person.

I went to see my grandbaby Gladys yesterday.  Now Gladys has a habit, when you first come to see her, of staring at you for a long time. She is curious too, like her grandma. Like me she wonders, ‘why do people do what they do?’

Curiosity is so important. It’s what drives us to learn, and therefore what increases our brain capacity. I like to think it’s what drives us to God. When I was five years old in the Kansas City of 1966, I used to often ask questions like, ‘Why are there trees?’, ‘Who made the cats?’ and ‘Who made the world?’

It always amazed me how often my questions, no matter how big, ended up being answered by God.

“God made the trees, and the cats and everything in the world. God was the one who made it rain, and the sky blue. God was the one who made us.’

Now I know, God also was the one who made us curious. So we could ask many questions, and they could lead us back beyond Wikipedia. They could lead us back to Him.

 

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He Sings to Her

Serenade2

One may think she’s a lady in a little box,

there’s no door behind where she stands.

The black tree-forms are like sentinels,

Is that the moon or a dome from other lands.

 

But somehow there’s height in her privacy,

And knowledge those are roses at her feet.

The water and the night isn’t cold,

The sound of song is where these two meet.

 

He’s singing a dream over to her,

Of romance and the time right now.

Her balcony is a flowery stage,

Respect and tenderness he bestows.

 

The trick you see, is to make the music last,

To love that person standing in your view.

To protect that note of lilting grace between you,

And stretch the serenade until Heaven’s dew.

 

 

 

He’s a Nifty Son-in-law

RyanAndBabies

Ryan, Holding Gladys, His Baby in Red, and Astraea, His Niece

My son-in-law, besides being a great husband for my daughter and a wonderful daddy for my granddaughter, is also a talented singer and musician. He can play several instruments, sing too, and he’s a clever lyricist.

God has greatly blessed me with both of my sons-in-law. I’m so happy to have them! Here’s the lyrics Ryan wrote to this song, he designed and sang himself.

I was lost, I was free/You told everyone we wouldn’t last a week Now we’re here, for all to see/Spittin’ their words like weapons cuz baby talk is cheap You can call me winter the dawning of spring/I’ll hold you close but you gotta believe/I know one day we’ll be…Livin’ in the Free World

The prophets spoke, the end is near/Missed their turn and took broadway out beyond the pier We stayed stoned, in luxury/Takin’ our turns cutting line ’til one day the prophets sang You can call me winter the dawning of spring/I’ll hold you close but you gotta believe/I know one day we’ll be…Livin’ in the Free World

Late at night, I heard the thief/With steps like thunder in the hour of judgement the world asleep Tried to wake you, you couldn’t believe/Never the same by the mornin’ now we stand in His glory

So I go, to a world unseen/This trail never ends if we can ever make it off this dead end street You can call me winter the dawning of spring/I’ll hold you close but you gotta believe/I know one day we’ll be…Livin’ in the Free World

2017 Christmas Ahoy

DeerInTheSnowChristmas

Christmas has washed up to the door again,

Like a wave of shimmer lights tinkling downhill,

They’re pretty and the mood delicate,

But the flashy stuff of dreams won’t stay still;

 

So I can grab on and linger,

Cherish reading stories to kids and singing songs,

Hold on to the light of their faces,

Know loving them is where I belong;

 

It’s the big fancy gift that God has given me,

Along with the piles of treasures under the tree,

Children, and more ‘love you!’s than I can count,

Is there a ruler measuring hugs squeezed on me;

 

Although this is grand and such a lovely gift;

I was a child once myself long ago,

I prayed ‘Now I Lay Me’ and God listened,

His love still surrounds me like blankets in the snow.

 

 

 

Moonlight Peril Poem

MoonlightPacific

Leagues of years will pass, mankind at peace,

City of Moonlight will thrive, land underneath cease,

Longing for hallways of water, the home of the Mere.

Allowing something new, mankind’s children to play here.

 

Watery Gate won’t last forever, the city of moonlight forgets,

Stone of Ketursh is the only eye open, a daily watch it sets.

Moonlight’s hands dip in the Watery Stone, till the one is born,

He will restore Ketursh’s gate, calling the Mere forth like a horn.

 

When the ninth son of the ninth son of the ninth son is here,

The Nine Bells of Galigali will toll loud and clear,

Yet beware when the Nine Bells, their trumpet calls send,

Time is running short and the city of Moonlight will end.’

(Here is a poem from my current WIP, describing the peril the beautiful city of Moonlight is in, and who must be found to save it.)

Winter Joy Come

AppleTreeBlossom

Just outside my window the sky is a delicate winter blue. The sun is shining on the bark of my dogwood tree, clean like a memory of Springtime. The wind is tapping in gentle gusts.

All of this is reminding me, of joy.

People talk about the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is connected to our experiences, they say. Happiness is given to those with healthy minds and bodies and bank accounts. Happiness is fleeting.

But joy, they say, that runs deeper and apart from circumstance. Christians are supposed to grow in joy.  Jesus is the light of the world. He is the God of all comfort and He loves us.

So many sorrows everywhere, and such large unfixable problems. A lot of mistakes and letting go of dreams. Work and work avoidance. I could focus on these things and lose sight.

But looking out my window today, I remembered Springtime.

‘Thou must joy’, we are told. ‘Joy in the midst of sorrow…’ This is spiritual maturity. This is the job of joy.

And yet, today, I feel it stealing in, like a fragrance of flower petals tinged with a glint of sunshine. I understand something I never realized before.

Joy isn’t old, it’s young. It isn’t in the winter of our lives that we finally figure out how to earn it. We, like little children, pass off our problems to God and dance and sing and find peace. Because God is so nifty and circular and all-inclusive. Old, young and everywhere in between. Winter and Springtime and right now.

I love Jesus, my dearest friend, and God the Father, who takes care of me.

The Dancing Grandmothers

So here’s where my thoughts go in the middle of the night. I’m thinking I need something unusual for my current Work In Progress. It’s the fantasy about the ninth son of the ninth son and the so on.

womandancingshoes

So where will their quest lead them? Up in the hills of course. To an old abandoned village near the cliffs. White stone crumbling buildings are all that remain, and the dry fountain in the village square. It’s here, once a year, that the dancing grandmothers come.

The Dancing Grandmothers

Dance with joy, for all that I’ve seen;

Bend with loss, for what might’ve been;

Reach for the sky, and let longing prayers fly,

For the children, Dear God, and I.

 

Now reach for friends, our fingers interlace;

Circle wide and come near, winding fears we all face;

Rise up to our toes, graceful girls still within;

We’re the old ones, who’ve earned all our dreams.

 

Pretty Spot Reminder

mohonk

I struggled to read this old postcard. Scribbled on in August of 1906, the words are the most basic of news. ‘Your letter came today’ and ‘This morning was clear but very warm;’ followed by ‘It was fine driving through the woods.’ They met ‘Uncle E.’ there at Mohonk and had a ‘very pleasant time’.

This postcard of a ‘pretty spot on Lake Mohonk’ was sent with the hope that it would ‘remind you of some of the good times we had’. Wow. Facebook, in a nutshell, or the social networking of the time.

But I find it fascinating. Someone went to the nearby market or small store and shopped for this postcard and someone on the other end, no doubt, found the intimate details of their time gripping. The morning was clear, and the drive through the woods, although at other times possibly a concern, was ‘fine’. And there, in all his glory, ‘Uncle E.’ was standing about, waiting to be met at Mohonk.

Somehow it sends me. This photo of a clear and pretty spot coalesces with the words. One hundred and eleven years ago, someone wrote on a postcard depicting a day from their life. It was a restful day, and one to be shared. The simple details described implies that the receiver of this card was someone close, and familiar. They’d been to Mohonk too. They knew Uncle E. and what the E. stood for. They understood about driving through those woods.

This, my friend, is all I need to know. Are your skies clear and is the weather warm? Are you safe when you drive through the woods? And remember those places we shared.

Now here is a picture of Lake Mohonk, today.

MohonkModernDay

It seems to me that I still can see a little triangle hut roof or two there off the left side.

MohonkModernDay

I don’t know if that’s the same pretty spot at all, or the same little rooftop. But it’s fun to think about.

Superhero Me!

BalletRomp

Woo Hoo! I finished it! Santiago’s In Trouble has 65,000 words! It started out as a Christian romance, but it got a bit confused. Now it’s part mystery, and part of a quest to find himself too. Meanwhile there are superheroes roaming around downtown Seattle and then going back and having a prayer meeting. They try to say they don’t fight crime, but they end up coming to the rescue because they can’t help themselves! I’m pleased with myself that I finished it, a whole week before NaNoWriMo, and get this! The NaNoWriMo theme this year is… SUPERHEROES! Isn’t that perfect?

The Mystery of Tatooine

CairoDesert

There’s just one thing you want to do when you’re on Tatooine

That’s leave it, behind, as soon as possible.

There’s nothing much to see, and no one you care to know.

The dusty-scape burns the eyelids and the metal homes bake.

‘Get me a ship’ you cry, you ache; ‘I’ll even let a punky 12 year old,

Abandon his mother like a slave and Ben Hur a pointless race,

So I can get away from here!’

The only question is: why do we have to keep returning in all the movies?

There was truly, nothing more that could top the last thing worthy of sight.

Rey, in the new movies, show-boated her feminine superiority.

On Tatooine she was the coolest, and that just grew. She was the best pilot, too.

She had the force, of course, stronger than, well… anyone ever.

In fact, she didn’t need anyone else to get the job done. A few weak men could

Tag-along, if they liked, because she’s giving that way.

But back to Tatooine and the last thing to see there.

If you have a chance, and you’re stopping by the worst destination in space.

Take a look at Princess Leia, the true depiction of powerful womanhood.

Her brother is slashing the bad guys to bits outside, and the wookie is roaring.

Lando Calrissian pulls off the mask and Han got his eyesight back.

Bye bye, Boba Fett.

Meanwhile, inside, tiny five foot Leia, having nothing better to do,

Looks around.

She doesn’t have a blaster. She hasn’t connected to the force.

There’s no weapon in sight except for the chain-link leash around her neck.

So quietly, and on her own, she takes down Jabba the Hutt.

Then, having good sense, she grabs up the droids, the wookie, all the hot guys,

And leaves Tatooine behind.