Monday, March 29, 2010

April Showers Bring Valentines

The second edition of my Calendartines is here! Get you some at or if you're in Birmingham, right cheer.

(a close up view)

Yeehaw Knoxville!

I spent a whirlwind weekend in Knoxville --the so called "Bermuda Triangle" of the Appalachians-- visiting friends and this great place: home to the motherload of clever, quality letterpressed goods. (Also to note: this is where my teacher at Penland worked before moving up to NYC to teach Book Arts).

Just a small sampling of their work.

These are the double doors that lead into a wonderworld.

Oh, you should see the drawers and drawers of typefaces.
Drool, drool, drool.

And custom-cast plates, wood carvings, cases of furniture, oh my!
For all you letterpress followers, can I get a witness?

This is downtown's Market Square, above which my friend lives in a pretty sweet little loft apartment.
(Btw: this eatery was a real delight.)

Gay Street: a truly bright and cheery place to stroll.

I even ran into an old friend there.

Icing on the cake was a step outside to the park
on a perfectly spring day.

The New York Times called Knoxville "the couch of the South." I suppose a weekend cozied betwixt the city's cushions could lead me to concur. It is relaxed and comfortable atmosphere was quite inviting. So, Yeehaw, ole Knoxville. Yeehaw.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blind Bartimus

It started when I heard this passage preached on at church last Sunday.

That got me to remembering her version of this old song called "Blind Bartimus."

Which, lead me down a trail of thinking (and singing)...

When, the "blind beggar" stood on the way where Jesus was, he dependent on others to know that Jesus was passing by. He couldn't see, remember. He was without sight. And so, when He didn't know, when He couldn't see, he counted on the sight of others.

How much are we, too, as believers, part of a body of people who depend on each other's sight and perspective? When we are blind to His presence, we've got a responsibility to each other to remind. He is near.

And when we are aware of his nearness, we can then BE BOLD the way Bartamaeus was bold. In crying out to the "Son of David," he was not only acknowleging that He was the Messiah, he was making a huge statement of faith.

I believe that you are the Son of God.
I believe that you are merciful.
I believe that you can heal me and restore my imparied vision.

As we approach Easter Sunday, let us then, sing songs to remind each other that God is in fact close to us. He is an administer of mercy. He stops to hear our cryings out.

Oh, Amos

Well, I don't hit the big 2-5 until June, but if you want to give a dog a birthday bone a little early, this is it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring on a Saturday

The above (which hangs in my very own living room) is by her and serves as today's ode to the fancy-free love of a new season. I'm fit as a fiddle, clothed in the sunshine of my backyard slice, listening to and loving: these, this and that.

(oh, and if it strikes you to do so, check out, watching out for my website-to-be.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Far Far

Today, I was dreaming dreams and listening to this:

Then, I watched this:

...and told myself I will one day soon, I will go to Gordo to print with him.
...I wrote "words and more words just to spit out the words that keep floating inside."
...I prayed prayers for something to happen to me, that the realities that are faraway now will be closer every day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yoga-Imparted Wisdom

I assumed the tree pose in yoga class yesterday, and was literally knocked off-kilter when I suddenly realized its deep connection to my spiritual life. During balance exercises, it is recommended for yogis to set their eyes on unmoving objects. If one looks to another class member who falters and falls, he/she is likely do the same. Even looking to the teacher--trained to maintain an immovable stance-- one is prone to wobble a bit.

Lessons in Yoga #1: Find a fixed object on which to set the gaze.

The lesson translates seamlessly to a life of following Christ. While Scriptures invite us to follow godly people who, in turn, follow His lead, there is still the opportunity for disappointment. We are susceptible to take our eyes off of Him who doesn't budge with temptations, shift on account of whims or change with trends. We are likely to be let down and disillusioned by people who, as much as they love us and admit to their learning, are nonetheless, just as capable of hurting us.

So, yesterday, as I found myself swaying with impermanence, I found a speck on the carpet. I locked my eyes to it, knowing it was sure not to move.

I soon felt myself steadying.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Out-doing in kindness

Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10

Borrowed Words

I am a thief.

Speechlessness overcomes when I least suspect it. For one whose specialty is chatter, these moments are rare. They usually come in my times of prayer when I am seized by the revelation that I am me and He is HIM. They are times when I find myself knocked over with my inability to say anything worthy, anything pure, anything selfless. That's when, like Jonah, I borrow words.

In Jonah 2, he finds himself enveloped in the underbelly of a sea creature. Jonah -- the guy who would rather be cast into the whirling waves than to talk to his God-- finally finds himself in the posture of prayer. And, when he doesn't know what to say, he steals prayers. He takes notes from Psalms 3, 5, 18, 30, 42, 69, 120 and 139. He recycles phrases spoken by his brother David. He makes them his own.

I do it too.

I am a mantra thief. I adopt words and characterize my existence with them. I repeat them to others. I pray them. I write them. I let them soak and shape entire periods of my life. A recent exercise had me thinking about all the words that have defined my last several years. If you know me and/or read my blog, you'll recognize a few as some pretty hefty themes:

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:8)

We loved you so dearly that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very lives as well. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)

Earn the right to be heard. (Young Life)

I will remove from you a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

I will give them a singleness of heart and of action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. (Jeremiah 32:39)

Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence. (Ecclesiastes 8:1)

Establish the works of our hands for us. (Psalm 90:17)

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

Pray that God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

Courage is fear that has said its prayers. (Anne Lamott)

Labor and wait. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Proceed and be bold. (Rural studio)

I skim back over these words and I see flashbacks of a girl on her knees, speechless. I said these things because I knew not what else to say. I couldn't find my own words, so I slipped into these familiar ones again and again and again. They became my wardrobe. I wore them until the knee and elbow patches were spent. I clothed myself in them, finding myself warmed by the very thought that my hand-me-downs meant I shared in the fellowship and sufferings of others before me. They understood.

So, when I'm without inspiration, when I'm bone dry for original material, I borrow, I steal. Yes, I am a thief.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Story in 90 seconds

I think I'm going to take this challenge and try and make a video that tells my ongoing story in 90 seconds. Winner gets $1000. I may not stand a chance, but it's worth it just to go through the exercise. Join me?

Monday, March 1, 2010


Well, February may be over, but it's always the right time to send sweet notes to your sweeties. Alas, the March valentine has arrived! I finally got back on the press today, thanks to the generosity of a fellow in-town printer, and here is the work of my hands:

March is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. Who says they shouldn't march through the month together? Surely not me.

"You put the L-O-V-E in lucky clover."

If you'd like to purchase one or both, you can do so here:
Or, if you live in town, swing by Urban Standard for a looksy.

Stay tuned, these are just the first in a year-long series!