Friday, June 15, 2012

Urban Diversity in Lausanne

Thursday, June 14, 2012

come out to play, if you please

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I came upon a pond in desert place
where sounds for ears
and sights for eyes are plentiful. Yes.
Sounds and Sights
The buzzing of insects droning over the water
dropping their sylphlike legs in perfect circles, hovering.
Bodies light as air they alight,
and wait

The dragonfly passes
and sings her breath upon my neck;
caves of fish mouths hunting the unsuspecting
water spiders, calling me to come
and play,
to die.

Overhead, the groaning arms of trees
holding tiny flags toward me, dropping
benedictions on occasion,
one to catch my hair, they laugh.
I see light through leaf in this heart, thank God -
He has come.

There is the feel of cool water edging upon my ankles,
lapping its tongues upon me, higher
with every step.
Sunlight in water drop on lily pad
reflects bare skin back to me, calling

Pour out on me
gift and goodness
I come to feel fingers,
running down my head,
my skin,
my heart
; my grief.

There is only yielding now, as sunbeam pierces branch,
and You come upon me,


and take the desert vastness of a heart.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We knocked down the old fireplace, which was deemed hazardous, and discovered this behind. Color and texture in the hardware.

The contractors told me I can't keep it this way, but I think it's grand just like it is.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three angels paid a visit this Saturday to lend the muscle power of their youth to my Russian. Look at how happy he looks!

Before and after ...

"You should have seen them... they came in like a tornado and it took 'em a matter of minutes to rip the ceiling down and get the kitchen out. It was all I could do to keep up!"

Hugs all around, and THANK YOU BOYS!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In the box with Grandfather's Bible was Great-grandmother's clock.

It had been a wedding present in her youth, and chimed the hours of her lifetime until she took her final leave.

My Russian - who works in the watchmaking industry - was swift to take it in his hands, carefully studying the movement before attempting to bring it back to life. And as I watched him working with a patience I personally know not of, I couldn't help but think that this clock, my Swiss great-grandmother's treasure when she espoused my Swiss great-grandfather, had found its way back to the vaterland and into the care of watchmakers, the keepers of its very soul.

Perhaps in years to come it will chime my own final breath.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My grandfather was a practical man.

I didn't know him well, but in my mind is a long tale of how I imagine he might have been. I shall keep it that way, for I want to believe he was grand.

I was recently given the treasure of a lifetime - his Bible! It arrived in the mail yesterday, duct taped, scotch taped, stapled together with years of use. As I pulled it from its wrappings, the scent of mystery embraced me and I was eager to open its pages and hunt for hints of what the man I have longed to love was like.

Throughout are markings, dates, of what I can only assume are readings. He must have read it at least five times as far as I can tell. Nearly every page is dated with some erased memory that was important to him.

I saw my name and birth date, my sisters' and brothers' names and birth dates; I touched them with my finger as my hand rested where his would have when he wrote them in. I imagined his brow furrowing as he tried to remember how to spell "Allison"...which ultimately he spelled with a "y" rather than an "i". My son was quick to point that out as he peered over my shoulder, but I shooed him away with my hand. "He was an immigrant! How could he have known?"

And then, as I reached and groped for his presence in the ancient book, I came upon the last page scribbled with meaningful Bible verses, but also a short list. A list much more akin to the granddaughter searching for him two generations later; a common thread that made me laugh out loud in my tiny kitchen.

Dry Gas in Oil Barrel
Take off Snow Tires
Fix Tail Pipe

Each crossed off as undoubtedly he had accomplished them later on.

Grandpa... you were not paying attention to the message! We were not so different after all! For in my heart, religion is not about duty or emotion or protocol. In my heart it is about life; and in the midst of worshiping a Holy God, there is the grunt and sweat of reality. God, I have no doubt, understands the human plight.

I am my grandfather's granddaughter, indeed.

A bit of someone's hair, actually three bits of hair in different places: two blond, one brown. I wonder...

And as I close the pages, I sigh a happy sigh. The man I was looking for was more thoughtful and quirkier than I could have hoped - and what I had wished for, that link that would prove my lineage, I found.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I was pedaling up a hill when his hand pressed against my back. Earlier in my marriage I might have been warmed by his show of devotion and willingness to help me up the hard climb, but instead I found myself annoyed.

"I can do it!" I quipped through my effort.

And his hand dropped away, and my back grew cold, and the climb was harder than I had thought.

Standing in a roomful of men I noticed that his hair had grayed; his strong shoulders were thin and bent in a kind of fog; his kind eyes sad and tired. I slipped my hand in his but rather than quipping a declaration of self-sufficiency, he stood a little straighter and spoke a little clearer.

Next time I will surely wish his hand back.