Brain Exercises

Today’s word for JusJoJan is “exercise.” I don’t so that much exercise but do really like walks and hikes, and I need to stretch out every day, or I get very tense very quickly. Having had an eating disorder, I need to always be careful that I’m not overdoing the exercise and aware of where the desire to exercise is coming from.

Many of my poems seem more like word games or brain exercises to me, rather than works of word-art. For example, today’s Gospel reading was the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), and I wrote about the Beatitudes using several different, non-rhyming forms. Here is one, a type of cinquain:

Meek,
Merciful,
Pure-heart peacemakers:
Poor in spirit shall see grace
Poured

Walking by Faith

We walk by faith and not by sight,
Through a life nonsensical now, 
Currently no idea how 
It will turn out; is there a light?

There are rewards after the fight,
The journey long but not in vain:
There's consolation in the pain
And beauty in all the pieces.
Despite how dark the night sky is
We'll be restored to joy again. 

A décima for the end of the year and going into the new one, inspired by this picture that I began to color today (but have not finished). Like my life, I don’t know how this picture will turn out, but if I just keep coloring (living), it will finish beautifully. 

Favorite Quote from Fulton Sheen

For One-Liner Wednesday, I can’t resist sharing another quotation from the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen with you! This is probably my favorite quote from him, and that’s saying a lot.

But when finally the scrolls of history are complete, down to the last word of time, the saddest line of all will be: “There was no room in the inn.” The inn was the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world’s moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful. But there’s no room in the place where the world gathers. The stable is a place for outcasts, the ignored and the forgotten.

— from the book The Wisdom of Fulton Sheen, emphasis added

I Miss the Past

For MLMM’S Opposing Forces. Quite often, I look back and think things used to be so much better. At the very least, I miss the past, probably too much. Also, at least for me, I feel like my life has stopped for the past 6 or 7 years, like I left myself back there or something. 

Please comment if you know what the heck I mean by that.


“Call Me Mara” *

With all my reminisces, 
I ought to take a tiny bit of sugar 
To sweeten any bitterness of loss;
And like Lot's wife, take
A giant pillar of salt as the cost. 

               * see Ruth 1:20

I’ve Been Reading…

I’ve been reading a book called I Love Jesus, but I Want to Die, by Sarah J. Robinson. The book title was what attracted me because of how blunt it is. I appreciate that the author didn’t mince words. I’ve had this book for over a year but only started to read it a couple of months ago because, before, I couldn’t get through the first page without sobbing.

I read a chapter today which mentioned psalm 139. Not the verses that are supposed to be hope-filled, such as “I praise You, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” but the part where it says, “If I make my bed in hell [or Sheol, or the grave], You are there.” That inspired me to make this piece of “art,” using good old Microsoft Paint:

Scripture Art

It might not be finished, but I wanted to share. Nor am I finished with the book, but I wanted to write about it because it is the most real book on dealing with depression from a Christian perspective that I’ve ever read. Sometimes it gives me some hope. Other times it doesn’t, but it doesn’t claim to have all the answers. That verse helped a little today but it might not tomorrow; we will have to see.

Peculiar

Hello, I am back from my weekend retreat and wanted to share a post today! However, it’s very peculiar because, although I wrote quite a bit over the weekend, it’s all very personal and / or really Jesus-y, and sometimes it’s just not a good poem, so I don’t necessarily want to put it on the blog. As for today, I am not feeling very inspired at all. Well,days of writing 8 poems and of writing 2 poems average out to 5 per day, so that’s not too bad. 🙂

The Cosmic Photo Challenge for this week was “lest we forget,” since this past weekend included Veterans’ Day. However, no disrespect to our veterans but I have other pictures because I went on retreat.

… lest we forget to stop and smell the roses

…lest we forget the lights in the darkness
… lest we forget that everything will eventually be okay

The Bible verse on the mint says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28
I found that mint on my pillow the very first evening and was quite amused that even the mint was telling me to relax.

For Art’s Sake


This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is themed “Art for Art’s Sake.” I think my coloring applies, especially since I generally don’t do anything with it, except maybe send a photo of it to a few friends. The picture above is the one I am currently working on. 

I’m not sure if coloring even counts as “art,” but when I sent a picture to my grandma-friend a while ago, she praised, “You are a master of this art form!” 

Thank you, grandma, for making me feel better about my life, LOL! 

Colorful in Its Time

I’m working on a coloring page that is quite detailed, more so than I generally like, but I love the Bible verse so much that I have been working on it. 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. ” — Ecclesiastes 3:11, picture taken before I started this morning’s coloring session

I am not a very patient person when it comes to finishing projects like this, but it’s a consolation to paraphrase that Bible verse. I think, “He has made everything colorful in its time.” Furthermore, the “time” may not be too far away. 

Picture of the coloring page after working on it this morning — it almost looks almost done!

Partway through the coloring this morning, I noticed that I was telling a story through the colors. I’m an INFJ, so I see meaning in everything, but nevertheless I think this is cool: The greens represent (A LOT of) growth. The browns represent soil, and I also colored small portion in the lower left corner to look like stacked bowls. The red-and-orange portion represents fire (destruction?), and the gray in the upper right is stones (obstacles?). However, among those there is a lotus flower, which is a symbol of new life and resurrection, along with plenty more green and a light blue “sky” surrounding the lotus. 

I see a lot of my own life reflected in the way that I colored and interpreted this, as well as hope for the future (!!!). No wonder they had us do so much coloring in “art therapy,” haha. 🙂

A sijo inspired by the picture:

Out of the flames of adversity, from rocks of difficulties,
After eternities of growth, without even seeing seedlings,
Rise pink petals of the lotus, under peaceful heavens

What do you see in the picture?

Joyful Hearts

A few days ago, I finished this coloring page and wrote an ekphrastic poem inspired by it. Because of the short verse, I am sharing with One-Liner Wednesday. I am curious: Does this picture make you think of anything or inspire you to write something? 

“A joyful heart is good medicine.” — Proverbs 17:22

Pierce my heart with a hole-punch, 
String it on a garland with some others; 
Perhaps we can create beauty in pain,
That amid these twisted patterns 
And circular paths, we might find
Ways to hope and cope, reasons to laugh. 

Death? Life

As I mentioned in my previous post, today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. This got me thinking not only about Jesus and his suffering on the cross but his life. We hear so often, “Jesus died for you” that it can get boring and trite, even for believers. What I think is much more radical is: Jesus lived for you.

People have pointed out to me, someone who suffers from severe, chronic depression, “The Bible says Jesus was ‘exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.'” True, but that was one night. Try about 50% of the nights in the past 2 decades. Also, yes, he suffered a TON physically on the Cross and on the way to it — but that was only a few days of his 33 years. I’m not trying to complain, but the truth is that sometimes I think I’ve got it worse.

What amazes me more than the dying and rising again, quite frankly, is that he did live for 33 years. And he chose to be born! If I had the choice, I wouldn’t choose to be born. Plus, he chose to be born into a poor family, rather than a rich merchant or a noble family. He easily could have had a life of extreme comfort (at least, relative to that time period), but he didn’t. He didn’t even have coffee! Or bacon, for that matter. Coffee is one of my daily consolations; I literally wake up to drink coffee, rather than drinking coffee to wake up. Also, Jesus never got married. If I live long enough and find someone willing to marry me, I hope to get married. He went without that.

33 years, in a time without all the technology and modern amenities that we have today. No running water, no air conditioning, and Jesus was poor even in relation to the society of that day. That’s what impresses me most.

Thoughts? I am interested to hear your take on this, even if you found it really offensive. 🙂