Friday, July 25, 2008

b and Buggy and me

camping trip
reminscing from younger days...
before there were husbands....:)

5:30 a.m.
our ceiling looks and feels like the oil canvases mom used to use

the sun got up early to paint today.
but he isn't using the familar broad strokes of gold.
instead, he is experimenting with shadows and sounds.

i am watching the creation quietly.
and the two of you?
you are sleeping around me,
one on each side,
quietly watching your dreams.

5:35 a.m.
always a quick painter,
now displayed above us are the silouhettes of leaves and trees and moths,
all accented with the sporatic rythm of leftover raindrops.
i am smiling and whispering to the three of us how beautiful it all is.
now i am scolding myself for being so cliche.

you turn on your side and sigh.
and you, you scratch your nose unkowingly.

is what you are both seeing in there as wonderful as what i've just what i'm seeing?

i'm still smiling.
but now it's not because of moving shadows,
or your freckles
or your heavy breathing

it's beause of this sudden realization that the moths aren't the main subjects of this painting.

more thoughts on my sisters: (from cancun devos)
On our walk this morning, Sarah said, "Gray skies are just a darker shade of blue."
I think this is such a prfound statement. The majority of the time we have been here it has rained, but that hasn't stopped us. In fact, from walking in the rain to wsimming in the pool in the rain, to swimming in the ocean in the rain, to doing devo's in teh rain, it is a royal wonder our entire bodies aren't pruned all over. As I was taking a shower this evening I kept thinking how wonderful, how absolutely wonderful it is to be surrounded by two of the things i love most: water and my sisters.

This trip has only confirmed what i already knew, that what the 3 of us have is really something quite special. Granted there are elements to our relationship where we most definately put alot of work and effot into, but there is something else here, a gift, the prescece of the holy spirit, allowing for this type of closeness.
Because even as we change, His constant presence remains.
And oh how we have changed.

Sarah is finding her voice and is quickly becoming one of the most elegant women i have ever seen and interacted with. She has always had a quiet beauty about her, but as she has rooted herself in the Lord all these years, she has grown into something breathtaking.

Bethany, how i admire her sharp mind and discerning heart. Somehow, she has gotten stronger and softer at the same time. I don't know how this duality is possible, but it is so evident and it makes being around her like being in the shade of powerful and nourturing tree. She also truly has the heart of an artist. Which is one of the reasons I think she is such a good leader.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cheers, Darling

Dear Mom and Dad,
Have arrived safely at 25-
had few valuables lost along the way,
but am apparently in one piece...

view is different than anticipated...
but accomodations nice and townsfolk friendly

think i will hang around these parts for a while,
maybe even a year...
walk the trails, see the sights-
bring back some souveneirs? (sp?)

tell the others i got the sunscreen and mix cds...
and not to worry about me traveling alone-
have a good Tourguide.

thinking of you each day...
bet you are wishing you were here... ;)

all my love,
the elderest.

**********other less self directed thoughts on growing up************

one can think more clealry
walking home in warm summer rains
or falling asleep to humid summer storms

there has been a generous amount of both of these lately
and this mess of fragments is what has come about:

- "the open door policy" that my parents and their college church friends remember back to and miss-
discussing this over sushi and wondering where this dynamic has gone to?
that kind of accountability with acts of sharing, of not fearing the others judgement, but boldly entering into circles of service, of submission, of prayer.

-80 year old Dwight from uptown, weeks ago, looking at me in the eye after having been assulted in the streets and rather than lashing out in bitterness and turning himself inward, is asking "why the church has a house so big with so many rooms, with no one using them, why he's never seen me before that night, and why don't we play chess together?"

-how a spirit can be renewed over coffee and biscotti, good conversation and smiling children

-the miracles that happen when a family unit gives their all for someone-sarah's wedding and this definition of beauty,
and her and ryan representing Christ and the Church...

-night at Ravinia listening to Feist, with 4 different groups of people, the majority of us not knowing one another, but sitting down and eating and laughing and listening to good music and staring up at the this felt like a church service in some strange way

-"rah rah, babe".

-community being somethng everyone craves and so few ask for

-how we all have different roles in this-some are hosts/planner, connectors, free spirits, subdude appreciatve types

-how polish people never cross their arms when they are talking to you, they think it is rude and closed off

-old friends resurfacing during new life changes, and how sometimes their struggles and joys are mirror images of your own, and you are able to encourage the other and be encouraged at the same time- (thank you, for the reminder of"heavenly breezes...setting our sails to that wind, keeping our hands steady on the mast...)...

-lessons in Hebrews, of Chapter 11 being about veils, of looking beyond...always always looking beyond in Faith...

-camping is great, beause there are no walls, no doors, just thin pieces of fabric and one fire pit and the sky.

don't really know what to make of all this...
am just very thankful to be witnessing/learning/struggling

very disorganized-blame it on the rain.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The gap between the 5:30 morning train and the 6:30 morning train is vast. much wider than an hours difference. There is a different movie playing-with different characters, a different setting,a different plot. In one morning's ride, I become... stronger, while riding shoulder to weary shoulder with the working class.

The working class. Those on their feet at dawn and remaining so until dusk. Our faces are a mix of grogginess and understanding when we lock eyes. I am not afraid of the men on the corner or the woman talking loudly to herself and her imaginary third party...because in some strange way, this hidden hour becomes the golden hour-one in which shared pain, and labor, and loss, have brought us all a secret sense of kinship. A kinship not found on the 6:30 Starbucks train.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


it can be safe to assume that one is on the quickfire route to steadfast singledom
when one finds themselves downtown chicago at "hip/trendy/" pub eating pizza place,
and instead of exchanging numbers and schmoozing with "hip/trendy" boys,
is sitting in corner with their best friend vigorously exclaiming,


*insert wild Italian hand gestures here.

Lunch with Beatka

The two of us rested wearily on the church steps, me on my back gazing
up at the one of Evanston's last Dutch Elm trees and she up propped
against a copper stuatue of some catholic patron saint.
I turn my head to stare up at her, and find her Athena eyes shining
with the depth of her thoughts. She is missing it more than usual
today...and I need to hear of places other than here... so I begin.
Knowing it is never enough to simply ask for handouts for stories of
Poland I instigate with a typical statement of "American ignorance."

"I want to take a trip to the mountains someday. I love the mountains."

"American mountains are not mountains. You don't know what you are
talking about."

Shading my eyes with the back of my hand,I gaze upward."

"What do you mean...?"

She is quiet and and her face is distanst...but not with disinterest.
Her mind is taking her there. And so I wait, squinting at a squirrel
with my right eye, then the left, then the right again-to make him
move without moving.

She sighs a homesick sigh and I settle into the sun. I know she is
there now, and now she will begin to tell me what she sees.

"The polish mountains are unlike any other. God himself walks there.
Such Beauty and Splendor do not exist where He is not. there are
lakes, lakes we call you call it? Sea eye?"

..."eye of the sea?"

"yes, With waters deep, clear and blue. The trees are trees you can
talk to, with wisdom from long ago, standing like kings so tall and
proud. Everything there is pure and still. The colors cannot be
caught...the air teaches you to breathe..."

She continues on, and the sound of her voice and summer winds merge
together to become a Polish lullably with all the magic and fantasy of
the mountain forests. I fall lazily, in and out of consciousness now-
a time traveler.

the church steps to diamond covered waters
the church steps to boulders laden with moss of flueorescent green
the church steps to a cottage at the foot of the incline with linens
blowing in the wind...
the church steps to.
the church bell,
ringing 1,
ringing the end of my journey.

we leave the spot in silence,
and recluctantly make our way back into the flurescent lights of the
office. We put our bags on the lunch table littered with american news
and american stars and american drama...

the Dr. is asking everyone where we went for lunch.

i leave the room in a secret smile.

Polonia. We went to Polonia.

Guilty as Charged

during really busy days, we don't have much time to eat lunch.
since i am usually picking and eating on things 24/7 ,
this poses as a bit of a problem.i find myself zoning out, thinking about different food items in the middle of really inoppurtune times, say for example, retracting someones tongue. i will be right in the middle of a banana smoothy daydream when all of the sudden, "jessi....jessi...JESSI, retraction".
not good.
ANYWAYS, so yesterday i was having one of these particularly difficult days, and could NOT get my mind of this amazing piece of cherry chocolate cake in the break room. (a real piece of cake mind you, not fictional)
ioh yes. t was calling to me. on redial.

ok well, being the genius that i am, i suddenly had the brilliant idea to go indulge in a few bites while the dr. took the impression for the crown. it is always a 5 min ordeal and i thought that this would be plenty of time to partake of sweet chocolaty goodness, have a swig of milk, and be back with plenty of time to spare.

so this i did. with much excitement.
the cake was everything i imagined it would be and more.
we had no forks or utensils, but this did not stop me.
i had plenty of time to clean up.
to say i enjoyed each bite would be an understatement...

but the sweetness of this moment was soon tainted by the following events.

i have always heard that time flies when you are having fun,
but no one every told me that time flies when you are eating cake.
in fact. it doesn't just fly, it moves at star gate galactica speed.

because the next thing i know, i am up to my elbows in chocolate frosting,
when the break room door busts open and the dr. runs in, masks, gloves, loop glasses and all, to find his assistant... in her moment of confection weakness
he didn't even say anything. he just shined his headlight on the cake,
then up at my face, then down on my hands,
and walked out of the room.

good Lord.
embarrassment does not even begin to cover the depth of my shame.

and the kicker of it all.
after i had cleaned up and ran back to the room to finish up the procedure...
the dr. finishes on the patient and while talking to him, looks at me and says,
"there we go, bill, i told you that would be a piece of cake."

maybe someday i will llaugh at this.
but today is not yet the day....
ooh, i gotta go,
i think i still have some butter cream under my nails...