The last fruit of holy obedience is the simplicity of the trusting child, the simplicity of the children of God. It is the simplicity which lies beyond complexity. It is the naiveté which is the yonder side of sophistication. It is the beginning of spiritual maturity, which comes after the awkward age of religious busyness for the Kingdom of God—yet how many are caught, and arrested in development, within this adolescent development of the soul’s growth! The mark of this simplified life is radiant joy. . . .Knowing sorrow to the depths it does not agonize and fret and strain, but in serene, unhurried calm it walks in time with the joy and assurance of Eternity. Knowing fully the complexity of men’s problems it cuts through to the Love of God and ever cleaves to Him. . . It binds all obedient souls together in the fellowship of humility and simple adoration of Him who is all in all.
This amazing simplification comes when we “center down,” when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy Center where the breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to Him. Some of you know this holy, recreating Center of eternal peace and joy and live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing Center where the soul is at home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home, to feed upon green pastures and walk beside still waters and live in the peace of the Shepherd’s presence. It is the life beyond fevered strain. We are called beyond strain, to peace and power and joy and love and thorough abandonment of self. We are called to put our hands trustingly in His hand and walk the holy way, in no anxiety assuredly resting in Him.
-Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941)
I am a little bit shocked that it was January 2015 when I last wrote anything. In some ways I have no space to write any more. But then perhaps this is what is necessary – to carve that tiny bit of space, to find mental space again? The no space thing is probably a lie. And yet, the last year has been full full full and sleep deprived. I’m waiting (still) for that to improve. Claire is nearing four, Céleste nearing two. Surely the sleep thing gets better. I know it gets better. I can’t believe I didn’t throw an epic party to beat all parties when Claire improved, I can’t even remember when that happened? It was worth celebrating, I’m waiting Céleste.
I turned 30 this year. I threw a party. I don’t like parties very much but I did like this one. It was at night, there was fairlights and a fire-pit and my music and no kids, it had a coffee cart and donuts (oh my the donuts from ShortStop are stunning) and it had good people. I like being 30. I actually kind of feel like things are settled and paced (despite the daily madness that I can’t seem to escape). It’s fun seeing what life looks like with two kids even if the balance is an almighty juggle between being a decent parent/human and running my own business and finding space for myself. I suck at the last one.
I do think that I am perhaps on the cusp of working this balance thing out despite the fact I’m not sure we ever actually do, and it’s surprising me writing this down, as I am brain dumping from being sick in bed (which is pretty much the only time I stop). As always there are things in my life that could be cracking along MUCH better but there ARE things that I am doing well. I feel like I write this same thing over and over in my head. Nearly there, nearly there. Keep on, keeping on, such is this phase of life.
Life I want to live you but I want to observe you at the same time… from my bed with a cup of coffee.
Walking there, the air is heavy with humidity. A girl with a bob and lanky limbs rides her bike after her friend. The great cloud looms, there is expectancy in the weight of the air. They sit about, beers in stubbies, thongs thrust eagerly forward on complacent feet. Striped awnings flap and there someone tugs on a guy rope for security. Flap, flap. She sits on the edge of the balcony leaning on her knees, phone pressed to her ear watching as three walk past, two prams – trying to put the babies to sleep. A little girl takes off her shoes and complains about her hat, she goes to sit on her tricycle, the handle is around the wrong way. Seagulls line the roof, ruffled by the breeze that is lifting the edges of tents; they are perfecting symmetry. The ocean noise is messed about momentarily by someones radio then it is still. This is an ageless Australia, rain is coming.
In the middle of my mourning
Sits joy like a happy child
In the middle of this death
I must cry with life for a while
And death is great
We are in His keep, laughing and whole
When we feel deep in life
He dares weep, deep in our soul
How great is His concern for us. How high. How good. How deep.
(lyrics from ‘Dresses’ Sixpence None the Richer)
“Photography is not good at very many things- it is a poor storyteller if what you want is a didactic or linear narrative. You can read a book for that. Rather, photography is uniquely suited for addressing the ‘ever-passing present moment’ – which really means it’s more akin to poetry. It is good at emphasizing certain notes, tones, elements, and emotions – and lingering on them in time and space long enough to feel awkward, compelled, agitated, soothed, or simply paused… even struck… urged to reconcile with the moment that you are viewing.” – Kurt Simonson
pinched from Lehua Noelle