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Snuffed-Candle-21

Dirge without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

.

My mother-in-law sent this to me yesterday, thinking of my family after my grandfather’s death earlier this month.  I couldn’t say it any better, honestly.  I believe that Pop-pop is sleeping in the grave, waiting for the Second Coming when we will all be reunited with loved ones and spend a glorious eternity in heaven with God (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  I believe this with all my heart, and thank God that he is out of pain now.

But we are left to remember the crinkle in the eyes as he showed us a puzzle, or the timbre of his voice singing or reading the Bible, his wisdom and wit as he led his family (even to the great-grandchildren!) in godly lives, the hands that did many honest days’ work, and the approval shown to any of us who achieved even a small victory.  We remember. We know. And — I am not resigned to their loss.

It seems like a contradiction, really.  But God forbid I, as a Christian, should be resigned to death! Death was not in God’s plan, and He has done everything possible to erase it for us.  The promise of Easter (and Pop-pop died not quite a week after Easter) is that death has no hold on us.  Death is conquered.  It is not forever.  So we should not be resigned, not in that way.  We should fight against death, not in the way Dylan Thomas said — “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” but fight death every day in our actions, our speech, even our thoughts.  We should strive for heaven– a closer relationship with God, and work to bring His kingdom sooner.  That is how we fight death. For when “death is swallowed up in victory” then John Donne’s poem will also ring true for our hearts — “One short sleep past, we wake eternally,/And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

I am not resigned. Praise be to God.

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Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Crossing the Bar — Alfred, Lord Tennyson

.

This post in memory of Richard Nash, Oct. 19, 1927-Apr. 6, 2013, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great and godly man. Rest in peace, Pop-pop, until Jesus comes again!

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Does anyone want to explain this to me?  I “take some time off” from my diet and exercise goals because I had no time while taking two classes and doing student teaching. I eat whatever crap I feel like at the time.  I lie around because I’m so tired…I don’t sleep properly, don’t drink enough water, fall asleep in the middle of studying because I’m not sleeping enough at night, and then eat a bunch of trail mix to stay awake (note to self: trail mix is for people ON THE TRAIL!).  I gained ten pounds in two months.  Yes, the same ten pounds I gained over the holidays and worked so hard to lose by the beginning of June.  Those.

So. I spend August trying to catch up on sleep, housework, and getting back to healthier habits.  I lose five pounds and start a new diet and exercise regimen.  I’m supposed to spend the month of September observing at an ESL-only high school in St. Paul.  I start observing Thursday the 6th.  Wednesday the 5th is the first choir practice for my organ job.  I am unaccountably nervous about school the next day (why?  I am just sitting observing!) and the song from choir is flying through my head.  I barely sleep (and wake Kent up, but that’s another post), and by 3:30 AM I have a sore throat.

Now I’m sick.

WHY!  Why do I get sick now, after a month of decent sleep, good food habits and exercising at least three times a week?  One night of bad sleep (ok, almost no sleep) and I am sick??  WHAT is up with that?  If I were to get sick, it should have been this summer, not now when I’m actually being healthy, taking my vitamins and all that crap.  This is stupid.

All I can say is, I’m not letting this cold put me off my exercise.  Unless I can’t breathe, I’m doing it!

This isn’t me, but this is how I feel!

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we desire life

clinging

digging our nails in we fight and are

overwhelmed

the original hopeless cause

.

we dream fountains and elixirs

everlasting youth

heroes semi-divine

granted immortality

clones

cryogenics

time travel

.

we imagine life after death

zombies

vampires

ghosts

revenants

restless spirits

haunt the

edges

of our minds

(why if we want to live

are our images of

living

after death so

frightening?)

.

or on a religious front we believe

a spirit floats to

heaven or

sinks

to hell

never mind the text

“the dead know

nothing”

.

all this because a

snake

twining around a tree

hissed

“ye shall

not

surely die”

and we swung around

ears pricked and rushed to

death

with hands held out

(forgetting we’d had immortality

before)

.

we will not fathom or accept

the long sleep

the end

so we do cling (self-blinded

stubborn) to a

lie

.

and the snake

laughs

.

.

I believe that when you die, you sleep — no consciousness, no wafting to heaven, nothing.  Your body turns to dust and you know nothing until Jesus’ second coming.  For more in-depth information, feel free to go here or here — a much better explanation than I can give.

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Well, Wednesday I had parent-teacher conferences.  Eight of my 29 kids’ parents showed up.  That was actually ok, because my reading masters class ended Wednesday night and I had two half-finished assignments from before plus the huge ending assignment to do.  (Note: If you assign weekly papers that are involved, don’t assign double the work for the last assignment.  It’s just rude.)  I worked on my band blog, shameless self-promotion, cough, cough, then did the research for the ending assignment.  Took forever.  I had to write a grant for a $10,000 gift to allow digital reading devices (Kindles, etc.) in my class.  I chose to do it on Kindles and found some good information, but it took a long time.  I printed it out at the school, spent some time with the other band teacher fixing trumpets, and then went to teach piano and have choir.  We needed to set up 10 tables with 8 chairs each in the fellowship hall for a funeral on Thursday and a birthday party on Saturday, plus I had been working on washing all the church’s dishes — there were mouse “things” found in some of them.  They must have 500 dishes.  I only got about a third of them done, but that was ok.  I went home about 9:30, played on the piano a little, and then settled down to slave away.  I didn’t finish the assignments till 6:15 am. Grr.  At least I didn’t have to teach on Thursday.

I slept till 9 and then went over to the church to practice before the funeral.  After the funeral, I went to the MEA teacher workshops over in St. Paul (the reason we didn’t have school Thursday or Friday).  I went to two and then headed back over to the church to clean some more.  I took a little detour and sat in the parking lot with a book.  I felt like I had been quite good enough and deserved to be a little irresponsible 🙂

Friday I slept in and basically did nothing except read all day.  I ran a couple errands late in the afternoon and made supper for Kent (quite an occurrence, let me tell you).

Saturday we slept in a little and then got up and drove up to Duluth.  We had sweet potato fries at the New London Cafe, then went and hiked another section of the Superior Hiking Trail.  5.4 miles and back, so that was a nice little hike.  We got back about 10 pm and raided the freezer for the birthday ice cream I’d gotten at Cold Stone and put there for a “rainy day”. 🙂  We watched some Boston Legal and I went to bed with a book.  (Yes, I read a lot.  If you are around me much, you know that for sure.)

Sunday I slept in again and we worked on cleaning up the house.  I read a little, cooked a little, and got over to the church about 8:45 pm.  Oops.  I did the very least I could do to get it ready for Monday, but I was still there for over 5 hours.  Got to bed just before 3 am, and Kent was still not home from closing Taco Bell.

And today, I had two good classes, a nice breakfast in a pretty-clean kitchen (in a fairly-clean house!), and now I will go to the chiropractor and piano lessons, then to the church again….

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Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

.

although i wander

while friends scatter

family grows old

career is closed

my dreams fulfilled

or

tucked away

i am pursued

by mercy

unresting

and goodness

untiring

until i can rest

waiting

for the next

chapter

waiting for

forever home

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hibernating

on days like today

i can see why animals hibernate

the snow sifts thickly down outside

whispering “shhh”

the world is obscured

seen through a mist of snow

unimportant

sleepy

the day is soft grey

and dark brown

quiet green of firs

and the white of peaceful sleep

.

in the bedroom my husband

is a lump

in the grip of his own hibernation

the beanbag calls me

tugging

toward a good book

tea

and a snooze

while the snow

spreads a down comforter

over the sleeping world

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