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Throwing Out the Fleece to Make Stone Soup (Travel update)

December was a step into Dostoevsky's words, "the soul is healed by being with children."
It was the time of basking in Elizabeth's greatest fairytale, a true-ish story called "Green Dolphin Street".

I spent the first half of the month staying with a friend, waiting with her for her first child to come. She and I processed a small deer, and then when the little one was born, I tried to help by cooking and cleaning. I tended to spend much of my spare time sewing on her treadle machine. I kept busy, but never too busy to not be able to take breaks for holding baby.

There's been so much contentment. I didn't want to leave. 

But time inures us ever onward. 

I went to visit an old friend who is going through a divorce. It was sad to be there. She and I worked on projects together, I filled the house with piano music, and I cuddled with her little boys and read them stories.

I was hosted by a small church family over Christmas, and then I went to a week of dancing. My soul was prepped: now I was the child healing others. 

For an entire week I tapped into that inner joy. I danced past physical capability. I cooked for those around, and I sat and watched stories happen. I became friends with the sound guy, a seventy-five-year-old man. He encouraged my wild ideas, taking joy in the vivacity. And one night when I broke into sudden uncontrollable heaves of sobs, he and the cook found out and made sure I was not alone. He has now passed away, sometime in the beginning of the new year, and the loss is real. 

The new year came with disappointment. I soared in and out of withdrawn callousness and shredded belief. How do we survive such things? We remember the good. We are thankful for the gratified dreams. And we tell the nightmare to cease. I wept. And then I stepped forward, into another home with another child.

I stayed with all my friends from Above Rubies. I watched men jump into freezing waters, and held all the new babies, and told stories to my friends' children. I began knitting a baby dress just because the pattern is cute and because I knew someone would want it someday. 

And then I left for John C. Campbell School. 

At last ready to be alone, ready to seep in potential promises. 

I wasn't on the road much of December and January, but stayed at three main places: Outside Buffalo New York (with quick Canada detour), Knoxville Tennessee (dancing!!), and near Franklin Tennessee (the magic there is dependent upon the nature of the changling). 

There was birth and death both, the one to the other. Life and eternal life. 

They were weeks of peace. I melted. If I screamed it ended in a laugh, or the whisper of a smile. Nothing lasts but goodness. And goodness is what we need to remember what it is we want, and most importantly, it's what we need to recall who we are despite derailed desires. 

Who am I? 

It's hard to pray, "Thy will be done" when you've dampened the fleece with your own tears. 
Let the fleece alone, eat your tears. 
And pray with the whole of your broken heart, "God where are you?" 

I am that woman holding up her light against the winds of the day and the morrow. I sing with my eyes closed knowing that if I open them and find the light distinguished my prayer has sent it to brighten someplace only God knows about. 

A soft heart is a crumbled heart of stone. What to do with so many crumbs?
 Throw them at the proud? Realize we are yet the proud?
I am the one who must throw the stone . . . into the soup, where I will feed those I'd have cast stones at, who I'd have burnt with the hot coals of fires if wind had stolen my words as my heart so desired. 

I make stone soup with crumbled dreams. 

And dreams vividly inspire. And the path is filled with travelers, all ready to add to that Great Meal of wine and bread and stone soup because we've let go of who we thought our Saviour ought to be. 


  1. Aw, all the kids and babies are so adorable! And I have a friend who once joined Above Rubies too.

    Also, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, Keturah *hugs*. I hope you're doing alright and that your week is full of God's blessings :)

    1. Ah, that's so cool your friend worked there, too! Thanks Lily... everything has been wondrous over here. Hope things are the same for you :D


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