Saturday, April 30, 2016

Three Dashes of Poetry

In honor of April's being poetry month, my good friend and fellow blogger Hamlette has been hosting a grand month long celebration! (Be sure to check it all out HERE.) Hence, I'm here to contribute my official post. :)


The adventure of our lives brims over with great fluctuations and contrasts and sometimes everything happens at once. As I'm in the midst of wedding planning, it seems that every day is also freshly and visibly bringing my great-grandma closer to the hour when she will stand face-to-face with her Lord in the heavenly spaces.

And the thought of that glory is enough to take my breath.

At 103, my great-grandma has been gifted with an incredibly full and amazing life. An artist, adventurer, world traveler, music and history lover, and a voracious reader, she's an amazing woman, her memory filled with marvelous stories. I wrote the following short poem for her a few years ago. Including it here seems fitting:

Moments in the Hundred Years of a Painter
A bright mind and a long life--God has given--
And a deft hand--catching vignettes
Of the cosmic strokes of the Master.
A spinning wheel--done motionless.
Barns--sleepy and still; brown, orange, and red--
Green in a foreground tree.
A little girl, bright-haired under scarlet flowers.
Mountains, rivers.
The little girl again--in an orchid hat.
A small boy--red with delicious sauce.
Dashes of light, captured in color,
Vignettes--small corners on the great canvas.
A long life, a bright mind, and a deft hand--
Has the Master given.
Heidi Peterson


My second contribution comes from Dante's Divine Comedy. I first ran across it in one of my favorite essays in The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken and I promptly read it so many times I memorized it. It inspired me to read the entire Comedy, which I'm now so glad I did! I don't agree with all the doctrines and positions in the Comedy, but (allowing for some literary license) it's deep and brilliant and justly deserves its masterpiece status. This passage is absolutely thrilling and always convicting. I'm including the short intro from the essay by Janine Langan:

"The Divine Comedy records the imaginative reeducation of a very great Christian poet, Dante, by a very great pagan poet, Virgil. Virgil's first lesson is a blunt one (Inferno ii, 43-49):

"If I have understood what you have said"
Replied the shade of that great-hearted one,
"Your soul has been assailed by cowardice,
Which often weighs so heavily on a man--
Distracting him from honorable trial--
As phantoms frighten beasts when shadows fall."


And.... there are so many many other dearly loved poems I'm really at a dreadful loss what to highlight for my third, hence I'll leave you with one of my best loved, Tip Top Favorites Of All Time:

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken.
The crownless again shall be king."
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Tell me! Are either of those second two your favorites as well? :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Announcing... An Engagement!

Are you ready for one of the most exciting posts ever published on this blog? :) (Note: the pictures are indeed running over on purpose for this one as I thought you'd all like to see them a wee bit better. ;))

To make a very long story (somewhat) shorter, it all started back awhile ago when a certain young man from across the country entered my life. We first met through our pastors as we attend sister churches in the same denomination.

And while I’m not here to argue for love at first sight, I can thoroughly vouch for a certain ‘click’ happening upon the occasion of the very first conversation. ;) From those first initial, friendly conversations, we easily proceeded into a thoughtful, careful, thoroughly intentional courtship. 

It all culminated exactly one week ago today in a single question out in the pasture and then a beautifully fairytale-ish diamond ring!

(9/16 Edit: you can also read my post HERE for an update on the ring topic. ;))

How do you go about encapsulating the heritage of previous generations, two entire life times, and the wondrous workings of providence into any sort of semi-adequate summary? The goodness of God is immense and His ways deep and glorious past finding out.

So much was discussed throughout the courtship that it runs to multiple pages (yes, I kept a list! ;)), but very definitely, the first thing we wanted to make sure of was doctrinal agreement and unity. That covered, the conversations proceeded to life vision things: lifestyle, life choices, the raising of children, and on and on. Here we found more things in common -- things I'd dreamed of finding, but then begun to wonder if I ever would... Actually finding them true was (and still is) stunning.

And there are all the blessings that make it actually 'work.' We get what one another is thinking and saying. He makes me laugh. And I make him laugh.

Incidentally, the first love we ever found in common was our love for mountains and wide spreading places -- space running out to the sky, miles upon miles upon miles of it.

He  loves history. All of it. WWII… ancient history… medieval history… eastern European history… pirates… early American history…

He loves the American west and knows tons (and I mean tons) of good idioms and quirky, crazy, wild, marvelous happenings. (I’m starting to more thoroughly understand why – providentially – I hadn’t yet finished David’s Shoulders. It's going to be so much better. :))

He wants me to write.

Believe it or not, age-wise we’re very similar to Barney and Valancy in Montgomery’s Blue Castle.

Studying and falling in love with his character and convictions and personality, I (at some point, of course) had to start likening him to certain Austen heroes and (believe me, I’m not making this up) he’s really and truly startlingly like Mr. Knightley.

Speaking of Mr. Knightley, he actually had a nodding acquaintance with JA and N&S(!) years before we ever met!

On  the subject of N&S, he shares a given name with a certain well esteemed hero… John… Jehovah has been gracious.

He loves Tolstoy’s story of War and Peace and I love Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

Serious minded, entrepreneurial, and creative, he’s a business owner who's passionate about what he does.

Gentle, strong, and generous, he’s a leader living by his convictions, walking in diligence and faithfulness before his God and Savior.

And I'm now honored to be becoming his wife in five short months.

Our Lord is so gracious… Delighting in giving good and rich gifts to His people with an abundance running up and pouring over!

“Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast. 

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life…” Psalm 36:5-9

Blessings to each one of you dear friends!

(P. S. And have no fear, I'm marrying a story lover and moving west across country, so I have no intention of forgetting the blog anytime soon. ;D There are hundreds of wonderful conversations yet to be shared on this grand new adventure!!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Period Drama Challenge Tag Answers ~ March 2016

It's time for the March Period Drama Challenge tag questions! (Yes, I know. It's been well over a week since Miss Laurie posted these, so thank you so much for sweetly bearing with me... ;)) Here goes!

1. What period dramas did you view in March?

A couple episodes of the classic 1956 Buccaneers with Robert Shaw

and some Lark Rise to Candleford.

2. What is your favorite period drama soundtrack?

(Among my multitudinous favorites) at the moment probably Cinderella 2015. Or the '09 Emma.

3. If you could attend a ball in a Jane Austen story what would be the color of your ballgown and who would you dance with?

Oh my... so many hues and shades, and I love so many! Talk about a terribly difficult choice. Well, going with one I wear regularly I'd say blue, but I have so many ideas it's rather impossible on short notice. I also love pinks of all sorts... and mint green... and I've seen one coral colored lace dress that's gorgeous. As for a partner, Mr. Knightley.

4. Do you prefer watching period dramas by yourself or with friends/family? Why?

Hmmm. It depends. I've done a lot of both solo and family watching. I can enjoy either way, but I really like it when my family/friends/cohorts/companions-in-arms like whatever-it-is nearly (or as much) as yours truly, otherwise it's just Uncomfortable and Not So Much Fun. It's all in the time-tested rule of having similar standards and frames of reference and coinciding senses of humor -- being able to catch and laugh over the same quirky hilarity together.

5. What period dramas are you looking forward to viewing in April 2016?

Not a lot this month... Maybe a Zorro or Robin Hood episode? (But don't worry, I have a rather staggering list for May, but that's the subject of a future post... :)) So we shall see!

Tell me! Do we have any answers in common? And how is spring deliciously appearing in your corner of the world?

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