Archive for February, 2011

Psalms 23:5

Posted: February 15, 2011 by zacharyandgillian in February 2011

In the valley of the shadow of death, they fly kites.  Colourful ribbon is tied to the strings.  The girls made them, and the boys fly them.  Bubblegum is stuck to stones and lunch is left for a game of tag.  Their souls want for nothing. 

Here, they are kings and queens.  They are lord over their own happiness and are content leave the waters to tend complacently to themselves.  For what, beyond honest satisfaction, and trivial self-sacrifice, is meaningful.  Righteousness is in the rules of hide and seek.

They are the chosen people of the dinner table and in soccer games.  Gluttons and opponents their enemies, their smile a holy weapon.  Bullying the dark influence of a master down below, a master that is mocked by honest friendship and the hand-holding of two babes.

The Lord’s house is a playground.  Scraped knees a trial endured for devotion.  The greatest of glory found in wide eyed exploration.  A child’s glory.  Hail-marys here are the apologies; subtle moments of shame and pause when too much fun has led to a bruised arm or a shin kicked in anger.  Repentance in full.  Forgiveness in a hug.  No time to waste: the slides are calling.

Sacrifice asked of them for the love of life is given freely on the monkey bars.  Every first time a child climbs that mountain, and looks down over what their faith asks of them, they shudder; the fear of heights a real and sharp knife.  With tentative grasp and support, they reach out their hand and try not to close their eyes.

Hidden birds in unclimbable trees are a beacon of angel’s song.  Coveted in only the right ways, those they are revered for their song.  Never for conquering, they remain tall and steadfast, and the source of joyous attempts at a climbers curiosity.  They would mean less if their tops were revealed.  Bird song secluded never sounded so sweet.

Prayer circles are the names for tire swings, and studies of life are carefully entertained in duck-duck-goose.

By day they play, and by night they ‘sup.  In the halls of their mothers and their fathers, they fear no evil.  Anointed with laughter, candy runeth over in their cup.  When they are finally fed and washed, they lay their weary head to rest on the green pastures of pastel sheets.  Spirits’ flow calms under nightlight glow.  And into sweet and peaceful slumber aside wistful imagination, where dreams live for ever and ever.

Amen.

Writing by: Zach Webster
Photography by: Gillian Berger

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Always Remember…

Posted: February 2, 2011 by zacharyandgillian in February 2011

What advice can the tortoise give the hare about earnest care?  Slow and steady won the race once, but that was a long time ago.  And it was luck, mostly.

The tortoise would love to get lucky again.

But it only knew one kind of affection.  The kind that plodded along, diligently.  The kind that was not concerned with how far ahead its running mate was, and treasured every glimpse of its surroundings.  Most people thought it lived in the past, but that wasn’t true.  The tortoise simply hadn’t gotten to the future yet.  Eventually, it would.

She played games with his heart. 

Closer to a fox than a hare, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  And as dangerous as she was beautiful.  Truly, she was in a league of her own.  From far down the road, she came bounding, telling of the wonders that were up there.  Of all the racers that were far ahead of him, and of all the experiences she delighted in. 

He wished she would delight in him.

She would race in and out of his life without a seeming care in the world.  She often came back to him, to check on him or regale him in new tales, or remind him of her beauty.  They would talk then, for a long while.  He would be inspired, mesmerized by what she told him.  She made him feel different.  She made him want to win.

He knew she was always playing games.  But for all his aged wisdom, he could not help but play.  That was the way to her heart.  And her heart was what mattered.  He would wager his happiness on it. 

That made her feel good.  He made her feel good, with his witticisms and his charms.  With his ambling nature, his security and safety.  No matter how the world had bruised her, she could always return to him to be recharged.  Or for an easy double score.  And in exchange, she would provide him with the compliments of a lover and a friend – smelling sweeter than any of the roses he had stopped for along his way.

Her affection was a simple ruse.  Delivered always as she left and never as she stayed, it was transparent.  But it was enough.  He had a hunch that it was perhaps the only play that she herself believed was true.  (A lie is always told best when it’s first believed by you).

Slow and steady never won him his prize.  And deep down, he knew that it never really would.  Going steady now only won boredom and betrayal.  Going slow won loneliness and fear.  That was the world he lived in.  More particularly, it was the world that she lived in.  But it was the only one that he could bare.  He couldn’t imagine playing games with his soul.  He wanted to win, but the truth was always plain: he wasn’t in the race.

When she left, off into an adventure on another horizon, he would smile.  (She and the sunset looked good together).  Carefully, he would pick up the pieces that had been left scattered and scrambled at their feet.  Then, with the patience of a player putting a game back in its box, he would re-arrange them.  Back to their proper places, where games did not distort and their meaning was slow, steady, and pure.

“Always remember.  You are loved.”

Photo By:  Gillian Berger
Writing By:  Zach Webster