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With that sound I stopped
like a seal in water,
the turns and twists
stilled, suspended
in a moment,
considering how it came to this place.
How far left to swim.
 
 I looked at your face and thought I
might know you,
once had a conversation,
yelling a little over the din of a crowd
to be heard. I would have offered
a cordial greeting
and an assurance to keep in touch.
 
 But I never thought I’d see you here;
You would speak
and remember me. So I was shocked
to hear my name,
see it formed on your lips with such ease
as if you’d given it to me.
I looked at your face again, remembering
and wondering if maybe
we should talk some more.
 

I’m planning  to start blogging next year. I’ve been rolling around ideas, figuring out how to get started, and getting ready for the right moment. Looking back at this last year, my track record for actually following through and getting things done isn’t so great, so if I want a real chance at this happening I better get a head start.

At lunch on Christmas day, after watching it rain all morning, my brother said it was a fitting end to the year.  He may be right.  It’s been hard.  I think it’s the kind of hard that leaves you with some hope that things will get better, that you’re growing up, learning not to be afraid of hard days, being made ready for what’s ahead.  It’s good hard, hopeful hard, but still hard.  It’s been really good, too, which is easy to forget. 

It’s been an exceptional year, and as such, it brought heartbreak and healing, blindness and new vision, captivity and freedom.  I’ve seen dreams come true and seen people fight to even imagine a dream. I’ve watched people struggle, wrestle to believe, to see, to find a way through new land.  They are people I love.  A lot.  I’ve helped them some, and sometimes made it worse.  I’ve learned that some things are too big for my to-do list, and just need time.  And prayer.  And that the real joy may not be in resolve, but in looking and waiting for resolution together. 

I’ve watched the annual dance with illness and death, the limitations of our physical selves. I’ve had days that seemed like they’d stop or last forever, and I’ve wanted them to do both.  I’ve done all of it while watching my daughter go from one to two, unstopped, unmoved, unconcerned.  She’s often my liturgy of the hours, keeping me going, refusing me the indulgence of considering, of stopping, or of becoming too absorbed in myself.   

I’ve realized that loving people is dangerous, really loving them is potentially devastating.  It’s also worth it, because when it works, and even when it doesn’t, it’s still better than being alone.  Even the hope that it will work makes it worth the risk.  Love really does cover a multitude of sins.  It really is patient, kind, and all those things.  It has little choice but to be.  It must be true that faith, hope, and love are all that remain, because when things get rocky or cloudy or impossible, they’re all you have.

My wife and I have walked through foggy streets in London and a thousand times through our hallways , and  in both I’m awed by how much we’ve seen together, how much we have to do, and how exciting it all is. 

I can’t remember reading a single book, except for Goodnight Moon and Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. That bothers me a little, but I know it’s partly because whenever I try, one walks up to me, takes it from my hand, tells me I’m “all done” and to “play”.  She’s usually right and it’s hard to resist.

I’ve taken a great technological leap forward, gaining a Blackberry, an iPod, and a DVR; I’ve discovered Twitter and blogs.  All of that may have contributed to my book problem slightly.

I’ve been to the Caribbean.  I’ve seen U2 in concert.  I’ve discovered that I really love to cook.  I’ve acquired some great shoes.  I’ve let my hair grow out.  I may cut it off again soon. 

I’ve realized, again, how much I need Jesus, that it makes no sense for Him to call me a friend, that He could do better, but I’m not going to tell Him that.  I’m going to get away with it as long as He’ll let me. 

I’ve found some voice and a few more words, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.

It may be a bad idea to make the first post this much about myself.  I don’t really know how this works or what’s expected. I also don’t know who will read it to care.  Regardless, we’ll let this be our introduction.  As we see where we go from here, this is where we’re starting.  We’ve not yet seen what we will become.

Tomorrow we’ll start a new year, and I’ll be 32.