Tag Archives: dinner party

this specific corner; that specific room


It ordinarily ends in this specific corner of that specific room.
The very first evening ended in that space;
this one did too.
Time lies but this corner does not.
Suddenly new yet very familiar.
Children asleep,
dinner settling,
dessert in process
with a final matching mug or glass.

A chair is pulled up closer, but not too close,
even distance in inches matter.
A reachable circle for the conversation,
and the laughing,
and the impressions:

the toothless, tooth-brushing PSA.
the self, that one time in the middle of that one story.
that customer who opened with the confusing concern.
that student.
that voice.
that dynamic with those relatives.
that signature characteristic.

and the repeated jokes:
likely jokes not actually funny,
but jokes always grow into their own funny the later they emerge in the evening.

It is a treasure buried in the middle of a field, though;
true every single time.
Safe now, later in the evening,
smelling like people smell at the end of the 14 hours
when spare deodorant is actually not in the glovebox,
and the meeting sprawled too late to manage a swing by any corner store
on the way to this specific corner.

Safe now, later in the evening, after a perfect meal over which the melody of
perhaps some shared camaraderie,
perhaps some shared hilarity,
perhaps some disagreement,
perhaps some agreement of disagreement,
perhaps some thick and layered asking of what the hell we are doing,
perhaps some thick and layered asking of what the hell we are trying to do,
and what it is we are trying to chase after,
after all…

where were we?…

Safe now, later in the evening, after a perfect meal over which the perfect melody of
a treasure buried in the middle of the field.

Noticed now,
in this specific corner of that specific room.
Laughter and my own genes have left me sweating.
Food and beer have left me full.
Humanity and honesty,
Pretense prevented by exhaustion,
leave me speaking thanks out loud in between audible laughter
while driving home with a 14-hour smell that is not very funny.

After noticing that I’m sitting in this specific corner of that specific room,
the loud response in my cloudy thoughts is a refrain that continues to say,

Thanks be to God.

Pine Tree Dr.

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until you can’t breathe

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. + R. W. Emerson

I remember distinctly being 17 years old, sitting in a  Wendy’s with a buddy. The comment went like this: “You know how sometimes you start laughing so hard you can’t even breathe?” He replied that he couldn’t remember laughing that hard.

“That’s the only time it counts. It only counts when you laugh until you can’t breathe,” i informed him.

I think since then, unlike most seventeen-year old know-all conversations, that has become one of my lines to live by.

And I can think over and over again of times I have laughed until I couldn’t breathe.

Last night was one of those nights.

Laughter and breathless tears.
The kind that leaves you sweating.

After incredible appetizers where the comment heard over and over was, “This is delicious? Who would ever think of it together, but it’s delicious” down to the cinnamon dulce dessert with cream cheese ice cream that had me craving the entire container hidden in the freezer, the meal set the artful stage in an already artful atmosphere for the holy kind of dinner and after dinner conversations that end, over and over again, in tears.

Now added to the stayed seventeen-year-old proverb will be the value of landing in a place where you laugh so hard you cannot breathe with people you don’t really know. It speaks to a letting go of circumstance and pomp, letting go of first impressions, and acting as you act with good friends. Perhaps in the acting, something actually changes.

My stomach this morning hurts from laughing till I was breathless and teary-eyed, and it reminds me that while the world goes not well, the kingdom is coming.

Napa Valley

At a high top under low light
In the middle of a meeting
Catch us up into reality

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no time to grab a camera

There’s this clunky urge in me to always take a picture.

To try to capture a moment so that I can remember the smells and the moods and the words and the looks tied to it.

I’ve done it before in all kinds of places and at all kinds of times. The moment seems so absolutely perfect that I start fumbling through pockets or bags to find the right camera with the right setting at the right time in the right light to get it captured––stored––for later use.

It feels clunky. Like I’m crashing through the moment with some back-to-the-future kind of gear in an effort to trap its perfect mystery.

So that I can pull some more of the energy from it later on. Or the smell. Or the mood. Or the words and the looks.

But they were tied to the moment. And as the moment goes, so they go.


And then I find myself, after the moment…maybe days or weeks or years…wishing I had stopped my clunky fumble for a camera to capture something fleeting, but rather sat and enjoyed its fleeting nature when I realized the kind of moment I was in.

There’s a danger to trusting this kind of thin space, the moments when time and heaven and earth not so much collide together, but rather when our eyes suddenly notice that they’ve always been dancing together. In trusting the thin space, we have to only take from it what it offers us.

We have to trust what it will leave in us.

What it will do to us.

What it speaks to of a kingdom future for us.

There’s no trapping it for more of anything.

It comes.

And it goes.

A tide.

I had one of those moments last night: Sitting in the back yard eating a community-made meal, catching up over good wine with stellar people. I fought the grab-my-camera urge for about thirty minutes, and then the freedom of trusting the thin space found me.

I had one of those moments a week ago: Sitting on the stairs in a home eating a community-made meal, catching up over good wine with stellar people.

There are no pictures to take me back to either.

But both moments are faithful in what they have graciously offered to leave behind for me.

And I will trust that it was worth not grabbing the camera.

Cape Town

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