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Archive for November, 2015

At 1 o’clock AM tonight, I walked outside to grab the mail- all careful foot on the ice stairs.

A full moon still hung above our roof, and when I stopped to look up at it through freeze-stripped branches I also saw, for the first time since I had it inscribed upon my skin, my constellation; my Orion.

I recognized it immediately, and almost without thinking my hand lifted to cup the back of my neck where my insignificant reflection sits, inked under my epidermis.

I looked to the sky where Orion flies, and I felt the warmth of my skin where Orion hides, and for just a moment- out in the cold and the blue and the clean- my heart overflowed a little.

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“Naming is Edenic. 

I name gifts and go back to the Garden and God in the beginning who first speaks a name and lets what is come into existence. This naming is how the first emptiness of space fills; the naming of light and land and sky. The first man’s first task is to name. Adam completes creation with his Maker through the act of naming creatures, releasing the land from chaos, from the teeming, undefinable mass. I am seeing it too, in the journal, in the face of the Farmer: naming offers the gift of recognition. When I name moments- string out laundry and name-pray, thank You, Lord, for bedsheets in billowing winds, for fluff of sparrow landing on line, sun winter warm, and one last leaf still hanging in the orchard- I am Adam and I discover my meaning and God’s, and to name is to learn the language of Paradise. This naming work never ends for all the children of Adam. 

Naming to find an identity, our identity, God’s.”

-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 

The next time you begin to feel angry or bitter or offended by so-called labeling… I want you to please try and remember this. 

I’m not discounting labeling as a judgmental problem, because oftentimes it can be. What I am saying though, is that there is a reason we, as humans, have a penchant for naming (labeling) things and people. 

The above excerpt is why, I believe. 

Reflect before you react. We are human, we name, it is an aspect that defines us to our very soul. 

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