Tag Archives | being

What is the Shape of Your Soul?

daydream papa nap dream

The only statement you really need to make is the sound of Your Name pressed against the never-ending skin of the universe.

When someone is striving to be more spiritual or more religious, all too often they end up despising their physical existence in the hunt for the metaphysical. I have been guilty of this. I understand the impulse. I want to rub up against something divine, to grant Meaning and Purpose to my mundane existence. I want to believe things happen for a Reason, that the monotony and heartbreak of everyday life isn’t all that there is.

I’m not supposed to talk about these things. It’s not polite. But, during tragedies, or in the quiet, lonely moments of the night, these feelings slink about in my heart, like never-ending questions. What is the meaning? Who am I? What is my purpose?

I don’t have answers, but I find comfort in words. (more…)

Continue Reading

Paint Away The Pain: On Hard Times and Creating Art

whimsical whimsy owl squirrel mouse fox mooseElune and I are discussing artwork and the creative process. She asks me: “Have you ever used art to paint your way out of your hardest times in life or your inner struggles?”

This past year, I addressed some painful issues: depression, financial insecurity, old wounds, and disillusionment with church leadership. These topics probably seem even heavier when juxtaposed against the lighthearted and fanciful style of my artwork. How does my life experience inform my artwork? How can someone who thinks about such dark things create such whimsical pieces?

I’m not sure I have an answer. (more…)

Continue Reading

Depression, Suicide and Hope: My Redemption Story

jeans with ripped kneesI need to tell you about the time I tried to kill myself.

I spent my early twenties at Harding University. When I tell you that my school is a legalistic Christian school, this is what I mean: not only are there strict rules about modesty, one day I was stopped by a teacher in chapel and told to change because my jeans had ripped knees; girls and boys are in separate dorms, at opposite ends of campus, and have strict curfews; girls are required to pass a weekly cleaning inspection; not only is alcohol consumption forbidden for all students and staff, but if a student is merely seen holding a can of beer for someone else, they will be expelled. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the picture: I was in a controlling environment.

When I think back to my emotional state at that time, I imagine myself cowering in the corner of a room, huddled with my head between my knees, with sticky black paint poured over my back, dripping down my head, pooling at my feet.

I was 22 years old when I overdosed on pills and was rushed to the hospital. I used to be afraid all the time that I would die by suicide. It hurt so much to be alive, and some days I just couldn’t bear it. I spent the entire ride to the hospital terrified that I had tried to commit suicide. (more…)

Continue Reading

Radio Lab, Musical DNA, and Surprising God

tech joy

My hands are in the sink. I am washing dishes. My family is off playing Nintendo. I am blissfully alone, and my mind is open. Radio Lab is on NPR.

The interview is with David Cope, a composer. When faced with musical writer’s block, Cope built an analytical computer program, named EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence). EMI is able to ascertain patterns unique to each composer run through its system. After analyzing scores of music, Cope applied algorithms from these composers to other works of music, giving them new and amazing life. (more…)

Continue Reading

Week 48 – Things Don’t Stay the Same

bumbo countertop baby newbornIt’s almost been a year since I started blogging about eating food from our CSA, and a lot has happened. We bought a house. We got pregnant and had our first baby. I got laid off and my unemployment checks ran out. And now our baby girl is almost 2 months old.

What were Mr. Wetzel and I even doing a year ago???

I feel like a different person. I feel like the past year of experiences has renewed and refined me. With a blazing fire and a strong wind. Tumultuous times build character…this is true…and chaotic times build your life story.

Life is filled with so many details. So many moments. We look at each other; we sigh; we exchange confidences and dreams. And we commemorate our lives with what we eat.

Let us sit around the dinner table and talk about our day. Let us go out to a restaurant and dream about our future over a bottle of fine wine. Let us go picking for apples and reminisce about our youth.

So much has changed this past year, but one thing that has been a constant is our CSA food. It is consistently healthy and fresh. The local farm remains season in and season out, sustaining our community of produce lovers. The fields produce yield, lie fallow, then are turned over for a new crop. Harvests come and go, and the soil remains underneath, rich dark and mysterious.

phoebe faces smile baby 2 month oldSo too lie our souls.

There is harvest in our lives. Seasons come and go and return. Things change and are renewed and wither away. But all things that define or describe us are rooted in our souls, and it is a man’s soul that remains calm and constant.

Our souls are soil. Our lives spring forth with produce to unveil the rich glories hidden within. Let the circumstances of life pour down on us, that we might drink them up like rain and yield forth a season of life as resplendent as the flowers of the field.

csa spring terry's berries organic WEEK 48

Baby Bok Choi
Garlic Greens
Braising Mix
Bok Choi

By ekwetzel

Continue Reading

Week 3 – The Vegetative State

I am little more than a cold, hard shell, at first.  It’s hard to imagine that any life lies within my core.  I remind you of a tiny bone, a bone caught in your throat that makes you catch your breath.

Deep within the earth, I take to the moist dark.  In the secret places, I begin to unravel, to change.  The shell is but a husk of my being; I am a fountain of life waiting to spring forth from near nothingness.  All I know of the light is that it is warmth.  I have no ears to hear. I have no eyes to see.  I have no hands to feel.  All I am is being.

Like magic, I push through the earth and into the air, and then suddenly sprout wings.  You may call them leaves, but to me it feels like I am soaring through the air as I grow and grow.  In the secret places underground, my roots run deep, soaking up the life force that helps me reach for the canopy above.

You may call mine a lonely life.  You may say that, since you do not understand my language, that there is no life in my veins.  You may claim that I am an island, desolate, without feelings, vacant.  But I know that I swell and stretch in each moment that I am blessed enough to find existence.  I know as I fill out and flower that there is beauty and purpose in my life.  There is glory in the way my leaves unfold in the morning, in my quivering stem, in my hearty belly of soil.

The season passes.  My seed scatters.  My flowers wither.  My leaves yellow and fall.  I start to shrivel.  I have no remorse about my passing. I once was hard and hollow; I have been bright and full; now I am soft. I lay down, at long last, having reached as far as my tendrils would take me.

You of the long life and wild breath, you think my life is simple.  You think my ways are beneath you.  You think a life like mine is no life at all.  I say to you that this is the life I was blessed with, and in it I rejoice.

You scorn me for not being able to satisfy you, as I am mute, deaf and dumb; however, I have grown my own roots, and life is deeper than you can comprehend.

What if you, oh man, were deprived of your sight; would you stop to have insight?  What if you were stripped of your hearing and powers of speech? As a man who smells and eats and walks about, would you be any less of a man?  Let us strip you of these senses, as well. Let us fill your mouth with cotton, and numb your every nerve.  If you were to feel no space, no scent, no taste, would you be any less human?  Is it what you perceive that makes you who you are, or is it something deeper that reaches into the dark, moist soil in which you are planted and catapults you on an arc of wild metamorphosis?

What are you, if not a seed waiting to sprout wings?

(Top row):
– Beets
– Raspberries
– Carrots
(Middle row):
– 2 heads of lettuce (aren’t they bushy, this week?!?)
– Tatsoi
– LOTS of sugar snap peas
(Bottom row):
– Fava beans
– Eggs

Photo of the maple seed on pavement, courtesy of Stacy Wagoner.

By ekwetzel

Continue Reading