The Most Obliging Butterflies

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Flying excited loops, distracted landings, erratic circles, 

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they say, “The flowers

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drenched in sun

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are the sweetest.”

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They tell us, 

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“Follow me!”

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“Come, scruffy robin, from the shadows!”

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“The earth is gold and though we are here but for a moment, we know it is worth savoring.”

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“Look and see! Do you know the freedom in the Gift? How wide, how deep, how far?”

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“The breeze knows it, the grasses know it.”

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“We know it. Our wings flirt with the sun, sipping earth’s dew.

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We land as jewels bestowed, undeserved. Do not refuse what you could never earn.”

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“Let us teach you

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how to say goodbye

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to this golden summer light

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and summer creations so frail.”

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“Caught, visible, for a season,

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time for rest is coming now.”

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“There is no need to hoard! You may gather all you can, yet there will always be more.”

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“We, the secrets in the light, 

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want you to know: it’s all for you.”

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“Our colors, which we are glad to give, will become your memories.”

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“Receive freely in surrender for the next season will bring more of the Gift,

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even if all the summers of time were fit into this day.” 

 These photos were taken with an experimental Lensbaby lens and its movable optic attachment. All the blur / tilt-shift-y-ness you see on my blog is from this lens!

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Everyday Antalya

Morning

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Turkish sky tapestry, threaded with sunrise colors, is woven over

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early visitors to a chilled Mediterranean,

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mountains and minarets,

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rock giants and cliffs,

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as night shadow turns with the earth, to sun.

Afternoon

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Day is welcome,

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and nearby, a local produce market debuts apples, melons, and walnuts pristine.

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Vibrancy blurs by the tram window,

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a sweet delivery has been made,

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and friends meet to chat by the sea. 

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Street cats are fed as community pets,

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and, the president is visiting tomorrow! Flags out!

Evening

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Flowers feel no shame in casting their scent generously over all

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who find rest from the sun’s heat

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and in watching it disappear languidly; permission to relax

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while trails left on the water glimmer like paths to the past.

All photos and words by K Grace Collins 2016, All Rights Reserved.

Mirror of Heaven

untitled (8 of 14)◆ IN THE TIME of the great walking bears that shook the earth with every footfall,
when humans traveled small among immense creatures and tree-giants,untitled (6 of 14)stars hung closer, leaning curious into our clear sky,
myths roamed as more than ragged, thin shadows,
and sunlight, moonlight, danced in patterns like fire…untitled (12 of 14)A man, pulled by an unsettling desire for something unknown and good
to soothe a heart torn by love,
wandered from his companions and slept by a silent lake
which had given cooling rest to his feet and mind.untitled (1 of 1)He pondered into sleep its remarkable source,
hearing the sound of water flowing from above…
and began to dream about a woman he had loved.

She stood on the waters of the silent lake.
Her footsteps had calmed it to silken stillness
so that every constellation in the deep night sky, even blushing Lady Moon,
smiled at their reflections.untitled (1 of 14)“This lake is called the Mirror of Heaven,”
she told him with a quiet confidence.
“Its waters are the tears of God Himself, they are healing!
Come learn to walk,
taking the waves and leaving a path
of order and tranquility for those behind you.
Come, still all waters with me so all will reflect heaven!”

With childlike delight in her eyes, she said,
“Let us go world-spinning and world-weaving!”untitled (14 of 14)“Let us repair the gaping holes torn in the sweeping fabric of love,
find the scars and mend them with holy mud!
Heaven comes home when all hearts reflect as a Mirror of Heaven…
Let us make haste!”untitled (10 of 14)“Oh, joy awaits…
But will you add your own tears to His?” ◆

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A word-painting inspired by a dream, our Lord’s prayer / calming of the sea storm, and Arthurian legend. All photos taken by K Grace Collins, all rights reserved.

 

A Single-Word Meditation: “Sanctuary”

Spellbound, my eyes catch and soul inhales a holy, layered phrase:

 “… the sanctuary of His body.”
John 2:21

Strong’s word G3485, translated temple.
Or, sanctuary.

Being “the sacred edifice itself,
consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies”1.

God’s sacred, structural space of habitation,
taken up to satisfy His desire to dwell among His people.

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Where light fills arched space, to be received. 6.13.11

Then, the greatest paradox of all miracles:
“…God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him…”
Colossians 1:19

His body became the Holiest of Holies.

Spine, lungs, heart
Face, hands, feet
Skin, bone, blood
Hunger, thirst, fatigue

and, God with us.

Through the ages, the structure of a sanctuary has come to be
“a place of refuge or safety”2

with synonyms including:

haven,
harbor,
port in a storm,
oasis,
shelter,
retreat,
hideaway.

In Him, these meanings have converged.

He comes among us as the thinnest of any
Thin Space: a place where the wall “that separates heaven and earth
is nearly transparent.”3

He has provided
Cwtch: a Welsh word roughly translating 

“the act of creating a small space between you and another”4
or, “the safe place provided by a loved one’s hug.”5

Our safe place, just as our Way, Truth, and Life, is a Person.
With eyelashes since infancy and scars earned in deepest suffering;
eyes that burn as fire and callouses gained at the carpenter’s bench.

His are safe hands, healing hands. Hands that give and bless.
Where we go for healing and forgiveness, to be touched and changed by God.
Our living, breathing Lord who is Himself our Sanctuary–
our restful haven and shelter.

Our place of peace is our Prince of Peace.

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Father, fill us also, that our bodies may be
thin spaces, holy places,
cleansed houses for You and luminescent shelters for people.

AMEN.

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Safe hands that give. 7.7.15

1 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, from the Blue Letter Bible’s site
2 Google Dictionary
3 Pressing into Thin Places by Dr. Margaret Harrell Wills
4 http://the-cwtch.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-is-cwtch.html
5 The “Untranslatable Words of Love” of Vashi.com

Scottish cattle, Sudanese friends, American farm

A second Giving of Thanks, spent on Whippletree Farm. When friends meet family, many things are shared–food, stories, and laughter. The circle of the table, and of each heart and prayer, grows a little larger… ◆

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A stunned cardinal found

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while sheep and goat wait

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for feeding hands,

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provision they never see except when given

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Shelter hides,

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with shadows soft,

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all who come and go. All are both travelers and hosts of culture

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Here, a whiskered meeting,

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a pine-needle carpet for running in rain boots,

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and a basket cradling onions fresh from earth, quietly exude peace.

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Camera-to-camera conversations, click click in the kitchen

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and outside, calming pines tower and sigh.

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My uncle leads all the herd, to catch two

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An observer must watch from a distance that won’t startle; cattle know only their owner’s presence 

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The red cow is the smartest, most clever, and most gentle

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A young Belted Galloway watches me

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One penned,

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caught,

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and into the trailer…

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while the other strong bull who throws fences evades capture for the second year in a row.

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Penelope in the pines

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A commissioned art phrase, “Blessed to be a blessing,” inspired by God’s interaction with Abraham in Genesis 12, and His gift of rain.  ◆

 

strokes of my pen

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My prayer for you, unnamed friend: That you may know how deeply God desires to know you and for you to know Him in return; He is jealous for your true affections. He has placed great value upon your entire being–your mind, your heart, your soul, your body. You are like Him, formed to visibly reflect His invisible image. You are worth more than gold and silver, diamonds and rubies. You are created with wondrous detail, infinitely more than the strokes of my pen could ever express. ❤

Cathedral’s Heart

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soundless, light descends to declare

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otherworldly love of detail

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the northern pine woods frame and breathe the heart of a cathedral

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manifold vertical lines

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seek to bind

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earth and heaven, man and God

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tall airy weightless pines

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remind me

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who calls you toward heaven

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and created this space

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wide enough to fit our chaos

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offering us to the Father of lights

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we dwell here afflicted by shadows

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sharp fear, dimming confusion, the waiting of change

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yet there is a stillness

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older than the trees

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who endures

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and whose seeing Heart casts no shadow.

The Vibrant Hum of Light and Design-Made-Pattern

A Language spoken-sung, breathed; inhaled and exhaled from the undistractedly patterned lives of tiny creatures ◆ A Song I could not quite hear, though with it the path was soaked through as the generous July sun ◆ A minute, teeming drop of nature clinging to its original purpose, glowing with Life; a remnant ◆ A wanderer trying to understand and being swept into its current, having forgotten something the flowers and bees still remember…

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Templates borne and realized in living, nobly and without shame.

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Work and purpose lived, beauty and design’s intent: intertwined.

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The hum of light and nature’s feasting unseen.

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The dignity in a hummingbird-being’s secret rest.

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The uncanny and safe-making unity of flying birds. || Away. The dual flock, I.

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|| Gather. The dual flock, II.

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|| Still. The dual flock, III.

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Setting and pattern echo the Garden. The communion of nature and light, and we its fallen royals…

Creator King, reteach us the Song, sow still its seed. Speak to us the language of Your Kingdom, that we may hesitantly pronounce words and phrases now… And sing freely and fluently in Fullness. Restore all with Your Breath of Life. Overlook not Your lost and ruined Image-bearers, who have forgotten and ignored much Good. We root ourselves in Your faithfulness. AMEN.

Captured 7.24.15.

All photographs and words by Kelly Grace Collins, all rights reserved.