The Symmetry of a Woman

There are women born into symmetry, and this is less a statement about beauty and more one of being. These are the women who learn themselves, who learn life, and who learn to balance their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being across the axis of awareness. Only visionary women live this way. Asym

In the old house on the tiny farm, Amber vacuums the baseboards, prepares the house for another tenant. She hums a tune--the Pixies?--as she works the far wall. "This is how to work without grumbling," she could say to the boys, but instead she is the personification of example. It is even-keeled. Steady.Amber10

Before supper, she takes a twenty minute cat nap. This is her body and she listens to the weight of gravity working against it. There have been grocery store runs, school pickups, and children using her as if she were a jungle gym. The act of mothering is a balancing act, and when the give outstrips the take, symmetry skews. "I'll feel so much better in ten," she says, and closes her eyes. With the precision of an egg timer, she opens her eyes, reborn.

Rain Dance

In New Haven, the rain comes, and our friend Erika begs her to dance in the downpour. The children--all four--ask to play like adults, and the lot of them run down the sidewalks and cross onto the Yale campus. Adult and child, woman and girl, they search for symmetry and find it in the puddles near the Women's Table (the monument celebrating liberation and equality, a grander form of symmetry). Women and children dance in the rain, reflecting joy, even under a slate-gray sky.


Do you know a person of symmetry? Feel free to honor them in the comments below. I'd love to hear the stories of those who teach you about beauty and balance.

And while you're hear, allow me to bend your ear? I've created a 30 day email journal designed to walk you into better balance, into the symmetry of inner sobriety. Follow this link to sign up for the 30 day Coming Clean Journal. With excerpts from Coming Clean: A Story of Faith, and daily journal prompts, I hope you'll find this journal another useful tool for the journey. Come along?


Thanks for stopping in! If you enjoy reading here, sign up to receive my bi-monthly Tiny Letter. If you sign up, you'll receive my free eBook, Coming Clean|Austin OuttakesAnd, if you enjoy this website, or my Tiny Letter, consider signing up as a monthly content supporter.

powered by TinyLetter


No... Sleep... 'Til FLORENCE!

Like I said on Wednesday, it's been nearly fifteen years, and I still like my lady. In fact, I like her so much that we've decided to scoot out of the country for a bit of a holiday. (Doesn't that sound so European?) In the modified words of the Beastie Boys, "No... Sleep... 'Til FLORENCE!"  

We're bugging out, and I won't be around for a while. In the meantime, though, follow our shenanigans on my Facebook page (and give it the old thumbs up while you're there), where I'll be posting a few stories, photos, and perhaps a poem or two.

I'll see you in a week or so!

Photo by John Rawlinson, Creative Commons via Flickr.

And while you're here, you might as well enjoy so good tunes. Check out Joe Purdy's album, Paris in the Morning.

Ah, yes... This is Powerful Stuff.

It could have turned out different, I guess. Truth is, Amber and I almost called it quits twice in college. In fact, while we were engaged, we broke up for about fifteen minutes. I'd tell you the whys of that particular split, but it'd be too long, and boring, and probably a bit embarrassing. After a spell, I looked at Amber and said, "did we just break up?"

She looked at me. "Yes, I think so."

I thought for a moment, gathered my breath. "That's stupid. You want to get back together?"

We sat on the couch, laughed, and she said, "yes."

"That's good," I said. "I'm not sure what I'd do if you'd said no."

It took us a while to shake these wandering ways, the creeping notions that we might be better off alone. We carried wayward hearts into marriage, allowed them to be the devil on our shoulders, to threaten our vows, even. But the truth is powerful, and the truth is, all the wild horses in Montana couldn't drag us away from each other.

Ah yes, this is powerful stuff.

Last night, Preston Yancey commented a bit about his hope for a good love. I've been thinking about that, this being Valentine's Day and all. Good love doesn't come easy, and the process of becoming one is a painful refinement. I've never seen it play out any other way. But in that refinement, there's joy--faith and hope, too. (Not to mention children, and one day grandchildren, Lord willing.) And more than that, there's the working out of a grand metaphor.

But I'll leave that one for you to untangle.

Amber's away today, visiting her old stomping grounds to attend to some family business. I miss her something awful. I've abused this song lately, but if there's one thing our refining process has taught me, it's that the sun could fade, and... well... you know. Happy Valentine's, Amber!


If you have some time today, might I suggest that you read a good love story? I mean, a really good one? (And yes, I might be biased.) Visit Amber's "Love Songs," series

*For regular updates, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page.

On Chains, Post-Apocalyptic Dreams, and Tenderness


Today, Amber is on the road to Alabama and she's asked me to pen a few lines for her blog. It's not likely to be an expected piece, and it's a brief break from our prosperity gospel series (sort of), but it's my offering for the day. I hope you enjoy it.  We'll be back with the series tomorrow.



I was in a parking deck in the center of a grey-skied city. From the deck, there was nothing but burned out buildings and glass-sharded windows. People wandered the streets, shell-shocked with eyes to the sky. Disappointed looters came from buildings, shoulders shrugging at the lack of wares to pinch.

Continue reading at Amber's place.

Photo by boklm, via Creative Commons.

To Amber: on the morning in which you are to vacate

“I don’t know how to explain my own writing voice. It’s not a thing I can measure.”~Amber Haines.

You say that there aren’t ways to quantify your writing voice, that there are no measuring cups sufficient. It’s why you love the abstract, the Spirit, you say. They’re limitless.

Your morning walk from the kitchen to the living room is slow, two hands wrapped around your mug. There are words there, in the mug, in your mouth, in your fingers. You store them like jigsaw puzzle pieces, look for the corners and arrange good sentences around them. This is done quietly in your subconscious spaces even before you say “good morning,” or the “would you hand me my day planner.” Somehow I think you carry a room of your own everywhere you go.

It’s a thing to behold, the way you arrange words on a page. I want to read a book of them; I want to have them in a treasure chest. It seems an act of infidelity--your voice, absent from the bookshelf where Hemingway, Berry, and Manning/Blase offer their comforts. You might roll your eyes at that last sentence, but know this: I could never love their words as much as I love yours. They’ve never followed me past the altar into the great “I do.” They’ve never shared my bed, not really. They've not sipped from the same DaySpring coffee mugs. (I just love all of those super-masculine bluebirds and flowers.) And their words, grand though they may be, are not entangled in all of my metaphors.

*This piece written around Amber's Concrete:An Abstraction writing prompt. Would you join her this weekend?