Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Monthly Archives: March 2011

One of My Photos Made It…

What I don’t know.


I’ve Stayed Too Long At The Fair…

Yep. Sometimes the only options are to hold my coffee in one hand and slowly shake my grizzled head in wonder.

I read several pieces from teens and twenty-somethings each day on FaceBook and different blogs. It can be disquieting.

It seems that most of them are miserable WHERE THEY ARE and longing to be somewhere else. This never stops – a recurring theme. Suffering. Suffocating.

This morning a granddaughter who just returned from a vacation bemoans the fact that she is no longer there. Several comments from fellow students confess that they too are miserable because they aren’t somewhere else. This is a recurring pattern. They seem to wish they were back home, back at school, on a cruise, anyplace but where the cruel fates have placed them. One hopes that before long they learn the fine art of truly enjoying being where they are. That’s a significant part of maturity.

The second thing that raised my eyebrows this morning was the announcement that FaceBook is planning a new program that features a map that identifies at a glance where each of your “friends” are. It tracks their every movement.

I can imagine that certain personality types would be fascinated to be able to know exactly where Johnny or Mary might be. Parents would love to be able to track their kids or even their spouses by the minute. As an INTJ and a very private person, nothing would be worse. How open should one’s life be?

In my working days, I was one of those whose life was a matter of interest to many. I lived with that without problems. Knew it was like that when I signed on as clergy. But when I retired I quickly relished  my newly-found privacy. I realized that it was truly “none of anyone’s damned business” (to coin a phrase) where I was or what I was doing. What a happy relief! What a gift.

FaceBook can teach that lesson very quickly to a generation of people who long to be noticed – or something.

Regarding Daughters…

As is so often the case, Garrison Keillor has some interesting poetic insights into the strange world of bringing up daughters. If this triggers a response, read on…

Prayer for Our Daughters
by Mark Jarman
May they never be lonely at parties

Or wait for mail from people they haven’t written

Or still in middle age ask God for favors

Or forbid their children things they were never forbidden.

May hatred be like a habit they never developed

And can’t see the point of, like gambling or heavy drinking.

If they forget themselves, may it be in music

Or the kind of prayer that makes a garden of thinking.

May they enter the coming century

Like swans under a bridge into enchantment

And take with them enough of this century

To assure their grandchildren it really happened.

May they find a place to love, without nostalgia

For some place else that they can never go back to.

And may they find themselves, as we have found them,

Complete at each stage of their lives, each part they add to.

May they be themselves, long after we’ve stopped watching.

May they return from every kind of suffering

(Except the last, which doesn’t bear repeating)

And be themselves again, both blessed and blessing.


“Prayer for Our Daughters” by Mark Jarman, from Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems. © Sarabande Books, 2011. Reprinted with permission.


There’s so much here that bears serious reflection – and perhaps a few salty tears. So much wisdom, unanticipated but appreciated and stretching at the same time.

Ah, Bristol…

Ronnie shares this wonderfully scary thought with us this morning…

Apparently, Bristol Palin and a major publishing house believe that a 20-year-old single mother whose only known accomplishment is losing a TV dance contest has lived a life so full and fascinating it warrants a memoir. According to Reuters, the publisher, William Morrow, describes the book thusly:

“Plainspoken and disarmingly down to earth, Bristol offers new insight and understanding of who she is and what she values most.”
Just what we have all been waiting for and certain to become a literary classic.