We’re a rag-tag group of people vigilantly pursuing self-sustaining educational & employment opportunities with and for students and their families living in rural communities in developing countries. We believe in asking hard questions like, “What do you need and how can we help?” We believe that communities know their needs better than we do and that it’s our job to listen. We’re big on being kind for the sake of kindness and we believe that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. We believe in keeping vigil over one another and watching for opportunities to help, no matter how far off the beaten path those opportunities take us. We’re vigilant in our belief that God has given each person unique gifts and that one of the highest forms of worship is using those gifts to serve others. We believe God has a purpose for each life and Vigilante Kindness is our purpose. Join us as we live out wild adventures in service of God and others. Join us in committing acts of Vigilante Kindness.
Finally, finally Day In A Sentence release day is here! What a joy to gather sentences about the beauty you love. I savored each one as I tucked it away for today.
Before I release your words, I’ve got to tell you about lanterns. Yes, lanterns.
During Chinese New Year the city of Pingxi, Taiwan hosts the Heavenly Lantern Festival, where thousands upon thousands of paper lanterns are released into the night sky.
Throughout history, paper lanterns have been used for many purposes including to send messages over enemy lines in times of war.
But the lanterns released on the night of the festival serve a much different purpose. Each lantern is scribed with prayers, prayers to be carried to God, that He might answer them and bestow His favor.
My heart thrills at the thought of writing and releasing prayers.
As I sit here reading your sentences one last time, I can’t help but think of the lanterns. I’m hopeful that by releasing our words, the beauty we wrote about will appear in abundance this new year.
Here are this week’s sentences (Apologies to Amanda C., Kim K. and Deborah C. for not including a hyperlink because I lost your site addresses in the process of pasting the sentences.):
“This has been a difficult week in our household – transitioning back into routine after two weeks home with Mom and Dad, really took a toll on our toddlers. This week’s DIAS helped remind me that they are the beauties we love, and must be our priority pupils, because being teachers parents is what we do.” -Amanda C.
‘”Don’t start reading… let the beauty we love be what we do…” Tomorrow I promise to wake up and grab my guitar and play into the day.” –Bonnie K.
“I can’t take credit for ‘You’ve got to be a friend to have a friend,’ but there is beauty in maintaining old and forging new friendships; I reached out to a new friend today.” –Amiable Amiable
“Poetry is the beauty I love and this week it came to me wrapped in the secure arms of my husband, in the sweet tang of blackberries, and in the light of the elusive winter sun.” -Alicia M.
“I love to sit and draw funny, silly cartoons. Some have suns and others have moons. Some are gaffes but most do get a few laughs.” –Carl D.
“The beauty I love is often found through the lens of my camera. Today I captured the lustrous pink of the setting sun reflected in the river, filtered through the barren branches of winter trees.” –Lynn J.
“The beauty of nature fills my heart; it overflows and shines out in love to others.” –Heidi R.
“I woke to the frosty foggy morning, with salutations to the sun that I knew to still be in the sky, only slightly hidden away… as sometimes my joy may be.” -Kim K.
“I dig in the dirt of my soul, of my garden, the black half moons beneath my fingernails reminding: hard work purifies spirit & body; and my tears became the rain for the seed of hope I planted today.” –cr8df8
“I was watching snowflakes fall as I walked my dog early in the morning the other day — in the hours before the neighborhood arose — and the quiet of the moment was so powerful and so beautiful, I wanted to wrap it up my scarf and take it with me for the day.” –Kevin H.
“In those lush pre-dawn hours, when, in between, my being remembers that the path of attraction knows the way, without haste to get lost in busy-ness, though good work may be true, without need for company, though that could be the sun’s reflection, too, but mostly in trust remembering to release into the beauty of love.” –Joseph M.
“We can behold beauty, but it cannot be held so today I attempted to pass it along, through the comforting warmth of a kind smile and a reassuring touch, the uplifting joy of a shared giggle, the simulated grace of letting go.”-Hippie C.
“The beauty that I have come to love is the every day imperfection of those we love, which in its flawed unraveling, reveals the soul.” -Deborah C.
Now that we’ve set our words free, watch this clip of the Heavenly Lantern Festival and then add it to your list of things to do before you die. Oh and be sure to join this week’s Day in a Sentence over here.
I am completely over the moon for Poetry Everywhere. Oh, I’ve mentioned that before? Like 100 times? Well, make this 101 because Seamus Heaney’s poem “Blackberry Picking” has swept me back to my childhood, picking blackberries with my family. His beautiful imagery inspired me to write my own poem about blackberries. It’s for my big brother, Jeff, perhaps the only person in the world who loves blackberries more than I do.
Our family car is the color of overcooked green beans.
We pile in the backseat and drive to the river,
Always the river,
To relieve the heat that leaves us cracked and withered.
We don’t care about sweat beading on our brows or our legs sticking to the seats.
My brother and I hope for blackberries,
Buckets of blackberries,
Ripe with the sweet taste of summer.
We grab our empty buckets, peel ourselves out of the car and race to the brambles.
We reach into the bushes, cajoling the stems to surrender their jewels,
The jewels of summer,
Treasures between our teeth, tender on our tongues.
The tangles of thorns scratch at our browned arms and legs,
We bleed, my brother and I.
The blackberries bleed with us,
In our hands, in our buckets, blackberry wine trickling down our lips.
Our stained mouths bellow purple shouts of jubilee,
Our voices carry beyond the thicket, beyond the river
Our giggles echo on the water,
The mighty river, always laughing with us.
Our buckets are full, our bellies round jars of jam
Our cheeks blush with kisses from the sun,
The sun that rises,
To ripen blackberries for her children.
We pile into the car, our skin salty and sticky sweet.
The car is heavy with summer heat, cooking us until we wilt.
My brother and I exchange tired smiles, cradling our buckets,
Buckets brimming with blackberries, buckets brimming with joy.
And because you deserve a little more poetry in your life, here’s a video of Seamus Heaney’s “Picking Blackberries”. See how I put mine first so you won’t compare the two? Clever, no? Anyway, here is the poem that inspired me. There just aren’t many things better than poetry, blackberries, and the music of James Morrison.
I’m thrilled to be hosting Day In A Sentence this week.
Oh, you’re new here? Hi, I’m Alicia. Don’t worry, I’ll sit by you at the lunch table.
You don’t know what Day In A Sentence is? It’s okay. I’ll explain, but first you’ve just got to watch this real quick.
You want to watch it a second time? I did, too. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
I’ve watched Coleman Barks read this poem several times and I can’t stop chewing on the line “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” I could chew on that line for a long time and never be hungry again. It’s so nourishing, this idea of the beauty we love being what we do.
So here’s the task for this week’s Day In A Sentence: write a sentence about the beauty you love and how you manifested that today. Leave your sentence, your name, and a web address (if you’ve got one) in the comments section and I’ll release all of the sentences next Sunday. That’s it. Simple, right? And to think you were worried.
A few months ago I mistakenly heard someone say the word ‘poetrees’ in lieu of the word ‘poetry’. It’s a word mash-up I haven’t been able to shake from my mind. I wrote it down in my notebook and left it there all alone. Today I woke to the pattering of rain and trees whistling in the wind and knew it was time to write about those poetrees.
Winter’s voice thunders at my roof,
The trees are tapping out words on my windows,
Scribbling meter, rhyme, and verse with scraggly stick fingers.
The wind whispers their poems in my waiting ears.
They write of the earth, tucked safely under frosted blankets,
Of lightning striking white willows, turning them black with despair
And the blessed rain washing away the soot and sins of man.
Cloud faces drain themselves of color, weeping with relief,
Watering the souls of shy maples and ancient oaks.
The storm takes a breath,
Gutters usher its remnants into the sodden soil.
The poetrees withdraw their pencils from my windowpane.,