August 29, 2008

Life’s Journey


There is a One-way Lane,
sometimes called Straight and Narrow,
reaching from In the Beginning
to the Eternal Throne of God.
It passes through the Garden of Eden
and the Present and the Future
into Ever Shall Be.

It is the River of Life;
it is the King’s Highway.
It is traveled by every human soul
and each soul in passing
pollutes or sweetens the waters;
each soul mars or mends the road.

In our time the channel is clearer,
the highway smoother
because of the saints
who have gone ahead.

We travel under our own power,
but our power was determined
by the influence of all those
who have traveled before us
and shaped our destiny.

We light the way with our own torch,
but our torch was lit
from the light of the past.
And the traffic moves one way only,
we can never go back
to recover losses or to mend.


“Away down the river,
a hundred miles or more,
other little children
will bring my boats ashore.” *

Not just your own children
who are the fruit of your body,
but each child that you touch
because the touching
makes it the fruit of your soul.

Not just children in infancy and youth,
but any child of God’s.
Not just the boats you launch,
but the boats you trim, or do not trim.
And by thought and word and deed
you rock the boats or ballast them.

The boats you have launched,
the boats you have made
with ballast and trim
may be small craft,
but like the boats of Christian seamen
in any age of simpler faith
their sails bear the cross of Christ,
their cargoes have had the blessing of God,
and you may reasonably hope
that they will weather the storms to be
and make havening harbor
on the shores of the Kingdom of Heaven.

George W. Jones
From his book "Life's Journey".

Photo by Dan Hardison
Asheville, North Carolina

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* Robert Louis Stevenson from “Where Go the Boats?”

August 23, 2008

The Heritage

No matter what my birth may be,

No matter where my lot is cast,

I am the heir in equity

Of all the precious Past.

The art, the science, and the lore

Of all the ages long since dust,

The wisdom of the world in store,

Are mine, all mine in trust.

The beauty of the living earth,

The power of the golden sun,

The Present, whatsoe'er my birth,

I share with everyone.

As much as any man am I

The owner of the working day;

Mine are the minutes as they fly

To save or throw away.

And mine the Future to bequeath

Unto the generations new;

I help to shape it with my breath,

Mine as I think or do.

Present and Past my heritage,

The Future laid in my control;

No matter what my name or age,

I am a Master-soul!

Abbie Farwell Brown
From the anthology "High Tide: Songs of Joy and Vision from the Present-Day Poets of America and Great Britain", 1916.

Photo by Dan Hardison
Historic St. John's Church
Maury County, Tennessee

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August 15, 2008


By a river
as it runs to the sea
is a place of quiet and beauty.

At this place
a town was born
of homes and importance.

And in this town
a church was built
a symbol of faith and hope.

But times changed,
the outlook dimmed,
and all was left abandoned.

Ruins of a church
are all that remain
where faith and hope

once was found.

— Dan Hardison

Photo by Dan Hardison
Brunswick Town, North Carolina

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August 2, 2008

The Art of Handmade

When you think of art, what comes to mind - paintings or sculpture perhaps? What about stained-glass windows, a wood carved animal, a hand-sewn quilt, needlepoint cushions, or a handcrafted table, can these items not be considered art also?

art: The products of human creativity

Regardless what a person may think about art, most people do enjoy that which is handmade. And if someone we know created the item, it will have special meaning. This can be true with a quilt sewn by your grandmother, a table crafted by your father, or needlepoint kneelers created by members of a parish.

handmade: Made by hand or a hand process

Many collectors of art and especially crafts, collect these works because they enjoy being surrounded by things that are not only beautiful, but have also been created by hand. Hand crafted items by people who care about the quality of what they make and who love creating it.

artist: A person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination

Whether a person creates objects for a living or just as a hobby, they do so because they love the process of creating, of making something by hand. This process of craftsmanship has been described by Nancy E. Green as "with an eye to both beauty and utility, not just art for art's sake, but art for the soul's sake." So, whether it is a painting above an altar or a handmade coffee mug, it is the fact that it was created with "heart and hand" that makes it special.

love: Have a great affection or liking for

When we surround ourselves with these handmade items, everyday tasks take on more meaning. Even a sip of coffee from a handmade mug seems different. As clay artist Dina Wilde Ramsing has said, "There is a very intimate relationship between the maker and user. God bless the people who appreciate that."

— Dan Hardison

Shelf Clock by Dan Hardison
7 1/4" W x 8 3/4" H x 3 1/4" D
Cherry with a color woodblock print face

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