Wednesday, October 5, 2016

drawn away

"Jesus, Your love is so amazing and this joy I can't explain it. I'm caught up in the fellowship, yes I'm caught up in the fellowship. Cause You're the One, there You go again. Lifting my heart, lifting my head, And hope is rising as I see You smiling." The Love Inside, Laura Hackett Park

I was so proud of Rick. The engine smashed through the windshield. He was telling us what happened to him - twenty years ago - how they used the jaws of life to get to him and extract him from the car. The details. The memory came to him, while we sat on the couch in his apartment. ?Did he still have what he wrote down last time? He didn't know where he had laid it. Then it occurred to me. My hand reached down and pulled out one notebook for him. "Write pieces of your story. Maybe just the word "windshield," I said.

It's like the blue dashes around the red-outlined letters I had made on the pink sheet. My eye found it on the top of the pile. My fingers carried it into the living room yesterday morning, seated on the sofa, sipping on my cocoa. And next my thoughts were drawn away - left to rest - on the One who was thinking about me. The One who lifted my head, held my thoughts, moved my heart. To know his presence. To be known by him.

When you look at "windshield" next time, you will remember what God has done for you.

As I talked with Shane, Rick scrawled down bits and more bits until he finally had filled out the whole page. It set in his lap.

"While you're at it, DECORATE the page." I handed him the tissue paper squares and the glue stick in a cellophane bag. He took the bag from me and began gluing bright colored squares along the edges. Afterwards he asked, "Do you want me to tear out the page?"  "No, the notebook is for you to keep. Like a treasure chest... to remember... moments of God's help," I replied. "You can put your name on the front if you want." Yea, he got right to it. He made it his own.

Caught up in the fellowship. The tall fellow from Marshall, Shane, 36. He said quietly he hasn't prayed for some time, but the river from his lips took me to into the presence of the Father. The history God had with him swirled in dips and turns. Feeling unknown to those I was with. But each of us was known by the Father, held in the Father's hand, given to Jesus, that none would snatch away. 

I thought of Ellen and Robbie, Charlie and Jenni, figures that have moved in and out of my life. The way the Spirit reminded us - that we were thought over. How His smile made hope rise. In the next moment His fellowship touched a chord and a response spilled out. Like the words Robbie spoke last week, "You are a lover, God." 

Across from Rick's place, Darlene showed me the design she had been embellishing with her colored pencils. I saw an orange starfish in the middle, flanked by rose blossoms, and some blue snow flakes. From my plastic sack I handed her the paper sign with packing tape across its back. She studied the blue dots around the "I" and "N." The green dashes with orange and blue and red. She read the sentence to me. LET  JOY  FALL  IN  MY  HEART.  "That is a prayer for myself Darlene......

......cause I need His help."  As I rose to leave I hugged her, told her I loved her, she told me she loved me. This stranger, a mother, a grandmother. Thank you Lord for knitting our hearts.


Monday, October 3, 2016

active spirit brings it to mind

These days I spend time fostering expression. 
Once George told me about his motorcycle wreck. How the hospital expected his injures to be fatal, but they were not. 

Matt attributed his survival in a car accident to assistance from God.  
Joanna told me about the sign the Lord sent her telling her son was okay-- a large flock of red birds landed in her back yard. 


Remembering a touch from a caring God in the midst of her despair, a workman brought to Sarah a bottle of water when she was crying out
side the hospital. Her grandson in surgery. The man said to her: "It looks like you could use this." 


Last summer we met at the Folger Street coffeehouse. This Autumn meeting with two brothers and a bible student who live at Patty Court and a couple I visit at Bosworth. 
It is the active presence of the Spirit who brings the memory to the surface (Book of John, chapter 14, verse 26). 


We write down "what He does" and "how He is" based on entries from the book of psalms. (#34 and #103 and #91, and so on) 
Something to bring my heart back to Him when I read it later.

I really enjoy this. Unscripted responses from unfamiliar folks who believe. Relying less on "correct" answers, and honoring honest ones. In September I chose to stay home from the Paint out in Marceline, Missouri. Preferring to keep my visits going.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

tissue layers plastic packing strap pencil wheel pencil

a stiff packing strap 
from which all other elements suspend
blends into the white ceiling tiles above
   colors flutter
   lines and dashes hover
   a short yellow pencil present in the mix


double click image to enlarge

Two minutes. Sculptures in my wife's art room at Adams Elementary School. Jan Marxhausen asked me to make something for her students to look at.

transparent packing pillows

colorful adhesive vinyl 

my goodie bag of salvaged materials, including the four sharpened pencils, domino game labels, crayola labels, yarn, and the toy truck tire I found.

View 2015 assemblage, click


Thursday, August 4, 2016

preserving RKD memories

An article in the monthly AAA magazine recommended M22 as being scenic and worth driving. So on Sunday, we left Muskegon and drove up the west coast of Michigan to Manistee and caught highway 22 up to Arcadia. We turned at the road sign. Drove through a quiet sunny neighborhood, and came upon a grassy area with lots and lots of bicycles, the grounds of Camp Arcadia.

This is where I met with Ryan McKenna. He was in charge of preserving the memories of RKD. What used to be known as a Walther League camp. Ryan was the director of the archive. Ryan was interested in black and white photos my dad had taken. I was there to donate those photos to the archive collection. Ryan had some other camp archive photos on a compact disk for me to take back. These would be photos someone else took of my father, Reinhold Marxhausen, when he was at Camp Arcadia. Double click to see photos enlarged.

My suspicions were confirmed when I looked at the Main building on the grounds, above, and then took a black and white version of the same building.

In a file Dad had labeled "Camp Mchalio" were the next five photos. Look at the building in the background. It is the same building.

Why were these children in costumes? Was it Halloween? Who was the sheet ghost with legs walking around? The boy in the striped shirt, with bare feet, and pirate's head scarf was me, Karl Marxhausen. That photo told me I was at the camp as well. WHEN was I at that place?

Ryan met me out front of the Wigwam Building. And he led me through the first floor rooms. I was hoping a memory would come back to me of being there. He said the decor of the dining room had not changed in forty-five years. There was an Indian motif which I didn't understand.

We went downstairs and Ryan told me more about the archive where he worked. Many years ago a lady had hopes about a thin folder of materials:
"The original manuscripts in the Camp Arcadia Archives, currently a file folder in a box with such original materials, but hopefully sometime cataloged etc, very carefully, for the best type of preservation."  

Five minute. Ryan showed me slides of Dad from Camp Archive. Double click to enlarge. Next, large group of children in costume.

On far left is me in pirate stripes and Dad crouched behind me, next. Then, Dad standing, with me behind draped child. I've added the cropped closeups.

Next, there is this photo of a Little Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue and I am on the left picnic table. I've added the cropped closeup.

Ryan told me on occasion children and grownups were required to dress up. It was either a Hobo Day or a King Neptune Day or an Indian Day or some other theme. It was in good fun. If you didn't dress up, you were not allowed into the dining hall. That was back then.

These days there is a cottage colony. People have summer cottages on the grounds of the camp. Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep have grown up and during the sunny summer days are his next door neighbors. Dave Wilkins and his sister Lisbeth.

Ryan put me in touch with Wilkins, who added this:
"It most likely was Fiesta Day. It was a special event. Everyone at the camp needed to dress up to eat supper. There was a big parade. I was little boy blue. My sister was little bo peep."          David Wilkins, Saginaw, Michigan
Ryan showed me my Dad kneeling in the sand of Lake Michigan, placing rocks on top of sand, next. The little boy to his right in the white shirt is me. I wonder how old I am?

Dad photographed me in the sand, next three b/w.

Then Ryan put this up, next image. What is going on here? A crowd of children and adults gathered around Dad. There is something large standing up. Maybe concrete with a pattern of rocks in it. At the base in the sand is a mock-up or a sketch from which Dad worked. Ryan recognized the pattern as Walther League star logo. We saw that logo in the museum exhibit.

A mock-up or prototype Dad worked from.

Above, the little boy with someone's hand on his head, just to the right, that is me. WHEN did this take place? Below, Walther League emblem from museum.

Three minutes. Importance of preserving RKD memories.

Ryan led me to an exhibit on display and it took my breath away. Camp Arcadia was a place with many youth groups over many years. In the 1930s there were a dozen Walther League camps across the United States.

Walther League summer camps in California, Washington, the Rocky Mountains, Texas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, New York, in Dixie, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Illinois, as well as in Canada: Ontario and Alberta BBC. The International Home Base was Arcadia, Michigan.

I remember going to Camp Okoboji in Iowa with my parents for vacation.

Above, some humor remembering how things ran back then.

Five minutes. The display remembered Mom and Pop Weihermans. Pop was called "Chief" and he was the director of Camp Arcadia for the first forty years. From 1922 to 1963.

Their daughter, Rinkie, did the Indian motif artwork in the Wigwam and Snack Bar. Her photo, next.

One name caught my attention - Caemmerer. There was a Richard Caemmerer I knew from Holden Village, Washington. He had painted a ceiling and I wrote and sang a song about him during the summer of 1976. My father knew him. I wonder if that Caemmerer was related to the one who had a Hall named for him ???

Lastly, take a look at these round banners I saw there. I grew up in a congregation that favored banner making and these are fantastic. I do not know who made them. Guessing they were five to six feet in diameter. Double click on images to enlarge.

Below, worn wood structures from the beach into Lake Michigan. They look like the ones that were there when I was playing in the sand, up up up above. I wonder what they are called?