On Clouds, Hands, Oysters and Messy Humanity

Dear friends,

On the way home from an appointment: clouds.

I lucked out with the sun rays on these, hastily taken at a stop light…


One of my hobbies is watching clouds and photographing them…
They are a symbol of hope and God’s providence for me.
I pulled over into a parking lot for some of these 
so I could could get the maximum view of clouds 
while avoiding the visual interference of power lines.

I usually crop out any remaining signs of messy human existence (power lines, buildings, light poles), and I sometimes use saturation to brighten things up, as you can see from these two versions of the same shot:

Another cloud of sorts,
another sign of messy human existence:
My appointment today was with my hand specialist.


Now that I’m out of my brace,
I have to buddy tape my fingers 
with a wad of gauze in between
in hopes that the pinky
will stop twisting against the ring finger.



Tape and gauze, for two more months
is not exactly what I wanted to hear.
It’s necessary for recovery, a good thing,
but an inconvenience nonetheless.
But I will count my blessings
that I could see on the new x-ray
that the fracture is healing neatly,
even if there is a loose end
that will take two more years 
for new bone to completely fill in.
As I waited for the doctor to enter the exam room, I read from the chapter “Oyster Bed” in Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh:

“Each is fitted and formed by its own life and struggle to survive. It is an oyster, with small shells clinging to its humped back. Sprawling and uneven, it has the irregularity of something growing. It looks rather like the house of a big family, pushing out one addition after another to hold its teeming life… It amuses me because it seems so much like my life at the moment, like most women’s lives in the middle years of marriage. It is untidy, spread out in all directions, heavily encrusted with accumulations and… firmly embedded on its rock.”

My life, too.  The needs of my family, my friends, my students, my community, my own interests.  Commitments.  Opportunities.  Interruptions.  All piled on, seeming unseemly at the first glance, even the second glance.  Messy, messy human existence at times that I can’t (completely) crop out of my real life.  Like the oyster, I hope I am firmly embedded to the rock, and maybe even growing a pearl inside.  And despite the demands, my beloved peeps do give back, too. Joy. Compassion. Understanding. Chocolate.  Relationships, even complicated ones, are a blessing.


Sweet gift from my sister-in-law Dana, who also sent dark chocolate toffee!
Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

P.S. More to read:

A lovely, candid blog post by Tsh which I found in my Google Reader this afternoon.  Life’s answers aren’t always perfect, but there are still “Partial Solutions” in our complicated lives: Making Friends with Imperfect People

My own series on Advocating for the Vulnerable, dealing with the human messiness of elder abuse, homelessness, child trafficking, and more to come.


Clouds, more clouds, and the realities of life: 
From I Dreamed a Dream
This post will be linked at:

 P52 Photo Project  this week’s theme Hobbies”
P52 with Kent Weakley

(Yes, I confess that I submitted two photos to P52 this week!  You can find the other on my www.ContinueWellHomeSchool.blogspot.com here: Ripstick or Rat?)


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Domestically Divine Tuesday 
Raising Homemakers 


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Funki Planet 

About virginiaknowles

I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Health, Nature, Photography, Stress ~ Difficulty, Web Links. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On Clouds, Hands, Oysters and Messy Humanity

  1. MrsP says:

    Yes, Ma'am. Sometimes a head in the clouds yields just the right perspective…

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