You can go for days, even weeks at a time so
busy that you’re blinded to the world’s magic.
Then one evening you take your wife’s hand
and sit and hear an older author tell of only
being interested in writing keepable sentences.
That same older man then talks tenderly to
you afterwards, encouraging you in your own
important work while your wife stands and
listens with tears on her faithful cheeks. Then
you decide to try and get a seat at the mexican
place and behold they have a outside table just
for two and you devour the enchiladas as the
rain holds off and you talk for the first time in
days, maybe even weeks. This happened to me.
And I found light in my tired eyes, saddened at
letting things go that far but grateful for a God
that so loves to arrange for perfect eventides.
(author Kent Haruf, and me)

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  1. Teresa Evangeline on May 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Kent Haruf … how wonderful. “Writing only keepable sentences….” Yes, exactly so. Thank you.

  2. Carla Laureano on May 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Beautifully put. Though often we only recognize those moments of magic for being surrounded by the mundane.

  3. Amy K. Sorrells on May 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Love this. And glad you found some light. I devoured Benediction, and about knocked the book table over at Costco when I saw they were selling Plainsong there. I’m a couple chapters in, and wow, does he ever write keepable sentences!

  4. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson) on May 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    The outside table for two–God does indeed delight in giving good gifts to his children.

  5. tonia on May 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Oh! Lovely synchronicity. I found Plainsong in a pile at Goodwill and brought it home…never read Haruf before….and just finished it last night. I’m still thrumming with the plain goodness of it. What a gift for you: a keepable sentence of your own.

  6. Seth Haines | Tornado Crows on May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    […] I have heard, though, that caws and pecking do not comprise the whole of birddom. There are barn swallows who occupy themselves first with the creation of safe places, with piling mud pellets up, one atop the next. Their act of creativity always starts at the same place–the dust from whence they came–and they turn that dust into something substantial and inhabitable. I’ve heard that these barn swallows incorporate beauty into their homes, that they add a flourish every now and then. But not the flourishes of all-too-heavy golden rings, mind you. Instead, they use discarded foil wrappers–simpler, overlooked things. I’ve heard that these barn swallows build the steady foundation first, then the walls, then they lay their eggs and wait. And while they wait, they do not groan. Instead, they sing beautiful benedictions. […]

  7. Shannon on May 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    So moving, with a tenderness and grace that comes with true metanoia, the quiet gentle shift kind. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience on June 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Sometimes I come back here in the early morning and read back again through all your keepable sentences and find things I’d lost.

    Thank you.

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