I live on the edge. Well, I live on the edge of a continent. The edge of a continent that runs east and west rather than north and south along the California coast. And I love the idea that if I were to step into the ocean and swim due south between the Channel Islands the next landfall would be Antarctica. I love that possibility on my horizon.

Having said all that, we live in a coastal community but seldom seek out the beach as a place for solitude, rest or reflection. Recently, we headed north to Cambria for a change of horizons booking a lovely room with a wide-angle ocean view. It didn’t take long to experience the mind-quieting quality of the endless climbing, curling, folding, foaming waves as they slide ashore. The first evening we sighed over a simple apricot sunset, a flaming star atmospherically changing shape as it slide into the  expansive horizon of the silvery pulsing sea.    

The morning sun highlighted the cresting waves as they smashed over rocky outcroppings. Yet by midmorning a gray marine layer materialized from nowhere settling in for the duration of our visit. It is an understatement to say I am not a fan of fog. But I’ve taken some solace in C S Lewis’ answer to a friend’s inquiry of how he withstood the endless tedium of English weather. He replied that he had learned to look lovingly at the dreary gray and see instead pearl, pewter and dove. The oyster sky that obliterated the sea’s wide horizon became a calm, non-distracting backdrop for three mornings of uninterrupted, soul satisfying art making.

Weeks earlier I’d partially painted a small pizza box as a sample for an art activity at the Lighthouse. Intended for storing gratitude cards, prayers, promises, or treasured keepsakes, my “God box” had remained unembellished, a convenient storage box for others leftover small art pieces. Its plainness visually nagged at me.  So I packed it up along with scissors, glues sticks, paint pens, a watercolor set, and a collection of previously culled collage images. And we headed off for new horizons.

Each morning I settled into my small art space overlooking the Pacific Ocean. My goal was to cover each surface of the box, to use all the collage materials available, and to uncover any narrative, or word given to me,  that might emerge for a particular combinations of images and words. Since art making is a form of prayer for me, the images I put together contain aspects of my own narrative, a visual conversation of my own heart’s awareness, dramas and desires. But I’ve also learned that the conversation is a dialogue, never merely a self-absorbed monologue. I have come to trust that the Spirit speaks into the narrative of my life through these images; there is something profoundly more that meets the eye. Something more for me to know, to learn, to be inspired by, to be guided with. Old horizons, ordinary understandings, refreshed, made new.

These are the other major surfaces of my box.

Transformed – Even in the smoke and ashes of my life there are the pastel hints in the towering clouds that God will transform that into something sublime, something that will ultimately bloom and bear fruit. I am learning to look for the pastel hints on the horizon of all things.

Hot Flashes – I am reframing the frustrations of aging by focusing on “hot flashes” as being those deliciously creative inspirations whispered by the Spirit, those ideas that capture my imagination, and invite me to not withhold myself from myself and others even in the midst of limitations.

Entering In – This is a more mysterious, ethereal image for me, but it’s about being invited in and deeper into an eternally more intimate relationship. It is the bottom, or foundational surface, of the box.

Have you explored any new horizons recently? Have you had an expected horizon obscured from view? If so, what new horizon appeared? How did it speak into your life? Your narrative? If you were to create a collage in image and word about your horizons, what would it look like?


I’m looking forward to your comments.


PS – Special thanks to the California Pizza Kitchen for donating the small pizza boxes for this art activity.






5 comments to Horizons


    I have been writing my memoirs by subject. First was our home I was raised in. Then “Up North” into Canada for fishing vacations. Playmates, Scarlet Fever (three of we four girls went to quarantine hospital. We called it the pest house.), School Days, How John and I met, and Marriage. Right now I am writing about Cousins. It is amazing how things keep popping up in my head. I like to come back after a few days to rewrite and add many more memories. I am really enjoying it, and the family seems to like the stories. It’s fun.



    Really enjoyed your post!!

  • Robin Rice

    How wonderful to see the pearls and pewters in gray. I just came back from the Canadian Rockies – a trip which in advance had promised to be meditative, full of time to write, read and play cribbage with my travel companion. However…this was not to be. We planned tooooo many miles, drove too much and never had relaxation or contemplation time. Now that I am home I am taking the time to look at the wonderful photos I took from mountain tops. I climbed higher than I have ever climbed, to a summit where I could look to the horizon and see range after range and peak after peak. I was proud that I was able to push myself during the hike – each time I rested and said this was far enough, I gathered my breath and my motivation to push on to the top. The view from this high point was the most amazing I have ever seen. It was worth the effort. I am looking at this as my mantra for living, now that I am home. Rest, recover and push on.
    xx rr

  • Deanna J Bowling

    Lynne, your postings remind me of something that happened many years ago.

    Some time before Howard and Linda Young moved to State of Washington many years ago, Linda was providing child care out of her house. If I remember correctly, Linda and Howard lived up behind where Kentucky Chicken is located just short of Telegraph and Mills Road.

    The Howard’s I believe were hosting a Lenten 6 week Bible study at their house. Maureen and Phil Houtz were attending the study with myself, and maybe Dede, and a few other people. One of Maureen’s daughters, I say one of because I can’t remember which one, would bring her dolls with her when the Houtz’s came for the study. Maureen said that the daughter would bring her dolls just incase there were none to play with wherever they were going.

    Except during Worship Services, I always see you with at least a piece of paper and a pencil, and often drawing one thing or another. I can “see” how your taking artistic implements with you to draw with helps to get you beyond the perceived boundaries of whatever is going on at the time. Similarly, I can see how Maureen Houtz’s daughter’s bringing her dolls with her helped her play beyond the bounds of where ever she was going.

    I not as often, but then maybe so, use writing to get myself beyond perceivable boundaries.

    Thank you for your postings and the inspiration and freedom they give me to get beyond my boundaries.

    Love, hugs and prayers,


  • Helen

    I have been walking with God me on a journey to new horizons of faith and healing for some time now – even though I don’t always like the journeying!
    Wrote this one day, after watching the sun rise. At that time I was deep in the midst of a bout of uncertainty and confusion – think he was with me even so!

    The sun begins to rise
    And creeping quietly up beside it
    I peer uncertainly into the new day
    And the fear begins to rise within me
    As I wonder how I will live
    When you heal my broken heart
    And I wonder who I will be without the sadness?
    And I wonder who I will be when the emptiness
    Is filled?
    And slowly the light rises
    And the new day begins to appear before my very eyes
    And all at once I am laughing
    For before my very eyes
    You are levelling the mountain
    One molehill at a time!
    And you are removing the solid wall of pain
    One brick at a time
    And the numbed gates of brass and iron
    Are yielding to you
    My strength and song
    And the distant scene
    Sparkling with unseen treasures
    And secret riches
    Is being reached one step at a time
    And one day
    When the time is ripe
    You will call me by my name
    And taking me by the hand
    You will walk me into the Promised Land
    And you will show me who I really am
    And I will know at last how to live
    Forever with you

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