Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Nathanael and I don't get many pictures together, because we are more often taking pictures than posing for them. It's always good to have friends who also like to take pictures who will solve that problem for you. This picture was taken by a fantastic friend of ours who turns eight today. Nathanael and I were fresh out of the garden.

    I have found myself humming more lately. I told Nathanael I think I'm getting my hum back.

When I was little, I hummed all of the time. Songs I knew, songs I didn't know, songs I was making up, and hums that were just sparks flying from neurons to vocal cords without my taking notice of the song. But school, college, and attempts to not be disruptive to sisters and classmates squished it out of me a bit.

I fathom myself to be musical, but to tell you the truth I don't have any especial skill with instruments. I still occasionally sit at classical concerts (when they are free) and spend most of the performance wondering why I didn't work harder at practicing. But I don't particularly want a degree in music, or a different career path or fame...I think I just want a way to get the music out.

Do you ever wake up in the morning working your fuzzy brain as hard as you can to grasp the bits of your dreams you have not yet forgotten? I do just about every morning, and what I can recall usually has emotional significance with its own logic and reason, which is completely indescribable to anyone else. For example, a few weeks ago I awoke, cuddled up to Nathanael and told him, "You're my favorite standing still cow." And realizing how strange that sounded once I heard my words I attempted to clarify, "And I'm your favorite standing still cow."

I have no explanation.
It was just something my heart was overflowing to tell him.

Music is the like the converse of dreams. Instead of pictures, stories, and emotions trapped in our own beings unable to be tapped into by our loved ones; feelings are melted and softened until they flow into the ears who will hear.

The more I dream, and the more I am struck by music, the more I am convinced that each of these two mysterious aspects of life are laced with elements of the supernatural. That both joyful sleeping visions and ballads that make us cry are evidence of a creative God who has constructed us likewise. With so many thoughts, and so much imagination we cannot even get it all out.

And so I hum.
Because I cannot play the harmonica while I do dishes.
And because I cannot turn my dreams into movies.
Though they would make great ones. They would make you laugh, and cry, and make you wonder so many things.

(I cannot explain the photos accompanying this song....but perhaps that makes it all the more appropriate.)


  1. I LOVE to hum. I like to try to beatbox while humming a tune, as your mouth isnt actually required otherwise!

  2. Sarah I wonder sometimes if we were twins separated at birth. This post is so good I'm going to read it again!

    It's whistling for me - but you might have known that. I do it without thinking...and people will mention my whistling and I'll think "How do they know I whistle?"

    ~ Jenn Fox Fisher

  3. My dad used to hum all the time when I was growing up, usually when he was working in the garage or tying flies (for fly fishing). I'm a singer (I don't mean a good one, but I sing all the time nevertheless). I find myself making up songs all the time:)

  4. Aw your story about the standing still cow is both hilarious and adorable!

  5. I told one of my coworkers yesterday about my humming roommate in grad school and how happy it was around the apartment when she was humming.

  6. I am more of a whistler than a hummer, and I almost always have a song in my head.

    "You're my favorite standing still cow." - Classic!

  7. Sarah, this is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I especially love: "That both joyful sleeping visions and ballads that make us cry are evidence of a creative God who has constructed us likewise." And I agree.

  8. such a nice picture. We have few and far between shots of us together too. I was thinking more about a tripod... Very poetic and thought provoking words you've shared. I now feel less odd about the things whirling around my head as I awake :)

  9. That's a great picture of y'all!

    I've never been a hummer myself, but it does put me in a better mood when I DO hum. Maybe I should try it more often...

  10. love your pictures! and your blog is beautiful :)


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