Chasing Flickers


I see them looking down from their perches.

They’re talking to each other. “There are rumors of black oil, but those cylinders are running on empty.”

I scoop seed from the bin and replenish the feeders.

I’m distracted by a flicker on a nearby branch, so I hurry inside and come back with the camera.

The air’s come alive now with an avian chorus, but the flicker flies to the next tree, and I give chase. I ignore the snow seeping through the holes of my Keens.

Finally I find him on the suet cake.

But I really wanted a different picture.

The pictures I get aren’t always the ones I’m looking for.

I snap some others.

My feet are cold, and my legs are chilled, so I go inside.

I take down the Cardamon Cinnamon tea that Sissy gave me for Christmas. Along with the floating duck tea infuser in memory of the rubber ducks my mom enjoyed during tub time at the hospice house.

“Warm the Heart Herb Tea.” the canister reads. “Native to the shadier regions of India and Ceylon, cardamon has the gentle, airy taste of the forest itself–reminiscent of ginger with a pinch of pine and cinnamon (derived from the bark of a small evergreen), brings a spicy depth and fresh perspective.”

I inhale the fragrance. I need more depth and a fresh perspective.


My daughter recited her schedule to me over the phone last night. I scribbled it out on the backs of three envelopes. I’ll need to decipher it today, figure out when I’ve got school-pickup-basketball-practice-babysitting duty.

I signed on for this.

The house is in shambles. I need to spend more time with my dad. I’m exhausted. How will I ever prepare lessons for Bible study? And I’d really like to enter Genesis this year.

And it seems like something always interrupts my plans. Well, often. Sometimes.

I signed on for this?

I’m not sure I can keep ideas flowing for blog posts let alone write 15 polished pages by March 2. And a whole book by the end of the year? I wanted to finish this for my mom. Can I do it for my dad?

Maybe I’m trying too hard.

“A piece of writing knows what it wants and needs to be, but we get in the way,” writes. L.L. “We want to write sophistication; the work reminds us, ‘You are currently living a life of dirty frying pans . . .’ “

I’m currently living a life of clutter and disorder.

And dirty pans.

But every once in a while I catch a flicker of what was, what could be, what I want to be.

But I think L.L. would tell me to “let the me-that-I-am-right-now simply be.”

I see the flicker on the tree outside the window.

I don’t know if these are the pictures I’m looking for.

But I like them.

So I’ll let them be.

And I hear there are rumors of water.

And oil.

Reflections on Chapters 1 and 2 of L.L. Barkat’s newest book, Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing.

 Linking up with Jennifer because I’m pretty sure I saw flickers of God today.


  1. says

    I enjoyed those moments of your life captured in photos and words.
    My word is, simplify. Thoreau’s was “simplify, simplify.”
    What things matter most? Do those and leave off the rest.
    Happy New Year, and may it be filled with peace and joy!
    Debra recently posted..Small Things Count Too

  2. says

    Love that mug. :)

    And yes. … Lots of God flickers there. So very glad you linked.

    Confession: This is the third time I’ve come back to look at your photos and read your post. Does that make me an official stalker? :)
    Jennifer@GDWJ recently posted..“You Be Jesus”

  3. says


    You may not know this, but you wrote this for me.

    Maybe you wrote it for yourself, too, but you definitely wrote exactly the words I needed to read today.

    Second “random” affirmation I’ve received in three hours, today. I’m a little breathless.

    Thank you.
    Bless you.
    Sheila recently posted..The Half-Baked Corn Pudding Caper

  4. says

    Being content with where we are when we get those flickers is challenging isn’t it? I can so relate. Your photos are great, even if they weren’t exactly what you saw in our mind! I’m taking that wisdom from L.L. to heart tonight. Thank you for this.
    Shelly Miller recently posted..You Are Not Your Circumstances

  5. says

    Enjoy the bird photos. Sounds like life is overwhelmingly busy for you now. But also sure you are a blessing to many others. [Am in Genesis-region right how… on 12/26 began to read the Reese Chronological Bible, both OT and NT, and always enjoy it… seeing things in historical/scriptural order.]
    Joanne Norton recently posted..ADHE, MY DAUGHTER