Tuesday, February 19, 2013


This Lent writing based on my photographs has been so fun, because I get to look at my pictures each day and choose one to write about.  I’ll betcha I could write about one single picture every day of Lent and have a different aspect of the photo driving the words. A picture really is worth a thousand thoughts.

Today I came across this photo of Sarah with baby Anna Bella.  I thought it was perhaps their first kiss, but decided it must be the second because they both looked too clean. It started me thinking about kisses. When you get fixated on certain subjects they start to look really sweet, then full-on beautiful, and then at a certain point the subject becomes sort of odd. 

I think it’s really interesting that we kiss, we humans. I guess it must be instinctive.  Maybe it’s learned and just passed down through generations.  But on second thought I’m pretty sure it’s instinctive.  And natural.  Our first full breath is through the mouth, and it’s followed by our first cry.  Then our next instinct is to open our mouths and eat, and the motion is to pucker.  We purse our lips and draw them in. Try it.  That very motion becomes a kiss. 

Maybe kissing is eating for the spirit. That’s how we nourish it, with love.  That’s how it’s sustained, with love.  I think, if you don’t have someone with whom you are comfortable doing the lip love transfer, you aught to consider blowing kisses to people you sort of know.  They don’t need to know about it.  You can be really discreet about it, I think.  Just sort of smack your lips silently and exhale. I should emphasize here that I am talking platonic love.  Romantic silent kiss blowing might get a little strange. So I’m thinking that if I’m worried about someone or even having a hard time with someone I care about, next time I see them I’m gonna do the old smack and exhale thing. I think it might be kinda like saying a silent prayer for someone.  I do that a lot, too. Kinda like sending good karma toward someone.

I like the idea of the silent kiss.  I’m gonna do it!

I think of kissing someone as a way to express an emotion to them, but on another second thought, I suppose in reality it’s an expression to ourselves about how we feel toward that person, or that thing.  I smothered my baby dolls with kisses when I was a girl.  I can feel that cool smoothness in my memory; smell the distinct aroma of baby doll rubber, feel the soft starchiness of the fabric of her ruffled dress, hear the click-click of her eyes as they open and shut, recall the tickle of her synthetic Madame Alexander hair against my neck. I thought I was telling her I loved her.  But really, I was telling ME that I loved to love, and she was safe and would never betray my love.

I miss kissing…even blowing kisses…to some people.  Mom, of course.  I miss touching lips.  Her lips were soft and reassuring.  I miss my lips on her forehead, her warm skin and sparkly eyes.  I miss kissing my Kate.  I pucker and blow really hard out my front door, to the south east, and hope the wind will catch it and carry it to her all the way down in Houston.

And strangely, I miss kissing people I don’t even know.  I feel that empty place where a girl should kiss her father; yearn for old friends I should have known but forgot to meet; flutter for little ones yet to come. What do we do with love unspent?  Does it store up inside and come out in anger or acne? I think it’s a good thing we talk and eat and drink through straws because it makes the lips do the motion even if we are not consciously sending love.

We breathe. We talk. We eat.  We kiss. Seal our devotion over the altar.  Part from one another with one last token of affection.

And, going a little deeper, I think it is not just a strange coincidence that Judas, on that fateful night, leaned into his friend and master, glanced toward the soldiers who were watching, and betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  They say love and hate are Siamese twins.  I don’t know at all what compelled him to do such a thing, and I’m grateful that I am commanded not to judge him.  I’m even more grateful that I’m not him, though I suspect there is a little Judas in all of us, sadly.

But I think…I hope…there is more Jesus in all of us.

I imagine his mother’s lips against his newborn flesh.  Joseph’s lips against the soft curls of his young boy head in the carpenter’s shop. I imagine the gentlest soul who ever lived pursing his thirsty lips and exhaling love to his mother at the base of the cross.

And I can just as easily imagine him in his heaven place, looking down on us, not nearly as stern as those paintings the masters of art made him out to be…blowing kisses.



  1. Well I don't know what I was thinking when I said to myself "Now would be a good time to catch up on Mom's lent posts as I'm settling down to sleep" because now my eyes are raw and I can't breath through my nose.
    I catch your kisses that float down to Houston and send ones flying to you too!

    1. So sorry! I will attempt to lighten things up a bit, K?

  2. Oh my...yes, kisses from heaven...in many ways your writings are kisses blown to all of us, near and far. We feel them and we are ever grateful!!