[500 words on] Street Art

It started as a trip to meet a Self Publishing group at Austin Java…

I had a decided that I wanted to spend my dotage being a hack… I was not in the quest to become a “published author”; I did that- properly published by a traditional publisher, got paid, and everything- and that doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t want to expand the breadth of knowledge and I want to create a work that has literary merit whatsoever…

I want to write the fun stuff- pulps, shoot em-ups, monster stories…and make a few bucks.

So I joined the Indie Writers/Self Publishing Community Meetup so I can find writers like myself that want to write because it’s fun, because they have crazy stories to tell and want to make a few bucks and are not at all worried about being called a ‘hack’. I was sitting at the table with them and I saw her.


She peeked over the guy clacky clacking on his laptop with her bright birds and found object / refrigerator art looks…. and I knew she needed to be on my wall.

I took the shot above, texted the Artist, Mike “Truth” Johnston, and agreed to meet for lunch…. over a burger and salad, he told me about the kids in his class as a Art Teacher as the inspiration for her and invited me to watch him and his brother paint.

And that’s how I ended up at Castle Hill.

Castle Hill is not a hill, persay… it’s more like an insanely huge flight of unfinished cement stairs filled with dirt and inclines on the outside of the structure that requires climbing gear or a total disregard for safety and the condition of your clothing. It takes up a city block on 11th and Baylor and is open to anyone who was the paint and the time.

This place is the very essence of art in the moment, a monument of the breath of life art adds to the inanimate object. You can hear Castle Hill’s inhales and exhales as she takes in the smell of paint, feel the ripples as she giggles as cold paint is applied, and with each completed piece, she stands a bit taller. After a while, she decides that she wants another look (doesn’t every girl?) and welcomes the next set of artists
and the next
and the next until she is a constantly changing, constantly moving beauty. If you are smart, you will snap a pic of the pieces of her couture that speak to you, lest she changes her mind while you are away. And I did…and the world stood still.
My mind wasn’t on what I was going to do next, or on what was hurting, or even the next pic. It was on that work, at that time. It was on her breaths and her jolts when met with the cold paint.
It was peace when I needed it.
I am so glad I met her.

[devotional] But What do I Call You?

Moses answered, “I will tell the people of Israel that the God of their ancestors worshiped has sent me to them. But what should I say, if they ask me your name?

God said to Moses: I am the eternal God. So tell them that the Lord, whose name is “I AM”, has sent you. This is my name forever, and it is the name that people must use from now on

Exodus 3:13-15, Contemporary English Version

When I was a younger woman, I was in love with a God named Jehovah. Even after typing that name, I sit and think about all the love and hate I have for that name. I love the God that that name was to represent. I hate all the pain and suffering that the people that bore his name caused. But the name has strength, has purpose, and most importantly is a name.

With my return to the Church, I have started making steps toward restarting my relationship with ….


Hmmm… I am having a hard time with what to call Him now. I can’t and won’t call Him Jehovah. At this point and time, that name seems beneath my Eternal Lord. It is a name that the cowards and predators hide behind. It is a name that brings to mind megalomaniacal men and desperate, alienated, and blind followers, mostly women. Women who considered second class, washed up after a certain age, left to knock on doors in hopes that would make them righteous enough to seen fit to marry. It brings to mind the worse in religion and speaks nothing of discipleship.

But to have a relationship with someone, especially a close relationship, one needs a name. It is woven in the traditions and customs of having any kind of relationship with someone. When we first meet someone, we ask their name, we buy things because of the name of the product. We name drop, hoping to link our name with the reputation of the other name. When we marry, the woman takes the name of the man she has committed herself to. When we are close to someone, we even give them special names to demonstrate what we think of them and signify how close we are to them.

I didn’t know what to call Him. And this is a problem, because of all the years I spent worshiping and loving Him. He is very real to me, but I found that how he was represented was false. He was not a power mad, women-hating tyrant that wants to scare us into blind obedience. He isn’t an invisible cosmic bully. He loves us. He wants us to desire Him as He much as He desires us. I want to be close as I once was, but with this God; not with the God of the past. The name I called Him before does not live up to that.

So what do I do? I do what any girl who wants a relationship does, starts thinking about a special name for Him, one that means something to me and signifies that special bond that we have.

What do I call my husband and other men that I am close to?


(The theologians in the audience know where I am going with this. I swear- If you sick James Barr on me, I will cut you!)

Abba is Hebrew. In ancient times, it was translated “the Father” and is the main given to the Father of the Triune God. In modern Hebrew, it means “Daddy” (I think I hear a collective theologian cringe… it pleases me) and I want that kind of relationship with God… a love that is as close as a woman can have with someone without getting messy… or weird. A pure, loving relationship based on trust and truth.

So You are Abba. That is your name forever and what I will call you from now on…