... to mom, dad, Tammy and Shok who arrived in the Netherlands at 9:59 this morning!

I'm looking forward to having them stay for nearly two weeks!

Also, came across a great quote today:

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
~ Dinah Craik

And with that, I wish you all a happy Boxing Day. Or, as they say in the Netherlands, Happy 2nd Christmas Day!


New Blog Alert


Click here, my friends, and be treated to Krista's new blog!
Krista is a dear, dear seminary friend of mine. We've had amazing times together, including a heavenly week in Rome in September of 2005.


(Click to enlarge.)



The Belated Summer Vacation Photo Journal continues...
Esther (above, with fruit) left her Elkhart home early one August morning, picked me up in Archbold, and we proceeded north, in order to visit ...

our dear friend Kristen, who resides in what many of us consider a land flowing with milk and honey (or at least stroopwafels and blueberries). We spent 48 lovely hours together, culminating in a visit to ...

Lydia and Drew, my very hip neice and nephew-in-law.

It was a road trip to be remembered. Sunglasses on, funky mix-CD in the CD player, crazy city driving, trouble at the border!, picnic in the park, coffee and donuts in the city, a thrift store like no other, a visit with Kristen's cool 'rents and her apartment-in-progress, ice cream, a mysteriously disappearing DVD player and extensive conversations about the merits of owning a laptop.
What more could one ask for in a road trip?


My classmate, Juan Quevedo-Bosch, was born in Cuba and is a resident of New York, where he works as an Anglican priest in a multicultural parish. He wrote the following, which I would like to share with all of you.

Thanksgiving is an American festival strongly embedded in the mythogenesis of American identity.... It is celebrated by a family dinner with a detailed and prescribed menu, the center piece of which is the roasted turkey and a number of other elements that reputedly were part of the first Thanksgiving dinner. This seder of American manifest destiny could not escape unnoticed by Hispanic pilgrims themselves and reappropriated. Thanksgiving was dropped, perhaps since thankfulness is hard to come by for the oppressed marginal and it was renamed El Dia del Pavo (The Day of the Turkey) rather seriously. Bemused, I asked what was this Dia del Pavo all about and heard this most interesting new mythology. When the American pilgrims fathers came they were ambushed by North American natives and if a nearby turkey had not sounded the alarm, they will have surely being exterminated. This pavo salvador (savior turkey) was rewarded then with becoming the pie de r├ęsistance for the day of the first pilgrims! Putting humor and amazement at their ingenuity aside, I notice the shift in roles of the North American Indian, from savior to attackers, and how the savior role is displaced to the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Belated Summer Vacation Photo Journal
I had a wonderful time back in the States this past July and August, but have yet to post about it. Here's a beginning: a few photos and stories of some folks I reconnected with along the way. I'll post more about my summer in the coming days...
Columbia, Pennsylvania

My incredible cousin, Katrina Wyse, M.D., mother of ...


Tyree with Aunt Anna

My former Hiram College roommate Rebekah with energetic Lily. They drove up from Maryland for a visit.

Tavis and his parents came over for a visit, too. They live in a little PA town not too far from New Jersey, his dad's home state. Tavis is shown here with mom (that's Wendy to the rest of us).

Tavis with dad (Shawn to the rest of us). Shawn and I became friends at Hiram.

Tavis is quite excited to be held by me! (The feeling was mutual.)
Columbus, Ohio

(right to left) Joanna, Frank, Alison and I gather for a group shot after enjoying dinner together at The Cheesecake Factory. I'll never forget the four slices of cheesecake we shared for dessert. We each took a bite, then passed the plates around the table for more bite-taking. We continued this seemingly eternal rotation until each had had enough. My favorite: the vanilla bean cheesecake (which is really saying something, coming from a chocolate nut like me). Check out the full array of cheesecake possibilities here. The four of us met at Hiram College. Although I've seen Frank and Alison pretty regularly since, Joanna and I hadn't seen one another for something like 7 or 8 years. It was wonderful to reconnect with all three. Joanna is a published poet now, and promised to send me a copy of her work, which I'm eagerly awaiting. Go, Joanna!
Elkhart, Indiana

Above, friends from the Elkhart/Goshen area gather for dinner at the delectable Antonio's restaurant. All of them I met either at seminary or at church. (Not pictured: Esther, photographer extraordinaire)


Cloudy Blogging

At snapshirts, you can make a word cloud for your blog. The words that appear most frequently are the largest. I don't think mine is at all accurate, but the results are cool enough for posting.

Thanks to Brenda, who did it first.


As Autumn Wanes

Three weeks ago, this was the view waiting for me outside my kitchen window.
Today, the branches are bare and the earth is covered with brown, wrinkly leaves.
Autumn's colors are muted in the Netherlands, and they don't last long. Two things I miss about Ohio are the colorful autumns and the snowy winters, both of which are rare occurences here. Posted by Picasa


The Beginning of a Quilt

This particular piece was created in the artist's Wyoming Period. It was only recently discovered in storage in her aunt's bedroom. Double-click on the photo above for a close-up. And click here to meet the artist.


I Heart Saturdays
Today was an example of a lovely, lovely Saturday.
This morning I walked to the train station to meet Brenda (see post immediately below this one). We took a walk through the city and then went back to my apartment to drink some rooibos tea and chat. After an hour or so, we walked back to the city center to have lunch at Tante Truus, one of my favorite restaurants. In the afternoon we did a bit of shopping and then headed back to my place for strong Dutch coffee and supper (in that order). After supper, we spent some time examining various Hebrew and German textbooks and chatted some more. Then I walked Brenda to the station, she took a train to Amsterdam, and I walked back home. Now I'm lounging on my bed, enjoying the wonders of wireless internet and a laptop.

Don't you just love Saturdays? Me too. (Thanks, Brenda!)

In other news, I updated some of the links around here. Check 'em out if you'd like. If you look closely, you might even discover where I'm going to school...


Meet Brenda
This year I'm a full-time student again. More on that soon.
So one of my new fellow student friends is named Brenda. She has a great blog about her life in Amsterdam. Check it out.


Norah and Me
I quite enjoy the vocal and piano stylings of Norah Jones. I've harbored this vague suspicion that she looks remarkably familiar ever since purchasing her album Come Away With Me several years ago. Then it hit me: Maybe I had met her at Interlochen Arts Camp, where I worked two summers as music librarian for the high school jazz bands. This was back in 1994 and 1995, when I was in college. I remember being impressed by a vocalist/pianist who bore a striking resemblance to the now-all-grown-up Norah. (Although she wore these black-framed glasses back then, which were pretty artsy and cool-looking.) Well, thanks to Wikipedia, I confirmed my suspicions. Norah went to Interlochen. I was her music librarian.

There you go, one of my few claims to fame. Another being that Jimmy Carter once told me to, and I quote, "Hurry Up", but that's another blog entry for another day.

P.S. While doing research, I also found out that Norah's dad is the famed sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.

LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I wonder if this is quite true? Because I happen to know another Jackie Wyse, I've even taken some of her calls. Perhaps she's really a Jacqueline. (There are 2 Jacqueline Wyses from the U.S.A. and I'm not one of them!)

More stats about my name:

There are 199,479 people in the U.S. with the first name Jackie.
Statistically the 313th most popular first name. (tied with 2 other first names)

I wonder what those two other names are?
The survey wouldn't fess up.

There are 1,860 people in the U.S. with the last name Wyse.
Statistically the 15944th most popular last name. (tied with 327 other last names)

One thousand eight hundred sixty Wyses. That would be quite the reunion.


New Blogging Venture

Check it out if you get the chance: a group of women blogging together about the emerging church, theology, life, et. al.


Hello again

I'm back.
In London at the moment.
Off to Bath this weekend.
Will Blog More Soon.


Heaven is other people.

The World Council of Churches is gathering in Brazil this week. I signed up to receive news releases regarding the proceedings. One summarized a talk by a Finnish Orthodox priest, Father Heikki Huttunen. Here's a quote from the news release:

In contrasting Sartre's observation that "hell is other people" with a saying of St Seraphim of Sarov, [Huttunen] presented what became a motto for the participants. He said Seraphim regarded other people as heaven. Throughout the year and not only during the Easter period, he greeted all who came to him with the words, "Christ is risen! My joy!" Huttunen said, "We must be motivated by that insight."

Christ is risen! My joy!

Imagine that, instead of the endless how-are-you-fines that punctuate our days...

P.S. Look here for more on the WCC conference.


More than Big Ben

What do you think of when you think of London? Big Ben? Parliament? The London Mennonite Centre?

Yep, the LMC is the place where I'm hanging my hat these days. Of course, my primary hat is still hanging in Almere. In fact, I'll be spending all of March there. But then I'll be returning to London in April. For the first half of May, I'll be back in Almere. Then back to London again, and finally, back to Almere in the middle of June...

What is going on with all of this country hopping, you might ask? It's a long story. The short version is that I am currently a tourist in the Netherlands (no longer a temporary resident) and as such, I am only allowed to inhabit the country for 3 out of every 6 months. London is where I'm spending the rest of my time.

As inconvenient as it is to country-hop, I must say, it's a treat to be in London. Not the least because of the terrific community which is the Mennonite Centre. My days here are punctuated by pleasant breaks with my fellow LMC'ers: coffee time at 11 am; prayer time at 12:50 am; tea time at 4 pm; and on Mondays, community meals at 6:30 pm. The LMC is a good place to be.

The LMC is on the north side of the city, in High Gate. About once a week I get to the city center to see some sights. I'll post photos of these soon.


My uncle Sparks died today at 3 p.m.

Please join me in praying:

Eternal God,
by your mighty power you gave us life,
and in your love you have given us new life in Christ Jesus.
We entrust Sparks Wyse to your merciful keeping,
in the faith of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who died and rose again to save us,
and is now alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
in glory for ever.

God, be present in these hours and days,
in the silence and in the tears
in the questions, in our sorrows.
Comfort those whose grief is sharpest,
especially Martha,
Sparks' children and grandchildren,
his sisters and brothers.

Thank you for the gift of Sparks' life.
Thank you for the love we were privileged to share with him.


with thanks to St. Giles in the Fields


First Tries
While in the States over Christmas, I bought my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot A520. I'm extremely happy with it so far. Here are my first few shots, taken at my parents' abode upon first unpacking the camera. The date? 8 January 2006, one day before I returned to the NL.
my dad on the cell phone
lovely roses given to me by my equally lovely aunt Mary (thank you!)my charming brother Rick (who is currently volunteering in Guatemala for a month, go Rick!)


I'm back.

And after 5 and a half hours of sleep, I seem to have taken the first step in persuading my jet lag to depart.

More later.