Dog Days

dog days

It has been a blowdryer kind of hot here in Arkansas. I look out these windows and see such beauty, but I promise it’s a trick. The air is as thick as mud, like when you’re in one of those dreams where you’re being chased, but your body will only move heavy and in slow motion. Being outside is like trying to sleep walk. I was hanging clothes on the line, which has given me all the joy in the world, but each piece of clothing seemed to weigh five times what’s normal. It’s like gravity is bearing down on us, trying to make us into stronger people. I don’t like it.

These are dog days. These are the days of coopedupedness, of wild thirst. These are the days that fish for anger, for the frenzies. Sirius growls down like a mad dog. Even the mountains look down at the sea and say, “I want to crash on you,” and the sea looks up to the mountain, and says, “that is where I’ll rise.” You can’t even settle a bet right now. The feeling of fairness is something people will write about in books.

Maybe this is what it feels like to be a grown up, but the tensions in this quaking world are pulled so tightly that nothing seems right anymore. Everyone hurts. We’ve strung perspectives like a pinging web, and it’s a tightrope everywhere. The noise has broken our inner ear, not just the individual ear, but also the collective ear. How can we balance, hold the face in front of us with peace and love, without an inner ear? From Gaza to Ferguson, with all my passions rising up, all I have is prayer. I want more than prayer. I want a hand to reach down and strum the tensions like the strings on a tuned instrument, reach down and play something to back the dog off.

There isn’t even a song that can make any sense of this world right now.

Wake into the intricate parts of our hearing. Sing. Where are You now? Let the whole of us ask You. Come into our inner ear; Kingdom Come.

About me


Soul Practices, Part 1: An Introduction
January 17, 2017
When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Stay in It: The Un-Ministry of Love in the Time of Locker Room Talk
October 11, 2016
Be the child, then revolution.
June 02, 2014
You Inherit Me
May 21, 2014
You Have Not Come to Darkness
April 30, 2014
Thoughts On the Wait
April 07, 2014
A Haines Home Companion: On Limbo
February 27, 2014


Kelly Sauer
Reply August 26, 2014

"We’ve strung perspectives like a pinging web..."

I have chills, Amber. This is an incredible piece of writing, and the feeling. You have said what I have been unable to say for weeks. Oh.

Debby Hudson
Reply August 26, 2014

I agree with Kelly. You've said what my soul feels but could not articulate. Thank you.

Susie Davis
Reply August 26, 2014

You're a beautiful writer. Thank you for stringing words together to describe what we're all feeling. Me too:
"I want more than prayer."

Lynn Morrissey
Reply August 26, 2014

Maybe singing is the only answer, Amber . . . singing and wailing when words run out.
“My heart flows on in endless song, above earth’s lamentation. I hear the real though far-off hymn, that hails a new creation. Above the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing. It sounds an echo in my soul—how can I keep from singing?”
Singing is our heart’s cry, our soul’s breath, our utterance of anguish over heartbreak when spoken words run dry. What our mind can’t say, our hearts can sing. May we sing our songs of lament and longing. And when God reaches down, lifts our chin, cups our face and puts His ear to our mouth, may *His* inner ear hear our hearts' singing and one day turn our laments to praise, turn our notes into new creation.
Thank you for beauty and sanity here.

Reply August 26, 2014

Jan Karon calls them the "prayer that never fails" in her books about an episcopal constant prayer and constant song are these words-- and you know how constant my song is.
The prayer that never fails for that precious kingdom and holy will to bleed itself into our plights until we are at rest and everything is made anew. Amen and amen. Love you.

Reply August 26, 2014

Absolutely stunning writing.

Brandee Shafer
Reply August 26, 2014

(I chose this version only because this is kind of how it sounds when we sing it at my church.)

I'm trying to let go. I mean, I've prayed. I'm still praying. But I was really low for a minute, there, and that's not helping anyone. I have to trust that the Lord has heard and then just try to shine on other people.

Autumn is coming. The Kingdom, too. The Kingdom is already here, in a sense, when we love on one another.

John Ray
Reply August 27, 2014

There is a song...but dare we sing it? It is ancient and fresh...and the tension can lead us to long for and suffer for it.

Lora Lynn
Reply August 27, 2014

Jinx. You were right, we are singing the same song. Love you, my sweet home friend.

Lori Harris
Reply August 29, 2014

And this is why I love you so.
You make me wanna sing.

Robin Dance
Reply August 30, 2014

You aren't writing much where we can see your words, but when you do? They're distilled into magic, a thief who steals breath.


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