Glittery architecture and a cool prayer room


This modern rendering of a cross serves as the visitor center at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Ok.

The campus is full of light-reflecting, angular architecture with a glitzy southern feel – though it's debatable among Tulsans whether the city is part of the "South."

A legendary American evangelist and Oklahoma native son, Roberts started the university in 1965 with about 300 students. Last year there were about 3,000 at the four-year liberal arts college.

Roberts, 90, still travels from his home in California for important events.

In 2007, a wrongful termination lawsuit was brought by three former professors against former college president and current head of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, Richard Roberts, Oral's son.

The college recently was restructured to be funded separately from the evangelistic association.

IMG_2542 Biology major Jessica Pinkston, 22, is in her fifth and final year at the university and plans to go on to medical school.

"I pretty much feel it is the school God wanted me to be at. I haven't regretted a minute of it," she says. "There's a lot of campus rules (curfews, mandatory chapel attendance and a dress code)," she adds. "But in Tulsa there's not much to do after 10 (p.m.), anyway."

My favorite part of the visitor center was the prayer room, where
people can stick rolled up prayers in a wooden cross and write with
colored chalk on two blackboards.


A future not based on blood

IMG_2522 21-year-old Dusty Rennie attends the pow wow every year. He is one-quarter Kaw.
In a tribe of about 2,700, there are only five three-quarter blooded members left, he says. No full-blooded Kaw remain. The Kaw language also is considered "dead," since no no one uses it in their daily lives.
Rennie has been wearing a braid since his football playing days in high school.
"There's a lot of respect in the culture, a lot of discipline," he says. "As long as I can (continue to) go to the pow wow, my kids are going to go to the pow wow."

Kaw Nation pow wow

Kaw Nation tribal members call themselves "People of the south wind." Their annual pow wow near Kaw City, Ok. attracts a diverse crowd.
Photography is not allowed during many of the traditional dances. I think it has something to do with respecting the sacred.
The dances blend movement, music and energy that will never be performed the same way again.








Oklahoma poetry

I've promised poetry and I haven't been delivering! Mainly because I don't take the time to think in metaphorical terms about the material I've gathered before posting.

But, hey, it's on my blog description, so here ya go — some terrible, whipped-together-in-a-second Oklahoma musings:

Conversation with a Cow


Let's talk for a minute about freedom
not running to or from anything
A slower pace, no heart racing
over trivial things:
'There's traffic and I'm late for a meeting'
'He told me he'd be here; he's missing'
'What if next week I'm cooking in a kitchen?'

Not titled 


The sky and the ground are my witness
that I can solve any problem I'm faced with
by looking to You
and rearranging the pieces