About Bright Wings

Bright Wings is the record of a journey, one of many undertaken in a lifetime. The title comes from a favorite poem by Gerard Manly Hopkins in which the image of the Holy Ghost is a bird with warm breast and bright wings. For my purposes I have associated bright wings with the butterfly, a personal totem through my life.

Nonetheless, Hopkins' poem is worth reading periodically in these stressful and troubled times.

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Team

Donel McClellan was a member of the pastoral team of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Bellingham Washington. He retired in February of 2005, and was appointed Pastor Emeritus. This record is designed for friends and family who wish up-to-date information on his treatment for prostate and kidney cancer. Also posting to the blog will be Donel's spouse, Marilyn McClellan, and his children Danielle McClellan, Jennifer Craswell, and Martin McClellan (who is providing the blog and design, and whose partner Christine Larsen provided the drawing of the elegant butterfly).

You can contact the authors with the following email links:

A note about the domain name

For those of you who are curious why the name hellbox: in the printing shops of old, used and damaged type was thrown into a box to store for a fate of being melted down and recast into fresh type. Since its destination was the fire, thus the name hellbox. It should be noted that the website address refers to this historical meaning, and not anything theologically relevant.

Rights and rules

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

All copyright remains with original author of material.

We are providing this website as a service to those who know the McClellan family, and Donel in particular. We are happy to have found a community of people that don't know us but check back in often. We welcome you to post a comment, but respectfully ask that you keep to the tone of previous conversations (with the exception of Jennifer Russell who can post anything she wants, and probably would no matter what we say anyway). Any comment deemed to be innapropriate, obscene, cruel, or just plain out of place may be edited, removed or struck with no warning or explanation by the editors. Repeat offenders will be banned.