A Writer’s Sabbatical Prayer



mom holding rose FAVE

A Writer’s Sabbatical Prayer

Lord, thank you for the gift of words
I praise you for the ways You speak
Lead me as I seek Your face
Walk me by the waters that refresh
And show me how to use Your gift
Thank you for a time apart
To hear you, know you, see your world
Thank you that you trust us to create
I love you, mold me in these seven days of seeking
Your child, your poet, writer, humble friend

Lord send the Holy Spirt, to comfort and provide

Mold me as you would, the clay
Amen and again a hushed and quiet deep amen.



Not As They Appear, These Things, At All


Feet in the sand blue sky canopy we step into the day. She painter, artist, friend. I write.
We walk into the day. She paints. I weave words, slice them up and move them all around.
There is an unfurling that begins, feet hit the ground, sun up, eyes up. It is what it is.
Or it is what you see, you see. Or how.

You should paint that.. I say, she sees. We see together, we see  different.
And I tell her what it is that I am seeing in the rags flapping in the wind. Barnacle laiden flying into the blue.

I tell her of my love for what looks like burlap, though it is not. When we look closer, the burlap was a mesh. It was not as it appeared.

We see different.

And isn’t that the way of the artist. Her art hangs on gallery wall, exhibited and displayed in place of prominence, by selection. Money changes hands between artist and art lover.

Her beautiful eye and her beautiful hand and her beautiful palette of paints will see the world in one beautiful way. The way of artist Laurie.

So she will not paint the flapping brown rags released on  line to dry out in the sun, bake out the pluff mud this tool of Lowcountry oyster catcher man.

No she will not paint it, not at all. She will not, can not paint it, paint them, filthy rags.

She will not paint the worn bags on a canvas, capture the bits of white stuck in the mesh like diamonds adorning the fabric of royal silk. Value and beauty in the rubble hanging and dancing in the salty Lowcountry wind, this day.

They whisper to me, come write my story.


Of where I have been drenched in the sea in worn hands of man. Of where I have been dragged across the jagged shore and held the shells which hold the pearl. Holding on and holding dinner.

Out to sea and back again. Out and back, dragged and drug and hung again. To flap and sail swinging in the wind. Tool of man, art to one.


And feet back in  the sand, dog in hand, under the oaks we walk and talk. Hit the road.  And stop to stare at peacock, hen. As she stands statuesque. I know this bird. But if we had not met I would have thought her dead, not alive. Her stillness, still as stone, her glassy stare belied a bird alive.

Things different. Things changed. Things not quite as they appear after all.

And painter friend she sees what I do not. This walk of artists in the sand. Brings eyes. They collide seeing different. Seeing same.

The Lowcountry  littered with joggling boards. Rite of passage for every child along the way. In the south, for children’s play.

And lady peacock, hen has her own. A perch which I could not see. My eyes beheld the beauty  only of the bird.  At first.

But two together, they double the image, compound beauty.

Bird on a beam. Bird on a board. Bird suspended mid-air. We stare.

So painter, writer see the world through different eyes. But the beauty is compounded when combined.

So husband, father,  wife and mother,  Christian One and Christian Two. We all do. Our views collide and complement. Artist, painter, artist, writer.

He brings his eyes and I bring mine. She sees the bird up on the board. At first I see the peacock hen and then the board. She is my improved vision. She corrects the lens on life. He is my improved vision. He corrects my lens on life. The complement, the shift in view. Four eyes, two hearts can see together what alone we cannot.

Four friends in search of oysters for our meal and we prefer the singles. Stop by the market ,ask around. Ask some more. The singles are the best and more expensive than the others. The clusters are  less desirable in the oyster world.

We buy the clusters or it is no oysters at all. Grab the knives, hold them hot. Fresh from the steamer, grab the hot sauce, lemon and the saltine cracker, eat them up. Can’t get enough. Oysters, hot, delicious clusters. We convert. We elevate these mangled masses of jagged shell to a status new for lover of this delightful delicacy.

And in the world of seafood too. Things are not as they appear. There is delicious delight en masse in groups. These clusters delight the souls of man under the crescent moon. Split open each with a frenzied pace. And let them slide down the throat into the belly.

If you love oysters.

You would love the clusters. The singles no where to be found, the hot commodity. In demand.

We huddle up and split open each, one by one, the oysters held in groups of white grey calloused shell.

The gift is in the blended views. We are lost. We are found. We are both.

We are better with each other. Artist, writer, painter, friend, husband, wife, Christian One and Christian Two. Poetry and prose.

I need you. You help me see. I am found. I am lost. I am both.



Joining Laura and Ann today.

And counting gifts with Ann

*New ways of seeing life

*Old friends

*Days on the coast, rediscovering old favorites

*Consoling a child in her grief and finding beauty in the loss of life. Somewhere.

*Hearing a friend’s words at just the right time.

*Watching the dog herd her free range chickens. And delighting in the dance and art there

*Walking in the sun

*Walking under the moon

*New mercies

*New vision
new fave for art quote

Poetry, Always


Poetry Always

In the middle of  crashing thunder, noise grinds to a halt.

On the edge of charcoal skies,  radiant glory shines.

Into the broken places, healing.

Plaster walls

Whisper into chambers

Set the captive free with prayers,

Always, poetry.

Wash over the wounded

Cry out a modern day psalmist’s lament or praise

Proclaim beauty wrapped in words

Of poetry.

Leave the world for moments only

Through the portal carved gentle by a phrase or two

Of not prose,

But poetry.

Befriend the friendless, mount up to the highest heights

Go up with a word, lay it down,

An offering,

Always leave the gift of poetry,

Penned in grace, bound up with strands of love,

Potent packages of


Joining Tweetspeak Poetry and 100 Sweet Bloggers for some poetry with Wordcandy.


Life’s Ooh’s and Aah’s

We have a little family joke that started with my grandmother.  She would ooohhh and aaah at every gift that was opened at Christmas and  any and all special occasions. It was delightful behavior  to be around as a child.

Pure joy.  Pure excitement.  Unrestrained rejoicing.

She, my Gama, was a child of the Great Depression.  One of thirteen children, she was appreciative of everything.  So when the bows and the wrapping were thoughtlessly tossed aside, she would gather up the bows and salvage any of the wrapping she could.  She’d gather and save.

And as each gift was revealed she would say, with her beautiful big smile and her beautiful big eyes, oooh and then aaaah.  She just simply delighted in the gift and the moment.  Large. Small.  Modest.  Simple.

The gift didn’t matter.  It was just the moment and the exchange, ever so small between family.

So we adopted this custom.  Truthfully we poke mild fun at her dramatic response as we  have family fun ooohing and aahhing over the unwrapping of gifts. We remember her.  Her joy.

But truly, isn’t life more fun when we celebrate the small unwrappings.  Delighting in the small things that border on just mundane.  When we celebrate small milestones, or small joys.  When we take a moment to rest in a moment of beauty.

Breaking out a smile, broad and wide, all toothy and glistening over a kind remark from a devoted friend, a text of encouragement or endearment from a woman who walks out life with you, an email that says simply. ” I am missing you terribly.”

Aren’t these moments worth busting out cheerfulness and joyfulness.

I delivered news this morning to a friend which I felt would disappoint and maybe cause her to feel that I had let her down.  Her response was one of affirmation.  You are choosing rightly, you are doing as you should, go and enjoy and have fun.  This is important, she says to me.

We have been deep cleaning and spring cleaning my house.  I look on the fruits of the shared labor, and smell the clean, and see some progress toward de-cluttering. I smile and say this is good.  This is better.  I am encouraged.

Such small things often delight the heart.  And they are worth taking a moment to say, “This is good.” To give it a simple label of “nice” or “good” or “beautiful” or “kind”. To release an ooh or an aahh over a favorite meal when fellowshipping with family or friends.  This is good. This is yummy.

Finding the moments that are gifts of life, ever so small and allowing them to be named as good.  To savor for more than a second.

This morning for me it was the smell of cut grass.  They say that the sense of smell is the memory which we hold on to the longest.  I don’t know if that is true, but a wave of memories poured into my bedroom and delighted my soul as I thought of times that were good as fragrant cut grass stimulated my memories, all tucked away and resting.

Words were said.  There was a disagreement.  I would not have won any mother of the year awards for my part, for my responses to the situation.  But in a moment of reconciliation my child told me how very much he loves me.

I was humbled.  I am deeply touched by a love that forgives and works through and doesn’t stay stuck.  This is good.  This is healing.  I stop and say this is unexpected grace.

I am looking for things to celebrate this weekend.  We are cheerfully and happily celebrating a graduation of a precious young woman in our life.  We love her so and we rejoice at this milestone.

But I am looking to rejoice in the small things too. The little oooh’s and the little aaah’s.  The shell on the beach, the giggle around the table, the crisp spring air with birds singing overtime, a clean fresh start for some places in my home, a comment in love, a comment in friendship, a word of encouragement. A gesture toward forgiveness.  A gesture toward healing.  A word of praise.  A word of thanksgiving.

I am seeking to rejoice in all that He gives.  And while I don’t have my Gama’s eyes which saw the world so differently than I, I can seek to  see what the Lord has placed before me as blessing and gift.

The tide comes in, the tide goes out.  The bumps and bruises and dust ups in life will come and go.  But I choose today to look for joy.

Will you join me. Won’t you join me. It’s more fun doing life together.

Wonderful Weekend Full Of Grace, to you all.

And may you ooooh and aahh all weekend long at all the joy that comes your way.