A Thank You Note & An Invitation

January 2019 has come and has nearly gone. And I find myself still working on my thank you notes.

And so on a cold and gray Sunday I am sitting beside the fire completing the important task of penning my remaining thank you notes.

I wish that this one to you, blog subscribers, was written in pen on fine stationary, tucked into an envelope with a wax seal and a stamp. But in fact, I am arriving in your inbox or in your WordPress reader or somehow on your device or laptop or desktop.

Thank you. Thank you for subscribing, and reading, and following along on this journey.

Thank you for a little of your time and a bit of space in your inbox and in your day.

I am grateful.

It is my pleasure to invite you to join my email subscriber list. Simply click the tab at the top of the page to sign up. Or click herehttp://www.tinyletter.com/elizabethwmarshall. 

My podcast, Peabiddies Podcast(available on your favorite podcast listening platform – 12 total) and my newsletter have joined hands to produce a new revised email subscriber letter. Peabiddies Notebook: Pursue the Art of Noticing will slip quietly into your inbox every Wednesday.

I hope you’ll join me. This free letter will contain show notes from the podcast, news about upcoming guests, access to free download-ables and printables, as well as a forth coming e-book of poetry. Occasionally I will provide book recommendations, quotes from favorite authors and poets, and links to good stuff around the web.

New and current subscribers can choose to be enter their name into a giveaway, (coming soon), to receive a copy of the Peabiddies Notebook journal. Giveaway announcements will be made here, on Instagram and in the weekly subscriber letter. So sign up to keep up to date on all things Peabiddies.

So thank you again for your presence here. I will look forward to seeing you inside the letter format and elsewhere.

gratefully,

Elizabeth Wynne Marshall








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When You’re Not Done With January

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When You’re Not Done With January

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It might just be the tortoise in me. That preference to move slowly—to process slowly, to act and re-act at the pace of sub-normal. January appears to be trying her best to leave me in the dust. She is plowing ahead and building up steam, finding steam in the gray matter she makes her hallmark. Her trademark color of sky and air. Moving forward with the confidence of a triathlete on steroids. While I haven’t chosen my 2019 leather day-planner calendar thing yet. (Decision fatigue has followed me into the new year.) She delights in clean slates and fresh starts and new beginnings which she parades in front of me like a braggadocios half marathoner with a proclamation sticker adhered boldly and proudly on her mini-van bumper.

And. yet for all of this January this and January that — I have grown to love her. And for the first time in my nearly 60 years I am begging her to stay, to linger here awhile.

I find her enthusiasm contagious. Let’s go she says, into the fog of the unknown. Let’s run, she says, it’s all downhill from here. Let’s start again, she promises, she flirts, she calls me to the land of new mercies.

And then she leaves.

She disappears into the month that ends with a thump on the 28th day. She leaves me alone just as I believe I may have found my stride. She disappears into the fog of snow and ice, a thaw and even a hint of spring. It’s as if she finds the whole month a game of hide and seek. Of go and stop.

But she is my muse. I find her inspiring and a companion on the days that darken in a snap. I find her filled with promise that is usually attributed to springtime.

But whether or not I am ready to say goodbye, like many things I have grown to love, slowly, over time, on the back end of the curve — I must say goodbye to January in a matter of days.

Yet I will fold her promises of new beginnings, press them into my flesh.
I will hold her contagious enthusiasm for the blank page which says “what if,” written in January’s magic disappearing ink.

And I will say, not “goodbye” but “see you soon.”

Because though I have not allowed her to be the pace setter she has tried to be, I have learned to make my way. Like a January storm that muffles the world, she has both quieted me and energized me. She has brought me the gift of a new day again and again.

And she has mercifully shown me that the way to go is forward, always, into the fog of uncertainty. Into the haze of gray waiting for the clouds to pass. Into the day after and the day after that—with a January hopefulness that is nestled into the crunchy crust of frozen ground and muted skies.

Because just as I will not say goodbye to January, January will not speak goodbye to me. And we will silently go into the month that says, 28 days is enough for anyone who learns to love a day well.
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Join me each week for new posts here—both poetry and prose. Sign up to receive new posts in your inbox. (I’m fairly quiet in a January sort of way, I try not to bang around and make a lot of noise when I slip into your inbox with my words. 

I hope you’ll join me every Wednesday for new episodes of my podcast, Peabiddies Podcast- Pursue the Art of Noticing. It is available on a dozen or more listening platforms. Click the tab on the home page here to listen in or click here to listen inhttps://elizabethwmarshall.com/peabiddies-podcast-pursue-the-art-of-noticing/

I hope you’ll follow along on Instagram @elizabethwynnemarshall where I post daily on my Instagram feed and in my Instagram stories. I would love to see you there.



A Million Ways to Remember

There are a million ways to remember
Each one goes to war with forgetting
How does the slow fading begin of the music you sang
Forte
Dolce
Anthems of your life
Each decade had its own
When I remember I raise my fist
Defiant
In the face of fear of losing
Knuckles dressed for battle
A memory
A shadow-dance
The ones you made with your life
The ones you made with your body
Each season had its own
I watched every move, every step, each glance
And sigh
My sigh echoes yours
You gave me more of you than I remember
Some days I am you
here

Mystery stared back from those deep set eyes
The ones that would soon know
How difficult it can be to remember

There are a million ways to remember
Today I swear I’m remembering each sacred part of you
Every season has its season
Mine is one of remembering

Morendo

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Lines on a Face

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Lines on a Face

Can be read
Stand with me
In the shadows
In the light
Perhaps we’ve forgotten how to be an open book
I wouldn’t speak for you
Because I can’t

Once when I was young
I fingered the rivers on my mother’s skin, stretched taut
Followed the blue pathways on a thirty something’s hand
Felt her age pulsing in her coursing veins
I read age like the blind read a page
My eyes partnered with my child-hands
Teamed up to untangle her mysteries
Heard her body tell the story of a half-life
Plus some

As we sat on a pew that was ours for an hour on Sunday
Nine/tenth’s of the law
And all

In the pews of Methodism, souls lined up to hear
Truth be told
I could not hear hers
Buried deep within her soul

Mink eyes on the face of a fashionable wrap
Thrown over the shoulders of a worshipper
Stared back at me
Two pews up and to the left
I thought of his sacrifice for status and beauty
(The things of nightmares when you are ten)
And I think of that still
Her sacrifices too
Draped in death

I found the mink eyes
Meet my hazel eyes
Frozen
Motionless
Dipped in death
I looked elsewhere and then I looked back

Lips were red
Injection-less
Skin was powdered and rouged
Nineteen sixty something
And hairspray lingered in the air

Life lines
Seek a safe place to preach the stories they have lived

Stand still at the lectern of life

And speak
Face the music

Face it
I cannot speak for you

Once, when I was young
The stories could be read

By looking there
Buried deep within the soul
Clues lined up, from chin, to cheek to brow
To help untangle
The mystery of life lived
Well
I cannot speak for you

I long to read you as a book
Open
To tell the stories that should be read
In the lines on a face

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Join me every Wednesday for new episodes of my Podcast – Peabiddies Podcast: Pursue the Art of Noticing. The podcast is available on 12 listening platforms including iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Anchor, Spotify, and more. Click the tab on my homepage in the header to find more details on the Podcast.