The Blackbird Stole My Poetry And Other Lame Excuses

The Blackbird Stole My Poetry And Other Lame Excuses

I dreamed once in a daydream, not resting under indigo back-lit sky.The scarlet winged blackbird came to visit me. An awakening. Unwelcome.Unannounced. The visit was a robbery of unfinished words, my art.

Every poem left abandoned, in embryonic stages, wet ink pen lying in repose, by the paper’s side, was carried off  by my feathered enemy. Fowl dressed in red and black. Colors of his uniform for war. And I, my own worst enemy.

I cannot blame him. For abandoned art remains fair game.

I cannot hold him to account. He saw that I was sleeping, not attending to my work.

But I must thank him, properly. For while he could have released them, into a angry wind. He chose instead to drop them off for me to start again.

The shreds of paper would have served him to line his feathery nest. But instead they floated back to earth in billowing down-currents and landed by my right side.

The blackbird gives a second chance. Waking me from sleep. In gratitude I offered him a seat. We’re here now beak to cheek sitting in soft repose. At my windowsill. He no longer dressed  for war, but in tones of of papal royalty. Restorer of the second chance.

I dreamed once in a daydream. I found again lost poetry.

 

 

When You Want To Start Over From The Very Beginning

I have a young friend who is brave and beautiful. I’ve known her for a long forever. Since she was a child, Bennett has been a sweet part of my world. Gentle and kind, soft-spoken and a lover of beauty. These words come rest on my lips, as I begin to paint her with my words, speaking honestly about the young woman I know, respect and love. I word paint her through the lens of my poetry. And I paint her artist. Lover of all that is waiting to be discovered.

Now I  sit with different  words. I have found joy anew as I watch her enter the world of a painter. Bennett has bravely left a career which required four years of college and  a Master’s Degree. And now I call her bold. And passionate.

This fresh young artist is filled with passion and bravery as she pursues life as a painter. Embracing the gifts she was given long ago with enthusiasm. With energy. And with whimsy in every stroke.

As a child she loved painting and making art. Her determination shows up in brilliant shades of life. On every canvas, she pours her soulful interpretation of the world. Haiti, Aspen, Miami, The South Carolina Lowcountry and Charleston – each of these places influence and inspire her art. Each of Bennett Brown Sizemore’s paintings is a decidedly unique snapshot of the world. Bennett’s style is unique and remarkable and a bit undefinable. It is at once simple and elegant, teeming with an exuberance which is palpable. The world seen through her paintbrush is brilliant and whimsical. Hope-filled and radiant. Her passion was curled up in the cocoon of her heart. Waiting to be unfurled. Fully. For us to savor and enjoy.

What a gift she is using. What a gift she gives. To Him be the glory.

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So now I want to start over and begin again with my own art. With my writing. But I cannot really go back to my first day when I stepped into my own passion as a writer.

But in His mercy we can begin again, infused with re-newed passion. Restored to our art. Regenerated in our spirits to see the world, though there is pain and grief, in all its beauty. And to marvel. With a re-commitment to press on as co-creators with Artist God. To live into the privilege we’ve been given. To paint the world or to paint our experience in a way which allows us to live any moment a glorious second time.

As artists we process the world through our medium. We show and tell others where the beauty lies. And point to the extra-ordinary ordinary in a world filled with endless amounts of simple beauty. Extravagant beauty.

Who can we encourage today. Who can we cheer on and say “Go Make Your Art”.

Today I choose Bennett because Bennett Sizemore  inspires me. And in some small way or a decidedly significant way, I am inspired anew to create and to press on with my art. And to marvel at the beauty, wonder and colorful whimsy of the world through Bennett Sizemore’s lens.

Bennett Sizemore Art

 

 

#Marvelous

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Dear Marvelous:

You found me. Perhaps I found you. We found each other. We are now sojourners for a journey of days and weeks and seasons, through the calendar of 2016. While the earth spins and turns, we will look for the poetry. Together.

We missed the early days. We had not found each other yet when January began her spartan dance, slow and waltzing. Fresh with hope. So we are shy a full deck of 365. But we press on in the remaining. Linked. Arms hooked. You are an encourager of delight, a finder of the extraordinary and a lover of whimsy.

You are not the Pollyanna that some may think. You are not the eternal optimist. The wearer of rose-colored glasses. You are green with new birth. Effervescent with joy in the face of discovery. Yes, you are life-giving and eager to delight in the best. Often the simple.

The “m” sits on the edge of pursed lips, determined and brave and pushes off like a swimmer doing the butterfly. A graceful lunge. Into the realm of wonder and possibility. A sea of mystery and marvel. High tides, low tides. Ebbing and flowing. Always tossing up the treasures to be collected on the edges of our walk.

So there you are. Light in the dark. Warmth in the cold. You shade and color the nuances of life with glorious richness. With exquisite simplicity. Elegance in the simple. You are regal as a peasant in her everyday-ness. You are riches in the rags. Hope in despair. Light in the shadows.

Marvelous, you are a mindset. A lens. A capturer of life’s best and rarest. A treasure seeker. A seeker of intrigue.

Thank you for choosing me. Here’s to a year of marveling together. At all the mystery. Through the pain. Into the dark days. Around the deep ditches and past the hurdles of sorrow. Over, under, around.

Here’s to uncovering the marvelous. For you and for me. In the everyday. In every day. In Him and by Him. Glory be to the Creator of the marvelous.

amen,

e

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The Joy Of New, The Joy Of Old

 

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The old and new are colliding. Merging. Blending. I am coming back. To my writing after a long period of silence, here. My writing home. I joke that I lost my blog. It is a joke which is humorless. I have a new computer. That helps. And I have new hope and new joy. They are infusing me with renewed passion, purpose, energy. Funneling life-giving fuel to my soul which  is finding its way to my fingertips. Onto the page.

The fog is lifting. The marvel, mystery and curiosity about the ordinary are returning.

Many would say that the muse left me or that I lost my muse. I wouldn’t say that. That gives the muse too much credit, perhaps. The broken computer, the lack of an essential tool. That created white space. I think the time of rest would have come. Broken computer or not. I may never know.

 I have written here, on my newsletter. But only very recently. I began my most recent tiny letter there with an apology. It should be extended to you too. It feels worthy of a sincere “I am sorry I disappeared after you so graciously chose to follow along on my writing journey.”

If you are still here, that means you waited. I hope your wait was worth the wait. I hope we can see through the lens of grace and beauty, together. I hope we can unveil the hidden beauty in the simplest of stories. In the lines of poetry. And in the paragraphs of prose. Here. Together. (I am still turning over and over again and again, the idea of a book. I will turn these ideas over here too. For your consideration and feedback.)

I have written here too. At Gracetable.org, where I am honored to be a contributor. And where I write in some detail about my time away. If you are interested in some of my story of fading into a quiet place, I tell a bit about it there.

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As my writing waned, so did many aspects of my writing life. This is not as much a confessional as it may sound. Nor is it whining for whining’s sake. It is actually a story. Of new beginnings and fresh starts and regeneration. Those are always good to pour out. In the pouring out others, even just one other, may find hope and slivers of optimism in the words.

Sometimes when we connect the dots, others begin to connect their own.

I have been wanting to read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I enjoyed hearing her speak once. And I somewhat followed the build up to the release of this new book of hers on creativity. So many books have been left in the wake of my sabbatical. Will I ever catch up on where I want to be with my reading and with my art.

Eager for a little of the book and yet knowing that we are at somewhat different places in terms of our faith perspectives and perhaps life views, I downloaded a sample on my Kindle. Of all the samples Kindle could have offered up to me, I received the story of a poet. The beautiful story of Jack Gilbert. More fuel. I will move “Big Magic” up higher on my list of books on creativity and inspiration. Elizabeth Gilbert writes this of Jack Gilbert, poet:

“He seemed to live in a state of uninterrupted marvel, and he encouraged them [his students] to do the same. He didn’t so much teach them how to write poetry, they said, but why: because of delight. Because of stubborn gladness. He told them that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.”

So maybe that is it. I have rediscovered delight. I am called to press into the gladness, with determination. With persistence. With poetry.

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One sample, one book, one sliver, one other poet’s words.

One fresh start.

Here’s to new adventures on a rather old blog. Here’s to the old and the new. And to the beauty in the simple, the beauty of grace, and to a gentle flame, a fire in the belly of a creative. And as Jack Gilbert wrote to fighting back against the “ruthless furnace of this world.”

With a keen and unblinking eye on the beauty which He has created for us and in us. And to its revealing.

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