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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The Art of The Drifting Mind

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The Art Of The Drifting Mind

This is not a case “in defense of the drifting mind”

Or a thesis on “the art of the wandering mind”

Or a theory on “why we gaze”

I hear “mother you are staring”

No surprise, I have it down to a science

I check the boxes on the forms under hobbies and interests

Gazer, starer, dreamer, ponder, netter of poetry

Somewhere in the quiet spaces where the sunlight flickers and rocks

On branch and limb, limb and leaf,

Decidedly undecided whether to rest in the shadows or dance in the radiant puddles of light

The mind births an idea

And the idea becomes art

And the art becomes inspiration

And the inspiration becomes solace

And the solace becomes a balm

And the balm of the drifting mind

Can rest at peace

Her work is done

Until her glance meets the window pane

Through which she pours out

And breathes in

Again

Living Out The Prequel

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Living Out The Prequel

If I am a story
Or a story is me
And we are turning pages
There is this unfolding
My breath is held and
I may forget to breathe

But living does not rest on whether
I remember
Or I forget

It is the mystery of baited breath
God grants me this until the end
And did God feel this way
On the days, one and two
Knowing what he knew of all that lay ahead
Knowing all he knew
About the peonies in shades of flesh and rose and the oyster with its hidden pearl
The sound of rain and rainy drops
Slowly tickling the backs
Of a parched and desert dry cracked earth

Do I know I know not what is to come

But breathing deep and breathing fast
Swallowed up by the fog of a heaviness
Expectant in the coming next
I know as any mother knows
To hold the baby to her breast and sit back
Long and languid, rest in waiting
Love

I know as the salt marsh tide knows
When to ebb and
When to flow
And in its knower
Knows that it will never stop

I know that I am walking
Through the days of prequel joy
Pregnant in expectancy
Of splitting hairs of heavy wait
Of counting stars and counting dreams
Of wondering how much joy a soul can hold

All the while entangled
In a mystery of how will it all end
And when
In the days left in the waning
Of the remaining

Until healing comes to all

Again

And the prequel gives way
To what He has in store

So I will turn the page
Savoring every word
That was
And will to come

Be still
And hear

the prequel

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For The Quiet Ones, The Tired Ones, The Hardworking Ones, The Aging Ones: Thank-You

Thank you for joining me as I write out my gratitude, framing it through the lens of poetry. Today is Day Three.
(Joining Tweetspeak Poetry for their poetry prompt this week: Whittles and Wood)

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Tired

Shavings
Sit piled at his weary feet
By his well worn boots that match his face
Leathery lines
Deep crevasses carved by time

No amount of Botox
Were he so inclined, would mend and fill
The valleys of his face
Fitting
As they mirror this, his art
He carves
Dying
Art form
Knives and men
Paired on benches
Fade into the once was

What is it
About carving something from nothing
Must be close to godliness
Bringing form from void
Something from nothing
Bit by bit
Boney fingers
Sweeping along the piece of Hickory
Cryptic
Curling crooked
Like a school boy practicing his cursive

Bit by bit
He whittles away, aiming not for perfection
But simply to pass the time

His shavings blow like thistle seeds, released
By the currents, backdraft
Of the 5:04

He’ll return
Find his place tomorrow, smooth impression
Of his own backside
Made by years of sitting here

Tired of his retirement
Weary from too much rest
Rocking forth and back
To the sounds of

Metal scraping down the tracks
Carrying the 9 to 5’ers home

He and his Hickory
Left to sit, count the minutes
Count the days
Whittle away
What remains

Memories, bit by bit
Fade in messy piles by his weary feet
His Hickory chips

And the tail lights of the 5:04
Dim

He’ll form something from the void
Aiming not for perfection, but simply to pass the time
And pray to God
To grant him rest

(He is so tired, he is so very tired)
Of whittling his life
Away