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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Awake At The Wheel: Eyes Open For Beauty, Wonder and Miracle

I have always been intrigued by the beauty of the middle places. The after birth and before the end. The in-between and still in process. And plays a role in this scavenger hunting and archiving. There is always more in the hidden places. Nuances are found in the unveiling, uncovering, and unwrapping.

We are all in the middle of making and doing. We are birthing projects, dreaming dreams, and living out the calling. We are seeing anew, forgetting the past, building bridges to broken places, moving on and healing wounds.

I fell into a place of slow wonder. And I am staying there. The South shows me well its old tradition of living and moving slow. She is the matriarch of my love affair with my new-found wide-awake-ness. I cannot travel back to a time of inattentive living.

I shall not fail to record, remember and ingest. I will not not live aware. I accept the invitation to open every gift of wonder. Every drop of beauty. I am headed into the days of the waning. When the memory fades. But I have come from a faded story. So I am ready to fight to see and record it all.

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I confessed to my daughter that I did not remember. Forgetting may be in my DNA. So for today I am recording well and I am searching like a woman in a desperate desert search for a cool we drink of ordinary life. The mirage of beauty is gone. Holographic beauty is reaching out and grabbing me by my senses.

I found a letter in a trunk. The one I keep of old and yellowed letters. Post marks from ’58 and forward through the years and through the times, forgotten. I can go diving into my past there. And I do. I am a stranger in my own understanding. In my remembering, the doing is dim. I am the stranger meeting a woman who is stranger too.

And I told my daughter that I do not remember if I went to the Eiffel Tower at three o’clock as the letter asked me to. A simple rendez-vous for a young woman. I do not remember. Yes, I was living in Paris at the time. And the letter, I explained was written in the days before cell phones and social media. He, an acquaintance traveling abroad, asked if we could meet. The letter leaves me wondering.

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I do not want to miss the recording of the living. The bignesses. Who misses towers in Paris and a rendez-vous in the heart of France. I want to record the intricate, miniscule parts of my life. The beauty, the miracle, the wonder of the small and ordinary will not escape the sieve of my collecting heart.

Determined to live awake at the wheel. I am paying attention. And life is grandiose in its slow and ordinary wonderment.

Join me. We will discover small things.
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Joining Laura Boggess

No More Happily Ever After’s

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Welcome to Day Nine.

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No More Happily Ever After’s

And they lived happily ever after
Wait, what?

All those precious years spent
The clock tick tock
Tick, ticking
Wishing and waiting for
The grand grande finale
Life put on hold while things become bigger,
And better and bester and bestest
All those fair tale endings
Their endings so perfect
The slippers and princesses and knight’s
In their bright shiny armour
I sort of like things just the way
That they are

Even if sometimes
They seem dull, dim and plain

Maybe it all was a crock of baloney
Maybe Hans Christian Anderson or ole Walt
Yeah, Disney
Or dear  Mother Goose
Or whoever dared write it
Should have sat up and noticed
All the wild and the wooley, the winsome
The wonderful spilling out on the now
Like paint from a bucket tipped from the sky
Because I spy
With my little pair of hazel green eyes
The craziest most wonderful things in
A day
There are white standard poodles
Seated in cars
Blazing
Through busy intersections
Sitting up straight as a board in the passenger seats
In open convertible cars
It struck mommy as silly
And tickled her funny bone
As we drove all the way home

You can’t make this stuff up
Dear for Pete and
For heaven’s sake
A capuchin monkey’s having lunch
Out on the Parkway
With his owner
Seated out on the deck

The scandalous, humorous right here right now
Stop and wake up
In the middle of this one crazy life
The what’s happening this minute
While we’re off in a fog
Dreaming of perfect
And all the incredulous make-believe
After’s are not after
No, they are what’s just right here

In the mannered South where I was raised
To be oh so polite
Never abrupt, rude or
God-forbid loud
Or question my elders
I would just let it lie or lay or
Whatever

But the theology of the whole notion
Is just a little too off
And the cost well the cost
Is much too high to pay
You pay with your life
If you don’t enjoy this one glorious day

I’ll take my happily’s
Now, at lunch
By the deafening train track
With red bugs and yellow jackets
And Dementia, seated to my right
And all the uncertain rest
Of it
All

I’ll take my happily’s
In the comings and goings
And the dull inbetweens
The murky uncertainties and the worry and pain
The cancer, the divorce, the loss and the rest

I’ll look for the happily ever’s
All over the place

For me the ending of today’s well-lived story
Comes in the miraculous the beautiful
Found in
One very flamboyant
Fall tree

That caused me to slam on the brakes of the car
And stop at the urging of mother
Stop
On the side of a steep mountain hill
Stop in the middle of one thin hilly road
Stop dead in our tracks

And capture this moment
With one very long stare

The epitome of Joy
On a plain old Thursday
We sat and we drooled and we sighed
Just look at this

Our happily’s some days
Come in the form
Of tree’s whose leaves
Look like candied corn
Covered in
Technicolored leaves
Displayed against a canvas,
An
Azure blue sky
Sacred
Majestic
Pointing us heavenward
And reminding us

Look to the trees with their magnificent Glory
And leave the happily ever after’s
To those old
Children’s stories

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If You Really Look, You’ll See

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If You Really Look You’ll See

Diamonds mounted on each blade of grass
No gold or platinum
Here
Emerald green
Shoots safely sheltering
Droplets left
Last night or
By the early morning dew

Do you see
Whimsy rained down on the land
Perhaps it’s sips of champagne
Resting on the verdant shoots
Served in earthen flutes
On the lawn
For a thirsty, spotted chipmunk
Parched from
Racing through the rain
To toast the earth’s season change

And if you look you’ll really see
What is invisible
To many
So many rushed and hurried
Souls
Blind
To the garland embellishment
Laid carefully on the old grey stone
Preparing a Fall Party, a grande fete
With mushrooms, toadstools
For each guest
To sit and sip the beauty
Served to those who wish to see

If you look you’ll see
Her
Red carpet’s been
Rolled out
Maple, Oak and Dogwood leaves
Nature’s finest Oriental underfoot
The finest accoutrements for
Each merry guest

A harried pace will make you blind

To diamonds, garlands
And tree roots bent in such a way
To give a weary sojourner
A place to sit and rest

I was blind
But now I see
The field mice sipping Jasmine Tea
From the finest porcelain
Beside the Monarch’s who dropped in
For a festive tea party

And I like Alice
Remain with them

For childlike wonder
Unveils the hidden things
Previously unseen by man