Dancing – Movement of the Heart (Day 5)


Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

Robert Frost

Dance – Movement of the Heart

Elizabeth W. Marshall

If only all would dance. Simply, a little more.
As shadows, sun’s rays, and white foam waves,
Their rhythmic breaking in and on the shore.
What a gentle teacher ocean is.
Of how to find your rhythm, how to learn to dance.
Water, foam and wave thrust on shelly sand.
The dance of wave on wave, eyes Beauty from the shore.

And we think far too often to save it for the feasts.
For man to do a pas de deux when woman dresses up for out.
But what of the dance of the everyday, the simple celebrations.
Of life and living, joy in the daily, movement becomes art.
And what of running fingers down the page, and letting words join in.
The dance of wordplay, phrase finds rhythm on the page,
Partners up with thought and steps from line to line, a dance.

What if words would partner with the heart, to do a dance of lyrical  along
The lines of prose, does it become poetic and more a jig with steps more
Light and gay, where space is left so eyes can linger, breathing soft and slow.
Creates a space for eyes and hearts to partner up with mind, and waltz and
Sway, no need to rush, the pace is slow, the soul can take her time.
The pace of living can slow and savor, seeking steps which linger,
Long and longer, sweet and merry, hurry left behind.

And do we long to dance, because so early on we did, swayed and rocked as babies
The motion taught so young, to drift and sway and rock and sing, why leave that
Back in childhood. Can’t every movement restore Dance, isn’t life worth dancing truly?
Find steps light and graceful, feasting on the now, with song, and grateful pairing up
As happy partners, loving life and dancing in the moment.
Learning from trees their limbs sway, the tails of dog, like metronome have rhythm.
If only all would simply dance, a little more when living.

(Thank you for joining me on this 31 Days – A Series of Words. This is the Part 5 in the series. Other posts have included Ordinary, Savor, Hope, and The Poetic if you would like to back travel and read. Grateful to have you journeying with this pilgrim.) Note, in crediting Robert Frost’s quote on dance and my subsequent piece, I have placed my name beside my writing. Please know this is for clarification simply and that I highly esteem Robert Frost’s work and feel humbled to even be on the same page. This was to give credit, no form of comparison. Please note this, and extend grace for any wrong association or comparison which was never intended. Thanks, for grace. –Elizabeth.

The Art Of Eavesdropping Slash–Honing Your Observation Skills


This is a story.

This is a story of yesterday.

And actually the day before yesterday too.

I drive to another zipcode to grocery shop. I know thats shocking for a one-zip-code dweller.  And I stroll down the isle of the frozen things.  The day before yesterday part of the story goes like this.  My family had a very odd on-the-way-to-church conversation on Sunday.  It was all about crazy coupon shopping.  There is a name or a title or a badge of honor that goes with that skill.  The Patient-One wants me to do this.  This is not the current me.  Might be the me he wants me to be.  Going to another zipcode to shop in a much less expensive grocery store was part of me trying to be more cost aware.

The isles are quiet.  Very quiet and calm.  There was almost an echo.  Monday must not be the day for all the mad coupon mommas.  I digress.  That story stays in the former paragraph.

And  I hear a beautiful story.  I hear a painting and I hear a poem.  I hear art. The eyes of my heart hear a sliver of a life story.  They see the art in the life moment.

The words were tender.  The transaction between two men was small but it was huge.  Beauty in the moment.   Threads of life weaving between two men.  One young.  One old.  Both working on this day.

I slow down.  I am captured by their sweet interaction.  I am moved by the exchange.  This life transaction tendered before my ears and eyes touches place in me.

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering — Winnie The Pooh


Take a life slice, stab it with your fork, place it on the taste buds at the tippy of your tongue. And savor.  Move it around from the sweet to the savory, those buds that register different flavors.  Suck long and suck hard.  Make them last for a long forever.

Pick up the paint brush of your inner knowing and paint a picture of the life you see.  Record it in a place for keeps.  So you can know you lived. Know you live.  Remember the all.  The glorious and the unglorious.  All the parts and pieces of the mosaic that is yours.  Your one.  Your only.  Your life.

One isle over I see my special friends mother.  I am not a good friend.  I don’t mentor well.  I have not returned her child’s call.  I say I missed Quailla’s call.  She smiles and tells me all good things.  I think.  I believe it to be good.  The fact that there are changes.  I send my love.  And I bury my guilt in the knowing that they seem well. I hear of spring break and a trip and new things.  And we smile.  This time between two mothers.  And we talk about one child.  I celebrate spontaneously in this isle.  I don’t know its name.  But its a good place to celebrate change.

Go grab a pen.  Be your historian of your one life.  Scribble it down and put it in a place for safekeeping. Jot it down all messy and real, its yours.  Give it a grand heros welcome.  Roll out the red carpet for it, for them.  Memory will take good care of all that is preserved.  Guard it all.  Guard it well.

And the bees were next.  Lots and lots of bees.

Look and see all the bees.

I took pictures of bees and more.

They are there for you to see. ( Dr. Seuss may be creeping in. Oh my.  First Pooh then Dr. Seuss. smiling here)

And there were words.  Some were good and sweet and tender.  And some were not.  Some gave encouragement and were life affirming.  But I take the all and I mix it, blend it, taste it, and name it mine.  There were moments that taught and words that cut.  There was a blur of beauty and a swirl of pain.  There were pronouncements of new birth coming from across the way in the house looking out in Hope and new life.

The end.

Not really.  Its not the end of the story.  Its Tuesday. And Tuesday has a story of her own to tell.

We Need A Play Date Pronto

How did He know?  How does He always know.  The longing of our hearts.  The intricate wish lists written faint with the flesh tone Crayolas of fear, on the sketch pad of our innermost parts.

Encouragement comes like stumbled upon treasure at fragile times of longing.

When the heart is downcast a bit, and circumstances feel dull and bland like gray day dreary, the one who lifts us up, sends special people to the threshold of our lives to do the heavy lifting.

An encourager with a word or a phrase like cool aloe gel on burning skin, soothing the soul.  Cooling damaged skin.  Healing hurt from the day out under the day sky of life.

Yesterday I sat in a place of need.  Those small stinging word nettles penetrated the heart.  The ache of the empty sat for awhile.

Need sat pregnant.  Waiting.  Expectant. Unspoken desire for the call of a friend. For fellowship.  Knowing that I too could be the one to ask.  But sometimes we want to be extended too.  After tender bruising we want to be nursed back to health by sweet restorative Love.

And  Grace walked in early and as I press in to my firsts this morning of this new day and week a friend sends a text  that spells out my name, including my Maiden, and then I miss your face with an adjective injected about how she sees my face, one any woman would blush over, and then “We need a play date Pronto. xoxo.”

Called by name.  Called out to do life together.  An invitation to sit across a table and just be. Speaking right into the middle of my hollow need.

We sit spell-bound by a nature-show about a tribe of people who eek out an existence in  icey Antarctic region. Everyday a challenge to hunt and gather enough for survival.

We hang on every word, eyes fixed on the screen as a nylon rope is used by a few friends to tether a man to themselves.  Then they lower him over the side, with care. A cliff side of rock is his hunting ground for gathering eggs.  Nutrient rich eggs to mix up the diet of his people. And the voice adds as he gathers beautiful blue eggs from the hiding places of the rock, that many have died gathering here.  But for fifty eggs for his people, he trusts the men at the top and goes down for the needs of his people.

A beautiful picture of trust and going the distance for others.

Sacrifice for others.  Encouragement for others.  Seeking out the need of others.

In the middle of the messy and the Plan B life, in the midst of the tyranny of the urgent and in gray ordinary days we can jump into the circle of life and grab on and be.

Be the friend.  Be the consoler.  Be the friendly neighbor. Be the phone call of encouragement.

I hear him.  He tells a story that speaks to my heart in his sermon about showing, not telling.  Reaches into my insides and carves out places to implant Truth. And I too can show more and tell less.

And I  can show story here on these back lit screens that we share.  Telling falls flat and showing jumps off.  You don’t come here for mediocre and substandard telling. You come for substance and sink your teeth into meat.  Your heart doesn’t long for the dull and the gray but for life giving and life proclaiming.

So as I grow up and grow more, I long to show more of my story and His story through words.  You bless me and you are patient.

I can show you my gratitude by this.  Today I cancelled an appointment with the doctor freeing up time.  I carry a notecard today that says wynnegraceappears reader.  And today I pray for you.  I don’t know your need, but this card represents you and you have my prayers.

We need a play date pronto.  We need fellowship and friendship pronto, injected into the middle of the ordinary.  Linking hearts and lives and doing life together, not alone.  Wired for community, wired for fellowship.

So I can stop in between helping a child who is locked out of her car and helping a child who needs help with a tuxedo rental and helping a child navigate through after college graduation life and jump into community.

Shall we. Shall we circle up and around.  Shall we gather at the river and drink up life together, not alone.  Encourage each other by actions AND words.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 — By yourself you are unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

And I am calling that friend Pronto and saying “You pick the time and the place and I will be there.”

Because I  am not going over the side of the cliff alone.  I need a strong nylon rope and strong friends.  Ones whom I can trust to love hard and hold fast.  To white knuckle that rope while I scale down the sides of this messy and crazy wonderful life.

And I will take my notecard with me today and pray for you. Enjoy your play date with your life and your day.  Make it fun.  Give Grace.  Find someone to Encourage.  You are needed by someone.

Counting gifts with Ann at A Holy  Experience dot com. Boldly thanking the Gift Giver for each one.

* Encouragers after church yesterday, several who spoke kind nuggets into my heart

*Time to talk with man-child about his after college plans and following after a potential offer of career not job with a company that is known for its love of our Lord

*spring cleaning my porch and enjoying time there alone to read and be windswept

*a text of hope from one far off who struggles

*sweet new neighbors who are answered prayer

*two going to prom on Saturday and listening to plans for community and fellowship in their world

*words softly spoken to me over the bread and wine of encouragement at the altar rail so kind so needed

Let’s Go On A Scavenger Hunt For Joy

Written in the front pages of an old journal are the words “We can’t remember what we don’t record.

My friends, I say

 My Heart does not remember what I do not record.

Go write down on the pages of your heart the good in this day.

Jot down joy and marinate in the moments of this single day.

Seek and find particles, pieces, and chunks to hold . Cup them in those fingers with care.

Hold a thought, a sentence, a paragraph for more than a moment.  Scribble it on paper or on heart pages.

Be the diligent record keeper of this one life.Take good notes along the way.

Let’s go on a scavenger hunt for joy.

Paint the beautiful.  Write the wonderful. Click the lense with a curious eye. Capture the amazing grace.

Press a flower, preserve the worth preserving in a can, a jar, a journal.

Then be joy, and share joy with others in this one day.

And my friends I say deep down thank yous for being Gift and being here.

Make Art from and in your day.

And to Him, The Artist and The Creator God be all the Glory.

And all God’s people say amen, and amen.