There Is No End In Sight

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Welcome to Day 29. To read all posts published in this series, click the page tab marked at the top of this home page. Thank you for joining me. Always. Grateful. e

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There Is No End In Sight

It is better this way

Not knowing if I will sit with you in your suffering
For hours or days
The clock promises to keep this secret from me
From us
To
Guard time
Hoard it or release it in copious amounts
Along with hope

It is an act of mercy
Unlike my strong grip on you

There is no end in sight
Steadfast in love
I rub you and hold you
Shallow breathes
Breathe hot hope across the
Kitchen floor

You are slipping from me

nose to nose
paw to hand
fur to skin

The only difference is you are close to leaving me

Show me when to let you go
You always knew
Contentment in the midst of suffering
Perhaps you earned the moniker

Best friend
Of man
And woman

Please stay and love us a little
Longer, while
There is no end in sight

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sunflower for pikmonkey

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This Post Is Not About Anything: A Guest Post From Christie Purifoy

I have the honor of having my new writing friend Christie Purifoy guest-posting here today. If you don’t yet know this beautiful soul and her art, you are in for something simply wonderful. Though I have only known Christie for a short while, I feel I have know her as long as her Victorian home, Maplehurst, has been providing a backdrop for living in southeastern Pennsylvania. Christie is real and fresh. And her writing speaks for my own tired soul on days I can only mumble, “me too”.

You will hear a deep thinker but one who is unpretentious. And you will fall in love with the art and the heart of this woman. Christie, I am honored.

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The close of day one of Daylight Savings found my husband Jonathan and I washed up like wreckage on our old green sofa. We could hear all four kids still awake in their rooms. Maybe that is why we left the dinner dishes on the counter and the toy dinosaurs on the floor and simply sat right where we happened to be. We were too tired and too irritated by the noise to attempt anything productive.

We had no energy for choosing or making a plan, but the evening chose something for us. Something lovely. Jonathan opened the laptop left lying on the floor. He hit play on a recent episode of Austin City Limits, and we let the sounds of one of our favorite musicians wash away every irritation and tired distraction.

Listening to these songs, I remembered that the lyrics have always been indecipherable to me. I have no clue what this singer is singing, and yet these song have been some of my favorites for years. They are soaked in beauty, drenched in emotion, and, listening to them, I found myself floating in a rich sea of meaning.

I don’t know what they are about, but I seem to know just what they mean.

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Living my ordinary day-to-day, I often find myself tripping over the same question. Something like, what is the point?  What is the point of sweeping this floor, what is the point of baking this bread, what is the point of putting the toys back in the basket? The floor will be dirtied again in minutes, the grocery store sells bread, the basket will be upside down in no time at all. If my life is made up of these seemingly pointless activities, then what is my life about?

I am afraid that my life is not about anything beyond time wasted, tasks repeated and minute-by-minute survival. Yes, the minutes might be adding up to something good, but when the minutes are messy I can never feel sure.

But what if I am not asking the right question?

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The film critic Roger Ebert used to say, “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”

These are important words for more than just movies. These are words to remember for novels. For poems. For paintings. Whether we are making them or enjoying them. These are words that help us appreciate the wholeness of a work of art as well as the small grace notes.

These are words that honor the joy of creation.

We do not ask ourselves what the sky is about. I has a purpose. It is far from pointless. But its meaning is blueness. Spaciousness. Openness. Its meaning is shelter and canvas. Its meaning is the joining of heaven and earth.

What is my life today about?  I don’t know. But how is my life about this thing called living?

My life is about fresh clean skin after a shower. My life is about butterfly kisses on my baby girl’s cheek. My life is about lighting a candle. Brewing tea. Even the back and forth beauty of my arms holding the broom.

I focus on the how, and I am convinced.

My life–yours too–is about great things.

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Christie Purifoy writes at an old desk in the parlor of a Victorian farmhouse called Maplehurst. After earning a PhD in English literature from the University of Chicago, she traded the university classroom for a large kitchen, garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. When the noise of her four young children makes writing impossible, she tends zucchini and tomatoes her children will later refuse to eat. The zucchini-loving chickens are perfectly happy with this arrangement. The chickens move fast and the baby even faster, but Christie is always watching for the beauty, mystery and wonder that lie beneath it all. When she finds it, she writes about it at There is a River (www.christiepurifoy.com)

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee for #tellhisstory and Emily Wierenga at Emily Wierenga dot com for Imperfect Prose

In Which I Talk To A Dead Poet About Life

Robert Lewis Stevenson

{In which I write a letter to Robert Louis Stevenson regarding his poem entitled “Happy Thought” from A Child’s Garden of Verses}

Dear Bob:

You don’t mind if I call you Bob do you? Good. These words of yours are framed and hanging on the wall of our mountain home. So I have the good fortune of viewing them often. And have I told you how very much I appreciate the beauty of your poetry and especially this verse.

But would you please tell me a little of what you mean. Because I have not seen a happy King. Though they may exist or they may have existed. I am sure some have been happy. But some are just mean. And really there is so much responsibility that comes with being King.

So I doubt. And I am not normally a doubting person who wears a dour face. Rather I see the world as full of promise and hope, mercy and grace. But a happy king or queen I have not seen, though the modern day ones seem truly content. And this is not meant to be political discontent. Or even about politics, no not at all. But rather about Joy and its source and how we are wired by God. To love, others and moments that cover us in delight. To give and to serve, to offer and bow low and Christ-like.

Bob, maybe  you wrote at a time when  Royals were filled with grins from their things. Or maybe I am too literal reading your verse. Surely  you  don’t believe they were truly happy, as a result of their things.

But really that is not the point. The point is can man be truly happy as a result of his things? Well maybe if things are all gifts from above. I think you meant things that came straight from God.

Because more and more I find that the world is filled with wonderful things that aren’t really things,not at all. Like miracles and healing. And beauty at nightfall.

The second a firefly lights up his small light. And you happen to be there to see it all aglow. Or when the hummingbird lights on a bush. And the Earth is still while he sips with his tiney tiny bill. Or God wonders and marvels like the stars in the sky. That gather  up like a dipper so big or so small.

There  are “things” such as forgiveness and mending of ways, hope and fresh starts after seasons of long wait. New born babies and reconciled husbands and wives. Marriage and family, tenderness, meekness and soothing a soul. Helping the weary and drying a tear. The end of war.

There are things like laughter so deep that you ache when you stop, long enough to catch your breath, breath deep and  get started, all over again.

There are smells like the Blue Ridge  in July, with wildflowers, cut grass and fresh soil from the earth, swirling and landing up under your nose,  like fresh baked treats rising up to the sky and toes tickled by a cold dog nose.

There are families gathered around by the fire, at night, in the summer telling stories while curled up in a ball, savoring the gift of their days, that end too often with no warning none at all. That pull the curtain on our life like the end of a play.

But I know your heart and with poets that matters a lot,  to me anyway. I want people to see  my heart when they read what I say.

I think you meant wonder and discovery ,not things. Though things in themselves are not saved just for Kings.

And Kings can not be happy surrounded by things. Because God made us. all peoples, to love others not things. And things are not  terrible, no not at all.

For there is the spring at the turn, the bend in the road, at the bottom of the hill. Where I love to stop every night and every  year, taking sips and standing there quiet and still.

And the moon when it is full, is technically a thing.

And then there is Peace and Patience, Charity and Faith.

God grabs our hearts with a world full of “things”. But careful we most be and delicately we must trod.

Because things can rob us of time with each other and God, He  knows that the things can get in the way.

Robert, I knew what you meant and were trying to say. And I think Robert sounds more respectful than Bob. And I choose respect and  dignity. They are two  very valuable things.

Sometimes it is fun just to write words that play
with poets that have gone before
whose words I adore
and have a laugh on a whim and giggle each day
and since you’ve been gone things have gotten quite serious
I should say
Your words are a gift
Every line word and phrase
And I wonder what you would think of
“Things” these day.

Signed,

An Admiring Poet Fond Of  Your Work

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Joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com

The Turning: In Which Around Every Corner Is A Discovery

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Often they are small. And then other times they are wonderful and large, looming truths about life. They hover like ebony rain-packed  summer clouds in the afternoon. Or they float by like seeds blown from a spent dandelion. They are coming and going. A constant force to be reckoned with. They are hatchlings and seedlings and fledglings of this life.

Birthed in unexpected places and moments, they appear. And I am called to be vigilant and at peace. A combination of human emotion that allows tender and tough to co-exist. Tender enough to capture the magnificence. And tough enough to know that in the netting, there will be objects that must be released. It is not all glory and it is not all beauty. But seeking the lovely, the grace-filled and the glorious requires casting the net into the life seas.

In a state of watchful child-like wonder I can live this season of my life in a state of re-born newness. Like a bivalve cracks open and lets the water flow in and out, receiving and releasing. Keeping the nutrients, releasing the sediments. I am called to continually take in the discoveries of my life. I would starve on a diet of bland, if I never crack open the door to wonder. I would miss the shades of blue on the hydranga that go to purple, lavender and aqua. And  the hidden greens waiting to decide which color to be.

We would never know the way rain feels, dropping from a summer storm on warm tanned flesh if we remain cocooned in dry places. One more day reveals one more smell or taste, never before experienced.

And words of an eighteen year old child who want to tell their story get tangled in my net. I can choose.  I choose to  listen and realize there is more than the words unfurling from the man/child lips. There is a heart of curiosity and trust. There is his own discovery needing a place to land and light.

In a moment or two, a child will awake from her warm quilted bed in an air-conditioned room and tell me of her ten day mission trip. She has gone away and seen poverty and a world outside of her own. She and her passport are back. And there are stories to gently receive.

A parent lives a layered life of discovery. Because she holds the key to seeing through a child’s glistening eyes. Her own, the ones who look to her and call her momma. And it magnifies the wonder. For at once she is receiving discovery  through her own glassy portals  and stooping down to see through the eyes of those she is raising.

If I see with open wonder and a seeking heart, will I show my children how even in my fifty-fourth year of life, the beauty never ends. The unveiling never stops. And his Kingdom is filled with marvelous intricate designs. That art is living, breathing, waiting, hoping, pulsing all around.

And I am in this middle place. I see through the eyes of my aging mother too. The joys rebounding in her life. The strange and child-like discovery that is hers as she moves through her days. She forgets and then she remembers. And if I can learn to refine a listening heart,  I will hear the most intricate details of a woman, a mother and another poet’s life.

Around every corner is a discovery.  I will raise my net.

And bend into a low and listening stance, ever vigilant, ever watchful. Filled with the ready knowing that something is waiting. And that something is beautiful.

I will round the corner at a slow and steady gait. One that expects to not miss a single fleck floating in the sun-soaked or moon-drenched air.

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Joining Jennifer and Emily