Where To Go When The World Gets Loud

wpid-20150317_190811.jpg

Where To Go When The World Gets Loud

I continue to ask him to turn the volume down. I want it lower and lower. Perhaps I want it off. I cannot tell you the guilt I do not feel. I should want to know about Iran and the agreement which is there but will be fought over and fought over some more. And I have opinions but not the energy nor the desire to opine.

I do not want to hear the news right now. I was raised to use my brain and discuss and wallow in knowledge and knowing. My Facebook newsfeed yesterday horrified me. I now know things I did not know before. I hurt from reality more than I used to. Hiding is for cowards. And yet, I have a choice. Because the bruising from the world leaves me diminished and I cannot be and make and do and love under the weight.

And yet when I stay away,  I cannot pray and cry out about the things which are wrong and bearing down. So I step in and step out. A paradox of fear and trembling and licking the wounds. And exposing myself. And trusting Him to refuel my soul again and again. That is a cycle. Therein is the cycle. That is the refreshing and rebuilding and restoring He is known for.

+++++++++++++++++

I want to be wise and worldly and know. Until I don’t. The most interesting things orbiting around me are about Pluto. I ask him to turn the volume up. If Pluto were one of us, he would have a complex and wonder on his worth. Disney at least named a character for him. And they bury the story in the back end. A whole mass of creation which is in flux and looking for us to name it and give it its proper place in the systems of the galaxies.

They deem it a footnote. I deem it worthy of a poem.

++++++++++++++++++

When the world is loud. Abrasive. And harsh. The garden woos me to herself. And my pen’s siren call to write promises me too, that indeed, yes, there is a place of comfort and quietude. Of gentleness. Sanctuary, like the psalms.  An economy of words. I heard too much and hurt too much from hearing of brokenness and pain. I want my words to heal. And so I retreat to create. I learned of cancer and dementia, crumbling and cruel, nemesis of the living. Again. Coming through like the enemy on the march. They like to stomp on all my people. Or so it seems.

Peace like a river is in the scriptures. And He gives so many the call to write. And to listen well first. To need and want to be alone in the tapping out now. To run it all through the sieve of the pen. For good.

Social media has blessed me beyond and beyond. That is a magnified beyond. But it is loud. And I crave quiet.

******************************************************************

Join me on Friday as I release my first tiny letter. A weekly newsletter for subscribers via email. I hope you like Letter Number One. New content not found on the blog. Prose, poetry, prayer, photography, quiet words of grace for us.

Click the link to subscribe to elizabeth w. marshall, a quiet place for words.

A New Little Creative Project Just For Ya’ll

Newsletter

++++++++++
half face selfie

Be on the lookout for the first issue. And a chance to subscribe. I hope you will. (Of course it is free).

Just a gift of my art and some things I long to share outside of my blog.

+++++
IMG_20150525_164133-1

+++++++

This is my pensive, pondering great content look. I do some of my best brainstorming on the boat.

See how quiet I am. Once a week you will receive a quiet little bundle of prose, poetry, prayer and photography.

It will look and feel a little bit like my instagram feed but different. I am so excited. Truly.

blessings and peace on this beautiful Sunday,

e

It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

IMG_20150630_145524

It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

When my speaking voice
My writing prose, writer’s voice
Are released to run free into the wide open spaces of the blogosphere and the world wide web
Compressed language, brevity and pithy phrasing
Fail me
You could say I am a long-winded fool
A verbose jaw flapper, writer of long and winding words
Lover of the adverb
Repeater of things, lover of and
Funny how you swear you don’t give a twit or a flea or a flick
About what the naysayer’s say
Because
Isn’t it odd that the naysayers take up more space with their naysaying than the non-naysayers

So you go into your place where you hide all the brave
And you pull out all the tools and the stops
And you assess things, take the lay of the land
(Names have been changed to protect me)
Hold your finger high in the sky to take an opinion poll
Check the collective temperature of the crowd that you aim to please
Imagine what all the readers want to read
Second guess the lay of the land
And craft the project to fit the need

And loose yourself in the process
(Flipping through the Yellow Pages you search and opine the lack of  attorney’s who specialize in break-up’s
Between poetry and writer, writer and poetry)
Wondering if you’ve flipped a switch
Most folks would just ditch the poetry without a thought
Not even looking back

You start to write some words of the Dear John sort
Tell poetry how grateful you are to have had her help in shaping your prose
And gently console her with what would I have done without you’s
(She is a she, poetry, duh)
And you get out the hats and blowers and confetti
Send her on her way
Tell her, “Have you seen the poetry section at Barnes and Noble?”
(There is a poem about that, you can Google it, I wrote it, I should know)

Have you been in the room with people who look a hole as wide as the Hoover dam
Right through your insides when you say “Poetry”
And people with M.D.’s and degrees
And retirees and Ph.d’s and common people who are civilized and polite to the n’th degree
On all other occasions but this very one
Givers of the blank stare (they are grieving your loss of sales as they drop their jaw)
And you swear
And you swear off poetry
Well not really off, just less

Settle into the place that the naysayer’s swore was the safest bet
And the surest sure thing

The place where the agents live and thrive and the publishers always go
And then for the life of you
You decide to go down swinging
To take your beloved poetry with you
To leave no poetic child behind
To go after the one lost poetic soul
To bring every poetic voice home for a proper, oh never mind

It is not like I was trying to ditch poetry anyway
And even if I was
It won’t let me

Anyway

Look for poetry to find a place
And settle into at least a chapter or verse
Of the long-wided wind bag’s
Imaginary book of dreams
The names have been changed to protect poetry

Even The Dog Is Tired

wpid-img_20141209_125050.jpg

I hear an echo in the hearts of the others. The ones that I know a little and the ones that I know well. Something tells me. Or they have told me. I would say maybe it is just me, but I think it is not. There is a wave of fatigue through the hearts of many. Maybe it is just me and one other. I know the dog is tired. That makes three of us.

Listening and engaging and bending in with most of the fibers of your being (some are reserved for survival) can wear a soul down to the nub. Being alive, fully, not just existing, is not for the faint of heart. And for those of us who feel deeply, overly-sensitive, deep feelers,  sensitized to all the things, we wear down and we wear out. We invest deeply and retreat to refuel. We love and listen and then seek time alone to find the strength to turn around and do it again.

I went to the mountains. Like John Muir and so many others, I had to. We all have a soul place. That place where we anchor. I anchor my soul by the water. The salt has its way with me most of my days. It washes into the folds of my skin, a welcome balm. My senses know salty. It is their normal. A needed, vital, constant element in my life

But the mountains are my gear-shift. The sensuous rounding of the hills, changes the landscape literally and figuratively. My breathes are deeper, subterranean below the water line. Everything is a rush of change to my senses. And I can see again. Smell again. Hear again. We anchor in and know we are home. Exhales give way to rest.

I am certain I did not hear it wrong. In fact. I am confident in these whispers. They are white noise to my soul, in their constant tickling, stimulating my creativity. Which tells my brain which tells my heart. The message is clear. Although they often come in another form,  as hard taps on my shoulders like God needs to step it up a notch with me to get my attention. Whispers work for some people, but frankly, I am not some people. Neither are you. We are fully human who we are. As we are. I need to be shaken, gently, sometimes. He always shakes me gently. Like a father pushes his child on a tree swing, gently.

I hear this banner over my life and it is trying to make its way into a bound spine. A pair of front and back covers. It is not as easy as it may have first appeared. I think the dog is tired of reading my body english. And there are thought bubbles over my head that only God can read. They say a lot. He knows, He’s read them. We both wait for the response. Most people just see a burned out writer. But the dog and God know me well. Ragged in the wanting. Worn down in the bending in to hear and wait and hear some more.

It comes in an unfurling. Messages from Him. Is it that way with you? I am waiting on more of what He calls me to. That is okay. It is just part of my humanity. I am seeking with all of myself. And trying to get out of the way. I am like a a human speed bump. I don’t know why i keep slowing myself down. But I do. I am going so slowly that I may not even be moving.

But He measures time and space and speed and productivity. I leave that to Him. I just know that I am ready to both work and rest. Listen and stop listening. Bend in and hear. And cover my ears to block the loud. And be quiet. And go about the work.

The world is a loud place. And I don’t want to miss a word of it. But this is my time to briefly step aside. Maybe for like 12 hours. Maybe a little longer. To savor the quiet. While I listen.

The speed bumps help me to notice. And that I know is most of what He wants me to pour into the space between the covers of this bound project. Noticing and living aware and alive and awake in the now, require more than being. They require rest too.

We must take deep breathes of rest, to turn around and notice all the microscopic wonderful of His creation. Rest. Pause. Restore. And seek a  recharging of our very souls. To re-enter. Without ever leaving. He provides our rest. He opens spaces and places for deep soul rest. He offers respite and Sabbath and an invitation into solitude and communion with Himself.

The dog is with me in the mountains. We are both tired. But He promises rest. Even to those He is still asking to write out a message of hope and love and beauty and grace. To the people. To His people. He is preaching to the choir. I am preaching to myself. It may turn out that the book was meant for me to write, so that I would read it.

I don’t know. Maybe two or three other people might need it too.

I know the dog is not one of the two, in this particular case. But he is a good companion and he seems to be cheering me on. In his own, tired way.