Frost

There is a frosty blanket on those days in the South, when cotton was king and division cut hearts of men and women. A lifetime ago. No, many lifetimes and generations ago. It’s her past. And a beautiful crop has a million stories to tell, if she could talk. She’d tell of the pickers and their pain. She makes warm the world with all her woven comfort. We sleep with her, wear her. She has a history. She has a future. Plump and white and pregnant with possibility, she lays in wait for machines to gather her for market. White and winsome, covering the South and all the world. A paradox of war and pain and warmth and frosty chilled relations. She, caught between the strife of people, owning, working in her fields. Way down South on her land. The frost is gone, the chill is warmed. She breathes peace now, in her fields and looks like heaven, a sea of clouds.

And he is frosting on my life. I, plain vanilla cake and he, rich cream frosting spreads a blanket on my soul and on my very life. Last night I dreamt of Paris for our 25th, the next one, he of Italy. This life made sweeter, richer in the aging. And in the dreaming. We may sit in zipcode here and never leave but in our dreams. But love is whipped up nonetheless. No less sweeter in the staying. I am covered by his care, spread on me, a covering. And I hold his heavy on the back of my baked being. The complement of two, was planned in Garden Eden. And today its richer still. So much lovelier when two walk tandem out into the world.

He changes seasons when He speaks. He says and it is so. First frost speaks of what’s to come, the earth holds change, like brittle illusion on the field. It looks like snow. Yet when morning is broken it is gone. The frost melts away with the breaking of day. Like all illusion. It never lasts.

Joining Laura and Amber C. Haines at The Run a Muck for her concrete word prompts. There is a wonderful commuity of writers there, exploring abstract themes around the tangible things of this life.

And I am linking with Michelle.

Horse, of Course

 

Days 26, 27, 28, 29. This writer’s creative license to catch up on the series. The collective may be found here. Or by clicking the 31 Days 2012 tab at the top of this home page.

Joining Amber and others for her abstract writing on a concrete word. She is here, at
The Run a Muck. Today is HORSE.

It is like a full head on train wreck of the senses.

Down in the deep it lays dormant but when it is given some air, water, fertilizer and freedom it bursts on the scene like a herd of wild horses.

There is power in a word. And we don’t always know how much.

Or we don’t know how much to give it, or allow it. Or release to it.

There is power in words and there is memory there too. You can let it out to graze and give it roaming privileges in the pasture, unharness the power, unleash it.

Let it rip, unbridled.

Loosen the girth. Loosen the grip.

I am young and leaning in the saddle, feeling the first passion of my youth. The challenges there in the ring, on the trail, in the stirrups, over the jumps.

Brushing the back and combing the mane, smelling the hay.

Learning to post and blistering up, bearing the pain on the boney knee, as a dancer on pointe feels it on the toes, and on balls, and in the ballet slipper. The pain of struggle. The passion mixed with pleasure.

The smells mingle in the air and they say that it is  the longest memory or is it the strongest memory. The smells , they linger in the heart.

The smells of childhood and all the senses’ memories, mixed in a toxic remembering of joy and loss. Blended in a batch of story, the narrative of your living. Rooted in early youth. A launching pointing, a jumping off.

The dirt and dust and leather. The blends of animal and barn. The grasses and hays and helmet, black velvet hard a smell like no other with sweat of brow blended in and staying.

We take all the pieces of a life. Don’t we.

And ride off into the grasses greener, grasses leaner and carry them in the saddle with us. The horse that was an elusive dream. The one I never owned. A longing of my childhood. Spending  hours at the barn. Longing for ownership. To name an animal, train it up. Call it mine.

And when my knight in shining armor rode in and swept me up, they came back again, the horses.

And later too, in a mid-stream season of intersecting with the hooved loves of my life.

And even just a few nights ago, they came racing back, trotting back in.

A blaze of happy memory. The wild ponies on the coast of my youth. The stories. A thread between the life of an old salty captain who crossed my path and smiled his toothless grin as he shared with me a co-mingling of memory. Captain Froggy, the Shrimp Boat Captain and I. And the horses.

(Captain Froggy and his guitar)

The wild ponies of the banks were a piece of me and a piece of him.

And these threads that run through a life, they can keep running if you watch carefully.

This thread of memory, the horse, of course.

The earliest memory of passion for getting on the back and being free, happy, brave and scared all together. Of breathing smells and waving manes. Of feeling strong and feeling the hearts beating in tandem, human and horse. Horse and human. Rocking in the leather, galloping through at break neck speed, taking a jump.

The rocking in the saddle, like a baby in the sea of uterine waves. Rocking. Like the baby in the cradle lulled to sleep by the slow pitch to and fro.

The holding on, steering the bit, to the left to the right in the ring and beyond. Guiding in love. And it was always the eyes. The deep piercing orbs that pierce the heart and poke into the soul.

A word can wield a lot of power.

And we take all the parts and pieces and they are living metaphors. Or are they life itself. Following the thread, woven and weaved. Seeing the messy and the missed, the beauty and the treasure. In the all.

And the horse is not through with me yet.

Joining Laura for Play Dates at The Wellspring

Chains – Shake, Rattle and Roll

Today I am joining Amber and a few others for a series on an abstraction on concrete words. Today is Day 23 in the Series. Cut yourself loose and go here to read the collective.. Today’s word is Chains.

The words line up like hungry children at Baskin Robbins taking a number and waiting their turn to indulge themselves. They hear there is a series here on words and they are ravenous mongrels eager to have their day.

They cry out in the night and creep in the dreams and state their case of why they are worthy for the time to shine, their day in the sun, their fifteen minutes.

I tell them there is no glory that’s not His and there is no fifteen minutes of fame and if anything its fifteen seconds.

But they shake rattle and roll around in my head and bring their resumes, these words all seem worthy. How do you pick. What’s a mother to do. We don’t play favorites or at least we always try to be even-steven around here.

But I am drawn like a bee on honey over here to this abstraction on chains and I drag my words with me. They aren’t heavy they are just full. They are ripe and ready to burst with their telling.

So I link them up like construction cut-outs glued with Elmer’s on the Christmas Tree in 1969. They are a chain but fragile. Made to lay on the branch, this tree, of life. And not weigh down.

There was a mighty trifecta brewing around like a meteorological nightmare on a Southern summer, hot, humid, and muggy. So they link-up, make a chain. Mercy, Forbearance and Long-suffering, with an extra link of patience.

They rumble around in the brain for days beating to get out and speak their mind. So I release them and let them breathe a bit on the white pages, release them out to have their day in court.

They are game-changers and mood-changers and life-changers. And they are worthy of being lifted up and they need more than a day they need a life-time.

The chains of picking up every single solitary offense is enough to wear a girl down. Learning to let them lie is freedom. The kind that you set off fire-works over. The kind that you stand outside the prison door and greet the captive set free from all those years in a dark cell. In when she could have been free. Languishing in the dark, when she could have been living in the light.

Mercifully released, finally, things are set right. The sunlight is bright, blindingly so.

She breathes deep the fresh air of freedom.

Mercifully mercy finds a place to settle in and settle down, patience works hard at being herself and brings peace and calm with her. And letting things roll off the back when things rolls off a tongue is delightfully different from picking up the offense and picking a fight.

Choosing to release the offense, not taking it up, letting it die on the vine. Letting it go.

Looking the other way, turning the other cheek, breaks chains that bind. And cuts the heavy metal links with the soft shears of His ways.

Chains get rusty when they get old, and clanking sounds grate on a life. Sometimes it doesn’t take a metal cutter to break them, but the soft and gentle trio of Trinity to bust it open and break it loose.

And isn’t it the truth that the more links you add to the chain, the stronger it becomes. You add Mercy linked with Forbearance and Long-suffering and your spirit and your soul gain strength in the beautiful chain of Patience.

Grace is the grease that oils the links and keeps them nimbly ebbing and flowing, bobbing and weaving. You can make a chain of the Good and the Gracious. And the chains keep the wheels rolling on the bike as you peddle down the Grace trail.

Dropping your chains of clover rather than wobbly chains of wrongs done, offenses picked up, hurts accumulated, accumulating dust and rust.

We’re just too busy being bound up in the chains that bind and bruise, hold us back and wrap us up in self and selfish.

They were right, this trio, to demand their day, to link hands and come play on the pages of this series. To bring their light and cheerful spirit with them.

Too long their counterparts have tried to rule greedy, hold emotions and circumstances up, hold us hostage, rule with the iron hand and lay claim to each transgression, offense, small and large. To feel the wound of every word and deed that delt the blow, broke the heart, intentional or not.

Pride and self-righteous indignation, the rule of the day. Elbowing their way into their place of power and authority. Staking a claim while staking the chain to the ground. Burying the life on a short chain of void and empty.

I click the leash and walk the dog, tethered briefly for a moment outside in the air. I can breathe. Ocean rumbles mighty in the dark morning air. I can breathe. I hear the roar and know the power of salt, the strength of water. It reminds me the soul can be refreshed, the chains can be broken, and the life does feel less heavy when we breathe deep the freedom.

I can pick up the promises of His, a chain of linked words and chapters, verses, the beautiful bound Book. Chain it to my heart. Chain it to my soul.

And I hear Aretha singing to my spirit, Chain of Fools, a tribute, an anthem to the old way of living.

And Amazing Grace drops down in the jukebox of my heart and I sing along to a new anthem of my life, a song of Unchained Melody. The sound of freedom.

The words do a victory march across the page, linking hands, making a chain of friendship.

Mercy, Forbearance and Patience.

A new chain, tying  me soft and loose to Freedom.

And angels of Mercy and her friends guard my heart, stand at the door to my soul, keeping watch, breaking the chains before they bind again.

Amens and amens and amens.

Grateful to be joining these wonderful writers today too at their place: Jen, Heather,and Eileen. And to Jennifer,Joy,  Ann and Emily