The Encouragement To Go

Day one shadow

The Encouragement To Go

Sometimes we need the encouragement to step out and into, away or toward.  Sometimes we need a pull or push. The woo, the whisper. The invitation. A delightful plea.

Somedays we hunger for a call. A voice. Excitement. Permission. To hear the old spoken anew.
Somedays we need a new friend, an old friend too. A collision of yeses. A harmony of go’s.

Sometimes we need the repetition of the familiar played to the accompaniment of strings, not brass. Italics not bold. Gentle, not tough. The solo, not the symphony.

Some seasons we respond to age and wisdom not fleeting fancies or current trends. The rose with the thorn, not a re-constituted hybrid.

And we bend in to hear what may have been said all along. Yet suddenly we listen, and hear, and the invitation to go sinks down to the bottommost place of our soul.

To wander and wonder.
To run and soar.
To find and be found.
To discover and uncover.
To rest but not falter.
To store up but not hoard.
To enjoy and be joyful.

Some days we crave a soul full of poetry. To read and weep. To weep and exhale. To make art and be made by it too. To create and be re-created.

And so we go.
Whether out and beyond. To the new and to notice. Or close by to the familiar. Extending or pretending. Dreaming and imagining.

We go. Out and not in.
To others, not ourselves.
In charity and love.
With art and a song.
Seeking the beauty and beautiful. The grace and the gracious.

But in all of our ways, we long for the encouragement of another to just go.
From the Father, the friends, a poet, a child, another, a mother.
Go with glee. Go in love. Go to serve.
Encouraged, awakened, arisen, alive.
We go.
Together.
Never alone.

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Joining Jennifer and Lyli

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Peace

blue lelandHoist your sail
Raise your white flag
Launch your boat, your small craft
Warning, the seas are rough
And sail away
Into a sea of deep
Blue deep
Breathe
In the air of healing grace
And drift away from the land of the raging wars

Drop anchor
Land on an island
Of He is Peace
Inhabited by the olive-branched dove
Sleep by the light of the waning moon
Wax not poetic
Let go of
Words laced with sarcasm,
Speak not biting bits of sharp edged words
And bury your hatchet deep in the sand
Pick up your brother’s hand
And walk to the edge of the salty
Shore, step into the
Sea of healing
Water, wash
Mercy
Over us
All
Lord have mercy
God reign mercy.

And sleep in heavenly peace
Dream long of a place where the banner over all
Flies high, Love
Lives strong
The greatest of these
Grabs hold of tongues and hearts

And wake in a world of
Living in His love
By the light of new dawn, new day
Pale, twinkling stars set high
Set in the heavens by Him
God and Father of all

And wake to a symphony blowing
Waving notes of peace
Gently, washing onto
The sands of time
It is
For
Us to live a life of peace
No banging, blaring, discourse or hate

But Mankind
Men and Women
Who know His love
To love and live
In

Peace
May it reign.
joy boat leland
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Heading off for a brief writing sabbatical. Very brief.
Enjoy this one day. It is a gift.

These Are The Days, Sacred and Holy

rolled tile roof in oak parkSometimes we just want to cry out loud Mercy at the top of our lungs. Mercy come rain over me. Mercy take me away to some physical and figurative place of peace. Mercy when will it get easier to raise a child. And this boxed in place of not enough, of  at the end of my rope and really, really still and again. It can leave a girl choosing wrongly to place a quantative value on a day. This one is good. This one is very very good. And this one was horrid. There was something to the girl and the curl and the measurement of her behavior. Good was very and bad was horrid.

But these days.  We stumble and name. Give up and give in. Give a grade or an adjective, undeserving of labels,these days. Really, these up and breathing and seeing life beating and blood flowing days. They are sacred and holy. Each one.

Because these are the days of breathing deep and living wide open. And of seeking and creating. These are the moments of loving and building. Of learning and grasping. Of holding and treasuring. Of serving and glorifying. Of offering hope and creating beauty out of the ash.

So the days when we shake a fist at the sky and rail and cry and name the day broken or less than. Well, it just shortens the days of our living, robs self of self.Bleeds them dry with the worry and the tears. Robs them of potential slivers of joy by wrapping them up in the brown-paper wrapping of plain or uninspired. Too filled with pain or sadness to be labeled glorious. Snuffs out the creative and puts a dark mask of blindness on the eyes of the living.

But with the few I have, the ones I am gifted ,granted, don’t I want to maximize the breath and the life in each. How can I put an end to the labels of the days of pain, the desert days, the days of mourning and weeping and wailing. And instead see them each as a perfectly jig-sawed piece to the whole of the puzzle. Each worn and torn frament as a vital and necessary piece of the tapestry of a pulsating life.

How do I wrangle the worn out and worn down and weary and weave them into golden glory. Re-create the mud-pie meals and make them gourmet edible delicacies after all, because its what I have. Recreate the broken and see it as healable redeemable and lovable after all. Because of His life and death. Because of His power.

Because it is life and life is it. This place of in the middle of unknowing and uncertainty, of one day soon it will make more sense and we will see better and clearer and it will be redeemed.

I know about seasons of living. The seasons of pain and the ones of pure joy. But what of the days which can’t be painted with strokes of meaning. Which seem longer than a season and in need of a new naming. The long cycles of questions and not quite clear, the blurry and bleary and tear-stained days.

What of the long periods which feel like they may never end. The repetition of the same recycled hurt and struggle. Where complete healing and total transformation seem to elude this life.

What of making and re-making these days into the best they can be and give, in spite of, despite. What of dropping the measuring sticks of worth and naming all the days as all the days. Each one  the sun up and sun down, moon up and moon down and all the in between. And we do seek extra hard and we squint and we squint some more and strain,on some of these crying out days. The loud mercy days.

I need you to help me reframe the days. To see the beautiful where I can only see hurt. To hold me where my mercies cry out loud and deafening. I need you to be his hands and feet and to catch a tear . To  help me salvage and save what is right here for the living and loving through the pain, inspite of the pain.

Despite the struggle, I need to define the beauty. And the lovely. And the worthy of praise.

When the crying out mercies seem to overshadow the new mercies where does the heart sit and find her rest, the soul her peace. Catch me brother, catch me sister and hold me in the arms of your strong Christ-love.

Catch my tear when the seemingly endless repetition of the wearing down and worn out and numbing pain send me back into the shadows. Pull me out with reminders of light and life with the strength of your Christ-love.

And sister, brother may I do the same for you. Help you frame the pain with a new lens of redemption and healing. Sit with you in the no-matter what’s that come. Hold you in the painful places of grief and loss, of despair and sorrow. Hold you as Christ would, love as Christ does and encourage you to walk forward into the days of healing.

Walk it out when I am weary, be my rod when I am crippled in my place of wandering wondering. And be my strength when I am weak.  Be my peace when I am warring with myself and wrestling with my soul. Be my gentle in my hard places, glimmers of light when hope is dim.

Be Christ for me, brothers and sisters. And teach me how to be Christ for you.

Walk with me into the days, the days of  the holy living, each and every single glorious one.

 Live out the days of breathing, as they are sacred. And as they are holy.

And live out the days, sacred and holy – together – in shared awe and wonder at it all. All. Every. Single. One.

Because these are the days of our lives. These are the days of the holy given.

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joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com and Jen at finding heaven today and Heather at Just Write.

Shelly and Duane.

(note: a day or two after this original post, I have added a word or two more. writing evolves and changes, sometimes, as the heart of the writer hears and sees more, different, and new)

the cabin in the woods 2 exterior

Not As They Appear, These Things, At All

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Feet in the sand blue sky canopy we step into the day. She painter, artist, friend. I write.
We walk into the day. She paints. I weave words, slice them up and move them all around.
There is an unfurling that begins, feet hit the ground, sun up, eyes up. It is what it is.
Or it is what you see, you see. Or how.

You should paint that.. I say, she sees. We see together, we see  different.
And I tell her what it is that I am seeing in the rags flapping in the wind. Barnacle laiden flying into the blue.

I tell her of my love for what looks like burlap, though it is not. When we look closer, the burlap was a mesh. It was not as it appeared.

We see different.

And isn’t that the way of the artist. Her art hangs on gallery wall, exhibited and displayed in place of prominence, by selection. Money changes hands between artist and art lover.

Her beautiful eye and her beautiful hand and her beautiful palette of paints will see the world in one beautiful way. The way of artist Laurie.

So she will not paint the flapping brown rags released on  line to dry out in the sun, bake out the pluff mud this tool of Lowcountry oyster catcher man.

No she will not paint it, not at all. She will not, can not paint it, paint them, filthy rags.

She will not paint the worn bags on a canvas, capture the bits of white stuck in the mesh like diamonds adorning the fabric of royal silk. Value and beauty in the rubble hanging and dancing in the salty Lowcountry wind, this day.

They whisper to me, come write my story.

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Of where I have been drenched in the sea in worn hands of man. Of where I have been dragged across the jagged shore and held the shells which hold the pearl. Holding on and holding dinner.

Out to sea and back again. Out and back, dragged and drug and hung again. To flap and sail swinging in the wind. Tool of man, art to one.

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And feet back in  the sand, dog in hand, under the oaks we walk and talk. Hit the road.  And stop to stare at peacock, hen. As she stands statuesque. I know this bird. But if we had not met I would have thought her dead, not alive. Her stillness, still as stone, her glassy stare belied a bird alive.

Things different. Things changed. Things not quite as they appear after all.

And painter friend she sees what I do not. This walk of artists in the sand. Brings eyes. They collide seeing different. Seeing same.

The Lowcountry  littered with joggling boards. Rite of passage for every child along the way. In the south, for children’s play.

And lady peacock, hen has her own. A perch which I could not see. My eyes beheld the beauty  only of the bird.  At first.

But two together, they double the image, compound beauty.

Bird on a beam. Bird on a board. Bird suspended mid-air. We stare.

So painter, writer see the world through different eyes. But the beauty is compounded when combined.

So husband, father,  wife and mother,  Christian One and Christian Two. We all do. Our views collide and complement. Artist, painter, artist, writer.

He brings his eyes and I bring mine. She sees the bird up on the board. At first I see the peacock hen and then the board. She is my improved vision. She corrects the lens on life. He is my improved vision. He corrects my lens on life. The complement, the shift in view. Four eyes, two hearts can see together what alone we cannot.

Four friends in search of oysters for our meal and we prefer the singles. Stop by the market ,ask around. Ask some more. The singles are the best and more expensive than the others. The clusters are  less desirable in the oyster world.

We buy the clusters or it is no oysters at all. Grab the knives, hold them hot. Fresh from the steamer, grab the hot sauce, lemon and the saltine cracker, eat them up. Can’t get enough. Oysters, hot, delicious clusters. We convert. We elevate these mangled masses of jagged shell to a status new for lover of this delightful delicacy.

And in the world of seafood too. Things are not as they appear. There is delicious delight en masse in groups. These clusters delight the souls of man under the crescent moon. Split open each with a frenzied pace. And let them slide down the throat into the belly.

If you love oysters.

You would love the clusters. The singles no where to be found, the hot commodity. In demand.

We huddle up and split open each, one by one, the oysters held in groups of white grey calloused shell.

The gift is in the blended views. We are lost. We are found. We are both.

We are better with each other. Artist, writer, painter, friend, husband, wife, Christian One and Christian Two. Poetry and prose.

I need you. You help me see. I am found. I am lost. I am both.

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OneWord2013_Art

Joining Laura and Ann today.

And counting gifts with Ann

*New ways of seeing life

*Old friends

*Days on the coast, rediscovering old favorites

*Consoling a child in her grief and finding beauty in the loss of life. Somewhere.

*Hearing a friend’s words at just the right time.

*Watching the dog herd her free range chickens. And delighting in the dance and art there

*Walking in the sun

*Walking under the moon

*New mercies

*New vision
new fave for art quote