Hitting Close To Home: Finding Lovely In The Places Nearby

wp-1487612401910.jpg

I am looking for a passport which bears the name of someone other than myself. I think it’s tucked away among old stained t-shirts and outgrown boy things. I stop to imagine the uncovering. Of both the semi-lost passport and of the waiting wonder and beauty on this trans-Atlantic journey. The hunt for this documentation, necessary for going away, is taking me places I never imagined I’d go. A circuitous journey of coming back around to my staying home.

It is enough, this vicariousness. There is profound joy and deep satisfaction in mental wandering. I wonder about the topography of Wales, the weather and whether it will rain or not. And if it does, what does a post-rain village smell like in the springtime there. Old brick and ancient soil co-mingle to tell stories, an aromatic telling. (I can read of Wales from here and I can see a hundred photographs. But the smells, I must net them in my wildest dreams. Capture them in my imagination. That is the sense that takes me travelling in place.)

Wet or damp, dry and cool, how do the fields smell. Sweet like wildflowers or pungent like arugula and rosemary, whose powerful scents explode in their breaking. The pastures, splaying out from ancient castles like oceans of green grasses, blade on blade of lovely; how do they wave in the wind? A green that only May may know, that is the green of my imagining. Green, a favorite smell is the green that shouts new birth.

Each dream, each splinter of my imagination is rooted in love. This season, the one in which I find myself, is one of staying. Of anchoring. Of tethering. I am harbored close to home. All of my travels are in the soil of nearby.

I both remember London fondly and recall my dormant desire for returning. I grieve for what I missed, victim of a younger me wasting time in a city I long to experience her again as an older version of myself.

So I may ask them to visit a bookstore for me, to bring me a something I can hold of that place. Go in my stead. Yet, I do not want my influence to attend their journeys. I want this trip to be wholly theirs in every way. I imagine the places the soles of their shoes will mark. I close my eyes and dream about the planes and trains and automobiles that will whisk them along from town to town. They will soar and fly and rumble, while I will remain in place.

But I have my own rumblings to lean into. And I have my own soaring to do. I ride on the wings of words. And I go faraway in the nearby. I am discovering the shards of lovely in the places nearby.

When they return, when they all return, I am the receptacle of experiences not my own. They dig deep into the well of experience and I am there, far from here. Removed from my present place. I receive their experiences and stories, soak them in and hold on to a re-living. They take me with them in their telling.

The squeak in the eighth stair down, is my siren call to stay. It reminds me as I travel up and down this staircase, built circa 1904, that I am going back and forth through time. I live in a time capsule, a concrete paradox of staying and leaving.

Yesterday the dirt was dark and thick. Each fingernail held the soil-turning of the day, by hand. I placed the pansies into the containers, chosen by design for their size and significance. I dug into the contentment of staying put.

Staying calls me to dig deep in the narrow fields. It forces my hand to root out the nuanced beauty that lies in wait. If I am to discover anything, I must know how to discover the nearby first before I go out in search of more. I must rejoice here, celebrate here, if I am to be practiced at perfecting discovery anywhere else.

The squeak in the eighth and ninth stair combine to play a duet. And I am content to strike the chords of staying.

wp-1487612234579.jpg

Advertisements

The Art of The Drifting Mind

wpid-img_20141028_161154.jpg

The Art Of The Drifting Mind

This is not a case “in defense of the drifting mind”

Or a thesis on “the art of the wandering mind”

Or a theory on “why we gaze”

I hear “mother you are staring”

No surprise, I have it down to a science

I check the boxes on the forms under hobbies and interests

Gazer, starer, dreamer, ponder, netter of poetry

Somewhere in the quiet spaces where the sunlight flickers and rocks

On branch and limb, limb and leaf,

Decidedly undecided whether to rest in the shadows or dance in the radiant puddles of light

The mind births an idea

And the idea becomes art

And the art becomes inspiration

And the inspiration becomes solace

And the solace becomes a balm

And the balm of the drifting mind

Can rest at peace

Her work is done

Until her glance meets the window pane

Through which she pours out

And breathes in

Again

The Dream Of The Waiting Soil: A Guest Post — Laura Boggess

Today is Day 30. Welcome. I am NOT ready for this series to end. Perhaps you are. Just as I’m getting into the groove it is time to wind down this October writing challenge. I am just being honest. I think that is important. Don’t you. 

Please join me tomorrow for what will be the last day of this series. I am still scheming and dreaming of how to say goodbye. Or how to pull the curtain. Or how to build a bridge to November. if you’d like to receive posts in your inbox (they slip in quietly without much fuss), click on the tab marked Subscriber at the top of the page. But of course, you already knew that.

cropped-wpid-img_20140929_170447.jpg
I am so honored to have my writer, blogger, friend, Laura Boggess guest posting today. Laura was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I began my writing journey in the land of the “interwebs”. And she was one of the first bloggers I had the sincere pleasure of meeting in real life. Yes I have looked directly into her beautiful blue eyes, into her soul. And she is a treasure. A gifted word weaver and a very gentle lady.
Enjoy Laura here. And then treat yourself to a copy of her new book, “Playdates With God”.

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

wpid-wp-1414674011499.jpeg

I spend the mornings in the flowers–cutting back, pulling up, raking out. I’m late this year–the frost already thick on the grass when the sun drops the diamonds of first light. My mother-in-law told me to wait; let the birds glean what they will, she said. And they did. The coneflower is dry as straw, the Black-eyed Susans blink. All the color is gone from the garden. The brittle browns and faded rusts shush me as they rub together in the wind.

I rake leaf remains out from around tubers–their subtle reds and golds like scattered gems. The thick bans of iris greens break easily with fingers. I smooth around their fibrous heads, let them breathe. Already the leaves have started to make rich compost–the soil underneath fragrant and dark. I breathe deep its heady scent, close my eyes and dig fingers in the cool moist.

This afternoon the robins are in a frenzy over my newly cleared soil. I watch from the window as they hastily march back and forth amongst the stubby remains of my garden. It looks so clean. The mulch around the dormant clumps of green holds such promise. I wrap my arms around my sides–hug close this seed that strains against the dark soil of my heart. Yesterday the first snowbirds came calling. You are too early, I said to them, through the glass of the kitchen window. I watched them pick at the ground for stray seeds, rosy beaks and slate feathers speaking the horizon of scant days.

When i was in the seventh grade I wrote an essay about what I want to be when I grow up. Mr. Kovalan, our English teacher, assigned us a theme every week. It was my favorite thing about school. Each week I looked forward to discovering what topic he would put before us. Mr. Kovalan never said much, but his comments on my themes always encouraged me. This is very well written, he might pen. Or: A very good story. There wasn’t much I was good at, but Mr. Kovalan helped me see that telling stories was something I could do. But this one? What did I want to be? A girl like me didn’t have a lot of choices. A girl like me rarely left the hollow. I thought long and hard about it.

When Mr. Kovalan graded my essay, he left me with few words.

Your choice surprises me.

That was all he said. That dear, dear man.

It was the first time I thought that maybe I could be more. That maybe…maybe there was more than what I know.

When I was in seventh grade I learned to dream the dream of the waiting soil.

I am a sleeping garden. I dream of shoots of green breaking through earth with pointed fingers. A glimpse of sky rests on my memory–white on blue with golden hues. in darkness the dream speaks hope into the night.
In the darkness the garden becomes a thing of expectation–of sleeping joy.

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

Author of the newly-released Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, Laura Boggess lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is a content editor for TheHighCalling.org  and blogs at lauraboggess.com. Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter. Laura’s book is available on Amazon.

wpid-wp-1414673959302.jpeg

wpid-20140922_190542.jpg

One Day I Will Write A Poem

wpid-20140112_160851.jpg

One Day I Will Write A Poem

Before my memory fades
Like shadows on the outskirts
Dim, pale watermarks of life
Growing fainter by the day

Before my words are lost
Somewhere in the forest, thick and dark
Dispersed among the pines and moss
Seedlings of a scattered memory

Capturer of the runaways
Gatekeeper of a million puzzle pieces
That tell a story
That is me
That is me

Before they steal away
Escape into a murky sea
Lost among  forgotten things

Buried in the soil
Of remembering
Hidden from my poetry

Locked out
After every door is closed
And bolted shut

And there is no more
Poetry
That mirrors the
Soul of me

Before that final day
Without a memory

I will write a poem, one day