Dearest Blank Page, White Canvas, Nothing

God's Grace shrimp boat
As I embrace my one word for 2013, ART, I put on the lens of story through the art form of letter writing. And  I  humbly bring my offering in the series “Letters From The Village”. This is the one in which I write to the white space that faces the creative and the writer, before the work is born.

To read all the penned letters in the series, simply click on the tab at the top of the home page entitled “Letters From The Village”. Thank you for walking out this series with me. The overflow of my heart.

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provider mcclellanville

I could sit and stare at you, frozen in a place of uninspired repose. And wait. And wrestle and gnaw and rail against the struggles in this place.

And wonder why I come to gaze into the void. The stark unformed sea of empty, bleached white stares at me.

The option to leave empty, me emptier. Choice crouches, hides and waits. Tempted to raise white flag, in defeat

There is no forced march here. I don’t go hungry or want for sustenance if I am turned away from you with hands wide open but filled with nothingness.

Cold. Bare. Bareness winning out.

You intimidate, or try, on days, dry days of drought.

But then and that’s the important part. But then. The passion ignites and meets your white empty, with inspiration fueled by writing’s impassioned delightful flames.

White nothing, step aside, fling open your gates, your doors, your portals for a word or two. The overflow of the heart.

Make way. Make room. Prepare your blank for the artist’s hands. For when the flames are lit and ear has heard a word, a thought has birthed a poem, the brush strokes fill the sea of white with teeming life, with words.

And what goes there has subtle strength and power. To bring encouragement, beauty, whispers of delight. Stories told of life and living, bold dreams dared to break free, overcoming leaps of faith, and battles won on life’s messy stage. Lines of love and life, sweet prayers of hope and amazing grace.

Once you yield your canvas to the hands of writer, poet, the weaving thread on thread begins. And the looming work of writer’s heart pulls threads of thought by thought to form the messy message on a page. Praying all the while for beauty. Leaning in to hear and write with wrist and fingers, hands and heart a piece of written obedience, the delivery of her art.
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Conquering the fear of blank. Wrestling with the fear of steady void on page. Because of grace and truly, truly it rides on grace. The words, they dance or sing to souls and hearts carried on the backs, lifted by strong arms of grace.

Releasing all control and bending low to hear anew, the inspiration she longs to capture in her web, to weave on strong and bold, with a knowing that the inspiration will come today. And trusting it will come tomorrow. And knowing all the while the gift is gift. The privilege humbles. The heart trusts the stops and starts but longs for constant steady flow.

Of words.
mary margaret 2 mclellanville

So I will come to you white page, with my palette and my paints. And cast my net into the sea and count you friend, not enemy.

And we’ll make art until the words dry up. And we’ll write poetry and maybe even songs one day. Songs that sing with notes or without. That cause the heart to dance a bit.

You’ll be my friend and sing encouragement to my soul, as white noise comforters me on sleepless night. And you will represent beginning new, potential, promise hope and good.

You redeem a life on page. You hold grace within your pure white boundaries of unending hope.

And I will thank you for your company, the beauty rests in white delight. And calls me to come play and pen. Calls me to write a love song, poem or prose.

But white page, blank canvas my heart writes this love poem to you.

And seals it with p.s. its all because of Grace, sweet amazing Grace, and you.
shrimp boat sunsets HM

There Is Light In The Dark

Today my words are drawn from the inspiration of my niece, Caroline, who is seen and heard in this video. As she paints to the music of Mat Kearney, Breathe in, Breathe Out, I see the beautiful. And so I write.

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There Is  Light In The Dark

You know my every breath
The shallow breathing times were the hardest
And the times I held my breath in fear, the stronghold, grip, on me
But fresh the air you gave, new the winds  blew in
Restoring peace
You knew the tension, knotted, held, locked tight the lungs
You saw the rattling, ratcheted up-beat of the racing breaths
Too, many, too often
Many times you caught and captured the release in the exhale
Went deep into my lungs, with love
Air of Hope
Breath of Life
Whisper new breath into my deepest places
Make new the stale air
Form new, Your spirit in me
Freeing me to breathe deep
A life which
Hopes
All things
Through and by the very breath you give
Breath of Hope

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Joining emily today for Imperfect Prose. Today’s prompt is Light.

(Postscript – This post was originally published on January 18, 2013. When I go back and listen to music, watch Caroline paint to the words and melody of the artist and interpret I am deeply moved. And as I re-read the poem I wrote in conjunction with Caroline’s painting and Mat’s art, I choose to submit this offering to the  Imperfect Prose community  today. May the light shine bright in my eyes as I look to live in love, write of grace, and make art that honors Him. The original post title was Breathe Hope. I have changed it to  There is  Light In The Dark.

ip on thursdays-1

And I Named My Dreams, I Named Them Big

This is Part 1 of a Series in my final blog posts for our month long blogger campaign for Compassion International.

This is one of the most difficult posts I have ever tried to write, but what follows is my heart and my words in a poetic voice, on the sights, sounds, and smells of poverty. Aligning my heart with a child in poverty. This is my voice as a child living in extreme poverty.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for grace.

The rumbles come in the night.
In my tummy.
They are funny like its talking.
Like its saying good night but it lasts for a long long time.
Like its saying hey, you forgot something.
Hey you forgot to say good night with warm food.
They talk to me every night.
It’s funny cause they sound like rumbling thunder
My tummy noise.
But it hurts too.
I named him, my tummy and tell him not to worry.
We’ll be fine.
And we’ll eat something and then you’ll stop your rumbling noise.
Its okay.
We’ll be fine.
I tell him not to rumble so loud, he might wake my sister.
And I say sshhhh. You might wake up my mommy too.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And I tell my tummy to be brave and strong.
Tomorrow we have much to do and much to learn at school.
And I tell him to be brave and strong and at school he’ll rumble less.
Sshhh, we are learning.
Sshhh, we are praying.
Sshhh, we are singing.
Sshhh, we are working.

And in the night the crying comes.
But I tell my eyes, be brave.
I tell my tears, don’t roll.
I tell my heart, be still.
I tell my eyes, don’t cry.
I give my eyes a name and I say don’t be sad, my eyes.
Be strong and brave.
Tomorrow we have much to learn at school.
And I tell my eyes, be dry.
Sshh, don’t cry. You might wake up mommy too.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And in the night the dreaming comes.
And I tell my dream, dream on.
I tell my mind, keep dreaming.
And I tell my heart keep dreaming, the hope-filled dream.
And I tell my heart dream loud.
Don’t be quiet.
Don’t be silent.
Don’t be shy.
Dream loud, my dreams.
And I named my dreams “Big”.
And tell my dreams I will share you with my sister.
I will share you with my mommy.
I will share you with my classmates at school.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And in the morning new mercy comes.
And I say oh new mercies how you are welcome here.
And I thank God, for His new mercies every day.
I say Praise you God for your mercies and your love.
I say I will worship you God for your mercy is great.
And I name His mercies, I call them Jesus.
And I tell God I will tell my sister.
And I will tell my mommy of God’s mercy.
And I will tell my classmates of the Savior.
I will tell it loud and happy, strong and brave.
I will tell it full of joy and hope and faith.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.
But Jesus lives here too.
And He is love and He is mine.

Remember, God told us to become as little children.

There is a link here to Compassion International if you’d like to learn more about child sponsorship.

Linking with Eileen, Jen, and Heatherand at Seedlings In Stone

And with Emily for Imperfect Prose