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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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

Really, One Word? From Me? Yes !

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I thought of a million reasons why I wouldn’t choose one word.

Actually, that’s not true.

I didn’t give it much thought at all.

But then… the idea sung to me sweetly and the word screamed loud and strong and wouldn’t stop.

Well yes I danced for awhile around the words that I want to shape me and shape my living this year. If I tell you my heart I bare my soul. If I bare my soul you see a seeking, wanting, hungry me.

If you see me there, that is where the real and the vulnerable are and didn’t I always want to live there, really?

I want to Praise more and Love more. I want to embrace possibility and potential. I want to be healed and whole. I want to enter in, not stay on the fringe in fear. I want to be brave and make new friends and serve God. In everything.

Simply, I want an abundant life. Serving and loving and living out of a place of extravagant possibility.

I long for poetry, lots of poetry. And I want to dare to sharpen the eyes of my soul to see beauty, all beauty. The beautiful in everything.

And the word was set on repeat, washing away in the inner chambers. Though I really had no plans or desire to wrap a year of living around a word.

But it focuses my soul. And I fell in love. And it felt like a calling. So I opened the door, well cracked it really. And in came the rush and excitement of  art.

The colors, the sounds, the whimsy, the creativity, the nuance and the wonder.

And when I framed the desires and callings on my spirit it looked and felt and sounded like this, to my soul.

I want to know the art of worship and the art of praise, anew.

My soul longs to experience the art of loving and serving those in my world, my family and community. The friends I have not even met.

I want to seek and find the art of seeing  beauty around me, catching the moment at just the right time, when the light hits just so and the smile turns up on a face in that oh so subtle  way.

I am longing to see with my camera, the art of capturing life and living and creation, anew.

With art as my frame of living, my frame of reference, my hope is that I will be challenged to live fully and abundantly in all that I do. Without fear, without anxiety, without settling for just so.

Wrapping a year of days with art as the rudder, my hope is to encounter all not half. Full not empty. Strong, not weak. Brave not timid.

Embracing the art of abundant living through reconciliation, healing, forgiveness and embracing this one life.

Will you join me as I eat my words and choose one word?

Will you walk through a year of poetry and prose, photography and faith, with me. Looking to the Ultimate Creative, Artist God, all the while.

You make the art of my life so much richer.

Off to the land of artful living; dancing, singing, all the way there. Won’t you come along? Shaking the dust off as we go. Cleansing and washing our days in new.

These words of Pablo Picasso sing it all so sweet and true:

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life

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Linking with the one word community.

The Final One – Grace, God,and What’s Next

Today is Day 31. It’s the end. It’s the beginning. The collective is here for the unwrapping.

Chapter One

Thank you for walking out October with me. Or just joining me today. Its Grace that you do.

The words. They have been stirred up and scrambled a bit. These words our tools.

And they have been fragile, tender, chosen with some care. Delicate the words. And each a shade of different.

As prayers, worshipers, delighters, praisers, writers, poets, bloggers, mommies.

It is  our words. They are our tools.

To pray to our God, to worship our God, to raise our children, to sing our songs, and lift our voices.

They lift up, they give voice, and they give Hope.

When I began I started this series walking out a plan to write daily. You can reflect with me on my dailiness. here. (Or lack thereof, or good intent, or best laid plans).

What grace it is to write at all. If writing is your passion. What grace it is to write and meet a friend along the way.

What is this writing journey but a step and a step and another. To touch a soul with a phrase or a word. To write of life and have another lean in soft or lean in hard and say I understand or better, so much better that speaks to me and it is sweet. And it is tender.

Your eyes here with me are a gift. He brings them to the page.

Your heart beats, steps in stride with me, walking it out with me. Gift.

And all these words that have been and words to come, are reflecting, praising, processing, speaking, telling, of this life He gives. And to Him glory.

Of the Grace He gives, and its delightful amazing.

Of the Hope that’s in Him and its radiant.

May He be the audience of one for whom we write the words of our life.

To serve Him, praise Him, seek Him, and abide in Him.

Chapter Two

Once upon a time there was a blogger who found a hope-filled community of writing friends along her way.
And it is good.  And it was very very good. And it is great and safe and a wonderful delightful place.  And there were the  words woven, words shared, words prayed, and words passed like the peace in love, back and forth, from and to. And a life was richer because of the words. Shared.

And stories were written, life was written, and bumps and bruises were written out, and fears released, and hope captured, and God praised.

And she thanked her God for the words , for  breathing through them. For bridges built with them, to others and to her Gift Giver. For Joy found in them. Each one full and rich, like figs picked from the tree,  placed on the lips to delight and consume.

And there was Grace, abundant and amazing. Grace when time was multiplied, time was hard, times were filled with questions and seeking.

And there was Grace, abundant in the extending of words, out. Releasing them. Freeing them. Sending them out, to go and tell.

Out into the bloggy world.

This very imperfect prosety. These very flawed proems.

The voice that trembles, seeks to be and form and speak.

He gives another day to pick it up and form the words. To build community and simply sing a song. To tell of Him and His amazing Grace.

Another Day. A gift.

Its Grace.

And I am writing of those moments, when Grace has appeared, wrapped in Love, dipped in Love, signed in the wet ink of Mercy.

The eyes of the heart record and tell. And thank. And the words keep marching out, prancing out, dancing out, this narrative, this story, of this one wonderful life.

The one He so graciously gives.

Chapter Three

What’s next?

Surprises. Trust. Expectancy. The beautiful. The wonder. The very very ordinary.

And the leaning in and bending the ear to Him, for words and inspiration.

Thank you for reading, journeying and always encouraging.

As a thank you I am giving away a piece of wonderful jewelry from Tracey Anderson Cooper, a friend. Just leave a comment to be entered. It can be a word. (These are examples of her line,.I will choose a piece in stock. It will be lovely, truly.)

{And when you leave a comment or a word, would you consider your own little dream of what would be next, here. Your own little wish of what you would want to read here. If you do. If you shall. An idea, a thought. Its Gift that you would.}

Are you journeying daily, here. Humbled if you would. Be here daily, just me and you and the words. Click here to receive daily emails and join this community of words.

Joining Duane, Emily, Ann, Mary Beth, and Jennifer.

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