When You’re Not Done With January

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When You’re Not Done With January

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It might just be the tortoise in me. That preference to move slowly—to process slowly, to act and re-act at the pace of sub-normal. January appears to be trying her best to leave me in the dust. She is plowing ahead and building up steam, finding steam in the gray matter she makes her hallmark. Her trademark color of sky and air. Moving forward with the confidence of a triathlete on steroids. While I haven’t chosen my 2019 leather day-planner calendar thing yet. (Decision fatigue has followed me into the new year.) She delights in clean slates and fresh starts and new beginnings which she parades in front of me like a braggadocios half marathoner with a proclamation sticker adhered boldly and proudly on her mini-van bumper.

And. yet for all of this January this and January that — I have grown to love her. And for the first time in my nearly 60 years I am begging her to stay, to linger here awhile.

I find her enthusiasm contagious. Let’s go she says, into the fog of the unknown. Let’s run, she says, it’s all downhill from here. Let’s start again, she promises, she flirts, she calls me to the land of new mercies.

And then she leaves.

She disappears into the month that ends with a thump on the 28th day. She leaves me alone just as I believe I may have found my stride. She disappears into the fog of snow and ice, a thaw and even a hint of spring. It’s as if she finds the whole month a game of hide and seek. Of go and stop.

But she is my muse. I find her inspiring and a companion on the days that darken in a snap. I find her filled with promise that is usually attributed to springtime.

But whether or not I am ready to say goodbye, like many things I have grown to love, slowly, over time, on the back end of the curve — I must say goodbye to January in a matter of days.

Yet I will fold her promises of new beginnings, press them into my flesh.
I will hold her contagious enthusiasm for the blank page which says “what if,” written in January’s magic disappearing ink.

And I will say, not “goodbye” but “see you soon.”

Because though I have not allowed her to be the pace setter she has tried to be, I have learned to make my way. Like a January storm that muffles the world, she has both quieted me and energized me. She has brought me the gift of a new day again and again.

And she has mercifully shown me that the way to go is forward, always, into the fog of uncertainty. Into the haze of gray waiting for the clouds to pass. Into the day after and the day after that—with a January hopefulness that is nestled into the crunchy crust of frozen ground and muted skies.

Because just as I will not say goodbye to January, January will not speak goodbye to me. And we will silently go into the month that says, 28 days is enough for anyone who learns to love a day well.
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On Remembering

 

art artwork beautiful beauty
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On Remembering

remember what hasn’t been
yet. Before. Today
remember what the dreams hinted to
in a happy, haunting nocturnal sort of way
of what might come to be
on some other summer’s day
things hope and longing used to say
in breathy whispers
along the lines of could, perhaps and maybe
moments that haven’t had their chance
to live to see today

remember what hasn’t been
unravel next time. Reweave memories from yesterday
remember Wednesday on a Tuesday
and all the things that wait
that ask to be remembered
like healing, birth and death
and poems that take a year to gather line by line
on the poet’s winsome breath

Join me for the July issue of  The Notebook: These Pages of Mine, coming soon to email subscribers. Click the link here to sign up to receive free monthly-ish mailings in your inbox. Thank you in advance for sharing your inbox space. It is an honor and a privilege

 

 

Don Quixote’s Search

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Don Quixote’s Search

You ride out your brave
Like a thousand men
A thousand women too, no more
Your sturdy mount, your throne
Hooves shod in shoes, step brave
Teamwork for the win

D is for dreamer, Don

Your life, an alphabet soup of how to slay those dragons
In search of small t truth

Headlong into battle
You
You wore brave
Long live your legend, profile in courage
Boldness, your aftershave slapped on cheek and neck
We smell you coming
Chasing hard, chasing fast, chasing true

Fighter of the cause you took up
C is for charge

And C is for cancer
Demons come in all shapes and sizes

Fear found no place
On the back of your mount

It seeks to bully and boss
Make you cower in the corner
Men like you
Women too, the dragon-slayers
Who ride in search of dreams, dusted up in battles of their own
Make no room for excess baggage, space-takers
That take the place of
Faith, hope, and love —weapons of choice

T is for tumor

H is for Hope
C is for cure
And chemo too
F is for freedom
We’re all in search of something, Don

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Don Quixote’s Search first appeared in a collaborative exhibition entitled Environmental Abstracts with friend & artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh. You can find her on Instagram @northlightstudio803

 

 

 

 

 

Wait With Me

“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” Oswald Chambers

I sift through the most difficult times of my life, draw circles around painful periods, connect the dots between each hard part, every challenging chapter. As I take inventory of my almost sixty years, I find that in some way every important page holds a story of waiting.

Often my waiting felt like wading through the weight of heaviness and fear mired deep in murky waters of questioning. How long would our adoption take? How many years of infertility would we face? How long would momma battle dementia? When would we know healing and restoration within our marriage?

From birth to grave we are asked to wait. It is a necessary requirement, a prerequisite for living. We often feel most human, most vulnerable when we are made to sit in a holding pattern. Like a plane low on fuel, asked to circle while it waits for its turn to land, we become dizzy and impatient.

Our course is altered, outcomes are on hold, as we hang in the balance of action and pause. We are a people on the move. And waiting goes against our “on the move” grain. For a generation or two we have become a people who are accustomed to instant gratification—a concept out of sync with waiting. Have we forgotten how to wait?

This “great strain,” of which Oswald Chambers writes, offers us beautiful opportunities for deeper dependence on God. Isn’t this where the growth comes, from strain and tumbling. We are the diamond in the rough. We are the pearl at the mercy of the oyster’s grit. We are the waiters. And yet, if we pay close attention,  remaining awake to possibility, we will witness the miracle of His mercy laden timing unfold. Every time. We become like the pearl.

We encounter it on a deeply personal level when we rub up against anything that stops us from moving, acting, creating, and doing. All the “ing’s” that fuel our living. And yet, to wait in faith, to wait with trust, to wait wholly dependent on a God who holds me in the darkness of uncertainty—this is my spiritual challenge. And perhaps it is also yours.

To read this post in its entirety click the link and join me over at Grace Table.org where this post first appeared. Click to continue reading… Thank you for joining me.