The Turning: In Which Around Every Corner Is A Discovery

shrimp boats on at night

Often they are small. And then other times they are wonderful and large, looming truths about life. They hover like ebony rain-packed  summer clouds in the afternoon. Or they float by like seeds blown from a spent dandelion. They are coming and going. A constant force to be reckoned with. They are hatchlings and seedlings and fledglings of this life.

Birthed in unexpected places and moments, they appear. And I am called to be vigilant and at peace. A combination of human emotion that allows tender and tough to co-exist. Tender enough to capture the magnificence. And tough enough to know that in the netting, there will be objects that must be released. It is not all glory and it is not all beauty. But seeking the lovely, the grace-filled and the glorious requires casting the net into the life seas.

In a state of watchful child-like wonder I can live this season of my life in a state of re-born newness. Like a bivalve cracks open and lets the water flow in and out, receiving and releasing. Keeping the nutrients, releasing the sediments. I am called to continually take in the discoveries of my life. I would starve on a diet of bland, if I never crack open the door to wonder. I would miss the shades of blue on the hydranga that go to purple, lavender and aqua. And  the hidden greens waiting to decide which color to be.

We would never know the way rain feels, dropping from a summer storm on warm tanned flesh if we remain cocooned in dry places. One more day reveals one more smell or taste, never before experienced.

And words of an eighteen year old child who want to tell their story get tangled in my net. I can choose.  I choose to  listen and realize there is more than the words unfurling from the man/child lips. There is a heart of curiosity and trust. There is his own discovery needing a place to land and light.

In a moment or two, a child will awake from her warm quilted bed in an air-conditioned room and tell me of her ten day mission trip. She has gone away and seen poverty and a world outside of her own. She and her passport are back. And there are stories to gently receive.

A parent lives a layered life of discovery. Because she holds the key to seeing through a child’s glistening eyes. Her own, the ones who look to her and call her momma. And it magnifies the wonder. For at once she is receiving discovery  through her own glassy portals  and stooping down to see through the eyes of those she is raising.

If I see with open wonder and a seeking heart, will I show my children how even in my fifty-fourth year of life, the beauty never ends. The unveiling never stops. And his Kingdom is filled with marvelous intricate designs. That art is living, breathing, waiting, hoping, pulsing all around.

And I am in this middle place. I see through the eyes of my aging mother too. The joys rebounding in her life. The strange and child-like discovery that is hers as she moves through her days. She forgets and then she remembers. And if I can learn to refine a listening heart,  I will hear the most intricate details of a woman, a mother and another poet’s life.

Around every corner is a discovery.  I will raise my net.

And bend into a low and listening stance, ever vigilant, ever watchful. Filled with the ready knowing that something is waiting. And that something is beautiful.

I will round the corner at a slow and steady gait. One that expects to not miss a single fleck floating in the sun-soaked or moon-drenched air.

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Joining Jennifer and Emily

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Divine Assignment

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I want to wander upon wonder
Brush up against beauty
Pick up pieces of particular perfection
Breathe in the moments too precious to pass by

I want to gather up shimmering rays from the sky
Pack my pockets with intangible gifts
Slow to the beat of the earth’s natural rhythm
Tell you I love you a million times million

I want to praise with my life
Sing with my lips, songs and old hymns
Again and again till my lungs empty flat out
Soak in the broken, but beautiful before me

I want to be blinded by glistening  small ordinary
See past the obvious to what lies beyond
Peel back the layers of meaning and winsome
Press past the concrete and into the waiting

I want to hope with the hurting and cry with the sad ones
Reach out to souls sinking in pain and despair
Wipe the tears creeping down cheeks, chins and noses
Of wrinkled and weary worn out ones

I want to love the unloveable empty and lonely
Point out the grace and the mercy right here
Not miss a chance to say something small
That causes connection between me and you.

I want to answer a calling, divine, sacred, holy
Make art that speaks to the hidden and seen
Gather up fragments of splintered and broken
Love and write with a faith that grows daily.

Sink into moments divine, yet all mine
Marked and apportioned for a time such as this
Soaked in the simple, drenched in holy bliss
A divine assignment is wrapped round this day.

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(Inspiration for today’s post drawn from the words of Elora Nicole who is teaching me a few things about words.)

Joining Jennifer for #tellhisstory

Encouragement: A Prayer, A Poem, A Cry

Mercantile MCVL

One phrase haunts me, chases me down daily.
There is nowhere for me to go but stare at it steely eyed daily.
Wrestle with it, sit with it, stare at it, and ponder what it means for me,
To do.
My recent past dredged this up, dredges it up from the silt daily.
Once I penned some words here, scratched out some heart thoughts.
They have taken on a life of their very own, a heart, legs and off they ran.
All around this interwebby world.
Words can run fast as the wind.
Lace them up with care and grace.

One phrase echoes daily on these pages, behind the scenes in the land of stats.
I can’t come here without seeing them there.
I wrote a piece one time or two, boldly with the words
encouragement, tucked in or standing out front.
That is it – the beginning and the end of this prayer, poem, cry.

When I ask Him what to do with my words
They become my true north but I stray
Clothe in grace, wrap in love, encourage.

The number is big, so I won’t say it, it changes almost daily.
Someone finds me here,
My words and me
Googling, encouragement
A letter of encouragement, encouragement for a friend
Words have wings and I pray
They find good here.

Prayerfully, thoughtfully, deeply I cry out
Oh Lord.

Take the clay of my words, Maker of My Soul.
Grab my pen and guide it while it glides along the page.

She is writing
It’s a work of Wordsworth and poetry and nature and High School English
And I can stand in my mother stance over my daughter dear
And say these words to her
We are two and it is intimate and close
Write it like you want to, just say what you mean
You can do it spills from my heart to hers.
She makes art wobbly shaky on a page.
And I know.

If you came here on a trail of encouragement, following bread crumbs
Find it, friend and grab it
He is standing over you, before you and around you.

God is loving, reigning, holding you in the heavenlies this day.

She is writing,
And it is a work in progress
Clothe her in grace and love.

I am the launcher of words, clothe me in guided grace.

We, lover of You and lover of words, steady each mark of our pen and infuse it and us with You.

Encouragement, may it always live here.
Tucked within the lines of poetry
And prose.

Amen? Amen.

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Joining my precious and encouraging friend Jennifer Dukes Lee today.

A Circuitous Route

wpid-IMG_20130501_094144.jpgI am walking by the  way of winding.
Stepping back and moving forth.
Finding paths  like Mother May I
Stops and starts and winnowing backs.

I am breathing deep the air of waiting.
Laying down in fields of pining.
Grasping roots of ever-changing.
Finding great in fair to midland, growing.

I am holding on to glory
Surprised by every simple turn en route
Seeing through the lens poetic
Covered in sweet redemption singing.

I am walking round the labyrinth
Praying for the walk to bring
Joy in seeing eyes wide open, squinting barely letting in the light
Weeding out the root, watering dry soil.

I am seeing like a child again
Each turn of spoke and wheel
The way circuitous though it is
Is marked with everlasting wonder, change.

And I am seeing bends and breaks
A slowing with the margins wide
The ratcheted down, down gear shift
The death though slow of pride

Yes I am seeing childlike
The awe and wonder on the route
Parking trains, planes and automobiles
Awhile to walk the more
Circuitous route.

I am holding on to slippery Trust
Blinking back the saline droplets
Finding fresh the seeds of simple
Watering the heart to burst wide open, stretched.

I am knowing in deep places
That the dizzy winding way
Littered with uncertain lingering
Leads me still beside the place I am born to be.

So walk with me the route circuitous
Stumble on the rocks that bruise the skin
Run the race with wheels made to turn slow and steady
Trust  the way of wonder, winding serpentine with grace.

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Joining Duane, Shelly, and Jennifer