Let Me Put It This Way

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Let Me Put It This Way

The fetal position was an option
Always
But so was one foot in front of the other
If you read this, say, 50 years from now
You should know
There were poets
Taking the pulse of grief

Of the world
Off the chart
Into unchartered red zones of grief

Weeping in unison drowns sorrow
Buoys the soul
Your shoulder a lifesaver
You shoulder a life and weep with those who weep
And write to tell about it

Catch your breath there is more to come
Save some tears for the next go round
And

Hope
Always

Love, everlasting
More

My tears speak French and Southern and pain
Fluent in make it stop
Last week and the week before that
And this
Drain the spirit and weaken the pulse
But joy
Transfusions of joy
Attend the anemic and weary world

Number two pencil, low on lead
Computer cartridge out of ink
Pens spent
The ebony ink  flowed its last drop
Words, written elude me
The timing could not be any worse
But can you hear my heart

Oral traditions of story telling would do well
To come back from the grave
Would you listen amid all the cries of pain
And tears of valid weeping
Lamentations of  Biblical proportion
Are on the rise

Would you hear the story of hope

I had to share my joy with pain
And pain with joy
My humanness binds me to your wounds
Humanity spans the globe
Crosses the Atlantic, The North, The South

The weary world hangs its collective head and cries
Sunken heads bent downward sink the spirit like the Titantic
Pain is our iceberg

And the spectrum of human emotion
Immeasurable, unfathomable
Mourning and grieving
Crying out, is it morning yet
Mercy, is it morning
Yet

And Jesus wept
And surely He is weeping still

Lord have mercy
I speak Southern and am becoming fluent in
Make it stop

Grace

 

 

 

 

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The Piano

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The Piano

If white is joy and unbridled grace
Laid out in broken pieces

Waiting to be played

Ivories laying in a long reflective  line
Fragments
Where I see my own dim
And shadowed
Face
A sea of
Cracked and smoothly worn
Puzzle pieces
Waiting to be played
Mixed and written into
A harmonious melody
Unmerited
Of amazing grace

And black is pain
And cruelty

Life holds a concert
Every day
There on the stage

As I choose
Where to send my fingers
Up and down
These slippery keys
Laced with a mix of
Boldness and timidity

I muse
And whisper to myself
Self, What part I am to play?

Apprentice
Learning still
How to make it
Beautiful
While
Sounds from those who
Bang out  cruelty
Those
Notes mixed with dissonance
And pain
Choosing to wreck havoc, injure
Again, again
And still again
Repetition of an unwanted verse
I hear her weary, worn out
Wracked by years of
Fill in your blanks
With her, a sister
It is amplified
Years of it
Grant this one peace
How could she possibly bear it
Any more
He beats her with his words

I sit rigid on the backless bench
Consider how to
Write a song
Blending it, her sadness into beauty
Sounds of rich tones, flat and sharp
With chorus heavy on redemption
In each refrain

Take the cries of despair and pain
And news of cruelty
Coming through
The telephone
Loud and clear
Again
A sister beat down by
Meanness
Blends into the second verse
Sounds of disappointment from  one
Who hoped with childlike
Longing
For joy to  come merrily
She’d roll along

Every single note
Woven into redemption’s song

We wait
Sitting upright
Straight and tall
Fingers curved, rounded
Cramped
From waiting longer, just a little longer
Till
Come thou font of every blessing
Will come
And wipe the tear
But until then we need the song
Of hope
To wipe the tears

Play the keys of faith
Loud for thee and me

The notes are faint but grow louder every day
There is a hallelujah chorus
Arriving on the wind

We write a ballad
Paired  with another saint
To pen a lovely
Hope-filled song, a duet

White is joy and unbridled grace
Compose your song of waiting
Now
And make it beautiful
Somehow
Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
Make music from this
Broken heart of mine

 

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photo credit: Wikimedia – Wikipedia -Creative Commons

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Joining Laura

A Letter To A Friend – The Art of Noticing “Real” Friends

Today is Day 22

Dear You,

I want to proclaim you, rejoice you, celebrate you and delight in you. Have you seen this series, here, this 31 Days, The Art of Noticing? Well my dear today is Day 22 and today is your birthday. Here ,this tribute is for you, to you, your heart, your soul but above all, your amazing ability to draw on the gifts and life around you. To ingest them, invest  them by serving and loving. Here is your bursday present. You know how much I adore the you I have grown to know and love.

harriett stoney and elizabeth happy

You know we could discuss the title. For hours. What is a real friend anyway. And we could debate the meaning of true and real. Afterall what is a unreal friend. You know maybe you are an unreal friend.

Do you remember last year on October 22, your birthday, I wrote a little letter to you, here, it was called Encouragement, A Letter To A Friend.  A few people read that letter, 2,028 to be exact from around the interweb. And you and I would scratch our heads and wonder how they found this place and the letter I wrote to you. And we’d probably agree how happy we are a few more people discovered when your birthday is. That is good. Or maybe we’d celebrate the fact they they get to hear my testimony to what you are and who you are to this world, and especially me.

That was a year ago. People forget. And we hate it when people repeat themselves. It is so boring. So gauche. And so not charming. So I won’t say it exactly like I did last year. They can go back and read that post. H, do you know the reason this blog is here. Because you are an encourager. And you serve up straight talk without a side of sugar coating. You are a giver, not a taker, an inexhaustible source of encouraging words and actions. You told me I had to write. Your words were stronger than that. Gentle and bold. Sure and certain.

So it is only appropriate for this to be the place to weave words, string them along and along, like the strand of pearls you so faithfully wear. And that you would have a day. Day 22. Do you like that.
You would goad me and tease me and remind me to always point to Him. So I will, He has saved our backsides and frontsides and insides so many times. And loved us. Always loved us with mercy and grace. And you, his hands and feet, have saved me from despair and sadness. Confusion and the “I’m about to have a nervous breakdown but it is just so damn inconvenient right now” times.

So is that a real friend? One who loves through the dark and delights in the times of light and laughter. Bridges the bleak times and weak times, the  times of want, crossing over to the times of plenty.

There are no shortages of those. By his grace. And we like those better don’t we. The times on the porch, at the farm, in the creek, at Secret Beach, where we can have olive shell contests and laugh and dream and scheme and relish the in between. We prefer the days of poetry and praise, of watching our children grow, fall in love, accomplish a task, overcome a set back, bring home a friend who gives life and knows Truth. Become a woman or a man, of God.

We’d prefer to float in our boats with our men. To leave behind the worry of work and the pressures of life. To see them exhale and breathe in salt air. To open a beer and slip in a lime and wiggle our toes and let go of time. To see the very last streak of orange and pink. To  stay off shore until we have to come in. To turn up the music and dance crazy silly in our hearts.

And we  go without days, though painful and dry, without talking or saying a word. But running on fumes of love that is stored. Deep in the places where friendship is placed. Though trials have come, some that are too awful to name, we know in our knowers that if we face them again, we can and we will. Because we are real friends.

And you know I would say it again, like I did before. If you go first, save me a seat. And warm a Charleston Green rocker with a wonderful view of the sea. Because we know our God well and we know our God deep. And there is no way  in this world that His heaven won’t have a wonderful view of the porpoise and shrimp boats on Jeremy Creek.

I love you. You bless me every single day of my life. I can’t remember before I knew you but I know there were years. You make life exciting and beautiful, glamorous and fantabulous.

Happy birthday, H. If you go first I will never forgive you. But then you would insist that I do. So okay I will. But I’d rather you not leave me a day on this earth, to live and to breathe and to celebrate living.

Take care of yourself.
Happy Day of Your Birth

I love you, I do. Happy Day 22.

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(Today is Day 22. Thank you as always for being here, for following along on this journey. If you wish to leave a birthday wish to my precious friend H, I will pass it on to her. She is my confidant, my accountability partner, my sister in Christ, and my closest friend. We raise children and husbands together and walk out our faith together with love and friendship and lots and lots of words between us.)

Harriett and I and the cross

Did You Ever Dream

Spencer and the dolphin

Did you every dream of
Strapping on your custom-made wings
Made of gathered and lovely found things
Buckling a harness
Of hope
Tightening the tether to the sky
And soaring away for a very short stay
Sent off by the caw caw caw
Of  an army of annoying black crows

Into the cloud covered day
As you glide down the bend in the arcs
Where the earth melds with blue hued sky
While you whisper a million whys

Landing, a soft crash landing
Mercy breaking your fall
You stand to face the day

This little part of your dream
Occurrs

Right after you toss Adam and Eve under the bus
For causing all of the pain
In the first place
For all of us
They started this cycle of pain
And it is so easy to blame
Eve and Adam
For all the sadness
Jesus I am so glad You came

Here
To a world of hurt
Where sin covers us up like
Dirt

And you reach for the plank in your eye
And ask why oh God oh why

Well neither have I.