When the Wind Blows

When the Wind Blows

When the wind blows you remember an out take of a scene from the grainy sepia parts of The Wizard of Oz
And you find you are only slightly braver than the child who watched the film, scared of the parts you already know, scenes you’d seen a hundred times
Scared in new ways, of old things
Strange things like flying monkeys, houses on legs shod in red sparkly shoes, and spinning things

When the wind blows you remember that it won’t last forever
The wind and the rain and the storm and the grey

You remember the Psalms and the promises
And old poems written about the wind years ago
An alphabet of hurricanes ago, 2013, now life-times ago
Time measured by storms

And you find that every promise held
Just as was spoken and written
Every anchor metaphor was not a metaphor after all
But a Holder, a Counter-Weight and a Calmer of the Seas

As you held on to your dreams
Of words and poetry
You were held

And as you are holding tighter still to the days that follow the storm

And realize you are no longer scared
Of old things in new ways
Or the new ways of old things
That used to scare you

Now you are brave
When the wind blows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting Close To Home: Finding Lovely In The Places Nearby

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I am looking for a passport which bears the name of someone other than myself. I think it’s tucked away among old stained t-shirts and outgrown boy things. I stop to imagine the uncovering. Of both the semi-lost passport and of the waiting wonder and beauty on this trans-Atlantic journey. The hunt for this documentation, necessary for going away, is taking me places I never imagined I’d go. A circuitous journey of coming back around to my staying home.

It is enough, this vicariousness. There is profound joy and deep satisfaction in mental wandering. I wonder about the topography of Wales, the weather and whether it will rain or not. And if it does, what does a post-rain village smell like in the springtime there. Old brick and ancient soil co-mingle to tell stories, an aromatic telling. (I can read of Wales from here and I can see a hundred photographs. But the smells, I must net them in my wildest dreams. Capture them in my imagination. That is the sense that takes me travelling in place.)

Wet or damp, dry and cool, how do the fields smell. Sweet like wildflowers or pungent like arugula and rosemary, whose powerful scents explode in their breaking. The pastures, splaying out from ancient castles like oceans of green grasses, blade on blade of lovely; how do they wave in the wind? A green that only May may know, that is the green of my imagining. Green, a favorite smell is the green that shouts new birth.

Each dream, each splinter of my imagination is rooted in love. This season, the one in which I find myself, is one of staying. Of anchoring. Of tethering. I am harbored close to home. All of my travels are in the soil of nearby.

I both remember London fondly and recall my dormant desire for returning. I grieve for what I missed, victim of a younger me wasting time in a city I long to experience her again as an older version of myself.

So I may ask them to visit a bookstore for me, to bring me a something I can hold of that place. Go in my stead. Yet, I do not want my influence to attend their journeys. I want this trip to be wholly theirs in every way. I imagine the places the soles of their shoes will mark. I close my eyes and dream about the planes and trains and automobiles that will whisk them along from town to town. They will soar and fly and rumble, while I will remain in place.

But I have my own rumblings to lean into. And I have my own soaring to do. I ride on the wings of words. And I go faraway in the nearby. I am discovering the shards of lovely in the places nearby.

When they return, when they all return, I am the receptacle of experiences not my own. They dig deep into the well of experience and I am there, far from here. Removed from my present place. I receive their experiences and stories, soak them in and hold on to a re-living. They take me with them in their telling.

The squeak in the eighth stair down, is my siren call to stay. It reminds me as I travel up and down this staircase, built circa 1904, that I am going back and forth through time. I live in a time capsule, a concrete paradox of staying and leaving.

Yesterday the dirt was dark and thick. Each fingernail held the soil-turning of the day, by hand. I placed the pansies into the containers, chosen by design for their size and significance. I dug into the contentment of staying put.

Staying calls me to dig deep in the narrow fields. It forces my hand to root out the nuanced beauty that lies in wait. If I am to discover anything, I must know how to discover the nearby first before I go out in search of more. I must rejoice here, celebrate here, if I am to be practiced at perfecting discovery anywhere else.

The squeak in the eighth and ninth stair combine to play a duet. And I am content to strike the chords of staying.

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Lost Art

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Lost Art

A hundred  years from now
Will they lay blame
Squarely at our feet
Like a tom cat
Depositing the spoils of his latest feline
Hunter-Gatherer session in the pines,
a limp songbird clothed in broken robe of red

The extinction of all that is lost
Weep for us at least
At the scarcity

For along with the earth, the sky and sea
Damage to
Mountains, rivers, ponds and streams
It seems we’ve lost the art of
That and this
Those most beautiful of things
Take inventory
Line them up
And see along with me
The dim memory of the art of life’s fragile
Finest things
Savoring, simplicity, longing and lingering in quiet wait
How cruel to let them die
Expire from our midst
I still want to string these things
That make our life a masterpiece
Like pearls along a silky cord
laughing, loving, and really listening
And these?
An out of order, unalpha-ed partial list of things
That we used to know the art of
Practiced at their practice
Refining them with runs up and down the scales
As if our lives depended on it
Perhaps in fact they did

Discover the art of being lost in forests
Over-grown with grace
Scavenge with me among the fields of broken hallelujah’s

Excavate thankfulness
Resurrect forgiveness

(A renaissance of simplicity is waiting to be re-born)


For all is not lost
Afterall, after all these three remain
Faith, hope and love

hang the masterpieces of our lives
on the sacred nail

Sacrificed with blood and flesh and
Restore the things
Lost
But now I’m found
Find these things with me

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tiny Letter #7 goes to subscribers tomorrow. I saved a spot for you there — “A Quiet Place For Words”. Subscription is free. Click the link to sign up. It is on of my favorite places these days because  it is where I hear from so many of you. Thank you for writing me and for responding and for journeying with me.

peace and grace,

 

e

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Both Sides Of My Mouth: Lamentations and Praise

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Both Sides Of My Mouth: Lamentations and Praise

Don’t call me duplicitous
Call me human
As I look to the Divine
Rent in two
Ripped and torn
Half here and half there
With a mouth full of lamentations and praise
I have pushed the cheek full of both
The tongue is muted in the mystery of the days
Hoarding the praise, as if it would leave me wanting
Malnourished because of its lack
In a diet
Heavy with lamenting

Heat and heavy hang in the air
It is summer and it is the South
But it is filled with grief and loss
So it is heavier and hotter and more burdensome this year
Rife with pain
Heat and heavy hang here
Suspended in the invisible netting of  time

But I have a place to hold on to both’s and and’s
Do not call me names
Filled with an unknowing
The Psalmists knows this place well
Where they dwell
Across the pages
One from the other
Lamentations and Praise

I will raise a hand to wipe a tear
And I will raise another to point to that which is worthy of praise

C0-inhabitants
Side by side
Prayers running over the cup
I am weak and can barely lift it to my
Two lips
One whispers grief
One praise

Lift the cup for me
And I will life the cup for you
I am drying tears
They mix with sweat on the brow of the mourners

We cannot turn the page, yet
We are called into a time of grief
Joy will come in the mourning