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,

 

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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

Finding Joy In Your Own Backyard

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If you have been reading here for any length of time you know my fixation with the word and, as well as the logogram the ampersand. I believe there is always more. And the more I consider why I love and, the more the nuances of the word bubble up. And meet me in the understanding of why. And is a connector. And I am connected to my world via people. (This week alone, I have had rich encounters with friends and writers. Writers and friends.) And via this space I call home.

I can stay and go. Travel and remain. Fly and remain grounded. Be still and know. That what is right here is rich and full of promise. That the soil is dark and full of gifts, right below my pink toes and my bare feet.

I love the idea, both figuratively and literally, of finding joy close to home. Of curating a life from which we don’t need to take a vacation. Of being increasingly at peace in the little space within our arm’s reach. Settling in and extracting peace in the place we call home. I cannot count my spaces. Not here and now. There have been many. My passion for renovating and decorating and for change has carried me, along with my husband and children, on a journey of transforming spaces into homes. The rewards have been grand. The homes have provided us with an anchor for living and loving.

My closest confidante knows my old wrestlings. And my new ones. She knows my achilles heel. And my wounds, my scars and my heart cries. God knows them well too. The older version of me longed to travel. And I got up and went. But now, my life is stationary. But not stagnant.

It if rife with discovery. Teeming with beauty and delight.  But it is a journey of staying within a wonderful radius. One tightly drawn close to home.

I have been many places in my life. I travel in place to recall. I reach back in my diaries, my remembering places, my trunk of letters and memories and into the faded photographs which tell stories of Paris and New York. I revisit. Reach back. And go to the place again. Of the countryside of France where I was a nanny for a small sliver of time. To Athens and Alaska. To St. Andrews and Florence. To Lake Cuomo and Tuscany.

There is reward in the revisiting. Memory feeds my dimming desire to go to a place which is not here.

But when I see the Magnolia blossom the size of my head, on the tree beside my home and across the street and by the Deerhead Tree, I have unearthed treasures in the nearby. When I step through my neighborhood, padding around, I see marvelous wonder in the warm eggs from my neighbor’s hens. A trip to my garden, early in the morning, as my rooster crows, is my own living breathing “Alice in Wonderland”.

And it is all I need. To live out this circuitous journey of discovering joy in my own backyard. I am far from here. I am in a land of unwrapping the spaces under me. Below me, beside me and around me. Be Still and Know.

There is so much more here and there than I first believed.

Secondhand Joy: The Parable of the Garden

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Second Hand Joy

I am a lover of old, repurposed, recycled and worn. Drawn to objects which have age and patina. The chips and breaks are badges of honor. Tarnish tells me love was there. Run love through the sieve of time. Until it stands the test of time and time again. Watch the beauty multiply. Compounding adds to the interest. Cracks are doorways for the rays to pass through. Of hope and light. Sealed by perfection, honed to perfection, perfect cannot bear the weight of beauty in the broken.

Faded sepia outlasts the lives of the living. Remaining to tell of love and life. Proud of her browns and white and nearly monochromatic memory.
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She met me at the fence line. Wearing a story in her silhouette, curved like an ampersand, bent logogram, a symbol of her life. Joy comes like the morning fog. Lays down and covers the pregnant day. She had excavated joy from my joy. Joy in spades. Joy in triplicates. For mine was there. Then hers arrived. And mine was doubled by her proclamation. At the fence. The currency of love. Exchanged.

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My joy is not my own. The mystery of the winter seeds we planted is unfolding. And I bear witness to the miracle of love. Lonely and a bit alone, she watches as our garden grows. And she can write the story of my chickens and how they spend their day. Acting out their antics on the stage for her amusement and viewing from her front row seat.

I was blind. But now I see.

Amazing grace. How does your garden grow.