On The Things We Thought Would Come

I would have bet my life on it. I would have said there was a one hundred percent chance it would be. And then the things didn’t happen. They just didn’t.

We planted tomatoes in the late spring or was it early summer. I even wrote about the bounty that would come. I planned and dreamed and even longed with great expectation for the day. I announced, prematurely that we would have more than plenty and more than enough. And that we would share and give away. Joyously gift what I knew we would have to give.

I was hoping on things not seen. Longing for things to come. I had based my hope on the past. It had been this way year after year. We had experienced abundance. And thriving. And more than we could possibly enjoy. And so we would share this year. My mouth watered with anticipation at hot from the oven tomato pie and homemade pasta sauce made with basil.

Our tomatoes didn’t thrive. Yes, we had a few. But they would not win any awards. No matter how biased the judges would be (the growers). The cucumbers were “meh.” I thought we had planted squash, maybe they just didn’t come up or I missed the one that did while I was away for a few days.

And then there is the issue with our figs. The early spring cold front damaged the tree. Now the few figs we seem to have are being eaten by the birds and squirrels. We cherish the ten or so we pick everyday, rushing out to pick them early in the morning and late in the day. It is us against the cardinals.

I have lived my life as a glass half full person. And I am still that person. I am not Pollyanna but I am hopeful and mostly optimistic.

But I am learning that what we have now, what we have in these present moments are a gift. That looking forward and longing and dreaming are good. Even necessary and so integral a part of our humanity. I am a dreamer too. But these things we hold in our hand now are fragile. Sacred. Tender. The right here right now is what we have.

I will miss the tomatoes and the figs. I am missing squash from the garden with basil and onions four nights a week.

But the lack of fruit and vegetables from our backyard garden  has been a physical reminder, a needed remedial lesson. With the mild disappointment of a rather pathetic garden, I see through the lens of continued hope. Hope that holds fast and hard and firm. Even through disappointment. Even when we felt so sure we knew the outcome.

Life went a little off script. And that is increasingly more than okay.

Hope and faith which have permanence and staying power are hope and faith which ride out disappointment. Which wait for the tide to turn, for the next time, for redemption to color it all in technicolored grace.

As I work through the final stages of a writing project, I am reminded that the outcome is held in a place of unknowing. And I am increasingly okay with that. Because every step of the process, every word I have put down, deleted and re-written has somehow changed me, formed me anew.

Thank you for being here. For reading and journeying with me. You are a bountiful harvest for which I am grateful. You are friend. You are reader. You are co-journeyer.
You are subscriber, follower. You take time to read and to be here.  You listen. You listen well.

And I am grateful.

It would be an honor and I would be filled with gratitude for your continued support in these ways: if you would support my writing by liking my Facebook writer’s page, click the link here and if you would consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter, click here or at the tab at the top of this homepage. If you are on twitter or instagram, I am @graceappears there and there.

As a writer and artist it is always difficult to ask for help in these areas. So thank you. Thank you. Know that I am grateful.

 

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Hiding Out In The Poetry Section of Barnes and Noble

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Hiding Out In The Poetry Section Of Barnes and Noble

You always knew you liked to touch and feel
It’s the eyes of the fingers that transmit the most
Information
Via the tactile sensory processes

And so there is something far too abstract
About a place called Amazon that sells books
Many of yours come from there
Conveniently delivered to your doorstep

So don’t complain
But you can’t run away from a world that is throwing
Daggers your way
And hitting a perfect bullseye
Everytime
Into the arms of Amazon

But you can slip into the quiet
World of books
Row on row
Air saturated in Columbian coffee beans
And the sound of the old school musicals
On the intercom system
So loud you could not dose off
If you had just taken an Ambian
Before crossing the threshold

No it is sensory overload
There in the corner by the bathrooms
Life in full swing
Grand Central Station has nothing on
This purveyor of poetry

To your right is T.S. Eliot and right in front are
Wendell Berry and Billy Collins
And Maya Angelou and the whole section is so small
You want to weep
Because you know that poetry placed right beside the bathroom
Is more than ironic
It seems cruel and condescending
But why state the obvious
When you are discussing
Poetry after all
That part you should have left out

The genre needs no defending
Don’t even go there
You have come to hide
And there is not enough real estate
To even hide
Much less cry
So you read and keep your eyes dry
Because if you soil the book
You’d have to buy the book
You adhere to old mores of retail protocol

So you wonder about this height of irony
This fact that
You have just ordered a book from Amazon
From your phone
Delivered to your Ipad
From the poetry section at Barnes and Noble
And you think to yourself
Life is odd, today
Ridiculous and strange

So you wander to the periodical section
And eavesdrop on the lady who is caring for
Her husband
With Parkinson’s
You can’t meet the lonely in the halls of Amazon
So you learn of his pain and hers and where she is from
And where she is going
And how no one has ever heard of a man having shingles for
Four years
Not you, not her, and no doctors
And you want to weep again and she looks away and tells you how hard it is
But she’s making it
And you talk to her, struggling to determine who needs whom
The most

And suddenly your problems

Are left for a minute
Back in the poetry section
Beside the bathroom
Where the air
Thankfully smells like coffee
And the poets get two small sections of books

And life today doesn’t seem fair
But it is good
And you try to rate your pain
And wonder how she’ll make it through the days
Of shingles and Parkinson’s and doctors
And she was from Michigan
(Might as well have been Siberia)

And poetry’s problems pale in comparison
So you buy a magazine
Swing through the door of the big book store
And go home to read “Love, Etc.” by Barkat
And you weep

Tears, mingled rivulets in three’s
One for the man from Michigan
One for love
And one for pain
Both the present and the future

Grateful that your tears
Cannot ruin the titanium cover of
“Love, etc.”
At which point you are sick of irony

One Day

Clock at C of C

Today is Day 12 and 13. I hope you don’t mind. I am compressing time, two days into one. As I think about the days behind. And dream about the ones to come. This is quite a journey we are on.

Thank you for being on the 31 Days of Noticing Journey with me. You are a gift.
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One Day

At one  o’clock I looked up and asked the world to stop
As if I were the only one
Who’d ever tried to stop a day
Or seasons of a life
As they go racing quickly by
Quite a selfish soul am I
Who wants to take control
Of rates of speed by which they go

One day at one o’clock I looked up and asked the world to stop
It had been my deep desire
To freeze the quickly passing hours
For me the moments had become nothing but
A dizzy blur
I do not need to tell you here
That I did not succeed, I’ll make that clear

One day at one o’clock I made peace and let the world go on
And chose instead to notice all
To go with it and not be left
Not stop the whirling, twirling spinning ball
As if I had that power at all

I will tell you once again
As plain as I know how
That there is such a  sweet release
In letting go
And giving in to Him
Who created, loves and holds
Mercifully
Every single minute, day and hour

Amen
And amen again
Time and time again

Lord give me grace
To passionately embrace
The one o’clocks and also the two o’clocks

If I were in charge of  time, the speed, the rate

We’d all be chronically
Chronologically backwards, sideways and
Running perpetually five minutes  late.

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( You may click here to read the previous posts in this series, The Art of Noticing)

The Royal We

trio in nature

The Royal We

We held a meeting
Called a quorum
Banged the gavel

Called to order
Read the minutes
Decided that we

Would try to do some
Things a little different
Around here

Thoreau was right
You know
Those words of his

On vanity and writing
Sitting down before you
Stand

Stand up and do some living
And we decided more than that
Life has had its share of fear

And when you meet it, stare it square
Fear  is  lost
A mystery not lost on us

We banged the gavel rung the bell
And called it short
This meeting of the minds

Released us, we dive into life
The three, we conquers now of fear
That while the meek may inherit the earth

Joy comes in the morning
And in the afternoon
Right after you stand up

To fear
Tell  it to take a hike
And took a stand

To do your living standing up
Before you vainly
Sat to write

Of all the weight of glory
We felt bearing down
Upon the three of us

The business of a life well lived
Thoreau
He knows

And now
So do we
The brave and  royal we.