Adagio: Vernal Light

blades of grass adagio projectTwo women, two writers, one love of poetry, thus The Adagio Project was born. A writer spends  time penning her words alone, in a cafe, in a writing cottage, or in the middle of living. Right in the middle of where she  lives out her days. A kitchen table,  a chair by a window are  more than enough for most.

But Holly Grantham of A Lifetime of Days and I have paired our love for words, especially poetic ones. Partnered, to weave threads of thought together. We have never met, nor even spoken to one another. Our words are our tether, one to the other poet. From across over one thousand miles we create poems for Adagio: A Poetry Project.

Seeking a visual prompt to launch this part of the project, we have graciously received and incorporated  the visual art of photographer Kelly Sauer. Kelly’s love and use of light were significant  inspiration points for our offering here. She captures beauty, light and life in an exceptionally lovely way. And she shares our love for blogging on her own, La Joie, La Vie.

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Vernal Light

Hope hangs her head, long and low
Prays for light to pierce the dark
days
buried in the blur of time, gathers
pearls, drops of faith cling
to ray on ray of radiant
Hope, bows to birth
love has found her way

Vernal light glimmers golden on
pearled edges
as days lengthen and clocks spin
and the wisps of honey covered
minutes
blow airy and light
billowing curtains and hearts
alike

We cannot see frail and broken
made of bone and flesh
we  still hold to doubt and fear
but tender is the soul infused with hope
for it
holds new mercy rising on the orange blaze, promises
to take us with her
as she dreams

There are shadows, still
but brighter is that which
slants across her face
than that which seeks to rule the world
When there are only dark days
piled one upon the other

That is the promise of the
bloom
an emerging efforescence
that causes hands to lift
and eyes to shine
while their glint burns bright
upon the field

Look for signs of tender hope
when wrinkled lines curl gentle on the edge
of lip and eye, blue no more
the bird has made her
nest of
new
fragile eggs
laid in trust
hold gentle as you breathe out dread
and winter’s gloom is carried off
light breaks open
claiming hearts and souls again

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Holly and I are grateful too for Lisa Leonard at Lisa Leonard Designs whose jewelry is shown here on the model’s neckline.  The photograph used in Vernal Light was  selected  from  a collaboration between Lisa Leonard and Kelly Sauer. Again, thank you Kelly for generously allowing us to partner with you. You can find more of Kelly’s work  at Kelly Sauer dot com.  And you can follow her blog and her art through words at La Joie, La Vie.

If you are interested in reading all of the poems in the collective, click here

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There Is Light In The Dark

Today my words are drawn from the inspiration of my niece, Caroline, who is seen and heard in this video. As she paints to the music of Mat Kearney, Breathe in, Breathe Out, I see the beautiful. And so I write.

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There Is  Light In The Dark

You know my every breath
The shallow breathing times were the hardest
And the times I held my breath in fear, the stronghold, grip, on me
But fresh the air you gave, new the winds  blew in
Restoring peace
You knew the tension, knotted, held, locked tight the lungs
You saw the rattling, ratcheted up-beat of the racing breaths
Too, many, too often
Many times you caught and captured the release in the exhale
Went deep into my lungs, with love
Air of Hope
Breath of Life
Whisper new breath into my deepest places
Make new the stale air
Form new, Your spirit in me
Freeing me to breathe deep
A life which
Hopes
All things
Through and by the very breath you give
Breath of Hope

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Joining emily today for Imperfect Prose. Today’s prompt is Light.

(Postscript – This post was originally published on January 18, 2013. When I go back and listen to music, watch Caroline paint to the words and melody of the artist and interpret I am deeply moved. And as I re-read the poem I wrote in conjunction with Caroline’s painting and Mat’s art, I choose to submit this offering to the  Imperfect Prose community  today. May the light shine bright in my eyes as I look to live in love, write of grace, and make art that honors Him. The original post title was Breathe Hope. I have changed it to  There is  Light In The Dark.

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What Should We Do When The Lights Go Out?

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What should we do when the lights go out.

What do we do when the lights come down.

How do we feel when the lights go dim and dark and out and up and away.

When all the bright and all the light are stored and boxed and put up high, out of arms reach. Tucked and stored. Out of sight. And suddenly so suddenly the twinkles are no more. And the normal new normal is back to dim and duller, in the rooms in all the rooms where we move and live and have our being.

And plain seems to  reign and dulller rules and all the exteriors are undressed and no longer wearing their Sunday best. The music fades, the carols quiet, and still covers the nights of the bleak mid-winter.

So what should we do when the lights go out and up and are put away. And we grieve the change or we celebrate, our unique spirits reign during the days on all the days of shifting gears and changing lanes and traveling back down the roads of living before we stopped and prepared our hearts for the holy celebration. Prepared Him room in all the light and bright.

Oh, what do all  the souls of all the saints do and say as all the lights are dimmed at once.

Don’t we each see through lens with unique eyes on all the dark. Frame the change as only  I can frame and you can frame and we can frame the change, when all the lights come down.

As boxes take the baby Jesus back to tissue wrap and all the scenes of Hope and Glory and Redemption go back gently in their box, we all take time to grieve the change. Take it tender, take it slow.

And say goodbye or say hello.

And weep with tears of Joy or tears of pain. And look back with that keen hindsight on all the days to all the days of the year that is and almost was.

But what if when the decorations and decor and garland ribbons bows and such come down we see more clearly, all the bones of life. With all the fluff and stuff removed, or some of it at least.

And trim back ornamental accoutrement to just the what we usually have.

And dim the lights, it’s sweet that way. And turn the dial that dims the lights to see just you and see just me right straight in the eyes, of the soul,  of all the ones that gather round a life.  And see He is right there He always was, when all the lights go out.

When all the candy has come and gone and all the presents are received and thanks are sweetly given. And simple rules again in the hearts of men, what will we do what should we do when all the lights go out.

WIthout the cords and bulbs and lights, without the trim and trees and wreaths.

Its you, its me, its family.

And in all the dark and dim and dull,  the hurting and the weak still stand.  The lonely, sick and so afraid, still look for light to shine on them.

So when the lights go out and down and up, let’s be and shine and show and love with all the Light from Love Come Down, At Christmas.

In all the dark, in all the days of all the year for all the world to see.

Paint with brush strokes the flames of Hope and Mercy bright and glowing.

Where death and pain and hurt and dark are seeking His bright love.

Let’s still sing loud and soft and sweet,  let’s still tell Truth and tell it tender,  let’s still Love and Be the People Bearing Light.

And lets stand, huddle, rest not move, in the shadow of His perfect light and love.

Stand with me, rest with me, linger long and slow. Let’s stand together, touching always the hem of His garment of perfect love. There in the light, in the heavenly light.

Dim the lights of the world all you want, for in Him there is no darkness at all.

In Him there is no darkness at all. And the broken Hallelujahs and the always Alleluias sing loud and clear in the light, in the bright light. In the forever light.

Merry The Days After Christmas…. remembering always the Light and The Hope of Glory in Him.

There is not a trace of darkness in Him – 1 John 1:5

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Bathed In Light

Sometimes, more often than not, very often, well you can determine the frequency of it in your own life, an experience in the physical happens first and then it seeps all lit up into the spiritual. Or it frames the spiritual with clarity and precision.

It takes hearing and living this seven times seventy for it to shine its light of truth on my little world.

A gifted teacher of the Word in my world who peeled back layers of understanding for me taught this, said this, focused on this principle for years. And I get it with wave on wave of new ah ha’s.

And all the strings of white lights now make sense. How I go back to the corner store, the one in another zip code where I can be dirty from cleaning house and pray to remain anonymous. As if that weren’t broken irony in and of itself; my hiding while seeking light. To try and hide the dirt and hope to not be recognized, pitiful, dirty me.

I understand why I peel back the layers of the bills, green with faces of men in government, to add more light to our darkness. Add layers of light. Find another dark corner to light up.

How the corners of the house are lit and warm and white,  hoping to reflect holy. Searching for glimpses of His glory. Looking to capture His Love in our home, His warm redemptive beauty.

And when I lay down at night and when I rise in the morning, there is all this Light. And it was born in that dark barn. It lit up the world with bright Hope. Changing us from a shadowy dark people into a place where there is living breathing Light.

Transforming us and chasing away the darkness for once and for all and forever. White, a bright symbol of a Radiant Savior, for a few weeks, blazing trails on the hearts of the broken to dwell in us for eleven other months. In celebration of all He gave in coming to us in the middle of the bleak winter of our lives.

We wonder what it is in our DNA that wants to run the cords around the home, plug into the outlets for more and more of the bright. To run from the shadows of the dark and dingy and the hiding places into the Light of New Life.

To wake to Light, to live our days in Light, to go to bed with Light.

Doesn’t our soul long for more of the bright Light that came to a lost and desperate world.

We celebrate in ways which falter and fail in their dim replica of His brilliance. What this love of Jesus, this shining Savior, this Christ light, a Bright Hope Jesus, brought into the dark world. We try to come up with things to look like holy to point to his blindingly brilliant love.

The lights are a way to shine today to symbolize what is truly eternal in His Love.

Why would we live dim dark dank shadowy hidden lives when we can walk into the Light– and stay there.

I look at the strings of lights and see the physicality of the spirituality of The Light of The World.

And I long to leave my lights up all year long, oh how I dread the grays of the Januarys of the soul. I dread the grays. Dread the dark. Its shallow breathing, heaviness. Its call to come and hide. To cower in sin and cover up.

So while we walk out Advent and step into that glorious Christmas Day, I want to soak in His Light, bask in His glory, and seek Him on all the dark days of my messy living

And I don’t have to keep the lights up all year because He came in the dark of night to bring Light to a dying world.

Nothing can dim that fact, or take from it, or lesson the brightness of His radiant glory. Even when the cords and strands go back to their dark dusty attic to lay boxed in cardboard. To wait to shine again next year. To point to Him.

Grateful dear Lord for your Light in my darkness.

Grateful that you infuse Light into the bloodstream of our very lives.

And that you call us to live in this brilliant place of radiant grace.

Where even without hundreds of chords of light streaming white, imitating in a fragile failing way Your Beauty, we will have all the Light we could ever need.

We have the streaming brilliance of our Savior.

Amen? Amen.

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