Not As They Appear, These Things, At All

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Feet in the sand blue sky canopy we step into the day. She painter, artist, friend. I write.
We walk into the day. She paints. I weave words, slice them up and move them all around.
There is an unfurling that begins, feet hit the ground, sun up, eyes up. It is what it is.
Or it is what you see, you see. Or how.

You should paint that.. I say, she sees. We see together, we see  different.
And I tell her what it is that I am seeing in the rags flapping in the wind. Barnacle laiden flying into the blue.

I tell her of my love for what looks like burlap, though it is not. When we look closer, the burlap was a mesh. It was not as it appeared.

We see different.

And isn’t that the way of the artist. Her art hangs on gallery wall, exhibited and displayed in place of prominence, by selection. Money changes hands between artist and art lover.

Her beautiful eye and her beautiful hand and her beautiful palette of paints will see the world in one beautiful way. The way of artist Laurie.

So she will not paint the flapping brown rags released on  line to dry out in the sun, bake out the pluff mud this tool of Lowcountry oyster catcher man.

No she will not paint it, not at all. She will not, can not paint it, paint them, filthy rags.

She will not paint the worn bags on a canvas, capture the bits of white stuck in the mesh like diamonds adorning the fabric of royal silk. Value and beauty in the rubble hanging and dancing in the salty Lowcountry wind, this day.

They whisper to me, come write my story.

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Of where I have been drenched in the sea in worn hands of man. Of where I have been dragged across the jagged shore and held the shells which hold the pearl. Holding on and holding dinner.

Out to sea and back again. Out and back, dragged and drug and hung again. To flap and sail swinging in the wind. Tool of man, art to one.

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And feet back in  the sand, dog in hand, under the oaks we walk and talk. Hit the road.  And stop to stare at peacock, hen. As she stands statuesque. I know this bird. But if we had not met I would have thought her dead, not alive. Her stillness, still as stone, her glassy stare belied a bird alive.

Things different. Things changed. Things not quite as they appear after all.

And painter friend she sees what I do not. This walk of artists in the sand. Brings eyes. They collide seeing different. Seeing same.

The Lowcountry  littered with joggling boards. Rite of passage for every child along the way. In the south, for children’s play.

And lady peacock, hen has her own. A perch which I could not see. My eyes beheld the beauty  only of the bird.  At first.

But two together, they double the image, compound beauty.

Bird on a beam. Bird on a board. Bird suspended mid-air. We stare.

So painter, writer see the world through different eyes. But the beauty is compounded when combined.

So husband, father,  wife and mother,  Christian One and Christian Two. We all do. Our views collide and complement. Artist, painter, artist, writer.

He brings his eyes and I bring mine. She sees the bird up on the board. At first I see the peacock hen and then the board. She is my improved vision. She corrects the lens on life. He is my improved vision. He corrects my lens on life. The complement, the shift in view. Four eyes, two hearts can see together what alone we cannot.

Four friends in search of oysters for our meal and we prefer the singles. Stop by the market ,ask around. Ask some more. The singles are the best and more expensive than the others. The clusters are  less desirable in the oyster world.

We buy the clusters or it is no oysters at all. Grab the knives, hold them hot. Fresh from the steamer, grab the hot sauce, lemon and the saltine cracker, eat them up. Can’t get enough. Oysters, hot, delicious clusters. We convert. We elevate these mangled masses of jagged shell to a status new for lover of this delightful delicacy.

And in the world of seafood too. Things are not as they appear. There is delicious delight en masse in groups. These clusters delight the souls of man under the crescent moon. Split open each with a frenzied pace. And let them slide down the throat into the belly.

If you love oysters.

You would love the clusters. The singles no where to be found, the hot commodity. In demand.

We huddle up and split open each, one by one, the oysters held in groups of white grey calloused shell.

The gift is in the blended views. We are lost. We are found. We are both.

We are better with each other. Artist, writer, painter, friend, husband, wife, Christian One and Christian Two. Poetry and prose.

I need you. You help me see. I am found. I am lost. I am both.

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Joining Laura and Ann today.

And counting gifts with Ann

*New ways of seeing life

*Old friends

*Days on the coast, rediscovering old favorites

*Consoling a child in her grief and finding beauty in the loss of life. Somewhere.

*Hearing a friend’s words at just the right time.

*Watching the dog herd her free range chickens. And delighting in the dance and art there

*Walking in the sun

*Walking under the moon

*New mercies

*New vision
new fave for art quote

On Writing

Today is Day 26. The collective is here

What is there about writing, recording thought, expression and dreams? Dropping your heart on the page, like The Bomb over Japan.

It feels like that sometimes. A writer knows that earth-shattering feeling when all gets dropped. Like raw egg on black hot asphalt, the words of the soul land and spill, drip, spread out.

And live or breathe or shrivel and die.

The words on the pages of the journal, the book, the back-lit page, the spiral-bound rule lined holders of the heart.

That pulls the writer in like a Hoover, cap off, intense sucking reeved up for maximum draw of dirt and dust.

That pulls and sucks the unsuspecting writer in, unable to rest or sleep until the deed is done.

Until the words land safely on the page. With seeming importance given them, as though they were the Mars Rover landing on red planet surface.

The investment large and looming. The safe arrival, of critical import.

The words, in need of a policy from Lloyds of London, assuring they are placed and put, carefully so carefully in their proper place.

Gingerly, tenderly placed for optimum understanding. Like a gemologist shines the jewels, the writer hones the words.

And will not rest and cannot rest until the blood is poured, crimson red on page.

What is there in wrangling of the words. How placing them in the desired place, the writer cuts and pastes, slices, dices, arranges the puzzle pieces, carefully to make the pieces fit. Finds her peace and makes her peace, wrestled words lay flat out on the mat.

Squinting the eye and nodding the head, tilting and turning and reading the phrases, turning them over in the mind’s eye. Adjusting the lens and re-reading the phrasing.

Searching for meaning, looking for clues. Seeking something. Framing the words, wrapping them up. Giving the gift of the heart. The soul.

Leaving nothing, giving it all. A story, a poem, a narrative. Art.

The one which makes the picture. Makes the point.

The one that states the case or paints the dream, in words, all black and white.

Preparing the words for Fancy Dress Ball, tuxedoed black tied words. Dressed and ready, ready for a gala telling, celebrants of all life’s worthy hurly burly wonders. The words shout, trumpeters of praise.

Dressed up, sent out, dust brushed off, rolled lint brush dances up and down, catching all imperfections, of the words, your soul. They arrive decked out beauties on the page.

What is there in the picking up the pen and writing down the day, the life, that feels for all the world like giving birth. Like dropping hope, pregnant possibility on pages virgin white.

What makes the writer want to make her point, write her art, translate emotion make it fit in a line and on a page?

Pure and white, brittle, fragile. Words.

Isn’t paint a safer way to tell and show? Brush strokes color vibrant swoosh and swish. They make a sumptuous painting suitable for framing, galleries and museums are built to house the work of painters. Guilt gold frames grabbing glory, proving worthy artist’s work.

Why does spilling on the page, words, the one dimensional wonders that they are, bring joy and indescribable release?

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed

.

–Ernest Hemmingway

It is the need to use the voice. A hunger to taste it formed. To see if birthed. To feel it fly. To smell it baking, all senses swimming, juices stirring.

It is desire to tell of life, the way that only she can tell.

A contented release, as blowing out candles on the cake. A calm comes after holding in, the breath puffed cheeks, skin turned blue in the holding tank.

The air escapes, and new comes in, the intake and release.

A rhythmic ebb and flow of living and recording.

A form of rebirth.

Life is new, life is recorded.

The chapters told and stored.

And the words flow like life-blood through the writer’s veins. The pulse, the beat, the vibrant crimson river.

The writer’s life of words.

In the beginning was The Word.

And in the living is the word.

The Stairs

I love Amber C. Haines’ writing. And she is inviting us to write with her on a concrete word prompt. Today its stairs. You may recall The Necklace. You will want to go read Amber—she has a truly lovely way with words. Her voice is distinctive and full. You won’t want to miss the words she weaves; art. Pure. Simple. Art. Her words. I write in good company when I write in community with Amber.

You could mark a life
by the number you choose. And by the speed
pace, rate,
like a heart rate.
The rate you take
the sairs.

The child me chose
to ride a bicycle down.
Child me
thought
it sounded
like a good
idea
at the time.

Grown me, well
they never grow
tired of telling
the tale.
It has a life
of its own.

What child rides
a bicycle down
a staircase?

The one who is
child full
of life
and child
full of wonder
wondering what
joy lies
in going down
a different
way. Not the
route
all the others
took.

And two’s and three’s
at a time
mark youth
she skips many
unnecessary steps
tedious boredom
in going a
decidedly predictable
way.
Life has much
to offer.
Why waste time
going up slowly
when you can
run down three-by-three.

The first
time he said I love you
there on a flight
of fancy stairs
frozen there
on them
frozen
by the words
Numb in love
The Patient One
held me
captive
in and on the
stairs.
Caught in a word web
of love.
The bridal portrait
tells a story
hanging from a nail
in the well of the
stairs.
She said I do
He did too.
Months later
bride me
portrait
speaks
to words
said in love on
the stairs
before the three
steps to the altar.
After that
its two by two tandem
taking the
stairs
together
for life.
Taking the stairs
A baby
In tow.
More babies
In tow.

They measure the heart rate.
After all. They mark
they measure
they record.

And after a new hip
Older me practices the
drill
in the stairwell
at the hospital
You can’t go
home until
you can climb the
stairs.
I am 52 with a body part
man made, not God-made.
My first prosthetic.
She climbed with a limp
for awhile.
She climbed
with pain
for a season.
She left her limp
behind.

They measure like a
metronome.
They measure speed and rate
Like rings of a tree, telling
age
They tell the narrative
of the life.

Up, down,
slow
fast
alone
well
sick
whole
scared
hopeful
tired
lonely
in love.

The steps on the steps and the stairs hold secrets to a life, lived ascending and decending,

The stairs.

Measuring marking a life, like breath.

Writing the story with every step taken,
a page turns.

the

stairs.

until she’s climbing a stairway

to
heaven.

the

end.

Counting gifts with Ann. Grateful for

*A crisp cool air in the warm deep South, peeks of a change, her name is Autumn

*A walk and a talk with a friend

*Such sweet new friends through the blog

*Such generous and kind friends through twitter

*Restored faith in social media for the good it can be when used rightly

*More and more a passion for writing and more and more grateful for God allowing me to see, use, and steward the gift

*A glimpse into the hope-filled future for a child and his college plans. God is good in revealing daily, that there is a hope, always. Hope for good things. Trusting Him to show us His plan.

*A long heart to heart with a friend. We sat in the dark at church after the last light had been turned off and dove into parenting with our hearts and our words. Grateful for this friend. Grateful for common ground on parenting daughters.

And linking with Ann today at A Holy Experience dot com.

And with Laura