The Noticer

bio pic

The Noticer

It was in the fall that I noticed. Again. But it was different this time. The yard had been raked in a suburban monochromatic sweeping. Overly antiseptic. The way the neighbors might  approve. But in a way that appears boring. Void of creativity. The kind spilled out from heaven. Released, unfurled by the hand of Artist God.

And it was then that I noticed. The brushing aside. Made manifest in my yard. A physical representation in the form of dead leaves. Brittle. That heart of God on my yard. The mosaic, the fallen tapestry of gold, sienna, burnt orange pieces had been raked up. Msn moved the art of God. There on the canvas of my autumn day, a mosaic laid in love was moved in uncaring haste. To sanitize. To bring man-made order.

The leaves had fallen just so, placed, by a holy hand. The Creator had, was it by design, offered a masterpiece of autumnal muted hues, surrounding me with glory come down. And we, in an effort to re-create our own standard of beauty, had brushed it aside. It was then that I noticed. What a mistake the rearranging might have been. I saw, what it feels like to be invisible.

To be brushed aside.

And I am touched by holy noticing, once again.

Thankful for the nuances of ordinary life. The subtlety of beauty. And the generosity of the Giver. And the gentle reminder, to notice.


Joining Jen at SDG

button logo 600px

The Letters

wpid-2013-05-09-14.58.40.jpgTwo letters came in the box on the road
the one that is accustomed to holding no great thing.
Unless you count taxes and coupons among the great things in God’s creation.
Some how no, though Caesar needs his due too.

Two letters came in the box, diverging days apart, like Frost’s roads
Our only choice was to open and savor and feel changed
By the power of words written by hand, delivered by snails and placed in a box on the road.

Moments are simple that way.
A child old enough to go to war and vote says this was the best one he ever got.
Words like that grab you
Pinch like ill-fitting shoes, a wake you up pinch.
And shout you have that too, dormant, laying there.

Two letters came but some words came by social media too
Choked me up, bright red flush came over me
Words can do that
Someone called me a name, a good one
Undeserving but I wore it around the house for awhile like a royal robe
Put the crown on too
Realized she didn’t really know me as well as she thought.

Some words touched someone the other day, they were true
The ones I wrote about the man who grows art with thorns in his yard.
He uses dirt but he has the Louvre of roses over there
And I didn’t even know it until
Well I read some of his words about it
Asked if I could stop by.
A few words later and I have all these photographs of miracles
He grew with God, art in the yard, co-creator he and God.

He just gave her twenty dollars
For her life’s work and ministry
He didn’t have a lot knocking around his money clip
It never was about the money anyway
But she sat down and wrote a two page letter

A letter ended up in my box
And I wanted to weep but couldn’t
I have to be tough these days, so I don’t leak all over every one
Letters of gratitude are still in vogue
And manners are important but matters of the heart
Well they trump it all.
And twenty dollars really can matter
And it’s all about the friendship that started over how we might help a little. A very little bit.

And the funny thing is the lady that brings all of the snail mail
Well she broke me up, tore me up
She wrote a little piece and put it in the box
She covered us with forty seven cents and she wanted her money back
She did us a service and she wanted to be repaid
So I pulled out my Crane stationery and thanked her properly for the loan
Because it could have been her last red dime.

Because she brings good gifts.
Like the one that the teacher saved for seven years
The one the eighteen year old who could be a soldier got
The best mail ever
Because teachers and letter writers change lives
She said remember when I asked you in fifth grade to write a letter to yourself in seven years, well here it is.

And we’d lost two pets and his favorite food is still tacos and his brother isn’t married
But we see the value in loving in the simple
And holding a child’s letter for seven years

And if you want to tell someone they are a good role model you might
make their day
or tell a man you want to see his garden
or just say something to someone

Chances are you
might get filed away in a mental memory
make a young man smile
or make a new friend, a man who didn’t know anyone really saw all the beauty
or bless a  woman who thought she wasn’t getting it all right
or a mail carrier who doesn’t have forty seven cents to lend out.

That long arm and those long fingers have work to do.
Go tell someone something that might change their heart
Or mind.

And sofa cushions are good bankers
For investments in people

And I talk to myself when I need a good talking to.


Sifting Through

post photo May 13?I am a sifter filled with floured memories. Shaking them down through metal mesh, turning a crank while dusty white turns into particles of gold. And  I am panning through the nuggets knowing they are all gold. In fact, all are gems.  I shake from side to side the pan sifting through and naming each one priceless – the dull and the shiny. The dim and the sparkled. Spattered with dust that flakes off the corners of a life.

I am an archivist searching through the rubble and the ruin, finding life among it all. Shovel and pick strike the dark dirt of possibility. And excavate a voice buried in the wet black soil of waiting.

I am  a wanderer, slow walker down the paths of sun-drenched beginnings. Stumbler, mad-dasher, free-falling, zig-zagger changing it up, discovering what has been there all along.

I am a beauty-seeker. Finding a  seat on a leather perch, peddling down gravel and sand, concrete and asphalt, weaving in and weaving out. I am a trail-blazer of the ordinary. Going in circles again and again. Riding restless and riding at peace. Turning down lanes of ivy and honeysuckle. Following fragrant folly down narrow paths covered in petals of spent blossom days.

I am a receiver of gifts, unfathomable,  unparalleled, unnameable and new. Peeling back layers of wrapping to breath in the smell of love in the offerings laid at my feet. Ripe for the picking, unpacking, palpable seasoned with love.

And I am a child, learning to walk, to move from the pablum on to the banquet. To run and to twirl, to seek and to name, to climb and cling to each tree trunk and rope swing. To laugh and to fall, to sing and to dance.

I am an acrobat, balancing life, on a thin tight rope of wonderful beautiful magnificent days.

I am sous-chef cooking up feasts for ravenous curious hungry me. And mine. And ours. Seeking to sprinkle the right mix of herb and spice. Folding in nutrients for heart and soul. I am a planner and thrower of fetes. Singing and lighting the candles of celebration. One wick at a splendid time.

I am a journeyman looking  for places to pour out the offerings of gifts of love. To give as  been given  to or more or beyond. And I am a cartophrapher mapping out moments. Spilling my soul into spontaneous seconds shaded by serendipity.

I am a life-giver, grower of people, young into old. Director of orchestra of days and of lives.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow will look new, because a lens of love was viewed through  again. Bending light and life through the backside of a wide angle.

As a child of God, mouth and hands open wide. And turning it all to grateful poetic praise.

God I am as you have made. And  I am sifting through it all, with grace.


Joining Laura Boggess at Playdates at The Wellspring.


A Circuitous Route

wpid-IMG_20130501_094144.jpgI am walking by the  way of winding.
Stepping back and moving forth.
Finding paths  like Mother May I
Stops and starts and winnowing backs.

I am breathing deep the air of waiting.
Laying down in fields of pining.
Grasping roots of ever-changing.
Finding great in fair to midland, growing.

I am holding on to glory
Surprised by every simple turn en route
Seeing through the lens poetic
Covered in sweet redemption singing.

I am walking round the labyrinth
Praying for the walk to bring
Joy in seeing eyes wide open, squinting barely letting in the light
Weeding out the root, watering dry soil.

I am seeing like a child again
Each turn of spoke and wheel
The way circuitous though it is
Is marked with everlasting wonder, change.

And I am seeing bends and breaks
A slowing with the margins wide
The ratcheted down, down gear shift
The death though slow of pride

Yes I am seeing childlike
The awe and wonder on the route
Parking trains, planes and automobiles
Awhile to walk the more
Circuitous route.

I am holding on to slippery Trust
Blinking back the saline droplets
Finding fresh the seeds of simple
Watering the heart to burst wide open, stretched.

I am knowing in deep places
That the dizzy winding way
Littered with uncertain lingering
Leads me still beside the place I am born to be.

So walk with me the route circuitous
Stumble on the rocks that bruise the skin
Run the race with wheels made to turn slow and steady
Trust  the way of wonder, winding serpentine with grace.



Joining Duane, Shelly, and Jennifer