Why I Am Dreaming Small and Under The Oaks

(Thank you.  Yes, you. Dear readers here, you  who are uncertain of poetry. I too,  am uncertain of poetry. But you are still here reading. Or maybe you have left, because of poetry. So  I’ve  decided I  am going to make a little space for more prose. To offer both, together, for a season. Each time I post I will publish prose and poetry. Thank you for journeying with me as I pen this life, look for beauty, reflect my faith, and place words, some shaky, some brave, into this community. Let’s see how a vision of prose and poetry will look, here. And now that the comments are open again,  I would love to hear your thoughts on two writing forms, together. Here, in this little corner of the inter-webs. Wising you grace, elizabeth)

thank you peach

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morning light on flowers hydrangae

Under The Oaks

I spot threes
Write sounds in threes
See the world in
Triplicates
Focus a lens on multiples
Trios

So fitting, that  on a street named Venning
The street with three n’s
There are three souls, new
To me
Three new friends have I
I spy beauty

Grace and elegance

Grand dames
I could have come and gone
Perish the thought
I’d never known the life behind the smiles
Life lines on their faces
Telling

Me
New one on the street with the winding sounds
Learning of life
I make my way
Up and down the tree lined street

Life learned
From a trio of grace
From the Ladies of Venning

Quiet now, they are living large
Speaking softly, they live and breath
A writer, a gardner, a traveller
Lover of film and land
Living their stories

Wonder and awe
It is well to
Listen

To the three
Ladies of  well-lived
Lives,  it appears
From where I sit and stare

And  wait to earn a place
Of friendship
Among the three
Who barely know me
And  yet, have shown

Friendship
Grace

So I study the lines
My eyes trace their living
Laugh lines, crows feet
Fragile lines around the eyes
And mouth

Of these three
Ladies, each

Under the oaks
With me.

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Spencer and the dolphin

Why I Am Dreaming Small

And so it seems everyone is dreaming big. Anyone  that dreams at all has big dreams.  Thrown up and out into the sea of living. Brave and big. Bold and large. The bigger the better. Super-sized.  These dreams of man.

Words crisscross my screen every day  about these dreams, the ones that I see  looming large. But I think I am dreaming small.  Not because of fear. But I , like everyone have my share of fear.  Not because of lack of faith, for mine is at least the size of a mustard seed.

Because I hear a  clear crisp call to small. One that  whispers in my ear of dreams scaled down, sized in miniature. But lovely nonetheless.

Small dreams now from a grand and glorious God who is the one that’s large.

How beautiful and whimsical, are my little hopeful dreams.  The ones I  have dancing in my mind, by day and keeping me awake at night.  They lack nothing in the winnowing. The paring back and whittling down.

It is not really that I have  a shrunken faith. Or fear to take my dreams and expand them on a larger scale. Truly, not.

It is, rather, that I am seeing beauty in the small things, after all. It comes with age. A grand release. And in my younger days I dreamed so big. And came to value all that is small. I walked to here, a place of growing contentment, in the smallest acts of kindness, moments, and conversations with a friend.

And somewhere in this life, I am  coming to a place. That not all measurements are more wonderful,  the larger they become. So we are looking for a home. Another house to call our own the remainder of our days.  Is this the eighth. I can’t count. But  graciously and gratefully , one that will be new for us. Or maybe held the joy of others for sometime. Another  through the years.

New is not necessary,nor is big.

And I am dreaming of one small and cozy. I dream  on Pinterest and in my mind and with The Patient One. And look for beauty, comfort and a house with just  a little this and a little that. For my children and my children’s children.

I’m finding contentment after all, in you guessed it, things so small.

Last night we found a house we love. It fits my dreams just so.

I am dreaming small. We laughed at the little number  the realtor printed on the sheet; the one that revealed the total space, for living, here. But I know we would have just enough. All we need. Even though we dream of adding a bit to what is there. Because we have a history of piling up and  piling on and living in a cozy space. Just wearing out and down the soul of every house we’ve owned. Even though we have lived large. Between the walls of lots of space and things.

Small now calls my name.

I heard a story of a man, a writer in his graying years. And he had published seven poems. Ever in his life of writing. Only.  Until he wrote a little book. And off it went, big and large. A big success from all accounts.

One never knows where dreams might go. I love friends with dreams so big. And God may grow mine bigger.

But for now they are just so dreams. A little small.

So I will write my little poems. Here for awhile. And maybe one day there. And dream a little dream of one days. That maybe I will find a publisher who says lets go and run, or fly or soar. Or maybe even a home between the covers, nestled in a spine. My little poems will settle down and live up  on a shelf, in a book leather bound.  One that has a name that’s gold embossed, that is my very own.   Or maybe my poems will gather. And compile themselves.  Into  a collection. Walk themselves off to a printer and return to me in published form.

I love my little dreams.  They fit me just right, right now.

And that is why my God sized dreams may look a little small. One never knows where dreams will go when they are grown by God.

Maybe tomorrow they will grow an inch or two. After I grow contented with what I have and where I am.

My portion perfected by his loving hand.

Oh to dream, by day, by night. And watch Him change us in our dreaming. Bless us always with so much more.

Than we ever dreamed, was possible or could be true.

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee and Emily for Imperfect Prose

(I am gathering some of my writing to submit to a magazine as examples of my work along with some ideas for editorial content. If you have a prose piece you  have particularly enjoyed  let me know in the comments. Let’s see where this dream goes. You will be some of the first to know.)

Paris Comes To Me

night on the water

Paris Comes To Me

And not even if the boat were bigger

Nor if the moon was  any rounder

Not if the air was any crisper

Could this night  be more splendid

We agreed it felt like Maine, though we have never been

So much of what we know and love will only be here

We may not pack a bag or sail away

Even for our 25th

But if we stay right here, exceedingly content is my middle name

I wear it on the nights like this

And you are owl and I am the pussycat off in a pea green boat

But ours is shades of blue

No small detail is lost on us

This night

For though I dream of Paris

To walk the streets I did for a year in  ’78 and ‘ 79

I could not breathe in

More fragrant joy than

This

Place that feels like mine

What I inhale  in this small creek into every pore and place

Ours

The one that spills with laughter, wine and wind

Love into the waterway

Under skies all shades of grey, pink peeks out, the sun and moon wink and nod

And we go home and wonder

One to the other

Could it be more magical than this

I long now for the nights

When Paris came to me

Pluff mud, shrimp boats, and clammers returning with their haul

These are not the Seine or my Boulevard Malesherbes

Maybe home was meant to hold you

And tie an  anchor to your soul

Love so blind we could not leave

Only off  each night in our petite  blue boat

Exceedingly content, my middle name

Before the one you gave to me those 25 years ago.

Don’t Tell The High School Guidance Counselor I Said This

books little switzerland 2

I bought a calendar.

I thought that there might be some sort of freedom in being without one. Or was I trying to stretch my capacity for memorizing facts and dates.

I struggle with a faint fear of losing my memory one day. The one who bore me has dementia and it could be in me waiting to pounce.

Sometimes I write and I pause at a word and the word comes slower. So I write more and more. It’s as if a muscle is being worked in the gym of my mind.

I want my children to have my words when they don’t have my words any longer.

When I first started blogging I was determined to use the word I in my posts infrequently, verging on the never.

Today I am breaking my rule of no I’s in my posts. It is a selfish pronoun but it is necessary. I could shift to the third person but that would be silly because at this point you know it is me to whom I am referring.

Putting things on my calendar yesterday felt like a good and needed discipline. There is a tension in the space between spontaneous living and purposeful, intentional living out of days.

I see things less poetically if I am strapped down and bound by restraints of time and space. You know there is a quote about that, the poet is working when she is staring out the window. I need to look up who said it because it is true and brilliant. And it helps me understand where poetry is born.

If you have been reading here for awhile you know the focus on poetry. If you haven’t you can read the title of the blog and then you would know. I think poetry is saving me and giving me new eyes. Both.

Therefore, poetry is important.

There is a way of seeing the poetic in life which comes from breathing deep and walking slow. Of staring long into the places and moments of a day.

If I look out the window long enough I see the beautiful, not the dirt. And I long to write of the beautiful rather than reach for the Windex.

Yesterday I met with my daughter’s guidance counselor to go over her graduation plan. She was doing her job and she does it well.  We were making her schedule for next year and picking courses. This planning of my youngest’s senior year is heart wrenching work.

I starred at her blue eyes and drowned a little in the talk of college.

We talked of AP Spanish Four and of AP English too. Of her plans to be a Pediatric Dentist, of GPA’s and SAT’s and Class Rank. And I felt really hemmed in that office. And thought a bit about how things change.

And we are making plans so far ahead and so much can change. And I know that we need this dance of the deliberate and the planning out of a life.

But where is the dance of the poetic. And what if the dreams change or crash. What if her heart changes her mind.

We would walk in and write out a course change slip and off we would go to a new dream and a new class. Plans and changes of plans. The now and the surprise of tomorrow. The dance of uncertainty and the plans for a life well lived.

There is so much beauty in the savoring of now. And intentional living keeps wandering minds from going too far off track. And we need a plan and a dream and a schedule.

I dance between these two worlds daily.

I am off to work on my calendar and write down some important dates and plans and appointments and a writing schedule of sorts.

And I hope that I don’t lose my poetry along the way. I hope my dancing shoes don’t fall off. It has taken me a lifetime to learn to dance in a place of the poetic. And I don’t want to stop now.

The high school guidance counselor does important work. I am grateful for her and her ability to keep folks like me on track.

I wonder if she saw my mind wander a bit. But don’t tell her I said that. Sometimes the mention of SAT and Class Rank cause me to glaze over a bit.

I am writing now like there is no tomorrow and I am finding great relief in doing so. I knew I was really drawn to the words of my favorite poet Billy Collins.

I wonder how he feels about the use of the word “I”. I have used my quota for the month here.  I wonder if my mind is fading and how long I have with it.

I will be writing a lot in the months to come. And there I go making plans. Maybe I was listening to the guidance counselor after all.

If you subscribe you may want to stop following as it may get a little too verbose in these parts while I exercise my mind in the gymnasium of my heart by lifting the weight of the words.

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joining Eileen and Heather295b3123-4a67-4966-8a77-222919b9921c_thumb_BR_44

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Delight, Refresh and Restore – A Trio of Words For Healing

Today is Day 24. The collective can be found here by taking a hop, skip and a jump over here.

Yesterday I wrote of the words standing in line with their resumes.

It is as if the words have their own hourglass tipped over measuring the days left in their series. They watch the time slipping like particles of sand and they shout choose me, choose me.

So I do. I choose to bundle some words, package them in prose, let them out to breathe and serve. To  pack them up and let them run with me,  play,  escape. To shout and dance. Release and restore.

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Twyla Thorp

So I pick and I bundle them  like fresh cuts from the Fresh Market and plop them down to both soak and suck the water through their straws. And to  give life-affirming beauty to the eyes. Even one. And especially His. Because there will be a day for audience. It has been planned since the beginning.

There is a struggle in focusing on the audience of One. Of writing and art making just for Him and Him alone. The day is coming soon for audience.

But today. For today I give the day to delight.

For delighting in the simple. Delighting in the restorative refreshing power of soaking in the absolute remarkable of a single moment.

A memory blazed in blues.

It is worthy of delighting under the microscope.

Viewing it closely, squinting intensely at the art. Peering at it all, while seeking the seemingly unseen beauty in everything.

I see anew when my soul is delighted by beauty. By a walk by the water, splashing childlike, dodging the surf. Seeking the simple in the treasures washed up on shore, strewn like confetti after the ocean threw a party for the world.

I am restored when my eyes wrap around driftwood masterpieces anchored in sand for study. I stand. Feet planted, toes wriggling, in October sand. Bleached and beautiful.Looking at the bleached woods, worn smooth , its limbs of death.

It was waiting to meet me this day, this wood. To meet me in the salt and sea.

With my child, grown, a man – by my side. WIth the dogs laughing, pink tongues wagging, they swim out and back in. Each a furry metaphor for living, the old the young, the brave, the timid. The energetic and the weary.

All in a dance on the shore. All in a restorative time by the blue blending, water with sky, sky with water, inseparable blues, a melange and mix of azures and others.

So the young call me out, and build me up and restore my hope in possibility and longing for living. And we laughed.

And all looks hopeful and healed at the art gallery by the sea.

My soul delights in the beauty of family and blue looks as blue should look. Strong and beautiful, a backdrop, a canvas for the art of simply living.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com and Michelle. And continuing on the 31 Day journey at The Nester.

To follow along this blog on a regular basis and for the rest of this series click here to subscribe. It is a joy to have you along. Grateful for co-travellers.