For All The Brenda’s: A Letter of Encouragement and Gratitude

Follow along for the month of November as I express my gratitude in the form of “the poetry of letter writing.” I will never say all my thank you’s in just a few short weeks. I won’t even come close to honoring everyone that inspires me with their gracious spirit, deep well of kindness, or ability to bless me and others with the overflow of their heart.

But I can start. So this is just  a way to begin

One poem of gratitude, one thank you note at a time. (Thank you, as always for reading and journeying with me).

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Dear Brenda,

In an effort to be more of who I am, I want to be more like you.
It is a paradox that I am chipping away at daily.
Not the part about being like you. But of focusing on simple acts.
Engaging in the simple act of singlemindedness.
(I think I was made to focus on small things)
I think grand and great are left for others.
This is a revelation. With a small r.
But that would be presumptuous of me.
I do not imply that your work  (did you know I call it the “fluff and fold”) is not a big thing
Did you know, I long to love like you. Love simply and gently with your service and your smile.
I walk in hungry for kindness (don’t we all). And you give, so generously.
You take my soiled clothes in your hands, dutifully. Every. Single. Time.
I give you dirt and you you give me joy.
I give you a job and you give me your best.
I leave and you remain. You spend hours serving among the spinning machines.
Watching dirt wash away. Witness to transformation. Giving the world cleanliness and fresh starts.
You are throughly immersed in your work, thoughtful and diligent.
I want to write and love and live and serve with the devotion you give, to the laundromat.
The world needs more Brenda’s.
Secretly I know that you carry your private world around with you, concern for those you love, as you feed the coins into the machines.
But the grace and gentleness are all I see. You are all business. No hints of your personal life.
Oh lovely Brenda. Knowing you is a gift.
Until we meet again at the Fluff and Fold
with love and admiration,

e

thank you peach

Joining Laura today. She makes Monday’s so extra lovely

The Neighbor

The Neighbor

In cryptic cursive he penned
words of gratitude
my cold heart
wondered at the knock
hid behind
unknowing
shameful
that
on a cold and wintry day

I should wonder what he wants
when all he brought
was his  small note
an offering
and laid it by the door

words of thankfulness
I sit
with guilted
pain
ashamed
that I  would rest in vain
repose
frozen
slow to do the same
pen a note of telling
how it is I feel
black pen on gilded cards
left staring at a
hand that cannot write
a few short lines of humble
thanks
I learned from him
the neighbor sent to me
with a shaky cursive hand
still fresh from loss and grief
who poured
into a 2×3
sincerity
this kind response sat at my door
one day when I was covered up in grief

who taught him how to love the sky
at night, I found him staring
at it ablaze, in oranges and reds
I’ve seen him smile and stare
gazing heavenward
awash in grief
I weep at my
ingratitude
oh January finds me
in desperate need
to write a letter
release it from my cold and thankless heart
and had he used the mailbox
rather than my door
I might have missed the chance to
be shaken
by a simple act

I heard the screen open
then
slam and hit the door
awakened by my
neighbor
the neighbor
in cryptic cursive, he penned
words of gratitude.

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Catching Up With Gratitude and Thanksgiving

So there is a place. This space, a canvas, a carved out place. Where there is a gathering of souls. My blog. A gift.  And things have been quieter, a little quieter, recently. Here.

And sometimes when I write in this place it feels like prayer, or speaking to an empty room, or a  crowd of no one, or a gathering of kindreds. Very often it feels like releasing words on wings not knowing where they will fly. But God knows. He always has and He always will. Good and gracious.  Everlasting to everlasting. Eternally. World without end.

So this feels like an accounting and a catching up. And in this season of Gratitude and Giving Thanks, I am called and lead to do both. This week that is ending, is the week before Thanksgiving Week, though I want to live in a place of Thanksgiving  always. And everyday.

And so in a spirit of Gratitude and Thanksgiving I say thank you. For reading my art, my offerings, my poetry, my prose. Thank you for hearing and seeing the words that fly from this place.

You may want to know that for the last 12 weeks I have been working, though it has felt more like playing some days,  in a workshop entitled “The Writing Life” offered by Tweetspeak Poetry. So for 12 weeks much of my writing has been in the form of writing assignments. Some of it will appear here. It has kept me busy, away from here more than usual. But I hope that you will see a new passion in my writing, new focus perhaps, or just more of the same with a little more prose.

You heard more prose, yes you did.

Poetry is driving my writing. It will influence my prose. But I am pushing myself into other genres. Or flinging open doors, taking my metaphors, my lyricism and compression, an economy of words, into my prose.

And I have been scheming and dreaming about my art and where it might go. And how it might look. And what changes I may make and what projects I may undertake. I have some projects up my sleeve. You will likely be some of the first to know. They really just involve more writing. Which is what this place is about.

In addition to being grateful for you, I realize I have been enormously blessed to have had my work appear at Burnside Writer’s Collective. I have a poem running this weekend. I believe it is my fourth there. But who is counting. When it is up I will link to it.

And I have a by-line/bio appearing under the tab “Meet Our Team” at Tweetspeak Poetry. This has been a wonderful community for me. A place where I have developed friendships, learned about the craft of writing and had some of my work published on-line. I am submitting a new piece soon. I may have the privilege of having it appear there. I will share it when it runs over there.

So thank you for reading and commenting. For encouraging me and supporting my art.

I have added some new tabs to my blog header and have made a few changes. Did you notice? I am still working on all of it. So thanks for grace and patience.

I hope it is a peaceful place, a quiet place. And a rich and soulful place to come.

Gratefully and thankfully yours,

Elizabeth

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Quiet Is The New Loud

Quiet is the new loud, a reconstitution
of noise, watered down background
Sound, sounds hushed
like peace
and quiet. If it were a color it would be
White
Noise is the new normal.
Transformation is everywhere.
Orange is black.
And simple is complicated.
And renaming is everywhere.
Just calling is so doesn’t make it
but somehow quiet seems to want
to take over and rule me.
And I concede, give up the reigns
Loose the bit and bridle
As let it take control, run away with me.

Because quiet is queen.
And she wears a crown of humility.
A simple garment.
And whispers all I need to hear.

For if I thought I had much or any
Control,
I, thankfully, do not.

Everything I have ever needed to hear,
I have heard in the quiet,
still, small voice,
of a whisperer.
The new reigning queen
Of a quiet and peaceful world.

Hush, you might hear her pin drop,
Her scepter
Light as a feather
makes
no sound.

And quietly she takes her place
Upon a humble
Muted throne.

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