RSVP, Merci

pink beach sadie

RSVP, Merci

On the tip of the earth as I know it
I look out
Imagine more
Hidden, veiled in mystery
Concealed by cover of tan and blanket of blues
In a wink and a nod
I blink
It is all still there
The beautiful
Blows by, brushing by the strands of my windblown hair
I stare
And as the haunting, beguiling ghost crabs
I crawl, slow then quick step, padding through the heat
Weaving up and down, then back
A strategy to cover the breadth and depth and width
With these weaving
As I
Pass sediment on the shore
Waves shake hands with hot brown sand, as if it were
Flipped in the cast-iron skillet where the grease pops scalding
Hot
Vapors rise up in waves of heat-rising
Day is cooking herself under a blazing summer southern sun
I whisper and inaudible yes
Say yes to all this and more

There is a call in the barren places
Where I walk
And pass not a soul for a little long while
The sea is stingy this day
Giver of gifts on many a Sunday stroll
Tumbling treasures, teasing me
rolling gifts up and rolling them back

down, yo-yo style
Free-style
Playing with me
Tempting me to step one more step in search of more

surprise, it is not about that which I can touch or take
My hands may leave empty, today
But the attic of my soul will not
It is storing up
poetry
And I respond
It is collecting
art and beauty, dreaming of the soul-work
yet to come
Merci
To all my searching soul can see
Along this stretch of shore and life

I respond, with a song of Sunday gratitude
No more
Merci
It is all I know to do

Empty beach shadow profile

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It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

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It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

When my speaking voice
My writing prose, writer’s voice
Are released to run free into the wide open spaces of the blogosphere and the world wide web
Compressed language, brevity and pithy phrasing
Fail me
You could say I am a long-winded fool
A verbose jaw flapper, writer of long and winding words
Lover of the adverb
Repeater of things, lover of and
Funny how you swear you don’t give a twit or a flea or a flick
About what the naysayer’s say
Because
Isn’t it odd that the naysayers take up more space with their naysaying than the non-naysayers

So you go into your place where you hide all the brave
And you pull out all the tools and the stops
And you assess things, take the lay of the land
(Names have been changed to protect me)
Hold your finger high in the sky to take an opinion poll
Check the collective temperature of the crowd that you aim to please
Imagine what all the readers want to read
Second guess the lay of the land
And craft the project to fit the need

And loose yourself in the process
(Flipping through the Yellow Pages you search and opine the lack of  attorney’s who specialize in break-up’s
Between poetry and writer, writer and poetry)
Wondering if you’ve flipped a switch
Most folks would just ditch the poetry without a thought
Not even looking back

You start to write some words of the Dear John sort
Tell poetry how grateful you are to have had her help in shaping your prose
And gently console her with what would I have done without you’s
(She is a she, poetry, duh)
And you get out the hats and blowers and confetti
Send her on her way
Tell her, “Have you seen the poetry section at Barnes and Noble?”
(There is a poem about that, you can Google it, I wrote it, I should know)

Have you been in the room with people who look a hole as wide as the Hoover dam
Right through your insides when you say “Poetry”
And people with M.D.’s and degrees
And retirees and Ph.d’s and common people who are civilized and polite to the n’th degree
On all other occasions but this very one
Givers of the blank stare (they are grieving your loss of sales as they drop their jaw)
And you swear
And you swear off poetry
Well not really off, just less

Settle into the place that the naysayer’s swore was the safest bet
And the surest sure thing

The place where the agents live and thrive and the publishers always go
And then for the life of you
You decide to go down swinging
To take your beloved poetry with you
To leave no poetic child behind
To go after the one lost poetic soul
To bring every poetic voice home for a proper, oh never mind

It is not like I was trying to ditch poetry anyway
And even if I was
It won’t let me

Anyway

Look for poetry to find a place
And settle into at least a chapter or verse
Of the long-wided wind bag’s
Imaginary book of dreams
The names have been changed to protect poetry

A Few Things I Learned In June {Joining Emily Freeman}

I learned a few things in June. What a month. Packed with life in all its wonder, glory, joy and pain.

I am still processing so much of what this month revealed to me. And if you have been reading along here for awhile you have heard me say “I am a slow processor.” Think the crockpot of cookeries up against the ultimate microwave. I process the things of life which I ingest over a longish period of time. Hours not minutes. Days not hours. Often.

That is to say, I am not ready to share all that I have learned. But here are a few things which I am longing to share.

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1. When we choose to do that one small thing, its impact is multiplied. Simply put, simple things can and do become grand things. Small gestures can and do become life-impacting.  The Small and The Simple are to be embraced, cherished and sought after. They take on the attributes of the magnificent. Capitalizing the lowercase things of this world.

They, after all are the game-changers, the life-changers, the emotional softening of the hard and crusty places. In June alone, I have seen this played out over and over and over again. My eyes leak and my heart hurts at the beauty and wonder of the transformative power of small. Look with me. Do you see how beautiful the small things of this world are. In a wink, a blink and a nod there are pieces of beautiful waiting to be captured, recorded and cherished. Cataloging life this way fills me up to over-flowing.

And I am learning this again and again. I am learning and believing that this is the way we are meant to see the world. I am a slow learner. And slow is really okay.

2. As a writer, I am called to use my words. And as a reader, you are invited to enter in and see the picture on the canvas that is the page. Have you seen the gold balls that drop down from the heavenlies. I found two pods this week.

(If you follow my instagram feed you may know I am in the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a respite). You can Google with me….there is a tree which drops gold, rounded pods. And they are fragile as parchment paper, bumpy like a golfball, golden like Oriental silk. And beautiful. I am always looking for wonder and posting what I find on Instagram. It helps me to stay awake at the wheel. And no I did not take a picture of the golden balls. But we will find them on Google together.

The day I found one, I proclaimed. Gold balls are falling from heaven. No anomaly was that. I found a second. Don’t we love Google for solving the earthly mysteries, like gold balls which nature has made. Amazing.

3. Voxer is my new best friend. This I did not learn in June. This I have had amplified in June. As I am writing this post I am Voxering my very special friend Shelly Miller in London  (which by the way this “What I Learned Series” is a favorite tradition within the bloggy world  – thank you very much Emily Freeman)

Voxer is a phone app which allows you to talk, walkie-talkie style, text and send photos. Welp. That is pretty much a communication dream package, you hit the lottery, what more could you ask for. I know there are some downsides somewhere in there, but for me (and I haven’t even up-graded to Pro yet) it is the bomb-diggity. People. I get to stay in touch with writers, bloggers and friends all over the whole wide world.

4. Releasing often, maybe always involves trust. A young couple approached me at the gas station last week. They asked me for one dollar and fifty cents. For the bus. I cannot stop thinking about their need. Their circumstances, because they told me the Reader’s Digest version of their story. I am still thinking about them. Hoping for them. And when I remember to I hope I will pray for them. That small interchange, eye-ball to eye-ball, exchange of money from my hand to theirs leaves me changed. Who asks for so little. Why didn’t they go for a 20 or more. They had a need for a bus ticket from one town to the next. Small again. I wish I had been willing to give them more.

5. People like to talk about their gardens. If you know anyone who has a garden, ask them. How are your radishes this year. How are the rainfall and the soil in your world. Ask them what is thriving and what is wilting. I think the vocabulary of gardeners is the vocabulary of the soul. And if you want an ice breaker, conversation starter, or if you just want to connect on a human level with another human being, ask them about their garden. Open the garden gate and see what transpires. And you can ask yours truly about hers or follow me on instagram, where beginning July 1, it is all about my garden and chickens. AGAIN.

Gardens are a beautiful, never-grows old, metaphor for life. A place of paradox. Life and death, thriving and struggling, flourishing and floundering.

How does your garden grow?

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Awake At The Wheel: Eyes Open For Beauty, Wonder and Miracle

I have always been intrigued by the beauty of the middle places. The after birth and before the end. The in-between and still in process. And plays a role in this scavenger hunting and archiving. There is always more in the hidden places. Nuances are found in the unveiling, uncovering, and unwrapping.

We are all in the middle of making and doing. We are birthing projects, dreaming dreams, and living out the calling. We are seeing anew, forgetting the past, building bridges to broken places, moving on and healing wounds.

I fell into a place of slow wonder. And I am staying there. The South shows me well its old tradition of living and moving slow. She is the matriarch of my love affair with my new-found wide-awake-ness. I cannot travel back to a time of inattentive living.

I shall not fail to record, remember and ingest. I will not not live aware. I accept the invitation to open every gift of wonder. Every drop of beauty. I am headed into the days of the waning. When the memory fades. But I have come from a faded story. So I am ready to fight to see and record it all.

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I confessed to my daughter that I did not remember. Forgetting may be in my DNA. So for today I am recording well and I am searching like a woman in a desperate desert search for a cool we drink of ordinary life. The mirage of beauty is gone. Holographic beauty is reaching out and grabbing me by my senses.

I found a letter in a trunk. The one I keep of old and yellowed letters. Post marks from ’58 and forward through the years and through the times, forgotten. I can go diving into my past there. And I do. I am a stranger in my own understanding. In my remembering, the doing is dim. I am the stranger meeting a woman who is stranger too.

And I told my daughter that I do not remember if I went to the Eiffel Tower at three o’clock as the letter asked me to. A simple rendez-vous for a young woman. I do not remember. Yes, I was living in Paris at the time. And the letter, I explained was written in the days before cell phones and social media. He, an acquaintance traveling abroad, asked if we could meet. The letter leaves me wondering.

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I do not want to miss the recording of the living. The bignesses. Who misses towers in Paris and a rendez-vous in the heart of France. I want to record the intricate, miniscule parts of my life. The beauty, the miracle, the wonder of the small and ordinary will not escape the sieve of my collecting heart.

Determined to live awake at the wheel. I am paying attention. And life is grandiose in its slow and ordinary wonderment.

Join me. We will discover small things.
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