Ya’ll I Swear: The Lost Art Of Eavesdropping

 

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Ya’ll I Swear: The Lost Art Of Eavesdropping

The girl in our tiny little library said she had no friends
(Picture the children’s section of Barnes and Noble
’bout the same size)
So in my defense
(Don’t pity the library for its size
Looks are deceiving)
Earshot and all that
The man on his cell phone was eighty or ninety or just old
Some folks can’t understand
Some of the folks around here
This part of the world has its own language
Like it washed up on the shore
Walked into the hearts, bless ’em,  of the people who came and never left
Who made it home
Still do
I swear I come home sometimes and ask my husband to translate
I swear he knows the language of the souls around here
‘Cause really he’s a better listen than I am
Beauty never sounded so lyrical, sticky sweet like pralines on Market Street
(Except really the sweet potato pies they sell at the bake sale for the church at the Shell Gas station are sweeter so that’s a better comparison
And the Cow Tales are sweeter than that)
Ya’ll I swear I stare with my ears when I hear Geechee
Gullah sounds like it drips off the tongue
(Like honey, ’cause nothing drips like that, but it fast drips
So honey sped up)
Breathless, like there are not breaths or periods or punctuation
And it just drop-drips off the lips, like a honey freight train
The Wiki people say its unethical
But then they show a painting by Henri Adolphe Laissement
Of the Cardinals eavesdropping in the Vatican
So I’m confused because
How can I know their stories if I don’t listen
(Plus when you are pumping gas you don’t have anywhere to go and we don’t have the tv on the pump like they do in Mt. Pleasant)
The librarian told me the girl was just joking
(She, the girl, didn’t speak Gullah or Geechee
She just talked boring like me)
‘Cause after she left and I was still picking out a book from the teeny weeny library
I said I was sad for her
She kind of put my in my place, she was the head librarian so she was in the know,
And I looked really gullible when I said if the lonely girl was still here she could do the 10,000 piece jigsaw with you
Which I am, gullible and an over-feeler
But the man at the BP station where I was pumping gas
You know the one who was just plain old
Well he wasn’t speaking Geechee real strong
So I heard him ask what anemia was to the person on the phone
And I wondered why he didn’t know and why he didn’t Google it
But then I worried about his data plan
And how sick he really was
And I swear I wanted to go tell him ’cause I knew
Sometimes the weight of the world
The truth and the fiction
They get all heavy and jumbly
And I swear ya’ll I want to plug my ears and sing Mary Had A Little Lamb
But I’d miss the music
And the stories
The good ones, the true ones
And I swear ya’ll I don’t know what is more unethical
Listening and caring or not listening and not caring or listening and not caring
I have to go back to the library to return my books
I hope the girl who said she didn’t have any friends
Is there again
‘Cause I want to be her friend
But I don’t want to do a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle
‘Cause I don’t like that kind of puzzle

 

 

 

 

 

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Waiting On Perfection

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Waiting On Perfection

There is a fine brown line between the fig on the vine
Ripe and ready
And the fig on the tree
Still nursing at the breast of the mother-source
Hours away still
From table ready

I have stalked the tree
Begged the fruit
Pleaded and cajoled
For the sweet release of well-timed fruit

There is a dance of courtship
When waiting on perfection

My eagerness to slice the fig
Place it on a bed of young arugula
Covered, no smothered, in cotton white goat cheese
Clouds my epicurean judgement

All decision-making skills go out the window
And I
Hungry and in need
Eager, but unknowing
When to wait and when to go

Pick the time I believe is best

I would wait on perfection
If she and the tree would speak softly and lead me into the thick of the laden-branches with knowledge from the tree
Covered with pea-green youth
Whisper go or stay
Grant me the patience I do not have
Job-like and long-suffering, take pity
Gift me with Solomon-like wisdom of certainty
And precision

But I am growing older now
And I am content with imperfect figs
Deeming
Perfection grossly over-rated

For now,
I am content
Perfectly
With every shade of brown
(Partial though I must admit to Cow’s Ear Brown)
I have no use for perfect fruit
Or perfect
otherwise

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People. I have a free subscriber-only letter. I do hope you’ve signed up. Letter One was sent last week. Letter Two releasing Friday. I think you might want to try it. Spoiler alert…  I promise it is not perfect. Just filled with grace.

The link is here. It is super simple. See you there.

.Click here (A Quiet Place For Words)

Joining Laura Boggess

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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Both Sides Of My Mouth: Lamentations and Praise

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Both Sides Of My Mouth: Lamentations and Praise

Don’t call me duplicitous
Call me human
As I look to the Divine
Rent in two
Ripped and torn
Half here and half there
With a mouth full of lamentations and praise
I have pushed the cheek full of both
The tongue is muted in the mystery of the days
Hoarding the praise, as if it would leave me wanting
Malnourished because of its lack
In a diet
Heavy with lamenting

Heat and heavy hang in the air
It is summer and it is the South
But it is filled with grief and loss
So it is heavier and hotter and more burdensome this year
Rife with pain
Heat and heavy hang here
Suspended in the invisible netting of  time

But I have a place to hold on to both’s and and’s
Do not call me names
Filled with an unknowing
The Psalmists knows this place well
Where they dwell
Across the pages
One from the other
Lamentations and Praise

I will raise a hand to wipe a tear
And I will raise another to point to that which is worthy of praise

C0-inhabitants
Side by side
Prayers running over the cup
I am weak and can barely lift it to my
Two lips
One whispers grief
One praise

Lift the cup for me
And I will life the cup for you
I am drying tears
They mix with sweat on the brow of the mourners

We cannot turn the page, yet
We are called into a time of grief
Joy will come in the mourning