I Have a Question for You: Pursue the Art of Noticing – Peabiddies Podcast

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

In a few hours I will be heading off to begin the first leg of a journey—one that will take me to Our Lady of the Pines, a retreat center in Ohio. This lovely place will be home for me for four days as I attend Refine the Retreat. Last year when I attended, I hoped and prayed for an opportunity to return. And so I do. I’m headed into the pines for the second time as a retreat attendee.

I’ve been waiting for months for this opportunity to gather with 40 or so other artists, many of whom are writers. My hope is to carve out time for fellowship, rest, restoration, regeneration, and for filling back up the well of creativity by listening closely to God’s whispers and to seeking inspiration within the walls of this sacred place—as well as among the winding paths of the prayer labyrinths.

The retreat falls during the quieter more contemplative season of Lent. I’m grateful for what feels like perfect timing for carved out time and space, space set aside for sacred reflection. My hope is to seek respite and rest, paired with creative discussions on faith and art to equip me to come back to this space to offer refinement and renewal reflected in my own work with words.

Until next week.

peace and grace,

Elizabeth

Consider subscribing to Peabiddies Notebook: Pursue the Art of Noticing, my weekly subscriber only newsletter. Click here to sign up

(Click to listen to this episode of my podcast, Peabiddies: Pursue the Art of Noticing, Season Two – Episode 8) https://anchor.fm/elizabethwmarshall/episodes/Season-Two—Episode-8-e38plk

Advertisements

The Art of The Drifting Mind

wpid-img_20141028_161154.jpg

The Art Of The Drifting Mind

This is not a case “in defense of the drifting mind”

Or a thesis on “the art of the wandering mind”

Or a theory on “why we gaze”

I hear “mother you are staring”

No surprise, I have it down to a science

I check the boxes on the forms under hobbies and interests

Gazer, starer, dreamer, ponder, netter of poetry

Somewhere in the quiet spaces where the sunlight flickers and rocks

On branch and limb, limb and leaf,

Decidedly undecided whether to rest in the shadows or dance in the radiant puddles of light

The mind births an idea

And the idea becomes art

And the art becomes inspiration

And the inspiration becomes solace

And the solace becomes a balm

And the balm of the drifting mind

Can rest at peace

Her work is done

Until her glance meets the window pane

Through which she pours out

And breathes in

Again

Trinity

Math is not my friend
We buck heads over answers
That must be right or wrong
Gray does not exist in the minds of math-minded
There is a narrowing, whittling to the n’th degree
The theology of numbers
Has no room for interpretation
Or personal history
But I know this to be True
Three is holy
And three is my friend
But who is counting
The three children
One watched Count Dracula
With me, Sesame Street math
Serving numbers up with sugar coated ease
Three writers at a lit lunch
Time stands still
Math and science don’t believe it
Ask the poet writer how
She will find the words
And three amigos
Simple counting on one hand
Friends in triplicates
Warm and fuzzy
Math matters not at all
With matters of the heart
God knows the sacred
In the number three
This poem brought to you
By the number three
A braided cord too
Strong to break
Binds

On Writing

Today is Day 26. The collective is here

What is there about writing, recording thought, expression and dreams? Dropping your heart on the page, like The Bomb over Japan.

It feels like that sometimes. A writer knows that earth-shattering feeling when all gets dropped. Like raw egg on black hot asphalt, the words of the soul land and spill, drip, spread out.

And live or breathe or shrivel and die.

The words on the pages of the journal, the book, the back-lit page, the spiral-bound rule lined holders of the heart.

That pulls the writer in like a Hoover, cap off, intense sucking reeved up for maximum draw of dirt and dust.

That pulls and sucks the unsuspecting writer in, unable to rest or sleep until the deed is done.

Until the words land safely on the page. With seeming importance given them, as though they were the Mars Rover landing on red planet surface.

The investment large and looming. The safe arrival, of critical import.

The words, in need of a policy from Lloyds of London, assuring they are placed and put, carefully so carefully in their proper place.

Gingerly, tenderly placed for optimum understanding. Like a gemologist shines the jewels, the writer hones the words.

And will not rest and cannot rest until the blood is poured, crimson red on page.

What is there in wrangling of the words. How placing them in the desired place, the writer cuts and pastes, slices, dices, arranges the puzzle pieces, carefully to make the pieces fit. Finds her peace and makes her peace, wrestled words lay flat out on the mat.

Squinting the eye and nodding the head, tilting and turning and reading the phrases, turning them over in the mind’s eye. Adjusting the lens and re-reading the phrasing.

Searching for meaning, looking for clues. Seeking something. Framing the words, wrapping them up. Giving the gift of the heart. The soul.

Leaving nothing, giving it all. A story, a poem, a narrative. Art.

The one which makes the picture. Makes the point.

The one that states the case or paints the dream, in words, all black and white.

Preparing the words for Fancy Dress Ball, tuxedoed black tied words. Dressed and ready, ready for a gala telling, celebrants of all life’s worthy hurly burly wonders. The words shout, trumpeters of praise.

Dressed up, sent out, dust brushed off, rolled lint brush dances up and down, catching all imperfections, of the words, your soul. They arrive decked out beauties on the page.

What is there in the picking up the pen and writing down the day, the life, that feels for all the world like giving birth. Like dropping hope, pregnant possibility on pages virgin white.

What makes the writer want to make her point, write her art, translate emotion make it fit in a line and on a page?

Pure and white, brittle, fragile. Words.

Isn’t paint a safer way to tell and show? Brush strokes color vibrant swoosh and swish. They make a sumptuous painting suitable for framing, galleries and museums are built to house the work of painters. Guilt gold frames grabbing glory, proving worthy artist’s work.

Why does spilling on the page, words, the one dimensional wonders that they are, bring joy and indescribable release?

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed

.

–Ernest Hemmingway

It is the need to use the voice. A hunger to taste it formed. To see if birthed. To feel it fly. To smell it baking, all senses swimming, juices stirring.

It is desire to tell of life, the way that only she can tell.

A contented release, as blowing out candles on the cake. A calm comes after holding in, the breath puffed cheeks, skin turned blue in the holding tank.

The air escapes, and new comes in, the intake and release.

A rhythmic ebb and flow of living and recording.

A form of rebirth.

Life is new, life is recorded.

The chapters told and stored.

And the words flow like life-blood through the writer’s veins. The pulse, the beat, the vibrant crimson river.

The writer’s life of words.

In the beginning was The Word.

And in the living is the word.