#Write31Days2014 – Postcards From Me

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Yall I am so excited.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a little while don’t hear me “talk” very often. Usually it is all poetry up in here.

But I just got so incredibly pumped up thinking about this writing challenge that begins tomorrow that I had to give you a little recap. I wonder if I will lose readers with this 31day thing. It is a lot of words, isn’t it, flowing off the page.

As a writer it is challenging, exhilarating and intimidating. But I enjoyed participating in The Nester’s challenge the last two years that I decided to dive in again.

I am joining a huge group of writers who are joining on of my favorite bloggers, The Nester, for her annual  October writing challenge. If you visit the link up of writers, we are all categorized by topic. You can find me in “Too Awesome To Categorize.” How wonderful is that. Ya’ll I think this is going to be fantastic. I truly hope you can find me over there. But this is where my words will be. So just come back to the mother ship. I plan to write about five times a week. Maybe more. Maybe less. How is that for precise.

Here are the links to the 2012 and 2013 challenges. Do you remember way back when.

31 Days of Wonderful Words – 2012

31 days of wonderful words

31 Days of Noticing – 2013

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And this year’s series is entitled, Postcards From Me (#write31days2014).

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So here is a little bit of the “back story”. I am a big back story girl. I love to know the history of things or how they came to be. I do think this may be a little risky, naming this series Postcards From Me, ummm BORING. Who sends postcards anymore, ummm “old school”. But I am not aiming for boring. I am aiming for excellence. Originality. Whimsy. Art. And to give you all something extra-ordinary.

This is my first year with a pseudo-empty nest. (Long story, tell you more later.) And I have been changing it up a bit. I am getting out and traveling “close to home” and enjoying paying attention to the world, its beauty, and always searching for the poetry.

Though I am not traveling to Europe or to Greece or to Patagonia, I hope that my postcards will reflect ordinary snapshots of life. Honing in on beauty. Highlighting the poetry. And giving us all a chance to remember and focus on simple beauty and simple joy.

I don’t go far. There are no airplanes involved. But I am trying to savor the small, the beautiful, the delightful and the lovely. And send them out for others to see too. In poetry, prose and sometimes in a mix of photography and words..

Join me. I believe it will be an exciting adventure. Don’t worry if you can’t read every day. I might not be able to keep up and write every day. And if you have to unsubscribe because it gets too “noisy” oh I will truly miss you. And I hope you don’t. But there is always grace.

On the other hand if you like what you read and see would you consider sharing my art, my words, with a friend. That is always a super lovely accolade for a writer. It is wonderful to see my words flying around and landing places outside of this blog. I pray that they will bless, inspire, encourage and bring joy and whimsy.

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I am still trying to decide whether to change my series logo every few days or to just select one.

You are seeing me work out the final details. Hope you don’t mind. Here’s another possible button. This is fun. I have some decisions to make before tomorrow, don’t I.
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Have I forgotten anything. Did I mention I hope you will join me. I want to make it easy for you to follow along. If you have questions or suggestions or comments  feel free to leave one. If you will look up to the header of my blog, where the pages are listed, I have added a new page for this series. #write31Days2014. The series will be updated daily and readable by going to this one page.

Thank you for choosing to visit and thank you for choosing to subscribe. If you aren’t following along on twitter I am @graceappears there. I would be honored to have you “like” my facebook page. There is a place to do that in the right sidebar.

See you tomorrow and every day in October. Well, almost everyday. I am planning on bending my own rules and writing perhaps five times a week. This is an adventure and I am just sort of “going for it.” Not terribly poetic, but honest.

Warmly and with grace,

Elizabeth
logo-writer

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Noticing Through The Eyes of A Poet

Today is Day 15.

And today my words are taking a mini Sabbath rest here, mid-way through the series. (Yes, I know, it is  a Wednesday). But you are in for a treat. Listen to the words of one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver.  Mary amazes me and inspires me. She feeds my poetic longings with her gentle lines of noticing. And  she sees God’s world, His hand, His creation through a wonderfully unique poetic lens.

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Day 15

Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

When it’s over, I want to say:  All my life I was a bride married to amazement.

—Mary Oliver

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To read the previous posts in this series, click here for a complete list of all days in “The Art Of Noticing – A 31 Day Series” . I am joining the Nester at her place where she is hosting over 1,000 writers/bloggers.

If you would like to follow along daily, subscribe at the top or the bottom of this home page.  I am on twitter and facebook if you’d like to follow along there. The journey is more fun with other noticers.

Now, ready, set, go notice. ( And I will be back tomorrow, rested and ready, with more poetry)

One Day

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Today is Day 12 and 13. I hope you don’t mind. I am compressing time, two days into one. As I think about the days behind. And dream about the ones to come. This is quite a journey we are on.

Thank you for being on the 31 Days of Noticing Journey with me. You are a gift.
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One Day

At one  o’clock I looked up and asked the world to stop
As if I were the only one
Who’d ever tried to stop a day
Or seasons of a life
As they go racing quickly by
Quite a selfish soul am I
Who wants to take control
Of rates of speed by which they go

One day at one o’clock I looked up and asked the world to stop
It had been my deep desire
To freeze the quickly passing hours
For me the moments had become nothing but
A dizzy blur
I do not need to tell you here
That I did not succeed, I’ll make that clear

One day at one o’clock I made peace and let the world go on
And chose instead to notice all
To go with it and not be left
Not stop the whirling, twirling spinning ball
As if I had that power at all

I will tell you once again
As plain as I know how
That there is such a  sweet release
In letting go
And giving in to Him
Who created, loves and holds
Mercifully
Every single minute, day and hour

Amen
And amen again
Time and time again

Lord give me grace
To passionately embrace
The one o’clocks and also the two o’clocks

If I were in charge of  time, the speed, the rate

We’d all be chronically
Chronologically backwards, sideways and
Running perpetually five minutes  late.

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( You may click here to read the previous posts in this series, The Art of Noticing)

And I Heard Be Still

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I heard you arrive. Your breathes, some rushed and hurried. Some slow and halting. You stepped across the threshold to this place. And when you came you brought yourself. As you are today. In this moment now. Let’s capture this day together. It must be an art, no science, this noticing. It must be practiced and possibly never perfected. But there is joy in the practice. Ready, set, go notice.

Aren’t we all archeologists digging in the soil of our very lives. Chipping through the rock and rubble looking, even longing for the shiny. The diamonds in the rough and rocky. Ah but there is beauty in the rusty patina places. The layers of living leave their beautiful marks. They paint strokes of story and telling, leaving whispers, shouts even of what has happened here. Don’t we long to know what lies just below the surface. The untold story. The unseen beauty, hidden art, waiting glory, buried treasures of extravagant grace.

We the curious seek a soul knowing. Early on we toddled around touched everything, put everything to our lips and in our mouths to answer the question what is it. Why do we slow down in our discovery. Halted by age, slowed by a deliriously jadded heart. Frozen by complacency. Settling for the whatever.

Seeing past the very surface, the cliches, the what is clearly showing brings joy and gratitude. I saw the spanish moss last night, dripping in all its grey glory, majestic like cashmere scarves thrown over the shoulders and limbs of the oaks. And I saw God’s creative wonder, His very intricate design. And I said yes to His world, anew again.

I was in the Presence of The Living God. In a world watermarked by the wispy strokes of His creative hand.

I am dancing in a place of quiet searching. I am looking with a hungry heart. I am slowing down to see and listening to the whisper of be still.

We prayed last night to the sound of crickets and cicadas. Our little village bible study. Our first night. Doors wide open. Fall sneaking in to still our frenzied hearts. We struggled with our calendars to make a schedule for our group. Oh the irony. We are studying simplicity and are calendars do not want to bend into the schedule of twelve weary travelers.

But the chorus of night’s choir calmed. And a  soliloquy of sudden singing soothed us while we prayed. And I heard be still.

Listen with me, see with me, in the middle of the messy living. Cry out with me, pray with me in the still of the fallen night. Look with me into the deep crevices of wonder. Find with me the lyrical and the lapping rhythms of the day. See with me past the surface, into the God places slightly hidden from view. Wonder with me at the treasure trove of buried beauty. Excavate the layered living. And mine the God Beauty of this day.

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Push it. Examine all things intensely and relentlessly.  — Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

(This is day three. Are you following daily. Let’s notice together. Visit me on facebook, on twitter, or subscribe to this journey. Click here to read all posts in this 31 day series. Did you notice I said how grateful I am to have you here. I am grateful you are here. Truly.)