Feels like growing young….

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I’m into something real,
that has my heart grinning surprised,
my world a little rocked
by this wild, brave,  fear-defying adventure
i’ve been wilding for my whole life long,
and didn’t have a clue,

so simple and subversive,
this business of forgiveness,
that frees me up  when I go there
instead of numbing or running (oh how often I do),
trusting instead Love to hold me while I feel,
and when it rushes me,  the hurt and anger,
I release a river of forgiveness
and the pain is swept away

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and even though I’m still on the ground where I sat down earlier,
hearing the birds still making their music
and a plane humming faraway in the sky overhead
as if nothing has changed,
somehow everything has

because I’ve come  uncontaminated,
heart gone light
where the knot burned hot before
and I feel soft like a child
waking up to the morning of all that is good.

Yeah,  it’s that good,  forgiveness,
and maybe I’m the last to know
that it is freedom,
this art,
this gift we give ourselves.

Kind of feels like growing young.

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I know you know.
But we forget,  don’t we,

because sometimes we carry the hurt too long
(‘cause it can feel good to nurse the anger)
and we forget how heavy
until it metastasizes

and we’re caught up in the symptoms
instead of pulling up the root.
I’ve been practicing it alot,  lately,  as if an art,
like a yoga practice,
and,  holy wow,  what a sweet difference it’s making.
Just had to sing about it some:)
Thanks for riding along.

I wish I could send each of you some handmade love;
thanks so much for your life-giving comments on last week’s post.
They’re dear to my heart.
My smiling son drew Bren’s name from the bag.
I’ll be sending some handmade goodness up to her in Canada
and if you get a chance to stop by her blog,
she’s a painterly artist with a beautiful soul.

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“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”
-T.D. Jakes
(from Let it Go)

sipping gentle medicine…

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Sometimes I wrestle  should I tone down the joy,
put a lid  on it because it might seem to disrespect
the pain that blanches another soul scraped on the thorns of living,
or heap on heavier the despair
or maybe just annoy like a fly
or a trite quip when someone is grieving.

I feel it too,  the ache,
my own life rocky with disappointment so sharp
that I hold it white-knuckled,  the word I chose
(my word for this year ~ anyway)
and it’s because of that heart-limp that I dig my heels in stubborn
and choose to joy all the more.

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I want to notice the flecks of softness shining in hard places
and drop quickly down,  cupping the dirt
and let it hold my gaze
until it strengthens what goes wobbly in me,
because joy is strong medicine
and when you hold her up to the light
she has the look of her mother,
courage,

and that’s why I search through the crowd for it,
make space for it,
circle it defiant,   protective,
as if it were a baby seal
stalked by men with clubs
intent on claiming it’s hide,

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because  I don’t want to let the harsh glare of living
force my eyes shut to the beauty
or steal away my joy;
it’s the gentle tug of healing balm that keeps this love alive.

I want to help grow your joy,  too,
so I’m having a giveaway this week,
some handmade joy-tending art
and handwritten love from me to you
Just leave a comment and you’re in to win.
i’ll draw a name next Easter Monday.  with joy:)

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“First,  I would like to write for you a poem
to be shouted into the teeth of a strong wind…”
-Carl Sandburg

bird in a skyfull of love….

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My heart is full of river and sky
and apple blossom and newborn green,
of leaves uncurling buttery soft
and smelling still not of this world
and it’s a fresh breeze I’m breathing
as the sun shines soft on the field of dreams I carry inside.

My business is busy and my foot is mending
but i’m protecting a chunk of time each day
to throw my love into a project that has my heart
sliding off my sleeve into handmade books I’m making for each of my kids
to give when birthdays blossom in June
and I’m feeling the passion of packing a care package
I want their hearts to carry for the rest of their days

with so much love I’m a bird in flight with a mighty soar
and coming awake and alive all the more
and it’s tilling up some fields of change
making art and cobbling together words for these.

It’s funny how high you can fly when you’re full up wildly in love.
It’s in the love,  isn’t it
…..love is the flying.

I’m scooping up the edges of my ragamuffin prayers
and wrapping them around you,  too,
that you’ll hear your name in the whispering light
and feel it inside that you matter so big,
you,  all beautiful with belonging,
a twinkle in the eyes of God,
a sight worth seeing,
a song worth singing,
a bird in a skyfull of love.

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“The only true currency in this bankrupt world
is what we share with someone else
when we’re uncool.”
-from Almost Famous

a gimpy sort of brilliance….

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I’ve been limping along slow,
gimpy with an ankle that veered hard right
while the rest of me crashed in a heap on top,
a blowout of sorts
and it’s been a swollen black and blue hobble for a few weeks since.

Seems my normal setting is a pretty fast gait,
because this slow going has felt crazy awkward;
“Embrace stillness,”  they said.
“Just stop and prop.”
It sounded so good,  so right.
So why I have not.

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I’ve cultivated a certain quiet in my heart,
often while moving quite fast,
but this business of not moving around at all
seems a different sort of challenge altogether
and if I’m being graded, I’m hoping to slide in under the tag
with a shameless D,  at best
(at the very least I’ve been growing my joy over some new moves,
a hurl and catch way of propelling myself around,
and I should likely be worried that this amuses me).

Does it ever astonish you,  too,  how much growth still to do?

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It’s been life,  real and messy,
bodacious with beauty and worth
and glorious  imperfection,
even with howling pain and broken wings.

And no matter the wobble,  we’re plunked right down in fields of hope
and given voice and an enormous capacity for grace
and it’s ours for wallowing in,
choice by choice,
this,  I think,  is brilliance enough.

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“Life has to be lived,
that’s all there is to it.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Teardrops in the wind…

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It was the March of 1979.
Breezes turned balmy
and I pulled off my shoes,
letting swollen feet tramp across warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby,
due on St. Patrick’s Day.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut
to the coming separation,
the word “relinquish” hanging heavy on my heart.

 But today the weather had turned
and hadn’t everything somehow changed?
Spring had come with her own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.

I spent the day sunsoaking,
watching the wind gently stir the tireswing
I’d played on not so long ago.

I was newly seventeen,
an “unwed mother”
with an unwanted chore:
to give my baby to someone she deserved.
Soon she would come apart from me,
gone before the leaves flushed out.
Their buds were fat and ready to pop….like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.

But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.

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 As the sun began to dip low,
a storm of pain rumbled
and hammered down urgency inside my belly
and grownup voices began
herding me into the night
and toward the hospital.
I wanted to crawl into bed and hide beneath the covers,
cradling the life inside me one last time.

 My body was betraying me,
forcing me into a cold,  sterile world
of tight lips and disapproving eyes.
As my frightened parents gathered my things,
I lunged back inside
for just one last moment alone
with the tiny life that had shaken my own with her gentle worth.

 I lowered my heavy frame onto the bed
and tried to sing a last lullaby
but could do only tears,
a fragile goodbye.

I followed strong contractions into the night,
returning home with only fierce memory
of her tiny fingers and face.
But I’m forever marked by her essence,
often swept away by her melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.

I recognize her song.

Thirty five  Springs.
I honor each of her days.
Today I tenderly comfort the girl-in-me who carried her
before she was transplanted into the garden
that nurtured her to thriving
and remember those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

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I know.  I post this each year.
I will until my heart feels it to stop.
Somehow I need to honor those days out loud
where anyone can read them,
to raise my voice for others who maybe never found their own.
Thank you for letting  me share.
Hold it gently,  please.