Grace for the green…..

Living miles below the cloud line
while my heart strums chords of blue,
and I cry sometimes over shadows I find
looking back at me through you

Yeah,  I’ve been writing sad songs:)
It’s what I do when my heart holds close a story that I can’t yet tell
because it’s muddy waters and timing is everything
and my love for one born to me while I was still too green
is stronger than my need to turn loose the stormy waters
from inside myself.


But I’m done being mad at the little girl green that I was,
the one who tore out her heart and tucked it into the soft white blanket that I bought at Belks
when they told me I could choose one gift.
One impossible gift to wrap her in,  with my heart stowed away inside.
I still remember how it burned like electricity the first time someone spit
“you gave your baby away?”

But the tears wouldn’t come.
Oh,  they came in floods for the wanting her.  For the missing her.
For the not being enough for her.
But I never cried it out, the pain of landing hard on the cold floor of judgment
as one who abandoned her child.
Those tears swelled in a tender place behind my ribs,  un-cried until now.


 At last they pour
because it came like a surgeon’s knife,  her words
crisp and clean,  and somehow Love has a hold on me
and I’m bleeding out the tears from a place scarred deep
and pouring on forgiveness to the girl I used to be.

I release her, too,  this other child,,
5 months pregnant,  scared and green,
caught up in a story way bigger than me
at the edge of seventeen.


~ I share this for all of us who carry grief over impossible choices.
No matter what we decided.
Because there’s a hefty sort of grace for it all

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process
is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”
-Brene’ Brown

I blog out my living and breathing,  sometimes messy, and it’s been swirling waters
and tear-stained keyboard for a few weeks and I’ve got to be true;
it’s just where I am.
Thank you for coming around and sharing the road even when it’s muddy.
~ ~~~~~~~~~
I do have an October zine to give away
Leave a comment and you’re in the drawing
with a heap of joy and love.

Compost, joy and gumption…..

My heart hurts.
And I don’t want to run from the pain or hide out in false places,
but I’m not going to sink down into the ache and go dull to the salt and sizzle of living,  either,
so I’m hurling clods scraped raw from the clay that I am
like bottle rockets exploding thanks,   setting fire to the night,
because there’s fierce medicine in the kind of joy that won’t sit down
and with perspective comes a healing tide.

And for the record,  I’m not gonna lie that I’m grateful for this heart-rip,
either,  ’cause I’m not.  Nope.  Not one bit.
But I’ll say this true,  from the bottom of my bruises,
that I’m grateful,  yes I am,  for this pile of shit dumped fresh
because I believe in compost
and I won’t waste this.


So let these punctures dig and poke and pull out plugs of my hard ground
until I’m soft and open and full up with air and sky and yes and fruit
and fresh and ripe and dreams growing thick on the vine.
Go ahead and fertilize me.
I’ll love life more for it.

And so,  dear life,   I’m gonna lean into the grace to square my shoulders,
hold still like a rock star,
and dare to let you love me back,
with a crazy kind of hope that won’t leave the dance floor.
And I won’t busy this pain on down but I’ll taste and listen
and let my lens be dipped in truth until I’m seeing clear
and knowing deep the Love that covers and keeps me here
because when I don’t trust your goodness
I don’t even see the light when it’s burning through my fear.

I’ll surrender everything but this joy.
That’s not ever gonna be on the table.


“But trading joy for less vulnerability is a deal with the devil.
And the devil never pays up.”
– Brene’ Brown


Timing and tangles…..

Words haven’t found me this week.
I tried to wrangle some into a few lines and they bolted and scattered
and worked themselves into tangles
like vines climbing corn in the field.

Didn’t feel ready or good to my heart,  the things I wanted to say.
Like the persimmons by the creek,
fleshing out but still too bitter.

So I’ll share these light bits of morning and glory
waiting for unforced rhythms of grace
Because I really like letting ripe happen.

And it’s beautiful when things open and unfold
in their own sweet time.

To everything –  turn,  turn,  turn
there is a season –  turn,  turn,  turn
and a time to every purpose under heaven.
-The Byrds

“To everything there is a season….”
-Ecclesiastes 3:1

I’m so glad to send a copy of my September issue of Ripplesongs
to Susan Etole,  whose own lovely spirit has lifted mine
for so many times and seasons.

September singing…..

Can I tell you something,  quiet,
because my voice is coming back from a very thin place,
like when I used to read books aloud all day at my children’s school
and could only croak raspy strings of words when the day was done.
But I want to croak it, even whispered,
that love is stronger than fear.

Because it’s September,  and talk of terror fills the streams we sometimes have to wade
and it reminds me afresh what pierced my heart that day so many years ago
when the buildings came down,
and I don’t want to take it for granted,
this voice that is mine
and the brief breath of days we are given.

Yeah,  it’s going quick,  this life
and sometimes things get swept away unexpected,  like a vapor,
and I don’t want to leave any of my love un-given.

For me, September raises her hands like the choir director I adored as a girl,
her fiery red hair wonderfully unkempt and long arms stretched out calling,
calling to each of our voices
“sing out”
as she tugged at the songs still sleeping inside us.
I now know why she pulled and stretched and wouldn’t accept the slumber we kept.
She knew  she was standing on sacred ground
that something real was unearthed by the rising of our sound.

I want to live it out louder,  the stuff I want left hanging in the air
if my body is suddenly torn away and my voice hushed,
to clear my throat and bellow out what my heart would grab on and fight, white knuckled,
to leave behind.


Weren’t they our voices that the terror came to silence?
To make our love grow cold?
So when we,  even trembling,  belt it out,
the song we carry inside,
we honor those who were taken,  and those left behind.

“Sing out,”  I can still hear her calling
and somewhere deep inside
I want to tilt back my head and bellow from my belly
that in every painful,  vulnerable place
I will love life more,
appreciate more,
pray and laugh and lift my voice more,
and take each breath I’m given
like it’s a golden ticket that I’ve won.


“Because hiding out, pretending,  and armoring up against vulnerability are killing us:
killing our spirits,  our hopes,  our potential,  our creativity,  our ability to lead,
our love,  our faith,  and our joy.”
-Brene’ Brown

  hey,  I want to send a copy of my September Ripplesongs to the winner
of a giveaway this week;  leave a comment and you’ll be in the drawing next Saturday!