The free we’re born to be……

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She was born to fly,
but her bright wings got snatched,
used to patch broken things.
So she crumples up small,
sliding down under the coming up short,
pushed like putty into despairing places
so the holes in their souls don’t show.

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But even though it may stop the squeak and shudder when she flattens out low,
her life was never meant to be a wedge beneath shaky table legs.

So she drops down deep to the song beyond their reach
and lets it sing her brave heart free,
to find a truer way and never spend another day
feeling homesick for the me she’s born to be.

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“We just get the one life,  you know.  Just one.
You can’t live someone else’s or think it’s more important just because it’s more dramatic.
What happens matters.”
-from Ghost Town

This is a snippet from my August zine,  Ripplesongs.
It’s a re-write I cobbled together for us all,
but most especially for the hidden ones who’ve been stolen away,
trafficked.
I’ll be drawing a name from the comments this week and sending out a copy to you
and a bundle,  in your honor,  to the brave girls recovering in safe places in my city.
A howl,  a prayer,
in defiance of despair.

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Windows and walls…..

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I want my life to be an open window
like the Irregardless of my childhood,
an artisan eatery in my hometown that became a sort of soul tattoo
and warmed my spirit like a cold frame
until my roots could grapple into roomier ground.

Wintertime sunshine poured through tall,  rough hewn windows
lined with green and growing things spilling from cracked pots with mottled glazes;
the raw beauty of their imperfection sang me open,
a fresh and fragrant living painting that infused my hope
and marked me.

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The food was poetry…….farmer’s market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at the vibe and variety
as if watching new colors being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.

I’d slide away from my table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
to let my soul marinate in the sanctuary
of that tiny room I loved,
because every morsel of wall was splashed with a mural
so bold and daring and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud in it’s ebullience,
someone’s heart poured out on walls;
and it made the rest of the world seem dredged in flour and fried up gray.

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But here,  gardens blossomed and spilled,  unconstricted,
down cinderblock and mortar
and became grafted into my sense of possibility.
I wanted this.
I want it still.

And sometimes now,  when life slaps me silly and I startle,
curling up tight for control,
I can unfurl again into that herby,  loamy smelling place of freedom
that got inside me then and something wildly fearless
gently stretches where my vision’s getting pinched
until it begins to reach out again beyond lines
that seem to be closing in
and I rethink walls.

They are just walls.

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“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
-Emily Dickenson

 This is a re-write,  served up fresh again with some new ingredients,
because I needed to go there again.  Hope you enjoy:)
And I’ll be sending a copy of my little zine,  Ripplesongs,  to Donna Hopkins;
thanks for all the wonderful comments I got to plop into the hat!

got to be free….

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To be free…..this is the thing,
top of my list……even love needs freedom
to thrive,
freedom to grow my own garden,
learn from my own mistakes,
choose my own path,
decide in my own heart how I worship, build a family,
make a life and a living,
to say my own strong “no’s” and grin my very own yeses,

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to write and sing and paint and dance
and pickle and pour and pray and chance
and to choose my own pace about it,
not taking on hurry or rush or shove or push,
not swallowing one drop of ridicule because of my gimpy places,
but to bask in the light beautiful along the way,
all along the way,

because I’m free to choose,
to relax into the timing of Love
and take joy in this journey
that is mine.

Really,  don’t let the beauty of this life get away from you.

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Lifting my heart to toast every drop of freedom
we are born for.

“Don’t shrink.
Don’t puff up.
Just stand your sacred ground.”
-Brene’ Brown

(and,  hey,  I really want to write you back when you leave comments.  I don’t get e-mails anymore,
since my blog changed a bit,  so I’m gonna try writing a reply right at the end of each comment.
Never done that before.  Not sure if you’ll ever get them….just wanting to stay connected.)

52 candles….

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It’s my birthday this week and I’m plunking
52 fresh candles in my lemon blueberry cheesecake,
deep down ridiculously glad to be alive in 52 (new)
glad and grateful ways:

~for fresh skies and new trails to hike,
~the soul sweetness of being with safe people,
~the resistance that enables us to fly,
~the grace to listen slow,
~wiggle room….the beauty of spaciousness,
~creating art for the simple joy of it,  and
~clean libraries,

~for our fascinating weaknesses and imperfections
~good coaches and coaching,
~for healthy intimacy….the real stuff that isn’t illusion,
~audio books when my hands are happily covered in paint,
~golden moments in the sun,  warm and wrapped in light.
~the large,  friendly quiet of the early morning,
~the sleepy sighs of dogs plopped and snuggled
at my feet,
~the hoo hoo hoooo of an owl in the woods,

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~when sometimes into life’s overwhelm come soft days,
thickset with grace,
~sea kayaks and coppertone air and  summertime dreaming,
~those times when you feel like a bird with a big song,
~the first flutters and tenderlings of Spring,
~the shepherd psalm,

~song lyrics and movie lines that make your heart leap,
~thank you’s….all the creative ways that appreciation
gets expressed,
~the beauty and honor of Native American culture
and each baby step toward restoration of these noble people,
~how “the Lord lives among pots and pans”  (Teresa of Avila)
~Melody Beattie and Brene Brown and their brilliance shared,
~ poetry and prayer,

~for the cool breeze of friends who are shade in the swelter
and help to stir my dreams vivid and shining,
~the simple beauty of spending less than I make,
~the poignant power of well chosen words,
~every laugh that shakes my children’s bellies,
~that we are not our pain,  not our problems,
and there are exciting,  interesting things in store for us
and  we get to  cooperate with the universe by taking good,
tender loving care with ourselves,

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~the big heart-massage and brain de-clutter of morning pages,
~hot steamy baths,
~the whoosh of satisfaction when all the gardens tucked in for a long winter’s nap,
~cutting into a really juicy  lime,
~the beauty of timely support,
~the gorgeousness of vulnerability,
~the way the pain and loss of tragedy reminds me to love out loud,
to say it,  write it,  grow it,  guard it,  live it,  show it
and dance all over the fear that I’ll be rejected or look a fool
….I’d rather put my love out there than hide it away unexpressed,

~for the freedom to get hopping mad,
~the gift of solution,
~the joy of just turtling along,  free to mosey,
and also the thrill of zooming
and that we mostly get to choose,
~the sweetness of new season,  new rhythm,  new dance
with the same partner,
~the deliciousness of coming uncaged,
~for the gnarly,  stretchy stuff….that life without tension
goes shallow,

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~people who are generous with a smile,
~learning to forgive ourselves for what we didn’t know
before we learned it,
~for how much easier life gets when we accept the apologies
that we never got,
~sunny stone walls to lean against warm
when icy winds blow,
~after-storm clarity
~and the deep breath of relief when we let love come near
our unloved places
and get some healing done.

~for naps and sweet, sweet sleep when it comes
~and for another year to sing into the wind
that life is precious,  love is treasure,  time is currency
and it is pure gift
to be here now.

There they are…..the 52 new candles flickering in my heart this year.
I’m so grateful to be able to serve up a slice to you,  friend.
Love and thanks for coming around to help me celebrate.
You make my life richer than I can say.

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“I decided that the most subversive,  revolutionary thing I could do
was to show up for my life
and not be ashamed.”
-Anne Lamott

An unlikely gift….

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There is something new growing in my gratitude garden this year,
this odd fruit of  thanks for the  crisp,  clear gift of anger,
the way it tolls like a bell
when we need to stop and pay attention
to the sound our heart makes when it needs to be heard above the roar,

shaking and quaking that something feels false
and needs tweaking,
some line needs clearing,
some part of our voice needs hearing,
something fuzzy needs sorting
till it’s shiny and singing true.

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It’s a gift and a grace to get angry and I’ve left it often unwrapped,
trying to walk off the burn
instead of letting it whisper it’s wisdom
and lead me back to my dislocated parts,
to healing and gathering me whole again.
There’s this sweet,  wild smell about it all.
a freedom  for my heart kind of thing.

It’s joy to finally recognize something as gift
when you’ve spent too much of your life apologizing for it.

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“Bitterness is like cancer.  It eats the host.  But anger is like fire.  It burns it all clean.”
-Maya Angelou

I’ve been celebrating some of the sweetest gifts in my life
this month,
those of you who read and take the time to leave a comment
(pure joy to my heart,  those).
Each week I’m drawing a name from those who stop and say hello,
just a little giveaway….a happy surprise package,
a sort of love bomb:)
(This week I drew the name of beautiful and dear to my heart
Anne Camblin.)
I’ll be drawing another name on Saturday.