Rippling waters and many moons …..

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Maybe it’s just the noisy crowd of this big wide earth –
this thought takes hold of me as I barrel into having a website built.
My first blog.  I stumble eager onto the web so that she can find me if she wants.
Maybe she feels the imposition of  eyes at the agency as deeply as I do;
I’m gonna stand up,  wave a sign,  and make some noise.
Clueless,  inspired,  and boistered by the strong winds that are often mistaken for courage,  I dive.

I have no camera and no agenda;  not sure what to do but I want to be real.
I’d been earlier asked by a gardening client if I would make some notecards to sell,
like the little bites of art that I sent out with each invoice.
Making and sending them out on the waves of my days has poufed fresh breath back into some
places grown thin and now an idea bubbles up like a song:
I’ll write a little something and show a picture of what I make
– I think it’s the most childlike thing I’ve ever done:)

I walked into this room looking for her and found you.
And my voice.  And my own way home.
This is pure gift and I know it.
I was jumping up and down so maybe she could see,
but in the way of serendipity,  God was dancing me back to me.

terminally hopeful

In the years to come I send her bites of art that I  feature in the images on my blog
with a tiny “Ripplespeak” sneaked in here and there,  like a secret code that will lead her to me
if she wants.
It’s why I don’t use my name.
I laugh at this now,  so deliciously silly and unnecessary,
but it empowered the joy that buoyed me.
She can find me if she’s looking and I take comfort in this as the years pass.
Five of them,  busy and full.
Always challenging,  often joyful,  but deeply painful,  too.
I reach and let go,  grieve and hold on,  riding the waves with my arms stretched mostly wide.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
March is always crazy-hard and it’s March again,  2014.
Edith calls just before her birthday and I hear sorrowful news in her voice.
“I’ve heard from Allison; she’s asked me to let you know that her mother has died.”
Her mother.   One of the most influential women in my life.
She has been this mythical tower of intimidating virtue to my 16 year old parts,
the one who bested me,
and I’m 35 years grateful and jealous and altogether curious of this woman.
Now she’s gone,  her memories and stories with her.
Years earlier I’d asked Edith if I could write her;  would she please forward a letter?
No,  I’d been told.
I respect.

Now she has died and I’m so sad for my girl.
For this family that I’ve long loved and longed to know,.
It is a strange and dizzying pain to long to comfort the child you bore
because she has lost her mother.

Keep writing,  Edith counsels;  it’s lifegiving, Allison says,
and I’ve only ever wanted to give her life and so I do,
careful to only offer,  invite,  welcome and accept –
resisting hard the urge at times to push or press or plead,
and this feeds my life,  too,  in a way I can’t even understand.
But I feel it like a cold wind blowing,
my place in the storm,
outside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Grief is a casserole best served warm and in good company.
Cold and unnamed,  it’s ugly business to swallow.

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“Was she strong enough to allow both of them to be themselves?
Bahama had instilled in her an honoring of promises,
but she could not keep her promises unless she was willing to allow Nik to be Nik,
not a projection of someone who could fill her empty spaces,
heal all her wounds.”
– Madeline L’Engle

Thanks for sharing this Summer series with me;  it’s a tall glass of water to have you along.
I needed to take a smaller bite this week;  my heart is wrestling this out as best I can.
I appreciate your patience.

A singing river runs through it…..

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I’m wrapping up a long and demanding growing season with Rivergreen,  our family business and livelihood,
and it’s been a bumpy go,  with me longing for change,  body and soul.
I’ve been wading out deep in swirling waters,  listening for the yes of what my heart is thumping,
and I’m answering a knocking and a nudge
to build something new,  not with soil and seed and stone,
but with the words I love to cobble and craft into copy and stories and song.

I’m happiest there in the river,  swept along and caught up in the flow,
choosing words like pebbles and sifting through rhythm
to paint pictures to share and to show.
It’s my growing joy to wordsmith for others,  giving voice to their own heart’s rustle and rhyme,
until their story is fleshed out and finding big air,
and they’re hearing their own vein of song.

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And I’m calling it Singing River,  like the sound of Muscle Shoals,
because I feel the life-blood in my spirit,
the ripples,   the current,  the pulse.

And I carry a tenderness for the people
who lived here first.
Before.
Somehow part of my heart beats on a drum for them,
for recompense,  for healing of the land,
for every way that a collective heart can be restored.
I want what I build and leave behind
to honor these,  and the River who runs through it all.

Opening for business soon:  The Singing River Wordshop.
Big dreams and baby steps:)

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“So this,  I believe,  is the central question upon which all creative living hinges:
Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
-Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Summer go softly….

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It’s good to be back here again,
to settle back into the gentle rhythm that I love
and let my swollen fingers walk soft across the keyboard
in the lingering way that I’ve missed.
I’ve felt homesick for the quiet of it all.

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It’s been a swirl of change and ache and beauty and stretch
and I’m grateful that we’re free to walk in whisper
when words feel unready to be said.
I like letting ripe happen.

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I haven’t many words today
but have a handful of fresh,  summery zines
that I’d love to give away.
If  you leave a comment,  I’ll plunk your name into the basket
and draw 5 or so next Sunday.
I want to share the bounty of my garden with you:)

“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky
But ’til that morning, there ain’t nothing can harm you,
with Daddy and Mammy standing by.”

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy
(Ella Fitzgerald)

What I’ve been grazing and grooving on……

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I’ve been squeezing the last drops of juice from January,
the one month each year that sometimes feels like vacation
because our gardening business settles down for a long winter’s nap
and I can throw myself more into projects I’ve been saving for the big quiet
but this year has been cheeky,  as the sap is already rising,
and so I’ve been hours in the trees,   pruning,
and I’m sore from the hard and cold and a stiff sort of sleepy.

My blogging process looks a lot,  in my mind,   like gardening and cooking;
I tend what’s growing in my heart,  writing down snippets and making bites of art
and then gather the bits into bouquets
or cobble into soup or salsa or pie
to serve up fresh and in season here every week
(a small lyrical café,  I imagine:))

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but I’m a wintery sort of tired this week up here pruning away
(and I skipped a week already,  didn’t I)
so I’m going to serve them straight up,  the munchies I’ve been grazing on,
the clippings of what I’ve been loving (like turnip greens and their sweet baby roots).
Feel free to snack on the whoosh and whisper of it all:

 ~ There’s  fierce beauty in spending less than we make.

~Urgency is rarely true,  and is always a lie when it’s compulsive.

~ We are –  all of us  –  lovely to God
(don’t let shame hiss at you otherwise)

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 ~  “Hope is a conclusion we stay in
as we hope our way through hopeless circumstances.”
-Robin MacMillan

~There is something profoundly and deeply right with each of us.

~it takes me back home to the healer of my heart,  whispering in the cold,  brave sunshine
how Love walked right into this thumping ache of mine,  went tenderly to the room
where I feel broken,  and moved in bearing balm and comfort and courage
and “where does it hurt?”
and when the wind outside was howling chaos,
became the greenhouse where my fiercest flowers grow.

~ “…the air a library and the record of every life lived,  every sentence spoken,
every word transmitted still reverberating in it.”
-Anthony Doerr’s  All the Light We Cannot See
(potent read and a terrible beauty)

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 I'll soon be down from the trees and back in my heart's kitchen,
 stirring up something hopeful yummy to serve
  but didn't want to go silent so long so here is my little offering.
Much love and light and lift to your astonishingly beautiful heart - xoxox
(little drawing to give away a copy of my February issue zine,  Ripplesongs;
 leave a comment
 and your name goes in the fuzzy hat)

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