peace in the pieces….

Gaps and holes and disconnects,
unsurfed boards and unswung bats,
undanced proms and unmade calls,
unraveled plans and unheard songs,
unwritten stories and unread signs
unreceived messages and unsipped wine,
unanswered prayers and unrealized dreams
my soul puzzles over pieces
unfit and unseen.

still repairs to make and spaces to fill,
ugly scars that I want to conceal,
unrestored relationships and unhit marks
more effort to give and more work
to try harder…….

the timer buzzes
the earth lurches and turns
jostling and jolting the puzzle of our lives
– —-pieces
no—-no—–no—–not yet
I still need to FIX this.

My soul jumps to quickly grab the pieces,
shaky hands darting to replace and smooth them
to fit the dream inside my head.
My eyes grow tired with the strain.

Oh God,  this feels so contrived.
I can’t photoshop this.
What do I do with this snaggletooth puzzle

From my heart I see a wooden box
etched with our faces,  flowers,  feathers,  stones and shells,
a fitting frame for this passing season of our lives,
all of us together
growing and stretching and becoming
in all of it’s messy beauty.

I gingerly scoop  the bobbled bits
with the crook of my arm
and brush them gently inside,
tenderly pressing down the lid
with a kiss
for what it was.

It’s okay,  my soul.
Even with the broken and missing bits,
it was good
…,  so good.
I honor this.

Cucumber freshness rests over the eyes of my heart
as I place the memorial on the mantle of my life
and light a candle in the dusk of the setting season
and open wide to the new,
to the now,
to the next step to be taken.

“Some hang on to used to be
live their lives looking behind.
All we have is here and now
All our lives out there to find.
The road is long;  there are mountains in our way
but we climb a step everyday.”
(Joe Cocker)
(played at our wedding 28 years ago this week….28 years one step at a time)

(big tender thanks for all of the loving kindness you left on my blog’s last post;  I was unable to respond at the time
but want you to know that my heart felt the balm of your gentle words
and felt so, so much less alone in my sadness.
Thanks for the comfort of your presence;
I appreciate each of you deeply.)


  1. Kathy on August 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

    You are oh so good and good enough. It is a hard thing in life to remember, or to know, that we are perfect even in our imperfections. We are human….perhaps that’s where the difficulty arises! Love to you, Jennifer. Kathy

  2. Louise G on August 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Jennifer, your words shine, like your photos ring, with truth and honesty and joy and sorrow and life and love.

    We are all, all of this and so much more — perfectly perfect in all our human imperfections.


  3. kamana on August 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

    you have a new blog, yay! beautiful photos to illustrate your always so heartflet words. imperfections and pain are hard to deal with, sometimes seemingly impossible – but we get through in the end, dont we? sending you hugs my friend.

  4. Anita on August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

    While we honor the past and look toward the future with an open heart, we must always do our very best to live fully in the moment.
    28 years together is amazing, and to be celebrated! Yay!! And here’s to 28 more!
    xo, Anita

  5. S. Etole on August 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

    You end with the promise of covenant … the promise that keeps us one step at a time.

  6. beth on August 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    so many emotions…….written beautifully….

  7. Eydie on August 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm


    Your words mesmerize me.

    As I read, I want to know more, to dig even deeper with you, to feel the pain, and to eventually heal our wounds.

    Your words and pictures always touch me so deeply.


  8. kathryn on August 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    that rainbow photograph is amazing!! and love the Joe Cocker song line…really lovely!!

  9. Cheri Wollenberg on August 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Jennifer, it is so good to find your new place. I haven’t been visiting lately. I’ve kept grandkids and my husband and I are starting a new phase in life. We will be moving to a farm as he retires from his work. We will be entering other work of course. I am grateful that no matter where I move, I’ll have a chance to keep up with you, to read your words….beautiful. Your post reminds me today that everything will be “un”finished until it is finished! Thank you for blessing my heart everytime I visit. It is so wonderful to know that laughter, love, living, and loss are all a part of our liturgy in life until something higher is gifted to us. Smilingly and lovingly, Cheri.

  10. Connie Smiley on August 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for letting us into your life with your beautiful poetry, beautifully illustrated. And thank God for grace.

  11. rachel awes on August 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    how i love such cucumber now! can my heart scooch in beside yours
    & share a few slices? & hold hands too?! i’m right here, friend.

  12. jeanie on August 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Oh, Jennifer! Such gorgeous photos, such wonderful shells. I love the broken ones — it means they are rough survivors who have made it to the shore despite the turbulence.

    Thanks for your visits. I think I’m slipping back into blogland and I’m so happy to be here.

  13. Anyes - Far Away in the Sunshine on August 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for letting your words take me into your world. First time here and I want to say I hope this new place you write of will be giving you the peace your soul is asking for. Blessings to you and yours 🙂

  14. missing moments on August 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    love your poetry and images … congrats on your anniversary this week! Celebrate!
    Thanks for dropping by and I’m enjoying this place as well! You have a new follower!

  15. JBR on August 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Jen, you bring so much to people. You have no idea how God has blessed you. Thank you for who you are. Love the pictures. The richness of the color. That butterfly. Blessings.

  16. Lee Ann on August 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    You know what Jen? I would much rather get to know and hang out with those whose lives have not been perfect. They are just more real and dear and so much more understanding and lovely beings. Really I haven’t met anyone yet who has it all together. Some think they do, but sooner or later they will have to become real by loving their own imperfections. I have so many of my own imperfections, and if anylize over them too long, and too often without giving my self some grace (like that my heavenly Father gives me so freely), then I would never come out of my room. You are such a GIFT to this world Jen, every bit of Y♥U… imperfections and all. That is what makes you so lovable!!

    Oh and Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby!

    Big Hugs!
    Lee Ann

  17. Michele Bergh on August 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    So beautiful! Every time I read something you’ve written, I feel this incredible sense of peace. And the photography is just incredible!

  18. Bren on August 18, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Once again you blow me away with your words, add this to that growing manuscript. I am also captivated by your photos, such wonderful images. Always I find myself in your expressive self. Thanks Jen for showing the many sides of life.

  19. Lynne Fairchild on August 18, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Hi Jen,
    Your site is stunning. I’m mesmerized by the combination of your gardens, your photography, and your poetry. What a gift to the world you are.
    Many blessings,

  20. Brandy on August 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Jennier, Oh! So beautiful. I just love your poetic way. Thank you for sharing your gifts. They soothe my soul.

  21. Christina on August 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

    oh you have taken my breath away… and i love it.
    hello my friend.

  22. Kel on August 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    your words paint such imagery that almost renders photos uneccessary 🙂

  23. Mary on August 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    You speak with such clarity and love. I can’t help but think of your kids turning 50 like us, and having this diary of Mama to treasure as they grow older. What a gift.

  24. Marcie on August 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Your words are so honest real and evocative. And – beautiful images to go with.

  25. Barbara on August 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I love the poetry and raw emotion in your words – I just headed back to your last post (I’m so far behind these days!) and that helped me understand a bit. Sending hugs and will be sending up prayers for protection and safekeeping and peace!

  26. Sandra L. on August 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Wow–You have a real turtle shell! Well, I have a real turtle! His name is Catherwood and I think he is as old as I am. We’ve had him since 1989. Where did you find your shell?

    I have a lot of seashells, too. My mother visits Florida a lot and used to bring them home year after year. I think it is so cool that someone actually lived in them once.

    Your writing is so beautiful, Jennifer. I wish I could write like you do but I am not much of a poet.

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