doodling dresses….

When I was a little girl I spent hours doodling dresses.
I imagined their whispery feel,
soft and sweeping
in buttery cotton and linen,
lightly brushing  skin,
stepping  light and roomy,
bare legs and breath free
to flow and float and flutter,
in crisp simple lines of glad color
with me inside,

Now I’m a woman grown and turning fifty
and I’m tired of trudging in trousers,
burden bearing down heavy on this frame
I once dreamed draped in dresses.

I want my heart to wear dresses again,
to feel the tug and twirl of breeze
swing me round light
with billowy lift  and swirl.

Oh sure,  I want to kneel down and dig,
to climb high and sculpt,
to plant and build and heft the load
….I love the feel of work when it matters,
but not until my knees groan hard with gristle and ache,
my heart pounds heavy from airless effort,
and graceless strain
like  apples left to rot in the yard.

I don’t want my heart to wear pants
to feel binding rigid heaviness
pressing tight on skin.
I want to remember,
please ,  my soul,  remember
the way of soft cotton dresses
and go there,
beat and breathe from that place

My word for the year…..a picture  for my heart:  dresses

Sending love and bright hope for beautiful beginnings
to each of you!


  1. rachel awes on December 29, 2011 at 8:52 am

    oh jennifer.
    this is my favorite word for the year
    i have ever seen.
    i TOTALLY get it.
    dearheart, swirl away. with ease.
    being yourself.
    you’ve known this your whole life.
    (melt) love, xox happy new year xox

  2. Nancy on December 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Girlfriend, I have missed your words of wisdom spoken from your heart…..I love this post and I love the way you express the desires of your heart….desires you have known since you were a little girl…..

    I also love your new profile picture….It so details the words of your post today….

    I hope your new year is full of beautiful dresses for your heart…..

    Love ya,

  3. S. Etole on December 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    May your heart dance free in the soft folds
    of those colorful dresses
    twirling in joy and release

  4. Connie Smiley on December 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Jennifer, you’ve set my heart floating free in bright swaths of cotton. Love this dreamy poem and your bright pansy. Blessings to you in the new year!

  5. Barbara on December 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    May your new year be draped in swirly dresses…

    I love wearing dresses but I’ll always be a jeans girl… but I believe this is one of my favorite posts of yours! And that first photo took my breath away. Love that painting! Hope 2012 is full of blessings (and dresses!) for you!

  6. missing moments on December 29, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    such a wonderful word and may you twirl and twirl and twirl in your new year! I’ve enjoyed my year with you and wishing you the best of what the new year will bring!

  7. sharon leaf on December 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Hurray for dresses!

  8. Michele on December 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I see you wearing dresses now and smiling warming at all those who cross your path. I’m right there with you in my dress too:)

  9. Marcie on December 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

    What a beautiful ‘word’..a one that evokes so many many hopes and wishes and feminine dreams. Here’s to a new year filed with creativity and light..and lots of new and colorful dresses!!!
    To you and yours – all the best!

  10. suz on December 30, 2011 at 7:42 am

    This happenend to me at 55….I just turned 61….yeah, I’m old)
    anyway, it happenned to me this wanting to feel pretty again in a dress
    and all that goes with it….great shoes (red) jingling belts…earrings
    yep it happened one day….and it never left
    just as you describd it……twirl on girl

  11. LLouise G on December 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Oh Jennifer,

    Within the heart
    of a little girl
    the woman beats
    her feet
    rainbow colours whirling
    spinning a tapestry
    of magic and mystery

    You are the magic and the mystery and the wonder
    of that little girl

    Fabulous word

  12. Bren on December 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

    and they said life would slow down and get easier in our 50’s. I do hope you find a way to ease up on that tired body and sagging spirit and when you do, be sure to tell us all how!

  13. leslie on December 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

    what a sweet analogy of walking, of dancing, in freedom…

    thank you for the encouragement i find through your words and images… may you also know bright blessings in the new year.

  14. Kathy on December 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    It HAS been quite a while since I wore a dress just BECAUSE…hmmmm. I don’t even know why that is. What a wnderful word for 2012 and the way you want to feel, Jennifer! I do get it. I love it. Kath

  15. ELK on December 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I LOVE dresses!! What a fabulous word …it will be light and airy year , I just know happy to celebrate each day with you here are a poetic soul

  16. Mom on December 31, 2011 at 6:31 am

    How ’bout we go shopping on your birthday for a beautiful dress??? Love this post!

  17. mary on December 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

    “to flow and float and flutter,
    in crisp simple lines of glad color
    with me inside,


    simply beautiful.

    wishing you a new year filled with joy! xoxo

  18. lynn on December 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Jenn, you’re words paint such incredible pictures of emotions and, in this case actual clothing restraining and giving resentfully… I think part of my dreams for this year will be dresses also.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to a most remarkable wordsmith!!!

  19. jeanie on December 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    You have a word! A lovely, evocative word! I finally figured out one, too, which I’ll post on tomorrow. Here’s to dresses for you in 2012! Happy New Year!

  20. Julia Of Petals and Wool on December 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Jennifer, I can picture you wearing a beautiful dressed as fair as the pansy you so lovingly posted. I can picture the gentle breeze playing waves of delights in the cotton, draping ever so timidly against your feminine curves, making you feel just right. I want to thank you for always leaving a breath of freshness on my blog. I wish you a peace filled new year and delights at every step of your journey. Hugs, Julia

  21. Anita on December 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Dresses are my favorite thing, dear Jen!

    I just love the way that you’ve painted them with your words; you’ve captured their essence completely. I never mind donning my pants to do the hard work of life, but not for so long that I forget how it feels to twirl in a dress.

    In the words of Diane von Furstenberg “Feel like a woman; wear a dress!”

    xo, Anita

  22. beth on January 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

    sometimes i wish i lived in the south….as that seems to be the dresses are.
    here, i never where them. ever. maybe a skirt, but not a dress.
    here’s to a beautiful dress filled 2012…..happy new year !

  23. eydie on January 1, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I love the comment your mom made.
    How simple … Go shopping and buy a new dress on your birthday.

    And, may you twirl and spin with delight
    as your dress fills the space around you.

    “soft and sweeping
    in buttery cotton and linen,
    lightly brushing skin”

    I see you so light and free.

    Wishing you a beautiful New Year, my friend.

  24. Barb Koob on January 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Oooooo…… dreaming of being draped in dresses, and doodling too. I love it! What a beautiful word for your life’s desire. That’s you all over – and I love it! Your words, your pics, your art – it’s soft and sweeping, twirling and spinning with delight! I love you girlfriend. Wishing you a wonderful 2012!

  25. Gwen Lilly on January 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Reminds me of these verses…….<3 Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything He does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. {MESSAGE}Ephesians 5:24-26 Your words are so love-ly:) Thank you!~~Gwen Lilly

  26. Mary on January 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

    On I see more and more freedom in you my friend…I love this word of yours…what a beautiful word picture of release…more freedom for dancing…arms raised high…lightness…

    Don’t you love this growing into freedom!!!!


  27. Kel on January 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    serious case of word envy here :p

    in the midst of a heatwave here
    dresses seem most comfortable and practical
    light, floaty, cool

    may it be so for you
    as you swirl and twirl through the year with your dresses

  28. kathryn on January 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    really lovely!!! And I know exactly what you mean…as i just turned 50 too!

    love your word…so unique…hope it inspires you all year long!!! happy new year!!

  29. Anyes - Far Away in the Sunshine on January 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    A year filled with twirling dresses is my wish for you Jennifer, and you dancing in them like the beautiful soul you are 🙂

  30. Poetic chronicles on January 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Oh my, but you ARE a little girl in swirling and turning and dancing dresses, Jennifer! 🙂 All I can wish you is to pick new awesome colourful fabrics that will suit the new awesome colourful year that’s going to unfold!

  31. Brandy on January 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I want to be
    like you
    when I grow up.

    I pray my heart remains
    to swish and swirl and embrace
    this big, beautiful world.

  32. Lee Ann G. on January 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Oh Jen, I Love how you think and your unique ways! …”dresses”…..what a wonderful word and word picture you’ve chosen for your soul to live out. Whenever I get stumped, I just need to come by and see you here, because you help me to creatively think in a deeper and different way. You make us better, you know that friend?

    I think my life has finally slowed back down and I hope to stop by more often again and post on my own blog more here in 2012. I have missed you!♥

    Lee Ann

  33. Emma on January 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Jennifer, this is breath-taking. I have always had a love/hate thing with dresses in physical life. For me, I think I equate them with limits (growing up where I did, they kind of are). I literally remember throwing a ginormous fit when I was five because my mom made me wear a dress and it didn’t cover my knees like I wanted. But, the way you describe your heart wearing the dresses you drew as a child- light, billowy, beautiful- that’s the way I want to feel inside. And maybe even outside, too.

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