An unlikely symphony…..

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I’ve been unpacking a jar-full of goodness from the year gone by,
scraps of life scribbled down fast
and plunked in grateful
for sweet spots in swirling river time
as she swept along swift and sometimes surly

and I knew there’d be some drifting treasure to unwrap,
some awfully nice bits wedged into the rocks that scraped and pummeled
but I was swept up by the wholly different finished puzzle
of a year gone by
than the one I saw in the sting of hard and tumble.

Like a candid photograph that whispers grace
I see swells of love and aliveness
in moments that met me just exactly where I was willing to watch,
supply showing up in utter need and the simple beauty of working it out,
plenty of stuff springing up goodness in spite of myself;


 that this turned out yummy and that thing turned balmy
(and who’d have expected?)
how sometimes life’s surprises grow sweeter than they first seem
and delight can grow in odd and unexpected places,
all these bits of broken thanks shaken from my jar
craft together a picture of unshakable love and care,
an unlikely symphony

It feels like buried treasure,  these bits of recycled year
and I’d planned to toss them into the fire
but don’t want to now,
they’re not for burning,  these;
I want to compost them  into the soil of what I believe
and let these stories tell themselves awhile longer,
crooning their songs sweet and low
into my listening hope.

It’s crazy-hope I’m growing;
I can feel it gaining weight:)


blog purple
“Life is sacred art.”
-Gabrielle Roth

Congratulations to Susie Troccolo
of Life,  Change,  Compost
(where she hangs her beautiful hat)
on winning the drawing for my January issue zine,  Ripplesongs.
Love and cheers to you,  Susie:)



  1. Elephant's Child on January 5, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Loving your beautiful, poetic self. And hoping that your crazy hope becomes positively fat.

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:20 am

      positively fat:) with some serious muscle to it, also, me hopes:)
      love and thanks, friend,

  2. Julia on January 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Your life sure is a sacred art. Wow, that’s a lot of soul spread out through all those little pieces of papers. I always love reading your poetry. It’s like going through treasure chest found buried on a beach. Each piece a precious treasure.


    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:22 am

      Thank you, Julia; I love that:)
      Those bits and scraps I saved to collage are just about a third of the wow that flowed down the river this year; I was undone by the little glints and flecks of gold in what felt more like a mudslide:) So grateful. Just so grateful.
      Thanks for coming by,

  3. Michele Bergh on January 5, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Wow! This is so cool! What a great way to honor those special moments of 2014.

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:22 am

      So glad you dropped by, Michele;
      I love seeing your face:)

  4. susie troccolo on January 6, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Oh boy! I have won your January zine? I’m so happy for myself–he he. I don’t know what Ii did to deserve it. But I settle in with my coffee to read your poetry each time and each time know that you will carry me away. I wonder if my refrigerator and your art’s board have something in friendly common? Or do all creatives scatter papers and images like that? I think we do. Please come visit me at life-change-compost because I’m taking a Blogcation and when you read why, you can send me your love. (I’ll wait to feel it on a butterfly wing.)

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:24 am

      I love scraps and bits, don’t you.
      Something especially inviting about bites.
      I’m glad to send your package along today; your
      name just keeps popping up in my life:)

  5. jeanie on January 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    That’s amazing — so much goodness and beauty and joy and love in those bits of color! Yes, putting it back into the earth is a wonderful thing to do — although I’m not sure I could part with them! As always, your words lift my heart and brighten my soul!

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:24 am

      I won’t part with them until they’re a part of me, Jeanie:)
      And thanks so much for coming by with your bright heart!

  6. gotham girl on January 7, 2015 at 8:31 am

    This is by far my most favorite post of yours! Only you can sum up a year with such eloquence! Love the idea of composting them! Truly fab!

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

      Thanks for saying, you! I love the way you encourage
      with your camera and words and life….thank you:)

  7. Kimber Britner on January 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

    “Composting into the soil of what I believe.” Now there’s hope trumpeting its glorious song. I love that!

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for getting it, friend. For getting me:)
      I appreciate you so,

  8. Suzanne McRae on January 8, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Your stash of notes that are filled with aliveness and loveJennifer remind me of a hand-made quilt that keeps one warm and close to one’s heart. You have inspired me to start my own jar of notes and gratitude and to see what I can maybe piece together. xo

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Quilt squares….exactly! I love seeing it that way, Suzanne:)
      Thanks for stopping by to encourage,

  9. Susan on January 8, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I love how you’ve shared the stories of your year and love how your heart sings with the surprises & joy you found.

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks Susan; I love how the stories keep telling themselves
      and that we get to listen and wonder:)
      Happy new batch of stories to you,

  10. Donna on January 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I love the reminder, ‘how sometimes life’s surprises grow sweeter than they first seem
    and delight can grow in odd and unexpected places’

    I will keep that close to my heart as i look back and look forward and stay in the now sweet Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Hope this is an especially gentle year for us both, Donna;
      love and thanks,

  11. Lady Fi on January 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Just beautiful!

    And your magazine is so inspiring – thank you for sending it to me.

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      So glad you enjoyed, Lady Fi!
      Happy new and beautiful to you,

  12. Barbara on January 10, 2015 at 12:32 am

    What a wonderful idea to compost them, let them become a part of the earth again. Beautiful post! Happy New Year!

    • Jennifer Richardson on January 10, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Hope your year to come is of much gentler sort
      than the past several months have been for you, Barbara;
      love and cheers,

  13. Lily Lau on January 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I loved this post, was really original! 🙂

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