Fraying times and faded jeans…..

I’ve got some unmet hunger for vacation
and no windows in this wall of work to climb through and feed it
so I sent my imagination on a relief mission
and it returned with a smell plucked right from a sweet spot in my childhood
….the smell of old weathered rope
creaking friendly beneath the tall tree standing regal in my back yard,
as I swooped skyward on a tire that scooped me weightless toward the sun

and as the windy breath of tireswing brushes over me fresh
again I’m swinging high,  toes poking clouds,
swept up playful,
slicing through sunlight toward treetops,
breezing through heaviness, dancing on air,
tummy squeezing happy with lift.

2015-04-23 17.15.37

And while my car’s still stuck in traffic and my list is smudged and long,
I’m caught up again in the song of that rope hugging sturdy some branch high above,
the worn bristle of it’s friendly grip hugged joyful in my hands
and somehow I’m feeling it again,  the finished chores and school’s out
and kicking off shoes that pinched and cutting short my faded jeans
to keep wearing all summer long until they’re fringed and frayed and yummy
and who knows what these fraying days
are doing to this heart of mine
…could be the good stuff of old jeans fading soft and friendly in the hard tumble of time.

I send you songs of freedom swinging you high,
of breeze and whoosh and swoop and glide,
swooping and soaring on willowy wings
swept up and away from heavy things.

2015-04-21 14.23.19

 “So won’t you fly high,  freebird.”
-Leonard Skynard


  1. Julia on April 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Dear Jennifer, I’m feeling like it’s time for a vacation too. I remember a tire swing hanging from a tree but my favorite escape was hanging upside down by my feet from a tree branch in clearing in the wooded area behind our house. It was such a peaceful place to go and daydream. I felt free as a bird then.

    Have a great week

    • Jennifer Richardson on April 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      I love that you enjoyed hanging upside down, too:)
      I did that….loved the view of the world from the underside:)
      I want to feel that freebird place again.
      Thanks for coming by and daydreaming with me,

  2. Lady Fi on April 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Ah – so lovely! I take a mini-vacation in the woods almost every day as an antidote to work!

    • Jennifer Richardson on April 29, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      A mini-vacation in the woods….I love that.
      And the dock where you skywatch is brilliant, too.
      I’m glad you share the view,

  3. gotham girl on April 27, 2015 at 7:26 am

    songs of freedom…swinging you high above the things that load you down. THANK YOU! Your heart is so big.

  4. susan troccolo on April 27, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I would like to be “swept free of heavy things” It is my life’s work I think. Jennifer, in addition to your Zines, do you ever think of publishing a book of poetry. You are the real thing. I just had a vacation with my husband, but a friend died after a five month illness from liver cancer while we were there. (We were with him in the hospital.) Sometimes I wonder if it ever ends…this joy and grief all mixed up. Maybe it’s the work of being human.

    • Jennifer Richardson on April 29, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Al the time. I will some day. My whole heart breathes yes
      to that. I thank you so much for the kind words of yes and go.
      So sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s all such a soup, joy
      and grief, isn’t it. Yes, being human.
      Thanks for coming by,

  5. susan troccolo on April 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Please come and visit me on Facebook at SusanTroccoloAuthor. I would love to see you as a friend there (and a “like”) I recall you said you liked Facebook. I’m still learning; it’s been up about a week.

  6. Kathryn on April 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Ah, I can hear that rope, too! This is so wonderful, Jennifer. A favorite. Thank you for wonderful, wonderful, sweet and perseverant you!!!
    PS. i use a Strathmore Mixed Media journal!

    • Jennifer Richardson on April 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Creak, creak. Creak, creak:)
      I love your journals and your journaling:)

  7. Donna on April 28, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Oh I am soaring with you on that tire…..we do so need to play more don’t we!

    • Jennifer Richardson on April 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Glad for company while I soar……creak-creak, creak-creak:)
      Big love as you play,

  8. jeanie on April 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    LOVE those songs of freedom. Yes, when it’s tough to get away for a vacation, finding that vacation spot in your mind is truly a good thing. My place of mental vacations is the lake — a warm summer day, a light breeze, sunshine, lapping waves… you get the drill. Yours sounds just as nice to me. Enjoy!

    • Jennifer Richardson on May 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Just getting round to comment….such a busy patch of days!
      Yes, songs of freedom and warm sunshine and peace:)
      Thanks so much for coming by and being in my life:)

  9. Bren on May 2, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Oh that brings back memories! Hours spent on just such a swing when younger. Once again your words move and fill me. Beautiful photos as well

    • Jennifer Richardson on May 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Hey Bren, I was awol for awhile:) So glad we get to share some tireswing memories. I love that we can still be friends across the miles. I love having you in my life:)

  10. Kimber Britner on May 2, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Yes, the “swooping and soaring on willowy wings
    swept up and away from heavy things.” Feeling that sink in sweet. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Richardson on May 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Hope the willowy wings carry you all the way home,
      once it’s time to leave the kids (sigh)
      and that you feel wrapped in peace and comfort
      as you do the hard work of goodbye.
      with you,

  11. Susan on May 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Good stuff of faded jeans and tire swings … just like summer and it makes my heart soar!

    • Jennifer Richardson on May 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      so glad for your soaring heart:)
      it’s a beauty and was born to fly:)
      thanks for being such a gracious kindness in my life,

  12. Kathryn on May 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Boy, me too Jennifer!! This year I’ve just been on vacation thru Facebook photos on my sisters sight, as she travel the world and I’m stuck here at home dreaming of sandy beaches and tigers in the wild!! Your amazing words took me on a vacation too, back to my WI summers!! Thanks!! 😀

Leave a Comment