Hand in my pocket and heart on my sleeve….

The biggest,  warmest hello to your much loved eyes
and even mucher loved hearts.
I’ve missed you…..missed  sending out my words to you and feeling them embraced and safeheld.
I’ve missed reading the words you say in such uniquely your expressions,
missed our front porch visits and the texture you bring to my journey
with the stories of your own.
I feel as if I’m back from a long travel to somewhere scary
where I had to leave my broken jeep beside the midnight river
and hike out barefoot and without reception.
I feel footsore and rattled and slowed down hard.

I’ve had so much to say that I couldn’t say anything at all.
But I’m gonna let the words trip out in bumps and starts now,
because it feels like time and if I wait until I can talk pretty
I may get stuck in the silence.

My hand hurts.  Always.  In the most noisy and sometimes searing kind of way.
My making hand – the one I’ve used for being me.
My writing,  arting,  planting,  pruning,  driving, doing hand.
And I’ve done the things medical and alternative
but it still feels like potholes in my ride each day
and there’s this fear that rides along -Who are you now like this?
And what are you going to do?

And I answer “still be me” and keep on walking
but the night sounds howl a little louder and the shadows make my jumpy heart race.
Because my loss of hand is not the storming down,
it’s just the how I know to ride the waves.
When life is hurting hard,  my doing-hand is what I use to shoo the sting away
enough to work it through,  to process,  to find a way to stay
when my feet want to run and help me hide.

And so into the chaos,  the ugly question creeps:
what if there isn’t enough to me without what I can do or show or make?
what if I don’t get a seat at the table
without what my hands can bring.
And it comes thumping around in my soul’s basement
that dark-corner question:  “who will love me now?”

Life has a way of making us look at the things
we fear may grab us from beneath
in the places where we’re leaning into rest.

(And aren’t we all learning how to rest in unrest?
We may have different tangles to navigate,  but perhaps we all show up to our stories
feeling capsized at times.)

So, yeah,  the waves feel high, I’m calling it adventure,
and ready to say my things. 
I’ll be here following the river;  come ramble awhile with me.

“Creativity comes from accepting that you’re not safe,
from being absolutely aware,  and from letting go of control.
It’s a matter of seeing everything – even when you want to shut your eyes.”
– Madeleine L’Engle

“When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on.”
– John Mark and Sarah McMillan


windows and walls…..

I want my life to be an open window
like the Irregardless of my childhood,
a Raleigh restraunt that became something of a cold frame
that warmed my spirit to sprouting
like the ones I munched on my beanburger

Winter sunshine poured in through tall rough hewn windows
lined with life in pots glazed with earthy whimsy.
To my young eyes,  it was a living painting
built by “artists and hippies”
with fresh flavors and fascinating fragrance
that seeped into every pore of my soul
and marked me.

The food was poetry …farmers market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at every particle
as if watching a new color being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.

I’d slip away from the table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
to let my soul marinate
in the sanctuary.

 I loved that tiny room with the high ceiling.
Every square inch was splashed with a mural
so bold and daring and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud
in it’s ebullience
…spirit wine freshly shaken and uncorked,
someone’s heart poured out on walls.
It made the rest of the world seem dredged in gray flour
and fried up cold and bland.

 But here, gardens blossomed and spilled
unconstricted down cinderblock and mortar
and became grafted into my sense of possibility.
I wanted this.
I want it still.

And sometimes now,
when headache and hassle and disappointment
feel like icebergs ripping into my hull,
I close my eyes and remember that herby, loamy smell of freedom
that got inside me then.

 And something wildly fearless pokes fun again
at the perfectionism dogging me,
gently stretching my vision-gone-narrow
until it begins to reach out again beyond walls
that seem to be closing in
and I rethink walls.

They are just walls.

(this is a re-write…. whisked and sauteed and served up fresh;
I send you love and bright hope
for open windows and fresh breeze.