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

 

How deep your aliveness goes…..

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I’ve been walking down roads where my words won’t follow,
where they park themselves at the trailhead and sit down to eat a snack
because they wince to hear the language of these wild places
where the wind bleeds a howling sound that shakes me to the bone.
Grief has such a deep voice it’s hard to listen long,
maybe because I’ve been afraid that I might make out what it’s saying.

But it’s not as commanding as I’d feared.
It really can’t swallow the whole of me like I’d always imagined it might.
It comes charging like a rogue wave,  sure,  sweeping up and tossing like a ragdoll
every bit of my bearing at times.
But I can ride it out.
It can’t hold me under longer than my breath will hold.
It just can’t.

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When I let go the fear that this pain is a shameful thing,
that deep sorrow is dangerous and indulgent and wasteful
and just surrender into the tumble,
I come up lighter,  less lost,  and letting myself be loved.

I read this recently and it spoke aloe over my burns:
“Watch the ones whose only option left is to lean into the questions.
The ones who are uninhibited by the unknown
because they’ve jumped into that gaping hole
and found themselves,  by grace,  unswallowable,”
(-Mandy Steward)

Wherever you’re braving to be all in,
know this:
the pain will not swallow you.
It just won’t.
Learn to un-fear it.
You’re more alive than you know.

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“Grief has a way of showing you
how deep your aliveness goes.”
– Alison Nappi

heartsick and healing…


I’ve been shocked so hard
by news so bad
that my footing feels floppy,
as if the earth has a really bad wobble
and I’m queasy from riding in the back seat
with cold wind rushing at my eyes,
stinging my vision cloudy with tears.

My wings tremble,
and letting go muscles seize up tight
as heartache punches air from chest
and I’m homesick for feeling safe,
and  wonder if I’ll find my way back there again
through the thick walls of sadness thrown up
when a dear one goes missing
and prayers go unanswered,
his body pulled from the river
bound with chains and concrete
and horror pounds on a family
who have loved this one so well.

and today  the charcoal morning mist
lifting off the Autumn peaks
doesn’t shove the bricks of sorrow
off my chest
and I climb until I’m shaking
and my questions tumble out
and find no answers in the wind
but comfort comes and finds me still
and croons her ancient songs

how there is rest in even this,
tense mind driven to understand,
a grace to lay it down
and listen to the love
crying out in every leaf and twig and flower,
pressing their prints into broken hearts
and etchings in the pain.


Is it worth it
to love and lose so hard
?

… the wind whispers “yes”
and the leaves flutter healing
and the mountains shoulder the sorrow
that my heart can’t keep,

 my soul settles soft into mystery
and,
face pressed firm to blue sky,
there comes a heap of  help in letting go
of the driven-ness
to know,
to know.

 “I didn’t need to understand
the hypostatic unity of the Trinity.
I just needed to turn my life over
to whoever came up
with the redwood trees.”

-Anne Lammott

I’m a bit late posting this week.
I’ve been heartsick over the tragedy
of a dear-to-my-heart family who lost their gentle son
in the worst sort of way
and didn’t want to post
until I could write true.
It took awhile to wrestle through.
I appreciate it when you come around and read
….it’s joy to share.