Of slow crawl and stretch and set fire to the night….

Been chunking on extra wood to make a bonfire
out of the coals of gratitude I tend,
stoking it to a roar
because these times.
And this week.
So here,  bright flames leaping a fury of joy for….

~ dreamy dahlias and their diverse faces,

~ safe spaces to twirl and move and dance and groove healing
’till it flows barefoot to my bones
and soothes away the sick and tired of me.

~ all the silly cards and jokes sent to my Dad as he recovers his strength
alone at home.

~ the grace and capacity to re-learn and repent and change my mind,
to tolerate the discomfort of a painful honest look
at my internalized superiority (ouch) and privilege.
and do the slow work of learning,
even when it feels at times like drinking from a firehose.

~ for permission to step back from fb and the gram as a learning tool,
from all the partials and pieces that may prevent me from thinking through thoroughly
these wildly complex ideas and thoughts,
that “there is no humility in certainty”;
that “some people never learn anything
because they understand everything too soon.”
(Alexander Pope)
For the long slow crawl of this thing.
And that it’s okay to scrape my knees.

~ for the soft breath of evening and the way the last glow of each day lingers on the ridges
before it dips down low behind the night.

~ that delicious knowing that you’re actually,  finally,  gratefully dipping again
into a sleep that may hold you for a little while.

Just sharing these short snippets because i don’t feel good.
But I’m feeling it big to write it down,  these next little words,
and send them out into the big wide……

Right now,  just especially,  try a little tenderness.

Let loose compassion
for the humans holding on.
For me that is strong creed that family,  friendship and faith community
are not places to rally around political beliefs
but to care even more carefully for the core
around which we gather
– the Love that overrides every political position.

Fight for relationship when you sense it’s getting dragged under the wheels
of the political machine.
In the end that’s what’s going to matter:   did we learn how to love.

I didn’t want to not show up.
Because my heart has a thing for you:)

“You can resist bullcrap and live to tell.
The status quo is counting on your submission but you do not have to bow down.
This will create tension,  but I’m convinced that a tension-free culture is a dangerous one.
Tension can be defined as the act of stretching or the state of being stretched.
You will feel the stretch,  you will cause the stretch in others,  and this is called growing.
If no one injects tension into the atmosphere,  we will always default
to existing power structures that operate beautifully
as long as no one puts any pressure on them.”
– Jen Hatmaker

These days I feel like g-u-m-b-y; embracing the burn:)

Giveaway!  This week it’s a bundle.
Tell Me Something Good – a bundle of made-for-you bites of art
with handwritten encouragement for uniquely you – I will spend some Rivertime,  have a soak about you
and write down what bubbles up as I listen to hear what the ripples speak.
For you.  And send them to you in a bundle.
* Coming soon to my etsy shop *

(And happy little leap to send last post’s giveaway to Sue of Elephants Child!)

When the heart thumps of longings and lanes…..

In the heat of our culture’s loud and frantic traffic right now,
it’s sometimes hard to find and hold steady to your lane.
The message is loud and the pressure real:

                      ~ you should be doing more to protect your family and community from the virus.

~  you should be doing more to end ignorance and fear,  and to dismantle racism.

~ you should doing more to connect with truth – to navigate the hype and the false
and arrive correctly on the right square.  And quickly.

~ you should be doing more of all the things and also taking more
of a pro-active role in fighting more for social justice
in every arena,  anywhere there is suffering,
(If you’re not quarantined,  say if you are running a small business,
there is a lot of extra to catch up on
once you’ve served your community so you’re just
gonna have to sleep a little faster and go a little harder,  man.)

And,  hey,  if this is all too intense to absorb and process in your 24,
you just need to pick a side.
One of the two.  Pick one wing of this big bird and devote unquestioning loyalty,
then begin to lob insult and venom at the other
(yes,  you’re all on the same bird but don’t think too hard about that
while you bloody the wing you didn’t choose – it’s easier to go with the
good vs. evil narrative.  Keeps it simple.)

Cult Tip:
If you want to keep it super sweet and simple,  just pick a side and then go with
whatever that side is saying about all the issues.  Lots less bother.
You’ll even get a script.

Either way,  the shoulds are clear:
you’re expected to weigh in and raise a flag on every issue.
In every fight.
At every moment.
And whatever work you’re learning or doing already,
you should do way more.

Are you tired already?

                                           One  option:   Succumb to inertia.   Or despair
Better option:
Find and focus on doing your work.

I believe in the work.
I believe that this season is pregnant with the call to dismantle racism,
to require justice for the marginalized, for the objectified,  for the de-humanized.
My heart burns hot for systemic change.

I also believe that we are all many parts
-you have a lane and it’s where you’re made to thrive,
where you’re most productive
and there your passion carries weight
that creates sustainable good.
In your lane,  the riffs your voice makes are not only delicious,
they also help make this planet and her people more whole.
You were born to fill that space – we need you there.

So how do you know that place?
How do you find that niche – your own true north?
Finding and filling it is maybe much of the work of being human
because we want to love wide,  yes,  but where exactly do we put our heft and hands
every single day?

The answers,  I believe,  are rumbling around down there in the deeps of your very own heart.
Always it’s in the heart connection- that God-container –
from which our truest and most satisfying life-living flows.

And what I want to say to you right now is
don’t be driven by the shoulds.
Especially in the loud of this season,
don’t lose your heart.
That still small voice in the quiet of you
– it’s your lifeline.

“There are a million creative paths through compassion work…
That thing that is bursting in your chest?  Listen to it.  Give it energy;  give it life.”
– Jen Hatmaker

My lane,  for now,  is to dive deep to listen and learn and also
to offer up process that helps turn up the quiet and cultivate the listen and know.
It’s been growing in me for years, this way, and it feels to me like
tall trees and big sky and laughing waters
and helps tug the trueness from my often overcrowded heart.
It’s been a slow and bumpy launch because of Covid, and my website is still in the works
because I’m still nose-to-the-ground like a hound dog in a tall meadow
sniffing out the path.
I’ll come back with details soon.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson – I drew your name in the giveaway
and I’m honored to send you an art journal I made.  With big love!

Another giveaway this post.
This time it’s a print – a warm starry night in a Summertime garden.
15 x 20 inches
Leave a comment and you’re in the hat:)

 

Here’s to the lovers who love…..

Here’s to the lovers who love,
who show up wholehearted or hang back in respect,
who honor with presence or make needed space,
who lavish their time or spend themselves instead
with the fierce kind of patience that affection may require,
who ask questions or who ask nothing,
go the distance or go back home.

Whatever love asks.

Here’s to the givers who forgive.
To the ones who grieve well,
who show up for celebration
and for dry bones,
Who care gentle and fight fair,
who invite God and raise hell.

To the ones blazing love,
lighting fire to the night,
egos laid down
and hearts bared to the light.

Here’s to the lovers who love.

“We can have our junk together in a thousand areas,
but if we don’t have love,
we are totally bankrupt.”
– Jen Hatmaker

“Ego judges and punishes;
love forgives and heals.”
– anonymous

Over here celebrating my heros:  everyday people who love.
Oh God,  take us there.

The love we’re born to be….

Dear darling you at the end of your heart-breaking day,
I can’t hear them clear, the words you’re making through the buzzing on the line
but I can hear it strong the sadness in your voice,
and it stirs me to lean in as far as I can bend.
But the clamor in my ears has me guessing what you mean
and it feels your voice may break into pieces
if I asked you to explain
so I close my eyes and squeeze them tight
to try and be present with you in your storm.

If I knew how to hug you warm and let our words be breath,
to hum them soft without saying,
and pull out ice cream and olives and bubbles and cheese
and put on fuzzy socks and a movie
and let your sadness simply be

–  knew how to do it across these lines
where our voices hang like unpicked fruit,
knew how to offer you my love
but not too noisy,
how to climb inside this phone
and simply
hold
your hand.

Oh my dear one,  how I would.
In every shade of comfort and kindness
just exactly how your heart could hear it
I would.
But how to hold your sadness
when my hands must hold
the phone
is a song I don’t yet know.

I hear how singing the wrong words jangles your nerves
and makes your hurt feel hurtful more.

And so here –
here in this learning place
I wrap my love with care and send it far like precious package
and use my hands to dig my roots down deep through the rock of this new season
while I charge my heart – remember – how there’s always made a way
and we will land in light and time enough
to grow the music we are needing
to be filled up wild and freeing
in the love
we’re born
to be.

“Dialogue is easily spooked,  so you must be vigilant against fear,
dismissal,  manipulation and apathy – true enemies of safe dialogue.
You’ll feel it at first,  deep down,  the urge to rebut,  rebuke,  refute.
It will be a cold rock in your gut,  tempting you to correct or disagree,
or to be offended and center yourself in that person’s story.
But that instinct can be overcome,  and the results of someone feeling heard and respected
are immediate and palpable.
It takes a fairly high level of humility,  empathy and courage
to keep a space open and healthy.
It is a developed skill that takes practice.”
– Jen Hatmaker

Just gonna be saying about the things I’m living;
always i love when you come around and join the conversation
and appreciate that you read the words that I write down:)

We shall get there some day…..

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There’s been a cold wind blowing so I’m putting out some seed;
simple bites to strengthen what goes dim when life gets raw.
Gather what you like and take as much as you can carry.
Maybe something that I  scatter will nourish that beautiful flame of yours…….

~  Sometimes her spirit scooped her hands into the sky and they fluttered there,  kissing heaven.

~ She let the weight of her worry be swallowed up in wonder
and took on a holy curiosity about it all.

~ She began to shake off intimidation like bits of sleet from her hair.

~ “You’d be surprised how powerful kindness actually is.
I am not being dramatic;  you can save hearts and lives with grace.
Do.”
– Jen Hatmaker

DSC02956edited
“People are not problems to be solved.
They are mysteries to be explored.”
– Eugene Peterson

~ Her feet began to dance,
keeping time with both the fierce and fragile
of her heart.

~”For every complex problem,  there is a solution
that is simple,  clear,  and wrong.”
– H.L. Mencken

~ She knew she carried the pen of her life,
but she drew back from the dark blood of the ink.
So she decided to take up feathers and flowers
and write her songs on the wind.

~ Her courage burned holes through intimidation
until her flame climbed high into the night.

DSC08669
That’s it.
It’s all I ‘ve got.
Random seeds to scatter.
Served up in a leftover pan
Please enjoy whatever bits you fancy:)
I’ll be back with a meal next week.

“Rivers know this:  there is no hurry.
We shall get there
some day.”
– A. A. Milne