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…..

amarylis blog

I want my life to be an open window
like the Irregardless of my childhood,
an artisan eatery in my hometown that became a sort of soul tattoo
and warmed my spirit like a cold frame
until my roots could grapple into roomier ground.

Wintertime sunshine poured through tall,  rough hewn windows
lined with green and growing things spilling from cracked pots with mottled glazes;
the raw beauty of their imperfection sang me open,
a fresh and fragrant living painting that infused my hope
and marked me.

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The food was poetry…….farmer’s market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at the vibe and variety
as if watching new colors being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.

I’d slide away from my table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
to let my soul marinate in the sanctuary
of that tiny room I loved,
because every morsel of wall was splashed with a mural
so bold and daring and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud in it’s ebullience,
someone’s heart poured out on walls;
and it made the rest of the world seem dredged in flour and fried up gray.

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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 life slaps me silly and I startle,
curling up tight for control,
I can unfurl again into that herby,  loamy smelling place of freedom
that got inside me then and something wildly fearless
gently stretches where my vision’s getting pinched
until it begins to reach out again beyond lines
that seem to be closing in
and I rethink walls.

They are just walls.

angel blog

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
-Emily Dickenson

 This is a re-write,  served up fresh again with some new ingredients,
because I needed to go there again.  Hope you enjoy:)
And I’ll be sending a copy of my little zine,  Ripplesongs,  to Donna Hopkins;
thanks for all the wonderful comments I got to plop into the hat!