Friday, May 17, 2013

Embracing the Unexpected

Five years ago I would have been upset about today. I had PLANS. I was going to clean the house, turn flower beds for more plants, and finally get to that mending. My PLANS go exactly as I expect every time or else. The day started out as I had planned, and then it took a turn somewhere. I smiled and let it come.

What happens when a plan goes awry? What happens when you say "Yes!" and let the day roll along?

an unexpected embrace

a sore back woke me early today
the air cool and sticky and stifling
the recycling lay strewn across the yard
I felt the twinge of that back
with every paper and carton put back in bin
my feet dug into the prickly wet grass

my hair in a shower knot
I stare at the mending wondering
will I drag the sewing machine up the stairs?
will I change the bobbin four times
or hope the black thread doesn't show
on my red skirt?

the knock at the door sends me running
scattering the ripped skirts and dresses
flinging buttons across the still unmade bed

flowers, would you like shop
for flowers. my treat.
Yes, please. let's get flowers
by grace, off we went

returning with elephant ears
and swirly begonia leaves
and tomato and peppers
and bushy sweet smelling alyssum
returning in time to collect the children

and play in the backyard
with balls and sticks and squeaky swings
and draw on brown paper taped to the fence

inside lay the vacuuming and the dirty sink
the dishes, the paperwork, the unfolded laundry
and winter's blankets and, of course, the mending
on the still unmade bed

and I sit in the lawn and push swings
and sweep away spiders webs and pour
glasses of cold water and
give directions to the toilet.

yes, you're right. this house is messy
I smile in the warmth
of the late spring's warming embrace
and open the windows wider

Friday, May 10, 2013

To my Brother on his 30th Birthday

I had a tradition of writing a poem* to my brother, Jasper, every year on his birthday and threw it into the nearest and largest body of water I could find. The act reminded me that we were still connected even with the small magic of breath separating us. I wanted him to know the ways he was still with me.

For many years, the birthday poem was the only creative writing I did. I don't remember when I stopped and, now, for Jasper's 30th birthday, let's start again:
To my Brother on his 30th Birthday

Remember when we were pulled over
three times: once for speeding and three for a
missing headlight?

We laughed so much.

I still laugh when I see red and blue
reflections on the highway.
I smile at smashed up cars
because you are on the side of the road
sorting out where everyone is to go

My passenger seat is never empty.

You sit beside me in the dark
Because you know I don't like
Driving in the rain at night
On a black road
Or really like driving at all.

I know you've been here

When I wake up in the morning
with wobbly guts from a bear hug
and when that damn elephant
sits on my chest and I can't breathe.
You squeeze so tight.

My hugs aren't from me at all.
They come directly from you.

*Thank you to Carrie, my psudo-sister and self-professed brother's best friend, for reminding me of tradition, and how often Jasper shows up when we least expect it.

Who do you write to? Where to they show up inside of you?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Soul Vision

In a recent blog post at Jots Beyond the Margin, Traci asked us to write from an image. Images can be powerful writing prompts.

So when my friend and classmate Beth* introduced me to SoulCollage® as both an art medium, a meditation, and a window into intuition, I was intrigued. In art of SoulCollage, you create a series of cards based on images that speak to you. Eventually they form a deck of cards with specific suites and meanings. The meanings sort themselves out along the way.
I looked at Beth's cards fascinated by the depth of the layers and the beauty of the images she put together. Along with fascination, came the wandering thoughts that I couldn't ever make something that looked that amazing. I hugged those thoughts and came home with an odd assortment of images and a stack of special Soulcollage card stock. They sat on the kitchen table for three weeks, and last weekend I decided it was time to jumped in.

Once I started making the collages, I was ordering more cards and putting a request out on free cycle for old calendar, magazines, and (I cry a little when I type this) coffee table books. I'm not clear on the meaning behind any of my cards yet, and I seem to have a fascination with blue herons and putting natural objects together with man-made ones.

Pick one and ponder. What does it say to you? What happens when you create your own? (Yes, there's tons more information at

*Thank you Beth for the introduction and Olivia for the brilliant idea to use these as writing prompts..

P.S. My response to Traci's latest picture prompt challenge can be viewed at the Writersvibe.