Friday, July 26, 2013


It's difficult to conjure up the memories
of how
I felt on that day
of which way my stomach
or how quickly my heart

But now
I do remember
that I woke calmly
and watched the early sun angle its way
through the glass
I realized that
I would no longer have to wake

to that
I smiled

When I woke this morning
you were already up
quietly making coffee
walking the dog
reading in the big blue chair
Moving through the house
like whispered love
curling around corners
hanging full in the air

I know
that I had no idea
back then
what making love
over a lifetime
would mean

One always hopes
for promises kept
memories made

But this

It is art

paint on canvas
wet clay on spinning wheels
fiber twisted and mounted
notes strung on staves
steps counted and flung

Before you
before us
I didn't know
I was an artist
not really

But this morning
when the day dawned
you were still there
something opened wide

Making love
over a lifetime
will do that to you

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New mercies

I walked the dog this morning, something I haven't done much since becoming pregnant. My dear husband has developed a keen ability to sense when I need him to step in, grab the leash, and slip out the door, unheard. And I have been thankful.
But this morning, we were all moving a little slower and it was I that grabbed the leash and slipped out the door.

It is mid-July and every night the sky sinks heavy upon the earth, pressing out her moisture, coating every blade of grass, every secretly spun web, every petal of every bloom with dewy drops. I breathe in air that is thick and palpable and all but dripping.

I am instantly humbled that much of my walking these days feels just like that.

I am full with child now. My belly goes before me and I smile to think of how my body proclaims the truth that a child will, indeed, lead us. All I can do, anymore, is just follow him. This child lives and moves within me and sometimes I feel as if I will burst but, in all of this, together, we have our being.

It is heavy work, this being. The only way not to be completely undone in the process is by simply putting one foot in front of the other. And so we walk.

I turn the corner at the end of my driveway and see that the sun has peeked over the treetops, illuminating them from behind, gilding their edges. It is only because of Love that they are not wholly consumed and I receive it as one small glimpse of a new mercy. I sigh.

As we plod through the thick air there is a piercing, a trill that begins to unravel it all. A cardinal sings heartily unto its mate, beckoning her to follow, to come, to look and see that it is good. And He is right.

And then we see it.

The lake.

And it is as if gold dust, straight from the edge of heaven, has rained down in the night. Floating atop the water is the evidence of glory come down and the rising sun has now cracked open its very center. Diamond light flits and bounces and dances upon the surface and I am almost blinded by its burning.

My baby leaps.

I catch my breath.

And in a moment, this world, this life, this everything... it is thick and palpable and all but dripping and there is no way that I can take it all in before it is running down my fingers, soaking my feet, oozing from my skin, laughing its way down the road.

feels so full.

I look, again, at the water. At the dancing light and the shimmering beauty. I marvel at its hidden depths, all that is not yet revealed. I imagine what lives beneath the surface, what life has yet to emerge.

And I know it.

This is that grace ocean.

And we are all drowning...

Linking with Emily and Jennifer.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stringing beads

photo credit: Matt on Flickr

There is this girl I know who strings words onto worn strings like so many colored glass beads and I walk around for days, fingering the rainbow forms until they are worn smooth and I know them by heart. For this girl, she mines beauty from her days. She sees how glory rains down like manna and, faithfully, she gathers and eats and it is good.

A couple of months ago, I linked arms with her for the first time in Nebraska. That time, we both crossed cornfields and there was a great unknowing that preceded our meeting. Would the person behind the words be real? Would that first embrace reveal the truth of who I was and rather than pixie dust, would I leave ash in my wake?

But her azure eyes found me across a crowded room that day and, in an instant, fear evaporated and remnants of those colored word beads split like prisms and danced between us. And there was only joy.

So when this girl offered to drive across more cornfields and rivers in order to see me, I was humbled and joyful and radiant. And I cleared the calendar.

This time, we would bring more than just ourselves. We packed our families (husbands and children) into cars and vans and food into bags and met at tables under trees, hoping, once again, that who we really were would not disenchant.

I am a silly, silly girl.

For when that long white van pulled up and those eyes found me, once again, and children began to spill out like pearls flung wild, I could only smile.

And know.

For we--she and I--we are among those lovers and dreamers who turn our insides right out and invite the world to wrap themselves in the threads that are undone as a result. There aren't many places left for us to hide.

And as the portrait I had studied for so long was drawn fuller and deeper through the paint splatters of children and spouse, I felt a fullness rising.

There were smiles and hugs and handshakes. There were quiet looks exchanged and boisterous laughs and giggles. There were bare feet and sweaty hands and games of tag and sips of cool water in sought after shade. And there were questions to draw each other out and in and deeper. It's not easy to forge trust in one afternoon.

But you can begin to carve out space.

And then the two of us were given three hours to do just that.

Carve. Whittle. Sculpt. Inscribe.

We found a coffee shop on the corner, where two streets converge, and began our settling in. And that, really, is what we have been doing all along. Taking up residence in each others' hearts, positioning ourselves to look long and hard and with love.

Words are powerful like that.

I believe that is what emerged so clearly that afternoon. The two of us and our written words? They have lit lamps into one another's heart spaces and the long shadows and bright flickers have wrought a path of love unfolding.

So as I drank my cardamon and honey laced coffee and she sipped her iced latte, our spoken words gave birth to harbors.

It's hard to walk away from moments such as these, when you are known and heard and loved anyway. When someone you study and admire speaks life into the deep places and throws a rope to your desperate want to linger in those truth doused sanctuaries and bathe in the glory of how you see yourself in that new light. You want your life to sing like that. Always.

But suns must set on every day and children need cool sheets upon which to lay their sweaty heads and all of us need time to let the dust of our days settle down deep.

So, that girl and I? We hugged long and hard and I fought back tears of joy and surrender. But, despite the parting, there was this:

I will carry her colored glass beads that have been blessed by real live kisses with me always. For that girl?

She mines beauty from her days. She sees how glory rains down like manna and, faithfully, she gathers and eats and it is good.