Friday, May 31, 2013

Tilting towards joy

It came
while sitting at the table, writing
that shudder
cloaked in folds of warmth
pulsing light

a triumphant
that claimed
my body

And I felt you

Until then
I certainly knew

For I had been
carving out
in my deepest places
where your
might find its rhythm
your limbs could make
silent ripples

it was in that moment
that the universe tilted
towards joy
and I smiled

And now
there is this
And you are always
before me

My walk is a bit slant
these days
proof that the angels
touched my hip
and I am

And my face splits
with grace light
as I create
with God

I know you
little one
You are mine

Photo credit: swirl by Ben Salter on flickr

Friday, May 10, 2013


You were ready with love bursting when you met that handsome young man in the uniform who spoke like a farmer. You walked with an elegance that defied your age and your words dripped honey sweet from your mouth and I'm sure that, in the end, that is what did him in. You ran away into the night, hands held tight, wishes trailing from your tailpipe, desire flooding like pools of joy. And on the other side of that day, you were One.

And soon you were three and four and five and six. The years would stack like so many dishes and several moves would have you settle in different houses, different states, even. You would leave your beloved South-land, with its Camelias and Finch's BBQ, its red dirt and turnip greens, and you would walk bravely into cities whose edges turned sharper and whose winter's blew colder.

And all along the way, you crafted joy. You danced jitterbugs across linoleum and slapped your knee with every hearty guffaw. Your animated storytelling enraptured neighbors and strangers alike and your ability to connect with people endeared you to everyone you met.

My arrival was a completely unforeseen surprise, tacked onto the back side of an already well lived and very full life. I'm sure my entrance was cause for many deep breaths, or the wringing of busy hands, or the prompting for many prayers thrown heaven's way.

But the most amazing thing?

I always felt like the most desired child in the world.

Never once did I ever question how very much I was loved and cherished and adored.


Even in my more adolescent moments, like the one captured in the picture above, where you are sitting at a picnic table, smiling at those around you and I sit, in the background, gazing at you. My smug expression is not the truth of that moment. What looks like angst and resignation is really me just trying to take the all of you in.

And I continue to want to take you in. The all of you.

Because I know that, no matter my age or station, no matter the day of week or what year whispers from the corner of the calendar page, I want the all of me to house all the glorious parts of you I've gathered.

Because I've been collecting them, you know. These parts of you.

The ways you cuddled and caressed, the ways you embraced and enfolded, the ways you bore all and believed all. The myriad ways in which you loved--whether it was through story, or coffee, or grandkids, or fried catfish, or Carol Burnett, or fireworks.

All of this? All of the beautiful and mundane, the fascinating and trivial, the whole and the half?

It's part of me too, now. Tucked away in the obvious and secret places, planted in soil made rich with your love and care for me.

And I pray that one day, when the pictures are pulled out and the chronology of my becoming is on display, the one thing that will have leaked out all over, dripping from the corners of my eyes and the edge of my smile, is the amazing truth...

that I was loved by you.

This post was inspired by today's Five Minute Friday writing prompt however, I, in no way, stuck to the rules.
Sometimes, I like to break the rules.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Wine

You brush a wisp of hair from my eyes
and while your other hand cups my cheek
I can feel the rough edge of your calloused palm
against the pillow of my skin

The room is dark
but muted yellow bends round the door frame
and moth shadows dance and twirl
in the glow

My back is turned away
and the weight of me
balances on an invisisble thread
laced between you
and the world

You pull me in
turn me
envelope the all of me
into your folded self

And there is a moment
when our curved bodies
cup like
and new wine pours
into old skins
and we shimmer

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Road

I would sit at the end of my black-topped driveway, nudging pill bugs with skinny sticks and wiping sweat from my brow, afternoon upon afternoon. There was always an ambient soundtrack running--bird calls, a solitary dog barking, someone beating out a rug on their front porch. But the one that always caused me to lift my head and notice, really notice, was the sound of the '67 Chevy, backing slowly out of the wood framed garage and into the gravel driveway. It was that sound, the crunch of rock under slow moving tires, that stopped me short and still.

Mr. Kauffman did everything deliberately, slowly, with intention. He cut his grass with an old fashioned push mower, the kind motored only by human muscles and blades that whirled and spun, grass pieces flying up like so much confetti. With each turn and switchback he made, laced throughout the smell of moist green and shredded leaves, there trailed sweet and musky pipe smoke, a ribbon of grey fluttering behind him.

It made sense, then, that he would pull out of his driveway with a similar pace and purpose. And the result was a perfectly magical crackle that felt like time suspended.

I now live at the end of a long, gravel driveway, seemingly fashioned from the broken fragments left from when our stone house was built all those hundreds of years ago. Splintered limestone litters the car path, spraying dust into the nearby grass during the dry times, puddling gray and milky after the rain.

And it is still that sound, today, that slow, crackling pop of stone beneath rubber, that stops me short, draws my face to the window, tickles the corners of my mouth and makes me sigh content.

For now, that sound is more like a herald to me, signaling that subtle shift of day when the sun slants keenly and dinner smells waft through cracked windows and young boys shout and run for the door.

I take more gravel roads than paved these days, it seems. That's how it goes living outside of the city limits. The blacktop can only reach so far, you know. Driving to visit friends brings crunching rocks and flying dust and the requisite slower pace.

And as I putter down their private roads and winding driveways, I can't help but wonder if the sound of my coming evokes the same thrill in their bellies as it does in mine. Does the sound of crunching gravel sing a song of home to them?

This is my first attempt at Concrete Words, an exercise in "writing out spirit" by writing about the invisible using concrete words. This week's word is The Road. The idea is to use the word prompt as a catalyst for writing out what is around us. Amber Haines of the RunaMuck began this exercise and she has now turned over the curating to my beautiful friend, Nacole. If you would like to join this community of word weavers who are attempting to use their words to tell a deeper story, hop over here to link up your piece.

Photo credit: Wolf Lake Landing Road by andyarthur on flickr

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bolts of glory

It is May 3 but I have to study the calendar page, again and again, to believe it true.

There was so much hope swelling just a few days ago as the temperatures rose to meet the clear sky and the trees clapped their leaves right open. I left the kitchen door open, welcoming in that breeze laden with earth and spirea, believing that a corner had been turned.

And then, everything changed. Again.

And I realize that this dependence on happenings outside of my inner spaces to make me happy is a hollow endeavor.

I see it in my oldest, too. The way his sweet disposition darkens so quickly when even the slightest cloud passes over. And how, even after the wind turns direction, he keeps looking for the shadow, as if he knows himself best in dimmed light.

The thing is, I'm bumbling along right there beside him.

I want all the goodness and light, the warmth and the rising, the new and the fresh. I'm so tired of the gray and clouded, the cold and the sinking, the old and the stale.

But this is our life. The gray and the blue woven in tight with the yellow and the orange, in and out, over and under.

Each day is cut from holy cloth, bolts of glory by the yard. And although I've never fashioned myself a seamstress, I know that patterns and textures can change when the light is brought in closer.

So that is what I am choosing today. To bring the light in closer.

I'm lighting candles and watching the golden flicker dance upon dewy cheeks.

I'm switching on lamps and hunkering down on the couch to read the pages filled with story.

I'm looking deep into eyes, looking for that holy spark, that kindling that ignites when noticed and held close.

And I'm laughing at the calendar, for it doesn't know what I know.

That today is a gift beyond measure and I am but a servant of splendor.

Linking with Emily for Imperfect Prose