12.1.19 Words Chasing Me

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I have so many stories

and so little time

between poetry, prose, 

free verse and rhyme

and the words swirl about me

in taunting black waves

teasing with hints

of both knights 

and of knaves

There are fantasies curled

beside harrowing tales

where history speaks

and true love never fails

in ink and on paper

in print and on screens

the characters speak to me

with or without means

And their stories

in whispers

trail over my mind

sometimes in fast-forward

and sometimes rewind

Most often I face them

with pen and with thought 

until I am weary 

and quite overwrought 

For who can keep up 

with ideas that flutter

that nip and that tag

that climb on and clutter

Who can tame dreams

who can silence a notion

especially ones 

that cause fervored emotion

Certainly not even fairy or muse

not anyone to whom 

the words simply choose

No rest for the writer 

time wrestles to claim

their sleep hours waking

to gather one’s name

no pause for the clause

phrase or run on that be … 

because I can’t ignore now

the words chasing me

11.26.19 Forgetful Dreamer

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Dreams are vivid creatures

breathing life

to the imagination

of the dreamer

How desperately I wish

I could dwell

in the memory of them

And yet …

sustaining hope

it seems,

is a temporary offer

Dreams –

clear as they seem for a moment

fade

rapidly

curling themselves into the morning mist

which is hauntingly beautiful one moment

and a fleeting memory the next

The clearer you try to imagine them

the more evasive they become

Dreams,

by nature

are impermanent

They are not meant to last

or to linger

But hover instead

like the filaments of a dying firework –

hanging in a memory of light,

just above your mind …

just beyond your second sight …

yet close enough

to keep you reaching

all the same

 

 

 

11.19.19 Not Alone

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“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
Margaret Mitchell

Sometimes I think that I have it all figured out … and then I realize that I absolutely don’t. I’m not sure if I’m caught somewhere between fate playing with destiny, God trying to teach me a lesson, or the devil trying to mess with me. Am I alone in finding it difficult to tell the difference? Like the weather that is forty degrees different from one day to the next, so too are the waxes and wanes of how my days progress. I can feel like I’m completely “there” one moment, and completely “lost” the next.

Maybe it’s a way of staying humble? Maybe it’s a reminder that we are dependent on more than our own strength? Maybe it is just life! Regardless of what it is, or who it is, I want you to know that if you are too tired to fold the laundry … you’re not alone. If you are about as mentally capable as a celery stalk … you’re not alone. If you are thanking the Lord for the invention of frozen pizza on a Tuesday night … you’re not alone. If you are maybe grateful for the STILL leftover Halloween candy because you just need it today … you’re not alone.

Never.

No matter what your mood.

No matter what the weather.

No matter if you are a million miles away …

… my friends … thank you for being at the other end of this post, reading my silly strand of words and reminding me that I’m not alone either.

Elle

11.11.19 In Good

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Believe in the good

in better than it was before

in will be

in yet

and in always

Believe in wishes

the ones that have come true

the ones that haven’t

the ones that dance on the outermost corners of your imagination

begging to be let out to play

Believe in positivity

find hope in possibility

find tenacity in every sunrise

find perseverance at the core of your obstinate soul

and push who you thought you were to meet a new you

Believe in the spirit

that holds all things finite and infinite together

that breathed life into meaning beyond matter

that carries broken souls and fractured hearts to healing

daring miracles in a world that forgot how to receive them well

Believe in the good

in better late than never

in is now

in here now

in you

11.3.19 Find Cozy

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“We are human doings, not beings. We strive and we make and we plan and we do, and at the end of each wearying day, we feel unaccomplished with the amount we’ve achieved, focusing instead on what we absolutely must get done tomorrow. Beautiful ones, I don’t think this was life’s plan.” – “The ABC’s of Cozy” – Bella Grace Cozy Issue 2

I was so thrilled to be “on assignment” for Bella Grace Magazine’s second installment of the Cozy issue! I was asked to write, “The ABC’s and 123’s of Cozy.” Friends … it was a delicious experience going A-Z and 1-10 with ideas, suggestions, and comforting conversation about all the ways we can be cozy!

When we moved into our new place, we found that one of our closets was especially large. My husband, being the prince that he is, didn’t even bat an eye when I asked if we could transform the space into a book nook. We took the door off, painted the trim aqua, got some cool drawers for favorite books and hidden surprises, and created a miniature getaway.

I cannot wait to read the rest of “Cozy” in it! Where do you most like to go to escape? Where do you hide in plain sight? Where do you feel most “yourself?”

Enjoy it! Share it! Send me a picture! Be inspired!

Elle

 

10.27.19 Do. Say. Love. Now.

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There is an old saying that I really love … “There are seven days in a week, and ‘someday’ is not one of them.” I think I love it because I so ardently believe it’s true. There is no such thing as someday – there is only now, and now is fleeting.

Lately I have been second-hand to several tragedies that have left me more than a bit stirred emotionally. This week alone I have heard of five deaths within the outer circle of my inner circle and though they do not affect me personally … they affect me … personally. Because I love. Because I hurt. Because I am cursed with compassion and I cannot disassociate what and who were, for who are no longer.

Sometimes when I hear about death I am afraid, not to die myself, but to miss living somehow. I think of how many days run into other days that spiral inside of my ever-running life that runs me. And though I try to be intentional about time spent with friends and family and faith – I know I fall short of the depth I believe my spirit was meant to pour out.

And so I apologize. I apologize for every time I put off reaching out. Holding on. Staying put. Making time. I apologize for failing to recognize the beauty before me. Above me. Beneath my feet. And all around me. I apologize for using words that weren’t always kind. Or thoughtful. Or respectful. Or necessary.

I need the world to do. To say. To love. And to do so now. There may not be tomorrow, and there is not much left of today, but I will certainly try to be more for the time that remains.

All my love,

Elle

10.20.19 Time; Please Be Still

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Lately I’ve really been wrestling with Father Time … the inevitability of him ever-moving-on regardless of how I feel about it. So welcome to the inside of my mind, dear readers. Can anyone relate? Please tell me you can.

All my love, and some of my time too,

Elle

Time; Please Be Still

Time is a fickle, constant friend

without beginning: without end

and like some fateful lullaby

reduces men to laugh – or cry

for all of Time, in ticks and tocks

ironically denies all clocks

as when we say one day is done

then still, un-slumbering comes the sun

a forceful ally and a foe

Time forces you to stay or go

to move, to push, to try once more

or simply to close tight the door

there is no “wait for me” with Time

he simply comes, and leaves behind

in catching up you have no chance

for Time prefers a solo dance

and in his caper bends and sways 

and leaves you chasing in a daze

for when you reach the place he is

the shadow you reach isn’t his

though cruel in his persistent game

you find you’ll play it all the same

because the gift he does possess 

reminds you of your true distress

that Time is the best friend you know

though in his ways it doesn’t show

still if it weren’t for him, then how

would you appreciate the now?

Time is a fickle, constant friend

without beginning: without end

the longer that I’m in his care

the more his loss I could not bear

so stay with me, and do not leave

though to the past I often cleave

I know your seasons change at will

but just for once Time; please be still

10.14.19 Orbit

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“Protect your space and circle. Invest in people who know you will feed you just as much goodness as you do them.” -Alex Elle

I’m not typically one to “protect my space.” I let everyone in … everyone and anyone who I might think needs me for a moment, or a month, or a lifetime. I’m learning that this is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not. For better or for worse, I’m more of a straight line than a circle, people in my life are welcome to join in the conga of my chaos, but they must know that the line can get long.

My sister is not this way. As much as we might look alike, or sound alike … as much as we have  a shared history of similar experiences and timelines … we are very different. My sister is a circle person. Circle people are protective, enjoy small groups to associate with, and thrive off of innermost confidences rather than hearts on sleeves. The beauty of it is … regardless of whether or not I deserve it – I’ve made it into her inner sanctum. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be one of the chosen few who gets to know her – really know her.

This weekend, my mom and sister and I went to the beach … just the three of us. It was  short, and sweet, and spirit-filling. We ate a plethora of peanut butter M&M’s, watched a laugh-til-you-cry movie, walked on the beach with the ocean playing tag as it tickled it’s way past our toes. Why? Because of this sunshine-girl’s birthday, and simply because … for the first time … in a long time … we could!

I moved to the South for family, which was hard because so much of mine is still spread across the country. There is no perfect place, nowhere that will satisfy every aching place of my linear heart … but this weekend, inside my sister’s circle seems pretty close.

Though there are a million things I’m grateful for, I’d have to say that my favorite thing about her is the wisdom she doesn’t know she possesses. Listening without fixing, hugging without urgency to let go, reaching over the bed in the middle of the night to give my hand a squeeze just to know she was there. She speaks wisdom in action, in smiles and stares. To know her is to love her, and so today I ask you to help me celebrate this woman, this life-giving little sun whose orbit I’m so blessed to circle.

Elle

 

 

10.5.19 More of Her

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“Nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.” Calla Quinn

No one is perfect. There’s no denying that … and yet it seems some are a bit closer to it than the rest of us. Missing someone seems to wear the edges off all of their imperfections too. So at this point – both my memory and my heart have nearby made her perfect.

I know I’ve spoken of my grandmother before, but sometimes I feel I need to talk about her just to bring her closer to me – to the forefront of my mind as if she is present company and not past.

My gram loved the beach. She loved it, I imagine, for the same reason I do … because looking at it makes the world seem big, and our problems seem small. I think the water-washed shore and scrubbed sand gave her peace in a way that ordinary days could not. She loved seashells and the color peach. Hawaii was her dream-come-true. She loved too-loud music and bending the rules without breaking them … well … maybe just a few.

She lived ninety-six years and I don’t think it was nearly long enough, because the world needed more of her. More giggles. More late-night movies. More wonder. More awe. More long hugs. More confetti kisses. More lullaby songs. More kitchen waltzes. More being her granddaughter.

I feel an immense responsibility to live with intentional joy because of her. I know my mother feels it too … and what a grand commission she inspired. I hope someday I’m half the fun she always was. Equal measures of sugar and spice – today I just want more.

9.30.19 Ageless Ones

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Here’s to the ageless ones …

the ones who self-identify with feelings 

instead of years

The ones that triumphantly ride squeaky-wheeled carts in parking lots

and aren’t ashamed to order dessert first,

even if they’re eating alone

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

the old souls in young bodies

bursting with wisdom they yearn to give freely,

yet no one receives without cost

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

who sing and beat their steering-wheel-drum

chanting their anthems to the wide-open windows 

and passerby cars 

who carry on completely unaware

Here’s to the ageless ones …

to those captured deep-in-thought,

tangled in the philosophies they weave

theories stitched in time 

yet surrounded by those stuck in the shallow end

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

the running barefoot, hair down breeze dancers

who delight in the light that they chase

just to feel the thrill of releasing it back to the wild 

Here’s to the young

the purposefully naive … 

the dreamers who remember to play

Here’s to the old, 

the vintage souls …

the antique hearts whose beat is the rest in-between

To those who transform 

but refuse to conform their spirit to a number 

too small to fit into

or big enough to get lost in

Here’s to the ageless ones …

for the world belongs to you