6.27.19 Evidence of the Divine

7

“And as You speak, a hundred billion galaxies are born … in the vapor of Your breath the planets form. If the stars were made to worship so will I.” Hillsong

In the everyday

in the commonplace

there exists little room for wonder

and we forget to be amazed at the splendor

waiting to marvel at miracles we inherently missed

So often people say that God is silent

and yet nature screams His presence everywhere

Is it not an unaccountable phenomenon that we exist at all?

That in a span of hours the world pirouettes in its turn among the stars

that in a span of days we slow waltz with the sun

Is it not unfathomable magic that even hundreds of thousands of miles away

the moon still directs the ocean

in a perpetual state of tide and wave, a crescendo of creation prevails

Is it not unimaginable that both sea and sky exemplify the glory of nature,

yet compliment rather than compete as evidence of the divine

 

5.6.19 The Finite Infinite

0

IMG_2534

This piece is a response to a recent tragedy in our community. It is also a reflection of being a mother and a teacher who is asked to make sense for young people what doesn’t make sense, and explain what is simply unexplainable. Katharine Graham once said that, “The truth and the news are not the same thing.” She was right. The news is just facts (or some version of them) but the truth is what you feel in response to what you are shown, and told to deal with.

I hope this poem finds you, and holds your hand through the biggest hurts and fears of what you see and hear. Your sensitive hearts are not alone dear ones. Even still, I believe love conquers all.

The Finite Infinite

I’m not one to watch the news

because I don’t want to see what I see

I feel too much

like pinpricks my senses are acupunctured until

I feel nothing at all

which is worse

But in time every nerve finds it’s way to exposed

every fiber rubs raw, and taught

and I ached in places only the soul can reach

because when I see what I don’t want to see …

when I hear what I don’t want to hear

I can no longer afford the luxury of pretend

reality is painful

and present

and insists on continuing to be

what it is

dark

Sometimes I don’t know the right way

because there isn’t one

to tell

to teach

to soothe the edges of jagged words

of broken ideals

in minds too young to comprehend what they’re asked to

in hearts too pure to make sense of what they weren’t meant to know

I want to silence voices of hate

I want to blur the lines of color

I want to carry burdens

release fears

and renew hope in the seemingly finite, infinite resource

of love

Maybe if it were given a chance

to indwell

to arise and awaken

we would find ourselves safe

in a world where I didn’t have to be afraid

to watch

the news

 

 

4.20.19 Choose Both

1

IMG_2346

The hardest decisions are the right ones …

it’s not the right versus wrong, 

but the right versus right that lead me to pause

and ponder

and question whether 

reminding me 

that two versions of “whatever may be” 

exist 

and fight for my attention 

These are the decisions proving what I’ve long suspected –

that this singular, 

precious life, 

is simply not enough … 

laden and lit with choice after choice

voices complex and competing 

calling and coaxing me 

from the ease of leaving things the way they are

to the fickle, fragile place between 

here and there

I will or I won’t

what is and what could be

Could I choose the perfect song

if I only had time for one?

Would I desire psalms or sonnets if given ultimatum?

Which musing or whim is worth filling a golden hour? 

What sun-lined path is the best choice 

if they’re both less traveled? 

One life

a hundred years

give or take

isn’t enough

for all of the decisions that are

and could have been

I want to see tandem versions 

of right then

and right now

because both is my only chance at gratification

Time and space are grasping and greedy

there is no altruism offered to those of us with 

open hearts and open minds

left wishing that we could always 

choose both

3.19.19 Her Story

7

 

IMG_1784

Recently, I was contacted by the sweetest woman who lives several states away, but found my work online and in Bella Grace Magazine. She had gone to my online writing boutique and asked that I write a poem for her friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. We went back and forth with communication about her and her friend’s relationship over the past number of years. And so I wrote a poem based on the way she saw her precious friend. Can I just say what an honor! What an honor it is to be invited not only to this beautiful friendship, but to chronicle it in words to be passed on and remembered by.

I have asked permission to share the work, and it was granted. So I ask two things: first, please pray for healing for this precious woman about whom this poem is written, and second, never let a day go by that you do not tell your friends exactly how you feel about them.

All my love,

Elle

By Her

hers is an autumn spirit
the red-crisped edge of fall
speaking to the world in cursive lines and shooting stars she is the effervescent echo of laughter,
coaxing the light from every ember …
adding sparkle where others might fade

hers is a bluegrass soul
a kindred to wind and wave
the earth speaks to her in whispers in sunrises and the music of the moon she listens with fluency like a prayer powerful and protective in turn

hers is a gift-wrapped mind
knowing intimately the imprint of grace on a memory turning tarnish to treasure;
she regards rust with reverence
paying homage to the story behind each scar

hers is a curator’s heart safeguarding sepia smiles in elemental perfection each photo chosen with intention to call and recall for those of us who may otherwise
have forgotten

hers is the truth hers is the wonder hers is the magic

and mine is the perfect joy and knowing
and being known

by her

3.12.19 Once A Year

4

IMG_1708

Last night, I was able to see one of my best friends. We only see one another once a year, and it’s hard to make that happen because, well … life. Still, somehow, we find a way, and meet in between, and it is perfect – every time. So this is for him, and for our time, even if it’s not enough, it is, because we make time count.

Once a year –

that is how often I see him, this ever-and-always friend of mine

who understands me

with or without

words

who believes in the best of me

and refuses to believe I have a worst

He is the dinner date I’m annually late for

and the patient, smiling eyes waiting for me …

knowing how hard I tried to be on time

again

We fill our first hour with the necessary questions,

and later

when we’ve allowed social graces to take their turn

we fall back into ourselves

and our ways

leaving our table for a walk

It is with him that I notice the exquisite shape of branches

of the stars hanging in them just so …

It is with me he takes pictures of the moon

not because of the resolution,

but because it’s the closest way of capturing a memory he knows how

We amble, and slip in and out of shadowed streets long quieted for the night

There is no topic off limits,

and we rarely speak of ordinary things

there’s just no time for that

Instead, we focus forward and blink back

Somewhere lost between reflections and dreaming

Once a year – that is how often I see him, this ever-and-always friend of mine

who understands me

with or without

words

2.26.19 Spring

2

“Spring is the season of what’s next? Of not quite what I was and still stepping into what I might be.” 

Friday marks the distribution of the next Bella Grace issue, of which I am blessed to be a part. Two articles made their way in this time, and with the winter we have had, I can honestly say that Spring is where my heart is. New possibilities … the winds of change … the blossoms of hope … this is a time of year I can find myself leaning into. I close my eyes to imagine a street of Cherry Blossom petals,  a whisper of wind scented honeysuckle, or fresh puddles daring me to splash. What is it about Spring that sets you to satisfaction? I’d love to hear! Dream with me dreamers. It’s not too far away.

Elle

2.17.19 At the Edge

4

IMG_1284

Hello dear ones. I hope that you will join me in reading my newest poem, “At the Edge,” on Grace Notes, Bella Grace Magazine’s blog. This poem means a great deal to me, as it represents a place that I think we all find ourselves from time to time. We try so hard to make sense of the things that try us, not always realizing that the trial itself promises beauty on the other side of enduring it. Nothing lasts forever precious hearts. Stay strong, and please share this piece with those who might most need to hear it.

All my love,

Elle

 

 

2.12.19 His

8

 

IMG_0462

They say all men are created equal

and I believe it

But in my experience, they don’t remain so

because some

(one)

has found a way to elevate my perspective on the possibility of everything

His is the memory I run to when I need to hear just one more story

the promise that nothing lasts forever, and tomorrow will be better than today

His is the patient voice on the other side of my endless why’s

answering when he can

and holding me when he can’t

There are few people who are able to possess the freedom of imagination

and the anchoring roots of integrity

but he does

His is the mind that recognizes my Neverland dreams

and the plank-walk inducing push to jump into the unknown

and keep swimming though I can’t see land

“Landing isn’t what you’re looking to do,” he will remind me

and I will carry on

I share his eyes, but not always his sight

and yet his is the calm to my tempest-beset heart

when the world overwhelms my “Why does it have to be that way,” view

“So then make it better,” he will challenge

Equal to none,

this is the man

I have made a lifetime of admiring

It is his hands that have held me

helped me

pushed me

and fiercely protected me

always

and today

it is his life

I am grateful for

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.25.19 Peace Will Arrive on the Climb

0

IMG_0786.jpeg

 

The path of my mind runs in circles

around and anon

my thoughts drift as shadows

chasing priorities that cut each other off

in their attempt to steal forward in my thinking

sifting and shifting 

too quickly for anything to gain much more attention 

than an increased heartbeat

as I try

and fail

to make yet another decision

that may not be mine to make

inside

and out of reach

over arching

and undercutting

the calm repose

I am only allowed to seek

not find

Patience is the prescription 

but knowing a cure

and procuring one

are sadly not of equal merit

to a fragile heart

or a too-full mind

And so it comes down to the truth

that though I may wish it – 

the path is not mine to forage,

but to follow

One tentative,

night-light-lit step at a time

Perhaps in the dance of a spiral staircase 

I cannot see the end of … 

peace will arrive on the climb

For now,

I’ll tell my weary mind, 

“Fret not dear burdened friend … 

for maybe sleep –

will come tomorrow” 

IMG_0786.jpeg

1.14.19 Not Now

10

Today I lost my grandmother. And while I know each person’s pain is their own, this feels quite acute … as if a particular piece of my childhood-self, somehow, can’t fathom her world without her. Yesterday was a long goodbye, and today I missed her final breath by two minutes. Just two. I wouldn’t have wanted her to stay, but it was my turn to be the brave one. In leaving, it’s almost as if she was saying, “No, no little girl. This moment isn’t yours to bear.” And yet facing a host of tomorrows without her seems somewhat indomitable if I’m being honest.

After leaving, I wasn’t ready. So I stayed. I went to the lake and closed my eyes against the rare, January sunshine. I went to the park and swung in the swing she always sat in … second from the right. I bought sweets at the candy store. I ran all the way up the church steps … just to run right back down. Then I got my nails painted red – her favorite, flashy color.

I tried grandma, to have a day “bumming” around … just the way you’d like it. I smiled. I remembered. I played. And I know where you are. And I’m happy for you … but here’s what I’m feeling just the same.

 

There is an art to saying goodbye

to orchestrating a memory that you know will be your last

only nothing seems good enough

or long enough

because although you may have shared a million laughs

it seems a million and one …

would have been the perfect number

Maybe I could have been satisfied with just one more

if one more had been allowed

but then again

maybe not

In coming my memory flickered like moving pictures

each and every one starring that jubilant face,

but in going, I fear might fade

like the sound of a voice in the echo

like the shade of the eye I can’t catch

like the difference between holding a hand

and having yours held in return 

the coming

of going

hurts strong

There is an art to saying goodbye

and it would seem, I am no master

There are too many colors and

untidy emotions that don’t quite match

In a medium of tears and memories

of the words I’d planned to say

of the prayers I meant to pray

and moments I may have missed 

without knowing

I tried so hard

to paint pictures that would last

but now there is only beauty 

in retrospect

You’d think I’d have seen it coming –

but who looks for what they don’t want to see? 

Who studies what they never wish to know?

Who accepts what they’ve practiced to deny? 

There is an art to saying goodbye

and I’m sure 

somewhere

it is done prettily 

with noble tears

and released fears

and flower-petal softness

But art is only a representation of the parts we 

want

to remember

and today

I want then

not now

I’ll love you forever. Thank you for being you, so I could enjoy this life in a way I couldn’t ever pursue without the gift of eternal optimism, and relentless joy you showed me how to own.

I pray this poem helps you too, my readers, however you are hurting from whomever you’ve lost. There is an art to saying goodbye … and maybe the key to being the best artist … is to never say it at all.

Elle