My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
Understand, I'll slip quietly away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale stars rising,
blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways through the pale twilit meadows
with only this one dream:
You come too.~Rainer Maria Rilke
I ran across this poem when I read a piece in the Paris Review entitled Poetry RX. Readers wrote in with a life issue, and a poet matched a poem to their situation.
This creative endeavor intrigued me, as poetry has often captured feelings and longings I've had--that flow of words that can create hope, like glimpsing light in the distance.
I'd always been on my way somewhere. Things were going to be great when. Things would finally be okay if. All I had to do was this one thing. Invest in my future. Plan for the future. But what about now? What about this moment?~From How To Be Loved, A Memoir Of Lifesaving Friendship, by Eva Hagberg Fisher
I stood on the banks of the tidal creek. The breeze was still cool; the intense heat hadn't invaded the morning. A hawk sat atop an oak branch, fish jumped, their silver scales reflecting the sunlight. A pelican swooped through the sky. So much life. The bustling atmosphere brought me comfort as I considered my own existence and circumstances.
I am prone to forging ahead, having a plan, making lists, weighing pros and cons. I felt exhausted by my efforts to control, predict and measure. I only wanted to stand on the creek bank and deeply breathe in the tang of mud and salt. To give myself permission to pause, like the hawk who kept me company in his contemplation.
A rush of chilled air hit my face as I walked through the automatic doors of Walmart. The relentless and undiminished sunlight of the Carolina summer day felt unbearable. A trickle of sweat ran down my back. I breathed a sigh of relief, the store's coolness acting as a giant parasol. Walmart's familiarity felt comforting too. I knew exactly where to find the dental floss sticks I like and the shade of fingernail polish I wear. I knew where the bottles of organic cinnamon would be, the wild-caught tuna and the flaxseed. The comfort of sameness.
I need protection from life's incessant heat and list here a few portals of refuge I create for myself...
Nature and movement. I rose early to avoid the worst heat. I did not want to get up, but knew I could stave off feelings of low mood and negative thoughts if I went outside and moved. The storm-rinsed clouds and swatch of blue sky above me felt like inhaling an intoxicating blend of hope and expectation of good. A lone bird perched on a wire assuaged my loneliness, its presence acting as a companion, encouraging me to trust in the creator who says, "Look at the birds. If I care for them, won't I care much more for you?"
When the present presses in so hard we can't imagine a future, the past hints at a larger order and shows us why and how we'll move forward. It can be like a map.~from Together by Judy Goldman
Our house is in chaos after a longterm bathroom leak went undetected, the floors rotted through under the tile. To repair the damage, the entire bathroom needed to be refurbished. We are in process and it is messy and expensive to make things better, to transform the old and nonfunctional bathroom. A lot like the calamity in real life.
I listened to a song this morning that brought comfort. The song is entitled Never Saw Blue by Hayley Westenra (You can listen here if you like Never Saw Blue).The concept caused me to wonder if this might be my brother-in-law's response when he crossed into eternity this past week. My sister called with the news of his death, and the response for our family was like a black ribbon of sorrow that spooled through our lives. This was a man greatly loved and cherished by my sister, a man who deeply loved my sister in return. A man who loved his daughter. A man who loved God. When I heard the song, I wondered if perhaps this lovely man may have had a similar encounter when he entered the heavenly realm, a blue so pure that he felt awestruck. Blue in spiritual symbolism represents grace. Perhaps the vivid color and extravagant concept melded to create an overwhelming feeling of love and peace, his Kingdom inheritance.
Meanwhile we grieve his absence this side of heaven. We weep.