Friday, July 29, 2011

Teach us to care and not to care. 
Teach us to sit still.
- T. S. Eliot

Today I am linking up with Gypsy Mama in the Five Minute Friday Challenge over at {in}courage. Today’s challenge is to take five short minutes to just write and then leave it be… no editing, no re-thinking it. Just writing for the love of it, for the love of written words, to become Word Artist. So here goes…

The art of patience while we are waiting. Waiting, yes, for the outcome of our desire. Waiting and trying to still the desire of the heart. Learning to let go of the outcome and simply let be what is to come.

I remember my dad said, years ago, "Patience isn't always a good thing." But what else can I do?
I try to still my heart while waiting for the answer. And remember that God rests in action. So I try to still my heart with the activity of these last days of summer. I make art with friends. I read and ponder words. I bake . . . cookies, bread, lavendar short-bread, angel food cake . . . to share with those I love. I sew, making new things to spark my life and to wear to a new school year.

Still, it is difficult to quiet my heart to the stillness, the peace it longs for. I wait.

Here is the link to check out others . . .

Friday, July 22, 2011


In the middle of the journey of my life
I found myself inside a dark forest, for
The right way I had completely lost.
 - Dante

The idea of loss has crossed my path several times this week. Once, ok; twice you might notice; third time, you better listen.

Loss has visited me many times in life. Beloved family members that have passed on, the death of my first love, friends left behind in a myriad of moves, divorce severed my family and home. Terrible things all part of the journey that is my life. I’ve come to think of some of these losses as the very fiber of my being. If I hadn’t had those incredibly significant losses, I wouldn’t even be who I am today. Sometimes that makes me sad, wondering who I might have been, but most days that idea nearly scares the living daylights out of me. The idea of continuing in a way that simply wasn’t right for me, and the idea that I am right where I need to be right now.

There are other losses, on a much smaller scale, that I’m thinking about now. Like the loss of the letters I received when I was a little girl. Letters my grandpa wrote to me when my family moved away. Instead of writing those to me in his voice, his dog Scamper was the voice I read. How Scamper missed my laughter and following me around the garden while I helped Grandpa. Suffering from the loss of his first grandchild, he was. Birthday poems that Aunt Nita sent to mark each new year. She was traveling at the time, around the world. Too expensive to send a package. Too creative to buy an ordinary birthday card. Letters Grandma sent to encourage me, remind me, be a part of me.

Those letters survive only in my memory. Small things, to be sure compared to other losses. What I wouldn’t give to have them in a box or drawer to touch a part of them now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moments at the Lake

“She was learning to love moments.
To love moments for themselves,”
Gwendolyn Brooks

Glorious days spent at the lake. Staying in the Cottage, away from all others when needed, but close enough to be with them and in the mix of it all. My entire adult life I've dreamt of living close to family. At the lake I do, a quick walk to either the home of my brother or sister. Sometimes my sister-in-law stops by on the golf cart, on the way to nowhere, and takes me with her. Half way to my sister's is the home of good lake friends. Always a wave on the way, sometimes stopping just to see what is going on.

The peace of the Cottage is like none other. Is it the cover of trees? Just right to shade from the mid-day sun and heat. Is it the ever changing view of the lake? Is it bird song? Even in the dark, I can hear the sound of a screech owl. I certainly feel like it is sacred space.

The holiday started when the family gathered for Independence Day. The tradition continues, with the young adults now coming and going according to their own schedules. A day or two with just the lake crew. Then a troop of girl friends come for a visit. My sister and I have always been able to share friends, so it was a delight to bring friends together; different states we've lived in, different phases of our lives. All intertwined in a beautiful tapestry. After they leave, again the lake crew.

Pleasant times of kayaking in the mornings and evenings when the water is quiet, before the motor boats overtake the water. Going out to the sandbar in the afternoons for fun and laughter and cold drinks. Simple seasonal foods. Walks under the stars. Moments taken to write in my journal, read a few pages, work on a creative project. All until the next call or knock comes to go on another adventure.

One evening the lake crew ended up at the Cottage where I made pizza for everyone, using up the dough I'd made for the girls. It's been a long time since I've actually "entertained" people other than teenage boys in my space. Five couples, plus me. It felt so good to have a mixed group at my place. As if I really could fit into a coupled group again someday. As my brother-in-law said, "50 year old boys like pizza as much as teenagers!"

It's been a long time since I've been away from home for so long. And I can't remember when I have ever come home from a vacation actually refreshed and relaxed. I think those moments spent at the lake will keep me feeling peaceful and revitalized for a long time to come.