This Christmas Eve, I’m wishing you peace.
Here’s a poem about Christmas Eve that I wrote almost a year ago exactly, at my friend Jennifer Simpson’s drop-in writing group. She was a powerhouse of community effort and encouragement, and she recently passed away, but her influence shines on. In honor of all that Jenn inspired in the writing community, I share the light of this poem, published today at ONE ART: A Journal of Poetry.
In my bio, I share a little about Jenn’s wide-ranging work. Check out the links to her organizations, like Plume and Dime Stories, and the many beautiful collaborations she helped empower. Explore the fine books that her press, Talk Story Publishing, came out with in the past few years, and read some of Jenn’s own writings and her Plume blog posts, full of her insight, candor, and compassion.
Peace and blessings to you and yours.
I wrote a little story to lift your heart right now, if you’re interested in reading. It’s a social justice fantasy fiction, a fun, quick spell of hope.
Check it out here:
View at Medium.com
The moon’s casting some spells tonight.
All the iris wands stretch up to hear.
Moon song seeps into their furled buds.
They listen to the songs of transformation,
leaning into the miracle, getting ready.
To honor our new 2020, I offer my poem, “Wake Up!” from We’Moon 2020.
Here’s to a present and fulfilling new year for all of us.
Have you heard about Plume yet? It’s a writer subscription service based in New Mexico that sends out monthly packages full of creative inspiration and encouragement to women writers. You should see their lovely packages and boxes, full of little surprises and treats. I’m the featured writer for December, and there are still a couple days left to place your order by November 30.
Interested? You can read an interview I did with them, here.
Go to Plume’s website to learn more about them, their inspiring mission, and how to order your December subscription! It’s a beautiful way to nurture your creative spirit.
This morning I discovered my backyard had become a crystal wonderland, and then I passed a crow in a tree meowing at the moon. A couple hours later, he was still at it, sharing his wintry secrets.
Just a tilt can do it. Some of my favorite times are the glimpsed patchwork memories that overlay a moment and suddenly have me living in two places at once.
Yesterday, as we drove through a rush hour intersection and I glanced up at the hanging green streetlight, was it the raised slope of my gaze that fired distinct synapses? Because then I found myself concurrently in a live memory of sitting by a lake house window almost three decades ago, gazing at the creamy sunlight shining past the green trees. Flash! I was there, drinking in the land and quiet. Just as I was when I was fourteen, there I was in Virginia again. And I’ve always been the same me whether fourteen or forty-two.
We drove on through the Albuquerque intersection, and was it that as soon as my gaze lowered the live memory was gone? Or did it escape along with my awareness of where my relaxation and visions were originating. In any case, I was more fulfilled for the memory, as we drove on past the drivers and orange construction cones, that I can go so many other places, and that I’ll always be me.
Our brains seem like such electrical operations, with currents and tiny connections that produce 3D miracles, and respond, just like a faulty radio, to a little tilting or even a good shake.
I was thinking of something else when I realized, O, was I hanging out with my dad last night in my dream? And then it seemed like his presence was recent, that connection we shared.
What was he saying?, I tried to recall.
The chorus of the song playing cut in then, and the timing was perfect enough to feel choreographed:
“And I can only say
that I have hoped for you
safety from fears and darkness.
Are you feeling better
It sounded like him at his best. The song is called “You Are the Light.”
I keep listening to it.
This life, huh? Who even knows about it, but we continue on anyway because it’s mealtime and someone has to cook. We strive toward ideals and then have to learn the skills to accept what actually happens. Society lauds lofty goals and impressive treasures, and then we each deal privately with the real necessities in life—fortitude, forgiveness, adaptation, love. Those are the ingredients that make or break a life. How do we keep going and make a good time of it. Part of creating a successful, valuable life involves looking past the highlighted targets and aiming at those subtle bulls’-eyes that would create the most difference, despite what others say, whether or not anyone else can see them. I don’t understand why there are these two realities so contrasting—the public view of life and the private. But so it is.
(This is what my left hand had to say today. It’s fruitful to give it the pen sometimes.)
Here’s a little piece I wrote almost a month ago, April 28, 2015. I just reread it and thought I’d share. It reminds me of how wherever we’re at, we’re mid-transition, all the time.
* * *
Isn’t it nuts that it’s almost Beltane? It’s fascinating to feel the seasons turn inside me, to feel my soil churning and warming and observe the new growth pushing past my surface, knowing what to do all on its own, how to turn warmth and light and nutrients into all these new aspects of me, growing and strengthening and one day able to bloom. I even have some small blooms opening on me now—like ground-cover plants with many tiny white blossoms—seemingly unscented till you bend way down, get your nose right in there, and then you can catch its small sweet whiff. That might not seem so impressive unless you knew how thoroughly never-ending-winter I’ve felt, how I was trying to be okay with being fallow, since I couldn’t find a choice in the condition, how I thought winter was how I’d stay, so I struggled to swallow the clay and call it water. But now, standing on the raised lip on the edge of May, I see and feel the new shoots growing through my inner compost, breaking up the old death and rot, combining ingredients, adding heat and energy to waste, until my humble opening blossoms release a breath fresh and sweet. Miracles of life. It’s in the live moment that I receive the world and myself.