Forgotten

and so that intense quiet of snow upon snow has consumed

both light & sound, already, the world in all its greenery

has become some fictitious memory boasted about by strange bullies & beasts

I am washed down, with this tin taste of blood in my lungs, the cold only biting with small teeth

how often have I run, lungs bursting, drowning, here in the cold

what wild consumptions of ice & black & how peculiar this sky, singing strange horrors in the night

all things are whimpering at the door, humming, or howling…or screaming

slowly light attempted its feeble rise, only to fall, in breaths of blood & flicker

Ask me what I know? How does the North keep me alive inside it’s deathly embrace?

How much blood has it frozen, blued, crusted in the veins of my fingers & toes & most definitely my heart?

How lovely is the frozen face & the water eyes of winter as they realize…

I once heard, rumours of soft sand & high held sun & ocean waves & leaves that never fall; of trees that do not stand, thin stark & white, glimmering rig immortally in the night

But here, this sway of stiff limbs & creaking bows & strange songs slithering along the snow, this, this is all I know. It is hum-drumming through these frozen wastelands—where my body barely breathes, only puffs, clouds of haze & glow.

Advertisements

Folkloric Tunic  

I said I’d finish it today, & tho I can’t always complete things when I think I can, I took the two hours it needed and sewed up the last seam and stitched the back support into the neckline. I still need to block it so it relaxes a bit, but all in all, this baby is finally done. My second ever sweater just in time for a gorgeous autumn weekend. Yay! 

Super proud of myself. It is lovely tho ever so slightly peculiar. Just like last year’s Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton knit. 


Folkloric Tunic 

…not to be forgotten, Benedicta below


Old Photos

Was looking for a new profile pic for social media (Charlotte has been my profile picture a couple months now) & came across this gem from last winter—it reminds me of where I am headed—back into the black & white world of Winter. 

I have always believed we have to accept what we do & do not have. I’ve been going through a new phase of mid-life body, it is not my favourite. The mid-section jelly rolls are getting quite annoying, & I think for the first time in my life I might actually need to do something active to keep that under control besides control top pantyhose. Lol. 

I’ve never had pretty legs in my opinion. I don’t care for my nose. My lips are not as plump as I would have liked. I’m getting wrinkle in my neck. My neck people! 

But, I have a few features I’m thankful for—my eyes. My dark lashes. My little fingers. I’ve never fought much to have definition in my arms. But ya, mid life is kicking my butt. Everything is aging now. Most especially my eyes. They don’t see like they used to. I hate it. But hey. Glasses have come a ways in style. 

So, seeing this shot of myself, while walking one cold winter day last year, my eyes. Man am I thankful I’ve had these eyes and I hope they last me another forty years should this system go on that long. But boy will I love getting them restored to youth one day. 

Thematic 

So September has officially begun & I am so excited (& a little apprehensive) about what this new school & service year will bring. 

For the first time in nineteen years I will not have any preschoolers at home with me at all. All my kids are in school or done school. 

Life keeps changing, so must I, tho I don’t easily. ‘Mid-life me’ is ready for tea & baking & knitting & ripening into something of a ‘granny’ sort without the grandkids. But, ‘Jehovah’s servant me’ sees a door of opportunity opening. I am still a mother of five. Life is never slow or dull, never as quiet as I thought it may be with my youngest being six, but I suppose when they all start back at school on Tuesday I’ll know how loud or quiet my life really will be. 

Last year, my goals of learning guitar & taking more walks & getting more personal study time in, all panned out reasonably well. I didn’t expect how little time morning kindergarten actually affords a mother, & I’m fairly certain seven hours per day with no little kids home won’t be as many when all is said & done as I think it is. There is still laundry, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, cooking, baking & if time, breathing to be done. 

This being duly noted, I have set some bigger goals. I love the ministry. I actually do. Our congregation territory is diverse & shockingly fruitful. Even last week I got an amazing new call with a young guy, maybe twenty or so, (why does everyone under thirty look twelve) humble & reasonable minded, strong spiritual need, respectful of his family’s faith (Roman Catholic, they were gone to church when I got him home, not often that people are at church anymore) but completely not impressed with Catholicism. He is delving into Genesis & Exodus & completely cannot stomach the ideas of evolution, & believes the Bible has the full explaination of why the earth is how it is now, and is trying to understand where we go from here. It was a wonderful conversation. I used only the Bible, that had been my goal that day, no literature—just Teach the Truth. This was perfect for this initial call because he really truly respects the Bible. It stands on its own in his mind. He actually said it was so strange I had shown up at his door that day because he had just been trying to learn how Genesis connects to our day. Anyways. Great start and look forward to seeing the progression. 

Meeting spiritually hungry people of all ages in the ministry is why I love the ministry. The appeal to people of all backgrounds, ages & kinds is obvious, and if Jehovah can use me to find sheeplike ones, I’m in. 

So, I’ve set my personal goals. I’ve looked at my life and attempted to find an achievable & balanced approach to both home & ministry. These goals, are not for public display. They are private, between Jehovah & I, and he will teach me where I can go, & perhaps, where I am limited. I am willing to accept both. This week’s Life & Ministry Meeting was perfect for self reflection, goal setting, & inspiration. 

But, one goal I am willing to share is my new daily Bible reading goal. 

Over the years I’m fairly certain I’ve read the Bible several times over. I’ve set the goal before to read it cover to cover in a year, and discovered somewhere in one of the Chronicles, I’m going to fail. Seriously! Anyone who’s done these books knows what I’m talking about. Parts of the Bible are literal lists of names. It’s historical. A genealogy. All serves a purpose, but thick & slow, like reading mud. I mean, if the whole Bible was like Psalms & Proverbs I’m sure we’d have all read it cover to cover uncountable times. Point being, I’m going to attempt something new: a Thematic cover to cover reading. 

Broken up so that one day of the week for each, The Law; History; Psalms; Poetry; Prophecy; Gospels; Letters—this seems doable. I’m actually really looking forward to this. It feels like I could truly enjoy the skip around. I’m kind of like that in life, variety keeps me from losing my drive due to boredom. 

So my main goal is yes, to read the Bible, cover to cover, over the next year. But my secondary goal in this is to find ‘gems.’ Spiritual gems. The kind we’ve been taught to look for in our weekly Bible reading. I’ve loved the new format of our mid week meeting. It has taught me so many new things about teaching & preaching & our organization & Jehovah, but more than that, it’s taught me that just because I did things this way or that, changing how we do things, is good. Changing focus & our entire motivation or way of being, is productive. I am not reading the Bible in a year for any purpose other than to improve my day to day mind set; to practice what I preach; to improve myself; to draw closer to Jehovah. If I can set goals & accomplish them in small, manageable pieces, it helps me set new goals, manage my time & energy, & the joy of fulfilling set goals is a very personal thing, only you & Jehovah have real joy in these little individual goals. He sees you work hard for them, & you & he alone see how he helps you with them. I want stronger faith. It’s been a main aspect of the fruitage of the spirit I’ve been working on for some time. Daily Bible reading with the goal of reading the Bible in a year is going to inevitably help me with my faith. That I am looking forward to. 

My focus this coming year is family & faith. To keep my kids moving forward in their own relationships with Jehovah; to get this home functioning a little smoother; caring for the physical health of my family & myself; using my time & energy for things that I am proud of—study, prayer, meditation, meal planning, cleaning, organizing, ministry, family worship, learning guitar, knitting, exercise, baking…it’s an endless seeming list. But I’ve come up with a tentative yet flexible schedule, haphazard as it may seem. What a busy life. I’m just so thankful I’ve this circumstance to focus on these things. I’m so thankful for this family. I’m so thankful for Jehovah’s patience. I’m truly looking forward to focusing on the inner workings of myself via daily Bible reading. It’s a small thing but such a big thing all in one. 

Despite This Long Despair…

I fear I am full of so many redundancies—a corpse spewing scent of death & rot. 

How can I become something changing & sweet & new & becoming, yet be the same. Always the same. 

I spill forth like life, not death. 

That washing light of sunrise; the closing scene of dusk; the cleansing tide, wave upon wave. Flowers that have bloomed fresh, fifty springs, yet it’s never one too many. The awe of yet another moment, never paling the last—awe & a breath & a gasp. 

How lovely & how rare.
Redundancy of hope,
despite this long despair. 

Cesspool Poetry

…having been awake, having said a prayer, now what am I to do?

Poetry has its way of pouring from the cesspool of drained sores…

The quiet smoke in the dawn

The rustle of the birds in the tree

The silence of the sky

Turbulent as the sea

So you gape open, as do I

This is what it is to be a part,

Oozing as it is, of humanity

I Cannot Raise the Gun…

I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot down the wicked. There, they stamp, tall busts bellowing, a holler against some imagined injustice. Yet, I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot them down. Like splintered roots, the weeds, they rise, they rise. For every fallen, five rise. 

Have you seen the blood upon me? 

My face is torn open. I’ve the skull inside, the flesh giving way to its hardness. Inside, I’m alive & dying. My eyes have seen the lamp shade skins of the dead. I’ve seen that the hatchet can dive in & yet Death, that fickle friend, may leave you crawling to the grave. I’ve seen such spitting hate, spewing as the bath bares the soul to Sheol. 

My skin, every so slightly raised to golden from the sun, warm & beckoning, but never dark enough, it glows. Ghostly. Or ghastly. All in stunned aching silence but for this: let them scream. 

Let them raise their anger. Let them spit. Let them holler. 

…and this, the forest of me, does not hear. 

Inside, peace came washing over me. Inside, the young girl, brown & curled hair, & lips whispering in prayer, I heard none of it. My ears have refused to hear. Inside, the young girl, pale & blonde, grabbed the other’s hand, and we walked, souls as they are, complex & intwined, we are one little girl, & neither of us will listen. 

…and when you raise the gun I will ask why—fortitude is a passive courage, despite the possibility of rage. Rage leads to rage. I must resist the hunger & the pain, the cold. Against that, what is there to oppose? 

You raise the gun. The shot, I did not hear, but felt. It lays, lodged in my chest & I’m asking, what of my silence has offended you? Was my refusal to feed this fire your fuel? Fight your evil! Fight it then! Watch, as it consumes your heart & soul. Watch as it creeps from the justice within you to become the administer of what you hate. Watch as you shoot down, bleed out, fall, & rot all the heathens as the emerge, one by one, millions upon millions. How heavy the toil, the toll, the tumult. Fight it and become it. 

I sank…my lips still so silent, but for the gasp of surprise. My eyes, they will stay locked, and they will haunt you. I promise. You will see them when you die. 

Lost In Translation

here i am, lost in
the murmuring translations upon these prairies—
the hard english glazed in sharp french, a drizzled bitter of
distain & broken tongues & backs
there, fresh off history’s bloom
raw with rape-red & bruise-blue
a meandering river of tears
that tinkle with light that scorches unending

there, the tangy berries of despair unleash themselves against hearts
that wander the rolling—what was it you’ve been looking for?

all the shadows crawl free across the scarred landscape, downs & meadows, rigor mortis trees with sharp nails stretching high against my prairie sky, drawing the blood from the sunrise, in long, flowing ribbons

…and then the storm, heavy & booming, drumroll upon drumroll, that can never wash
everything clean

i sit there, smoke of muskets & the sharp sound of both the arrow & the plunging thud of axes, digging deep, swift to the grey
drawing forth vast oceans of blood & misery & turmoil, i feel the women, pushing forth spawn after spawn on the land—
these aching children full of rage

there, the ground, hungry again after the digestion of so much gluttonous misery, it’s howling,
tongue lolling out, dry but salivating
you, your perfect face, shining in the rise of the sun, small lines, fresh sun-scorch, a small streak of dirt where all tragedy lies, just under the temple, deep inside the brain, heart pounding—there,
in the hardened earth, you feel deep below, the mantle crack, the core, swell to tide, all the fires burning, all of history repeating
there, i, small & silent, so trembling in imperfections i glow white & crimson, i sit so quiet, watching the quaking prairie storm

the low growl inside me rises, gutteral, small flecks of timid
falling way to force until it is strong, sure, loudening against time’s awkward push upon me
i’ve a small scar, one deep but small on the outside, tingling with a dulled memory of this excrutiating pain, & now its aching, both to be left & to be touched, these bruises & their oxymoronic pleadings
the silver line tingles in the last rays before the clouds & there it is, glowering in sad silence

the starlings, rise & fall, sacred tribal dances upon the sky—warm, mixing with the cool

i hear the grass shiver, scratching upon the bare of my leg as if a child, begging, UP!

but all must face the wind & become either tame, or so very very wild

Inspiration? 

What it once was—the black root worming, a snug grub

Skinned from the inner lump of my heart, coal black & whining with sorrow & regret, a childhood agony

I dropped free~freedom came rushing at me

Soul & mind & blood, slick & smooth & flowing river-fast & aching cold, refreshing

How long I wallowed, in the warmth of my own mud, it’s stench restful in its uneasiness 

Then, the freed sparrow of my throat, a small warble, rising in the wind, clean in the sunrise—how sweet, how sweet

Despite all the woes, to rise, finally free.