Friday, September 6, 2013

Poetry and Ax Handles

"Making an ax-helve is like writing a poem. The material is free enough but it takes a poet to use it. Some people imagine that any fine thought is poetry, but there was never a greater mistake.

A fine thought, to become poetry, must be seasoned in the upper garrets of the mind for long and long, then it must be brought down and slowly carved into words, shaped with emotion, polished with love. Else it is no true poem. "

From Adventures in Contentment chapter 5 The Ax-Helve, by David Grayson

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Dream of Friends

      The room was full of people. People crowded in chairs at rows of white clothed tables. I sat at the end of one of the center rows, turned sideways in my chair to spoon feed a baby in a highchair.
      The room was alive, voices raising and a constant current of conversation mingled spurts with laughter and an occasional baby or toddler fussing. Overall it was just the happy sound of people eating together. 
      I saw her headed toward me and I  was glad to see her. She had a determined gleam in her eye as she carefully and slowly navigated around people and conversations, and chairs and dishes and spills. She kept coming and she got slowly closer until she was standing beside the highchair. I gave the baby her final spoon of food and smiled at my friend, my dear, long-time, from the first minute we met friend, Barbara Rauls.
      She stepped closer and leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and said simply "I love you," turned and headed out of the room.       
      "Wait," I called after her. Leaving the baby in the charge of a friend, I followed after her to her car in the parking lot to give her a hug and to say a proper goodbye.
      Then in an empty space, cameos—appeared  with the faces of many of my friends from over my sixty years. I saw Mary Ruth Stevens and heard her sweet perky voice say "I love you." Then others friends from my past in Oklahoma: Linda Gaunt, and Cindy Hoover, Pamela Wedel saying "I love you."And from my years in Louisiana: Bonnie Hollis, Linda Doughty, Pamela Calish, and Judy Mock. Each said, "I love you" and in the dream their voices each sounded so familiar, so real and near. 
      Then my friends here in Oklahoma again Shelley Boland, Ronee Jordan, Valerie Wright, Rebecca Lee, etc. They each appeared, said I love you, and then faded. 

      It was a happy dream—a wonderful dream, because I knew when I woke what I had known all along. I was loved. I had friends from way back long ago and right up to the present that loved me.

Friends are friends forever.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

“But an empty shell, like an empty nest, invites day-dreams of refuge."
-- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space:  The Classical Look at How We Experience Intimate Places

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Home Away from Home

My grandchildren, four of them and their mother, my oldest daughter, have come to to stay with us awhile while they resettle in the US. They have lived several years in Mexico City and returned to us to start over without their "Poppy" who has drinking problems and been abusive. To start over in a new place with a new language. Oh, my how hard it will be.

So far, they have enjoyed getting to know their aunts and uncle and grandparents and cousins. The oldest only having retained any memories of us and the farm. They seem to love the quiet and peaceful countryside and the family, clean warm beds, warm baths, new toys, books, and plenty of new foods.

The little boy Bryan, just three-years-old, loves his Abuelo, who he now calls "Grand-pa Pecan". We have pushed the children on the swings and played and run and picked up pecans in the back yard. They have eaten ice cream with Grandpa, leaned to bow their heads and listen quietly for a prayer around the table at supper each night, and pronounce with him the "Amen." They love to play and wrestle and say, "I love you" with Grandpa and the uncles, Alton, especially, whom all the children always love.

This morning the house was chilly. The porch thermometer read thirty degrees. The sunlight slanted in yet it is cold light. I piled logs in the woodstove atop a bed of hot coals and soon a fire was burning bright and the room beginning to heat up.We had comfort coming!

Three of the children are playing in the floor here now, one with a box of dominoes, one with toy cars and another with blocks. The sun spills in on the carpet. It is good to have them here safe and sound after such a fiery time they have come through and after the hard journey over so many miles, three long hard days traveling to Oklahoma. There was danger, fear, and weariness. There was sickness and doubt and there was trauma, but God brought them through it all.

This was one of those times when trials burn like threatening wild fires, like house fires, forest fires, not comforting woodstove fires. Fires like the times when someone is very sick, when the car has broken down, a hurricane is raging nearer, or a job is lost. They are fires we fight like one last year when the drought dried grasses out back burst suddenly into moving thriving flames. Fires we have to survive.

When these fires burn we turn to our God who guides us, who protects us, who comforts us, and supports us. He is our refuge and our consolation through those raging fires. He brings us back to safe places where we can sit and rest in the warmth of love and know He is with us.