We Are One

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Fruitless searches

Mis-spelled words

Random mis-steps

Falling hard.

Foggy brain

View obscured.

Troubled times

And misspent years.

Coursing passions

Overcome fears.

The mist parts

Softly shaded images

Emerge from shadow.

Hopes restored in

Christ alone.

We are one

In Him

Through Him

Because He Lives

A Triune God

We become

One.

Poetry Is (Not Quite What You Expect)

I sat until the screen-saver appeared

Because I could not allow the words to come near

The broken places buried within.

I fought frantic fear for words that rang true

As the asthmatic gasps, wheezing breaths

Hacking at fear as veins bulge blue.

Facing down fear of being misunderstood;

What origin the voice within that said that I could?

My middle-aged self tilting at windmills

With words to explain how we all come full-circle.

My adolescent dreams come face-to-face

With the reality of my chronically weakened state.

When I was a girl having my last doll-tea

What would I have thought of my grown-up, me?

 

This month I am sharing in the Tweetspeak Poetry book club. The featured selection is Megan Willome’s, The Joy of Poetry, part memoir, part poetry life-line.  The first six chapters begin with her experience of poetry and the battle her mother waged with cancer. She begins at thirteen, the year they both invaded her life.

 

Poetry took over my life a few years earlier. Thankfully, my mother did not develop cancer until I was a young adult. My Mother’s battle with cancer was nearly as swift as Willome’s mother’s was long. The shared suffering of a girl whose mother is dying of cancer, combatting the disease with words is one that helped form both Willome and myself.

 

Did You Study Bacon?

On The Bookshelf #2

At the end of October when I linked up with F.M.F. (Five Minute Friday’s) the surprise word was “bacon.” Everyone seemed to be discussing meat. Given my propensity to think unconventionally I originally thought of Francis Bacon (1561-1626). His essays are some of his most popular works. A nice copy graces my bookshelf.

My favorite of the essays is “Of Studies.” It is in describing the virtue and value of studies that Bacon applies his wit to great effect.

Biography.com

Biography.com

Francis Bacon encourages us to, “Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”

“Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested…”

I find that I swallow novels. I chew and digest history and I taste many books before deciding if they will suit me. In fact, essays like Bacon’s are very suitable books to taste.

Forgive the pun, friends, I could not resist.

Do you choose books based upon their popularity, friends’ opinions, theme, genre or availability? I find different criteria suit different purposes. I find a work of history needs more time to chew and digest, while a volume of verse may be consumed in a brief evening.

I am more particular in selecting a work of historical fiction than I am in choosing contemporary fiction. I am not well able to tolerate a poor understanding of the history in a work of historical fiction. A well researched work by an author with a good grasp of the era can be most compelling, while an engaging story and style will make an effective contemporary work alone.

This month I am devoting time to writing my own piece of historical fiction. I am finding that historical fiction can be more challenging to write than historical fact. The need to keep the drama and pace falls squarely upon the shoulders of the novelist, while the scholar can rely upon the fact that history tends to provide its’ own drama.

The Bookshelf #1

This is the first post of the series On The Bookshelf. 

I thought I would start with

a book…

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He ate and drank the precious words,                                                                   His spirit grew robust;                                                                                                   He knew no more that he was poor,                                                                         Nor that his frame was dust.                                                                                         He danced along the dingy days,                                                                                  And this bequest of wings                                                                                           Was but a book. What liberty                                                                                        A loosened spirit brings!

-Emily Dickinson

 

I decided that we would begin the thoughts of what is on my bookshelves with a bit of pocket-poetry. In the days before smart phones made it easy to carry volumes of poetry in your purse or back pocket I bought these little volumes from the Easton Press. I love the compact size and there is nowhere that you cannot use a good poem. They have travelled through many a mundane day with me.

The novel that I am writing has me traveling back in time and across the sea. It is nice to come back and sink into something short, satisfying and soulful like a classic poem. Books are a chance to fly to far-flung kingdoms and experience a life that we would never know if not for the exquisite agony of being trapped in a book.

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I will be here again on Friday for another installment of On the Bookshelf and I will tidy the shelves themselves so that I do not have to photograph the books on the floor. I will also drop a few more hints about the book that is taking form as my imaginations tries to migrate into my computer.

Keep writing and reading!

The Lonely Rain

Today’s Poem

Tip, tap, increasing rap, someone’s tapping at my window.
Unlike a ring or tone that sings, no one’s looking for me.
My attention drawn, the torrent begins refrain long.
The sky looks sullen, grey, like a lonely specter wanting to come in.
Keep it out! Hide within! Cold blasts from the north whirl the soggy din.
I flip on lights looking for golden gleam, to keep out the lonely,
No one is looking for me.

The winds whirl, the boughs shake, the leaves are falling in the lake.
Washing down the golden treasure, fall’s brilliance is tricked by weather.
Never a fan of gore or fear, the holiday is not for me one of cheer.
I tuck myself in, with busy routine. I’m too busy to notice, they’re not for me.
The streets turn wet and quiet. All seek solace within, enough of the bustle.
Darkness falls early; the wind shakes the ivy, slaps the window, a sound that is churl-y.
No one is looking for me.

Tears from the sky, though none from my eye, force me to wonder. Why?
The path seems so long, courageous, forlorn, like a caricature drawn.
I wait in the wet, but dry indoors, sodden inside, I know the answer, “Not yet.”
Pitter, patter is a song of spring sweet, fall spits in my face, no one looking for me.
It shudders the windows, echo in chimney, I dine with the widows.
Wet-cold without, thawing in company, God lights a hope no one can see,
Surely, someday, someone, will be looking for me.

Jesus waits

Jesus waits

Silence

On this October Sabbath a restful poem to savor in a bit of quiet.
How blissful is silence

When the world is filled with strife.

Like the simple vista

That best displays a life.

How lovely is sunshine,

On a cloudy day.

Or, when the earth is parched

A welcome bit of rain.

How soothing is music,

Or joyous laughter,

But most restful is

The quiet we’re after.

How relaxing is stillness

We hear from without.

But perfect is silence within

That resolves doubt.

NEW SERIES

  • Get ready for November
    We will start a new series in November

    Join me for “In the Library”

    Twice a week we will share a favorite book.
    In November I will be participating in the “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month.
    So I will not post daily here at Pilgrim Journey Through Life, but I will post twice a week.

    In honor of the Novel we will review and discuss favorites from the bookshelf.

    Nominate your favorite novel!

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Character Trees

imageI love trees. My street had a wealth of old trees when I was a child. My bedroom window looked out into the upper branches of an ancient apple tree. It was a view that I adored. When I read Anne of Green Gables I immediately recognized the Snow Queen.

As a teen when I went off to college in the big city I was rapidly appalled by the exhaust fumes, noise and endless concrete. My older sister loved the city. I always preferred the country, but I had nothing against the city. Only a few months into college I found myself irresistibly standing transfixed on the sidewalk in front of the only green space on campus. It was home to one majestic tree. A squirrel was playing next to tree and I could not move until he disappeared from sight. I was late for class because I couldn’t take my eyes off a squirrel. As a conscientious student, I was astounded at my own behavior. Being of a philosophical nature I pondered what it represented for the rest of the day and part of the night. I concluded that I could not be happy living anywhere with more people than trees. I probably overestimated the number of trees required, but to this day I have never been satisfied without a minimum of one tree per household.  More trees always make me happier.

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I originally believed that when the tree to person ratio exceeded my preferences it resulted in too many people congested into one area. I now wonder if it may also be a natural fondness for what trees represent. I have a good friend who is a fellow tree enthusiast. She described trees as have such interesting characters. She did not mean that they had personalities, but that they remind us of people who have very lively characters. The sort of characters who make an engaging story. My friend loves a good story as well as an interesting tree. I think that this may be why writers often express a fondness for trees. Tolkien loved trees as did L.M. Montgomery. Trees often remind me of people with personalities too big to keep in check.

I have cried when my neighbors cut a tree down. I still miss trees that were removed years ago. When age, disease or lightning damage a tree I understand why that tree may need to be removed. What I don’t understand is why some people view trees as nothing more than a liability issue. Lest it lose a branch in a storm, or blow down on a car they cut it down and replace the regal growth of generations with a sapling. I find it sad. Everyone doesn’t find the same joy in antique trees.  Rather than an arborist they call a tree removal company. Fortunately, God filled the earth with trees and left alone more grow. New trees are the hope of the future. I will admit that some self-sow very freely and many a gardener may have been disgruntled by their pervasiveness. They do not always take root in the best places. Oh, but the beauty they provide!

You may have guessed, but my favorite trees are wild trees. Left to their own devices the winds reshape trees into fascinating structures. Some people want symmetry. As for me, I like tempestuous trees, shockingly autumn colored trees, frilly spring blooming trees, stooping, weeping or swaying, I love trees.

#write31days

How I Need a Poem Today

This post is part of the series 31 Days 2015 exploring a fresh look @ Simple Things.

Sometimes you just need a poem. Poetry encapsulates the human experience in a suscint manner. A poem will remind you of what it is to be human, unique and corporate simultaneously. Some days I really need the reminder.

How I  need a poem todayimage

For I am feeling very…grey,

And brown, black and even-blue

But, this day will be over very soon.

And tomorrow is a brand-new day image

With every promise of joy to stay.

So, I’ll not let the faded color

Of one dull day leave me sullen.

Poetry can grace a life

In both times of peace but, also strife.

Lack of courage shan’t be found here.

I’ll not be disgruntled or dragging drear.

For I am blessed most plentifully

So I will not lack jollity.

I find joy in my faith

Knowing I always live in grace.

Grace on glorious goldenrod, maples and hay.

Even on the dull-grey days

That fade each life some step of the way.

Oh, how I need a poem today!
#write31days