Summer Repose


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As I sit, gliding gently on the porch chair, I’m surrounded by the pleasant melody of birds song and the rhythym of a woodpecker. My eyes are met with the gentle sight of three friends (one new and two old) who sit serenely enveloped in their reading material.

Across for me my new friend softly pages through a magazine, her long lashes gently moving left and right. One old friend is curled up in a glider, her thoughtful silence only occasionally broken by the sound of her pen clicking to make a note in the margin. Beyond her reclines our host, with the delicate pages of scripture lying open on her lap. My old friend reads behind trendy glasses and barely looks to be breathing.

A gentle breeze brings the soft aroma of soft green leaves and grass mixed with freshly brewed coffee to my nose. The sun filters through the trees and all is peaceful.

This is the scene at a cabin deep in the woods of rural America outside a town no one has ever heard of. Where three friends celebrated being alive in the time of year when the freshness of spring begins turning into a vibrant summer by slowing down away from technology and noise to partake in the simple pleasures of life.


Helpless Fury


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Sitting, un-lost in a field of yellow and green. The sun warm on my skin. I hear the bird’s song highlighted by the subtle backdrop of rustling grass. My song won’t sing itself. Sadly, I listen for it. But a small hard knot of fear, deep within, is chilling me and drowning out the song.

A moment ago, before I ran away to this place, my little brother came to me.

“What’s this on my foot?” he asked, holding his little foot up for me to see with his blue eyes curious and blond hair sleep-tousled. I looked expecting an invisible scratch, an excuse for a band-aid. I often waste band-aids on his skin, gladly! But not this time. It’s a lump. No pain, no scratch, no bruise. Just a swelling, soft under the skin. I can’t see inside to know what it is. I am afraid.

“No, please no”, my heart-whisper cries as memories rush in to write the unknown ending for me. Outside, my voice says lightly, “We might have to let the doctor see what that is.” Satisfied, he runs off. Heart sinking, I come to this place.

Sometimes existing hurts. I try to push away the lead weight and look at beauty instead. But the glow is gone. And I know I will only find it again after I walk here, down the gloomy path I don’t want to tread.Helpless Fury_wmIt is hushed here. The towering trees block out light and sound, blanketing the air with a stillness I can feel.  I walk slower here. My body feels pulled down, down to the floor which is soft and fragrant with a musty sort of smell. I yield and touch the ground with forehead and elbows and knees. I wish there were a shell around my back to keep me from the pain.

But it comes; unwanted and unwelcome. The years of not knowing what is wrong inside the body of someone else I love. He is big and strong. He kept me safe and explained things. He always knew until…

He didn’t know. He asked me if I knew. If I would help him find out. I bravely nodded and steeled my heart. “Be strong,” I told it. He needs you.

But I couldn’t find out. I tried, hard! I dug and searched and asked and nothing was right. Nothing told me what was wrong. He went to doctors. I was relieved because the weight was not on me to find out. They would know. 

They didn’t. 

They shook their heads and sent him on to another and another. They all tried to guess and finally admitted, “We don’t know. We can only try things and hope they help.”

Years of trying things. They have helped. They have helped keep him alive. But the thing is still inside trying to kill him. And sometimes after laying still so long that I believe it finally died, and try to forget it like a bad dream, it flicks its tail and creeps out again. Breaking more things inside him and breaking my heart in me.

It won’t stop! It seems to enjoy this cruel game: hurting and breaking one little piece at a time, savoring the torture. I hate it!!!!! I hate the thing and want to kill it, dead. And beat it and strangle it for torturing him in front of me!

“STOP,” I yell at it till my throat is raw. “Leave him alone! I hate you!!!!!” It hides from me. I’ve never seen it and so I cannot hurl my fury at it and scorch it with the flame I feel kindled.

I stand, chest heaving. I do not know what to do.

A Smile



There was a little fellow,
All zipped up in bright yellow

He stood so very still
As I opened up his peel.

All bright and sunny, happy,
Was his zippered jacket, flappy.

And soft and creamy white,
His inside came to light.

He looked at me so cutely
And waited, resolutely.

He seemed so glad to be,
Just looking back at me.

I smiled at him and felt
My sadness had to melt.

Thank you, little fellow,
All dressed up in your yellow!


A Stranger


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An echo rings in me, talking to my sister.

She is gone, a wife now. I am still in our parents’ home, without her. I feel hollowness – fakeness – talking to her, and I hate it. I do not know how to be real with her now. I do not know how to be, with her. I’m not ok. She is blissful, playful, happy. She has a place, a home, a husband. She welcomes me into her home and I come, hesitant. She is effortless, relaxed, I am not. I don’t know how to be!  Something hurts. Deep. I smile and admire, listen and laugh… I hope she doesn’t know it’s hollow. It’s not her fault. It just is this way. I look at her tummy and wonder how soon a baby will be inside. And something else hurts, deep. I turn away. I will not think about that. I will just love her. Only… it isn’t working.

Deep in me hope struggles, like a tiny flower on the forest floor, to reach for light in the hushed gloom.

Today, standing warm in the sunlight, filled with the simple joy of hanging towels to dance in the wind, billowing their clean wet fragrance, a breath of hope was stirred.  A wisp of something  wordless stole soft and tender over me.

“Hope is sweet,” I whispered to the white washcloth I was hanging. And it is, when I am alone. But what happens when I am with other people?  I am tender, bruised somehow. Unable to meet their eyes and their well meaning questions and their empty words about what I am doing. Why does it matter what my body is doing (my hands and my feet and my eyes and my brain)? What perfunctory tasks I am performing, when my heart is broken inside me??? I am grieving. I am bleeding. I am crushed! And I cannot talk to you about what necessary work still happens, what my days look like. I do not KNOW what my days or weeks or months look like. They blur.

I am far away from the noise of the outside. I hear it, a distant tumult. Laughter and harsh words rising out of the monotonous clamour of voices, indistinguishable. I do not hear what they say. Sometimes they speak to me. They have to speak twice before I can tell it’s me they spoke to, or what they said. My eyes widen, anxious that my brain please work, just this little bit. Please make words that go with their words. Sometimes I almost cry, just trying to speak coherently about things I do not care about. Things I cannot see or feel in this place.

I am forgetting the words for those things, but learning a new language; heart words. Real words. I haven’t tried speaking those to them. I do not know if they will laugh at them.  So I remain silent,  seeming confused and… like a foreigner, not knowing the language of that world.



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Sitting, caressed by the breeze – soft as silk against my skin – carrying the fragrance of beauty. Warmed by the gentle touch of golden sunlight. Grass dancing with joy from
the wind’s touch. Leaves fluttering with delight and singing their song: the song of thousands of leaves dancing on their trees, abandoned to the touch of the wind. Golden sunlight bathes emerald grass and filters through the dancing leaves. It awakens a glow of green within each one as if they are alive things, glowing bright, dancing free, singing their wordless song. For me?

My head is thrown back and I want to join in, to open my soul and drink in this magic, deep. I’m… a fairy again, wild and free! I can dance on the wind and glow as I spin. I can join in the song and the dance of this LIFE. I’m part of it but it has been missing the ME in it, the essence I bring. We all have a part. It’s not full without each. I ache to bring everyone into the song, to see each one’s dance, to hear each part. To glory and joy and throb with delight to drink in the beauty of each lovely one.

Pausing, drinking deep of the glory – the beauty and love – I know… It’s Him. This is His caress. His warmth. His light and love and it is poured out all over me. My heart nearly stops, crushed from within with the bursting weight of joy! My song is His. It’s part of Him. He is hid inside me and He wants to dance my song with me. Shiver of ecstasy – wondering – awed…. So this is YOU: my Lover, my God.



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I am a song.

The inside of me, my soul, floats and rolls along rhythmically. It swirls and twirls its own dance to its own song. Hidden deep where no one can mock.

It is unconscious, subtle and so much who I am that I mistake the rhythm for the beat of my heart. The breath of my lungs. I catch a lilt of it, far away and unrecognizable, and stop to listen.

But the world taught my heart to try to think. And it tries and tries to act like a brain. To logically process data and understand and put letters in straight black lines and stack them up in paragraphs with neat periods proclaiming that this is logic; accepted, respected, admired.

Silly heart. You were right all along. What you hear is not the staccato of a typewriter, a dry gathering of letters to be plunked on paper, spelling words that make sense to brains. What you hear are notes of music. No wonder you were mixed up! They are letters too! But they do not spell the same way!!! They are to be sung and danced to. Felt, not spelled!

My heart un-shrivels, flushed with the life of being what it is. Weightless from the relief of not trying to be a brain. I feel a dance in me. A twirling, exquisite fairy dance. Free and wild and unhindered.

Deep in the heart of me, I am free, happy in my song. Unlearning how to march and remembering how to dance.

I am music, not an essay. I could fly from the relief!

I have hurt myself. My wings are broken because I tied them down with cords. I am not supposed to have them. They are not useful. They are mocked and I hide them. I folded them, painfully up against my skin. Binding them in agonized silence, to not let them show. I tied them down to please the busy, useful people. A long and heavy cloak hid the frivolousness. “Good girl,” I heard. “You have grown up now.” I tried to be glad that I was so grown up, but in my throat was horror and despair, choking me. I have to… walk. I must walk straight and tall. And do what the busy, useful people do, to be good. I must be useful. I must not fly. I am mature, now… I am dead inside, now. Walking along, my eyes on the ground. My back bent over from carrying sticks – ugly brown, dry sticks – rough on my skin.

One day, I came to a new place. There was an alive person there. She did not bend over. She sauntered, free and happy… real and alive. I loved her, suddenly, and my heart woke a bit. A soft lilt of music answered, involuntarily, the song in her. She heard it, faint as it was, and came to me, open and laughing and unafraid to look into my frightened eyes.

“Let’s dance,” she said. “I like your song.” She spoke, not just with her voice but with her eyes and soul and body. Frank, open, alive and free!
“But… I thought… it was bad….” I faltered.
“Says who?” Her eyes held mischief and fun and life.
“Uh… they do,” pointing vaguely at the busy, bored ones.
“So?! Let ’em. C’mon!” And with that, she grabbed my hands and we danced. The taste of life was sweet. The rush of joy, delirious.

I had forgotten the wings, they’d been folded still so long. One day, they fluttered against the lashing holding them down. She saw and asked what it was. I felt shame… she would think I was silly for having them. Why had they stirred after being still so long? I thought I had done with them embarrassing me.

“Please, may I see?”
“One day,” I said and ran away, afraid.

She looked hurt, sad and pained. I was ashamed and hid myself and cried to remember the look in her eyes.

She found me again and asked, “Please let me.” She was gentle. Patient but persistent. I could not hurt her again. I hung my head with my heart drumming loud in my ears and finally let her untie the cloak I hid under. As it dropped I started, stunned to see what I looked like! I wore sparkling gold. A dress of airy softness that let out a glow from somewhere inside. The cords I had used to tie the wings down hurt, suddenly. I hadn’t noticed that they did. She stared at me in wonder and surprise and I waited.

“Let’s untie you,” she spoke softly, pityingly with tears of indignation in her voice. I let her, crying in pain as the cords fell off and the wings unfolded stiffly. I froze, seeing them again: translucent, iridescent fairy wings shimmering with a breath of golden sparkle. Creased and stiff from long being bound. I looked up, hesitant, afraid… wanting to say that I was sorry I was so frivolous. That I would wear the cloak. But she stopped me with a voice hushed with awe.

“You are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!”

She LIKED me this way?!?!?!?!?!? She gently touched me, mesmerized, and I felt healing flow through me. The wings softened and spread, fluttering.

“You’re… a fairy,” she breathed. A flush of delight and remembrance washed over me.
“I forgot I was,” I said softly, shyly.

I fluttered my wings and the music of me welled up. Tears and love and joy all ran out together in sparkling showers. I took her hands and we danced, alive and free! Flying, twirling. Sometimes in the grass and sometimes in the air because I can make others fly if they let me swirl my love round them.

I don’t know the end of the story but I am free and learning to be a fairy again. And my person loves me and I love to be me, for her.

One day, I want to sing her song. But for now, I dance to it, with her, when it plays. And I haven’t learned it all the way yet…



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Sometimes I sit and let words spill out, heedless of how they tumble from my heart. My fingers put the letters together,  stringing them into sentences, without my notice. I finish, glowing and exhilarated, having translated a thing from my heart- that vast and wild expanse, a world within, full of things that  resist being caught and brought out into the harsh light of day- into English, more or less. I hope.

I sit, flushed with joy, and read it. I feel, for a moment, that I have captured it! The letters seem to glow with the flame of life! I am alive, while I write. I am letting the aliveness from my inner world out, onto a page, caught there to be looked at… and read? Doubt comes then… I read it again, and the glow of the letters fade. They are, after all, just black words on white, they can’t really be alive…

A whisper from inside stirs, that vast wilderness of me, and then I know.

There is no way I have brought anything from THAT place to this. And the letters all seem to scramble, to become a pile of bones, lifeless. I put them away. I’ll try again. It’s a thrilling thing to attempt!

Later, I tell someone, “I wrote some words. They’re what I felt.” Because the person loves me I wonder if she wants to see what I felt. “You… could read my words. If you wanted to.” Doubt fills me. She won’t even be able to read them… they seem scrambled to me, now. Silly. Maybe they aren’t even English. I don’t know. “Yes!!!!” She exclaims, excited to see my words. And I am startled.

I send them, and wait. Maybe… maybe they were just for me to have the relief, the thrilling joy, of translating something untranslatable from my heart-world. Of  expressing, of BEING. Maybe they aren’t good enough for people to read, to be seen – naked – where they can’t hide. I am afraid. Because even if they are bones, they are mine. They are from inside me and now they cannot hide. Maybe next time I will keep them hidden, just for me. They would be safer not seen.

She has read them. I wait, trying not to care if they weren’t really very good after all. I will not ask because then she will know: I care, very much. Because they are me.

She breaks the silence, startling me from my doubts. She is telling me they are beautiful. MY words are beautiful!!!! That she is awed, dumbfounded by them. Now I am dumbfounded!!!!!!! My words are good? They are in English? They make sense? They’re not silly? They… little gasp of hope… did I capture that heart-thing after all, in words felt and entered into, and not just seen???

She doesn’t know the hope she fans, the glow of joy, and spark of purpose… if she likes them, maybe they are good? Maybe I CAN write?!? I’d like to write. It’s not trapped and awful to write, like other useful things I feel I ought to do. They shrivel my soul, those other things. It’s alive and free, writing is. It’s adventuring. Delving into a world filled with mysteriously evasive feelings, which vanish into thin air at the slightest misstep, and taming them into words. Maybe people want my words. Maybe… I can do something and be good at it, and LOVE it. Something that people need.