Thursday, December 27, 2018

The End or the Beginning?

Hope your week has been special!  Ours has been.  And Happy New Year!
Welcome to Poetry Friday!
I am hosting today's lineup of poets and poetry lovers.  Please, if you have some poetry to share, leave your link on Mister Linky below.  Please, if you just love poetry and don't have a poem to share, but just want to read poems, poems and more poems, click on a link and go to there... and hopefully leave a nice comment for someone to savor.

Well, the end of the year is here, an we are at a new beginning, in a new home, in a state in which we've never lived before.  I am totally turned around when I go out and about.  How long will it take to know where I am???

I'd always said that it was easy to know where you were in Maine.  Go east - you are in the ocean.  Head north and northeast and you are in Canada.  Head west or south and you are in New Hampshire.  There aren't a lot of roads, so if you are on one, just stay on it and you will get somewhere.  Get off the road and you will be lost.  Stay calm and on the road, and you will get where you are going.  No one cares how long it takes to get there - it is going to take a while to get there no matter what you do.

When we first moved to Minnesota, my husband would drive us most places.  It was before GPS and cellphones.  He loved driving around.  So every night we would go on a drive, and he would bring me home by a different route.  I had no idea where we lived for quite some time. Lol!

I am feeling a bit like that again, though with the mapping on the phone, I at least know how to get there and back!  I still can't do it without the mapping.  If I lose signal, I won't have a clue how to get home and I'm not sure if the "stay on the road and you will get somewhere" will work in Pennsylvania.  I could end up in New York or DC.

But enough.
A new year is just around the corner, and...
I thought I'd share with your a few of the angels outside our new home.

Angel in a tree

Angel flower holder

Sleeping angel

Reading Angel
I think this last one is my favorite of all the angels in and out of the house that I've discovered.  It has been fun to find angels, fairies and little creatures hidden in tucked away places here.

Reading Angel

He sits above the leaves of brown
and reads what's carved in stone.
He savors words and reads to birds
and never feels alone.
His wings have brought him to this place,
this traveler of miles,
And all the passersby can't help
but turn their heads and smile.
The garden angel balances
atop a silver sphere
A book could take him anywhere -
I'm glad that he stopped here.

by Donna JT Smith, 12/27/18

Here's the link up:








Friday, December 21, 2018

Matt's Poem Exchange

It is Poetry Friday.  I missed last week...just totally got by me!  I have been cleaning and shopping, putting up a tree and unpacking, changing addresses and mailing the former owner's unforwarded mail to her.
I finally got my Swap mailed out.  It is going to Australia, to Erin Mauger, so it will be late-late getting to her!  I've had it ready and carried it about with me until I finally had the time to mail it.


I got Matt Esenwine's swap in the mail here!  And I can tell you that Granite State chocolate is amazingly delicious.  I may just have to go looking for some more online!

Matt's poem creation was no easy task... he sent was a found poem gleaned from my Christmas season blog posts.  Thanks for this capture, Matt!  I love it!


"A Better Christmas"

It is snowing. Again.
In no hurry, we can wait
maybe a few days,
           an evening.
We can still celebrate,
inch along,
take delight in the little things
          pause, take notice,
                  appreciate them, remember
every day is cause for celebration,
a time for family, church,
baking,
          cleaning,
                  listening to carols,
beautiful sounds.

Time
a gift to others
I might not have given otherwise
save for one
prayer, one thought, one memory,
          one hope...
                  one regret.
There will be delight in the morning
stockings,
          fruitcakes,
                  lights,
scraps of Christmas
spirit, shimmer and sparkle.

Then it goes away until next year.

© 2018 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Time to go visit Buffy at Buffy's Blog and see what lovely December offerings have been gathered there.
Poetry will be hosted here next week as we end 2018!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Opening a Door

It's been an incredibly long, and short year.  Doors have been opened, doors have been closed.  But every time a door has been closed, a new door has appeared just down the road apiece.  Sometimes it has been a struggle to reach that door, but we've managed to get there.
We are at a new door today.

New home in Pennsylvania
I am pre-scheduling this post today, as at 2 pm we will be at our closing - or should I say "new door opening"? - for our new home in PA.  For the next few years, we will be living here with our daughter and two grandchildren.  There should be some really fun times ahead.  We are, of course, bringing our motorcycles.  Though the roads in PA are much worse than those in Maine (I promise to be very careful!), the season for riding is much longer!
Georgetown
We still own our 2 homes in Maine, and plan to return in a few years.  It has been a struggle to buy a home, and I don't want to give up any ties to Maine.   Gull Haven, in Friendship, that we have been renovating for many years, will stay as our summer retreat, and our home on Georgetown island (pictured above) will be rented, hopefully, to a family who likes being in the woods with many hiking trails, peace and quiet, deer, turkeys, osprey, seagulls and owls, and being close to the ocean and working fishing docks. If you know anyone like that who wants to move to Maine, our home will be available soon! 

The next door we will go through every day.  Amazing how many doors we go through in our lives!

Opening the Door

Down the narrow hall,
a dark and narrow way,
you walk what seems entirely
a path too far away.
Where's the switch to draw the light?
Perhaps there is just none.
Adjust your eyes and don't look back -
This may not be such fun.
Shuffle on and watch your step,
Mind stumbling blocks that try!
Keep steady footsteps to the door,
No time to moan or cry.
Miles before you stretch each day
Before it comes in view;
behind you one door has been closed -
it's not the door for you.
Step over hurdles, look around,
and keep your focus keen;
for as you near that door you'll know
new treasures yet unseen. 
Look, the door is straight ahead,
and fingertips can reach.
Stop a moment and look back
what lessons did life teach?
Put hand to doorknob, give a twist,
and then a gentle pull;
Ah, my friend, behind that door
The meaning will be full.
Standing there quite breathless
without regret or doubt
Your door has led you to the place
This journey was about.

by Donna JT Smith, 12/5/18

And now...who can resist a picture from a four year old artist?
I'll just tuck one down here for good measure...we're having some great times together!

Karate "ballet-er" listening to music...and singing...and a picture on the wall!

This Girl Does It All

Sometimes ya just gotta dance,
Sometimes ya gotta sing,
Sometimes ya gotta karate party
   - and draw - 
They're ALL your thing! 

by Donna JT Smith, 12/5/18

Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting Poetry Friday today. Go check out what else is in store!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday with a Flourish

This is the last Spiritual First Thursday of 2018.  Please check out more of our One Little Word posts at Irene Latham's blog, Live Your Poem, www.irenelatham.blogspot.com.
This year's OLW for me is "Flourish".  I'd found it on a Starbuck's ornament and bought it to remind myself to go through the year and each day adding a bit of a flourish to it...or perhaps just to flourish in the new year.

Well, it seemed to be a good word.  But then the year began to have some major upheavals.  Family started to fall apart.  One at a time.  Then the times overlapped.  On-going events just continued to build and piggy-back one upon the other - events life-threatening, near death, unsettling, unnerving, disappointing, ulcer-inducing, nervous breakdown fodder...
One in a year would have been enough to be wrenching.  Two in a year really wretched...5 or so (only because I'm counting fast and might be actually - yay!- forgetting one or two) just unacceptable for a human being to be coping with.

In spite of the turmoil, I've tried to add a touch of "flourish" to my days - to show that I'm still okay, and to show that I am trying despite all, to "flourish" in the muck and mire.  I've tried to think "Let's change that mire to manure and see what grows"... like that...
Let's shovel some muck and find that pony!

My husband would tell you that there honestly were days when I grumbled and crumbled, and I wasn't holding up my end of my faith bargain.  I was trying to hand my worries off to God, but then taking them back again in the middle of the night, like that was helpful...
I was weak from crying out.  I was tired from lack of sleep.  I was sick from lack of peace.

But regardless of my constant falling and failing at faith, I kept grabbing at it again, and asking for forgiveness for my lack of faith.  And I asked for more faith.

Yipes!  That's like asking for patience.  In order to build patience, you are going to have to have something to be patient about!  I just realized that I was asking God to give me trials, so I could build my faith.  Oh, He did that.  And with a Flourish!  When I started counting blessings and giving thanks and doing for others, my faith was so much easier to come by.  I still faltered.  I still had some meltdowns.  But they seemed shorter, and easier to come out of.

I am looking for a less stressful word for this coming year.
It is the end of the year.  We will be in a new house (to be told tomorrow) - finally.  And I think I am going to be looking for new opportunities to be the best person I can be.  I want to reach out and be kinder, be more aware, more loving, more...
Oh, shoot...yeah, it IS at least 5 events...I'm forgetting the cabinet maker for the house in Friendship...he owes us over 10K in cabinets he didn't produce and money he didn't return... yeah, it's more like 10 events that were over-stressing...Don't worry, I found some cabinets someone was getting rid of, so we will have a kitchen despite the theft.
Okay, where was I?
..more loving, more forgiving, less of a flourish necessary, no worries necessary... more thankful, and better at remembering to express it.

One more thought.  I've never counted my miseries before.  I've always counted my blessings.  But I guess it's like swimming in the ocean.  Most of the time one wave hits and dissipates before the next.  So I have time to regroup and take a breath, look at the good around me and then proceed with the next overpowering wave.  This year they just kept coming before my head could get above water.  I began to drown and could not see the life preservers I was probably always being thrown.  In retrospect, I can see the good in many of the events.  Some I'm still working at the details to figure the good part out... but I'm sure it's there.
I'm on it.  Can I do a poem?

Faith

God,
you gave me more than I could chew
and waited - would I look at you?
   Nope, not yet!
   You served me more.
   No "Uncle" yet?
   There's more in store!

Ok, ok!  I know you're there!
I'll trust you now with every hair,
   and every breath
   I take today,
   that you will guide
   me in your way.

I will not in proud vanity
decide to do what's right for me;
   I'll give you all
   my guilty weight
   to be the Master
   of my fate.

I'll trust the strength of sheltering wings
to keep me safe from harmful things.
   You give me more
   than I can chew
   but now I know -
   "Lord, help me through."
Amen

by Donna JT Smith, 12/5/2018


Yes.  I guess I had one.  It wasn't Flourish though, but maybe we can consider it a "flourish" to the post, and a description of "how to flourish" with faith.   I think it works okay.

Just as a note, I felt compelled to write this today, but I want you to know I am not comfortable writing it.  I don't usually list the bad stuff that happens.  It seems so trivial and whiny to do that.  I much prefer to focus on what has gone on right.  And it works better for me.

I'm afraid that the string of "unfortunate events" overtook me after a while, and for a while.  Fester seemed to be the OLW instead of flourish!  And you can really get bogged down in a hurry when you live in the negative.  I tried not to let that happen, but sometimes it means internalizing everything and letting it build up.  Not a good plan.  I had to remind myself daily to take my worries to God...and then scream at myself NOT TO TAKE THEM BACK AGAIN!!

There are still a few things left on my plate.  But I have been successful in using my trust and faith again and getting back on an even keel, despite the lingering issues.  God's got them.

Prov 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

You know, a good Bible verse or two can really help you flourish...
and when one sticks with you, as you are reading, it is like glorious flourish sent straight from God to give you peace.