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Archive for April, 2012

I believe stories are important.

I believe understanding our stories helps us get unstuck and find new ways to live. I believe sharing our stories helps us cultivate joy in each moment.

I believe strength, peace and encouragement can be found in communities (face-to-face or virtual) that honour each other’s stories.

I know telling our stories can be scary and uncomfortable. I’ve spent a lot of my life not telling the stories that were closest to my heart, but I believe telling our stories can make a difference, sometimes in the most unexpected ways and in the most unusual places.

I wrote those words on Saturday morning. I believe them to be true at the core of who I am, but I realized something as I headed home after hitting publish on the update to my “Who Am I?” page.

I owe some dear friends an apology.

When I started to write this blog, I decided to remain primarily anonymous. It gave me a place to write in a public way and still feel safe. I knew I needed to say some things “out loud” but, as some of you will know, I’ve occasionally made unwise choices about who to trust with the writing that is closest to my heart.  I’ve gotten burned. For the longest time, I had a love-fear relationship with writing.

So I wrote anonymously to find a way past that fear blockade and I learned to love writing whole-heartedly.

Renovations Required

But I continued writing anonymously because I was still afraid.  Not that my writing would be rejected, but that I would be rejected, because I wasn’t … enough.

So I hid. Slowly, I started to share my stories with complete strangers and new online writing friends, but I chose not to share my stories with those of you near and far, who have known me, stood by me, and loved me unconditionally for years. Even after reconnecting face-to-face with some very important people in my life last fall, at some level, I still chose to act out of fear.

I’m sorry that I’ve hidden this part of my journey from those of you who know me best. For those of you who feel hurt because of this omission, I would ask your forgiveness and your understanding.

I didn’t hide my story because you were not trustworthy. There are so many of you I could name who have shown me so much unconditional love and support over the years. You have been beacons of light and hope. Despite what I may have said on the outside, and what I may have said to others about how valuable and loved they were, I didn’t believe you could possibly mean that about me.

There are old stories that have defined my life in ways I hadn’t even realized. I’ve started telling those stories, rather than hiding them in shame. In doing that, the light you have shone into my life has finally reached the places it was most needed. It just a took a while. Thank you for being patient while I finally discovered the truth of what you’ve been showing me all along.

I believe that sharing our stories is crucial to changing our world. And it’s not enough to share stories in a way that allows me to hide from those who are most important to me. That does not honour the roles you play in my life. It does not honour the stories we share together.

So this post is also an invitation.

To those of you who have been part of my world for short or long times, who have been friends, mentors, shepherds, teachers, beacons, confidants, garden friends, and family by biology or by heart, I would welcome you to join me on this part of my journey as well.

You have changed my world in more ways than you can begin to imagine and you are loved and valued more than I have words to express.

The Open Garden Gate

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White Pansy Facessmiling faces
outside my door
along my walk
Sunday’s gardening chore
now seems delight
as I bid them good morning

 

through the bus window
field of purple blue
peeking their heads
above the unmown grass
spotted with towering yellow
tiny blooms bursting through
in a swath of colour

 

straight down the path
avoiding lateness by moments
little boy bounds
with exuberance
beaming with
the widest smile
Johnny-Jump-Uphis round face can contain
excited and oblivious
to his father’s adult stress
he can’t wait
to ride the bus

 

bushes dripping
not with rain but
deep rich red blossoms
no inch of space between
the whole forms
one massive flower

 

sky may threaten
clouds gather above
showers ahead
but joy and spring
cannot be hidden
from open eyes

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I’ve gotten a little distracted from my NaPoWriMo goal of writing a poem a day.  It’s a long and windy story that I may tell one day. For now, the short version involves being sleepy after an awesome trip to Seattle and a bit of writing avoidance.  Thankfully, a writing buddy and I had a cross-continent writing date already set.  Pen and paper were re-introduced.

 

Pen meet paper - purple

 

unexpected

a name from the past

appears on my screen

my world tilts on its axis

forgetting for a moment

I am not the same

 

how easy to slip

back into old habits

back into anger

into fear

back to protecting myself

at all costs

seeking desperately to belong

 

suddenly

I’m the scared almost ten year old

still looking

for a place to belong

at twenty

and even thirty years old

 

but I’m not

I have grown

I own my story

 

I understand now

what he meant in my life

why he had such power to hurt

what he taught me

and I can look back in gratitude

almost

 

gratitude

for believing in me

loving me

not trying to change me

accepting me

unconditionally

seeing worth and value

and beauty

in me

 

gratitude

almost, but not quite

claiming my vulnerable story is new

old habits of fear

dig sharp claws deep

 

then I lived unknowing

unthinking

giving away my power

stuck in fear and shame

 

now I live

understanding

able to choose

acceptance

forgiveness

gratitude

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Sunrise on the ferry

rumbling thrum beneath my feet

gently rocking side to side

blue skies and cotton candy clouds

evergreen covered rocky islands

slowly drifting by

another ferry passes

carrying passengers

bound for the shore

I’ve just left

ninety minutes slips away

far too quickly and far too slowly

time to settle in

breathe deeply, observe

feel the wind, hear the seagulls cry

underlying all

an eagerness to arrive

this journey has a destination

a loved one to see

can’t end soon enough

but this step could last all day

————-

For those keeping track, it’s April 4th, but yes, there have only been 3 poems posted.  I did say there were no guarantees all 30 would be posted, but yesterday’s did get written.  I was just too tired … and it’s awfully short … and well … see for yourself.  Presented for your amusement.

no words to write

brain gone to sleep

packed

in suitcase

ready for morning

Words written in my journal just after that … “Nope got nothing else, but I suppose it counts as a poem.”  It’s at least close =)

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Leaf Fountain at Butchart Gardensdecided to try

writing a poem

each and every day

thirty days of April

shouldn’t be so hard

 

words used to spill

so easily

down the page

skipping here

and there

free-verse journalling

words flowed

 

but I stopped

listening

to the words inside

told them it was dangerous

they had to stay hidden

in order to be safe

 

now they stumble

afraid to seek the light

to find their home

on my page

 

shouldn’t a poem

look like more

shouldn’t a poem

sound like more

 

time to give

my words

Purple Tulips at Butchart Gardens   your words

our words

permission

poetry or prose

form doesn’t matter

 

my words

your words

our words

deserve to be free

taking their place

speaking their truth

released from hiding

ready to bloom

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