Friday, September 26, 2008

The Kitchen Sink

While looking at this photo John made of my artful kitchen sink arrangement a couple of years ago, it occurs to me that the blog I am unfolding here is a kindred spirit to that photo. You may not know exactly what will show up in the final analysis although the original intention was for it to be a collected work of my poetry over the years. You will, even now, find poetry among the collage of miscellaneous posts.

I don't remember ever being able to resist, arranging, rearranging and then dismantling and arranging again.....almost anything, I apply this principal of need to redo and reorganize to almost anything from drawer and closet spaces this case...the kitchen sink.

As a child, I remember doing this arranging activity with rocks. marbles, crayons and spools from thread and buttons from Aunt Rose's sewing. Yes, I confess to a dead bug or two. I even dug tiny plots of land in our yard and infused them with bits of interesting things. Only ,of course ,to dig again and re do after reflection on potential..

Annoyingly, I suspect, I went through many church services surreptitiously arranging song books, church bulletins, and anything else that presented itself to my wondering eye. I remember especially liking the upside down ones.

Often that wondering eye was looking up...from underneath a church pew. I remember finding traveling under the pews way more adventurous than the assignment of sitting still on the wooden church pews. I saw each pew as a leg of the journey.

It was often a study in shoes and how guessed it...rearrange them and work around them. My mother , who tried her best to ignore me, offered way more understanding than I actually deserved. I have come to believe an arranger cannot really be helped in the long run.. Mom must have reached that conclusion early on.

Although, I was not able to reach the church ceiling, in my mind I re did the small seemingly far away tiles in a multitude of new patterns. I painted them in my head and even made some three dimensional and off center. I guess all of this could account a bit for me not easily remembering a great deal of all the many spiritual lessons and learning's I was exposed to in church often daily.. Please... hold my mother blameless.

Photographer: John P. Ford

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We are promised nothing and build everything from that

"Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Dylan Thomas

Looking at those old faded photos of Gay with Naomi celebrating her first birthday in January of 1983...her only one with her Mother and her Dad and family......I can be transported there now and remember the smells and sounds of that small celebration.... Like stepping into that Video we wished we had taken. Gay had eleven months after that. We are promised nothing. We can take nothing for granted.... except that this too shall pass.

In Memoriam

Gay Ramsay Pruitt
May 17, 1960.........December 30, 1983

Poem in process

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Many multi-links to the sacred

I am coming to see the sacred as an embedded figure...It is absolutely everywhere.
Have a sacred, creative, spooky, cinnamon candle evening and/or consider welcome to any sacred you can see and open the doors to for entry.

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

-- from Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, by Rainer Maria Rilke / Translated by Joanna Macy

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Dozen Cousins and Taps on Table Tops.

Uncle Ross
sang bass
And Uncle Raymond
took lead

Uncle Bob Was a sweet tenor
and sopranoes and altos
were everywhere.
I wanted to be both

Aunt Nan
And Aunt Eunice
sang those golden bells
and Aunt Marie said
Lets try that one
one more time.

If we wanted to sing
We had to behave
We could not fight and
Yes she saw us

How did we feel
about being called
The Dozen Cousins?

Mama said to remember
we would be in the Lord's house
See if you can do better than the boys
she would whisper

She was afraid they would throw
us out of the church
if we were not sweet
So we learned to be sweet
with a mean beat

Once when we stayed awake
after the real musicians
went to bed
we danced too much
in the yard

Uncle Raymond caught us
and made us get up at 5:00 am
Did you know
It is not even
light at 5:00 am

We played taps
on the table top with
the old loose knife
from the drawer

We had to
fight to get it
And not let
Aunt Margaret catch us
Cause she said
we had to share

Donny rang bells
with half filled
water goblets
except the one
he threw the
snake in.
You could barely see it
Donny said.

Sonny played
drums with thumbs
and knuckles
on chair legs

We could all hum
a mean comb
and play
crooner sounds
with hand jive.

We loved to
do the twist!
Norman taught us all
Norm won the prize
for doing the splits

Though he lost his seams
down the back
the night he won the 100 dollars
He never missed a beat.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I confess that I normally see my self as a basically sane person of warmth, caring and empathetic development with a touch of humor and perhaps a bit of elevated self-esteem. Today, I am relatively sure that I have been invaded by the body snatchers and that my invader is the Wicked Witch of the West or a close relative in kind with some sort of irritable, genetic affliction that cannot easily be contained. I have been able to refrain from demanding that the air not blow over my body. Trust me when I say that today that is no small achievement.

What I am reminded of in this process is that I simply do not do the sick thing well and even minor surgical procedures more poorly. I am making a note to myself now. NO MORE SURGERY. I am thinking of a tatoo with with those words and a rosebud, or better yet a small elephant, least I forget.

What do you think? I marvel at those people who seem to transend physical discomfort, loss of energy and various gross or painful symptoms all in the name of prevailing modern medicine and through assurance of recovery. I tend to come out fighting, perhaps a bit like Don Quixote and his rather demented dance with the windmill. I think there may be much to be said for chants, and incense. I am not sure if this created a cure but the sounds and smells would have been inviting.

I definitely do not find it to be better living through Chemistry. I am convinced that I have lost at least 50% of my short term memory since taking even a few pain pills..... with no assurance that it is likely to return in the forseeable future. Say a slient prayer now please for me. Some recovering people should not be left alone. Thank goodness, I am assurred by all who witness that this is not serious and that I will soon be up running around normally. HMMMM It is a toss up. Is the pain worse or are the loss of memory and sense of self...I do still remember my name....the more difficult?

The answer to this ongoing mental self evaluation changes least every 2 to 3 hours. It sort of sneaks up on you as you struggle to respond to what you have every reason to think is a perfectly reasonable question from a family member but what appears visually to be coming out of the asker's mouth looks like colorful falling children's building blocks.

I keep telling myself....mantra 15 years this will surely not matter....
I cling to the one consolation...I think...the laproscopic scars are covered with heart shaped bandages.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A New Beginning-Always in Process-Sacred spaces of the Heart

I find myself totally enjoying John's photograph of the All Saint's Chapel again today. His photographic creations often offer the kind of beauty that speaks to me on emotional and spiritual levels.

I love the light, the colors, the stained glass and, yes Ezekial , the sense of openness, space and peace in this photograph. Looking at it can give me new access to memories from past visits to All Saints Chapel over a 20 year time period.

Finally, daydeaming about my personal and professional history in the Franklin County,Winchester, Sewanee Area is like sharing a warm cup of cinnamon cider with a life friend in just the recalling of those times. Ah....warm memories against a chilly day or a cold night.

As I child, the first creative writing I completed, at age six, was a Christmas poem about the Journey of Mary and Joseph for our local church bulletin! I remember feeling published! I thought I was making a new start in my life. Today, I feel much the same about new starts. They are journeys. This one is a journey of the heart.

I have always had a fascination with churches, small chapels and cathedrals, and I often seek out unusual ones when traveling. There are photos I want to relocate from sacred spaces in Ohio, Florida , Virginia , Ireland and Arizona in particular.

Any bloggers who have a photo of a well loved church or sacred place are invited to share it.. I would love to increase this small collection of sacred spaces.