Stand Still, Let Go, and See

Blue Wildflower in Woods

"We both saw it. A wonderful yam, a perfectly glorious fat, firm, root," says Gertrud Nelson in To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration.


I've already been thinking about seeing this morning. (In relation to how to be a better writer.)

But Nelson admits that she almost misses the moment. Almost misses seeing. Her daughter, teenaged, gapes lovingly at a yam she has spontaneously brought back from the grocery store, because it's beautiful. Nelson reprimands though. The purchase is absurd, impractical, doesn't go with the planned meal.

Suddenly, happily, thankfully she is won over and can say, "We both saw it. A wonderful yam, a perfectly glorious fat, firm, root."

Nelson concludes, "The ordinary, not having been noticed by anyone else, becomes wonderful. For a moment, my practicality threatened to be the enemy of the numinous. It always is. The vision that we long for lies just on the other side of the practical." A few sentences later, she hints at the root of our stubborn practicality, "Have we packed our lives with such a frantic pace in search of elusive happiness that God cannot get a word in edgewise?"

In the hours that follow, I still myself. Let these words instruct. I open my eyes to the azure blue of my daughter's shirt against her marvelous smooth tan skin. I note the tilt of her lips. And how she has chosen a silver heart necklace today. It shines like her eyes. I lean into her, smell her brown hair, kiss her round cheeks. I feel her warmth and embrace the ordinary moment. I pray that I will remember. God in the quiet moments I can choose to stand still for, let go in, see.

Blue Wildflower in the Woods photo, by L.L. Barkat

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Hungry for Sabbath

Hungry Moon

I lean against the pillow, soft. Sick another Sunday [past], comforted by ivory sheets and glow of lamp through lemon shade. Curl up with book (nothing like it, to be sick and with book, cup of tea and silent house).

Heim's Living Simply just the thing, this Sabbath, sick and tired. A little Pollyanna-ish at times, but I accept it, lap up the insightful, profound passages, the quotes from other books I must set at bedside for future Sabbaths sick. This speaks, stays with me to next Sabbath, healthy Sabbath...

How do we come to choose what it is that we spend our days doing? Would we choose it again if we could? Did we choose it today, or has it simply carried us along somehow? (Robert Benson)

Now, healthy Sabbath day, this quote follows me around the house, urges my afternoon. What shall I choose? I choose to be with pleasure, simple, fresh. Dust off my flute, play. Set again to the dream of piano. Forge a new dream of cello (Did I know I wanted this? How my fingers slide across the strings... I can do this... did I know?)

Then night falls and a whim appears. Why not? Why not take my children out into the night? Put off bedtime just this once? Hungry for togetherness, a Sabbath of its own?


Put on
your blue boots
better in the snow
let's go watch the
glow of Hungry Moon
who'll feed our hearts
as we hold hands
silent under the
pine, listening
for little night
sounds, "drip, drip
crackle, rustle,
whisper, whisper"
forge a memory
like the one my
mother gave to me
at three in the morning
rousing from comfort
of sheets and dreams
to see the Northern
Lights shimmering
green pink blue
inverted funnel
I fell into, upward
towards this future
I did not know
was mine, under
the pine holding
hands with my two
girls, beneath the
Hungry Moon.

Ann's Pain to Poetry
Unknown Contributor's Grandmother
Jennifer's Poetry of Facebook
Kim's For My Friend
Erica's Work of His Hand
Joelle's Speak Nothing

Hungry Moon photo by L.L. Barkat.

[update: I found this illustration by my Eldest, Sara. Do you see us under the moon? It seems we forged a memory.]

Together Under the Moon

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