Cordella Magazine

A beautiful new online literary journal, Cordella Magazine, edited and written by women published two of my poems for their Issue Three: Woven.  It's beautiful!  I'm downright delighted to be included and love what space they hold in the literary journal world.  Thank you Sarah and Cate! Do check out all the pieces, there are some beautiful poems, photographs, interviews, a fantastic spring recipe, and a number of stunning woven art.  I'm humbled to be amidst such lovely women!

Also, aren't the very personal ink drawings for each bio photo just the sweetest thing?

Sincerely, Lindsey

 

My paddle plant died last month.It is snowing outside today.  Small flecks of snow drift. I know we are in the dead center of winter. It is a fact that we cycle, that the light waxes and wanes.

My paddle plant may well be the drifts of snow, which are reincarnated stars who died years ago, our ancestors.

Saturday blossom is the same as Saturday compost.

Rest in peace, still.

Evidence Rising

This song came on our radio last week while we danced together, Willa, Leroy, and I.  Nostalgia swept over me. I felt like I used to feel when I was in high school. I made fried chicken and french fries for dinner later that evening which is a classic representation of my adolescence, too.

I wonder if I'm on the verge of a huge breakthrough. (I obviously am!) And, I've been facilitating ceremony: scheme and dream ceremony for first blood, rites of passage, initiation, blossom bloom.  And thinking about poetry therapy.  I find myself yearning to work with youth again.

Writing and writing and writing more.  I've been submitting to literary magazines, too.  Letters sent out, so many letters.  I realize how much I love postal submissions because it combines my great love of poetry and letters.

My angel guides are clear, and I'm inspired.  How do you communicate with the spiritual realm?  Do your guides give you visions?  Do you hear voices?  Does nature guide you?  In your dreams? I've been so guided by words and nature lately.  In fact, I'm endlessly inspired by Mary Oliver, who combines both words and nature.

Evidence for Mary Oliver

There is something about the book you wrote— Evidence— which has me wanting to bury my own evidence and unearth it with concomitant fistfuls. Or, bury it to unearth it. Or, unearth it to bury it.

I have at times wondered if the word evidence, with its e’s strategically placed three well-played chess pieces, has me deeply intrigued. Ground for belief; that which tends to prove or disprove something; proof. Often, by mistake, after a jaunt with the sweet grass and deep summer and the violets, I have placed this book flipped with its words facing up instead of down like the others on my bookshelf. I look back to the bookshelf and notice its blue spine upside down. When I go back to correct it, I nearly always read “Prince Buzzard” again. (The book needs no prod to open to page five.)

Oh, sweet vulture, a monk noble and bald and hungry— your work changes me. You do what others refuse. Your work is ugly and you work still. Your work is beautiful and you work still. Your work is and you work still.

Your work is. You work still.

The only evidence is in my pink fleshy heart— the lighthouse blinking to every ship near, signaling home. And I’m home.

To Begin Again, with Love

I'm home.I mean, in my body. Today. We also just got home from a trip to Texas to celebrate love, my favorite thing. I unearthed all of my journals. Beginning in 1991. There is so much goodness in these pages. TSA searched the big plastic bin in which they rode home. Juicy. After skimming some of the books, being completely enthralled, entertained, and oddly curious what would happen next, the biggest take away for me in the books holding the key to my heart all these years is that I am a woman wholly and holy devout to the church of Love. With a Capitol L. And nothing, not nothin' never took my heart from the chambers of the reddened pulse of me: love. I love love.

And I became even more inspired. I came to remind you that I'm alive. Alight with love like a chandelier hanging regal glittering our dinner.

I really want you to know that I want to keep sharing here, but with a clean slate. With glitter and grit I tried something new. A fresh twist on the way I've been blogging. I've been online journaling since 2000, remember open diary? Live journal? I started glitter and grit as a "put together" blog. My heart feels more vulnerable than that, though. And with you, too. So, can we start again anew? A nest. A return. Oh, I just love beginnings. The death means birth.  I'm not going to try and schedule posts to pop into your inbox at 5 something in the morning, that's not my style.  I'm not going to obsess about each word.  Okay, I might do that, but that is who I am.

(There may not always be pictures. There just aren't always pictures. And there may be stacks of words like mushrooms on a tree trunk.)

I wrote these poems for you (and for my friend Michelle, to whom I mailed the originals), erasure style, from the French-English dictionary:

Founded

The founded boy, "to teach everything to everybody."

Thanks, especially today. The world, synonymous with people.

There is no book more important than the equivalent of a variety of other, to be found in a whole, etc.

A detail case.

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The Petit Book

world, for a lifetime, everyone has the advantage and revisions in existence.

first, second, etc. Maps of every whole self: entries, color plates (of which are maps on thin paper), full, also deluxe experience.

last, word of the basic library: one time on request, or...

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Goodnight,

L

On Bravery

It's a full time.  The moon now wanes darker each evening, the sun too shares the descent into the darkness as we move into the colder darker time.  Yesterday I read my journal from when I lived in San Francisco, right before I met my husband.  What an emotional trek (even reliving them via that turquoise-paged journal pulled me back into those charcoal wintery months): moments of the wildest vulnerability I could ever imagine from a woman in a foreign-to-her city, concomitant with a daring strength mustered in brave acts (often, then, bravery came in brevity and existed in the mere thoughts and journal pages--the seed of courage begins in the mind). Lindsey's Desk

Being intuitive and somewhat outspoken runs in my family.  The women are strong, brave, and deeply in touch with an inner knowing of ancient hymns, and this lineage has been passed down with oral traditions and careful observations.  Some of this I've always known, I come from strong women and I will be brave; sometimes this courage hides though.  This week, it's been hiding.  Maybe it was reading that old journal, unearthing a very lonely time in my life--a very strong and intuitive time in my life, no doubt, but a very lonely time.  I read the first few pages of a paperback book in the bookstore the other day about a woman whose mother left her a bookshelf of journals to read when she died, and a week later, after her mother's passing, she found the journals all blank.  It's my dream to read journals of someone I love.  It is my dream.  I was befuddled. After reading that chapter, though, I'm curious about bravery.  And how diluted things may become in this modern era.  You couldn't keep a blank blog, could you?  There's no secrecy.  And I believe that bravery hidden is bravery building.  I think courage hides so that she can emerge stronger than before.  She's been running the trails, lifting stones and rearranging river pools in the light of the moon.  When I'm caught up in the specific nature of our technological time and rapid fire, I go seek courage in her natural habitat.  This is rather daunting to me because I am afraid of the dark.  (That's really why we got Maeve.) But, as I embark into nature's simplicity, I'm humbled, quiet, and noble; I'm full of courage. Dark or light, I embody courage when I seek her out.

And so, in the scores of bravery, under the spell of courage, I am leaping into an unknown-to-me space.  Daily, now, I create space for writing, for me.  I am brave.   I consider this brave because in my motherhood my space is yogurt-splattered and delightfully colored with shades of sing-song directions, helping the dog learn her toys versus the children's toys, and so many snack breaks.  However brief, to claim my space each day is brave.  This is brave because I'm exposing myself (here, there, hidden, and aware).

And, so, as we harvest our bravery and other wonders of ourselves, here's to the bounty!  In what ways are you brave?

PS, Tuesday Design*Sponge featured my city guide to the Methow Valley, a very special and sacred valley in central Washington nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  Please go check it out, the valley is among the most welcoming places I've known on this earth.

Epistle

lrw writing desk  

Good greetings!  What a summer it has been.  I always forget how deeply I exhale after a long inhale (like last winter).  And then I begin to stress out about whether it's always going to be so busy until I marvel at the balanced treasures in the expansion and contraction of life.  And, clarity in the contraction can feel intense, but so cleansing: I love writing letters, and I took a sabbatical and thus clarity washed me.  I determined how deep is my epistolary love.

This year I've been working intensely with sacred ceremony and writing a special log of different ceremonial gatherings as a foundation for the Wild Rites of Passage programs that I dream of facilitating one day.  I've been busier than ever as a mother--Leroy can run, and when it seems he may fall, he leans his weight backward and does a vertical air-worm!  And Willa is (with mama bias aside, ish) the most compassionate scissor cutter I've ever met, and she can measure and cut shapes, too--and yesterday I did the dishes in my tap shoes!  I decided early this year that I couldn't keep writing letters as I was, the weekly outpour averaged 20 missives.  I had to give something up and letters was it.

Until, like a surgeon, I dug deep into the faceless cavity of my passions, and with hygienic  tools surrounded by white walls I stumbled upon a new organ puffed and red and raw, bleeding out.  The monitor began to beep with great rapidity. And in the contracting moment, this is it, I knew which size blade to use, which place to cut, and how to stitch the knot so tissue could again re-grow (I'm sorry if I missed your birthday this spring or summer).  Suddenly I became so clear that writing letters is as much a part of my calling as poetry or articles or prose.  In my break from letter writing, it became clear that I was actually harming other areas of my life by withholding something so special to me.  Writing letters, I accidentally discovered, may be the biggest piece of my connection, connection for which I deeply long.  Taking the face out of the equation--in the height of the action--cleared the path for my heartless evaluation of my doings, and writing letters, it turns out, is the salve.

I have a little project in mind which I am excited to share with you soon.  Yes, it's epistolary.  Yes, it could include you.

Until then, I hope your garden bounty abounds, your purpose on the planet begins to shine, and your deepened path to selfhood illuminates your Yes in clear concise steps.


Welcome to the Corn Moon, sweet reader!  This month I'll be enjoying sourdough crumpets, corn potato chowder, sweet potato noodle bowls, slow cooked pulled pork, and fresh tomatoes, by the gallon.  I'm reading The End of Your Life Book Club (it's my book club book), Crossing the Water (an old favorite), Seven Times the Sun (I love her approach to rhythm), Aimless Love (a new favorite)and Full Moon Feast (the best, period).  This month I'm gathering donations of household goods for families in the central Washington fires who have lost of their homes.  Please contact me if you would like to send your gently used home goods.  I'm also gathering prayers.  Your prayer is held sacred and safe.  Thank you.

Oh, and, I wrote a letter to the letter.


Dear Letter,

Your livelihood may be at stake, am I too frank? I’m worried about you. Not the stay-up-at-night kind of worry, no, the faint and eerie fog horn kind of worry. A smokey mist on a moor kind of worry. I know that among the fast-paced haste to replace your grace, is the movement to slow down, turn in, and be with you again. The movement wants to eat local food, drink slow drip coffee, spend more time really breathing, they want to do it with you.

In good company, you're found tucked and tattered, you're stained with tea and ink, you're creased and torn, you're on the desk, on the table, on the porch, in the closet, like any tried romance, you cavort in all the crannies.

You're so steadfast, prevailing. Like the air, you're often unnoticed, always here. You’re alive in me.

Remember when I first told you I loved you? I mean, totally loved you. Twelve with a fresh haircut—an unforgettable bob with bangs, neon-banded braces, new in school, and totally in love. Unrequited and quiet you sat in his room in the wastebasket beside used tissue and orthodontic rubber bands. We can both be grateful for that silence. And, without you I may never have had the courage to tell my Creative Writing professor he changed my life. How could I have said that out loud? In my early twenties! I admire your presence for birthdays and well wishes, congratulations, new arrivals of human babies, when gentlemen marry ladies, prayers, and just because. Like a well-oiled axe, you make life warmer. You’ve been a keystone in my marriage: true to the good morning ritual to which we vowed, each morning I awake and find you perched atop my desk, eager in wait, some of your letters scribbled quick, smudged or sidled off the page.

I’ve saved you so many times, in this box or that one— wood boxes, cloth boxes, shoeboxes, lock boxes— because each time you come into my life, you save me, and I want to remember that.

So it may be in vain, it may be in vein, you are alive in me.

the bloody lip, or raising a puppy from the adult perspective

Earlier this month I regaled the full story of how Lefty came to my life, well-trained and decent (albeit his short temper with puppies and occasional alpha-male dominance) manners.  I told you about our new dog Maeve, whose spirit is an ancient friend of my own. As you may have imagined, there is more to this story.

Yes, her soul and my soul may have danced together in another life, and yes she looks knowingly in my eyes, but I did not tell you about last month when she bolted inside with her lead still fastened to her collar and she wrapped her rope around Leroy's little legs and tied him up like a booby trap tripping him face first into the coffee table.  He has two little teeth marks on his lip and it was perhaps the bloodiest I've seen the little guy.  I was furious at Maeve.

maeve maeve

The quirks of raising a dog from a puppy are quite different from inheriting a well-mannered dog as an adult.  Lefty may have possessed his food which made it difficult for other dogs to be near him while he ate, but no one's lips were at stake.  Certainly not my own son's perfect lips, the first thing I noticed as he emerged into the world!

I can see longevity in dedication to these early stages of training and bonding with a puppy--and I am grateful and blessed that my puppy is so inclined to please--but these feats are no walk in the park (even when they literally are a walk in the park!).

Yesterday a storm rumbled overhead and the rains came pelt, pelt, pelt and this excited Maeve.  She ran into the front door--before all of us (which is never tolerated in our family, humans enter every doorway first!)--then through the house, then out the back door, and around again.  I had to bring Maeve back to the front door and calmly tell her that humans walk through the door first, and tell her to sit and wait at the door while all of us walk through the door.  My persistence plays an important role in raising Maeve.  What work it is to raise a (good) dog, now as an adult.  I have such respect for my parents for the work they've done to raise good dogs.  And I'm humbled by everyone who has a dog, now as an adult!  What work!  What meaningful work.  It's not always pretty, but it is always worth it.

I love watching Maeve run around with the children, granted I remind her (and them) to be gentle from time to time; I can imagine in a handful of years the three of them adventuring in the woods together, safe and go-lucky.  I love that image.  I love the family dog.  It's certainly a different picture now that I'm on the parental side of the coin.  I've now played the role of the bloody child romping with the dog, and I've cleaned and comforted the bloody child from the romping dog.  Oh, the romping dog.

Do you have any humorous stories about raising a puppy?  How does your dog fit into your life?  Does your dog get to use the furniture?  What is your best dog-raising tip?

 

the expanse of a tidy bedroom

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Our family reads poetry every evening as the sun scuttles to the mountains, just as the breeze takes the stage and finds herself playing the main role for the first time all day.  Yesterday we read Variations on the Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood, whom I love.  I love this poem, these words have lived a long time in my library heart.

I love that--in the course of a night--she wants to be all of the sturdy pieces in the subconscious of her bed partner's sleep.  I love her repetition of the word sleep.  When I read this poem, I'm both excited for the narrator to have such unique and potent ideas to support her partner's dream life, and for one to receive such support.

For some reason, I imagine their bedroom to be stark and crisp.  The sheets cool and flat.  I imagine the bedside table sparse with only necessity--a glass of water atop its mother-pitcher, a favorite book of poems, a current novel, and a feather or a crystal or a charm or a seashell from that trip to the north coast some years back, a candle perhaps.  This got me thinking about a tidy bedroom, and the name bedroom, of course!

Our bedroom has an old ironing table along the wall, a host to my decorated altar.  (All of the aforementioned specimen sit on my altar.)  And it has our bed, of course.  And diapers.  On our bedside stand-- an old wooden folding chair with slats that slide--is a special blessing candle we light each night after story time, a book of stories, and our nighttime water.  That's all, though; that's enough.  I love the crispness of our bedroom.  I think it allows for me to drift into sleep unnoticed and necessary.  I think the sparse gives space to my dreams and my sleep hygiene.

How I love the dream world.  I wake slowly (dreamily) in the mornings to relive those opaque memories, a beggar for those concrete images to flash upon my retina.  And once I have the memory of the dream, I go to work: I analyze, I write, I delight in the potential (endless) meanings behind my subconscious imagination.  A while back I had a dream I was in the bus, only it was a generic recreational vehicle camper and behind me in the living quarters were a bunch of overly chilled out young men.  I told them I'd be back and I walked into the animal shelter.  I saw that a just-shaved-bald man was signing up to take my soul dog--a Great Dane/Australian Shepherd mixed breed whose build was that of the great Dane with the exact colors of an australian shepherd, an intelligent gentle giant with piercing blue sea eyes.  I close-talked the man, I laugh now, but I even grabbed him by the collar (why I aughtta-esque), and told him there was no way I'd let him take my soul dog.  I walked back to the bus and couldn't get the engine started.  I alerted the young men in the back that they would need to leave if they couldn't quiet down.  And finally started the ignition, drove off, and I don't remember if I got the dog, what the bald man said, and where the laid-back youngsters disappeared to.  That's the beauty of dreams, I think.  You don't have to know it all, there is gentle surrender in the mystery, it's an easily accepted known about dreams.

Naturally though, I went to town with this dream!  I'll spare you my musings and best friend text message banter, suffice it to say that I love the dream analysis and I found a quiet space in the wee hours of morning to think about this dream without clutter in my bedroom, for that, I am grateful.  I am grateful, too, for the expanse and space to breathe in my bedroom.  And how splendid it is to be necessary, to be unnoticed.