"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/31/17 (Friday’s Five) 

1. A poem: “They Ate the Bulbs of Tulips” by Mark Wagenaar. You can access it at using the search bar.
It’s today’s featured poem. It has been awhile since a poem moved me to tears. I thought maybe I was in a sentimental mood this morning. I just read it again. Same reaction. The beauty of poetry. The words writers choose. I’m thankful I still have the “feel that” button in my soul.

2. A visit from a dear friend. She brought happiness in the form of candy, a fringed basket, a textile garland for my art studio. Friends who listen. She’s my “free pass” friend from a dark time. I love her.

3. A postcard with magic marker scribbles from an almost 3 year old who brings me joy. Her mama does, too. I’m old enough to be her mother, but our souls seem to be in sync. 

4. Packages from my daughter who can’t be here this year for my tomorrow birthday. Before she left in January, she made sure all the family had presents for special days waiting. She texted me tonight to tell me which ones were mine. Love.

5. Another candle on the cake. My April Fool’s birthday is tomorrow, but since I’m fairly confident I’ll wake to see it, I’ll add it here. So immensely thankful to be alive.

I love Fridays. I like thinking back over the week and consciously noting things that bring me joy. To read good words, laugh with good friends, receive love from people I am so blessed to know in this life…truly touched tonight. 

Tomorrow, I’m celebrating a bit differently. I plan to go on a solo day trip with no expectation other than to see what I see. I know I’ll reflect on another year opening its doors. 

So glad to be here. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/30/17 (Thursday)

What if we are all walking on different parts of the same path?  Picture that. 

Let your eyes rest on the baby crawling across the floor, the old man taking his last breath, the newlyweds kissing in the park.

Sooner or later each path opens onto a common road leading home.

See the sunlight painting the leaves. Watch the rain write its story on the dusty road. 

Look hard at what you are missing.

Think about what you can do to show others things you’ve seen along your way. 

Decide if you can make your present road easier for those who most certainly will come your way. 

Will you leave it as it is? Will you do something to improve it so others might have an easier mile ahead? 

What can you leave behind for others to find? What can you take away so that others can walk lighter?

Think about it. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/29/17 (Wednesday)

Today I found something I’d misplaced a couple of weeks ago–a little plastic box of knitting supplies. A friend I frequently knit with gifted it to me in her ongoing efforts to get me organized (!!!) 

We meet weekly to knit and I was so ashamed to admit I’d lost it. She immediately offered to replace it, kind soul that she is. But I knew it was somewhere on these premises. But where?

I searched my vehicle, under the furniture (where I often slide things when grandbaby hands get too curious), in the art room. I tried to retrace my steps…thinking when I had it last…that did not help.

Then, today on my way out the door to go meet my friend for another week where I once again would show up without that little box, I stopped and looked at what has been in front of me for several days now. 

Now it’s all clear. I recently moved winter jackets from hooks near the door and replaced them with spring jackets, hats, etc. I added a cloth bag memento from Amsterdam so I could see it more often. I decided that would be the perfect place to keep my supplies: out of reach of baby hands and just steps away from where I often knit. 

Trouble is I forgot all about that. And the bag is opaque, so who would know what was in it? Not me, obviously. 

What is it about having things where they belong that is such a challenge? Do tell.

Anyway, I happily revealed the found box and the story behind its location much to the happiness and laughter of my friend. 

Why this story today? Because I’m really trying to organize during this Lenten season. And something as simple as a plastic box had me searching and self talking (and not in a positive way) for days. 

And I see with new eyes that 40 days probably isn’t going to be enough to get myself where I’d like to  be. But I also see that that is OK. 

And I also saw how my friend treated me when I’d lost something that she gave with kind and good intentions. Instead of sighing or showing me she expected that or was irritated, she said something so kind: no worries, I can get you another!

Who does that? Who acts that way? People who see people as humans. That’s who. People who understand that kindness and care and love can make every journey easier…even journeys to find plastic boxes.


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/28/17 (Tuesday)

Today I received a text from a close friend. 

It’s not cancer.

I know she will see things differently for a very long time. Brighter. Clearer. Cleaner. 

Sometimes days stop us in our tracks. When the news is good, it is the sweetest stop of all.

Wishing you all good and beautiful news today. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/27/17 (Monday)

Lenten Litter

I just got back from my weekly or biweekly trash pick-up. I live off of a rural road, and as much as one might think there would be lovely views of wildflowers and beautiful untouched landscapes, sometimes it just ain’t so. 

I routinely collect a 30 gallon garbage bag FULL of litter every time I make a visit to each side of my driveway. I only have to walk a few feet down  either side to be greeted with a variety of, but common items: styrofoam containers, beer and soda cans, plastic bottles, empty cigarette packs, fast food packaging. Today, a few others: a bright blue tarp, three photographs from an outdoor party, one pair of men’s soaking wet underwear (it did rain last night…), a piece of a discarded credit card advertisement, a dishrag. A piece of metal that had ridges in it…hmmm…I could use that for texture in an art piece…but no, I let it go. This time. 

I’ve often thought of writing a poem based on some of the things I come across, but today I had an additional thought. 

I still have a lot of litter in me, too.

I found myself looking at those items and making a lot of judgments. And about halfway through the process, I decided to quit thinking about the kinds of people who throw trash on roadsides and recall what a relative told me once: trash attracts trash. 

One cup in the ditch is an invitation to throw another. Negative thoughts only bring more. My ruminating on someone’s choice doesn’t change the fact that I can make things a little better in this case. In life, we don’t always get to fix things. I can pick up some trash though and make this little spot a bit more beautiful. 
While there, I noticed the yellows and whites of roadside blooms in progress. I saw two crawdad houses, some wild violets trying to get going. The doves were talking. 

Maybe they were saying thank you. 

It is a sunny day here. It felt good to be outside and moving. After I walked back, I saw several things around the house that needed cleanup, too. So I got busy. And that busy brought about a lot of other judgments. About little ole me. Yep. I have a lot of cleanup to do, too. It’s just not always out there for the world to see.

So, open your eyes to the world around you, and make it a little bit better today. Better because it’s a good thing to do. Better with no strings attached. Better attracts better. 


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/25/17 (Saturday)

New life is all around us. I might have missed this if I had not decided to take  a quick walk outside with my youngest grandchild this morning. 

The pond is shimmering, there are tree limbs down from a rainy, windy yesterday. Mud puddles abound. Trees in bud  and new willows taking hold. 

Glorious sunny Saturday. 

Open your eyes to the gifts of life today.

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/24/17 (Friday’s Five)

I’m mining the past week’s journal entries for a few of the blessings to share here. 

1. Keeping a journal routinely. That in itself is something I am grateful for and as time goes on, I realize how much more comes when I make the time to have a consistent routine: memories, images, new ideas. I’m continually amazed at what appears on the page if I just show up.

2. Poetry. Ideas have crept in my entries this week and I have made time to create some blackout poetry, collect words for a found poetry project, work on a single syllable poem. I’m currently adding more text in my painting projects and stitching work. I know it’s a result of daily focus. That 40 extra minutes a day I told myself was necessary at the beginning of Lent has not always been easy to find, but it certainly has provided rewards. 

3. International mail. Sending and receiving always brings a smile.

4. Seven geese. Two usually have taken up residence at our pond by now, but this year seven stayed. Unusual to see an odd number since this is mating season, but there is  a lone duck here, too. I see them several times a day. Moments of peace.

5. Trash bags. I’m in a big purge time. That’s always a good sign for me. When I can  let things go, I make room for new things to come. When I get rid of junk, my mind is always lighter, too.

What did you see this week that brought you a sense of peace? Of joy? Of awareness? Of love?