True Love’s Falling

In the midst of cold, wet, dreary weather, I spent most of my weekend trying to console one of my characters, Cody, with his loss (by working diligently to finally put a large portion of this manuscript together). Meanwhile – in the real world – one of my best friends spent the weekend caring for her elderly aunt in her final hours while trying to console her family over the loss she was sharing.

I came into work this morning feeling particularly melancholy (probably because it’s still cold and wet and especially dreary, being a Monday and all). I had (took?) a few spare moments to pen these thoughts as they came to mind.

I’m sure my poem could use some work, but I hope it brings comforting thoughts to those who need them today. Blessings. -j

True Love’s Falling

 

Here is it in print form only, for those who might have trouble reading it in its “artsy-fartsy” form:

 

True Love’s Falling

 

Don’t let the sun set on your tomorrows

Though darkness may cloud your todays

Our falls always take us to sorrows

In due course,

Cold months surrender to Mays

 

The day’s sun approaching future horizons

You haven’t yet stepped out to greet

All of life’s best and mesmerizing surprises

In God’s time,

Will remove your false sense of incomplete

 

Breathe deeply the crisp wind that’s blowing

Take hope in all future renewals

Cleanse your heart in solely knowing…

Set love shines more brightly

Than all polished jewels

 

 

Related Link:  Rolling River

Refocusing on Perfection (and other less haughty goals)

Knowing how inconsistent I’ve been in the blogging community this year, I thought I’d better try to get my creative cap back on – even if I’ve managed to lose all of my writing communities and what little bit of interest I might have gained from blogging friends that I appear to have “dumped.”

I had gotten so deep into an intense scientific style of writing, in finishing out my dissertation, that my creativity (and time) felt otherwise pushed to the edge. So, here’s a warm up, as I’m hoping to get back to my other writing projects soon that have gathered lots of dust on the shelf.

I’m including a poem of dichotomy that played through my mind this morning, as well as a couple of images that were sitting on my iPhone (since I haven’t had time to get out and explore the trails with a decent camera in hand lately).

Okay, enough with the excuses…

dichotomous blaze

Dichotomous Blaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refocusing on Perfection
© jody love, 2014

My head rolled up slowly, my focus adjusting on you.
You were close – so very close.
You took my breath.
Our legs circled and entwined.
Your head turned away.
You sighed in contentment.
I closed my eyes and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized how perfect this all was.

 

My head snapped up sharply, my focus adjusting on you.
You were down the aisle – so far away.
You took my breath.
Our legs rotated in double-time.
Your head turned away.
I sighed in anguish.
I changed my path and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized this was all just…Perfect.

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Recesses

Had I but known it was the last time I would look
Upon your face, into your eyes…
I would have lingered there.

Had I but known it was the last time I would feel
Your very presence, next to mine…
I would not dare have let go.

Yet now, they’re only memories, barely kept
In the recesses of my mind,
Threatening to tell me you never were

As you said, forever mine.
Then you were gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would breathe
Your very essence, take in your scent…
I would never have exhaled.

Had I but known it was the last time I would taste
Your tender lips, with honeyed kisses…
I could not have pulled away.

Yet now, they’re only demons, taunting me
Within the dreams of restless sleep,
Making me believe you have returned

To be, forever mine.
Then you are gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would hear
Your words so tender, full of love…
I would have blocked all else out.

Had I but known it was the last time I could sense
The bond between us, sworn eternal…
I would have prayed for its recapture.

Yet now, they’re almost gone, departing me
As if you never were, or did not care,
Beseeching me, forget the love we shared.

An empty space, forever mine –
For you are gone.

© 2012 Jody Love

Recesses. Published in World Poetry Movement (compiler), Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month. ISBN: 978-1-61936-035-8.

(Author’s note: I’m sure the loss of someone we love, under whatever circumstance, resonates deep within our souls. I term it “the without within.” As 9-1-1 poignantly calls upon us again today to remember loss in conglomeration, it amplifies that empty space for many, individually and as a nation – and even as a world desperately in need of love, forgiveness, and understanding.)

The Problem with Me-N

Problem with Me-N

I haven’t been on the Trifecta grid for a little while, so I was pleased to have a few minutes to ponder today’s new Trifextra weekend prompts. This weekend we’re being asked to add our own thirty words to the following three words that were supplied for a total of thirty-three. Hope you enjoyed mine. By the way – this little exercise & the tremendously wonderful Trifecta group isn’t exclusive. Throw some of your own words out & come join us! Here’s the 3 you’ll need to include this time around:

myopic
dazzle
basin

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.gxht2vJ8.dpuf

When the world seems in shambles, that’s the time to Give Thanks

The holidays can, undoubtedly, bring out the worst in us sometimes (as evidenced by the increased sense of loss we often feel with the realization that loved ones are no longer with us; or the highly viewed Youtube Black Friday shopping debacles that get cast across the Internet). But they also remind of us of what’s still good about this world – with ‘thanks’ and ‘giving’ being abundantly displayed. 

I’m being a typical mom this week, with the important reminder:

Don’t forget to say thank-you.

It’s not just about showing appreciation for the kindness that someone has bestowed upon you. It’s just as much about reflecting who you truly are – and better yet, who you yet have the ability to be – because of filling your heart with gratitude. (Funny that, as we give thanks, we are the ones who also get filled.)

This past weekend, the man I knew as my pastor from my earliest childhood memories until my young adulthood retired. As I went to attend the reception in his honor, I revisited many early life memories, and I also saw the additional years on those who I remembered from there. It was clear that my dear, long-time pastor had earned his right to this time (probably even long before now – but pastors usually retire from the earth before they get to retire from ministry). I thought back to this time last year when I’d last been there and had witnessed him as he performed what I suppose was one of the toughest, and yet one of the most important, services of his life. As a matter of fact, I felt blessed to have made it back then, as I listened to him share how he and his wife met, how he courted her, how they began their lives together, and how they’d shared in ministry – until her time had come to depart for her heavenly home. She’d specified that he should be the one to lead the service; she simply reasoned that no one else knew her as well as he had, so it made the most sense. After being helped up the stairs that day, he gave us all the opportunity to journey with him back in time and catch a glimpse into the lives of two very young people I would have otherwise never known.

I was grateful to be a part of that sweet service. I was also relieved that I’d answered a nudge I’d received in my spirit a couple of weeks before that, when I’d decided to mail a Christmas card to my prior pastor and his wife, thanking them for the effect their ministry had ultimately had on me.

So, in celebration of their love for so many others in their ministry (who I’m sure weren’t always so lovable), I’d feel privileged to share with you the following words I sent out this time last year (I suppose on angels’ wings):

***

Dear Rev. and Mrs. G-

I pray this letter finds you in good spirits for the celebration time of our Lord’s birth. I wanted you to know that you are in my prayers for your personal lives and for your continued ministry. More than anything, I realize that I am many years overdue in sending out a thank you letter for the hugely positive impact that you both have had on my life.

Whenever I recall my fondest childhood, teenage and young adult memories, they always somehow relate back to our church and its people. I still hold many close relationships, to this day, with so many friends from there; and I know, without a doubt, whenever I’ve walked through those doors, before or since my time away, I have always felt welcomed. I can think of so many times in my life when other church bodies might have been less welcoming to my behaviors or my situations – but you all were the definition of I Corinthians 13 in your love towards me, most especially being patient and kind. The fruits of the Spirit were always as abundant as the ice cream and good cheer that flowed around our summers of Vacation Bible School or the many receptions taking place in our well-used fellowship hall.

From Christmas plays (with practices that brought our youth group so close together) to lock-ins (where Scavenger hunts took us to outreach opportunities within the neighborhood) to games on the softball field (where our church was so much a part of our larger community) to bible studies that ranged from Communicant’s class to catechisms (where I began proclaiming my own faith), and well beyond into my adulthood (when I finally got around to learning all the books of my bible), I’ve come to deeply realize how I was being prepared to become an everyday evangelist (even if I still don’t set the example I strive to follow). There are so many things I learned from Sunday School to VBS to Wednesday night classes that I never realized I was retaining until people asked me through the years, “How do you know this stuff?” Time and time again, it comes back to my early foundation, the biblical grounding I received at the church I will always call home.

My beliefs, to this day, were formed and shaped there. Whether it was you, boldly proclaiming, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” or whether it was your ‘better half’, sweetly exhorting, “Jody, how could you think you wouldn’t become a teacher? It’s in your blood,” you have each shaped so much of the person I am (whether you’d prefer to take any credit for it or not!). You allowed me to grow up in a loving church environment that, rather than scolding me for questioning things I couldn’t comprehend in the Word or for sometimes just being downright disruptive and rebellious, I was abundantly nurtured. Each time I now stand up in front of the people of the Church to speak or to teach, I think back to those Sunday mornings, before the Sunday School hour, where we assembled and where I was not only allowed, but encouraged, as a youth to lead that opening worship service. I had absolutely no idea that God had me in training for something more for His Kingdom down the road.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the relationship I was blessed to have with your family, for my friendships with your sons, for the joy and laughter that went on among our youth who were like siblings, for the extended family I had in our congregation, for the many scriptural teachings learned, and for the ability to experiment with who I was going to become within the body of Christ (with all my messy mistakes included).

This side of heaven can quite often be difficult, trying to push us to give in when circumstances feel impossible. Through many trials and tribulations, I’ve come to learn to temper my emotions compared only to one thing, and that is the measure of those other words I’ve heard you proclaim, over and over, and have learned to yearn for one day in the presence of our Lord and Savior: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” In all joy and assuredness, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you both will hear those precious words one day.

Thank you for giving to the Lord in my life and the lives of others. Please know how very much your gift is treasured.

With great  love and respect,

jody

***

Maybe they never received it.
Perhaps it didn’t get read on time.
Even if so, it might not have held the same meaning as it did for me.
Nevertheless, I needed to take time to express my love, my admiration…
my gratitude.
It made a distinctive difference to – maybe even ‘in’ – me.

So to the rest of you, I urge:
“Please don’t forget to say Thank You.”

To this very day, Vacation Bible School is still one of my favorite weeks of the year.

To this very day, Vacation Bible School is still one of my favorite weeks of the year.

InMON Challenge: Being Raised to Heaven can be a Nasty Affair

AT 18, you’re sure you know exactly what you want from life. Trouble is, by the time you’re 28, that wasn’t it. Then it takes another 10 years or so to, um, well…find a new one.

I stood at that prom, in all my finery and favorite aunt’s costume jewelry, looking around at the ridiculous colored cellophane decorations, strung from one side of the room to the other. Yet it all felt magical, as if someone had thought to raise heaven just a foot or so above us, where I could almost reach blissful eternity.

I was dangling in idyllic delight on the arm of the one who had captured my eye when he walked into our homeroom three years earlier. I was never sure whether he meant to create the gleeful response in my being when he took the seat next to mine, looked me straight in the eye and said ‘hi.’  But then, I was never certain of a lot of things – like when he held my hand two years later and whispered in my ear (things I won’t repeat) whether he was solely thinking of me. He seemed to have a wandering eye that night as one of the popular senior girls strolled by us at the party, and I feel certain she gave him a little wink. He assured me he hadn’t noticed because he only had eyes for me.

By the end of the next year, we had left that prom together, and he had promised me paradise.

Funny how things turn out.

As I stand here today, in this courtroom, trying to escape from paradise once and for all, I feel that I lived the past 20 years trying to breathe under colorless cellophane. I once believed I could raise heaven’s little angels together with him, if nothing else, but even that became more like raising…well, you get the point.

My new costume consists of a brave front and a good dose of ill discontent. Truth is, in the end, I’m the one who had the wandering eye.

__________________________

inmonsterbadge1Thought I’d do a little word play with the 5 prompts (and the 200-500 word limit) this week, shifting the key words along with the shift in the story.  In case you missed it, the prompts for this creative writing piece of fiction (yes, fiction!) were:

RAISE HEAVEN

COSTUME

ESCAPE FROM PARADISE

WANDERING EYE

CELLOPHANE