Saturday, January 26, 2008

What We Need is Here

I could actually chart my life with the poems I have found waiting for me in magazines, newspapers, books or received from friends in cards and notes. Often when I am not feeling like writing or reading I open one (of three by now) folders and sift through it. Here is a poem I actually had on my desk. It is by one of my favorite poets, Wendell Berry. It connects into a longed for moment as I work with my family to create our farm, our sanctuary. It reminds me that our sanctuary may not neccessarily be in some imagined place but within us.

I think poetry, like all art forms, speaks its own truth even seperate from the poet's vision itself. So it can open a window into each of our lives, maybe clarifying or helping us come to terms with things we have hidden from ourselves or just providing a new point of view or information. I think that is especially important as I see fewer years ahead of me than behind me.


Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp, sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds them
to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Genesis me this means 'in the beginning' or just, the beginning. The dictionary (small g) says it means origin; creation, but I don't want to go there. I'm thinking about it in a much smaller context, like this beginning, sitting on my bed with my two cats and my computer writing my first blog. The word Genesis is loaded. It has come to mean more, like, how did I get here and who am I anyway. But Genesis (big G) makes me wonder, did I appear from nothing or did I come here out of chaos. If I appeared out of chaos it means I did not appear out of nothing. When I think about it that is what I think. It is true mainly because, as much as I am tuned into a mysterious universe beyond understanding, I cannot comprehend appearing out of nothing. And anyway, if there is no chaos around I can create it quite well. Now love, that is another story. Love is not like a planet, or a star, even though sometimes it seems inaccessible and it does not have a form, and it looks like nothing, it is not millions of miles away, it is not so many cubits wide and so many cubits tall made out of cypress or acacia wood, no, love does not have this kind of form, but there is no doubt that it does have form. And I think now that I have said all this, that that is what this blog will be about. Love.

MSG-Monosodium Glutamate: Seasoning Salt. In my day this was the kind of seasoning we used dailyon our food. That is until we learned it wasn't good for us, that the msg contained carcinogens, that it caused cancer. So then we stopped using it, except the kind that took out the MSG. But, a few years ago when I was going through my 'change' what? :-) I wanted to invite a few friends to join me in a weekly or monthly conversation and (bright light flips on) I thought Menopause Support Group, that's it. And then, somehow, out of those swirling thoughts came the idea that we would be about encouraging each other to live the next years the best we could, that they would become the best years...more flavor, deeper colors, tastier, and, yes, spicier. So, who to invite. Neighbors?, poets?, horsey friends?, peace activates ? writers ? ministers ? animal advocates? women ? (oh yeah, of course women :-) it was too much for my ADD brain so it landed like most good ideas, squarely in the closest black hole.

A few weeks ago I was trying to think of a new e-mail name and for a reason only known to the universe (hmmm mysterious) I thought of 'pam2spicy'. The idea came shooting a star? And this time my friends not only were diverse in age and interest but also have moved all over the country (including me). What to do? When my daughter offered to help me begin a blog it began to fit together again. (Contrary to accepted webbabble )(and other babble too) I do know I get more than one chance to do the things I have planned and dreamed and lost along the way...but if the light is still on somewhere in that dark brain or broken heart I can find that spark again because if it is a really good idea, it still lives and it will find me. This happens too. My MSG group idea, which is clearly outdated, became (or is becoming) 'grammy2spicy' (I got advice that 'pam2spicy' might give the wrong impression :-( (Spice of Life for my URL fits much better than my clothes these days)

So this is my new genesis. This blog. I originally came to the computer with fear and mistrust. Slowly I have found it is miraculously helpful. I could never have gotten through seminary without it (but that is another Genesis story) I have written poetry, sermons, a book, and yes, it is worth the struggle.

Now this has probably broken every good writing rule there is and has more bad sentences than good ones but I have had fun writing it. And that is what I want you to do. Have fun! Just write! Write down the bones as one of my favorite authors has titled her book on writing. And lets chat about writing, our kids, families, questions about who we are, but more importantly why we are here and what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Lets not complain (too much) lets think about what is possible...that reminds me of an essay I wrote about fireflies.......