Monday, August 29, 2011


He helps me
into water
washing my skin
and hair tender
leading me to lay
down clean ~
heaven above,
earth beneath,
water beside us ~

loving me back
from exhaustion.

Like a stuck
casement window, 
handle gears rusted~
wanting to stay shut~ 
he cranks me
wide open, 
letting fresh love 
blow through. 
The stars peek inside
open screens, then 
shoot across the sky
in applause.

Watching the flame
lick and caress the wood
till its colors 
come out glowing
pink, purple, red, 
blue, apricot, and yellow
makes me 
want to stay 
burning also ~
to fear not 
the dark.  

The colors of bruises 
are also the colors of

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sharing a Bed

Rumpled blankets
bury books and fold up
kittens tangled around the dog
who gives wet licks
to wake us up for

Here's a must for middle age ~
get again not one, but two kittens.
Their paws are softer, whiskers
ticklier, fur silkier, and purr louder
than my earlier memories recall.

At play, they make me smile
at the tumbling chase and laugh
at their clumsiness. My eyes
water in wonder as tiny
padded paws pat my cheek.
Close isn't quite close enough
at times for a kitten, but
I have no way to unzip
my skin for them
to get all
the way

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unlikely Pair

Dick Staub doesn't do celebrity coming or going. Neither does Nigel Goodwin. What they do is dream up ways to gather artistic creative thinkers. They encourage, include, endorse, and foster. Kindling is a way to start fires and keep them burning. 

They both have lion sized hearts. Untamable hair. Voices that roar over valleys and bounce off the highest hills. Hugs that mend aching, fatherless hearts. 

Nigel wears funky street dancer shoes just in case the mood should strike him to tear up the pavement. His signature style is butterfly colored socks and jackets unmatched to anything else he wears. He is unabashedly bold about being seen in public this way. He tries to keep Dick stocked up on colorful socks, to no avail. Barefoot is better. It must be an island thing?

Kay Redfield Jameson in Exuberance tells of the musical that Jim Dale wrote about P.T. Barnum's extraordinary life. It reminds me of Nigel. 
Barnum is portrayed as keeping at bay his own and the world's ennui by spinning off energy and joy. "Through a night as dark as space / And cold as the sea / Someone's got to make it bright / Shoot a rocket, shine a light." Someone, in short, has to build a fire.  Exuberance, Barnum knew, is complicated. Exuberance is contagious. 
In the musical he also sings ~
"The colors of my life
 Are bountiful and bold 
The dazzle of a flame 
The glory of a rainbow 
I put them all to shame. 
no quiet browns and grays 
I'll take my days instead 
And fill them til they overflow 
With rose and cherry reds. 
And should this sunlit world 
Grow dark one day 
The colors of my life 
Will lead a shining light 
To show the way."  
She also quotes C.S. Lewis. It reminds me of Dick's untiring work to see his vision come into being and bear fruit.
"Good things as well as bad are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to get wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.....They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry." 
Might I explain Kindlingsfest 2011 this way?  I've been both warmed and wetted three years in a row. I don't have to have a studio, an audience, or a patron to be creative. I don't need permission, degrees, pedigrees, or papers. I don't need to have a maid, or months of solitude. I only need a way of thinking and being. A way of living each day noticing beauty. I need to choose it amidst the interruptions and disruptions of real life. I want to use color, words, my voice, my gifts, and our home in ways that dance and sing and cast prisms for me and others to swim in.

May these men (and their forbearing, steadfast wives and families) receive more grace, much mercy, and heaped to overflowing blessing upon blessing. Someday we will stand with all heaven and applaud as they receive the  eternal, "Well done boys, well done."

The Kindlings has a wide assortment of links and doors to look behind. You'll discover the dots connecting with International Arts Movement, Taproot Theater, Jeff Keuss's new book, Your Neighbor's Hymnal, Image Journal, and more. The recorded interviews and podcasts are a gold mine of interesting dialogue. The archives are deep and wide. Take a deep breath and dive.