Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It Doesn't Compute

But it adds up. 
It might look insignificant,
common, or just plain quiet at times. 
Your daily routine doesn’t get air time
on the nightly news or make headlines 
on the front page of the paper. 
What you do every day
matters, even though it seems
unremarkable in the moment, because 
we don’t have a Clarence who suddenly
appears when we need him most. 
There’s no one to show us flashbacks 
or the ripples made in the rest of the story.
The ordinary, invisible, mostly 
mundane parts of our lives 
don’t seem all that wonderful 
from our point of view. 

But wait, there’s a different perspective.
If only you could see all of heaven nod 
approval while they stand in thunderous 
applause, breathing deep sighs of satisfaction 
as they knowingly elbow each other in 
complete agreement -  what you do
matters. It makes a difference. Forever. 
During your most  run-of-the-mill-days, 
just imagine the Star Breather 
clearing a lump from his throat 
and wiping a tear from his eye 
 watching the myriad ways you: 
Love. And live. And give. And laugh. 
And grow things. And find time to create 
beautiful things in between endless chores.
And care for words. And find ways to be 
thankful. And make lemonade, anyways. 
And midwife and doula, nourish and nurture 
everyone around you. 

[deep curtsy] 
Kathleen Overby 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Perfect Days

Split pea soup's simplicity
testifies to warm bread's
complexity. The soup, bread,
and I heard the young mother
ask the little girl pulling up
a chair to help finish and stir,
"Is there enough salt, Viv?"
Brushing her bangs back
from her eyes she dipped
her spoon. Blowing first,
sipping twice, once in earnest
consultation with her taste
buds, the next time smacking
her lips zestfully, she declared
it perfect. And so did I.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Leave the edges wild -
a hide for hunting
sirens and muses.

Leave the edges wild -
let nature nurse the wounds  
Muggles make.

Leave the edges wild -
shy ideas mate with
bold daring here.

We went to an Over the Rhine Concert at The Triple Door. They were new to us then, but we feel better acquainted now, after being immersed in the music and stories.

I found a tidbit on their website that prompted this poem. They found, fell in love with, and bought an old farm. As they started to reclaim it, a wise father encouraged them to leave the edges wild. They followed his advice. It seems like this slice of country has been the birthplace of much art, poetry, music, good living, laughter, goodness, and love.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Slow Mail Eulogy

Mailbox relics 
reassure me.  
Birdsong will
be around forever.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Casting Seed

Maybe I mistook  
your intent for
a calculated move 
 to cast me away
cast me aside
 cast me off 
  a disposable way 
to discard what you 
no longer found useful. 

What if you
wrenched your pain open 
to release me,
ceding the pleasures and comforts that 
tightly closed pods afford? 

I no longer need to depend
upon the wind's inconsistent 
whims or wait for someone 
else to pick me. 
Cast, seeded, I am free. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seth's Version

of the Golden Rule
scales when shipped.

First you recognize
and come to believe
you're an artist by his
definition, then you
start living like you
really do believe it.

While on vacation I downloaded Seth Godin's latest three books. Graceful, V is for Vulnerability, and The Icarus Deception. Novels aren't the only good beach reading material. 

His writing is nutritious whole food without plastic packaging. No waste. Nothing to discard. It doesn't give you a sugar rush insulin spike like self-help motivational goo does. There isn't a plummeting sense of despair when you can't quite measure up to the hype the morning after. Or, the morning after that because there's nothing to measure up to. There's only someone to be. Your best loving self, the one who loves their neighbor as much as that.   

I believe we all desperately want to feel acknowledged, seen, noticed, and named.We need reminded that what we do in our everyday lives - matters. It gives us fuel to love more.

If that is the bull's eye, his aim is true and he hit the mark. His words are validating, affirming, and immensely encouraging. Consistently healing. Generously loving. It's like he's committed his life to minister (in the truest sense of the word) to the whole world. I'm thankful.  

I think I've always felt like a poser saying with assurance and confidence that I'm an artist. By his definition - in every way - I'm an artist. Wow. 

Hi, I'm Kathleen. I'm an artist. [smiling] [waving] 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Execution

I plan and plot 
to prepare a grandiose 
gesture, impressive 
intentions always in 
the making, but forever 

Disheartened past 
discouragement, his
endurance disappears 
before I can be bothered
to execute the sacred
grace the smallest 
gesture bestows. 

Waves Don't Wave

they rush together
like playmates 
who haven't seen each 
other for weeks. 
Hurling themselves high
in the air they make contact in a 
towering chest bump dissolving
in side splitting laughter,

Brita and I are in Kauai for our yearly mother/daughter get away. The ocean is immediately outside our window. I won't tire any time soon from watching the antics of the waves. Especially the cross current ones. They know how to play. 

P.S. I found great coffee. Finally. I sighed as I took my first sip. Velvet foam mustache happy. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Orcas Island Pottery

There is an enchanted place on Orcas Island. Orcas Island Pottery has deep roots, a good reputation, and really makes their art on site. The setting is a dream. You can wonder as you wander. Ponder as you peek around the next corner. And get lost in the colors and textures of earthen vessels made from a potter's hands on a wheel you can see in the studio through the window.

It is gratifying to touch things that aren't made in a factory. Especially not in a factory in India or China. Each piece felt solid in my hand. They felt sturdy, earthy, hearty, and immensely useable. The everyday kind of usable. When the everyday stuff is this pretty and satisfying, I think doing dishes would be a pleasure. Pottery is sensuous. It satisfies all my tactile and kinesthetic yearnings.

There are miniature vignettes waiting to be noticed at every turn, wherever you look. The mermaid actually waved to get my attention. The seal winked. There is even a storybook tree house. Photos can't do it justice. Hopefully, now you'll be tempted to go see for yourself.

They are also on Facebook besides the Etsy link above.

(If you google their website it does have a warning for malware if you enter the sight. I hope the owner's fix this as soon as possible. I'm assuming some third party infected this site - from what google said it hasn't originated from them.) 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Justin Froese

The Washington State Ferry system is a neighborly sort of giant. We love it, hate it, need it, and feel utter despair when it breaks down.

Most of all we are thankful for it, and grateful for the workers who breath our car fumes, start our dead batteries, give us a tow when needed, and freeze to death on our behalf during the winter.

Over the New Year's weekend, we enjoyed the music of Justin Froese and a friend. The lids of their instruments were closed. They weren't busking for money. They played for the joy. It brought a cheerful, hospitable vibe to the trip. This is my way of applauding their generosity.

Thanks for giving it away.