My Mother Would Have Loved Marie Kondo

Growing up, my house was never tidy. Sometimes it was clean, but it was never tidy. And it was never kept that way. We had things stacked up in lots of random places, because my mom found it hard to let go. But every once in a while she would get frustrated at her family for also not being tidy. She would ask us to clean our rooms. She would pick up things that we had left lying around and she would say “There’s a place for everything, and everything in its place.”
I think that’s why my home feels chaotic to me sometimes. Most things have their place, but a lot of things don’t have their place, so they just get set somewhere, and then when we need them we really have to search. I don’t want to live that life anymore.

I’ve been watching, like I’m sure a lot of people have been watching, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. It’s been amazing. I’ve been wanting to read her book for so long (let me know if you want to buy it for me) so when I saw this show I got so excited.
One thing that I heard her say in one episode is that it feels good when everything has a place. I instantly thought of my mother when I heard this.

My mother didn’t get to have a lot of innocent joy in her life. And she kept a lot of things. But I don’t think many of those things brought her joy.
I think my mother would have loved Marie Kondo, and I wish I could have seen her take Marie’s techniques into her life. I hope I can take Marie’s techniques into my life.

I’m ready for more innocent joy and less meaninglessness. I’m ready to be tidy. And I want to do it, because she couldn’t.

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Breath

It comes rushing in
Like a rushing wind
Like a deep inhale
Filling these lungs
That once gasped for breath

It’s a joy that overtakes
A love that overcomes
A grace that breaks free
A faith holding steadfastly
A mercy that bends rules without breaking them

This freedom rings
A sound resounding
Heard miles off
It cannot be hidden
But why would we want to hide it in the first place?

Hearts are healed
Sickness is destroyed
Promises fulfilled
Forgiveness freely given
The price has already been paid

A life laid down
So simply put
Perfection lived out
Stains removed
Poured into wounds unimaginable

We can focus on the pain
Or we can focus on the gift
Neither is more real
Neither can be returned
But we can be clothed in acceptance

So why not be thankful?
Why not find joy?
What have we got to lose?
It is finished
It has already been done

In the end, nothing else matters
But you never ceased to matter
Every step
Every breath
They’re all worth taking

Arms are open wide
Pulling you in
You can resist
Or let go
Because he’s not letting go of you

He breathes life
Into you
Patiently he’s waited
And patiently he’ll wait
For you to inhale

He’ll come rushing in
Like a rushing wind
With a deep inhale
Filling your lungs
That once gasped for breath

Time Passes Differently

My mother died almost two months ago.  I’m not really sure where to go from here.  But I have some thoughts.  I always have some thoughts.

I spoke at her service.  I wrote a poem and shared some thoughts, along with a poem that she wrote more than 30 years ago.  It was something personal.  Not something I planned on dwelling on.
But people keep asking me to send it to them.  People keep asking for copies.  And I don’t even have it typed up.  I’m not sure that I was planning on typing it up.  Not for a long while.  I feel like asking that of me is a bit insensitive, isn’t it?  I write a lot of things.  Why is this the one thing people keep bugging me about?

So anyway, after all of the mess, I’ve decided to put it here.  Here’s a poem.

 

There is pain
And there is peace
Pain for something lost that words cannot do justice
Peace, because there is no more pain

Songs are sung freely now
Lungs are not aching for breath
Mountains are climbed with ease, now
No need to stop and rest

Adventures can still be had
She’ll go with you still
With every new experience
Delight is more than real

It’s okay to laugh
I’m sure she’s laughing more
In fact, she’s probably dancing now
Her feet never touching the floor

There is a freedom to be basked in
A joy, lighter than air
A truth in her heart she can finally know
The promised land she always dreamed of

I’ve heard time passes different now
So while we’re down here mourning
She spends no time waiting for time to catch up
Saying “I’ll see you in the morning.”

We have pain
She’s in peace
Words can’t do this justice
But remember her peace, now, as she learns to dance in the rain

In the Wake

In the wake of the storm
A stillness unsettling
We dwell here
Searching for your peace

Pieces of our brokenness collected
Bringing them to our father
With tears streaming
Not realizing your joy at these gifts

You delight in your children
Yet we hide, ashamed
Believing we are naked in the garden
Not realizing you have already seen

We are not disappointments
Works in progress
You smile upon us
At every step

Every time we stumble
You are there to catch us
Not disappointments
As we chase you

Striving, ever striving
Not accepting rest
Afraid to settle
Your voice says, “just be still”

Leaps and bounds are not expected
The journey is what we were made for
You fall in love with our story
As we tell your story

We battled the storm
And you were with us
Your hand upon us
Carrying us when we couldn’t go on

Now here, in the wake
There is a stillness, unsettling
We can dwell here
Finding your peace

Lost, But Not

Lost, but not
In a sea of commotion
Home is right around the corner
Just out of sight
Close your eyes
And you’ll find it

Excited at prospect
Impatient for time
Essence overtaking
Hands opening
Dropping all expectations

Artist spilling over
Out of the corner of your eye
Angels watching
What will she do next?
Touching the seams
Where heaven and earth collide
Feel it break

Interrupted in thought
Caught up
In whatever this is
Lost,
But not

Blogging Everyday in July|A Poem About Clouds

Clouds are one of my favorite things.  If you follow me on Instagram, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen far too many photos of clouds, from the Sierra Wave to the fluffy clouds over the skies of Alabama.  I just love them.  I think they’re an art that we’ll never be able to form ourselves.   So someone asked me to write a poem about them.  And I did.

Clouds
Floating by silently overhead
Sky art
In waves and puffs of softness
Dense air holding water
Held up by invisible strings
Carrying joy, peace, anger, sadness, storms
Pour down on me
Pour down on me
Bring life
Refresh me
Warm summer rain
I am renewed

Rose Field

You’re standing in a field
Feeling empty
But it’s full of roses
While you only see the thorns

Find beauty in what is causing you pain
There is no one left to blame
You are joy
Let them find you

You might be begging not to be chosen
Yet in this field
You are in full bloom
The most beautiful rose

Step out
You have grown
No one can see your thorns
Not anymore