Fourth of July

Image

There’s this girl, you see, born on the Fourth of July. She erupted on the scene at a military base and grew to love all things military precision-like—minimalistic living and spartan saving with exacting expectations of herself—yet exploding with all the vibrant color of a rainbow. She’s an out of the box thinker—MacGyver’s met his match in her.

This girl, you see, is a firecracker, whip smart, and loud about things that matter like injustice, inequality, and freedom for all. She’s the yang to my yin, the bang for my buck, my soul sister, twin flame, and best friend. Happy Birthday, Tracy Jo! 🥰🎉🎊 💥

4th of July

It is hard to say when or where
Although why is not quite as hard
(synchronous orbits)to declare
that mysterious tidal heat
where in wonder science we meet.
Life whisks away what’s not needed,
brings the ebb and flow, completed
we move while the stars stand their guard.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Grateful

Image

Thanks to Nathan Dumlao @nate_dumlao for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/KYiGu8qqEcM

Thanks to the generosity of an out-of-town friend, who is just here for a couple of weeks, I was able to visit Trace today.

Thanks to the generosity of our friends and dog trainers, the dogs have been able to have an extended stay at a reduced rate.

Thanks to another friend who offered to host Ev, I will be able to pick up Tracy when she comes home from the hospital.

I’m overwhelmed with the love and phone calls, with the encouraging words, and with the prayer that has been offered to us.

We are grateful.

Thank you one and all.

grateful 

for sun and rain for glen and grove
for paths too steep and overgrown
for friends who love without reserve
for healing in transparency
grateful.

for docks and dips in darkness deep
for freedom found in letting go
for the joy of finding new love
for tears that cleanse body and soul
grateful.

for maladies that mend our faith
for stones that build our broken walls
for the strength bound up in heartache
for the power of weakness known
grateful.

for life and breath, for strength in hope
for knowledge and wisdom and truth
for the freedom in forgiveness
for the power of grace imbued
grateful.

for everyday bits of holy
in our everyday lives profane
for everyday pleasures profound
I staunchly rejoice and remain
grateful.

Walking in the Light

Image

Today Trace was moved to inpatient therapy in Rochester. She will have three hours of therapy per day, and unfortunately can only have one non-clergy visitor per day.

Because children are not allowed, I am not able to go and visit her with Evan, so we are counting on some friends to head over and cheer her on.

This is a hard season.

But we’ve been here before, and we know how to do hard things.

So sweep away the clouds and let the sun shine in.

On another note, I completed my take on a Trijan Refrain form poem today with the final and third stanza. You can read it in its entirety below.

Peace to all of you, you have been so very encouraging to us over these last days.

walking in the light

friendship unpacks a history
rich with joy and sorrow,
and days unfold with mystery—-
surprise of tomorrow.
walk in the light when days grow dark
and life seems bleak and rather stark.
walk in the light
walk in the light
rejoicing in each tender spark.

friendship unpacks a new season
that’s not at all thrilling;
I know things happen with reason
without our request or willing—
walk in the light when times get tough;
walk in the light when times are rough.
walk in the light
walk in the light
finding hope when life seems enough.

friendship unpacks love at the root,
the core of each new bud;
love is the base—the root absolute—
an overwhelming flood.
walk in the light hold your head high
love carries the weight of your cry.
walk in the light
walk in the light
sweep the clouds out of the sky.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Waiting Part 2

Image

Thanks to Meritt Thomas @merittthomas for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/4vM2SHXh_M0

We never heard back from RIM, but we did pray that the right door would open up.

As of tomorrow morning, Trace will be at an inpatient rehab in Rochester.

I’m hoping beyond hope that she is home soon, but more than that we want her to be able to walk again. We are missing her so much.

Thank you all for your prayers and for hanging in there with us on this adventure.

As far as my poem for today goes, I have been working on the Trijan Refrain, a poetry form created by Jan Turner. It consists of three 9-line stanzas, a total of 27 lines. Line 1 is usually the same in all three stanzas, although a variation of the form is not to repeat that same line with each stanza. I chose to repeat half the line.

In this form, the first four syllables of line 5 in each stanza are repeated as the double-refrain for lines 7 and 8.

The Trijan Refrain is a rhyming poem with a set meter and rhyme scheme as follows:

x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a. 8
x. x. x. x. x b. 6
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a. 8
x. x. x. x. x. b. 6
R. R. R. R. x. x. x. c. 8
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. c. 8
R. R. R. R. 4
R. R. R. R. 4
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. c. 8

It’s a tricky little form, but I rather like it. I’m going to post the poem today with stanza 1 and 2 together. Tomorrow I will add the third and final verse.

1.
friendship unpacks a history
rich with joy and sorrow
and days unfold with mystery
where twists and turns abound
walk in the light when days grow dark
and life seems bleak and rather stark
walk in the light
walk in the light
rejoicing in each tender spark.

2.
friendship unpacks a new season
that’s not at all thrilling
I know things happen with reason
without our request or willing
walk in the light when times get tough
walk in the light when times are rough
walk in the light
walk in the light
finding hope when life seems enough.

—a work in progress by Carla Picklo Jordan

The Waiting Game

Image

Thanks to Wim van ‘t Einde @wimvanteinde for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/iEhFJJAMTK4

Waiting.

This is where we remain.

We wait for RIM approval.

We wait for Blue Care approval.

The waiting is the constant.

On the upside, Trace was able to be given a shower of sorts today. First one in a week, and boy did she feel better.

Keep praying for the miracle of RIM to open up.

walking in the light 

1.
friendship unpacks a history
rich with joy and sorrow
and days unfold with mystery
where twists and turns abound
walk in the light when days grow dark
and life seems bleak and rather stark
walk in the light
walk in the light
rejoicing in each tender spark.

—a work in progress by Carla Picklo Jordan

When Worlds Collide

Coffee in a styrofoam cup—not my favorite, but I am happy we are able to enjoy our coffee together.

What a day!

At 7 am the nurse (under doctor orders) ripped Tracy off her pain pump without making sure her pain was managed.

I probably don’t need to tell you how awful the day was. We spent most of it trying to get back on top of the pain. Trace was crying and her pain all day was largely unmanageable. It was dreadful.

Friends, even I had a hard time.

More than once the tears spilled over in my eyes out of sheer helplessness. At one point, I realized I wasn’t helpless; I had power to help her because I still had my voice.

And one voice has power.

I teach my students this at school, and I believe it to be true. You have a voice, use it wisely. So I made a choice to use my voice and made some phone calls to her surgeon; I also reached out to the hospital case manager.

Once I started reaching out, I found many folks with empathy. The pain management doc isn’t usually at this hospital on Wednesdays, but when he heard what was going on, he came all the way from his Novi clinic after a full work day, just to see Tracy. He reordered the pain pump—administered and weaned differently—and she found some relief.

We finally (both of us) (mostly) slept.

She is up, asked for coffee and her phone and is looking at a breakfast menu. First time she’s wanted to do any of that.

Thank you God for answered prayer and (finally) a pain pump returned!

When Worlds Collide

When worlds collide,
life changes in a way
that is never quite
the same again.

Our path lies
where we choose to
walk (or fly)—not
the beaten path

and maybe not
even the road less
travelled, but where we
establish our rest.

We choose life
near the cool waters
feasting on simple rhythms—
sunrise and sunset,

morning and evening.
One giant living hum—
peace amidst the chaos—
in the middle

of every thing.
We sing our stories
rejoicing in each moment
when worlds collide.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Hospital Nights

Image

Well, Trace made it through night one like the champion she is.

And today feels like a new day.

Mostly.

I think I slept about an hour and half total. Worst bed and chair out of all the hospitals I’ve stayed at…and I have stayed just about at every hospital in the tri-county area. This fancy-schmamcy one had a couch and chair in the room that were simply dreadful, and I’m so wishing for a good nights rest tonight.

I will tell you this, every patient needs an advocate because not all nurses are created with the same empathy and ingenuity levels. To be honest, I’m afraid to leave her alone here.

A nurse anesthetist came in and said that her levels of pain are simply not acceptable. I was so relieved to hear someone say out loud exactly what I was thinking. Hopefully, she will make some changes.

On a good note, Trace is off the pain pump, and it’s just as well. She was pretty violently ill this morning from all the narcotics. Now it’s a matter of getting the right “cocktail” of meds to relieve her pain. The pain is still wickedly intense and not managed.

The surgical team came in early this morning and said everything looks great from the outside, but they have to do a standing x-ray today to make sure. That should be interesting with her pain level.

Most importantly, please pray that we can figure out how to get on top and ahead of the pain. (Can you tell that’s the theme of the day?) That is our biggest need right now.

Hospital Nights

It’s 2am
and peace
has settled
in the room.

Her bloodstream—
narcotic drunk,
a slumped
half-smile
on her mouth.

Getting up
to use
the commode
wasn’t so bad.

Of course,
dilaudid helps—
gotta love
that pain pump.

I’m trying
to close
my eyes
But I’m terrified

she’ll sleep—
sleep through
button pressing
and suddenly wake

screaming again.
I know
she can’t
live on that

high forever—
hooked up,
hooked on
drugs every day.

Eventually she—
she will
need to
feel pain again.

The only road
to recovery
is in her own
clear thinking

and her
sheer determined,
unflappable, unstoppable,
undeniably tough spirit.


—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Trust the Wait

Image

Today is surgery day. I am still in the surgery waiting room and she’s been in there for four hours already. To distract myself from the bile creeping up into my throat, I wrote.

It’s what writers do.

It’s what poets do.

It’s certainly what I do.

I will keep you all posted as soon as I know something.


Trust The Wait

There’s a breathless expectancy
in the hospital waiting room.
I feel it in the man in blue
speaking nervously on his phone;

I feel it in the woman dressed
in coral slacks and matching bag
as she rushes past with purpose—
a faint hint of lillies wafting.

Trust the wait; live in the question—
beauty is becoming in us.

Doctors and nurses bustle by
eyes cast downward even as I
earnestly hope one brings me news.
The darkness of waiting covers

me like a cocoon; I hate this.
I hate the persistent nagging
of worry, the lingering doubt—
the waiting and the not knowing.

Trust the wait; live in the question—
beauty is becoming in us.

I am longing for this darkness
to burst into glorious light;
I am waiting for certainty
in the middle of misgivings.

So I will close my eyes and long
for days when sunshine kissed the waves,
and I will set foreboding fears
aside to dream of unknown shores.

Trust the wait; live in the question—
beauty is becoming in us.

Denial? Perhaps there is some;
I prefer resigning to rest.
Not dispassionate, but rather
prepossessed to my pact with peace.

Trust the wait; live in the question—
beauty is becoming in us.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

It’s Gonna Be Ok

Image

Tomorrow is Tracy’s surgery. She is having a spinal fusion, which is a pretty serious surgery. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous and a little scared about the unknowns.

But I am choosing to breathe positivity and healing and a full recovery into this day. So many folks have reached out and called to encourage us.

Their words have not gone unheeded.

I have taken them to heart and allowed them to remind me of what is important. I am so very grateful to God for good friends, for a supportive church community, and for a workplace that allows me to take time off.

I know it’s gonna be ok.

It’s Gonna Be Ok

They say it’s gonna be ok;
They say it’s ok to be terrified—
that everything will work out,
but right now I’m not so sure.

One breath at a time,
one foot in front of the other
even when the path is dark
and looming with uncertainties.

I am strong and brave,
I am a force of nature,
I am connected and whole—
vibrating like a horsehair bow
scraping against violin string.

Who could imagine the beauty
created from that tension?
Who could imagine how music
bravely brings back life—

bringing light to the darkness
breathing beauty into the ashes
bowing a beautiful harmony
into the lonely melody?

I have known defeat and
I have known struggle,
I have borne the weight of loss
and nearly drowned beneath it.

So I will lean into that knowing—
how to climb out of the depths,
and how to cling to gratitude
like a lifeline of hope.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Rainy Days

Image

Thanks to dylan nolte @dylan_nolte for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/J4lbSEF1xbI

Today the sun was scorching and poetry had to be written, so I went searching for a new form to explore.

That’s when I discovered the “rispetto”. A rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. It has 8 lines. Rispetto typically uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme.

So here is my Sunday offering. A rispetto about rain on a scorching day. Wishing all of you that respite of rain.

Rainy Days

Somewhere in my mind it is always raining—
like the sound of thundering rooftop dancing,
while cozy fires burns brightly maintaining
the mood. And all the signs are there enhancing
the idea that I am moving toward
sound so powerful it cannot be ignored.
Refreshed, re-energized, and renewed I rise—
much like flowers after that rain, I surmise.

— Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What refreshes you?