Stories Start Somewhere

Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

Each day, Tracy gets a little stronger, pain is not her friend. Today her goal is walking to the restroom. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s that many steps closer to home.

Her nurses over night and this morning have been super pleasant and helpful. She’s had her gradual weaning off of the pain pump, and so far, she is doing well. Of course, the goal is to get her off completely, but right now, they are helping her to move with lesser pain.

We are so grateful for all the great words of encouragement. I know Trace is really feeling disappointed that she cannot move as well as she was moving before surgery. She has pain and numbness in her left leg, which is typically her good leg. This also adds to her anxiety, and anxiety can increase pain levels.

I share this so you can know the hard, bare truth of our story. I know we are not alone. Many of you have gone through similar difficult circumstances and overcome.

Any words of encouragement you can send to Trace—music that is groovy or cool, any neat videos that might be distracting, words of positivity—all of this will be much appreciated.

Thank you friends, we are grateful for each one of you.

Stories

Before I can read 
stories in the clouds
I must know my own story—
a story rolled out
slowly over time.

I must understand
how I found my place
in the universe—
how that rolling out
finished all my edges.

I must understand
how my own story gives 
weight to the words of myths 
and purpose to the memory 
of legends.

The signs are there
waiting in the clouds;
they don’t appear
by magical conjuring—
they reside in us.

Every story
begins somewhere,
so I will begin 
with the song
inside of me.

--Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What difficult circumstance have you overcome?

The Daughter

Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

The prompt for today was to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consists of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven). The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads.

My brain was tired and fourteens didn’t come easily today. Actually, not much came easily today; so instead, I wrote my fourteener in two lines of 8 and 6, and then I strung them together and shaped them into quatrains. Since the lines also equal fourteen, I’m going to call this a win.

It’s not exactly the prompt, but I still had fun writing it. The visuals were taken from my memories of traveling to places that looked just like this one in the picture.

The Daughter

The full moon watched from western sky as stars began to fade, 
and ghosts rose from the water smooth and danced within the glade. 
The wispy trails of dancing tails hung low beneath the trees 
and disappeared into the sun who smiled with rapturous ease. 

The glass that looked like honey comb glowed rosy in the light, 
the dawn breathed a collective breath preparing to ignite. 
For past and present intertwined to weave their tapestry—
a strand of golden thread shone through glinting with majesty.

And hope was whispered on the breeze so boisterous the mirth, 
the favored queen now labored hard anticipating birth. 
Just as morning broke into day the princess graced the land. 
born to rule with joy and wisdom— compassion now at hand. 

And so the kingdom all rejoiced with grateful dignity;
peace settled deep within their bones: Welcome sweet Charity. 

-A Draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

May your day be filled with anticipation, joy, and sweet charity.

Sacred Circle of Trees

Image

Photo Credit: Mike Ross

The poetry writing prompt I found for today asked me to write a poem in which mysterious and magical things occur. Immediately my mind drifted to our trip to Ireland in 2018.

One of the best parts of our trip to Ireland was the driver we hired as a guide. Having been a guide for many years, Tim knew some of the most interesting, out of the ordinary places to see. He tapped in to the stories I had heard or read as a girl.

Faery Stories were always my favorite. I loved the stories of magical wee folk, whether cute or capricious, bringing joy or sorrow to those around them. When Tim told us we were close to a “faerie ring”, you can imagine my joy.

Our driver explained that the faerie ring is any free-standing circle of trees. He said that farmers will not cut down the trees even if they are in the middle of field.

Superstitions are strong in Ireland.

Sometimes you get a Wishing Trees inside of a faerie circle. A Wishing Tree is a hawthorn tree where people tie ribbons to ask blessings from the local saints (or from the wee folk). The story is told that if you go into these forests today and tie a string to the trunk of the tree in the center, you will be able to “hear beyond”.

We did visit a sacred circle of trees with a wishing tree in it, and I found it eerily peaceful. This poem pays homage to that visit.

The Circle of Trees

They called and I came,
the circle enfolding me
in silence.

Listen to the hum
of the ancient rhythm.
Listen to the rumble
of wisdom.

They called again and I heard,
like whispers floating down
from the trees.

Do you know
that churches
do not house God?

We are the keepers
of all things
wise and wonderful.

We are
the storehouse
for memory.

Did you hear that?
Did you hear the whisper?

But the only voice
I hear is my own
echoing back to me;

until there on the tree,

I see my string
flickering
on the breath
of the wind.

—A Draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What would you wish on a hawthorne tree?

Day #2

the legend of the two wolves

unlovable:
that’s exactly how I feel
when the darkness
creeps slowly
into the recesses of my mind.
I know
so perfectly
how to feed
the wolf who lives
inside my head—
the wolf who turns my mind
into a kind of wonderland repository
for whatever story
robs me of my self esteem–
like an artificial joint
attracting infection.
now if only I could learn
how to starve him to death–
but the hand
that feeds his mouth
also feeds my own.