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Archive for the ‘#sosmagic’ Category

Ruth invites bloggers to Share Our Stories. Today’s prompt is to write fast.

Capture a shadow, dance with the wind, stand in a rainbow, begin at the end.


Mary Anne Radmacher
Photo by brenoanp on Pexels.com

Leo is learning the difference between his reflection and his shadow. He sees himself in a mirror, says, “Cute Shadow!” I am finding myself fascinated by how his little brain makes connections. How does language develop? What I am learning is that it is not at all linear. We start by repeating things a big person says. Leo parrots often. I was writing a card to a friend and said, “Dear Ellen.” He took the paper using the pen to draw right over my words and said, “Dear Ellen.” But then he kept scribbling hard and said, “Words!” And then some gibberish I didn’t understand. I took a video on my phone and sent it to Ellen.

I don’t have much video from my own children growing up. I’m sure I was as fascinated, but I was also busy being their mom. Being grandmother allows me time to reflect. I am writing things in a notebook for him. I’ve decided not to worry whether or not he will care about this when he gets older. That is not the point. I think that so many times as someone who wants to write, I worry too much about audience.

I read this morning on the Writer’s Almanac that Toni Morrison felt free when she wrote. She didn’t worry about her audience. She just marveled in the way writing consumed her. “But the writing was the real freedom, because nobody told me what to do there. That was my world and my imagination. And all my life it’s been that way.”

I don’t expect to be Toni Morrison, but I can take a bit of freedom from her. Let go and just write what comes. Ruth’s invitation today was to write fast. This was a quick write, about 20 minutes or so. Just enough time to bake a brownie or write a post. Both are sweet in their own way.

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I’m writing today in response to an invitation on
Sharing Our Stories: Take Space for Writing.

The word sacred can have many connotations. When I read today’s invitation to write about your sacred writing space, I began with thoughts about the word itself. Sacred. Yesterday I read Nikki Giovanni’s poem “In the Spirit of Martin” alongside a fifth grade student. She asked the question, “What does sacred mean?” responding to the poem’s first line, “This is a sacred poem…”

My initial response was “holy.” Sacred is a place that is quiet and contemplative, like a church.

Is my writing space sacred? Consecrated by different sizes, shapes, and surfaces of paper. Blessed with pens which become cat toys if I leave them out. Ordained by hard maple wood. My writing space is my kitchen. It’s where all the animals hang out. It’s close to the coffee pot. There’s a door that leads out to a winding bayou and cypress trees.

Our writing spaces become sacred when we make the space to sit in quiet stillness, to listen to the inner voice, and to be confident enough to put words on a page (or screen).

When the c trades places with the a, sacred becomes scared. Sacred can be scary. I’ve certainly had that mix of butterfly flutters in my belly when entering a sacristy.

Writing can be scary, too.

I’m learning to trust the process. To let my words be sacred. To open up myself to the vulnerable space. It’s still scary, but more often than not, it feels fulfilling and safe.

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This week Ruth invites us to write about rituals. As I sit at my computer on Boxing Day, I realize that rituals change. And change they must. In fact, I’ve had to understand that a ritual for me may or may not be one for my family. Accepting the change is my mantra for this holiday season.

Speaking of the lack of church-going in my pandemic life, I said to my daughter, “I’ll be spiritual again in 2021.”

She responded, “Oh, you are still spiritual. It’s just the ritual that you’ve taken a break from.”

She’s right, of course. But I feel the ritual of church, especially singing carols with the choir on Christmas Eve, fed my spiritual life, and without that food, I’m going through the motions of Christmas. My advent candles sit on my kitchen table having never been lit. I wonder at the long term effects of this ritual loss.

I totally forgot about Christmas dinner. Who forgets Christmas dinner? I realized after a text from my sister-in-law that we would have a visit, masked and on the porch with open doors, but no meal. Yikes! We ran to a nearby place that has frozen foods and stocked up 10 minutes before they closed on Christmas Eve. Emergency averted. That meal was the easiest Christmas dinner ever. Maybe a new tradition was born?

As I reflect on Christmas, 2020, I have so many things to be grateful for, beginning with a negative Covid test, so I was comfortable being around my grandchildren. The joys of children at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas, cannot be overrated. Leo, 2 years, was amazed by every “pwesent”, and Thomas, 15 months, wanted to taste every goodie. “Pease!” with the sign for More caved me every time. And even though I cannot physically hold baby Stella, I can watch her from across the room melt onto my daughter’s shoulder. So many blessings. New rituals. Always hope!

Cousins Leo, 2 years, Stella, 3 weeks, and Thomas, 15 months

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#SOSmagic: Routines

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

When a toddler’s routine is interrupted,
he cries “for no reason” and says “don’t like it”
about the thing he adored the day before.
Routines keep me grounded,
like the right foot in my tree pose,
planted into the earth of solid ground.
Sometimes a breeze blows; the tree sways,
but it doesn’t break.

My routine is my checklist:
animals fed, check
smoothie, check
lunch, check
Yeti cup, check.
Mask, check.

A routine is the canvas for my day.
I can be fully present if my routine is in check.
One forgotten or lost step sends my sensitivity into a tailspin.
I need to be protective of my routines,
keep them close and safe,
until…
you call and need me there.

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Click over to an invitation to write at Sharing our Stories.

This week’s invitation to “Share our Stories” is writing from a definition. I chose my One Little Word embrace.

Embrace: to clasp in arms: hug. The very thing taken away from us this strange pandemic year. The value of a simple hug has grown. Nothing is taken for granted.

Embrace: encircle, welcome. While I do not welcome an insidious virus, I do welcome the quiet reflection that comes with alone time.

Embrace: acceptance. This one has proven hardest of all. I am easily angered by the rising numbers. I have a hard time accepting screens over face to face. I also miss my children, and that is hard to accept.

Embrace implies gathering of separate things within a whole. Last month after careful planning and quarantine, we had an intimate family wedding in which we gathered another family into our whole. It was a beautiful wedding for my youngest daughter. Not the one she wanted, but the one we embraced.

Embracing this year has proven more challenging than ever. I still love the word. Etymology of the word comes from en+brace meaning a pair of arms. The blessings of my life abound. I hold within my figurative arms a healthy family that continues to grow. Soon I will embrace another grandchild. Soon we all will embrace a vaccine. Soon our country will embrace a new leader. We have much to embrace. May we all embrace Love!

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living.

This week the Sunday Night Swaggers are drafting to a challenge from Linda Mitchell, an aubade, which is a praise song to the morning. I read on Sharing our Stories a prompt for capturing sounds in your writing. To me sounds and aubade seemed to go together.

Sound is a huge influence on people’s attention.—Walter Murch

Sounds of the Morning

Is there a sound that wakes the morning?
An alarm of the softest hum,
shrill tweet of a passing bird,
a gurgle from the coffee pot?

Will you wake from your garden
And look for me?

Will I kneel down in prayer
Or throw my head back and laugh?

Oh morning, your welcoming glaze
bathes kindness over the day.

I could bask in your freshness
And forget hatred.

Stay awhile, sunrise!

Margaret Simon, draft

To read other Aubade poems:
Linda Mitchell
Heidi Mordhorst
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn

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Joining a community of bloggers at Sharing out Stories.

Ode to My Mask

Months and months
virus spreading
mouth to mouth.
We wear our love 
on a mask.
Ads on Facebook
led me to a Vera Bradley style,
flowers of peach
on a teal green background.
Flowers light up my face
like rouge on my cheeks
or lipstick on my lips.

I smile beneath this garden.
Can you see it in my eyes?
My love
My faith
My hope

My flowers are a bouquet for you
on a Hallmark greeting card.
I breathe in their sweet perfume.

Let’s take a walk outside
and smile with our eyes.

Margaret Simon, draft

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