The painting


These days I generally write on my Facebook writer page, so musings have been finding their home over there instead of here. In recent weeks I’ve written about moving; about technology and rootedness; about new beginnings; about the human enjoyment of dressing in costume. In February I wrote about when faith feels far-fetched, entitlement that surfaced in a trip to Budapest, and the demise of our ever-faithful, old car the Beast (sniff, sniff). It’s an ever-changing world for a writer, and different “homes” for words seem to make sense at different times. Also when time is short and reflections are brief, the informality of a Facebook page fits better than a full blog post. My ducks feel like the need to be in a good row for a post here, whereas a few cohesive thoughts seem workable for the Facebook page.

This week I wrote a post about protecting moments of connection with our kids, fragile and infrequent as they may often be. It was in poem form, which felt substantial enough for an actual post on the blog (!), so I thought I’d share it here too.

Let's paint together, I said
and she agreed-
readily, happily.
Sister playmate was out 
and time with just mom,
especially creating, 
is a jewel to be seized. 
This she knew.

And then the fight.
Of course the fight, 
when plans to connect are
on the table, nearly ready.
Paints out and water cups
almost full.
She suddenly stubborn and I 
suddenly angry, punishing.

Being together is so often hard-
harder than reasonable.
Simple idea grows
tangled and marred.
Voices raised.
The joy of the Thing so easily 
squashed before even it
is fully underway.

But I caught him, that intruder,
at least one part my pride.
Pinned him down and showed him,
for today anyway, the door.
I took her in my arms,  
confessed anger. Suggested we
put it aside and go on
to the painting.
She exhaled smile, relief, so on
we moved to table and paints.

From that ground of humble
grew up our minutes together 
and our treasures.
Our brushes moved as the sun
warmed our backs.
Progress came quickly, like the life 
that flowed back to our fingers and
our hearts.


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