Favorite Emily – 31:4

Everybody has a favorite Emily.  I’m sure. I actually know, or know of, a few Emily’s. I could probably find reasons to say they are all my favorite Emily, but today I will focus on the one long gone. She inspires me in so many ways, but she is elusive and often obscure. That is probably one of the many reasons that I admire her.

She has a way with words that is both simple and complex.  Sometimes what you see on the surface is not what is really going on below the depths. She adds hue to the words in such a way that you want to pick them up and use them to color your world. You know that somehow if you could borrow from her palette you would paint a masterpiece.

In her later years she lived a quiet life among her flowers, wearing white and seeing only those close to her. She preferred to correspond via letters.  I imagine she found it easier to relate from behind closed doors using the written word to convey her thoughts rather than converse face to face.  This too is just one of the ways I can relate to her.

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections is the home of the original.Emily Dickinson. Daguerreotype. ca. 1847 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections is the home of the original. Emily Dickinson. Daguerreotype. ca. 1847 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If you are not familiar with her, allow me to introduce to you Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most prolific poets.   After her death, several of her poems were found organized in portfolio’s and even more were found in a chest.  They were written on scraps of paper and untitled.  I too am a paper scrap writer, jotting down random thoughts on whatever happens to be available.  At our house scraps of paper cannot be thrown away without being read first, as they might contain the words to my great masterpiece. Or not.

Her poems are collected here if you are interested in reading them.  In closing I will share with you one of my favorite Dickinson poems.  Okay, maybe two.

She sweeps with many-colored brooms

She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
And leaves the shreds behind;
Oh, housewife in the evening west,
Come back, and dust the pond!

You dropped a purple ravelling in,
You dropped an amber thread;
And now you’ve littered all the East
With duds of emerald!

And still she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars
And then I come away.

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Sweeping colors in grace,

Teresa (aka Sadie Grace)

If We Live

Little House 010.1

“Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
                                     And Immortality. ”                                                                                                                          Emily Dickinson

We live our lives in fragmented pieces and unfinished sentences.  We struggle to be what we think we are supposed to be – what we think others expect of us. We listen to the cacophony of voices around us clamoring to be heard and forget to stop and listen for the one, still voice that matters.

Some die too young while they’re right in the middle of the clamor, and they leave other’s to figure out the pieces of their lives.  I believe if they could come back they would tell us to forget the pieces, forget the chaos, forget expectations of others.  Instead, they would tell us to slow down, let the sentences be finished.  Listen to the one who knows us best.

Soul living begins with listening to the still voice in the quiet of our heart.  It requires a down slowing and an attitude of waiting, of clinging to the good and settling into peace. Making room for love and living.  Realizing that living your faith, making time for others, savoring the everyday is far better than existing to chase a dream that you can’t take with you.

Since the first of the year, it seems that we have had one funeral home visitation upon another.  A couple of these were men who died too young.  Both my age, one in a car accident and one in his sleep.  Both Christian men who loved their families.  Seeing them in pictures with their families and hearing others speak about them was a testimony of lives well lived.  Lives that made room for love and living.

Death is no respecter of age, and it will come to all.  When my time comes, I want those left behind to be able to say that I listened to the Still Voice, that I settled into the Peace that only he can give. I want them to see the finished sentences.  I want them to know they were loved by my living.

Little House 010.2

Living in Grace,