Simply Love

The purpose of life, the meaning,
has always been crystal clear to me,
never has a non-mystery
been more obvious and accessible:

to love
is the reason
and the miracle,

to be gifted hearts and souls
to find others on the way
home.

Who will you bring?
Who will you pass over?
Remember the Savior
may be the homeless
or aborted,
the silent one
in the corner,
the one deemed
a misfit, different,
deformed.

Each created
from love,
each loved
from above,
each returned
after this
to the metamorphic,
body-molted
non-shape of
love.

The purpose of life, the meaning,
has always been laid out:
Love thy neighbor.
Love thy spouse.
Love thy enemy.
Love thy self.

May we love
the children,
first and foremost. 

Cobwebs Between Petals

Ninety-three million miles away,
yet upon the cobwebs of a flower,
Sol’s ray reaches, haloes, frames. 

How powerful
that gentle, golden beam is
when it finds and reminds us our
insignificance

is more important and personal
than we think it to be,
for the Creator made sure
the cold and darkness 
would always have
returning light and heat.

We are turned away each evening,
in a rotation beyond our control,
perhaps to make possible
the continuous rebirthing
of new-day gratitude and hope,

to make possible these moments
that universally lift up our gazes,
to freeze-frame and coat in gold
these nuggets of humble
beauty appreciation, 

like cobwebs on a flower
that still me with revelation:
in the tapestry and labyrinth of life,
we are woven and connected
by hidden common thread,
and love could always,
then and now, 
win. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Roots and Blooms

With a single spark
from my wild heart,
I sneakily reseed
a little yellow cheer
and carry on
my solo way,
planting the
little flames
to light the way
back to
love.

So if you see
the floral light,
pass it on
randomly,
be kind
to a stranger,
let’s try
to string
smiles,
no matter
how fleeting,
for the winter is
receding,
and the birds sing
of forgiveness,
of burying,
of remembering,

for in the decay
of leaves,
we can fertilize
the best parts
of memories,
and visit
the rest
at the graveyard
of past seasons;
the reasons
you cling to
that poison 
your roots,
leave by the wayside
and mark the route.
Visit respectfully
but do not carry it
with you;
seeds were meant 
for detaching,
and rebirthing
where they land
new blooms.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

One Blank Page

If I had but one blank page to fill,
what would my message be?

What dance would my fingers perform
across the finite-lettered keys?

How could I paint in black-font
a picture of beauty and hope

that would reach and pierce with light
the souls who need it most?

If I were confined to the cage of a page,
how could I choose the right combination of words

that could break free from the paper or screen
and inspirationally rebirth?

How powerful words can be,
how powerful the choices,

how powerful this lesson when applied
to our spoken and inner

voices,

how powerful the silence
when writer’s block takes hold,

and we fail to say what should be said
when it matters most.

Poem and image ©Laura Denise

Just Another Monday Morning

Just another Monday morning

getting out of the car at work,

just another opportunity

to fine-tune my attitude

at the week’s start,

to remember how every sparkle

in the eyes

of my masked face

can make a world of a difference

when it graces

someone’s day.

The lights above

the stadium’s

remind me

of the potential

outlook change

emitted from

soul-sourced

natural, genuine

rays.

Just another Monday morning

gifted in divine splendor,

another opportunity

to use my gifts

and personality

to make a difference

for the better.

Unedited image taken today

In Passing

With the southern summer heat and humidity keeping me indoors most of the time now, I try to get outside every early morning and every evening when it is peak bearable. I very much enjoy having nature largely to myself in the mornings before the world awakens and the bustle begins. This morning, I enjoyed some time on the beach waiting for the storms to roll in (photos in my next post).

Upon leaving the waves, I noticed a frail-looking older man very much struggling to carry all of his (what appeared to be) fishing gear down to the water. Among the items was some sort of thick, wooden log-looking stand. He actually stood still and slowly swayed at one point. My natural instinct was to rush over and help him, offer to carry the gallon of water, at least. But with only a few footsteps between us, I had only moments to both assess and act upon the situation. I couldn’t make out his character. He looked like he may even be a bum. We exchanged friendly greetings, including his chuckling about how he needs a mule, as I continued to walk by. I turned around after I passed him for another glance. By the time I reached my car, the guilt was already heavily coated on me; it felt just as heavy as that gear.

I should have helped him.

I didn’t because although my first instinct came from my heart, my second came from my head. A woman out by herself needs to be careful, doesn’t she? I am still adjusting, post-divorce, to the new safety mentality; my noble steed (Lab mix) I since adopted was not with me. But…we were very much in a public place, far enough from the parking lot and with some other beach witnesses nearby. I made the wrong decision in my haste. Mom would say I made the right one. My deciding factor was concluding he may be a bum. But should that matter? Maybe it should, in other ways…

My soul’s composition simply makes me a kindhearted person with immense compassion who truly struggles with seeing the bad in anyone. To me, he was simply a brother. He was still, even when caution caused me to keep walking instead of being a good Samaritan. I sat in my car and wished I could turn the clock back a few minutes and do what my heart wanted to do. Random moments such as these tend to affect me long afterwards, tend to change me, tend to remain indelibly inside me. It’s just the way I am.

It reminded me of a scene from a friend’s book I had finished reading a couple of days ago. Grant van der Vijver’s reflective mentor character in his debut novel Deeper has a similar experience and explains to younger Luke why he called the homeless man his brother, that he believes in the Native-American philosophy of “Mitakuye Oyasin,” that we are all related. Luke struggles with the concept because he has witnessed so much hate toward others in the world, but his mentor explains that “all that ignorance doesn’t make it untrue.” Luke, like me, recalls the man’s pained eyes, still reflecting on it later that night.

My act of unkindness came with a good heart, good intentions, and good reasons I fell short this time. It may not seem like a big moment in the grand scheme of things, but for me it was. It came with a valuable reminder, a good reason for reflection, a universal one.

I texted my friend about it briefly in the car before heading home, mentioned how you just have to be careful in today’s world as my defense. But as I drove, I reflected even on that. Today’s world is no different, no exception. There has always been potential danger from strangers. There has always been sick, others would say “bad,” people. It makes me think of things that have changed, as well as things that remain the same. It makes me think of human nature. It makes me feel. It makes me want to write.

All because I passed a man at the beach this morning.

And don’t think I didn’t recall Jesus falling under the weight of the cross he carried, or this old song…

Link to the referenced book by Grant van der Vijver: Deeper (A Novel)

Photos taken by me this morning.

This Is

Sunrise kisses brushed upon eyelids,

IMG_9010

Quenching drops nourishing, renewing, the spirit,

IMG_8897

Velvet petals caressing the flesh, erasing false perfections,

inner seeds in ecstasy sacrificially spilling,

IMG_5042

Breezes always joyfully willing

to carefully carry the heart’s deepest wishes,

IMG_3249

Lonely floating feathered silhouettes receiving comforting sunset ripples,

IMG_4393

Faithful mutually blooming companion, a bud always returning,

IMG_6602

IMG_5247

Upon a pure canvas, watercolors mixing,

slowly, beautifully messily dripping,

fluid, never fully setting,

in the swirling abstract showing

what each individual soul has mourned, is yearning…

This is poetry.

And art. And music.

And, I suppose,

love.

 

All words and images ©LauraDenise

The Lines that Lead Us…

IMG_8285The theme for this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge #80 is Leading Lines.

After spending way too long going through my photos and selecting some of my “prize-winning” shots, I came to this one and halted. My eyes watered, too. Although this image does not at first appear beautiful, its story is.

The idea of lines in photography is to lead one’s eyes in a certain direction. That direction always seems to be forward, ahead. In this photo, my subject is barely discernible. It is a stranger in passing. But it moved everyone in the car quite powerfully.

I took this photo this past Christmas Day, in the early evening, on the way to drop off my son at the airport. He was complaining about his data being over and therefore slow, making the travel night ahead less to look forward to. At the white road sign on the off-ramp, we detected a woman standing behind the pole, like she was hiding. It was creepy; we assumed she was crazy.

As we passed though, we saw that she was dressed in black, grasping the pole with her head bowed in mourning, above the flowers she laid there. When we realized more of the true story, my son was the first to comment how terrible and sad that was, on Christmas Day no less. My kids and I had unplanned moments of silence. It hit us all hard.

The lines in my photograph lead us in a direction we are often told not to look: behind. But sometimes, the lessons that truly matter can only come from just that.

I took the picture out my window after the misjudged moment passed. I took it to be moved again, to be reminded again. Because sometimes, that enables us to journey forward as better people, more compassionate in the understanding only retrospection can provide, when we slow down and process the past that too quickly flew by.

Do not be too easily persuaded by the “Wrong Way” signs. Sometimes the right way can only be found in rearview mirrors, captured by the reverse camera, bypassing your own self-portrait.

Sometimes the blur of a stranger can stay with you, change you, forever.

God, bless this woman.