Friday, April 01, 2011

this week all's I've got is this scratched out poem

Last year's gift exchange

In December I purchased four of these prints from my dear artist friend Phaedra for three Very Important People in my life (plus one for me).  Three women who've been my friends for the past decade (even as I write that, I have to recount because ten years seems impossible!)  It's taken us until today, April 1, to all be in one place for me to give the gift.

watching Andrea play @ Art Show
Part of the reason it's the world's most procrastinated Christmas gift, is that I was trying to think of words to add.  Words to explain what I'd learned  from these women what friendship is and  words to explain what I'd learned friendship is not.  Even though I had 97 additional days to try writing my feelings, it took me until this morning to scratch out a few stanzas.  Often when I have the most to say, I find the least amount of words.

singing hymns for Margaret's mom
Phaedra's watercolor is titled Clasped Hands in Times of Trouble; perfectly titled for what I've experienced in a quartet of friends doing life, sometimes in huddles of prayer, laughter, tears, but more often apart from each other whirling in our own private spheres of family, work, ministry, sorrows, frustrationstrauma, disagreements, insecurities, irritations and grief.  Still I have no doubt, whose hand I'm clasping in trouble.  This has, in fact, been my biggest learning about friendship -- sometimes it holds tighter in lack than in plenty.

Eve* Gets Dressed
In forty years I
have learned friendship
both beyond 
wildest hopes and far 
short my grand expectations of

Girlhood longings grasp
clasped hands, skipping
unhampered with lack.
Crayon-sketch sunbeams & rainbows:
you + me,

In forty years I
have learned friendship
beyond blue
gingham* girl dreams, an
afterschool innocence recalls  
happy Eve
stark naked.

But cursed blue denim
Eve bares open,
unclasped hand,  
wildly hopeful lack
finds whole with broken
you + me,
*  When I was writing this morning, two images kind of popped out:  the thought of Eve, perfectly suited for companionship in the Garden, and forever facing her incompetence in relationship after she knows shame.  Also, when I was a little girl, I had the loveliest blue gingham bedroom curtains and bedspread.  Out my window was a tree and, for some reason, the image of me daydreaming out that window, dreaming of perfect friendship,  showed up quite unexpected.  *

A one-stop link up this week:
with LL
On In Around button
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